Savage Love

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@112 slinky: Because everyone gets sick/has medical problems/faces medical risks. Our physical bodies share more in common with each other (especially with those of our own gender) than our mental perceptions and beliefs, and so a generalization in that sense is fair. But you've managed, maybe inadvertently, to lump het-cis men into this category. Anyway, I'd actually question whether the "man up" thing is the primary reason why men don't go to the doctor (wow, we are really off topic, lol). Maybe some, maybe a lot, or maybe most (making your assumption right.) But there's also less focus in general society on men's problems. You see breast cancer and cervical cancer stickers and PSA everywhere...but testicular and prostate cancer? Not nearly as much, even though they affect roughly the same number of people (testicular cancer being an exception in terms of numbers, but the most common form of cancer of younger men.) So if it's less on our radars, why would we seek out the help for it? But anyway.

So I'm just saying that, for better or worse, among the far left/woke/woke-left/progressive left (whatever you want to call them) there is a tendency to unfairly and simplistically generalize cis/het males, and I think that's what you were doing. We may not be the punching bags of general society, but we definitely are in the woke crowd (or they are, I should say; I think the number of cocks I've had in my mouth places me safely in the "bisexual" category.) Anyway, the majority of males I've known never took the approach of "wearing a woman down." I know some guys do this, but I am VERY hesitant to accept that this is the norm. I think it's a convenient generalization. Most guys I knew were pretty darn afraid of trying to approach women.

But actually, to be fair, I guess I was one of those guys who once "wore down" a woman. The first serious girlfriend I had was back in college, and I asked her out 3 times before she finally said yes (she said yes by calling me and telling me she was saying yes following her 3rd rejection of me.) Her reasoning was that my persistence made her realized I really liked her. Now, would I actually approve of that now, generally speaking? No. I think this was something of an exception, but I don't think it's as rare as you might think. I wouldn't do it now, of course, but I think it shows that communication between people when there's a romantic (or hopefully romantic) element is far more complicated than your likely to hear when speaking with the crowd who reads "The Stranger."


@114 Emmaliz: OK, they were a daily annoyance for you. You can feel annoyed, obviously, at whatever you find annoying. I'm not being snarky. But what if you were misreading their signals? What if you saw as politely flirty was just the guy being what he thought of as polite and nice? And maybe other women would find it flattering (as in, many women I have known)? But anyway, what signals from women are you talking about? Is the onus always on the woman to "make the move"? That doesn't seem fair either. Obviously there's no fool-proof way around this. Existing around humans will result in the occasional annoyance, misunderstanding, and miscommunication. Trying to lay down new laws of decorum of human interaction is a fool's errand. And what about het guys who have social anxiety, who are autistic, those types less likely to pick up on signals (overt or subtle)? Doesn't this further stigmatize them and make their social interactions all the more fraught with anxiety and doubt? I don't think this is an unfair take on this issue, honestly. Social anxiety is widespread, and, if you run in the right circles (ex: read The Stranger and the its ilk) and you're a cis/het/white male, you definitely already feel kinda shitty most of the time.


"You don't see what the example I gave of my dad approaching a woman while she was at a stop sign after a brief encounter at a church service has to do with this discussion? OK. I'm not even gonna try to connect the dots for you on that one."

No Mikara, I don't and frankly I'm baffled what you do. They were not strangers. They had existing social relations. It was not a cold approach. They knew each other. Neither of them were at work. It is literally simply a case of people who meet socially hitting on one another which is how almost everyone meets (outside of situations specifically for dating) and my entire point as to why if you ended all cold approaches in public, it would have little effect on het dating in general.

You are also overly complicating a situation. Yes, at a bare minimum, first make eye contact and smile. The reason? You are assuming the eye contact in the first place. Do you really and truly not know that men cold approach women all the time even if they are not making eye contact? This is a cold approach. While it might work sometimes rarely, it's usually just annoying. And unless you are on the spectrum or else have very little social skills in general (or are dickfully thinking) then you can probably tell the difference between a waitress/barista that gives you an obligatory part smile b/c she's at work and one who smiles at you with interest. This is not some weirdo reduction on my point- I'm saying something extremely simple and you are trying to make it weird because why? You want a carte blanche to just constantly announce your interest to any woman you see with no indication that its welcome? That's hardly unique or interesting- it's what loads of dudes do all the time. Keep doing it if you want. For the vast majority of us, it's extremely annoying.

Also if you think asking your waitress how her day is is hitting on her, then I get hit on constantly- by old women, busy mums, toddlers, teenagers, etc.

BTW regarding hitting on people who are working, I've said basically the same thing as Daddy which is odd to find myself in agreement with him, but here you are arguing with me and blowing my response out of proportion and not his. Honestly I'm not sure if you are playing dense at this time- I don't remember your posts being so willful in the past but I tend to get people mixed up here.


@Emmaliz: Just to be clear, I actually see your point in the big picture: I don't think you're saying that the cold approach is completely bad (although I would question your putting the onus on women to give the clear signal.) In all honesty, I've never really felt comfortable with the cold approach; I think there SHOULD be some kind of common ground (such as, both of you reading the same book on the train; that's sufficient grounds for at least a quick acknowledgement, even if you have no romantic intentions.) But yeah, I mean...just thinking "she's hot I'm gonna talk at her now" is stupid. I don't think it's necessarily creepy, but it's not smart. Basically I just mean communication outside of very specific parameters doesn't always mean the person is being creepy, even if (as with the LW) s/he has to do some internet sleuthing.


Mikars, no, it’s not my intention to unfairly lump het cis men into a lumpentariat. It’s possible to point out that This Thing Predominantly Affects These People, so if you’re in that group, stop and think. Maybe it doesn’t apply to specific individuals, in that aggregate, but stopping to think (and change course if necessary) doesn’t hurt anyone. Also use your words.

Really. That’s it.

But there’s something else going on here. Every woman and at least one bi guy here are saying, hey, THIS thing is perceived as threatening to people like us and friends and family like us, if you’re trying to get THAT result, here’s a good set of guidelines to follow! Again, stop and think! This is where there’s a phase crossover from granular to aggregate: granular (dealing with specific individuals) is predicated on understanding the social boundaries of the aggregate, and calibrating your behaviour to be appropriate for the situation.

Talking to a woman you know very minimally from church while she sits in her car is not even close to trying to chat up the woman on the bus wearing headphones and reading a book. For starters, you knew her already, if only just. Second, you knew her from a social group that set similar boundaries for all its members, so you were likely playing from the same rules from the drop (aka aggregate norms). Third, with her in her car and you outside, and this is key, you’re not trapping her. She could drive off into the sunset if she’d had enough, not be stuck in a seat with no other room in there and she can’t get away. I can tell you from personal experience that being groped on the bus is not fun, and the man who groped me changed seats on the bus so he could grope me. I got loud and nasty about that! The woman in the car had no such concerns.

Can you not see the difference? Can you also not see the difference between two people on public transit enjoying a convo with a person giving every possible sign to FUCK OFF and having it be ignored? That’s social calibration, and social calibration comes from understanding the aggregate well enough to assess an individual. Just because you do it and have that skill doesn’t mean everyone does, and once again, granular to aggregate: het men who want to date women and not come off as creepers would be smart to learn those norms so they will have that social calibration. Those who do will have better success dating women and being friends and colleagues with women than those who don’t (case in point: LW #2).


