Just trying.

Clint posted this on my facebook page. Check it out – it’s golden. And yes, in case anyone is wondering, none of the events recounted therein strike me in the least bit as unlikely, or exaggerated. This stuff goes on. It goes on a lot. It goes on way too much, really, considering what what its rewards normally are.

Dennis hit the nail on the head:  “I thought I was horrible with chicks, but holy shit these guys make me look like James Bond. I have always been under the impression that you only crack jokes and compliment a woman’s ass, boobs, or other body parts once you start dating and already slept together. I never thought about going up to a woman and splurting ‘nice tits’. It seems counter productive and by that I mean no chance of getting any.”

The world is a weird and wonderful place, positively overflowing with things that have the potential to surprise or even shock us. Therefore, I do not doubt for a moment that there are some people out there who’ve managed to get laid after shouting something sexually explicit at a random stranger across a crowded room in a non-sexual setting. However, here and now this would be the exception, rather than the rule. The vast majority of the times, behaving in ways most people would perceive as creepy does not increase one’s chances of getting any; on the contrary, it usually completely obliterates them.

Yet there seems to be an increasing number of people insisting that a variety of creepy behaviours are nothing but misguided attempts by people to break the sad and terrible isolation the 21st century forces upon us. These poor wee bunnies are only trying to get some human contact in these mean streets, and they are admittedly klutzy at it but honestly they don’t mean no harm, and women (it’s always women in this narrative) are so damn cruel to them, kicking them in the teeth when they’re already down, and it’s so very sad when all they need is a bit of understanding, honestly. And so they excuse those who catcall, those who hit on women in public places, those so convinced they’ve found “the one” that they’re turning stalkerish, and so on. Hell, women should be flattered by the attention!

I’ve got to call bullshit on that. That narrative doesn’t stack up, for the simple reason that the human species is capable of learning from trial and error. Creeping on people doesn’t help them win friends and influence people. It doesn’t get them laid. So why carry on creeping?

There could be a variety of reasons why these people do these things, not all of them malignant. They could be genuinely unable to register people’s negative reactions. They could be so used to meeting negative reactions that they believe it’s the normal way people interact. They could be incapable to learn from other people’s behaviour, imitating successful behaviour. They could have never seen successful behaviour. They could be so arrogant that they believe that anything they do is inherently ok, and people should adapt their standards accordingly. They could be doing in on purpose, because they get their kicks out of making people uncomfortable. There could be a myriad other reasons, and we may never know which one applies without getting to know the persons involved – and I for one am disinclined to encourage anyone to do that. However, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that when the preponderance of the responses to an action are negative, anyone persisting in that action hoping for a positive result has got to be showing something more than a desperate kind of optimism.



One thought on “Just trying.

  1. Absolutely right. Socially awkward is things like staring, standing too close, making off-color jokes in the wrong situation and the like. Not off-color remarks to strangers, catcalling or grabbing.

    Good point about hitting on vs. chatting up people in public. When you reprimand *a total stranger* for being “rude” to you by ignoring you…you are an entitled jerk. At best. Don’t try to hide behind people who chat up strangers — and who stop when they *know* their attentions are not wanted.


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