The Horrible, Sexist Advice And Attitude Behind the ‘How Do I Approach A Girl With Headphones In?’ Post from the Absolute Ability Blog
I’m not a feminist.
But if you spend so much as ten minutes skimming over articles and blog posts about women, especially ones by feminists, you will discover on posts about what turns women off when, how, and why men approach them, that 99.9% of women, who are publicly using headphones, do not enjoy being approached when they have headphones or earplugs in.
Many women on forums and blogs have quite plainly said that they put on headphones in public precisely to use as a “Do Not Disturb Me” sign, as in, “I don’t want men to chat with me, ask me out, or flirt with me right now. I want to be left alone.” (I have a list of links to such comments, editorials, and blog posts farther below.)
But do the guys at this “Absolute Ability” blog below, which appears to be some kind of dating advice or P.U.A. (pick up artist) type site care about women’s stated preferences and explanations for their behavior?
Why no, they do not.
These men assume they know better than women what women want.
So, the short answer to the question, “How do I approach a girl wearing headphones” is – you do not.
(By the way, I am a woman. You can take my word over what men on a blog have to say about women.)
Do not take a woman wearing headphones as a challenge to overcome. It is not.
Do not view a woman’s “no” as an invitation to keep trying, to keep pestering her. Back off.
One clue that anyone and everyone should avoid taking dating or relationship advice from Tony D, is this Tweet on (Link): Tony’s Twitter (this is his Twitter linked to from his dating advice blog):
(Link): Tweet source (@TonyDAbsolute)
The Tweet by Tony reads:
I was sexually assaulted by Obama in the early, no mid, no early 90’s. Can’t remember when, where, how I got there, how I got back, and none of my friends I named remember it, or remember meeting him. But he’s definitely guilty.
#touchedbyObama #MeToo #BrettKavanaugh
Regardless of where one stands politically (I am moderately conservative), it shows a great deal of immaturity and insensitivity, and some sexism, to mock any woman who comes forward to say she was sexually assaulted – and note that Tony is also misusing the “me too” hash tag in his tweet.
Any man who thinks it’s acceptable to ridicule an alleged sexual assault victim, to mock sexual assault of women generally, is not a man to be taking dating advice from.
He clearly does not respect women, and if a man wants more success in dating, and if a man wants a lasting, healthy relationship with a woman, he will have to at a minimum, generally respect women.
Tony is also apparently a (Link): fan of Jordan Peterson, whom despite what his admirers think (and yes, I am familiar with Peterson’s work in context), holds to some sexist ideals and is in favor of traditional gender stereotypes for men and women, many of which elevate men at the expense of women.
Tony also tweeted on his Twitter (link) that
This is why the left is losing, and will continue to. They’re bullies and morons. https://twitter.com/SourcedReports/status/1049003054366949376
Mmm. Now, I am a right wing woman (and yes I do believe that some liberals some of the time can behave like bullies), but Tony’s blog, from what I recall, does not say he is in the business of helping right wing men approach right wing women.
Well, considering that a lot of women are liberals and vote Democrat, how does Tony expect a man of whatever political persuasion, being able to approach liberal or Democrat women for a date, when he holds them in such low esteem, and I’m sure that attitude would likely color his dating advice?
Or is Tony D. expecting male readers on his blog to approach only conservative women for dates? And how are those single men going to know which women are conservatives, if they’re not, for instance, wearing a M.A.G.A. ball cap?
Here’s a link to the post in question, with some excerpts, followed by some of my thoughts (and Tony actually filed this blog post of his under the tag “Game,” I kid you not):
Sept 2015, by Tony D
I’m often asked how to approach women who are either wearing headphones, on the phone, or staring into one.
I feel like guys who ask this aren’t necessarily looking for technique, but rather permission.
Guys—You have my permission. Go talk to the girl with headphones.
This dude on Reddit asked what a good approach was for this situation, and then received lots of terrible advice:
I would recommend not doing that, even though I guess some might. Most of my friends who are girls would find that extremely invasive and off putting when they just may be wanting to tune out the world.
(–end reddit comment)–
Or she’s listening to an album she’s heard 97 times.
And typical bad advice from a girl…
I’ll probably get alot of hate from this but, you don’t. I can’t tell you how many female friends of mine think it’s ridiculously creepy and invasive.
