Why Are Men Expected to Make the First Move?

why are men expected to make the first move

Men are usually handed the responsibility of initiating dates or sexual encounters. Are we ready to move past these stereotypical roles?

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Being rejected sucks.

Let me tell you about my first experience with it. Like me, the object of my desire was 13 years old, and he was the hottest thing ever—a geek who loved the natural sciences. He seemed like an awesome match for an Internet-obsessed nerd girl with weird pets. Sadly, he responded to my overture by saying that I could shove one of my pets up my ass. I can laugh about this now, but it sure sucked in my teens, and gave me a complex about asking guys out that lasted through my 20s. Like just about everyone in the world, I know about the pain of rejection.

But I know how the receiving end can get, too. I grew up into a woman who—like many women—routinely manages unwanted advances from men. Some of those advances are not made with good intent, like the guys who shout gross comments at me in the street. Yet at the same time as that kind of deliberately invasive behavior is going on, there are also people of all genders trying to initiate real, mutual romantic relationships—often misstepping even when their partner is receptive, and often experiencing very sad rejections.

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Men are usually handed the social responsibility of initiating dates or sexual encounters, while women usually get the social responsibility of appearing attractive and open enough to convince a man to say something. The awesome data-crunching blog for the dating site OKCupid notes that men send nearly four times as many introductory messages as women. Dr. Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at Indiana University and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction, told me, “While for male-female interactions it appears that men do much of the initiating, it’s really a certain type of initiating—maybe saying hello first or asking the woman on a date.”

In other words, women often work hard to send approachable signals first, but it’s men who are expected to express overt interest. Herbenick adds, “I think it’s more often when people step out of their gender roles—such as when women don’t just settle for nonverbal initiation but walk up to a man and ask him out—is when things get tricky in many (but fortunately not all) instances.”

In my middle-school case, I don’t think that Natural Sciences Boy rejected me because I was the one to initiate; I think he wouldn’t have been interested no matter what, because that’s the fate of 13-year-old nerd girls. But now that I’ve grown up, I’ve generally found that it’s strange and difficult to be a woman who initiates. Don’t get me wrong—I like it when guys ask me out; I really don’t ever want to be in a position where I’m taking all the sexual initiative—but I often find that I start the conversation, offer my number or ask for his, suggest dinner, suggest that we go home together, etc. And I often find that guys don’t react well.

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Part of the problem may be that straightforward women are often seen as “sluts.” In the blunt words of Derek L., cofounder of a San Francisco–based company called Social Savant that claims to help men improve their romantic lives: “I’m not surprised that women don’t make the first move. They have so much to lose. There’s judgment from their girlfriends (‘Oh my God, she’s such a slut to hit on that guy’). And she risks judgment from the guy she approaches (‘Oh my God, she approached me, must be a slut, I’ll just fuck her and dump her’).”

This forms an interesting contrast to what men experience as initiators. I’ve already written about some of the romantic and sexual double binds men deal with as part of a previous AlterNet article. One of the points I made is that usually, when men initiate, they don’t have to fear being seen as “slutty”—but they do have to worry about being seen as “creepy.”

Some men, feeling frustrated with those anxieties, claim they would just love it if women would do all the initiating! And yet those same men will sometimes act as Derek described above—labeling women who initiate as sluts—or, alternatively, simply won’t know how to react to an initiating woman.

As Hugo Schwyzer, a senior professor of gender and women’s studies at Pasadena College in California, says: “Men often say that they have no problem with an aggressive woman, until they actually meet one—and find themselves confused. What might seem flattering and relieving in theory becomes discombobulating in practice, as some men (by no means all) flounder without … a clear-cut role. Many men claim that it is burdensome to have to risk rejection by always taking the initiative—but many discover that they feel equally burdened rather than liberated by having to let go of the culturally familiar role as dominant partner.”

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I’ve found that in some ways it’s useful that many guys don’t react well to me making the first move, because a guy who can’t handle hacking our society’s gendered scripts is probably not a great partner for me anyway. But even with less traditional guys, everything seems to go better if I cede the stereotypical initiation role—if I focus more on looking cute, batting my eyelashes, not seeming too interested, and smiling really widely.

It’s confusing, and I’d love to have more access to tried-and-true social strategies for how to navigate these tricky shoals. Surely there are ways for a woman to initiate that feel less threatening or confusing for men than others; I want to learn them. I’d also love it if more men in my life had access to good tactical advice on how to initiate with me. It’s not in my interest for guys who could be a great match to feel paralyzed approaching me because they’re not sure how to avoid coming off as a creep.

My relationships are a major topic of discussion with close friends, of course. That’s where a lot of my best ideas come from. It’d be nice to have access to more, though. Supposedly, there’s a whole dating advice industry that could help me with this. But as a feminist, I’m quite aware of the flaws in that industry. For women, there are awful stereotypical treatises such as The Rules, which tell us that the less genuine we are, the better. Men are served by “pickup artists” who often give misogynistic “seduction” advice. (It’s worth noting that there are pickup artists who recognize and critique the most unpleasant attitudes within their subculture, and who seek to co-opt its best analysis for real, non-adversarial gender liberation. As one such pickup artist writes: “There are a lot of problems with the seduction community that feminists correctly observe, including misogyny, cynicism towards relationships, and a few tactics that are bad for consent.” Unfortunately, none of these guys have yet written their own pickup guide.)

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When I Googled “feminist dating advice,” not much came up to help me. The fifth hit was probably my favorite, a one-line blog post that says very simply, “Oh, for Chrissakes—just pick up the phone and call him.” Well … OK, that’s funny, and it can be decent advice, sometimes, in some circumstances. Something funnier comes from the very first hit—an article from the popular site Jezebel.com:

Step 1: Don’t be an asshole.

Step 2: Do whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t violate Step 1.

I don’t disagree. At the same time: what now? Where do I go from there?

Many feminists say that it’s “not our job” to give positive romantic advice—especially to men. But the question of how heterosexual men act romantically is extremely relevant to heterosexual women.

There are plenty of honorable men who want to approach receptive partners but have trouble figuring out how to do so. When we feminists can have a positive impact on that, then we should offer to help. And after all, it’s not like we can’t include advice on how to respect boundaries alongside, perhaps, tactical advice on how to read a woman’s signals or how to approach her in a charming way.

Personally, I’m not sure I’d be the best source of advice for feminist women who want to date mainstream guys, because I don’t tend to date mainstream guys. (It’s also unclear how many mainstream guys would want to date me. Many are thrown off by my unshaven legs and discussions of privilege.) Still, notwithstanding the fact that every man is a beautiful and unique snowflake, I could isolate a number of frequently effective Clarisse Thorn Romance Tactics. Because I don’t know whether those tactics work well for me due to other characteristics of mine, or because I tend to be attracted to guys who respond well to them, maybe one place to start could be with an open space for discussing romantic strategies that strive to be both feminist and ethical—and also enjoy a high success rate.

One of the most important things feminists can do is give people of all genders more choices in how we live our lives, and how we interact with the gendered scripts that shape us. Surely, feminist romantic advice could be a powerful tool for this.

—This is an edited version. The original first appeared on AlterNet.

—Photo Maxime Guilbot/Flickr

Why Are Men Expected to Make the First Move?

About Clarisse Thorn

Clarisse Thorn is a feminist sex writer who has given workshops all over the USA. She wrote a book about masculinity, dating dynamics, and sex theory called Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser; she’s also got a best-of collection called The S&M Feminist. Recently, she released an anthology about sexual assault in virtual worlds called Violation: Rape In Gaming. Clarisse has also explored fiction with short stories like The End Of An Age: A Ramayana. To stay up-to-date with Clarisse’s work, visit her blog or follow her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Wow. This is becoming quite the topic on GMP.

    Why can’t we all just agree that the answer to these questions is going to vary depending on the individual? What works on some women won’t work on others. Likewise, some men are OK with bucking traditional gender roles while others prefer to be the one who initiates. There is no magic answer that will solve everything.

    I also find it slightly insulting to insinuate there is a need for a feminist think tank to supply heterosexual men with romantic advice. Thanks but no thanks.

    Most of us will stumble mightily before we find someone with whom we connect. But that’s part of the process. Why alter it?

    • “I also find it slightly insulting to insinuate there is a need for a feminist think tank to supply heterosexual men with romantic advice. Thanks but no thanks.”

      Engaging relations is a field where a lot of men have problems. It is easier for women to obtain casual sex than it is for men. If feminism is the great equality movement it’s proponents claim it to be, then the movement can’t cherry-pick what inequalities it wishes to fight. Besides it would probably be a good strategic move by feminists to actually listen to male problems as well, if they want men to participate in solving female problems.

      “Most of us will stumble mightily before we find someone with whom we connect. But that’s part of the process. Why alter it?”

      This is akin to the ‘life isn’t fair, deal with it argument’ often used by people who are aware of injustices, but don’t want to change them.
      Women didn’t have the vote in the 1800:s, so why should we be concerned today with pay equality? This is the same argument, in another context. It is valid there, neither is it valid in your example.

    • There are so many clueless men who assume this is just a gender construct, thanks to the idiocy of feminism. But it’s clear from biology that men will ALWAYS be the pursuers and women will ALWAYS be the pursued. Only emasculated males hope to change this to suit their dysfunctional behavior. http://manhood101.com/ebook.html

      • Nah, even when feminism didn’t even exist yet some women would still pursue and some men would still be pursued. You seem to forget how women have experienced kinds of sexual freedoms in a lot of cultures over the ages some long time ago.
        Humans are rational. If you can’t see and agree with this simple and BIG thing, what makes us free thinkers and original between the animal species, being able to make our own choices and totally master a lot or most of our instincts (being violent is human biology; abusive behavior is human biology; killing and raping is human biology; conquering and dominating is human biology; etc.) I am really sad for humanity. We have created science, art, economy… should we just give up evolving to start acting like irrational animals again? Please, think deep about what you are saying.

    • “I also find it slightly insulting to insinuate there is a need for a feminist think tank to supply heterosexual men with romantic advice. Thanks but no thanks.”

      Men and women communicate differently, and sometimes men make the same mistakes over and over. Sometimes their male friends do not recognise these mistakes. Men and women should both be involved in discussion about what types of approach styles will work best. It’s the same for women, they can make the same mistakes over and over as well, sometimes they need a man’s honest opinion about what to do or not do. Heterosexual Feminists and MRAs should both be working toward better communication, and dating advice from Feminists is part of that puzzle. I’ve definitely heard men give their buddies advice that is just awful and doesn’t end up working.