@117 emmaliz: I will concede to your point that it is more annoying (especially for female service industry workers) since you have more experience (far more) than I do, especially since I'm (as if you didn't know) a guy. OK, fair enough. I haven't lived that experience, and so I won't criticize you on that one. Regarding the example of my parents: Maybe I made an incorrect assumption about your views on that, so I apologize. My assumption was that you would find that sort of action on the part of my dad to be very unwarranted and creepy (and honestly, I think many people in this circle would feel that way, but maybe you're not one of them.)

Here's all I'm trying to say: I don't think the LW would be out of line to email him because she's had sufficient contact with him (to say the least) in the past to justify a quick note...but she's probably not going to meet with success. I'm also just saying that the cold (but polite) approach should not being mixed up with the arrogant, persistent dudebro approach. Before the internet many or most relationships likely started via the cold approach.

And just to be clear: I don't take any approach, nor would I personally feel comfortable just approaching a stranger (if I were in a position to date nowadays). But if others can do it politely and respectfully and it works for them, then great. I don't think it's a signal of "male privilege" or harassment. (Again, if done politely and respectfully.)


And you would be amazed at how often “she’s hot I’m gonna talk to her” is the main factor behind dudes cold approaching women.


Mikara, regarding 116 at this point I'm not sure wtf you are even talking about.

When I'm out in public and I want to be left alone, I make an attempt to not show interest. I read, I listen to music, I wear glasses, I look at the window, etc. It's a pretty damn good rule of thumb to not bother someone- not even with a how is your day and even less with a "smile"- unless they indicate some interest in acknowledging you. And yet guys do it anyway. Does eye contact and a smile from a stranger always indicate interest? No. Sometimes it's just socialization. It's probably better to refrain from bothering strangers in public at all. But if you are going to do it, at least first look for social cues. If it is a woman who enjoys being hit on in public by random strangers, she will probably make eye contact with you rather than read a book and ignore you. She will probably smile when you smile. This does not mean that all women who smile at you are interested in you. But you have a better chance that she is than one who is literally actively ignoring you. I doubt very seriously that you need this explained to you, but here you are acting as if you have seriously impaired social skills so I'm trying my best.

If you mean at work, then obviously the woman is ALREADY interacting with you- she can't ignore you. She literally has to be nice to you and pay attention to you. Loads of men use this as an opportunity to flirt. They do not usually ask you out for whatever reason- probably because their goal is not to actually get a date (plenty are married, plenty are elderly, plenty aren't interested for myriad reasons), they just want to flirt. I don't know why men do this. I'm a big fan of flirting in a social situation, but at work it just feels like you are at someone's mercy. It's exhausting and annoying. This is overwhelmingly the opinion of most women who work in the service industry. The fact that you know some outliers does not change this. I believe that many of these men just feel the need to let you know that they find you desirable. I don't know why. But it's awkward. And sometimes it's creepy. It's rarely flattering nor fun because you are at work and can't interact in any fun way. It's only fun for the guy. If you ignore it, you are rude. If you say "thank you" you are encouraging. It's no big deal but it's annoying. Sometimes men also ask you out. As I stated, this is actually less annoying to me because at least it's an honest question to which I can respond rather than just a guy putting me on the spot. If you want to randomly ask out your waitresses, go ahead. It also puts them in a weird position because some women think it is rude to say no and some men take no as a personal offense. I don't know why someone would want to put another person in that situation. So I suggest that you only do it if they show some interest- perhaps you've had a good conversation, perhaps she's really smiled at you, perhaps she was also flirty. Perhaps you are a regular and a friendly rapport has built up between you as in Daddy's example with the Starbucks cups. Again, you'd think none of this was rocket science nor even controversial, but here we are.

For you- and I mean YOU personally- if you have such a hard time with this, I'd say err on the side of caution. Someone who can't tell the difference between A) cold approaching a stranger in public whether or not she's even made eye contact with you, and B) hitting on someone after having met them in a social situation, I'd say you might seek A LOT of guidance about how to behave in public. My guess though is that you are just being willful right now and arguing just to do it.


@119 Slinky: I actually agree with virtually everything you've stated in your last comment. My (apparently fumbled) point is that there is a difference between polite and respectful initiation of contact (such as sharing a common experience but being strangers otherwise) and trying to talk to a woman wearing headphones while reading (the strategy my wife takes -- my wife who never really minded being chatted up by strangers, but not when she's wearing her damn headphones.) My concern was that folks in this crowd (here, the Stranger readers) don't make that distinction. I mean, if LW can't send a guy she fucked 4 times a quick email, then when CAN you communicate? Yeah, he probably isn't interested, but she's not being creepy. It's not nearly the same thing as dudebro trying to annoy a strange woman on the bus.


RE: 120

In your scenario, a man meets a woman at church. Later, he hits on her when he sees her on the street afterwards. For some reason, you think people in this circle would find this creepy? If you mean Savage Love commenters, then my hunch is that the only thing we'd generally find creepy about it is that they go to church.


@122 EmmaLiz: No, I'm not just being willful and arguing for the sake of it. That's an easy accusation to throw around here, at anyone. I think you're over complicating MY point. I've never said that men should go bother women who clearly want to be left alone. My wife complains about guys who try to talk to her while she's wearing headphones (it's why she wears them in public.) That sort of harassment is not what I'm arguing about here. Obviously that's inappropriate behavior. I'm simply saying that we seem to have reached a point where the word "creepy" is thrown around far too much. Such as with the LW. I don't think she'd be creepy or out of line to contact him, although she would be setting herself up for disappointment.

But I concede to your point that even polite flirtatiousness while waitressing (day in day out) is annoying and exhausting. And I agree that in those sorts of situations, it's not a good idea. I'd never do it myself, honestly, and never have. The one doing the asking out really needs to make sure s/he's (usually he's) read the situation correctly and that it's rarely an OK situation. But maybe in another situation where there's some obvious common interest...? Sure...cold approach may not work, but I don't think it's in the same ballpark as harassing a waitress. Maybe I over-assumed (is that a term?) that people here would disagree with me on that detail, and if so, then that's my fault.


Cold approaching as a concept in isolation is neutral. It’s everything else that paints a full picture, and tips the act into Good Idea or Oh Hell No.

If you’re going to cold approach, do so in a socially appropriate place (e.g. not where one person gets paid to be nice to you or there’s a big power difference or you’re on an airplane), make sure the other person isn’t trapped somehow, and be prepared to take no for an answer and be gracious about it. Again I suspect you’d be amazed at how often those conditions fail.

You also have to accept that people (usually women, but also gay men and trans people) who have been creeped on or harassed before, or who have dealt with the fallout of other people creeping on their friends, will have stronger filters and shields than others, and no amount of cold approach will work for them. They’re not unfairly treating (say) men as a lumpentariat—they’re making rational decisions about their safety and well-being based on past experience. (I remember my gay friends in college talking about the one gay bar in town to avoid because of all the sleazy chickenhawks dudes, and they avoided that bar for the same well-considered reasons).

