I was supposed to be taking the weekend off of social media, but I logged in tonight (of course) and saw the #YesAllWomen hashtag going crazy on Twitter. I added my own:
To which a lot of people responded supportively (including awesome YouTube creators like Freddie Wong and the Fine Brothers) and then I got a ton of “Unfollow”, and sarcastic “#menhateday” and “Oh yeah, all men are terrible”. Which makes me a) Who cares if they’re gonna unfollow me because of that, they are clearly people I don’t need to be appealing to anyway, and b) and c) Oh gosh, do I even have to call out the ridiculous exaggeration? Or how sad it is that they missed the point, and the possibility to maybe see things from someone else’s point of view for a change?
So anyway, there are amazing comments around that hashtag, and you should check it out. But the one that got me the most was a recurring comment by a lot of women about how “it’s easier to tell a guy that you have a boyfriend so they’ll leave you alone. Because they respect a guy they’ve never met more than you.”
(Which is so sad and true, and every girl knows it in her bones as the way to deal with some horribly obnoxious person at a bar.)
But for me, the flip side is also true: How sad it is if you’re talking to a guy in a social situation, having a really fun conversation, and then somehow it comes up you have a boyfriend, and they drop you like a hot potato. Like, I’ve literally had a person say, “Boyfriend”? And WALK AWAY MID-SENTENCE.
Oh, and then I’ve had it happen that the guy acts like you were LYING to them by HAVING A FUN CONVERSATION AND BEING INTERESTING. HOW DARE I BE FUN IF IM NOT WILLING TO FALL IN LOVE/AND OR HAVE SEX WITH THEM?!?! I mean…sigh.
I am a person who has always had a ton of guy friends, and the fact that there are many social situations where I’m not worth talking to as a person because I am not sexually available makes me so sad. For myself, and for the friendships that could be, but will never happen because to them, I’m only there for a possible hook up.
Once I came home from a party crying after such an incident, telling my boyfriend, “Men and women can’t be friends, I guess.” Which is totally not true, but when an incident happens like that a few times…it makes you less willing to even reach out and try to connect. Or worse, you strangely spurt out the word “BOYFRIEND!” in a reflexive way within the first two sentences of meeting someone, because you don’t want to be rejected later for “not being honest”. Which feels so wrong and is so messed up when you think about it, that it’s a girl’s “responsibility”. Might as well wear a stamp on your forehead, huh?
And that’s my long #YesAllWomen comment. I hope a few people can relate, because sometimes I think I’m just crazy haha.
And for the record, I am very happy to have many guy friends in my life who have NEVER done that. I love them dearly. Platonically, of course. :)