  2. Female Feedback says:

    I may be an outlier here but I have a very tough time handling being approached by men. The minute there is anything that sounds of being aggressive, dominant or in charge, I immediately recoil and get defensive, or even reactive, and the last thing I am interested in is sex or the man who is behaving that way.

    So, I don’t even like “looking cute, batting my eyelashes, not seeming too interested, and smiling really widely” as these seem kind-of coquettish to me and likely to provoke/inspire the aggressive, dominant or in charge attitude that I find so repellent on even a visceral level.

    So, for me I tend to be much more comfortable with men who are friendly in an authentic way. If they are assertive in a non-threatening way, where they seem respectful and open to whatever answer I give, this makes a big difference. I suppose may be true in the reverse, that men may be open to women making friendly overtures rather than overtly sexual ones?

    Maybe once a friendly relationship is established and I know I’m dealing with an authentic man who can hear words like “no,” who can negotiate, who can ask for what he wants (not demand it), who can talk relationally and empathize with others, then there is room to play around with one person being dominant or aggressive because a basis of mutual respect, boundaries, etc. has been established. This may be what men mean when they say they think would like a woman showing interest? They just don’t want to feel like they are being manipulated or are in overly vulnerable position with someone they don’t know; basically the same concern I have.

    I think one reason people of both sexes don’t like overtures (even though they sometimes say they do), is because you have to react. You have to say yes or no; it puts you on the spot like that and this can be intimidating, frustrating, annoying; all feelings that don’t go along with sexual attraction or even friendliness.

    • “I think one reason people of both sexes don’t like overtures (even though they sometimes say they do), is because you have to react. You have to say yes or no; it puts you on the spot like that and this can be intimidating, frustrating, annoying; all feelings that don’t go along with sexual attraction or even friendliness.”

      Exactly. When the gender roles regarding initiation are reversed, it is the woman’s choice to do so. The man is forced into the situation. If a woman doesn’t want to deal with that, she gets to choose to do so, allowing the men to approach, and again, she gets to choose. I would love a woman I found appealing to be forward with me, I’m fairly awkward socially. But the only woman who has ever been forward with me didn’t appeal to me, and was very sexually aggressive, to the point where, if it was a man acting in such a way to a woman, other men would have stepped in.

      I am a little unnerved that the author makes the assumption that her rejections are due to men who can’t deal with aggressive women… as if she should expect 100% success (or even 50%) if men were better capable. perhaps the rejection wasn’t graceful due to a lack of experience with being the rejector, but I doubt the rejections themselves were so commonly due to rigid male social constructs.

    • Most men aren’t attracted to masculine “bitches” like you who try to pretend to be men. This is a total turn off to real men. Only feminists who seek to control and emasculate men are interested in changing the dynamics of biology to suit their childish fantasy of becoming men.

      Feminism only works when men allow bitches to remove their authority. As soon as they stop allowing it, it stops happening immediately.

      • That Girl says:

        So says the misogynist.

      • It would be easy to just talk down your hate, to show you for the sad, self-hating, misanthrope (sadly I fear your comments show a hate for men and women) you are. Instead I’m gonna drop some (social) science on ya. Maybe a little education will help move you past being a child and help you see how you too can be a man.

        Gender is a social construct. That is part of the very definition of gender. Think of it this way, people are born with a (usually) determined biological sex, either male or female. This is predicated on genitalia. Or, if one takes a genetic approach to it, we can be separated into sexes based on our chromosomal makeup (again, usually). Remember though, there are people who are born hermaphrodites, or are considered ‘neuter’ due to an almost complete lack of external primary and secondary sex characteristics. Sex is not a simple dichotomy. The same is true of gender.

        Gender is primarily a social construct, reflective of the dominant (by virtue of power not numerical majority) social norms, mores, customs and social contracts. To be sure the base differences between the (primary) sexes contour gender to some degree, but they are absolutely social constructs. And there are more than two of them. This is not a simple matching game; ‘this one goes with that one’ is the way children understand the world.

        Unfortunately sex and gender are almost always conflated, especially within the context of a discussion such as this one. The angry and ignorant (read: guys like you) like to mix them up because it falsely supports their (again, read: your) simplistic and fearful/angry ideas about how people should behave, look, think. The world is not simple, nor are people, so you need to up your game and be less simple. Stop being pointlessly angry, grow up and recognize that it’s not your balls that make you a man (if indeed you are one).

        Word.

  3. David Wise says:

    Whatever works.

  4. As a single guy before getting married 38 years ago, I always felt more comfortable initiating conversations with new acquaintances of the opposite sex when we might meet in the context of a party or a graduate school class. Seeing each other for the first time in that kind of setting makes it a lot more natural to approach a potential love interest. Even when I was propelled to get acquainted because I felt sexual attraction to someone new, seeing that individual as a person first – made things a lot less awkward for both her and me. It helps to see others as subjects of our affection rather than objects for our manipulation. That’s basically a paraphrase of Martin Buber who spells it all out in his classic book, “I and Thou.” I would hope that self-described feminists feel the same way.

    • Female Feedback says:

      Rabbi Weinsberg-

      I appreciated your comment and like the idea of seeing “others as subjects of our affection rather than objects.”

      The only thing I would add is that it has only been in the last 40 years that women in the aggregate have had enough political and economic autonomy to even be subjects (that is, to have agency in the world) and to have enough self-awareness and confidence to function in that role. Many women are still not out of the psychology of being objects, and our culture is unfortunately still not out of the habit of treating them that way, although I see signs of improvement all the time.

      I would probably describe myself as a humanist before being a feminist. My interest in feminism mainly has to do with getting rid of the toxicity of patriarchy.

  5. Here’s a feminist approach-a-man trick that has never failed me: initiate while a) making your expectations about exclusivity clear, and b) giving the recipient some time and space.

    One example would be when I told the man who is now my fiance something along the lines of, “I want to kiss you–if you’re not kissing anyone else, because I had mono once and it was terrible. So let me know when you’ve made up your mind about being exclusive about kissing with me.”

    Similarly, I initiated the first discussion of sex with him; again, I included my expectations and concerns about not just exclusivity, but birth control and STDs.

    Monogamy is not what everyone wants or should have; however, CLARITY really is, and almost nobody turns down clear, non-threatening offers like that from people they’re interested in.

    • Female Feedback says:

      Yes, I’ve had good luck with the direct approach, especially when you let them know you like them first. :)

      I do think sometimes it’s hard to get everything on the table. In sex, STDs, exclusivity are important, but I feel birth control is a big topic. If birth control fails, what happens, etc. So I think it can take a while to get through those discussions. Can I ask how long between your first kiss and your first sex?

    • I agree that a direct approach to things are better. This seems to work VERY well. Being straight forward about what you value in a relationship is great! Anyone NOT receptive to this is probably not going to be a good relationship.
      I do have an issue with your phrasing: “So let me know when you’ve made up your mind about being exclusive about kissing with me.”
      You’re not really giving him a choice. It sounds more like an ultimatum, which isn’t very feminist. You sound a bit controlling here, like you’re expecting something he doesn’t have a choice in giving. Then again, I don’t know the situation or the guy. You do however, sound as though you put a lot of humor into your directedness which keeps it fun for everyone.

    • That’s pretty direct and to the point.

      Reasonable guys just want to know where they stand with a woman. If she’s somewhat interested, then say so. If you don’t want to be bothered, then say so. Guys who push the issue are either troublemakers or guys with poor social skills. The first deserve what they get and the second just need some advice in learning how to act better.’

      But I’d love to see more women be forward with contacting men. Sometimes, if you wait for what you want, you don’t get it. A woman should be able to go and get the man she wants and damn anyone who wants to shame her for doing so.

    • That’s not a clear offer. That’s you LYING about your intention.

    • How ironic, a man doing the exact same thing you did would be accused of being “entitled” and “creepy”.

      • DavidByron says:

        It’s almost as if the problems with dating are all because of women refusing to communicate clearly because they are always being manipulative and trying to get more for themselves. This clear approach would never work on a woman because they want men to “work for it” which is a blatant power play.

    • DavidByron says:

      almost no man

  6. “I’ve found that in some ways it’s useful that many guys don’t react well to me making the first move, because a guy who can’t handle hacking our society’s gendered scripts is probably not a great partner for me anyway. ”

    Does this mean you directly initiate frequently or infrequently?

    And are ‘mainstream” guys readily identifiable by sartorial, consumption or grooming choices? Some of the freakiest flags fly proudly behind the camouflage of nondescript clothing and no tattoos/bodymods.

    From what dataset does Dr. Schwyzer draw his inference regarding the most common reaction to an aggressive initiation of contact by a woman? For such a rare occurrence it would seem the man’s role is clear: to smile, nod the head and enjoy the ride.

  7. First off, and as a preface to my comment…Clarisse, were I single, I’d look you up based simply on what you’ve said about yourself, and hairy legs and discussions on privilege aren’t turn-offs to me. Guess, I’ll have to look you up next lifetime….

    About a couple of years ago, I was one of the unfortunate male posters on the now notorious “Schrodinger’s Rapist” blog post on Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose. I proposed several alternate ideas on how a guy could make a cold contact with a woman without being seen as a potential rapist, including the Victorian practice of using personal cards as a means of an minimal intrusion form of contacting a woman you may have just seen during a random encounter.

    In each case, none of these allegedly enlightened feminist women could give me an answer. Not a decent answer, not a clear answer, or even an ambiguously vague answer; I got no answer at all from these women. Instead I got remarks like “why should I have to bother?” The only thing that I could ascertain from what I read is that cold contacts with women was like other games of chance; either you hit the jackpot and got a date or you rolled snake-eyes and ended up being creep-shamed.

    Social dynamics sets men up as the pursuers in hetero-normative relationships, but because of that, men have to bear the onus of rejection. In today’s society, as noted by the “Schrodinger’s Rapist” blog post, more and more facets of male roles in relationships are being portrayed as toxic. We are called “potential rapists” when we try to meet women we see in public, but yet when men decide to reject the dating environment and opt out of the whole thing, we’re also condemned and ridiculed.