Think before you act, respect a no with grace.


"My concern was that folks in this crowd (here, the Stranger readers) don't make that distinction."

Except that every post here that you've argued with has has literally described what that distinction is.

"I mean, if LW can't send a guy she fucked 4 times a quick email, then when CAN you communicate?"

You are ignoring the important data. She can't send him a quick email TO A WORK ADDRESS THAT HE DID NOT GIVE HER after doing everything he could to remain anonymous and after not contacting her even though he could if he were interested.


@124 EmmaLiz: touche. That comment made me lol.


Mikara, re: discreet email, there’s appropriate times and places and his work email is NOT appropriate. If she finds him on non-work-related social media, that’s different!

But also in this specific case, he could have contacted her and he didn’t. Ghosting is a no, this default to, get thee to Tinder and find thee another good lay.

Concur with Erica that the most take-us-aback thing about talking in a church car park is going to church.


@127 EmmaLiz: OK, regarding your first point...maybe I have overstated and over reacted. It's very possible that I have not seen a distinction when there was one (I'll take your word on it, actually...I'm too tired to read all 120 something comments.)

Regarding the, I still don't see it. It's not the same as stalking his house or showing up at his office hours. It just isn't. If she can gracefully fuck off if he ignores her or sends a rejection, then no harm done. That's just how I see it.


The problem isn't that Mikara. It's that A) he did not give her permission to contact him at work, B) he intentionally avoided using any personal contact info including his full name, phone number, address or email address, C) he could contact her if he wanted to therefore he doesn't, D) someone else might have access to his emails which is common in school settings, E) he might be partnered and that person might see the email and question it.

You can say until you are blue in the face that he could simply ignore it and then she'll know and desist so no harm done. BUT HE DOESN"T KNOW THAT. The only thing that he will know, when he sees that one time carefully worded email, is that this person he fucked has gone out of her way, ignoring the fact that he kept himself anonymous, to contact him AT WORK. He doesn't know that she will not send him multiple emails. In fact, her behavior up to that point indicates the opposite. He has already ignored her and she responded by seeking him out and sending him an email to an address he did not give her. So why in gods name would he assume that she wouldn't keep emailing him unless he responds? This is going to force him into a position of having to respond to her- from some sort of personal contact info (another email address probably since he likely doesn't want to use a work account to talk to a hookup). This potentially complicates his life in ways she cannot be aware of. Again, she doesn't know who else reads his emails or if he's partnered. If this hookup was a secret on his part, then he could be worried about someone else finding out. In fact, the only fucking things she knows about him is that he put out the effort to be anonymous AND they met on a casual NSA site. NSA does not mean "find my work email and write me there without permission".

It's been fun, but I'm done now.


@103 Mikara. My youth was spent without the internet, I know how people got together before it’s existence. Don’t be so damn patronising.
I can only talk for me. If some guy who I had never indicated to, that I was in any way interested in him, cold asked me out, it felt embarrassing to me and awkward. It didn’t happen often because I got good at emitting a ‘not interested ‘ vibe if I picked up he was.
Even now as an old(er) woman, and some geezer starts circling me, and yes it does happens, I’ll still bring out the cold freeze vibe. Not to be rude to him, rather to cut him off at the pass.


Again, Mikara @104. Nobody said cold asking was creepy, did they? This LW, stalking this man is creepy, after nsa sex.
Cold asking a woman as she is doing her job serving coffee or drinks or food, whatever, is rude and disrespectful to her. She’s at work ffs, and if she’s a very attractive woman he’s probably not the first that day.


@113: oh look it’s you again.Mikara. Hitting on women on a bus or in the street, a woman you don’t know anything about except she’s got great tits and arse, you tell us how it should be done.
If she’s such a honey she’s got boys she knows lined up at her door, why would she be interested in some random on a bus?


When het men give such attention, to the less attractive girls and women then someone might listen to their sad sad stories about how much the culture is turning against natural human behaviours. Yeah right.


The guy fucked her four times Mr D, it was nsa sex, nobody has been dumped.
This therapy may help some, I can’t believe it’s the best way to treat depression.
What the fuck are you talking about? Resilience is promoted by the left, by women on the left. By women who rear babies by themselves because the man goes awol. By women having abortions because some dude decided to take off the condom mid sex because it feels better.
By women telling rude and intrusive men to fuck off.
If the outcome of this is that some men think before they go barging into a woman’s space, that’s a good thing.


People seem to be getting sidetracked by hypothetical scenarios. But let's look at the real-life facts of this concrete case.

This is not "a little sleuthing." Universities don't organize their faculty and staff directories by "guys with amazing dicks who fucked Susan." This woman spent hours, if not days, looking through every faculty/staff directory for every department (and potentially at multiple universities/colleges) until she found this guy. She says "a university in our area," which implies A. he was not even willing to tell her which university (again, he did not want to be tracked down) and B. there are multiple universities whose websites she may have had to search. Maybe she got lucky and found him right away, but he doesn't know that. He has every reason to believe she is a crazy stalker, no matter what she says.


But since we're already indulging in pop psychology, I'd say the fact that people are getting so far afield of the actual letter suggests an attempt to justify their own creepy behavior rather than a concern for the poor jilted letter writer.


@138: Thanks, clevernickname87, for "Universities don't organize their faculty and staff directories by 'guys with amazing dicks who fucked Susan.'" I spit wine at my screen.
What about a listing in the directory for "guys with amazing dicks who fucked everyone in the Environmental Science department."?


Except she didn’t have the University’s name, did she?
Congratulations Erica@100. A Hunsky is coming your way.


Sportlandia, your word ‘clitful’ has made it into Dan’s vocabulary. Congrats. Though I may have it arse over tit and someone else said it first.
Maybe Harriet did pick it, and yes I’ve been reading their posts again, and they can listen. Maybe CREEP is after something more than a nice dick and a good kisser.
Leave it CREEP, because it’s gonna freak this guy out big time that you’ve hunted him down, stalked him.
It was fun, right? Men are a dime a dozen, go forth woman and enjoy them.


@136 dadddy - That doesn't explain what you think resilience is. ok, we have whole books to read. Or an idea for what can help make ppl resilient, but not what that means to you. And that's not at all a good description of CBT.
"conquering fear through exposure" - is exposure therapy, used for anxiety disorders
"disconfirming irrational negativity" - CBT involves disconfirming /any irrational thinking/, so I'm not sure if this is you being snarky about other ppl being negative or the view of the "free speech" dude (who I'm just guessing is one of those who thinks free speech means being an asshole without consequences?)
"avoiding dichotomous thinking" - this more describes DBT: a subtype of CBT developed to deal with borderline personality.

CBT involves exploring your own thought processes with a professional, then identifying and challenging cognitive distortions and changing the resultant behaviors. Also tries to improve emotional regulation through mindfulness and coping strategies based on solving current problems.

Bc borderline personality tends to involve dichotomous thinking that is one of the thought processes DBT deals with. Dichotomous thinking isn't an issue for everyone.