–(end reddit comment)–
“Invasive.” “Creepy.” The words they use. Words, words, words.
Let me pause right there.
So, someone named “Tony D,” who I would presume is a man, is telling single men reading his blog, that-
Although many other women (I would assume he is quoting women there, I am too lazy to visit his Reddit link to verify) are communicating that when listening to a device in public (such as an mp3 player) that they want to be left alone, and-
Even though these women say they find it creepy when a guy insists on approaching them anyway, Tony D is completely ignoring the boundaries of women, and he is encouraging other men to ignore the boundaries of women, too.
All of which is sexist and is terrible advice, and it shows a total disregard for women’s boundaries, safety, needs, and preferences.
Even if, as Tony argues, 90% of the population is “plugged in” and listening to devices out in public, even if the particular woman in question is listening to her favorite album for the 97th time in a row, that still does not give a man “permission” or a right to interrupt a woman while she’s listening to music, her phone, or music, to flirt with her.
Most women use devices when out in public to purposefully avoid being chatted up by men in the first place, especially by men they do not know.
Women already have to deal enough with unwanted male attention as it is. We women already deal with a culture where male entitlement runs amok, and men feel entitled to a woman’s time, smiles, and attention.
As a woman, I do not owe ANY man anything. I do NOT owe you my time, attention, a date, sex, or a relationship.
If you approach a woman, especially when she is in no mood to be flirting – say she’s riding public transportation while listening to music – she’s already sending signals she wants to be left alone.
If you follow Tony D’s advice, which is to ignore women’s stated preferences and stomp all over HER needs and HER wants and proceed to harass her (yes, I said harass), you will always strike out with women.
Some women, such as myself, are very introverted and grouchy. I, and women like me, will use headphones when out in public, intentionally avoid making eye contact with men as much as possible, and/or bring a book or magazine to skim or read while out and about in public as advertisements of , “I am not interested in getting dates. No I don’t want to give you my phone number. Leave me alone.”
Continuing with the sexist, hideous blog post by Tony D,
The big question you all want to know is: “Is it ok to approach girls who are occupied with their phone?”
If you don’t want to be forever alone, you will have to risk being “Creepy” and “Invasive.”
Honey. Babe. Sweetie. There are no guarantees in life, as you seem to be suggesting here. Nothing you do is going to guarantee you a date or a relationship with a woman, no matter what advice you use (the same holds true for single women wanting a boyfriend).
Here’s better advice: first of all, remember the woman you see on the bus bench who is listening to her mp3 player who you think is so very appealing and cute, who you are dearly tempted to go up and chat with, is not the only woman in the world.
There are other women out there you can approach at a later time, or in another place. You know, the whole “there’s more than one fish in the sea” thing.
Secondly, (and here’s an even better idea), how about choosing to approach women who are NOT already listening to headphones?
If you’re out in public and see a woman who looks open to being approached – meaning she is not preoccupied with some task, is not listening to headphones, she looks like she’s friendly and is even making eye contact with you and maybe even smiles at you – then try approaching her.
And if she declines, if she indicates she is not interested in you romantically, then accept it, and back off, and leave her alone.
But the women who looks really intent on some task, such as choosing which apples to buy at the grocery store? Pass her up, or wait until she gets her apples and is just wandering around a bit in the store, and then make a move.
It’s just effin’ rude, sexist, and insensitive to assume that we women cannot and should not determine what is best for us, and when and how we prefer to be approached by a guy who wants a date.
I’m a single woman who has wanted to be married but never found Mr. Right. But this does not mean I am open to men constantly – this does not mean I am obsessed with finding a man every day or waking moment of my life.
Usually when I do things like go food shopping at the store, I am just there food shopping and I do NOT want to be flirted with by a guy.
There are times I’m in a bad mood, I’m physically tired, I’m devoting my mental energy to figuring something out, or I’m worried about something, and when I’m out in public, during those times, flirting or dating is the last damn thing on my mind, and I resent the hell out of any man who flirts with me, especially if I make it known via body language or by words I am not interested in him or in looking for a date.
If I’m publicly using my headphones – and I use them because I like listening to music, but also as a “Buzz off, leave me alone right now” sign – being approached by Mr. Flirty only pisses me off – or it can worry me, if I get a “rapist” vibe off the guy.
