Imagine you walk into your local bodega. Say hi to the clerk whom which you’re genuinely friendly with and order your meal. Everything’s going great until a stranger walks up next to you, invading your personal space. He’s gawking at you and says to the clerk, “whatever she’s having I’ll pay for it.” You kindly decline, but he insists, forcing you to decline with an assertive tone this time. He then leaves you alone for a few minutes. Those precious minutes of quietness get interrupted again by this stranger. Only this time he says, “hey cutie, can I get your snapchat?” You say that you don’t have one. He then asks, “Well, you must have a number then?” At this point you’re over it so in a firm voice you say, “please stop talking to me.” After being rejected several times (as if he didn’t get the hint), the man leaves (at least we hope he does.)
Has this happened to you, maybe not the same exact scenario, but close enough? Well, this happened to me! Whether you’ve been cat-called from across the street or had a man try to get your digits, we all can learn about this specific experience. While reading the scenario, you were probably thinking “well why didn’t she say yes to a free meal?!” Let me explain why.
I did have a moment where I thought I could say yes and throw away all dignity. Honestly, because money was tight and I thought, heck yeah a free meal?! But the reason for saying no goes so much deeper than pride. It’s because he wasn’t a kind and generous human being. A genuine person would have kindly paid for the meal and been on his merry way. But this guy wanted something in return. He wanted me to flirt back and give him my information. Why should women be bribed? Women shouldn’t be forced to entertain a guy just because he offered to buy a meal, let’s get that straight. I kept my integrity intact by declining this man’s bribe.
It’s an uncomfortable feeling having to decline a man so many times. Men who approach women this way should accept that the woman is not interested. Do these men not care how they can make a woman feel? Of course not because they are only interested in their gain. Which validates the statement said earlier about these men not being genuine. It’s bad enough we’re already walking down the street with the fear of being kidnapped and raped. We get sort of paranoid whenever a man approaches us and starts cat-calling us. Do they not understand that? When this man failed to get my information and left, I honestly was a little afraid. When I left the bodega, I looked both ways in case he was at the corner. Yeah, it’s that serious.
Why do some men have this urge to approach and harass women this way? They expect us to feel special. They want us to fall all over them as if their degrading words won us over. Saying no to this particular man was proclaiming that I was not going to play into the game. If a man offers you something just so that he can get your information, that is not a genuine man.
Queens, I leave you with this. You do not owe any man anything. Refuse to play into the game and keep your integrity and dignity. It will be worth it in the long run!