Agree with those saying CREEP shouldn't contact the dude. Initially I was thinking that it would be ok since he may not have her email and she could send a general message, but either way he knows where she lives, didn't give her his contact info, and it was NSA sex. Under those circumstances he has a right, particularly at work, to be left alone. There are plenty of other guys out there.


Mikara @74: Of course I'm not kidding. "I promise you that there are plenty, PLENTY, of baristas of [all] genders who are more than happy to get hit on by the right person." And I promise you that in 99% of cases, the hitter-onner is the wrong person. The problem is that "striking up a conversation" is part of their job and should not be construed as conveying interest the way it would with someone, for instance at a party, who were free to leave. I stand by my opinion that baristas, bartenders etc are not the product. Find them on Tinder if they're single and hit on them that way.

Venn @77: I didn't read Harriet's comments about Mr Hanks as praise, in fact the opposite -- that undeserving actors receive awards for no other reason but being "brave" enough to play LGBT roles. Harriet, correct me if I'm wrong.

Venn @79: How on earth would a man calling his male sub "bitch" in a private scene relate to gay porn, or to women in any way? "Bitch" has multiple meanings and none of them are sexist if women are not involved. Please don't bring me into whatever crusade you are on here.

EmmaLiz @90: Yes. This is a great response to Dadddy's endorsement of PUA strategies because "women aren't direct." Guess what? If men started being respectful, not dropping sleazy hints like you describe, asking directly and politely and taking no for an answer or not asking at all if there were any doubt, I bet you women would quickly learn that the flip side of not being harassed is that they too need to take a chance and ask men out. It really is not difficult. Instead of structuring an approach of "women don't ask so men must resort to trickery," it's the 21st century ffs, let's encourage women to ask!


I'm a woman and I worked in a soccer specialty store as a teenager where part of my job consisted of fitting shoes, so there are women fitting shoes.

My vote is to just not flirt with/hit on ppl who are working. I do not care how attractive someone is or whatever, when I'm at work I just wanna do my job. At most some extra eye contact/smileyness that doesn't take up extra time. I guess if I'm waitressing/bartending a bit of flirting is ok if they leave a big tip (as long as they understand the flirting is part of the job). Basically I want ppl to understand that if I'm working I'm being nice bc that's my job and if I have to put more time/energy into an interaction I expect more money out of it cause it's preventing me from dealing with other duties/customers.


Wow: Kitten W, @144. thanks for that. I’ve never been able to work out what these therapies were on about. Good they use mindfulness in their techniques.
Is it the Canadian guy’s bs logic that Mr D
sprouts? Ive never read that sad man’s ideas.


Mikara @103: "I don't think the distinction is really made between legit creeps/harassers and polite guys who take the cold approach." That's partly because most creeps/harassers think they ARE polite guys who take the cold approach. It's those OTHER guys who are creeps. So we have to couch it as "don't do that thing which YOU THINK is perfectly acceptable, because guess what, it's not." At least on dating sites, people are there to be hit on, whereas at work they are just there to do their job, get paid and go home.
"they'd talked at the church event they'd attended" -- so this is not some rando shouting "hey baby" at a woman in a stopped car. See the difference?
If you think the message is "do not cold approach, ever" then the message is not clear. The message is that there are times and places where a cold approach is appropriate and times and places when it is not.
I agree that none of these letters are "should I hit on the barista?" I blame Slinky @27 for the segue into this controversy!

Dadddy @108: Your friend's experience was NOT "the barista was being friendly so I hit on her." The barista in this story clearly initiated the flirting after establishing an ongoing rapport with your friend. You seriously cannot use this as an example of "it's okay to hit on a barista." Apple and orange.


Clever @138: "he once told me he teaches at a university in our area, and I managed to find his photo and contact info on the school website" could also imply that he told her which university (or that there is only one university in her area) and she just, for obvious reasons, didn't include it in her letter to Dan. Lots of unknowns and the more she had to sleuth, the less advisable it is for her to contact him.


Mikara: Firstly, hitting on waitresses has been bad manners since the invention of waitresses. Don't act like this is something new.

Secondly, your "the message is definitely clear: do not cold approach, ever" is a strawman. People are telling you not to hit on service industry employees when they are at work and you are a customer. You are deliberately trying to distort that in order to avoid hearing what you don't want to hear.

"in college when I would ask for advice from both guys and girls on how to get dates: "Just go up and ASK!" Talk about mixed signals." You're getting very clear signals - people are telling you point-blank that if you are a customer and a person's job depends on having to be nice to you, don't hit on that person. You are intentionally playing dumb because you want to behave badly and pretend that you don't know any better.

Basically, you want to hit on whomever you want, whenever you want, while never bothering to think "is this a situation where my actions are probably unwelcome." Accordingly, you act intentionally obtuse - like you're some sort of alien that can't understand basic English or social norms, so you can't be expected to behave decently. Then, when people keep explaining to you that "no, ignorance is not a defense, you need to understand the basics of social courtesy," you throw a fit and sulk "FINE! I guess I can't flirt with anyone EVER! Happy now, meanies??!!"

You know what? Fine. You're right. YOU can't hit on anyone, anywhere. Why? Because you repeatedly refuse to accept that there are some situations where flirting is inappropriate. So, like a driver who is denied a license until he accepts that he needs to learn about and respect 'Stop' and 'yield' signs, you are hereby denied the right to hit on anyone, ever, until you learn to understand and respect the basics of when flirting is inappropriate. Happy now?


nocutename@ 96: Well, obviously Sportlandia isn't going to say anything about it. He only wants to complain about imaginary persecution of men - how is he supposed to do that in the face of clear evidence to the contrary?


@150 Traffic Signal: I definitely need to clarify my point for you (and that's not your fault, this convo has gotten way out of control).

One of my favorite chapters of any book of all time is a chapter early on in Don Quixote in which a female character single handedly dismantles and destroys male cockiness, privilege, and entitlement in the space of a single brilliant speech. Her point is "just because I'm nice to you does not mean I'm into you or that I owe you myself" (i.e., sex obviously). Cervantes via this character does a better job of expressing the unfairness of male entitlement than any modern op-ed or column I've ever seen. It's amazing that it was written 400 years ago. And the cartoon you linked to as well: It's perfect and I love it. I hate it when guys say idiotic and demeaning things like that to women. I certainly don't do it, and never have.

But these are not the situations I'm referring to. Being a sexist entitled fratbro pig is uncalled for. That sort of "flirting" is demeaning. I am and was simply referring to the idea that a *polite" cold approach is often OK, even if it will mostly end in rejection. I was assuming a nuance here that I didn't make clear enough. I'm not referring to an overworked waitress getting justifiably angry at a group of bros being rude. I'm certainly NOT referring to the guys who, while driving by me and my wife yelled out "Hey, I'll take care of your girl for you!" (true story.) If a woman is working behind a bar or a counter, she's not busy, and you think you may have some mutual interest, then yes...maybe make the cold approach, but do it nicely and get out gracefully if she indicates she's not interested. I think that sort of approach is acceptable even on a place like a train or a bus, assuming you have read the situation and can be mature about it (and yes, I concede to EmmaLiz and Lavagirl who have both (I think) said that there should be a signal from the woman that gives you the OK to say something). My beef was that even these situations seem to be scolded at, and the word "creep" too easily thrown at the one who initiated the conversation with a stranger. Will it work most of the time? Probably not. But neither does swiping right.

