Why are you telling her to smile? Are you owed a smile? No, you are not. You aren’t owed shit.
I had a guy ask me for my phone number when I was getting out of my car to get gas. I told him “I’m sorry I have a boyfriend.” So he slit my convertible top open while I was inside paying. – Amanda
She doesn’t owe you a smile, a wave, her phone number, a date, a second date, a kiss, a blowjob or a fuck. It doesn’t matter if you complimented her, bought her drinks, took her to dinner, gave her a ride or made her a mix tape. She doesn’t owe you shit.
On a date that was going not too well I decided to leave. Dude followed me to my car and pushed up against me trying to get me to kiss him. When I said no and tried to get away he said “fuck I bought you a beer.” – Amber
Even if you married her and paid for everything it doesn’t give you possession over her body. Slavery is illegal, and marital rape has been against the law in all 50 states since 1993.
“I tried to fight him but I couldn’t land a blow from being so drunk. When he was done, he put out two cigarettes on my thighs. I asked him why, and he said, “you owed me and you shouldn’t have fought.” – Anon
I keep saying “you,” but perhaps it’s not you, because #notallmen, amirite?
For the truly good men, realize that I’m using the royal “you” in this context for effect. If you too are sick of the way women are treated like pretty things to be possessed, please keep reading, because these comments contain lessons all men must learn.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled rant.
When I was 19, I had consensual sex w/ a guy a little older than me, and it was great. Til he wanted to go in the backdoor and I said no. To which I was flipped over, held down by the back of my neck and told “You have to learn to listen”. – Suzzett
She doesn’t owe you an explanation as to why she doesn’t want to go out with you. She doesn’t owe you conversation. When you catcall her she is under no obligation to acknowledge your presence, because she doesn’t owe you shit.
I run outdoors … the catcalls, sexual remarks etc happen almost every day. Just last week, this guy blocked my path to start talking to me … he complemented my running and asked for my number. I (very politely) told him I need to get back to my run … and then the insults started. I had to push him off the path and run fast just to get out of there. – Sue
She shouldn’t have to explain that she has a boyfriend, or make one up. “No” is a complete sentence, not the beginning of a negotiation process. If you continue to pursue her, she doesn’t have to eventually give in to your “charms.”
Numerous times…Meet a guy, exchange numbers, light flirting by text, into unsolicited d*ck pics, into “you saw mine, let me see yours”. When I say that’s not really my thing, he’s gets super pissed saying “that’s not fair.” – April
This isn’t what you’ve been conditioned to expect. You watched Leonard pursue Penny on Big Bang Theory and it worked out for him. Kevin James had two babes in Zookeeper and has a hot wife in King of Queens, and he’s not even rich. The nerd got the girl in Revenge of the Nerds via outright rape. Guys getting the girl via relentless stalking has happened innumerable times in movies. Getting back to the banging on Big Bang Theory, the weasel-like Howard has a hot wife and on a recent episode the overly nerdy Raj is alternating between the beds of two beautiful women.
Just because I was a drunk 13 year old who stupidly allowed you to fondle me did not mean you had the right to then fuck me when I said no and cried through entire experience. – Natasha
It’s enough to make any guy thinks the world owes him a model or three. But it doesn’t owe you something, and neither does she.
Many women live in fear of guys who pursue them, and many are practiced in deescalating. They’ve been hassled and catcalled and groped and stalked and even assaulted. They’ve been told to smile and insulted for their looks and called a bitch and a slut and told to loosen up … and much, much worse.
Had a guy pull up to me in his car while masturbating when I was 18 and on my courier job. A friend/coworker had the same guy approach her and when she called the police, the dispatcher just laughed. – Stevie
They have been treated like possessions by strangers as well as by men they know so many times that their lives can’t help be affected by it. Some are desensitized, and others become hyper sensitive. So what can you, the good man, do about it?
