Via tekanji: synecdochic (whom I discovered through this post on being sex positive in the wake of the OSBP explosion), has a post about not being That Guy:
I thought: hey, good post. And then I stopped myself. Because fucking hell, those parameters -- though nicely stated and I'm really glad the guy has both figured them out so early and can articulate them so well -- shouldn't be something that's so rare. They should be standard default operating assumptions.
I particularly appreciated this bit of advice, which I hadn't thought of before:
And if you see a man and a woman having an interaction and the woman's displaying those signs -- backing up, pulling away, looking away, her mouth smiling politely but her eyes nowhere near the person she's talking with -- the way to gracefully stage a rescue is to step in from a distance (not in her space, not within touching distance of her) and distract the guy by striking up a conversation with him, not with her. That gives her the chance to slip away if she feels the need, with less of a chance of making her feel more threatened. (Not no chance, sadly. But less of one.)
I see this happen pretty often (especially riding the bus - women riding alone get singled out for being chatted up just about any time they're not actively avoiding it). The best response I could think of on my own was frown power, because I really didn't want to take it upon myself to interfere for fear of coming off as a "white knight," and I didn't trust myself to read the interaction right. Even now, I'm not sure what my intervention threshold in such a situation would be--especially given that the particular accoster I'm thinking of has in the past tried to start conversations with me when there wasn't a single woman to hit on, and wouldn't take "I'm sorry, I'd like to read my book" as a hint to back off - it's selfish, but I fear that if I do that I won't have a moment's peace again (then again, I'll be changing bus lines in a month when I move)--but it's nice to have more recourse than just saying "dude, that's not cool."
2 years ago