    Because of the hoops and hurdles that modern men have been subjected to by modern women, some men have responded in two manners that are notable; the PUA culture and the MGTOW movement. PUA or Pick Up Artist culture is a very typical mechanistic response to the woes of the dating scene using psychological manipulation and observation to trigger and play upon specific responses that many women respond to in a sexual context. However reprehensible some people may find the use (or misuse) of “game,” it is based on psychological fact and it works. I personally do not use or condone game because it is a dangerous tool and in the hands of the wrong people, can cause a lot of harm. In addition, once you become accustomed to using manipulation as a means to deal with people, it’s hard to break the habit.

    As for the other (which I admittedly know very little about), MGTOW is an acronym for “Men Going Their Own Way,” and it is a socio-philosophical movement that eschews any relationships (especially romantic) with women other than professional (I assume that female family members and purely platonic friends are still associated with). By the way, these men are not “gay” as some detractors try to frame them as being; most just indulge either in a life of abstinence, simply indulge in alternate sexual practices, or just frequent prostitutes (based on statements from men I know of who follow this practice).

    Another movement which I’m keeping separate from the above two is what I term “the expatriate dating scene.” These are men who actively avoid any romantic relationships with American women. They cite reasons including “entitlement,” “fear of post divorce poverty,” and other less than complimentary things regarding American women.

    I’m not going to judge any of these groups at all other than to say that their very existence is apparently a measured response to what some men feel is a hostile relationship environment for American men. A number of American men had problems in the dating world and these responses are how they chose to deal with them.

    The rest of American men just muddle through the best way they can. If they happen to be high enough on the social ladder, then they can coast on their status. But for the rest of us normal guys, we have to navigate the minefield of American dating.

    I’m no relationship guru; my success with dating was due to a lot of luck and a degree of personal celebrity. I can say this with certainty; I do not envy today’s young men. In my day, at least I was able to approach women with out fear of being labeled a “potential rapist,” or creep-shamed because I picked a woman with issues to be attracted to.

    If women were more forward or open in their desires, I for one would be easily pleased. In fact, we need to come up with a way to tear down the social constructs that get in the way of women and men freely expressing their sexuality with each other in a healthy way. I for one would like to see feminist women constructively come up with dialogs as how men who are feminist-friendly could approach a feminist woman who they happen to be attracted to. But if what I’ve seen on Shapely Prose and based on my discussion with Katie Baker on the “Catcalling” article is any indication, I don’t see that solution coming in either your or my lifetime, Ms. Thorn.

    In fact, the only other self-professed feminist who has even entertained any discussion on this subject is a transwoman. How’s that work?

    As usual, I enjoy your articles and enjoy the discussions that they engender.

    • Sorry, I don’t see that women have created such an oppressive environment for the Poor Menz like you are implying. Of course, it’s a man’s right to choose his own company, but you can’t honestly think that it’s reasonable to blame bitchy women ruling the world for men’s loneliness and rejection of the status quo relationship.

      The fact is, “picking up” women is a totally bullshit way to meet them. I’ve never once had a relationship with a guy who walked up to me in a bar, in church, or even in class who asked me out before getting to know me. When you express overt sexual interest in a woman up-front, yes, WE THINK YOU MIGHT BE A RAPIST.

      I just can’t stomach the whiny nature of your post, and I see why the women on Kate Harding’s blog threw down a little smack. I’m going to go ahead and say that the pain of being rejected and having to devise new strategies for approaching women … is not nearly as intense as the pain of being raped, or even the fear of being assaulted or raped. As someone who is NOT A WOMAN, I understand that you don’t get that … women don’t all live in constant fear, but I am certainly cautious around men because of my past sexual experiences, not all of which have been pleasant.

      If men choose to react by dating foreign ladies or *gasp* abstaining from sex entirely, that’s fine. They can (a) continue to act like boorish dunderheads, (b) learn how to respectfully approach a woman, or (c) remove themselves from the dating pool entirely. I’m a celibate woman because I can’t handle the stress that comes with the dating life and the sexual expectations therein. I’m also pissed at men who approach me “cold” sometimes because … well, hey, it’s late, we’re on the bus together, and the chances exist that he’s interested in just rubbing his erection against me, which I REALLY don’t need in my life (again).

      I understand that it’s an inconvenience to men to have women enact standards for “cold-calling,” but I’m going to go ahead and say that POTENTIAL SEXUAL ASSAULT to me trumps any sad feelings you have about being rejected. Not to be an ass, but it’s hard for heterosexual men to truly appreciate this because … well, they are heterosexual men. Admittedly, there’s a lot that we women don’t understand because we’re women, but in this specific case, we fear for our physical safety, while you fear for your emotions. We win.

      I’d rather be able to date someone who has worked with me on a class project, whom I’ve met a couple times at work, who’s a regular at my bar that’s proven his non-skeezy status … instead of someone just walking up off the street or in a crowded room. The key to building a relationship is to get to know someone, and you’re totally disregarding that when you go hit on a lady just because “she caught your eye.”

      Why don’t you go back and re-read the responses you got on Schroedinger’s Rapist, because it’s clear that you chose to disregard all the feedback you got from real women. In doing so, you’ve decided that women’s opinion really isn’t right (no matter how many women tell you you’re wrong), and you’re just going to do what you want to do despite our obvious rejection of your behavior. FYI, that’s extremely unattractive, and it won’t get you laid. I’d advise you to revisit those comments because no matter how harsh, they reflect how women actually think, instead of how you’d like women to think.

      What you’re providing isn’t intellectual discourse, it’s explaining why women are wrong to feel the way they do because you’re a man and you’re better equipped to tell us how we should respond to you. I’m calling bullshit.

      • And, one more time for those who missed the overall theme of the Kate Harding post:

        Your right to talk to me does not trump my right to be left alone.

        This pertains to members of all genders, for the record.

        • DavidByron says:

          Actually if you are in a public area, yes, people have the right to free speech and not the right to tell other people to not talk. Oh wait — of course women get far more rights than men. Silly me, I forgot.

          • It’s about respect there, son. If you have manners, when someone tells you to stop talking to them, you educately will.
            And you got it wrong, she didn’t mean that in a gendered way. It goes for both sexes, all the races and sexualities.

      • I’ve spent the last several hours trying to figure out a way to respond to this without sounding like a total asshole. It’s just not possible. How utterly ARROGENT!!! To believe the all of society, both men and women, should all change millennia of established, functional, effective and even desired social constructs just to cater to your personal trauma. I’m sorry you were raped (yes, this is an assumption, but given the clear disdain you present in your reply, only true rape could explain the damage you display), I really am. I don’t expect you to just forget about it, or move on living life as if nothing happened, but that’s not what you’re doing here. You are trying to tell all men that read your reply that they are (rightfully) considered rapists by all women and should act accordingly, and telling all women that they should not condone the behavior that you personally find uncomfortable, despite the fact that, for eon’s, that has not only been the social norm (not only for humans, but all creatures), and WORKED FINE. That they should actively reject that behaviour, even if they find it acceptable, even desirable (women don’t get dressed up and go out to clubs to avoid getting hit on, clearly some women like getting hit on by strangers), simply because it is uncomfortable to you. So I repeat. HOW ARROGENT!!!.

        I don’t condone Rape by anyone, and I realize I can’t possibly imagine the pain and anguish that can cause. But you are victimizing all men for the actions of the one that violated you. You are making every man you meet into the very criminal deviate that virtually all men despise. You are telling all men they are guilty of being a rapist unless they can prove otherwise, and then denying them the opportunity to prove their innocence unless you are forced to interact with them (yes, I said it. The only men you are allowing into your life are men forced upon you. By work, by school, by friends. Only men that you are given no choice about meeting do you give a chance to redeem themselves… to proven his non-skeezy status (your own words). Now, you can rightfully claim the assult you pile upon men pales in comparison to that inflicted upon you, but that was one man victimizing one women. You are victimizing the entire population, and by suggesting men shouldn’t approach women they don’t know, ever, you are ensure every man who here’s that suggestion is likewise victimized, not just those who try to approach you.

        And lastly…

        “The key to building a relationship is to get to know someone, and you’re totally disregarding that when you go hit on a lady just because “she caught your eye.””

        You too are disregarding this “key to building a relationship” when you deny anyone the option to get to know you, and you them, simply because they have a penis (and that is what you’re doing. perhaps you feel the need to do so to cope with your personal trauma, but don’t pretend for a second it isn’t also rejecting the very same key to building relationships). And by claiming your expectations should be the norm, you are denying it to every other woman out there that DOES want to get to know new people.

        • firstly its “arrogant” .. but I really would like to address your statement of “To believe the all of society, both men and women, should all change millennia of established, functional, effective and even desired social constructs” It is not arrogant to believe that ALL of society should stop physically abusing children or people.. regardless that it has gone on since the beginning of time. Also what you are saying is perception based “functional, effective, and even desired” can be applied to polygamy, burqa’s, the beating of women, slavery, marrying children, circumcision (male and the horrific female).. the list is long.. shall I go on? It is not arrogant to want to change anything that one perceives as wrong, and just because you happen to think something is okay, does not mean that someone else does.

          Now I should mention I do not necessarily agree with her sentiments, but I did want to contest your statement. The middle east still likes to marry 8 yr old girls to 40+yr old men.. it has gone on for millennia, and they seem to think its just dandy and works.. i happen to think its disgusting and they should be shot

          • “It is not arrogant to believe that ALL of society should stop physically abusing children or people”

            When did this become about physical abuse? Trying to deflect from the discussion at hand? Secondly, when did physical abuse become and effective and even desired social construct? You’re just trying to vilify me to dispute my opinion based on character rather then merit. It’s a weak tactic used by weak people. Is that what you want to be?

            “Also what you are saying is perception based “functional, effective, and even desired” can be applied to polygamy, burqa’s, the beating of women, slavery, marrying children, circumcision (male and the horrific female)”

            So both men and women, and society at large, find the beating of women (what, you find the beating of men acceptable enough not to mention here? Throwing men off moving trains for racing to catch the train and getting on the women only car… that is perfectly fine?), slavery and marrying children to be effective, even desirable? I highly doubt you’ll find many (in our culture) who actually feel that way, certainly not enough to claim that society accepts that as a social construct. Men approaching women they don’t know… that IS a social construct that is accepted by both men and women, and society as a whole.

            As to the Burqa… We in western society do not see it as acceptable.. and guess what, our women aren’t required to wear them. As society begins to change it’s mind, then these social constructs become unacceptable, and will change… naturally. But we are far, far, far, far, far, far away from society finding men approaching women (as a general concept) as unacceptable, and truth told, I highly doubt we ever will.