I used to browse the missed connections section of CL. I once saw a guy post a MC for a bar tender he'd seen at the bar he'd gone to the night before. He stated he was too nervous to talk to her, she seemed too busy, etc, but hopefully they could meet up and so forth. Guess what? She responded to the MC. Know what she said? "Fuck you for being too much of a coward to talk to me to begin with, but instead scurried off to the safety of your computer to send this pathetic note." (Or something worse.) I know she doesn't represent the norm, but I think her take on it may be more common than you might think. I don't think it's too much of a generalization to say that many women find boldness in men attractive, but I think this is at odds with what is often considered appropriate behavior among the crowd that tends to hashtag the latest outrage.


@bidanfan 148: Yes, I think we (or I) have blurred the distinction being made about when the cold approach is OK. My feeling was that the overall accepted doctrine here was that it NEVER IS. But I think that's not the case; clearly plenty of people here believe it can be done in the right circumstances. I think many assumed that my defense of it meant I was defending the mouth-breathers who harass women, especially those who give service workers a hard time. That's not at all what I'm defending.

And that story about my parents: I think it's turned into a game of telephone here in this comments section: He'd chatted briefly with her at church, didn't ask her out. He's driving back FROM the church and he sees that her car is behind his. They come to a stop sign. While she is stopped there (with his car stopped in front of her) he gets out, goes up to her, and asks her out. I would have assumed that many here would find that very creepy. But maybe I'm wrong?


@Traffic Spiral: Sorry for mistyping your name as Traffic Signal


I had written a long post about the threat strange men pose to women, and deleted it. All I will say is that I'm really fucking sick of men going on about what women want. Maybe listen to what the women are saying we want?


Mikara @153: For me personally, I got it, and you are wrong. They met at church which is an acceptable place to meet partners. She probably had a sense, having met him at church, that he was not an axe murderer. Being asked out in that way might be a bit surprising but not creepy. If he had followed her home and then asked her out, THAT would be creepy.

Your post @153 crossed with mine. No, I don't think anyone here is saying it is NEVER acceptable to approach someone politely. I think what you are missing is that the difference between a "nice guy making a cold approach" and a creepy mouth breather is in the eye of the beholder, and every creepy mouth breather believes he is a nice guy. The more "captive audience" a person is, the better it is to err on the side of not putting her in an awkward position because men CAN and DO get violent when rejected, and you can't tell by looking at them who's a nutjob and who isn't.

So we've seen from Dadddy's example what one should do if one fancies a person in the service industry. Become a regular, establish a friendly rapport, look for signals (including whether they are equally friendly with all their customers), and THEN approach them. Otherwise you're probably being annoying at best, scary at worst.


I haven't seen anyone mention the fact that Craigslist personals went down over a year ago. Time flies.

I also thought the loss of Craigslist was really sad and it seems like OkCupid and Tinder are poor alternatives. Though I never tried them.

But creep has let her creepiness go on for longer than a year.

This would be an awesome opportunity for her to promise herself that she will try to grab every opportunity to make sure that good lovers stay in her life in the future. To appreciate what she has before it's gone next time. To be a little more brazen about her interest with someone who's currently willing to fuck her.

Maybe everyone should change the way they feel and what annoys them and give her the go-ahead to contact him at work so she doesn't have to learn this.

But generally if you wish to train someone to feel differently for their own good.. I hear warning klaxons of unhealthy controlling behavior. Why don't you attempt to be comfortable with what they want if you need to focus on them?

I do like CBD and I do think it's important that people can choose this for themselves, I just think that wishing to use it to brainwash others is not the most ethical consideration.

But honestly who knows, CREEP might send a carefully worded email and be prepared to knock his socks off make everything up to him, he happens to be a decent guy who lost her contact info too, they have a miracle baby next year. Anything is possible but I like how lots of people explained why this was extremely unlikely.


Reddit has something like Craigslist personals for my city.


@Mikara 152

Like Sporty, you keep talking about situations in which men are scolded or judged or whatever injustice it is that is not happening here and for which you are not giving examples of here. IN fact you are saying that these things are scolded out in some cultural ether I suppose- no examples of when this is happening or where- and then arguing with people here who are not saying those things and then following up with assumptions about how people here will respond to scenarios that you think are similar to the ones that you have seen out and about. Best I can tell, that's what's going on.


So many things.

First off, my original comment way back when was, why are we still arguing about whether it’s okay to hit on people at work, regardless of whether it’s a barista or shoe fitter or person working at a university? The fact that LW#1 is female is irrelevant...don’t hit on people in their place of business.

Second, Mikara, did the person who asked in CL Missed Connections have ANY proof at all that it was the bartender who replied and not some jackass troll looking to fling poo? Because I can’t imagine a person whose job is to be sociable to people dropping cluster F bombs on a patron. Even if she wasn’t interested! Dropping cluster F bombs like that would discourage your friend from ever going to that bar again, this cutting out a potential income source.

As for resilience, Dadddy, that’s all well and good and I fail to see how any of that is relevant here. LW 1’s question was asking if something was an invasion of privacy and a bad idea. Overwhelming consensus was YES with a soupçon of, don’t hit on people at work.

LW 2’s question is, how do I interpret the very clear and unambiguous words this hot lady person said to me? Answer was, take her exact words at face value and by the way it’s bad form to hit on someone at work.

LW 3 wants to make sure he treats his sex partners decently. BRAVO! The answer was to Use Your Words. Easy as.

How do ANY of these relate to treating depression, anxiety, or personality disorders? How do any of them make the LWs less able to deal with real life? (Unless you mean the black sex partners of LW3 need to learn to accept being called racial slurs mid-fuck, an idea which has nothing to do with LW3 personally and which I give such heavy side-eye that it’s orthogonal)? At the end of the day, these are questions about etiquette, not mental health. Be courteous and considerate, think about things, ask if you’re not sure (good job to LWs 1 and 2 for asking first instead of doing something rude), and be gracious if you’re told no. It’s saying something that you’re conflating behaving decently with societal and personal fragility, especially since the etiquette lessons in question are taught in kindergarten and in general positively reinforced.

And oh by the way, if a person is going through therapy, IT IS NOT YOUR JOB to try to do exposure to stressful situations. You’re some random on the street. If they’re dealing with enough stuff that they need specific therapy, then step back and let the therapy team handle it. You wouldn’t grab the foot of a limping person you pass in the street and start bandaging it. Why is mental health care different?

Etiquette, people, etiquette. Don’t be an asshole to the people you are fucking or want to fuck.


@141 Except the letter suggests he did not even give her his name, hence the need to find him by his picture, asshole.


Mikara, Also the reason it does seem you aren't getting it. I take back my statement that you were just arguing just to argue which is fine, I do it too sometimes, it's annoying but this is the internet, but it does help sometimes to know whether or not we are off on some stupid tangent or having a genuine conversation. But that aside, the reason I think you aren't getting it is because you keep talking about your parents' situation as if it's analogous to anything.