(By the way, never, ever approach a woman in headphones who is out on a jog or a walk while she has those headphones in: 99.9% of women will assume you are a rapist who wants to rape her. Women often get raped or mugged while out on jogs, and they are normally listening to music or audio books at these times.)
I do think some of the very big problems with these incel guys, and the Forever Alone guys, and so on, is that they feel entitled to women, they refuse to respect what women say (we women say we don’t like being approached with headphones on, but this Tony guy is completely ignoring that and telling men to simply ignore what women say – which is only going to alienate you from women further), and, such men are afraid to take risks.
I think most of these Lonely Heart men are afraid to take risks. They’d rather avoid possible failure than take a chance and maybe succeed.
It can feel painful or humiliating to flirt with a woman only for her to turn you down. So some of these men give up altogether, or some of them wrongly assume if they “act nice” to a woman, she is then obligated to have sex with them.
(Some of them wrongly assume if they follow all the advice on a blog such as Tony D’s that it will work. No, it won’t.)
While I do think if a man keeps on trying that he will eventually get a date, it’s a mistake for these men to think the way to increase their odds in dating in their favor is to simply steam-roll right over the feelings, needs, and stated preferences of women.
If many women across many blogs are telling you they do NOT like it when men approach them when they are listening to headphones, then take those women at their word: do not approach women while they are wearing headphones.
Women know women far, far better than Tony D. the man does or ever will.
Tony D speaking again:
Ever heard the old phrase “Nice guys finish last?” Well, it is very, very true. Though it should be rephrased as “Weak, self-conscious, insecure and overly polite guys finish last.”
There’s nothing weak, self conscious, insecure and overly polite about respecting a woman’s stated wishes.
As a matter of fact, if we look at things in the reverse, in literature by domestic abuse experts and in books by psychiatrists that discuss dating related matters, the authors commonly advise single women who are thinking about dating, that one huge, red flag and warning sign in a controlling or abusive man that they should avoid, are men who ignore women’s boundaries and needs.
And here Tony is, on this “Absolute Ability” blog, advising his male readership to engage in one of the warning signs counselors tell women to avoid in a man: blatantly disregard women’s boundaries: disregard what women themselves have said about being approached while wearing headphones.
Approach them anyway.
[later in the post, Tony says,]
Even if it’s a guy who finds them attractive.
Even if it’s a little “creepy” and “invasive.”
If you don’t want to alienate, inconvenience, scare, creep out, or offend that women (or some combination of all those things), do NOT approach the woman! Period. End of the story.
If you see a woman reading a book, magazine, engrossed in some other activity, or listening to music, leave her alone!
Not all women are listening to headphones all time in every area of your city: find a woman who is not reading a book or listening to headphones and chat with her rather than the women who is listening to an mp3 player.
When they see you waving, talking and motioning at them, they will take their headphones out and talk to you.
Or they won’t.
Oh goodness. No.
The only reason girls or women would do this is that we have been socially conditioned to be accommodating to men, and to be polite – and we do this in part because some men become very verbally and (Link): physically abusive with women who (Link): refuse to give them dates or heed them attention.
But in some women’s cases – such as mine – if I were to take my iPod off to stop and listen to you because you are a man motioning to me, I would secretly resent it and be very pissed off at you, though I would keep a polite demeanor to your face.
I would be even more pissed off with you if I were to find the reason for you motioning to me to interrupt my music listening was to hit on me and ask for my phone number.
You are not going to get a date with me at this point, and not with most other women.
When you get her attention, you ask your question, give your compliment, tell your joke. You attempt to charm, seduce, and pick that babe up. Ask her for her number, tell her she’s hot, tease her, talk about the weather if you must.
Oh god no. No. Please do not refer to women as “babes,” not on blogs, and not to their faces.
And don’t tell any woman you approach she is “hot” (or sexy, pretty, beautiful or any variation involving commenting on the woman’s physical appearance).
Most women prefer to be complimented on their brains or some other internal quality, such as sense of humor.
Some women, yes, there may be a small percentage out there, may enjoy the “you’re so pretty” type garbage from men, but most of us get sick and tired of being sexually objectified, and we’ve had this done to us hundreds of times by the time we’re 30 years old.