            “the list is long.. shall I go on?”

            By all means, continue listing off things that are seen nether as, effective, functional, acceptable nor desirable by the fast majority of people and society as a whole, and pretend they relate to what’s being discussed.

            “It is not arrogant to want to change anything that one perceives as wrong,”

            By all means, do so, try to change it all you want. But that’s not what I’m opposed to, that’s not what she’s doing. She is looking at something that she personally find’s uncomfortable and scarey, and being arrogant enough to believe that she is representative of all women everywhere, and demanding that all men cater to her feelings (and by arrogance, all women), despite the evidence that most women don’t share her fears. There are entire industries designed around catering to women’s desire to attract men they don’t know. Clubs are popular for this express purpose. Certain clothing (miniskirts), perfume, make-up… these are all culturally designed for the express purpose of attracting a man, and continue to be used (if not solely, at least in large part) for that purpose today. Clearly, her fears do not represent all women. If she wants to change the world, then she needs to change the desire to want to do this activity, not make the assumption that every woman is like her and force men to change accordingly. If women (as a whole, not individually) don’t want it, men (as a whole, not individually) won’t do it. It’s that simple.

            “The middle east still likes to marry 8 yr old girls to 40+yr old men.. it has gone on for millennia, and they seem to think its just dandy and works”

            Our culture does not feel that is acceptable, and as such. WE DON”T DO IT. As to stopping the activity in the middle east (and/or other cultures), we can’t just go over there and say “I don’t like it, stop!” because it isn’t going to work. You may try, and you have tried… there is a reason the world thinks the US is arrogant, but that does not make it the “right” way to do it. We need to show “why” it’s wrong, and not just on an individual level. We can not try to change other cultures by demanding they conform to our personal expectations, we need to convince them to find the behaviour unacceptable to themselves. This can be done, and the more morally reprehensible the act, the easier it generally is to sway popular opinion.

            And that is where k-Pedia failed, and why I responded as I did. She responded on an individual level (her personal fear), claiming it is a societal view (all women have this fear. And just to be clear, we’re not talking about men approaching a women alone on an empty street in the middle of the night. She finds men approaching unknown women in a club, the very industry designed for that express purpose and that women flock to, just as unacceptable as the above lone street approach.), and it’s not. It’s far from it. And it’s arrogant as hell to believe otherwise. And I’m not willing to let that slide, especially when it comes with the express justification of calling me a rapist simply for having a penis.

          • “but I really would like to address your statement of “To believe the all of society, both men and women, should all change millennia of established, functional, effective and even desired social constructs” It is not arrogant to believe that ALL of society should stop physically abusing children or people”

            And just to clarify why you are so far off the mark, you missed a very important part of my quote…”…just to cater to your personal trauma”. You’re trying to argue that societal constructs should be able to be changed because the very society they exist in feel they are unacceptable. This I agree with, but that is different then arguing societal constructs should be changed because “I” feel they are unacceptable, which is what I was opposing.

      • So, again…how do you “respectfully” approach a woman and more importantly, how in the hell did you ever get the idea that any approach that I would advocate would not be respectful? In fact, the underlying tone of your post is that you find most contact with men distasteful. So, your viewpoint really doesn’t factor in this particular discussion, which is “why are men expected to make the first move.” You don’t want them to make any move toward you at all.

        “Why don’t you go back and re-read the responses you got on Schroedinger’s Rapist, because it’s clear that you chose to disregard all the feedback you got from real women. In doing so, you’ve decided that women’s opinion really isn’t right (no matter how many women tell you you’re wrong), and you’re just going to do what you want to do despite our obvious rejection of your behavior. FYI, that’s extremely unattractive, and it won’t get you laid. I’d advise you to revisit those comments because no matter how harsh, they reflect how women actually think, instead of how you’d like women to think.”

        And most importantly, you are proving my point. You did not answer my question. Instead, you chose to take offense and began to make personal attacks to try to deflect the observations I made in my argument (whiny? get over yourself, sister…I’ve been married for 17 years and happily so to a woman I met “cold” in a bookstore…so apparently, I did something right, eh?). In addition, you chose to make false attributions to my commentary. I’m personally not worried about “getting laid” as I mentioned that I’m married.

        This discussion was about men having to make the first move when they encounter women. The point that I was making is that the current social landscape has made it far more tenuous for men to make that first move than ever. My entire point was that there needs to be a reconstruction of the social dynamics of contact that allows people to engage freely while maintaining the freedom to deny engagements without the social burden and stigma of rejection.

        Human dynamics has proved that men and women encounter each other all the time in public and those meetings work out far better than you would lead everyone to believe. Secondly, nowhere in my post did I say that any woman had to accept a cold contact from a man. Human choice is the ultimate arbiter in any potential meeting and subsequent relationship. When two strangers encounter each other in a public setting, barring any criminal activity, the following things are most likely to happen:

        – Both will agree to interact, they will begin to communicate and things will progress from there.
        – One will decide not to interact, no or little communication will occur and they will go their separate ways.

        If the person who does not wish to interact clearly states that they do not want to, then that’s the end of it. If the other person persists, then that is harassment. Nobody is claiming that it isn’t. Get over your persecution issues…you are reading far more of your personal problems into my statement than what I wrote.

        “I’m a celibate woman because I can’t handle the stress that comes with the dating life and the sexual expectations therein. I’m also pissed at men who approach me “cold” sometimes because … well, hey, it’s late, we’re on the bus together, and the chances exist that he’s interested in just rubbing his erection against me, which I REALLY don’t need in my life (again).”

        Instead of engaging in an intelligent conversation, you chose to seek some vindication and revenge for whatever personal harm that was done to you. Well, guess what…I’m not going to even give you the courtesy of an apology because you don’t want one; you would rather revel in your victimhood and wear it like a license to treat any man you encounter like shit. This is what I was talking about when I said “women with issues.”

        So, thanks to you, I’m putting on my “asshole hat” now and the kid gloves are off.

        Now going back to your post, I have actually come to understand what is going on. This is what I’m talking about; you and your ilk are the ones declaring male social interaction with women as toxic. You want to be able to call the shots as to when you want to meet a guy? Fine with me. That’s what this whole post is about. Get off of your dead ass and go meet somebody…or not. It’s your choice. It has always been “your choice.”

        In today’s society, women are the ultimate arbiters of sexual access for heterosexual men. Again, because men have been biologically and socially directed toward being the initiators of sexual contact, the onus of rejection lies upon them. The divergent modes that men have adopted are direct responses to that. A lot of men are tired of having to endure what women like you are putting them through, so they have come up with alternative modes of social interaction. You don’t want to meet new men or respond to a man who you have not been introduced to; that is your choice and you have the freedom and respect to indulge that choice. But don’t you dare vilify a man who approaches you respectfully just because he doesn’t fit your “criteria” of contact.

        Your fear does not give you the right to act like a disrespectful bitch because some guy makes the mistake of thinking that you are an attractive and decent woman. (Yes, I’m insulting you back. You started it and I’m going to give as good as I got.) If you don’t want to talk to people you don’t know, then that is your right. But you do not have the right to criminalize people who do so because they don’t know that you are fucked up in the head due to a situation that they had no knowledge of or had no part in causing.

        Based on your logic, I should hate and vilify every White woman I’ve ever encountered because one falsely accused me of mugging her when I was 16. But guess what? I’m smart enough to understand that the world is filled with people and just because one does you wrong that you shouldn’t cloister yourself from the rest of the world.

        You have the right to decline interaction with anyone you wish; man or woman. Most men will read the writing on the wall, apologize, and wish you a good day. Feel free to call the cops on those who don’t get the message and insist on invading your personal space and violating your personal sanctity.

        But what you and those hatefully misandrist women over there want is for all men to leave all women alone, whether all of those women agree with you or not. You’ve suffered at the hands of some fucked up individual? The world can be a savage place, and it’ll chew you up and spit you out if you are not careful.

        BUT YOUR FEAR DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO TREAT ME LIKE A CRIMINAL OR DENY ME THE RIGHT TO SEEK HUMAN CONTACT. You need to “check your privilege” with that nonsense. If I lived my life like you are dictating, then I would have never met my wife and my life would have been the poorer for it.

        “If men choose to react by dating foreign ladies or *gasp* abstaining from sex entirely, that’s fine. They can (a) continue to act like boorish dunderheads, (b) learn how to respectfully approach a woman, or (c) remove themselves from the dating pool entirely.”

        This is part and parcel of what I was talking about. Rather than engage my viewpoint, you resort to shaming language. In fact, your above statement was an attempt to creep shame these men who have chosen alternative modes of interaction with women with the veiled insults. Engage my points logically or concede the field.

        “I’d rather be able to date someone who has worked with me on a class project, whom I’ve met a couple times at work, who’s a regular at my bar that’s proven his non-skeezy status … instead of someone just walking up off the street or in a crowded room. The key to building a relationship is to get to know someone, and you’re totally disregarding that when you go hit on a lady just because “she caught your eye.”

        But have you ever considered that visual indicators are often the spark that starts the process of discovery? You interact with people that appeal to your personal preferences and the most evident of those preferences are based upon visual cues of attractiveness. Try to think about that the next time you are approached by some guy you know from work or church; what initially drew him to come within your sphere of influence? Perhaps it was because he saw something that he liked.

        Back in the Victorian/post Victorian era, men and women who had not been introduced did not interact except in the narrowest and strictest of situations. A man who initiated a cold conversation with a woman was called a “masher” and was socially (and sometimes legally) punished for his behavior. If you want to live your life in such a cloistered manner, then by all means do so. But what I get from you and others like you is that you want that choice to be taken away from women who are more open and willing to meet people in the world.

        “”What you’re providing isn’t intellectual discourse, it’s explaining why women are wrong to feel the way they do because you’re a man and you’re better equipped to tell us how we should respond to you. I’m calling bullshit.”

        And I’m calling you a fucking coward because you did not engage a single point I made. You instead resorted to shaming tactics and bullshit appeals to emotion rather than logical discourse. I never once stated that women should feel any way at all. I listed some reasons that men may feel the way that they do and I listed a number of alternative modes that men have adopted because of evident behavior that women (including you) have demonstrated.

        How dare you come in here and try to shame me into agreeing with you and dismissing a valid observation of how men are dealing with the dating landscape just because it offends your delicate sensibilities…any sympathy you might have gotten from me ended with the closing of your response to me.