At our neighborhood pool in my bikini because I feel comfortable wearing one. Neighbor I barely know asks me how many kids I have, I told him 3, and he looks me up and down and proceeds to comment on how good my body is. I don’t care what the fuck he thinks about my body! Ewwwww!!! – Stacey
Stop turning a blind eye. Believe what women say, and admit that rape culture is a real thing. I know some people call bullshit on that term, but after reading the comments in this piece what the hell else would you call it?
In marriage counseling with a Christian counselor. My then husband complained that I wouldn’t have sex with him anymore. The counselor looked me in the eye and told me my marriage wouldn’t be falling apart if I were fulfilling my duties as a wife. – Kristine
Call out rape culture wherever you see it. Don’t be a bystander to such harassment. Help make the harassers feel harassed and perhaps they’ll rethink it.
After one bad date, he parked outside of my house for weeks, following me every time I left the house. The police were not helpful. – Heather
Be an ally to women, not just another adversary. They get enough crap from police and security guards and church leaders and parents and significant others who think they were asking for the abuse. Don’t participate in victim blaming. Put the blame where it belongs: on the perpetrators.
A guy I (briefly) dated in my 20’s berated me for an hour because I didn’t swallow. Like ingesting his semen was supposed to be some kind of honour. I think he thought it was a gift he was giving me. He actually called me ungrateful. – Sarah
These comments are from me asking for examples of harassment on my Facebook page. I didn’t realize what I was in for, thinking I might get a dozen replies. Was I ever wrong. Reading through every word of the several hundred responses, many sent via private message, was a daunting task that made me feel sick.
My church leader told me I had to forgive the person who sexually abused me. And I had to repent for having seduced him, when I was six. I was told if I didn’t forgive him, he’d go to hell and it would be my fault, and that I owed him the freedom that being forgiven gives a person. – Polly
This article includes only a sample of the comments / messages I received. I would ask that you endeavor to read as much as you can to gain better understanding into this rampant problem. Also, a follow up article was written based on the many comment this piece received titled “Feminism And The Men Who Refuse To Understand.” It’s worth checking out.
Thank you in advance.
When I was 18 I moved in with my boyfriend out of love and financial necessity. It was my first sexual relationship and started out consensually, but soon became forced several times a week. I would beg, “not tonight” and was told, that I lived in his house and he pays a larger portion of the bills (I was in college full time) and this was expected. – Amanda
Family friend offers to drive me home from college. Whole 4-hour ride home (he took the long route) I am fighting off his hands being in places I don’t want them. – Niki
I was just starting my career in fire/rescue and one of my substitute instructors began calling me and asking me to meet him outside if class as well as using me to demonstrate how to physically assess trauma patients. When I refused his advances he began giving me failing grades. – Shannah
When I was 21, a man at least 40 years my senior asked me if I had a fat pussy while out at the bar. When I looked at him in what I’m sure was complete surprise and disgust, he proceeded to tell me he could tell through my pants that I had a fat pussy. – Becky
I hooked up with this guy once and later saw him at a party where he kept grabbing me in a hot tub and asking me to “sit on his lap”. I said no and kept moving eventually getting away from him. He found me in a room then blocked the only exit, not letting me out until I had sex with him. – Ellen
That time I went on a date and when he drove me home, I didn’t want him to come up. So he raped me. I then told my priest who said it was my fault for tempting him. I’m an atheist now. – Tanya
When I was in college, I went out on a date with a friend. Despite my protests, he insisted on paying for dinner. He became furious when I wouldn’t go back with him and have sex, insisting that it wasn’t fair because I “owed” him sex since he paid for dinner. – Elizabeth
Once when I was in college wearing a short shorts on a very hot day an old man said to me “open up let me SUCK it…but make sure you wash up in the river first” That felt so dirty and nasty. – Marsha