I believe you've fixated on the fact that he actually approached her while she was out in public, minding her own business. You are looking at that moment outside any larger context. I'm not sure why you are doing this. Then you are concluding (based on some assumption you have about how people here feel which is itself a little odd since a) people here don't all agree and b) your assumptions reference some vague aspect of cultural scolding which has nothing to do with anything other than just your own gut feeling that you haven't examined apparently)- you are concluding from these things that people here would be tsk tsk about your dad approaching your mom simply because it happened in public.

This is really really really weird as it overlooks the glaringly obvious difference that they met previously in a social situation. (This is before we get into the fact that also neither of them are at work so it's doubly irrelevant- she could just drive away).

The reason I'm harping on about this is because it seems to be the same problem you have regarding the LW. You are looking at the immediate situation. Should a woman who has hooked up with a man later send him a carefully worded email at work? If some of us say no, you attribute this no to this larger vague cultural scolding that offends you. Rather, you should stop focusing on the specific incident (the question of if a hook up should email someone) and instead look at the context: the NSA nature of the hookup, his desire to remain anonymous, his choice not to contact her even though he could, the potential risks he might perceive to his professional or personal life, the possibility that someone else could read the email and become curious, the fact that she had to search for his email- it was not given to her, etc.

What's so ironic about this, and what keeps me at this conversation, is that you are simultaneously complaining that people are making black and white rules when the world is nuanced while also refusing to acknowledge the nuance when it's brought up. Picking apart people's thought processes like this is fascinating to me- it often reveals things about my own as well and about the world around me, so this is what I'm going on about and sorry for my role in hijacking the thread (actually I guess that's a disingenuous apology).

Daddy, I had no idea that cock and ball torture was so good for one's mental health, but now that I think about it, I see that one would have to be pretty damn resilient to endure it.


@EmmaLiz 159. OK, so now I have to give specific examples drawn for situations that are not posted publicly on the internet and which I could easily invent? Sure, I'm speaking in generalities, and I am MORE than willing to admit (which I have) that many here do NOT, in fact, scold men for politely taking the "cold approach." Although some here are. Somewhere someone stated that it's never OK to flirt with a barista or waitress. And I've listened to Dan Savage enough to know that his opinion (and presumably the accepted opinion of many, considering that his opinion seems to be mainstream among this particular crowd) that the cold approach is looked at with a LOT of skepticism. While I may have misunderstood exactly how much skepticism, I do wonder if there's been an over application of the creep label. And anyway, it goes back to the LW: The consensus seems to be that she should not contact this guy. I simply disagree. Or, rather, I think maybe it's not a good idea because she's setting herself up for rejection, but I don't think it's creepy to sleuth a bit to find someone you used to have sex with (although I did miss that CL shut this down a while back, so...maybe she's been a bit more sleuthy (and thus creepy) than she's admitting). I think this is one of the main things that has set me off on this issue of the cold approach. I think the liberal/left/woke crowd likes to perpetuate a culture of paranoia and fear that's not always warranted, to too easily assume the worst about men in general. And that's just how I feel about this. And I'm done participating in this conversation.


"I think the liberal/left/woke crowd likes to perpetuate a culture of paranoia and fear that's not always warranted, to too easily assume the worst about men in general. And that's just how I feel about this."

Ah. So this is what it's about. Disappointing. One day I'd love to find one of these resentment politics guys that bang on about SJWs who actually understand the distinctions between liberal and left just because I think it would be interesting to see how they perceive all that. Or someone with a wholly unique set of cultural resentments- like the people who are all about how the requirement to wear shoes is oppression and brainwashing.

My solution: cock and ball torture for all! Build some resilience, young man!


Ms Fan - Not crusading, just reporting a shift over the last couple of decades. If you disagree with the shift, then you can stamp it out if you encounter it.


vennominon: it has literally never been acceptable to hit on someone in the service industry unless it was understood that sex was a service they provided. It's been that way for hundreds of years, don't act like this is new. Same with hunting down someone who has clearly taken pains to be anonymous, and has not given you their address. This has been bad manners since ladies wore puffy dresses and rode in carriages.

If you were rich and powerful enough and the object of your desire was far enough down the scale of society, then yes, you could break the rules - but the rules were still there.

Mikara: don't hit on someone if you are their customer and their job depends on staying in your good graces. Don't do it. I don't care if you once on the internet heard a story from a guy who knew a guy about a man with a hook for a hand that said bloody mary three times in a mirror then hit on a barista and it all worked out great except for the chemtrails. Don't hit on people if you're their customer. Full stop, halas, end of story, selah, and period. No.


Clever @161: The letter only suggests -to you- that he didn't even give his first name, which would be really weird not to do. It suggests -to me- that she had his first name but not his last, which makes far more sense, but is ambiguous enough that no one would be "stupid" for assuming facts not actually in the letter.

Mikara @163: You are still twisting things to meet your preconceived conclusions. "Somewhere someone stated that it's never OK to flirt with a barista or waitress." No doubt "someone somewhere" has indeed said that at some point in their lives, but what -I- actually said (@63), in direct response to a claim to the contrary (@41), was, "No, one cannot hit on the barista without being a creep." Flirting and hitting on are different things. Flirting is not a direct question that puts someone in the position of having to say yes or no. See Kitten @146 for a good description of what on-the-job flirting entails; it ends with leaving a tip and leaving the premises.

And it's easy for you to say that society at large is too paranoid about the level of actual danger of men toward women when YOU ARE NOT IN THAT DANGER. That's what privilege means. I'm sure you've never left a late shift, walking to your car with your keys clutched between your fingers, just in case that creepy guy who was leering at you an hour ago is waiting outside. These are things we do and it is NOT a function of being "woke," it's a function of actual risk. Stop being offended because other men are dangerous. Start scolding those other men for making life worse for you.


BDF- I have no opinion on whether or not she knew his first name. It's possible she did, possible she didn't. It's clear she did not know his last name.

But I'm pushing back on your opinion that she did know his first name. You've stated twice now that it's unlikely they did not exchange names- once because you said you'd never have sex with someone four times, now because you say it would be really weird.

It was not uncommon in the CL casual encounters world for people to hook up (even repeatedly) without exchanging names. There are many of us for whom anonymity is a thrill. In CL casual encounters (back in its heyday anyway), people did frequently ask to remain anonymous, even not exchanging names. This is not weird in that context, and the fact that you would not do it is irrelevant. Different kink and/or sex communities have their own norms. Without further info, we have no idea if she knew his first name or not. It's equally likely either way, given the context.


@59. Emma. I'm not implying she wants security--just asking whether she is sure she's uninterested in dating.

Professors in small towns are relatively rich. The housing market is cheaper, so--like the few other professionals there--they can afford a house. OK--he might be an adjunct. The reason I didn't think this were 1) his likely age--she doesn't indicate he's significantly older or younger than her; and 2) the greater likelihood of Professors, tenured or not, than adjuncts, administrative or secretarial staff having webpages with their photo and contact. Yes, sure, there are small schools who offer their staff in these positions the courtesy of an online presence.