        To paraphrase the Hip Hop poet laureate, Ed Lover:

        “C’mon girl…getdafuckupouttaherewithdatbullshit!”

      • So I’m pretty late to this party, but I just wanted to make one point here in response to this rant of yours.

        I’m a pretty feminist guy and I spend a lot of time on feminist blogs. On the rare occasion that I find something written by a commenter objectionable, the last thing that I would do is to write a huge rant calling them whiny, dunderheaded, insulting their intelligence, and overall negating their personal experiences. You know why? Because feminist websites are a space for women to voice their opinions, and as a man it’s not my place to go on there and shit all over them.

        So it would be really fucking nice if you could extend that same courtesy to men here, when they’re honestly discussing their personal experiences and concerns. Okay? Back the fuck off.

  8. The most damaging phrase in the language is: ‘It’s always been done that way.’
    – Grace Murray Hopper

    OK, I’m going to cut through some of the crap and name-calling I see here. First of all, this is not a place that is going to ultimately “right” your list of grievances. There is NO one way to woo a woman. Being too timid around a woman is not a good thing. I personally love it when a guy teases me with his attention. Y’know…he catches my eye, and then looks away, but then maybe jokes with me a little later on. Drives me crazy wanting to know if he’s into me, because I’m rapidly becoming into him.

    Guess what?! This theory (as one of my exes called it: the “cat theory”–because cats seem to respond better when you act disinterested in them) helps a lot because you’re not coming on to strong and not too weak, there’s MYSTERY. Notice: there’s also a lack of heavy (or any) touching in this scenario. I graduated with a degree in Communication and let me tell you, there is nothing harder to interpret (and with a bigger range of interpretation) than nonverbal communication. So use it SPARINGLY. Lightly brush her hand when you reach for the salt, make her WONDER if you did it on purpose. DON’T grab her ass, her breast, her arm, her leg…none of it, unless you KNOW she’s only in it for a night. (This advice I’m dispensing is for dating/relationships, not one-night stands.) If you give us a line we WILL immediately disrespect you, UNLESS it’s an AWESOME, hilarious line we’ve never heard before, then we’ll just think you’re witty.

    This is what is disrespectful: and I believe this touches on what K-pedia was trying to convey… just because you TALK to us, does not give you the right to go further, especially if we tell you to stop or go away. I had a guy once that talked to me at a bar and on the way out, grabbed my ass. My smiling at you does NOT give you the go ahead. I believe that guys worth their salt are going to control their urges, and I believe they can. The status quo is not: all men are horny and will take a mile if you give them an inch. I refuse to accept this “assumed reality”.

    That’s it really. No need to get in a tizzy about it all. NO need to call names or make brash statements about the other sex. You will need to have patience when dating, after all, it’s all a game really. Seriously, if you’re in a hurry to get with someone, or to just get someone (in whatever context) you’re not being centered on the other person. Being selfish is completely fine, but if you want quality, sometimes it takes longer.

    Hope that helps….someone….anyone. heh

    • “The most damaging phrase in the language is: ‘It’s always been done that way.’”

      In case this was directed at my comment “should all change millennia of established, functional, effective and even desired social constructs just to cater to your personal trauma.”… There is a distinct difference between “it should stay that way cause it’s always been done that way”, and “ It has always been, and continues to be, a very effective, and desirable way to do things.”. Equating the two as being the same things isn’t reasonable, because they aren’t. The wheel has always been round, and while yes, it has always been that way, it remains that way because it has always been effective and desireable, and will continue to be round so long as round wheels remain effective. Likewise, the social construct of men approaching women has always been that way, it remains so because it remains an effective and desirable social construct by society as a whole (if perhaps not by some individuals within it). If and when it becomes no longer desirable or effective by/within society, it will change, but we aren’t there yet.

      • Yes, that quote was directed at your comment.

        Men approaching women doesn’t satisfy the natural properties of physics. It’s a societal thing, but it’s getting in the way for some. I get what you’re saying but your analogy is just as unreasonable because you’re just arguing semantics and not the root of the issue. You’re basically comparing the two phrases as I would compare coconuts and gravity to bears eating humans. What? …Precisely.

        Guys’ minds may be wired to HUNT, but it doesn’t mean that logic and instinct can’t work together to come to some sort of a compromise. Especially since dating isn’t totally in nature’s design (having lots of sex is) so I would argue that natural laws need not apply.

        Had man been made to float, the needs of cars to have round wheels would be utterly superfluous. So, if prehistoric man had been designed to date and try things out, then his approaching her would make an “evolutionary” sense (if you will…being that a long-standing tradition of men asking women would be a legit argument), but really….women have a lot more to lose in the game of evolution, so why shouldn’t they be allowed to make a move and have that move respected? Has men making the first move routinely satisfied their biological needs? What if women aren’t animals, but people! and they want to make their own decisions about their future? And imagine if that was met with skepticism or insult? Not good. It would make anyone feel pretty shitty.

        Is it really more effective for men to approach women? I’ve heard of men and women having about equal luck when either partner does the asking. In fact, I’ve heard more positives from women asking men out that the other way around. I tend to side with the theory that men approaching women is more effective, but you then have to ask yourself WHY is that so? Biology? Society? Which is it? That’s what I was referring to with the quote and that is what I was challenging. My quote is completely reasonable provided you are questioning on what basis your own logic comes from, because I am. You know one side of the story, I know the other–if you listen to understand you will see a bit more about why women asking men is troublesome for us.
        Welcome to the beginning of the deeper conversation.

        • “Men approaching women doesn’t satisfy the natural properties of physics.”

          You’re deflecting. You do know what an analogy is?

          “It’s a societal thing”

          It’s more then just a social thing. Many male animals put on displays for potential mates, hence why most males in nature are more colourful then their female counterparts. It is how they approach their females and convince them to choose them to mate with (sometimes for life). But we human males don’t have brightly coloured plumage we can display in hopes of attracting women, so must use conversation to accomplish that goal.

          “but it’s getting in the way for some.”

          And when it gets in the way for enough, things will begin to change, naturally. But we are a long, long, long way from being there.

          “I get what you’re saying but your analogy is just as unreasonable because you’re just arguing semantics and not the root of the issue.”

          It isn’t semantics. In the first phrase, it is a single person trying to change millennia of socially accepted constructs for their own personal needs, when the vast majority still find it acceptable, functional or even desirable. I am not opposed to changing social constructs, but for it to be done for the sole benefit of a single, selfish individual is ludicrous. The second, your phrase, suggests maintaining those constructs for no other reason then that’s how it’s always been. See the difference? One rejects change due to a social acceptance of the construct, a desire by the vast majority to maintain the status quo, the other simply wish’s to maintain the status regardless of the vast majorities wish’s.

          I reject K-pedia’s assertion that change is needed, because there is ample evidence that this is not an opinion generally shared by the vast majority, that the tried and true methodology remains acceptable, even desirable, and has been for a very, very long time. And millennia of tradition hold up far stronger then her personal damage for determining what society needs.

          “Guys’ minds may be wired to HUNT, but it doesn’t mean that logic and instinct can’t work together to come to some sort of a compromise. Especially since dating isn’t totally in nature’s design (having lots of sex is) so I would argue that natural laws need not apply.”.

          You feel there is no logic involved? That flirting is all about instinct, but only for the guys? That most guys don’t compromise? Seems a pretty hateful thing to say.

          “so why shouldn’t they be allowed to make a move and have that move respected?”

          Depends what you mean by “move”, and depends whether you can demonstrate that making such a move isn’t respected. Several women on this thread have already stated they have done the approaching of men, and none of them have really been disrespected, from what I’ve read. Some of them have been rejected, but really, men get rejected constantly, that isn’t the same as disrespect, is it?

          “What if women aren’t animals, but people! “

          You are aware these aren’t mutually exclusive?

          “and they want to make their own decisions about their future?”

          Are you suggesting women don’t have choice now? Last I checked, women get to choose pretty much everything regarding their future, and with the exception of reciprocally choosing the women, more or less have to sit back and do as the woman chooses.

          “And imagine if that was met with skepticism or insult?”

          Is that what’s happening? Cause from what I see, a very insignificant number of women’s population are trying to speak for all women, and change what is both accepted and desired, by most other women. From what I see, it is people like K-pedia who are trying to deny women the choice they’ve made. Are we wrong for pointing out and being sceptical of this damaged woman’s personal agenda? Do we deserve to be met with scepticism and insult for pointing out her selfishness?
          “Is it really more effective for men to approach women?”

          Does it need to be more effective to be accepted or desirable? Does it matter why? It’s the way it is and almost everyone likes it that way, why change it for everybody to satiate the few who don’t? what makes those few so damn important?

          “Welcome to the beginning of the deeper conversation.”

          I don’t think so. With condescending comments like this, I really would rather not deal with you if I can avoid it. This will likely be my last response to you on the subject

  9. What an excellent but lengthy commentary & discourse on what boils down to two people talking to each other.

    As a heterosexual male, I approach women with the same attitude that I would approach men — I treat them as a potential friend. Starting off with “Hello, my name is Ben” *smile*. If she returns the smile, that’s good; if she continues with a mirrored response “Hi, my name is Samantha”, even better.

    I’m 100% certain if a woman walked up to me and introduced herself in a similar way, I’d be completely floored (internally), yet receptive to at least seeing where the thread leads. If things start to turn negative, such as excessive complaints about various people, work, obvious self-esteem/self-control issues, etc.) I’m immediately turned off.

    So my key points for both gender in approaching the opposite sex are: positivity, humor, and simple confidence.

    • That Girl says:

      To all the heterosexual men that want to approach a woman respectfully, this man just wrote the foundation.

      You sir are a breath of fresh air and from your one comment I can say you are a pioneer in what a good man would be like.

  10. I have no interest in listening to the foolish rhetoric of how to teach a man to talk to women. It is idiotic and moronic. It is your choice to view every man as being a potential rapist- but the facts/stats don’t bear this out.

    If you choose to view yourself as a victim that is your choice. The easiest line to use is “hello.” It is simple, direct and effective.

    Some of this stuff is just such nonsense.

  11. Jack, sad truth is that enough women have had bad experiences with potentially threatening situations that it does make women a little leary. Don’t confuse that with women playing victim just because they are aware and self protected to their situations.

