Now we get to observe how a heterosexual man imagines his unsolicited interruption will be received. Each time he writes about “approaching” women, I’m gonna need you to remember that the correct word for this behavior is “interrupting women”.
You: [Smile in a friendly, confident manner] Hey – I know it’s not normal to talk to someone with headphones in, but I was walking along and saw you and thought – wow, she’s hot, I have to come over and say hi. I’m Dan, what’s your name?
Oh my god dude, women who are strangers do NOT want to hear about your pants feels. When you approach and interrupt a stranger to tell her you are attracted to her physique, you sexualize and objectify her. Are women hot? Of fucking course they are! Do they need or want individual assessments from strange men while they are obviously busy and uninterested? No.
You: [Add in some humor to get her smiling and to create a spark between you] Cool…nice to meet you Jessica. I don’t normally talk to girls with headphones, but your big green headphones were just calling out to me.
Odds that Jessica goes home, destroys her green headphones, and orders some boring option that won’t “call out” to street harassers are not insignificant. This example contains the lie that the author of a piece on harassing women with headphones does not routinely harass women with headphones, and the bonus of blaming his inappropriate behavior on her fashion choices.
Woman: [Most likely laughing, smiling, and enjoying the interaction.]
Smiling and laughing I can believe. But enjoying the interaction? I have my doubts. Smiling at strange rude men and laughing at their bad jokes are defense mechanisms meant to make us look friendly and not like the kind of girl you might stab for turning you down. That’s not even a slight exaggeration.
In this “conversation” all she has said is her (or a fake) name, as he’s blathered on and “gifted” her with his unsolicited appraisal of her body. This is inappropriate behavior. Women have been taught to smile at inappropriate behavior on threat of escalating violence up to and including our deaths. Our smiles do not always indicate genuine pleasure or approval.
You: [Let her know that you have something to do/somewhere to go, so she understands that you’re not going to stand there talking to her for 30 minutes.] Anyway, I’m just out doing a bit of shopping at the moment. How about you?
Thank god he has plans, because the stuff you wete trying to do in the place you were trying to be was meanngless to him, hence his interruption of same. Good thing his plans will be respected.
If it’s clear that she’s interested in talking to you, keep the conversation going and if she also seems like she has some free time, sit down with her and have a chat for a while before getting her phone number and leaving.
Exactly how do you determine if she’s interested and why do you suddenly care now? You started this interaction when she was uninterested and using a common social cue to communicate that. You know, her headphones. The ones you saw as a barrier to overcome rather than a boundary to respect. Pretending to tolerate the situation with outright lies (like fake names and numbers) can cut these unpleasant experiences short.
A woman can be approached anywhere, even if she is wearing headphones, walking her dog in the park or working in a clothing store.
I know and that’s the problem! Men act like the whole world is a meat market and women are so many fine cuts. No matter what we are doing, they feel entitled to waste our time and put us on the spot. And if nothing else STOP hitting on women at work in service professions! You are exploiting her workplace standards of polite service to demand things she’s not selling.
As long as you have the right attitude when approaching women, most will open themselves up tyo the interaction and see where it goes.
Alternate view of the scenario? So long as you interrupt women as if you had every right to, most will politely endure the interaction thanks to thousands of years of gender based violence and their whole lives in a system of patriarchy. Wow, so interested in you!
When a guy approaches a woman in a confident and self-assured way and asks her to take off her headphones because he has something to say to her, she usually will.
He then needs to make sure that the next thing that he says to her is engaging because if it isn’t, she will usually put her headphones back on and gesture for him to leave her alone.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate every woman who’s ever given Dan here a middle finger gesture. Heroes, every one.