No dispute with your central claim that college teaching is a precarious and casualised professions, with teachers taking home less than plumbers and pipefitters.


I really enjoy the lack of reflection by some of y'all. What's there to crow about some guy who wanted a one night stand? The girl wants to call him, fine go call him. He can say no. Nothing bad is going to happen.


Harriet, no one ever said he's a professor but you. LW says he's a teacher at a university in the area. No one said he's in a small town either. And as a person who lives in a small town and has a family and friend circle full of academics, I assure you that professors are not "relatively rich". Again, I recall that you grew up with a little bit of money and live in an urban area so I don't know why you'd be commenting on the relative incomes of people in small towns, especially since none of that is relevant to the letter. Most schools list staff with a pic and contact info. If you teach a class, you have a listing, since such a big proportion of university and college classes are taught by adjuncts and non-tenured profs these days it would be weird to only list staff that is tenured- it's not courtesy, it's that most students would not find a listing for their teachers if that were the case. Last stat that I read, something like a full 75% of college teachers have no prospects of ever getting tenure and something like half of them are adjuncts so they don't even get full time wages nor benefits. Finally, she is clearly looking for dick, and there is nothing in her letter indicating otherwise. If you were not implying that she's interested in security but rather some other aspect of long term dating, then why talk about prestige and renumeration?


EmmaLiz @168: I said the letter was ambiguous. In the event she didn't have his first name, indeed it's super creepy for her to have stalked him, and she absolutely should not contact him. In the event that she did, it's less logical to assume he did not want to be found. Good point by Philo, though, that unless Dan held onto this letter for a while, she hasn't seen him in over a year. If that's the case then drop it and go find some other fuck-buddy.


@55. nocute. I've suggested nothing of the kind! I haven't suggested she wants a relationship with the guy because he's rich--and it would be a huge stretch to do so!

I would always want my quick answers to people's letters to address 'the underlying problem'. The problem in this case sounds trivial. She's had recent, varied, often great NSA sex. It would seem that if there were a genuine problem, a real hurdle to get over, it was a few years back--in moving from the mindset that she shouldn't have sex (she was too unattractive; she didn't have the body she wanted; she 'needed to be in a better place', e.g.) to a frame of mind in which she could--could have sex (that she was or lacked or needed none of those things). The question now is: Should she, without solicitation and in the face of his apparent discouragement, contact one of the men with whom she's had great sex at his workplace? 'No'. No, she shouldn't. The answer is so simple there has to be something else going on. Has she in fact had equally great NSA sex with other guys? Or is she wondering whether she wants more than NSA sex?

Surely--if it's often the case that people come with a 'front' question, which they frequently over-invest--which they're irrational about--because they can't quite face or phrase the real problem? Seeing this, a therapist or psychoanalyst will certainly address the on-the-face-of-it question, but also move to help the patient address the root of the matter. It would be unprofessional and un-conscientious for the therapist to send the analysand packing ('No! Next!') with only the answer to the question they asked.

This is also a letter (like the very, very many) where you implicitly and 100% share my advice to the basic question ('don't contact this guy'), producing much of the same reasoning (in some cases you present this first; in others, I do)--but for some reason, agreement isn't enough for you. I don't think this is only because you want me to hold to a restrictively narrow interpretation of people's letters.


None of us know exactly how creepy this behavior was (if she had a first name and which institution he worked at, whether she had neither, or some combination of both). The fact that she mentions tracking him down by his photo (and not by his name) and the use of the indefinite article "a" and vague phrase "in our area" when describing the university (not "our local university" or "the university in our city/metroplex") indicate to me she had neither, but it is not 100% clear either way. We also don't know if she found this information relatively easily or whether it took hours or days to track down. What we do know is that this man did not want to be tracked down (he only mentioned his place of employment "once") and is extremely unlikely to respond favorably to contact, which at best seems mildly creepy and at worst full on harassment. The letter writer knows this herself because she feels the need to say she is not a crazy stalker and admits "this is a spectacularly bad idea" with the potential to "freak out" the former fling. I don't think this woman is a full on psychopath but there is a good chance he will think she is and almost no chance he will be happy to hear from her and want to hook up again.

Most of us have engaged in some light or even intense stalking online and as long as it stays there it's probably OK, but to me contacting someone like this (in a way that could cause harm to their career, relationships, or make them feel unsafe) crosses a serious line.


Agreed BDF, just referring to the idea that it would be weird or uncommon to hook up with someone four times without knowing his first name. In the context of CL, it would not be weird or uncommon, even though in most other contexts it would.

Harriet, a therapist can ask questions and has a background for a person. You do not. Speculation is fine, but when you speculate about things that are not mentioned anywhere nor even implied, it's a bit weird because you are just literally making things up. Here's your questions: "Has she in fact had equally great NSA sex with other guys? Or is she wondering whether she wants more than NSA sex?" Since there is no information beyond the letter, I think it's a good idea to read her actual words. Those words indicate that yes, the sex with this man was uniquely and consistently excellent. She says the NSA sex with other guys ranged but was mostly awesome. She says nothing whatsoever about wanting anything more than sex. So if you are just going to make up that she wants things other than sex with no information to support that, you could make up anything you want. Maybe she wants a guy who will take her horseback riding and this guy looks good in a saddle. Maybe she wants someone who cooks a good vegan chickpea shakshuka. Maybe she wants to try out cock and ball torture. Maybe he is a professor of religious studies and she's considering becoming an Ahmadi. Maybe he told her he's a herpes specialist and she's landscaping her backyard and wants to install a pond to attract frogs and she got confused about his area of expertise. The possibilities for insertion of fiction into the letter are literally endless, go for something fun.


@EmmaLiz @BiDanFan @Traffic Spiral:
Sorry, I am a liar. I'm back. I just can't back down from an argument, especially if I'm directly addressed. God, where to begin? Why do you keep insisting that I'm saying harassment of a woman (esp in the service industry) is OK? I have never said that, not here, not ever in my life.

But I do think a lot of this paranoia is part of a grievance culture that this far side of the left likes to perpetuate. This constant obsession with victimhood, and so forth. A friend of mine (yeah, go ahead and turn that into friend of a friend of an aunt's neighbor) was listening to an interview on NPR (I think it was NPR) with a woman who worked in student services at a local university. The stuff that female students on the campus reported was absurd (which was part of her point). "A guy looked at me, a guy talked to me after class, a guy made eye contact with me for too long." I have to think these are not aberrations; they've definitely picked up on something in the culture that makes them think they're justified in trying to ruin someone's life over those non-issues. But this does NOT mean I think that women do not get harassed, and that there is not danger! I fully believe that women feel afraid walking to their cars in a dark parking lot, and I understand why. Obviously there is a risk. But the majority of guys do not pose this risk and (assuming you are all female?) you do not know what it feels like to constantly worry that your actions or movements or attitude are going to be misconstrued because you've been stereotyped because of the actions of a few. I've seen direct examples of how innocent comments have resulted in social humiliation and stigma on the part of a guy at a female co-worker's mere say-so (happened at my wife's office...the guy was completely innocent of any wrong doing, but there was no chance for him to even make his case.) This is the sort of grievance culture I'm talking about, and I think it's directly related to this fear the LW has to even APPROACH a guy she'd already had sex with (setting aside the detail that CL shut this down a long time ago, so how long as she been stalking him? Yeah, in that case, she is being creepy. Or maybe she hasn't and just wants to rekindle something, which, in my view, is perfectly innocent. People do this. But they won't, not if the puritanical woke have anything to say about it.)