    Personally, I am just not aggressive enough to approach. The few times I did, the guy wasn’t really interested in me to begin with. Because men are generally more aggressive, if a man truly wants to be with me, he will make that first step. And while I am sure there are amny wonderful cases of it working out when the woman approached, I figure since for me not being as aggressive, the right man for me will be one that approaches me.

    • We’re not discussing approaching women alone on a subway at night, or on dark streets with nobody else around. we’re not talking potentially threatening situations. There are some women on here saying men shouldn’t approach women they don’t know… ever. Others are telling men that it is unacceptable to offer flattery based on looks (not that there is anything else to flatter a stranger about), others say it is acceptable, so long as it’s done respectfully, meanwhile, the players, the guys who are getting women regularly, are being assholes and are surrounded constantly… So when Jack suggests women telling men how to hit on them is a pointless idea, most men will tend to agree. perhaps for different reasons, but still

  12. A woman has a right to ask a man for a date. Period.

    Men who have a problem with that fundamental human right do not deserve to be in dating relationships.

    Instead of asking the same ole tired question, “Why are men expected to make the first move?”, we need to work on more egalitarian dating scripts.

    Perhaps the man will always initiate more than the woman, but it is barbaric to expect the man (or the woman) to initiate all or most of the time.

  13. Hi all,

    I just read through the comments and I think the missing part in all of this is a basic sense of civility. That’s what makes an invitation to a date successful. When the person you are asking, understands that you would like to get to know him or her and you can demonstrate the capacity to give that person an honest opportunity to get to know you.

    The only other perspective I’ll share is that the only rules that exist are the ones you choose – no one from any gender is “handed” any responsibility whatsoever. There are no excuses for not making choices you like.

    So be nice and be free to choose the terms on which you live and the rest should follow.

    Cheers!

  14. AnonymousDog says:

    Ms Thorn believes that she has little success approaching men because those men are uncomfortable with her stepping outside “scripted” gender roles. But might it not be that those men just aren’t interested in HER?
    It is often said that a man will have to approach 10 women to find one who is interested in HIM, so why would the ratio be any different for a woman who approaches men?

    Men are often told to be patient, not expect immediate results/instant gratification, etc., etc., why do women expect the first man that they approach to be receptive?

  15. Richard Aubrey says:

    Going back to college forty some years ago….
    A guy who was even only slightly above average in looks and social skills who worked with–class, field projects, employment, etc.–women but did not seek to open a social, sexual or romantic relationship with any of his colleagues was in the tall grass.
    Women were not initiating much at the time, but they were sending messages like crazy. Directly, with eye-batting or whatever it was, other types of body language, through third parties.
    The apparent lack of interest generated a huge amount of interest. No idea why, but it certainly seems like a way to start out, as opposed to what the sales folks refer to as “cold calls”.
    Unfortunately, again no idea why, some of these guys didn’t get the message(s).

  16. Xavier says:

    Maybe women are talked out of making the first move from an early age. Here’s a video of a first kiss that might be proof.
    http://tubeatude.com/2011/05/07/high-five-for-first-kiss/

  17. Albert C. D. says:

    Clarisse: Just keep pushing with you taking the first move, whenever you want to. Eventually you are going to run into a great dude, who is probably too shell-shocked by the surrounding douchebags. Really, all in all, the dating world is plagued with ignorance and over ten thousand years of backwardness.

  18. You know, I really like this article.

    It makes me want to talk about one thing. Self-esteem.

    Girls get hit on all the time until it becomes an annoyance? Guys almost never get hit on at all.

    I grew up with 2 sisters who dealt with this. They seemed annoyed at guys hitting on them. For me, since I never got hit on, I assumed I was in the bottom 1% of the most wretched people. Guys want to be complimented to, you know?

    I rarely get a “hey hot stuff” or anything like that, so I can see how it’s hard for guys to relate, because most of us would give our left foot just to have a day of that. And for it to be considered an annoyance? Well, that just makes us feel replaceable, and that girls consider us below them. “Let’s see if this guy can prove he’s not a waste of my time while I polish my nails. Wasn’t good enough? He’s a creep.”, that type of thing. It takes all the guts we have to make a move, and summoning up those guts is entirely ignored like it was some sort of walk in the part to show up and risk being pepper-sprayed.

    Also, It seems like all girls have to do is be themselves and guys come. My ex got boyfriends all the time, and had time for a valedictorian graduation and preparation for med school. But if a guy isn’t out making a move, learning to make a move, or whatever, he’s single until death. ”

    If the girl wants to study, more power to her. Guys will come. But if the guy wants to study, he has to sacrifice his potential for a relationship.”

    You can bring up “but girls have to look pretty”, but every time I bring that one up, I’m reminded by girls that “we don’t look good for guys, we look good for ourselves! styling and clothing are hobbies, not mating rituals”. So they invalidate that argument.

    • DavidByron says:

      Yes and all that relationship work is unpaid work that feminists of course always forget to add up when they pretend that a woman has “two shifts” or go on about women’s unpaid work is so important it ought to be recognised.

  19. INITIATORS:
    In my experience, it’s just doesn’t work when I approach men. I wouldn’t be surprised if the best romances were the ones in which the man pursues a woman he really wants, so why change it? Sometimes men are very tactless. “Hey baby yo’ ass looks get in those jeans” will not get you far with a woman who is not a stripper or prostitute. Men also do themselves a disservice by hitting on every woman they see. If a man comes to me after he’s been hitting 5 other women, I am going to say no.

    Whoever it is above gave men testicles to be aggressive and horny, a mate pursuit area in the brain much larger than that of a female, maybe they were meant to be more assertive in the mating area?

    CREEPY:
    If “creepy” is referring to elavatorgate guy, damn straight he was creepy and rude. He wanted to have sex with her and not even bother wooing her. I might have slapped him that stuff makes me angry!

    SEX:
    Of course, women have an easier time getting sex. Men are sexually loose by nature, not very picky, and much less likely to say no than a female. If women were more like men, it would be very difficult to get into a relationship. i guess the solution would be either men learn to keep in their pants a bit more or make women more like men. That goes along with the general feelings of entitlement to sex men feel. *shrug*

  20. This is the reason why I will never take feminists seriously on any subject involving initiations. The hypocrisy is to thick you can through it with a laser.

    Every single one of the excuses and rationalizations that Clariss gives amount to

    “It’s easier when we let me do all the hard work”
    and
    “when women do initiate life isn’t all kittens and lolipops”

    Well no s*** sherlock!

    Not a SINGLE one of the things that Clarisse gives as reasons for women not initiating are things unique to women… Not.. a.. s.i.n.g.l.e. one.

    And this is true with all women defending why women still love keeping an 11th century gender role when it suits them, they always say something like “well I tried initiating, and it wasn’t perfect and ideal”.

    So women have to have everything absolutely ideal, perfect and never experience rejection for them to do it? That’s basically the gist of this article.

  21. I just went through the SIRC guide to flirting. It’s a paper that summarizes all the latest research on flirting, courting and dating. It’s by Kate Fox, look it up.

    It banishes two common female rationalizations and excuses… That of supposedly men not liking female approaches, and that of women failing with it.

    It quotes the studies are conclusive that almost all men are extremely enthusiastic about women making the move.

    It also finds that women have a 99% success rate in asking guys out!!! (provided there was even a hint of non-dislike from the guy).

    Seriously, women have a 99% success rate and you’re writing these elaborate articles with rationalizations for keeping 11th century privileges? Give me a break. Nobody is buying it.

    • DavidByron says:

      Given those figures I’d have to say that any woman who doesn’t take the initiative 100% of the time is just being a sexist pig, demanding men jump through hoops of fire to avoid a tiny tiny imposition on her.

      Having said that I find the 99% success rate impossible to believe.

      But still it’s clearly a job that women are going to be able to do far more easily than men. We men get stuck lifting heavy things because women say oh well you’re so strong so you better get it. How come when the shoe is on the other foot the women are nowhere to be seen?

      And of course feminists jump through their own mental hoops writing articles to excuse the obvious female privilege here and pretend it doesn’t exist.

      • Notice it said if there were signs of interest from the guy. So the 99% rate only applies if the woman assess if the man is interested or not at first. In terms of approaching and asking out completely random men, I think the rate was still pretty high, something like 80% – it was in that famous study where had students ask other students to go to bed with them.

        In that same study they had women approaching random men and asking them out and the percentage was astronomical. The study that says 99% is in terms of women asking a guy out after assessing his interest first – in which case they have a 99% success rate.

    • Can you site your source on this data? No where in the SIRC flirting guide is this statistic quoted.

  22. DavidByron says:

    (1) Making the first move is hard, unpleasant, soul destroying work.
    (2) women have all the power

    therefore,
    (3) they make men do it

    I can laugh about this now, but it sure sucked in my teens, and gave me a complex about asking guys out that lasted through my 20s

    Now imagine you didn’t have the power to force the other person to do that work. Imagine you were the one forced to do it. Not very nice prospect eh? So why can’t women and feminist recognise this obvious privilge women have?

    I know how the receiving end can get, too. …unwanted advances from men

    Bottom line is if you felt it was worse to be on the receiving end you could opt to initiate. You don’t because you know lucky you have it. If a special situation arises where you think initiating will be advantageous to you then you have the option to do so. Men don’t.

    women often work hard to send approachable signals first

    They may send deliberately ambiguous signals to avoid the pain of rejection. That doesn’t help and it is NOT doing the hard work that men are forced to do.

    Part of the problem may be that straightforward women are often seen as “sluts.”

    Rubbish. Women get rejected if they initiate because everyone does. That’s why cold calling sucks so much. You are going to get rejected a lot. Women would actually get rejected less I bet, but still they’ll get rejected a lot.

    everything seems to go better if I cede the stereotypical initiation role

    Better for YOU? of course.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      I’ve nearly always initiated. (cue the “but you are a beta” comments)
      I have no issue with asking a person out. I think its ridiculous that we’ve got that particular gender division going at all. You want something? Ask.

    • Great post! Not sure that I understand the history or the sociology, but I have NEVER seen the “reward” of having to approach women first. I hear women say that they MUST know that I am interested before
      they do anything. That does not seem fair.

  23. I know a number of 1 is statistically meaningless, but I’m really glad when I’m asked out.
    It’s just flattering. :)
    Of course my reaction depends, but in the worst case I’d appreciate her attempt and treat her in the best possible way; I would feel her pain and try to soothe it.
    Even if I don’t like her at first, I would be available to know her better, if she’s inclined so (you can’t really know someone just on the spot). Everyone deserves a chance.

