A Rejection Isn’t An Insult & Other Things We Wish Men Understood

Sure, there are some guys who are already clued in on what it means to treat women with the respect we deserve, but to deny that there’s a group of guys whose sole job in life seems to be to argue with everything we say and explain why we’re wrong about everything is to basically admit to willful, blind ignorance. Their numbers are tiny, but their voices are loud – ain’t that the way it goes? Ah, well. There’s always hope — if only they’d finally understand these things:

  1. First things first: a rejection really isn’t an insult. We don’t want to date every guy who asks us out, just like you won’t want to date every girl who likes you. Some men, however, feel the need to unleash their vitriol on women who turn down their advances. In an attempt to save face, they nurse their pride with insults, derogatory remarks, and even threats of violence – all because a woman said “no thanks.” One woman’s rejection of you says absolutely nothing about who you are as a person or your desirability. It means that she simply doesn’t want to go out with you. It’s time to stop throwing fits and move onto the next one.
  2. Calling a woman a “feminazi” won’t get you laid. This insult is almost as popular as calling a woman fat or a bitch for saying no to your advances. It’s bandied about even when feminism isn’t the topic of conversation. It seems like any woman who calls out cat-calling, discusses sexism or the wage gap or speaks out against inequality earns the moniker. Using it doesn’t impress anyone. A woman is never going to suddenly fall in love with you or change her point of view because you call her a feminazi.
  3. No woman ever changed her mind after getting cat-called. Yeah, this doesn’t happen either. We’ve never stopped to think twice about the guy who yells out his desire to have sex with us as we pass by on the sidewalk. It never works. So what’s the purpose?
  4. Your income and your penis size don’t matter as much as you think they do. They really don’t. A woman isn’t a down low gold digger just because she asks what you do for a living. Also, for the most part, we’re not thinking about your penis. Unless…
  5. Penis pictures are not cute. If you send a woman an unsolicited penis picture, you are garbage. It’s gross and it’s beyond obvious that the majority of women don’t like it. Guys who defend this practice enjoy bringing up the “many” women who react positively, but those girls never speak up in defense of penis pictures, and anyway, it doesn’t matter. Just because one woman likes something doesn’t mean all of us will. That’s silly.
  6. Ignoring harassment doesn’t make it go away. Thank you for your advice to ignore it or get over it. Really, that’s invaluable. I don’t know why we never thought of that before. Here’s the problem, though: it doesn’t work. Let us talk about our experiences with each other instead of telling us to get over it. Maybe, just maybe, you should kind of get over yourself and try to understand our experience (even though you couldn’t possibly because you’ll never walk in our shoes).
  7. We don’t wear makeup or high heels or short shorts to please you. Although you’re absolutely allowed to have an opinion and a preference, don’t expect us to listen to them. If you don’t like a lot of makeup, fellas, don’t wear makeup. If you prefer a “natural look,” you’re welcome to it.
  8. Just because one woman hurt you doesn’t make all women harpies. I’m sorry someone hurt you. Sincerely – I mean that. It’s all too easy to paint an entire group with the same brush if you have a bad experience with one member of that group, but… guys. Come on. You earnestly and sincerely want us to know that not all men are rapists or abusers or misogynists. Can’t you accept that not all women are like the one who soured you on all women?
  9. Enjoying sex doesn’t make us promiscuous. This is pretty self-explanatory. Guys, do you like sex? Does that make you promiscuous? It doesn’t make women easy, either. People like sex. The end. It really is that simple. We would never tell you what to do with your bodies or judge you for what you decide, so please don’t do it to us.
  10. We know the difference between compliments and harassment. Men tell women that we’re too sensitive or easily offended because we don’t think it’s sweet when some rando calls us sexy or orders us to smile. We’re not. Intent has no bearing on reaction. Instead of getting defensive, maybe try listening.
  11. Speaking up for ourselves doesn’t mean we’re angry. Passion doesn’t equal anger. Speaking doesn’t equal anger. Don’t tell us to calm down when we try to speak about our experiences. Listen instead of arguing.
  12. We know that #notallmen are horrible. We do. If we didn’t, you’d know it. Few entire groups are horrible, but every group has its lowest common denominator. A few bad apples taint the bushel, but we’re picking through them instead of throwing out the whole lot.
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.