By the way, if you approach a woman to flirt, most women will assume you find her physically attractive without you having to say so, because most people do not flirt with people they find ugly.
I’ve not read through this Tony guy’s entire blog, but is his blog aimed at junior high boys? If you’re past the age of 12, it comes across as quite immature to tell a teenage girl or a woman that she is pretty or “hot.”
(Even for the junior high crowd most girls won’t enjoy the “you’re so hot/ pretty” commentary.)
And most women get the “Hurr, hurr, derp, gosh, you’re so sexy” type comments so frequently that they cease to have any meaning or impact.
Especially on dating sites – every other message we women get starts out with, “You’re so hot.” The sheer repetition means it’s a snooze-fest. And we women know you men are just sending out ‘You’re so hot’ messages to all the other women on the site.
Just get the job done. Don’t let a little pocket computer keep you from your future wife.
Future wife? You have only just met this person. They may not want to date you, let alone marry.
And if you rush a woman too quick, you come across as desperate, and she will avoid you on that score.
Tony D said,
Guys—it’s only going to get worse. Our women are being seduced away from real human interaction into a virtual world of instant validation, communication, and entertainment. It’s up to you to snap these pretty zombies out of their stupor and back into the real world, where they have to use social skills, and deal with living, breathing humans.
Boys and men are just as much online as girls and women are, maybe even more so. Most studies I’ve seen show that men spend more time looking at online porn than women do.
Yet other studies I’ve seen say that younger generations, regardless of gender, are bad at in-face social interaction because they’re too accustomed to sending text messages to each other or using social media. This is hardly a female-only problem.
In this day and age of dating sites, go join a dating site. A man does not have to rely only on chance encounters out in public to meet a woman. And nothing says you are limited to approaching ONLY women who are using headphones.
By the way, another big problem with the sorts of men who rely on those types of dating advice blogs is that they do not handle rejection well, they refuse to accept a woman’s rejection with class and politeness: hearing a “no” to them only means “try again” or “try harder.”
Tony D’s post is in the vain of that – he’s encouraging men with already bad dating habits and poor social skills to keep on ignoring a woman’s “no.”
Reader comments from Tony D’s blog post:
September 20, 2015 at 2:19 pm
It’s so funny how they put up barricades (conciously or not) such as headphones,negative body language and then whine that guys “never approach”
Steve, women have a right to choose when, how, and if they are approached by what type of men to be flirted with.
Women having boundaries and a right to choose for themselves should not anger, turn you off, or offend you in some fashion.
Steve, (and especially assuming you are a HETERO guy), if you were approached by lots of homosexual men on a daily to weekly basis over your life, from the time you were a teenage boy to a grown man… And you have no interest in their romantic overtures,
And these gay men in this hypothetical scenario are physically bigger and stronger than you…
And there you are, wanting to be left alone, listening to your iPod on a public bus, would you really and truly appreciate these gay dudes ignoring your “alone time” and your bodily language of “I want to be left alone,” to get you to pull off your ear plugs, requiring you to work up the emotional energy to give them some time, attention and conversation, all so they can flirt with you and ask you for your number?
And then, you have no way knowing if these are gay dudes who will respect your “No,” or if not, they may start beating you for rejecting their sexual interest and advances – or, the may follow you down the street once you get off the bus, drag you down an alley and rape you.
-That is what life is like for a lot of women out in public. Being constantly approached by men we are not into, at a time in day or life that we don’t want to deal with you or other men, and have to put up a “polite’ front to avoid you screaming at us, beating us, or raping us.
And usually, when women wear headphones in public, it’s a conscious choice and a way of saying, “I want to be left alone. I do not want to socialize with anyone.”
If you proceed to approach women in these situations already damn well knowing it either scares us or pisses us off, you are not going to get a date with these women anyway, so what in the holy hell is the point in doing this, all it amounts to is deliberate harassment.
Maybe guys never approach when these women are open to it – when they are NOT wearing headphones. Judging from this blog post, it looks like most men are insensitive, sexist douche nozzles who prefer to do the OPPOSITE of what women want…
Despite the fact most women say they do NOT like being approached while in headphones, I see men on this blog post saying, “Aw, go ahead and do it anyway!”