My life has unfortunately been riddled with harassment from men starting when I was 7 and it has ranged from unwanted comments and requests from boys to molestation to catcalls, being followed, obsessions and even assault. – Melissa
On two separate occasions guys have whipped their dicks out after giving me a ride home. Mere acquaintances. – Sandy
One time I was at the bar with a friend; we were chatting at a table when two men approached us. One of them then proceeded to rub my arm, uninvited, and asked me to dance. I moved my arm and politely declined. He persisted. I declined again, a bit more firmly. He became more aggressive in his pursuit, raising his voice and attempting to use his physical presence in an intimidating manner. I finally snapped: “I don’t want to dance with you! Fuck OFF!” At that point, he spit on me. – Shashanna
If I wanted a better shift (bartender in college) I needed to “date” the manager. – Keri
I’m a lesbian. Was out in public with my girlfriend. Man asks us to kiss each other so he can watch. Asked for a threesome after I told him to fuck off. – “Scruff”
At a church youth group. 15 years old. Older guy groped me. Tried to force me to kiss him. Very shaken, told the leaders, was blamed because my belly was showing a little & I dressed “alternatively.”– Hani
I have a neutral facial expression (a.k.a. resting bitch face) and I am constantly told (by men) that it wouldn’t break my face to smile. – Andrea
If I turned down sex, my ex-husband used to tell me it was my “wifely duty” … Then he made me do it anyway. He genuinely thought he was being kind afterward when he’d pat my sobbing shoulders a couple times and thank me for a job well done. – Heidi
20yo – I’m in the military. Everyone wants to either fuck me or harass me for fun. I am entirely defined by my gender. – Lauren
“Erin, you have really nice legs. When will you be wearing a skirt to class next?” – my high school computer teacher. In front of the whole class. – Erin
Online dating … The unsolicited “dick pic” has become something that you have to actually state UP FRONT that you DON’T want or it comes whistling into your messages. These are usually followed by “let’s see yours”. – Maureen
I once turned a guy down for a second date so he stalked me for two years. – Samantha
It makes me really sad how, often, the last defence we have is to say we have a boyfriend, whether that’s true or not. Like your desire to be left alone is only valid if another guy has perceived “rights” to you, it’s not enough that you don’t want this person’s attention. – Jodie
I had a former soldier try to use his service and unpleasant experiences in Iraq to guilt trip me into going out with him. It’s amazing how quickly his “traumatized warrior who just needs love” shtick turned into “bitter misogynistic curse-spewing douchenozzle” after I turned him down. – Sarah
Asked me why I wear my hair so short. Told him I liked it that way. His parting salvo was “because guys prefer long hair on women”. Hurrah for unsolicited advice from random fuckfaces on the street. – Julia
Last night, on my way home from the train station, a man smoking out his window greeted me with “Evening” as I walked past. I smiled slightly, trying to be friendly/prevent further interaction/get home. Which got me called “stuck-up fat cunt!” – Jennifer
I was walking from work to the bus stop one afternoon when a guy pulled up along the side walk and leaned out to talk to me. He said how pretty I was, had nice hair and asked me my name. I responded as I always did, “Thanks, my guy agrees,” (whether I have one or not); he then yelled at me “just asked your name you fucking fat bitch!” – Kimberley
When I was 15 I was cat-called and ignored it. When the guy was unhappy about this, he walked over and asked for my phone number. When I ignored him again, he beat me up until I had a concussion. – Kelsie
If I crash on your couch, you do not have permission to grope me while I am sleeping. – Bethany
“I have condoms. And we (group of 10+ guys) want to test them and you are the lucky one.” (I did not feel lucky.) – Chantal
My brother tried to sell me to a dope dealer for a night because he owed him money. – Julie
I ignore a man’s so called compliment “hey beautiful” and he punishes me by throwing his milkshake at my back. – Ellie
My ex husband was under the impression that so long as I was “his” wife he was owed any amount of sexual favors he deemed necessary. – Amanda
I used an online dating site, and took a friend to meet a guy. After meeting him I wasn’t interested, told him so, and stopped contact. He proceeded to call me a stuck up slut who led him on and who deserved something for his efforts. – Catherine
