I love having Girls’ Nights Out. I love dancing. I love music. I like having a good time with my friends. Sometimes, I even like meeting new people and striking up conversation. You never know when you’re going to make a new friend.
While I do enjoy all of that, I do understand that many people go to clubs and bars with the intention of hooking up, or finding someone to date. There is nothing wrong with this, but there is something extremely wrong with the fact that most men do not back off when their attention is clearly not welcome.
Now, there have been times when I’ve engaged in conversation with a guy at a club or bar, and was able to have a fun discussion about comics or games. He wasn’t creepy, and he didn’t ignore the fact that I often dropped the phrase “my husband” into the conversation. However, with most other men, there is that inevitable moment in a conversation when you realize that the guy just will not take the hint that you are not interested in doing anything with him. It also happens when men decide that coming up behind you grabbing your hips to “dance” with you is a perfectly appropriate means of introducing themselves. This post is about these moments.
We have all heard about ways to quickly end conversation, or some other form of forced interaction, with a guy in whom you have no interest. The majority of these ways involve pretending to have – or actually having – a significant other. The second most common is to “pretend to be lesbian”, because you absolutely must not be interested in men if you are uninterested in that particular creep. Of course! Oh, and did you know wearing shorts (because it’s hot in a crowded room, especially while dancing) means you MUST want attention, and are just “playing hard to get?”
I am a married woman. I have been with my husband since I was 17, and have absolutely no interest in pursuing something with someone else. When I go to clubs or bars with my friends, I am there to dance and have a good time with them. However, saying “I’m married,” is often completely ineffective if said spouse is not with me. I have even had to resort to using one of my best guy friends as my “bar husband”, and have him step in to prove that I was taken. Since, you know, having my wedding set doesn’t mean anything.
There is a post that I have seen quite often on Tumblr that really sums it up:
Male privilege is “I have a boyfriend” being the only thing that can actually stop someone from hitting on you because they respect another male-bodied person more than they respect your rejection/lack of interest.
This perfectly illustrates the concept that a woman should only be left alone if she is “taken” or otherwise involved with a man. This further illustrates the fact that the majority of men feel that a complete lack of respect toward that woman is fine. It doesn’t matter if you are not interested, but if another man has a claim on you, then the guy will back off.
So, what are we to do? Last night, I learned that being completely straight-forward with the guy works better than telling him I am married. The guy doesn’t care, unless my husband is right there to stake his claim on me. In fact, I left the club early and waited for my ride outside. I was standing there, clearly waiting for someone, when yet another guy came up and wouldn’t let me leave.
“I have a husband.”
“Well, he’s not around.” (This is very typical)
“Yes, well, he will be.”
“If you were my woman, I wouldn’t let you walk around at night like this.”
My friend drove up in his truck, and I had to pretend he was my husband before the guy would actually leave me alone, and stop blocking my path. It was utterly ridiculous.
So, again. What are we to do? As I mentioned above, just be straight-forward. These men feel that saying you are married, or taken, or whatever else is an excuse and just posits a challenge that they generally will try to step up to. Instead, simply stop using these reasons. If a man is coming onto you, and you are not interested, respond with, “I’m not interested.”
NOT “I’m sorry, but…”
NOT “I need to go over there…”
Just state “I’m not interested.”
Yes. They will probably call you a nasty name. They will probably even get persistent.
“I’m not interested.”
“Oh, so you’re taken?”
“I am not interested.”
“So, you’re lesbian, huh?”
“Actually, I am just not interested.”
“Wow, you’re full of yourself. It’s not like you’re even all that hot.”
“Well, then go bother someone who IS interested.”
If I were a more outspoken person (Not using excuses was hard enough), I would probably have questioned him on WHY he felt the need to keep persisting, or why he felt that me not being interested in him means I don’t like any men? I would have spoken up on behalf of other women, but I’m not brave enough for that, yet. I worry about men getting aggressive. Which, most women know, is a very real issue.
Either way, I was able to go home and tell myself that I stood up for myself. It took a lot of guts, but I was proud of myself. It works better than telling them I’m married, because they don’t care. It works better than any other excuse I can come up with, because they don’t care.