    Regarding the roles, I’m all for equality: so why on Earth someone should go and someone else should wait? It doesn’t make any sense.
    Jeez, it’s the Third Millennium already, please drop those Middle Age remnants! 😀

    I agree with @DavidByron this is kind of a female privilege (like in a war, men go first to be butchered 😉 ); and everyone not acknowledging that, is quite hypocritical – especially if it’s a feminist (the kind of “feminist” who wants equality when it’s good, and old ways when there’s a benefit).

    PS: Clarisse, when a lady has brains like yours, unshaven legs are highly irrelevant. :)

  24. “Don’t get me wrong—I like it when guys ask me out; I really don’t ever want to be in a position where I’m taking all the sexual initiative—but I often find that I start the conversation, offer my number or ask for his, suggest dinner, suggest that we go home together, etc. And I often find that guys don’t react well.”

    Maybe you are just aiming out of your league or maybe you are really a “Nice Girl TM” or all the other boggoted things Feminists LOVE to scream at men with poor social skills….

  25. Why hasn’t she mentioned something like-“Well in nature, male birds initiate”

    Well, then that might suggest biological differences between men and women and then you’d get that whole eve psych scene that some like AM love to dismiss as misogynistic because it doesn’t fit their dogma which is not scientifically tested…….

    This is pretty flimsy….

    why don’t you just come out and admit that you don’t like the sting of rejection instead of putting statements by Hugo S there. He doesn’t speak for all men-we ARE NOT one monolithic group, in fact I find him incredibly misandrist.

  26. John Schtoll says:

    Clarisse: A small correction for your article.

    Hugo is not a senior professor

    http://www.pasadena.edu/directory/employee-results.cfm?Name=777543590241347E226758000C5A4224043770164D5708780700402D7647400F

    Right from the faculty website. He is an instructor , there is a big difference.

    I can only assume you quoted him as “A senior professor” to EXPAND the importance of this quote but please give us more credit than that.

  27. I think many guys have a fantasy of being hit on or asked out by attractive women. Unfortunately , those are the women with the least need to take initiative because they are already swamped by attention. They can simply wait and then pick and coose.

    Women who get less attention from men — older women, less attractive women, overweight women, etc. — might be the ones who theoretically need to ask men out more often (because they aren’t being asked out) but those aren’t the women that men are thinking about when they complain that women don’t initiate. I have a feeling that if women hit on men as much as men hit on women, men would quickly start to feel pestered and even offended. Because no one likes to be pursued by people who you aren’t attracted to.

    • “Women who get less attention from men — older women, less attractive women, overweight women, etc. — might be the ones who theoretically need to ask men out more often (because they aren’t being asked out) but those aren’t the women that men are thinking about when they complain that women don’t initiate.”

      This, right here, is a big reason why so many women don’t make the first move, I think. You don’t want to be seen as desperate…if a woman is making the first move, then she’s probably worried the guy will think she’s less able to find someone…precisely because she’s making the first move.

      • Valter Viglietti says:

        @HeatherN: “if a woman is making the first move, then she’s probably worried…”

        It depends on the culture of the place, on the context.
        – If the culture is relaxed, everybody feels free to make the first move… because it doesn’t mean anything special (everybody can and does it).
        – If the culture is rigid, with rigid roles (men do it, women don’t), then a woman making the first move is “out of the ordinary”, so she can be afraid of appearing desperate (“WHY she’s doing what other women don’t???”).

        So, it’s not about what you do, but on the cultural meaning of what you do.
        And, thinking in black&white terms (like you did here) doesn’t help to transform the culture.

      • @HeatherN: Did you ever consider that men are tired of being thought of as “desperate”, too? And don’t say the asking position only confers “desperate” status onto women, because we all know that street runs both ways.

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      @Sarah: “those aren’t the women that men are thinking about when they complain that women don’t initiate”

      Sarah, you’re thinking in black&white terms here: while it’s easier for the mind, it doesn’t help in grasping actual reality.
      We men don’t see women just in two categories: beautiful OR ugly (ok, some morons do, but I don’t mind the bollocks 😉 ). It’s a continuum.

      Thus, while I agree a goddess-like woman doesn’t need to take initiative, an average woman could make the first move with a man she likes: this would be a much more common situation than your black OR white statement.
      Now, what the man’s reaction would be? Of course, it depends on the specific man and the woman (because we aren’t talking about nuts and bolts, that either click or not 😉 ).
      But, we can assume he might like her, and be please by her initiative.
      Just think about the “cougars”: older women hitting on younger men…. and yet, many of those men are happy about it. :)

      So, you see, reducing reality in simpler black&white terms is actually a distortion of reality, and it’s more confusing than helping.
      Reality is complex, and you can understand it only by embracing its complexity.

      @Sarah: “I have a feeling that if women hit on men as much as men hit on women, men would quickly start to feel pestered and even offended. Because no one likes to be pursued by people who you aren’t attracted to.”

      Again, you make the same mistake here.
      If women would actually hit on men often, that would be women of many shapes and sizes, thus many men would be happy about it.
      Maybe the handsomest would be hit upon too much, and they would feel pestered (just like gorgeous women do! 😀 ).
      But the average man would appreciate it, because the average man doesn’t get much attention, usually.

      And since the average (men and women) are the most common, it seem to me that, in your B&W thinking, you’re forgetting most of the populace. 8)

  28. *pick and choose! ha ha “coose” — that sounds obscene. Freudian slip?

  29. dungone says:

    And I often find that guys don’t react well.

    I often find that women don’t react well to being approached, especially if they don’t find the guy attractive. How much of an overlap is there between girls who are desperate enough to approach men? And how much of the negative reaction is due to women being more likely to ask out the very kind of guys whom they would like to be asked out by – the dominant males who react badly to anyone who might try to take charge of anything from under their nose? And what if it’s just a numbers game that’s not being played correctly – many men get rejected by 50 or more women before finding one… yet women might be giving up after 3 or 4 attempts because the rejection was too much to bear. Lastly, what about just the fact that women just might not know how to approach, period? The vast majority of approaches in the history of mankind seem to have offended one woman or another, at least judging by the constant flood of complaints. Why should anyone think that women would be any better at it?

  30. Truly intriguing are women who always complain about not meeting the right guys , but who steadfastly refuse to ever approach a guy because ‘he should be the one to find her.’

    I respect their fortitude but it is going to have them old and alone.
    I actually have know several women like this for about 10-15 years and they still have the same complaints and issues.

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      @Mack10.: “I respect their fortitude”

      I would call it “cowardice” instead. :roll:
      Hiding behind traditional gender roles, it’s an easy way out to avoid the risk of rejection.
      Those chicks are chicken. 😉

    • Salvice says:

      “whether you are driving a car, a truck, or a boat, you have to be sitting on the side with the pedals and the wheel” ~ my dad

      You are absolutely right that it is necessary to be active in one’s pursuit of relationship happiness. The importance of proactive involvement in one’s lifetime of success and achievements can not be emphasized enough.

    • Wow, what a way to generalize. Wow, so not true. Wow, you are unbelievable in your statements!
      Seems like you want women to do everything by your little “woman” book. Now if you are wanting women to change their gender practices to accomodate you, you have got to be willing to change some of your male gender rules .

      ( refusing to approach a guy will leave a woman old and alone)—>> harsh, evil, mean

      Which women do you speak of? For certainly, not any of my people, because, all of my wonderful, smart, good looking, female relatives and friends did not make the first move, and all are in satisfying, happy relationships!!

  31. Imagine a fictional situation where we’ve got two guys, Mike and Dave, who are looking for a job, with equally good resumes, interview skills, and work experience. In other words, if they each applied to the same number of jobs, they’d be equally likely to get hired. The only difference is that they’re subject to different rules. Mike is allowed to submit his resume as much as he likes wherever he likes. Dave, on the other hand, is required to sit around and hope than an employer approaches him. Although Dave has a degree in electrical engineering, he keeps getting approached by that greasy-haired manager from the local McDonalds, and nobody else. If he approaches a place where he wants to work, the potential employers reject him as being either too ‘pushy’ or too ‘desperate’ or too ‘easy’ and therefore not valuable. Who do you think is more likely to get a job they want; Mike or Dave?

    A woman’s situation in dating is like Dave’s situation in that analogy. Traditional society expects us to wait to be chosen, instead of choosing who we want. Don’t call it a privileged position. Believe me, it’s not! It’s a frustrating lack of freedom. Seriously, would you want to be in Dave’s situation? So guys, if you want a culture where women will feel comfortable making the first move, encourage every woman you know! Reassure them that there’s nothing slutty or desperate about a woman making the first approach, because every TV show we’ve ever seen and a lot of the dating advice people have given has told us the reverse.

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      @Jen, while I agree that traditional roles suck big time (and I’m all against them), your analogy doesn’t hold water at all.

      The man-woman relationship exists on a peer basis (or it should be); an employer-employee relationship is top-bottom (or even master-servant if you will). Comparing them is like comparing a hammer and a feather.
      And, of course Mike has more chances, but what’s holding Dave from approaching employers? Rejection from moronic ones? 😉

      My point is this: if you see a interesting and smart guy (and you think you’re potentially interesting to him), he will be delighted to get your attention. Hey, anybody likes being flattered!
      The instances of rejection would only be:
      1) He’s traditional and think that women approaching men are either desperate, scary or slutty.
      —> But this means he’s NOT smart, so are you still interested in him? Isn’t this a “natural selection”?
      2) He doesn’t find you interesting and/or attractive.
      —> Bummer. But your NOT approaching him wouldn’t have changed this fact; and your approaching him lets you know this, so you won’t waste your time waiting.

      @Jen: “So guys, if you want a culture where women will feel comfortable making the first move, encourage every woman you know!”
      Sure I do! 😀
      But, on your (female) part, you need to have gut, take initiative and risk rejection.
      If women really want equality, there no space for these roles (hunter and prey) anymore.

      Risking judgment is not really different from risking rejection: men suffer from rejection and judgment all the time, when they approach women. Yet they still do (because sometimes the woman is worth it 😉 ).
      Thus, “playing the game” and approaching men, for women, is just practicing the equality so many of you talk about.
      Welcome to this scary and uncomfortable arena; it was about time. 8)

    • AlekNovy says:

      99 out of a 100 men I know to encourage women to make moves. Any conversation on this subject will have the men talking about how much they would love or like for women to make moves, and the women defending the status quo.

