One of my old high school buddies is notorious for sending girls creepy, aggressively sexual texts. Let’s call him Francisco (if there’s one thing we all learned from Elf, it’s that Francisco is fun to say, and I don’t get many opportunities to use it in everyday life). I’ve fallen out of touch with Francisco over the last couple years, but lately a handful of female friends that I do keep up with have started to inform me of his attempted sexploits. Not entirely sure why, but they do. These are girls with boyfriends, who have told Francisco to stop multiple times, but I’ll get texts from them on a weekly basis, “Francisco just snap-chatted me a picture of his dick,” or “omg, he just texted me asking if I’ve ever fantasized about him when I’m with my boyfriend.” I generally give a pained laugh, roll my eyes, and mutter some variation of “Oh, that boy…”
This past St. Patrick’s Day, I was out with another friend, and a friend of his that I didn’t really know (who we’ll call Pizarro, because why the hell not). I walked back over to them after talking to a girl for a few minutes, and Pizarro asked why I wasn’t still over there with her. When I responded that she had a boyfriend, his reaction was the always-uncomfortable “Dude, just because there’s a goalie doesn’t mean you can’t score.”
While all may be fair in war, I do believe in rough guidelines for love. So I scoffed at Pizarro, said something along the lines of “I’m no home-wrecker,” and we continued on with our night.
Yesterday, I was casually browsing Thought Catalog and ran across this article. Now, I’ve read articles in that vein before, talking about guys who are inappropriately touchy, and usually my reaction falls somewhere between “Well, that sucks for her,” and “Wow, dudes are stupid sometimes.” A few sentences into this one, though, I had a single thought unexpectedly enter my mind:
“What if your little sister had written this?”
To say I was royally pissed off would be an understatement. “Flew off the handle” would be more accurate, and I only got angrier as I kept reading. I was beyond livid by the time I finished.
Now that I’ve had 24 hours to calm down, allow me to say:
THAT. IS. NOT. FUCKING. OKAY.
Seriously, guys? Look, I get that chivalry is dead. I recognize that my ridiculous fascination with the concept of honor would look antiquated even half a century ago. But this is getting out of hand. I know it’s popular right now to argue that you can’t hold all men to the same standard, that it’s insulting to draw a line in the sand and try to define what a “real man” is.
Shut your damn mouth, because I’m drawing that line right now. Any guy who can’t treat women with a basic level of respect and decency isn’t a real man.
There. Line drawn. Now man up and toe it already.
Here’s an idea – next time you hit on a girl, act like her overprotective older brother is standing there next to her. As an older brother of “would go to jail for that girl” caliber myself, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Those of us who aren’t complete sociopaths do actually want to see our little sisters happy. If you’re showing genuine interest, being a little interesting yourself, not giving off a scumbag vibe, and she’s into you (I’ve known her since birth, I can tell) I’ll clear out of your way a little. I’m going to keep an eye on her, no way in hell are you taking her home, but you guys can have some space and do your thing. It’s simple: just be respectful.
For the record, I’ve been on the receiving line before. Couldn’t get five words out to her before Brother was in my face telling me to back off, threatening to kick my ass – 20 minutes later, we were all laughing about it. Nothing ever happened with her because they were tourists leaving the next morning, but it was a hell of a night and I had a great time hanging out with a beautiful girl and a cool guy. I don’t tell this story to brag, but to prove – It’s not that hard. I’m not overly attractive or charming, I don’t have some unbelievable level of confidence, I’m just a regular guy. If some average schmuck like me (Come on, I just used the word ‘schmuck’, how cool could I possibly be?) can pull that off, trust me, you can too.
Honestly, is anyone actually stupid enough to believe that being creepy and making a person uncomfortable is a good way to win them over? Come to think of it, I don’t understand why a guy would ever want to make any girl uncomfortable. You… you do realize that women are just about the greatest thing to ever happen to us… Right? Don’t screw that up!
If you possess even the slightest hint of empathy, you can tell when a girl is uncomfortable. At that moment your only job in the world is to STOP. MAKING. HER. UNCOMFORTABLE. If that only requires taking a step back and cracking a joke, then do that. If it means walking away and leaving her alone for the rest of her life, then that’s what you need to do.
Or are you aware that she’s uncomfortable and, as Stephanie’s article suggested, making a twisted attempt to exert power and dominance? If that’s the case, you’re doing it wrong. To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, power is the ability to speak softly and carry a big stick. You’re screaming and waving a toothpick over your head. None of us are impressed.
If she claims to have a boyfriend, then don’t act like Pizarro and try harder. That’s pathetic. Knock it off and respect that she’s not available. Even if she’s lying (it is a possibility she’s not interested and trying to get rid of you) your response should never be anything less than “Well, that’s a shame. Have a great night.” Do it charmingly enough, and if she’s a cool enough girl who happened to be telling the truth, sometimes she’ll introduce you to one of her friends. Not often, but it does happen. Again, I’m speaking from experience here.
Now, I’m not a moron, there are obviously times when it’s appropriate to get a little aggressive with a girl. When you first meet her? Not the right time. When she tells you she has a boyfriend and asks you to stop texting her? Not the right time. Sending her unsolicited dick pics? Look at it, man. It’s not exactly the most attractive body part to begin with, and in a broad, sweeping generalization, most women aren’t as visual as we are. Has that ever worked for any male in the history of time?
While starting to wind this article down, I just got a phone call from one of the friends Francisco has been bothering. She wanted to laugh about him and tell an entertaining story, and got a little freaked by how strongly I reacted this time… so maybe I don’t need to be so defensive for all the women here. Hell, my sister had to grow up with me and our ex-hockey-player brother, she’s been a tough little badass since toddlerhood. She’s more than capable of taking care of herself these days, as I’m sure most women reading this are. It’s not my place to automatically step in and protect all of you from guys like Francisco and Pizarro.
But for the record, ladies, some of us do still have some semblance of honor, and don’t think you should have to put up with crap from a creep. There are plenty of other older brothers out there, and a lot of us have an instinctual protective reaction when we see someone making a female uncomfortable (I know I’m not the only one. Back me up in the comments, gentlemen!) We may not be as willing to go to jail for you as we are for our own blood, but we’re still there to help if you ask us to.