I think it’s possible to teach someone to be TOO polite, to their own detriment. I think I’m too polite in these scenarios and let these awful conversations continue long past this point. Add to that the fear of antagonizing someone with my rejection of them and you have a recipe for too many repetitions of this comic.
New Comic Day! Add your own alt text for panel 4.
The original text for that last panel was: “Ugh. Society dictates that I sit here and put up with you until you get bored or interrupted, because asking politely for you not to bother me might make you aggressive. However, playing along despite having no interest in pursuing this conversation would make me a ‘tease’ and therefore worthy of insult. Even though I’ve never met you and you’ve invaded my personal space without my permission, asking for the basic right of privacy would be considered ‘causing a scene.’ I hate you for putting me in this position, and you don’t even realize it.”
It didn’t quite fit.
I have lived through Kate’s elaborated text description to this comic so. many. times. Especially in the last twelve months, my Unwanted Scary Male Attention encounters have been through the goddamn roof. It makes me fucking terrified and furious (but secretly, because I’m afraid of bringing out the offending guys’ aggression against me or ‘making a scene’ if I tell them to leave me alone)
You could just say thanks but no thanks? I truly doubt most men would start that much shit.
Then again this just confirms all of my fears that I do nothing but bother women if I attempt to talk to them. So I’m fucked either way.
Really we’re all fucked because we have expectations about things and we feel that we must meet social expectations. Which is dumb, but we’re social creatures, and we crave acceptance.
Uhm… I had nowhere else to go with this…
please don’t hate me.
Sure, a lot of guys wouldn’t start too much shit. In fact, they’d be very firm on that point, that they’re not starting anything.
Like, “Hey, I don’t mean anything by it.” Or, “Hey, I’m just trying to be friendly.”
And then, having assured the woman that they are nice, maybe they try again… and if they’re shot down, well, then the girl is definitely a bitch now.
Meanwhile, the woman’s playing a slot machine in her head because the guy who will politely nod and walk away looks no different from the guy who hey doesn’t mean anything by it looks no different from the guy who hey doesn’t mean anything by it SO WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU BITCH looks no different from the guy who will just go straight to violent retribution.
So, yeah, maybe we’re all fucked, but we’re not all equally co-fucked.
Wow, “Thanks but no thanks”? WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT. SILLY WOMAN BRAIN.
Yeah, it turns out we have way more experience with this than you do, and you are in fact “bothering” me. (In this case, it’s mostly annoyance, because I don’t have to deal with your physical presence. You clearly don’t understand the level of physical threat that these interactions frequently carry, or you wouldn’t use the word “bothering” to describe it.)
Helpful hint: Notice how the woman in the panel is otherwise occupied when the guy STARTS talking? A lot of us do that in an attempt to make ourselves less available to unwanted public interaction. It often has no effect. But if you’re serious about not wanting to be a douchebag, you can start by not bothering people who are visibly busy.
And try reading this.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This. Also, the post link should be required reading for everyone everywhere.