Tony D replied to a lady named Lynn on his blog, who left a dissenting comment:
Tony D says,
October 8, 2015 at 11:59 am
I’m sorry you had to talk to a weird guy on the street. Time to be a strong, independent woman and learn to deal with the hardship of being approached by a man from time to time. Thanks for commenting.
Er, Lynn already said she told the rude guy who interrupted her in the middle of a phone call to “fuck off” (her language).
Tony, I can tell from your blog post and your reply to Lynn that you simply do not get it. Which is why you are in no place to be doling out advice to single men.
Tony’s line to Lynn,
“Time to be a strong, independent woman and learn to deal with the hardship of being approached “
-is unnecessarily condescending.
My remarks to Tony:
Most women have a life time (from the time they are teengirls to adulthood) of having been approached by men they were not interested in for one reason or another, so we don’t need Tony’s advice on how to handle this.
We women don’t need your Man-splaining, Tony.
I’m a woman who is over age 45, and I don’t need for you to tell me how to navigate a situation I’ve had to endure many times over my life already, and I don’t think Lynn needs your advice, either.
Tony, you also seem quite oblivious as to how women are socialized.
American women are not socialized in the same way men are.
We women are taught things from girl-hood, such as, but not limited to, we we are not to get our own needs met, it is wrong to hurt other people’s feelings, and we should not be assertive – we should be passive.
We women are taught to put other people’s needs and feelings before our own, EVEN WHEN AND IF that puts our mental or physical safety in jeopardy, which puts us at risk for being beaten or raped by men. I do not think you understand or appreciate that fact at all.
We women also learn at a young age that many men are taught it’s acceptable and permissible for boys and men to openly show anger, and to use their physical strength to beat and hit (or even kill) women who make them angry for doing things like refusing to smile at men, and for turning them down for sex.
Therefore, a lot of women endure a lifetime of feeling scared of strange men who approach them, but we are taught to smile at them anyhow and be polite to the man no matter what, because if we are not, he may become angry and beat, rape, or kill us, or we may make him angry or hurt his feelings.
My guess is that Lynn who left Tony a reply was either raised in a family that taught her to buck those traditional gender stereotypes for women (so she feels okay ignoring them), or,
Lynn is probably older – probably over the age 35. By the time many women hit their 30s or older, they see via life experience that these gender stereotypes do not work in their favor, so they learn to start to overcome them or get around them, if they can.
So, you have a lot of American teen girls, and American women up to the age of 35 or so, who find it very difficult to be blunt with men, and to act in a “strong and independent” manner with men, as Tony is advising.
Also, we women learn at an early age if we act in an assertive, strong fashion, we will be penalized for it – like at places of employment, in particular. The qualities our society celebrates and values in men – such as being assertive and out-spoken – they will punish in girls and women.
We women get referred to in a derogatory fashion if we stand up for ourselves the way men do (we get referred to as “bitches” or “ball breakers” and so on), which is yet another reason many women and girls hesitate to act “strong and independent” around men so often.
Part of being a gentleman and hitting it off with the ladies is to respect the ladies’ boundaries, which you are not doing here, and you are actively discouraging the men at your blog from doing.
Another guy left a comment on Tony’s blog. Here is what he said,
Anton Ant says
November 19, 2015 at 12:32 am
I think what shes sayin is theres a difference between talkin 2 a girl and aggressively pickin her up.This was a guy she told to leave her alone cause she was workin and he still went after her.
I wanna hear u think on that approach cause I dont think PU should put someones job at risk and I dont think shes wrong to be pissed about that.what u think about pickin up girls when theyre at work cause I wouldnt step foot in skyscraperville for a date from 9 to 5.u had any luck in that terf?
–(end quote by Anton Ant)–
Lord have mercy. So the only boundary this guy will accept from woman is if it’s work-related?
What if it’s not work-related, Anton?
Look, I don’t care if it’s job related or not: respect a woman’s wishes.
Even if the woman is having her day off from her job and visiting the local museum or shopping mall but she’s wearing headphones, in the middle of a phone call, back off and give her her space and privacy.
Cheddar cheese on a square cracker, society really does instill a deep sense of entitlement in men, that they believe it is their god-given RIGHT to disturb a woman whenever or however they wish.