      Even in feminist spaces with hardcore (let’s abolish all gender roles) mantras, the majority of the women defend the status quo. So this ridiculous notion that women are lazy because men don’t’ encourage them is fallacious to the core.

      We have an entire society of men BEGGING for women to start doing stuff…

    • Encourage every woman I know to feel more comfortable in approacheing men? One problem.
      Because of the “rules” of our game and the rejections, i do not know ANY. Nice try though!

  32. trollologic says:

    the author is a total slut. hot chicks will never awkwardly initiate conversation with a nerd, get over it. they dont have to. and for the record, “the first move” is eye contact, and they usually do make it. Anyways, women could totally have any guy they want. it’s sadly hilarious they dont try more often, but c’est la vie. the whole gender “scripts” explains a lot of mens hostility towards women. they make beasts of us.

    • I do not get how you could say anything about the author’s sexual life, even less sexisticly slut-shame her about it, but maybe you have psychic abilities, I don’t know.
      Women not making the first move is really TOO CRUEL and threatening to all men and their lives. I can totally see how that is one big reason for misogyny and hostility towards women, indeed.

  33. There’s never been a hint heavy enough for me to believe that a woman is interested in me, so most of the relationships I have had have begun with the woman taking the initiative. But (and this is why neither dating nor pick-up work for me; all my relationships began as friendships) before that initiative is taken there is a period of hint dropping from both parties where we steadily get more comfortable and heavier and more obvious with the hints. But it is actually a lot more to do with the “being thought a creep” thing you refer to in your other article than the fear of rejection. Particularly as, by the time I feel trusting enough of someone to not judge me and be honest in their response, I’m then so heavily into the friendship zone I think “am I now betraying trust? Or worse, does it look like I’m undervaluing our friendship by risking it in this way?” and there is another element of guilt introduced to it.

    I’m not blaming society for the way I feel, I think I may have some issues of my own, but I think women who are set on the established “scripts” find the route I take difficult to read or quickly lose interest. So I’m all in favour of women taking the initiative more often. My most recent ex, talking of Midsummer Night’s Dream shortly after we got together, said “people have it wrong when they see Hermia as the strong one and Helena as the weak one. Helena’s the one that knows what she wants and pursues her man. Hermia is just stroppy really; It’s Helena that shows real strength and passion.”

    Of course Helena is aware that she’s breaking an established social order when she does it; “Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase… We cannot fight for love as men may do; we should be wooed and were not made to woo” and yet she bucks that trend and successfully, as it turns out. She’s years ahead of her time. She should be given far more credit.

  34. You gotta respect The Game, ladies–both the book and the idea.

    Yes, initiation is great, but that’s only the beginning of the pick up. There are several more important steps you have to take before you can verify attraction.

    First, you have to not surprise/scare your new “friend” (this is why approaching straight on is a no-no. Giving a verbal time limit to your introduction is also highly effective).

    After you’ve casually inserting yourself into this stranger’s circle, you then have to find commonality and show that you’re a fun, attractive person.

    Then you being to sell your higher qualifications (ambition, wealth, success, whatever) using subtle messaging and testimonials (testimonials from their own friends is best. This is why college was so easy to find a mate).

    After you’ve sold yourself, you then still have to make the guy do some work by being fun and at least a little bit higher status than him (nobody wants to date a loser).

    Only after all that work should you then try to make the close on him (a kiss, a phone number, whatever).

    ****

    Honestly, though, I’ve never seen a woman not be able to cold pick up a guy, though. Sometimes it feels like women are constantly doing this, too—even in non-dating environments, like work.

    For me, the whole point of The Game was to teach men the very thing that women ALWAYS seem to be able do when they want someone. It’s weird to read about a woman who doesn’t know this mating dance.

    And for any men or women experiencing the same issues as the author, I highly recommend reading the The Game in its entirety. It really helped me understand the psychology of meeting strangers and I’ve been able to put these ideas into practice at bars, at parties, at networking events, with online dating or just walking down the street in a new city or country and making new friends.

    If you follow these steps I listed above, I doubt you’ll ever be hard rejected again. And even if you do, you’ll remember that those people that reject you don’t even know you and/or they’ve got other things going on that have nothing to do with you or your approach.

    There are millions of other fish in the sea. Just keep tweaking your approaches until you start seeing eyes dilate and feet readjust to point toward you when you speak;)

    • Hi Jason
      You say :
      ✺”For me, the whole point of The Game was to teach men the very thing that women ALWAYS seem to be able do when they want someone. It’s weird to read about a woman who doesn’t know this mating dance.”✺
      This is an interesting statement .
      But do you also think women have the same contempt for men as men on PUA websites have for women?
      And do you actually mean women manipulate men into bed and have lots of strategies to weaken his defense and totally ignore his personal borders when he expresses his borders?
      PUA work hard to ignore and find ways to outmaneuver a women’s no. And you think this is women do with men all the time to get laid?

  35. Who can blame men for eschewing relatonships all together?! This is such childish bs.Oooooh,I can’t ask a man out,its too hard. BUT…they want respect and happiness and to be treated like independent beings.There is a price to be paid.

    • What’s wrong with some of you.
      Being treated with respect has nothing to do with wanting to approach someone. I know males and females that don’t make the first move – they deserve respect, they are humans beings living with their choices, independent in a lot of ways. The price to be paid is lack of respect? Come on.

      • Le masculine privilegies. You don’t make the first move (or anything wlse that men want and that is not even essential for their lives) and then men will eschew relationships all because of that, while also believe that is a good excuse to disrespected women and treated them poorly as they don’t deserve happiness. Not childish bs at all, my friends lol.

  36. Are you really experiencing people calling you a slut because you asked them out? That seems a little bit extreme. The whole thing with making the first move is that 70 percent of the time you’re apt to get shut down. It has nothing to do with if someone is a traditional guy or not. It has to do with them being into you. That’s the bottom line. If you want to make the first move, you gotta be okay with potentially getting rejected a lot.

  37. Perhaps the first step for women is to be more obvious at looking at men that interest them. Men are often described as “hard-wired” to look when they see a female they like. Why aren’t women so obvious about it too? It would make it easier for men to make the first move. Then a lot of this grief would go away without having to complain that women don’t make the first move.

    • Men should wear more appealing/revealing clothes, then. Women can’t noticed too much of men’s body type and fitness through loose shirts and pants, and that is the most essential part of initial attraction.

    • Supra deluca says:

      Women usually have great hair. Wear revealing clothes and cool accessories. Shave their bodies. Apply make-up. And also have great physical expression and gracefulness. While most men are just plain, hairy everywhere and much less physically expressive and graceful, or emotionally charming – but they still feel entitled to women that puts MUCH more effort into their looks than them.
      When men is at the same level, you could ask women to look more. In fact, you won’t even have to ask, they will be gazing into your soul.

  38. When I read something like this, I begin to wonder how much of the tone and opinion is tinged by the author’s psyche. She is clearly making an attempt to be impartial and universal in her statements, and I think she is for the most part successful and honest. Plus, in the first place, I applaud her combination of fortitude and thoughtfulness concerning the subject. However, I’m tempted to agree with Jeff’s position above when he says, “Are you really experiencing people calling you a slut because you asked them out? That seems a little bit extreme.” I could be wrong in that, because I’ve never been a woman asking out a man–hell, despite being heterosexual, I’ve barely been a man asking a woman out. But these kinds of things always make me wonder, maybe because I think it’s counterintuitive for guys (who usually want to get laid more than they do) to slut-shame women who they might otherwise be interested in if she hadn’t approached them so directly. I think if a guy finds a girl who approaches him attractive, at most he might wonder if her forwardness means she’s had a dangerous number of sexual partners and might want to find that out, but he’s probably not gonna blow his chances with her, unless he’s such a stud he can have practically anyone. So, maybe the “slut-shaming” is coming from other women, or if there are no other women to chime in, from the approacher’s psyche. Not to say that it’s entirely her fault if she feels like people her are judging her as “slutty,” because society is certainly guilty of instilling women with an unhealthy degree of unwarranted shame when it comes to sex. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t want the perception that men are more resistant to female advances than they are. I think women taking the initiative is a great thing, even if it does mean men would have to learn how to politely turn a woman down without hurting her feelings.
    I think when it comes to gender equality, women are often their own worst enemies when they discourage their own, and other women’s, freer expression of sexuality.

    • What is a dangerous number of sexual partners? 1 where you use no protection and don’t get tested or 300 where you do? You’re essentially saying that a man might be worried she’s a slut/sexually promiscuous in your defence that men don’t think women who approach are sluts? Or did you mean something else?

      As for the sluts thing, I think the author is using it as a shorthand here for women who are just into sex (plus value judgement from the guy), meaning he thinks her initiation is a sign she’s happy to be/only worth being “f*cked and dumped” as per the PUA guy’s comment. I don’t think she’s saying the last time he walked up to a guy in a bar he turned round and yelled SLUT really loudly.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe I wasn’t so clear. I guess I’m just trying to distinguish between a man’s concern that a woman has low moral standards (for relationship potential), and the concern that she could be, for lack of a better term, “riddled with diseases” (for sex). Because, it’s either about sex or relationship, isn’t it? I don’t think men are THAT concerned about a woman’s promiscuity for reasons of morality. I think that’s more a construct of society and religion; the “voice” calling her a slut is the voice of her own superego judging her for being so forward.

  39. Did the author step out of some time portal from 20 years ago? Since when are men STILL expected to make the first move? Sorry, but this article and the question itself confounds me.

  40. Because women who do so are seen as flirtatious whores, which is what female PUAs are. Men have to risk getting shut down while women can’t. Women are supposed to be desirable. It hurts men’s egos and masculinity when women approach even though women mistake a man’s friendliness as flirting. Women still can’t be friendly towards the opposite sex. They have to be silent, aloof, and demure. Men prefer cold ice queens over warm, friendly women.

  41. “Surely there are ways for a woman to initiate that feel less threatening or confusing for men than others”

    There is a simple an easy solution for this. Send more first messages to men on online dating sites. Instead of wading through the torrent of email cr*p that most women get from online dating, take the initiative and send the message to the man first. Of course there is a risk of being ‘rejected’ by not having the email responded to, but that is far more safe than making the first move IRL.

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