My supervisor at work asked me out. Every day. For two years. While we were alone in his car on our daily trip to make bank deposits. – Amber
I developed early and had breasts at 11; my face was still that of a child but that didn’t stop many drivers slowing down to make some disgusting comments. To this day I still freak out when a car stops by me when I’m walking. – Sara
I met a guy once; he got into my car and refused to get out until he could cop a feel. He said kiss me or show me your tits. I said I would scream if he didn’t get out. He lunged toward me and I laid on the horn. He still managed to cop a feel. Asshole. – Sara
When I was 12-13, I was molested by a family friend for 2 years. – Sara
I have been groped 7 times while shelving books. – Jill, a librarian
I was on the subway and some dude kept hitting on me. I told him I wasn’t interested and turned around. Guy grabs my butt, so I shove him back. He then smacked me across the face hard enough that I actually stumbled backwards. – Kaleena
Or the guy who tried to speak to me and I ignored on my way to the toilet who followed me and blocked my path exiting the toilet to ask why I was so rude ignoring him. – Kathryn
I stopped taking public transportation because of men. – Rebekah
Walking into Target a guy continued to catcall me, whistle and try to get my attention. I ignored him and continued walking without making eye contact. Then he finally said, “f u you whore, you ain’t that cute anyway.” – Crystal
Ahh the days of the C train..I’ve had more than my fair share of hands and hardons rubbed on my ass. – Tiffanie
Guys (even friends ) being pissed off when I cut my hair. – Patricia
I’ve been catcalled too many times to bother trying to count. (I’m not even old enough to drink yet.) – Juliet
When I was out with a friend in Paris at age 19 a group of men approached us and then one grabbed my head and pushed it towards his crotch and they all started laughing. – Jennifer
Random guy coming and hugging me several times … I called security. They said he was a good-looking guy, so why wouldn’t I just go along with it? – Patricia
Just the other day I was out running and two guys stopped JUST to leer/watch me run by and said “Helloooooo” as I ran past – forcing me into the middle of the fucking road to get by them. – Stevie
So many times. Even now, in my mid-forties, I’ve gotten comments about how I shouldn’t wear loose clothes because apparently, people are entitled to the spectacle of my butt. – Patricia
Apparently having visible tattoos gives strangers the right to touch you. – Melissa
I’m a lesbian on a gay dating site that seems to get a lot of straight men posing as lesbian women. I get way too many dick pics. – Ari
A guy saw my extensive chest piece, breathed “whoa, nice tattoo,” and yanked down the front of my shirt to get a better look. He did not understand why I was upset, and was very defensive, as if it was perfectly acceptable behavior to pull down a woman’s shirt to her sternum. – Ariana
When I was 18 my boss (grocery store) stuck his hands down the back of my pants and asked it I liked it. – Lindsey
A long-term close friend pulled out his penis and held my hand on it until I started screaming. – Zoe
I don’t like having to ‘smile’ in order to get my order and pay for my eggs or coffee. – Nina
A guy (I thought was a friend) helped me once to get out of the house I had been living in with an abusive partner. He let me stay on his couch and one morning tried to rape me. He said after all he did for me he earned it. – Anon
I’m carrying three bags of groceries home one day and this guy on a bike rides up beside me and asks if I need help. I say no thank you, I’ve got it. He calls me a bitch and says that I should be grateful that any man offers to do anything for me. – Danielle
My former boss pointed at me, in front of his wife, and said “That’s going to be my next wife.” As if I was simply property that he could claim. – Andrea
He told me to hang up my ongoing phone call so he could get my number. When I told him no and that I have a boyfriend, he got angry, accused me of making up a fake boyfriend, and pointed out that I didn’t have a ring on. – Christine
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James S. Fell, MA, MBA, has bylines in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, TIME Magazine, and many other publications. His blog has millions of readers and he is the author of two books: The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant (St. Martin’s Press, 2019), and Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind (Random House Canada, 2014). Order them here.