June 13, 2016 at 5:20 pm
I’m sure if this fuse had pulled up in a fancy car or had swanky clothing, etc. Her panties would’ve dropped and legs spread. I herev Hesse tags all the time, “…but then he said he was a Dr and lived in this “insert Bougie” condo building so I fucked him good there…..
If you’re single and unable to get dates, I can tell you right now that women are picking up on your sexist vibes and avoiding you like the plague from that alone.
I was engaged to years to a guy many people thought was physically unattractive, and he exploited me for thousands of dollars over a period of years. I’ve had female friends and family in the same position: their men are not much to look at and their men don’t earn much money, or they are stingy with their money.
My sister once set me up on two dates with a guy who was a doctor – he was a very good looking man, with a lot of money – but I had no interest in dating him because he was arrogant, and he was rude to me.
Character and personality does matter to a lot of single women, not just looks or money.
In order for you to rationalize why you are striking out with women, David, you are falling into a fantasy land where all women are too picky or shallow.
The truth is, dating is hard for BOTH biological sexes.
Maybe you need to work on you.
If you are over-weight, start cutting calories, join a gym and work out, and go on jogs. If you need more money to attract a woman, get and hold a steady job.
Maybe you spend too much time indoors on your X-Box or Playstation or playing Candy Crush, and if you developed hobbies that took you out of your house, you’d meet more women.
There could be a billion other reasons and factors you can change about YOU and your situation that would help you increase your chances of meeting “Ms Right.”
Your biggest hurdle is your sexist and bitter attitude against women. You’re not going to manage to get or keep many lasting, meaningful relationships with women with that attitude. You are your problem, not “Chads” or “Stacys.”
Sitting around on blogs such as Tony D’s complaining that supposedly all women only go for nothing but looks and money is not going to change your singleness situation, if you are a single guy who’d like a girlfriend.
On an ending note, Tony D. is not going to help single men who are lonely hearts get dates. Just based on this one blog post alone, he is actually encouraging any men who read his blog to re-enforce some of the very habits and mind-sets about women and dating which are keeping them stuck in Single-land.
If you want to increase your odds of getting dates and a girlfriend, one step of a few you can take, is to learn to respect women’s boundaries and to take women’s stated preferences at face value: when most women say they do NOT like being approached while wearing headphones, accept that, and learn to only approach women who are not wearing headphones – most of us women do not have headphones glued to our heads 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Find alt means: instead of relying on bugging women you don’t know at all on public transport, why not try going to bars and nightclubs?
Some women who attend bars are going to a bar for the express purpose of getting flirted with and getting a boyfriend (caution: not all women, though. Some are just there to dance or listen to a live band and don’t want to be “hit on”).
Try a dating site to meet women.
Try (Link): meet up. Meet Up is NOT a dating site, however.
Using the Meet Up site, find a hobby you genuinely find interesting in your city, and go to an event. You may meet a woman there and hit it off and start dating. If not, you can at least possibly make a friend or two (male or female) and obtain companionship, which is a good thing.
Ask your friends and family to fix you up with any single women you know.
Your opportunities for meeting single women to get a date does not consist solely of women in public spaces listening to headphones or reading a book.
Ignore Tony D’s advice if you want dates or a girlfriend.
If you do not learn to respect women and their boundaries and preference now, when you are a single guy, then if you do manage to gain a girlfriend one day, your disrespect, sexist assumptions about women, sexist attitudes about women and why they do what they do, and your indifference to the woman’s wants and needs, and your controlling nature, will cause her to break up with you eventually.
I usually stay away from magazines, articles, or blogs that are written by men for single men on how to approach women, because it’s cringe worthy: the advice is usually sexist, bad, and I know it’s going to be woefully ineffective, and, I pity any woman who is approached by any man who read that advice and tries to use it on her.
If you’re a single man, you need to take “how to approach women” advice from women, not from men. Women know and understand most other women better than men ever will.
Under a section of his site called “Testimonials,” was this post:
Er, yeah. That is why most men who adhere to Tony’s advice or visit his blog are not going to be able to get into lasting, meaningful relationships with women: apparently, their only goals on that site are to get laid. I guess these men have never heard of masturbation?
To put this another way, I would not want to date, marry, or have sex with any man who agrees with or who uses Tony D’s advice, and not many other women would, either.
