Saturday, June 7, 2014

Exercising My Right To Say No Doesn't Make Me a Bitch

I'm baaaack! I know I had a little fallout (or a series of fallouts) with this blog. But there is nothing quite like being completely pissed off to get a blogger back at her keyboard.

I'll just cut right to the chase. I was out on business the other day in the company truck. Stopped at a stoplight, I noticed a girl in the passenger seat of the car next to me waving her arms around frantically. She was motioning for me to roll my window down, and I quickly did so. She was smiling at me, and I was in a vehicle clearly marked by the company I work for, so I assumed this had something to do with work.

Wrong. Next thing I know the rear window rolls down, and I see the face of a high-school aged prat with obnoxious sunglasses on. "Give me your number!" He yelled.

I was confused right off the bat. Silly me, I was still thinking this was a work thing, and I was trying to work out whether I should give him the number to my store or the location closest to where I was at the time. He must have caught my hesitation, because he repeated himself. He whipped out his cell and said "You're cute, I wanna call you,"

It finally clicked, and I replied with a quick and polite "Sorry, I'm taken," which is entirely true. I didn't add the part that, being 24 years old, I'm way too old for him. But I often pass for 17 and understood his mistake.

I was completely shocked when I heard him scream the word "Bitch," at me. Being on the job, all I could realistically do was roll up my window and wait for the light to turn green. But that situation really got me thinking, and I fumed about it the whole way back to work.

  • First off, notice the fact that he didn't ask me for my number. He demanded it. Give me your number. Call me an over thinker, but this tells me that he felt entitled to have my number. No matter if I want to give it to him or not.
  • Second, my refusing to give him my number (somehow) makes me a bitch. I had zero interest in ever being contacted by this little brat, and still I am a bitch for saying no. In a VERY polite manner, might I add!
What's even worse was how my coworkers reacted. I don't know if any of you know what I do, but I work at an auto shop, which is obviously a male-dominated industry. I shared my experience with some of them and, to my surprise, the general feedback I received was that I actually was a bitch for refusing to give him my number. Most of them actually thought that the polite option would have been to just acquiesce to his request, regardless of whether I wanted to or not.

This is a prime example of misogyny. Society tells us that a man gets what he wants from a woman, regardless of how she feels about it. She is generally supposed to appease him, because she will be labeled a bitch (or worse, in more severe cases) if she refuses. God forbid she deny a man what he wants!

But imagine the tables being turned. Imagine what a typical woman would do if she had been turned down like he was. Would she obnoxiously scream the word dick at him after being informed that he was taken? Probably not. Why? That's not a socially acceptable response. It's OK if he tells her no. No matter how she feels about the rejection, she'll just have to deal with it. But it's not that way when a male gets rejected, and that's a problem.

This is the reason why American women have a 1 in 4 chance of being raped in their lifetime. This is the reason why men are going on killing sprees because they can't get laid. Many men feel that women owe them attention, or sex, or whatever else it is that they want. Many women are forced into compliance. Many other women submit to this warped concept out of fear (fear of being hurt, fear of social repercussions, etc), which only perpetuates the situation.

Men: I have a right to say no. In fact, I have just as much right to the word no as you do. I don't owe you anything, and exercising my right to say no does NOT make me a bitch. It's not my problem that you feel I owe you something. It's not the problem of any other woman, either (except for maybe your mother, who obviously did a shitty job raising you).

Your inability to handle a very polite rejection with maturity and grace says an awful lot about your character.
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