The fact that Tony and his readers (and men like them) refer to initiating conversations or relationships with women as “having game” is a tip off in and of itself. Relationships are not “games.” Women are not toys or spoils to be won. Treating women respectfully is not a “game.”
The fact that the guy who wrote the testimonial I linked to above (and who knows if it’s fabricated or not) referred to one of his notches- on- the- bedpost as a “21 year old model” is another clue that these guys are not worth dating or sleeping with: they are preoccupied by judging women on their outward appearances. They are ageist. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
I’ve only ever seen a tiny, tiny percentage of men who seem to really understand and appreciate women and give respectful, workable, romance and dating advice, such as (Link): Dr. Nerdlove – from what I remember of his site, after having read it months ago, his advice to single men on how to approach women was respectful of women.
Other Women Explaining Why No, It’s Not Okay To Approach Women Wearing Headphones
…. Lindsey M., a board member at (Link): Stop Street Harassment, offered some helpful answers to common questions about why this type of interaction isn’t welcome.
“This concern presumes, as a default, that it is acceptable to gamble a woman’s discomfort or sense of safety against the odds that there’s a shot of success,” Lindsey wrote in a Twitter direct message. “That willingness to gamble is male privilege: It centers the desire to pick up a woman over the possibility that she wants to be left alone.”
Why don’t disinterested women just politely say no?For one, in trying to ignore you, she already has said no. Additionally, it’s not nearly that simple, as saying “no” has been known to lead to even more aggressive harassment and even physical violence.
“There are plenty of consensual ways to meet and connect with women, and intentionally choosing cold approaches of women whose only act of participation was walking in your line of sight is the ultimate expression of male entitlement,” Lindsey added.
Studies have shown that street harassment has a very real, very negative effect on various aspects of its victims’ lives.
“The threat of harassment leads women to adjust their schedule, how and when they commute, where they choose to live, what they wear, what social or work functions they attend, how or where they work out, etc.,” Lindsey wrote.
It’s also important to remember that it’s not any single interaction that leads to this feeling, but rather the fact that women are bombarded with unwanted male attention from an early age. It all adds up over time.
At #StreetHarassment workshops I ask women how harassment affects their daily life. *Every time* women mention seeking refuge in headphones.
— Lindsey (@CardsAgstHrsmt) August 30, 2016
“Street harassment and ‘pick up culture’ perpetuate the objectification and gamification of women, which carries its own set of costs on women and girls’ mental health, self esteem, and social standing,” Lindsey explained.
Approaching strangers wearing headphones is different from most other public interactions because, for many, avoiding social interaction is exactly why the headphones are there in the first place.
Martha Mills breaks it down at The Guardian:
“The very reason I and many other women wear headphones isn’t as a trivial obstacle to some throbbing hormone mountain, nor as a challenge for those blessed with an abundance of ego. It’s a defence. … We fill our ear holes to stop you from getting in.”
True story. She continues:
“If you’re in a bar or party, her flirtatious smile may be the come-on you’re looking for, but be prepared to accept that you read it wrong, politely wish her a good evening and toddle back off. … If you’re looking for a horde of single, eligible women all looking for friendship-maybe-more in one convenient place, try a dating site.”
The point isn’t that you can never spark up a conversation with a stranger. Rather, it’s that men need to respect social cues — not find ways around them.
To review: Remember that you’re not entitled to anybody else’s time, attention, or space. If someone is wearing headphones, they’re probably not up for conversation, and you should respect that.
Regarding the page above, by AskMen editors, August 2016-
By the way, I don’t know of any woman who “tests” men by “playing hard to get,” by doing things such as intentionally keep headphones on, to test his resolve or his seriousness. I have no idea where Dan Bacon is getting that from.
Excerpts from that page at Ask Men:
… What is so dangerous about Bacon’s attitude is his disregard for consent – no means no, and when a man continues to follow a woman who doesn’t want to be approached, this is harassment.
Additionally, many women don’t like being “approached anywhere”, find “controlling” men intimidating and don’t “hope to be approached” by a total stranger.
(sample reaction on Twitter about Bacon’s stupid “pick up” advice article, from that Ask Men column):
“How did you and your husband meet?”
“I was wearing headphones and he persistently harassed me to get my attention”
Said no woman ever.
— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) August 30, 2016
this post has been amended after being published to add new content and links