Mikara, the conversation would be so much more interesting if we were talking about actual Puritans. Like if the guys who cold approach waitresses go back home and find all their livestock has died and respond by calling the witch finder general (but first had to hide their boxing gloves). Your resentment politics SJW stuff, meh, it's not being expressed here anyway so I don't know why you are projecting your grievances into this situation. If you are pissed off about this, go to some college campus and find some kid who spends a lot of time on Tumblr and yell at them. Be sure to film it and upload it to YouTube. Do people get falsely accused of things. Yes. Do people get away with abusive behavior? Also, yes. Do either of these things have jack shit to do with whether or not someone should flirt with their waitress or contact their anon hookup at work? No. Am I starting to realize I'm manic and jet lagged? Yes.


@77. Venn. Re Tom Hanks I'm thinking of his Best Actor Oscar for Philadelphia playing a gay lawyer--a role that depended on his ordinarily embodying an American everyman, and having a public persona in which it was well-known that, unlike many Hollywood actors, he was not gay. There would not have been the same admiration for the performance had it been supposed he was gay. There was a smidgen--this was 1994--of 'oh, wow, great acting, you convinced us you were gay!', which I wouldn't find altogether tasteful (and didn't take well to at the time).

To me it's like athletics or weightlifting. 'Best female', 'best male'--the categories are no longer fit for purpose. There should be categories for persons with different levels of naturally occurring testosterone in their bloodstream. As there are in the SL columns--bands of people with more or less endogenous cortisol floating around ;)


Also Mikara, you keep saying that it is this grievance culture stuff that is causing people to say she should not contact him. That would be more convincing if people didn't give ACTUAL reasons why she should not contact him. If you think these actual reasons are flawed, you could respond to those reasons instead of ignoring them and reasserting your claim that we're actually motivated by SJW victimhood.

Also do people who are upset about SJW stuff and id pol really and victimhood but simultaneously upset about what how they perceive this victimizes het men really and truly not see that they are likewise playing the id pol victimization game? I've all along assumed this was a tactic and not a real belief, but I think Sporty's recent statements have convinced me otherwise. Anyhoo, I should prolly go to bed.


@emmaliz: I’m probably manic as well, and honestly this kind of back and forth obsession on my part seems confined to comments sections. Ugh. Don’t get the wrong impression, I’m not totally anti so called SJWs, but I also don’t agree with certain aspects of their approach. But in the big picture? Yes. I mean Jesus, I used to amuse myself by going to Red Pill Reddits and shredding those man children to pieces. One of my pet peeves is the entitlement that many men have that being “nice” entitles them to a woman’s attention.

Anyway, I’ll just leave it alone for reals now. I have to go to my retail job and take orders from high school seniors 20 years younger than me.


Mikara: you have had basic concepts repeatedly and clearly explained to you. At this point you're just making up weird urban legends in order to try and justify your position. It's a wrong position. I don't care what your friend said s/he heard someone else say once on the radio - men are not being pilloried for accidentally looking at people because we've become prudes in the past ten years.

Assholes who ignore centuries-old basic decency rules are being called out even when they're rich and powerful and their targets aren't, sure, but that's a different story.

P.S. Are you seriously saying a woman's fear of assault or harassment is worse than a man's fear of being called a jerk? Really? God, you're dumb.


@Traffic Spiral: Jesus I can't stay away.
Congrats on being the first with the name calling. Well done.
No, I'm not saying that; you're twisting what I'm saying and putting words in my mouth. I'm saying that the fear women have over the actions of a few does not justify petty grievance. Walking alone in a parking lot at night after a guy was leering at you is not the same as being vaguely uncomfortable with banter and then ruining someone's reputation.

So I've had it explained to me, have I? If I disagree I'm just an idiot? Do as I'm told, think what I'm told to think?

Oh, and those examples are urban legends, are they? 'cause you say so? No they are not. They are real, very real, examples. Sorry if you'd prefer they weren't. Someone here (was it you?) said I wasn't giving examples to back up what I was saying. When I do, suddenly they're anecdotal urban legends, aberrations, etc etc that don't apply to the REAL situation?


Mikara @177: To clarify, I am NOT claiming that you are saying that harassment of women in the service industry is OK. I am saying that asking women in the service industry out may not be "harassment" BUT IS STILL NOT APPROPRIATE.

Yes, okay, it sucks to be stereotyped as a Potential Rapist when you are not one. But seriously? The worst thing that is happening to you is that women are crossing the street when they are walking alone near you, and that hurts your feelings. The worst thing that is happening to us is that we are being raped and murdered. No comparison. Until (other) men stop raping and murdering women, being the "victim" of too much caution is just gonna have to be the price you pay. Again, if you don't like it, get involved with rape prevention efforts -- by which I mean educating men, the worst of whom will never listen to women.


@Mikara (#77) : I believe that calling the people--virtually all of whom are women--on this comment thread who are trying to tell you what it's like to be flirted with or harassed at work or who say that this lw shouldn't follow up on her stalking this guy by sending an unsolicited email to his place of employment "puritanical woke" is one of the most absurd things I have read here in the Savage Love comments--ever.

You addressed BiDanFan, who is bi and poly, Emma Liz, who I believe once used to be an exotic dancer and whose marriage was once open and who admits to enjoying completely anonymous sex, and Traffic Spiral (whom I can't remember any specific details about, but who has never seemed puritanical)--there couldn't be three less likely candidates for the descriptor "puritanical" than them. If you're including me without naming me, or LavaGirl, I don't think we fit the description of puritanical either.

When I was a young woman, men shut down any woman's objection to being harassed or solicited by calling her a prude. I know I fucked men simply because I didn't want that label, which was anathema, at least to me, aspiring to sophistication and being an enlightened free spirit, child of the sexual revolution, blah blah blah--what you might call "woke"--though I tend to use that word to address people who are aware of social injustice and try to correct it. (Yes, I am a SJW in the real sense of the word, and fucking proud of it.) That was men taking advantage of my wanting not to seem puritanical and me being young and stupid and easily cowed and not wanting to risk being labeled a prude by men I didn't even like or care to continue to know. I have been examining the assumptions of my youth a lot lately, particularly in light of the Kavanaugh debacle, and I realize I internalized a lot of shit as a teen and young woman.

But you know what? That's juvenile. I mean, your calling people the "puritanical woke" because they don't get on board with your apparent creed of: it's men's right to come on to any woman they see any where they see her and under any circumstances and if women object, they're perpetuating a "grievance culture."

Your story of your parents' meeting is charming, like something out of a Nicholas Sparks rom com. It has nothing to do with the realities of being a woman working in the service industry and being hit on multiple times in a day, yes, sometimes politely; yes, sometimes by men she finds attractive; yes, even sometimes by men she decides to date. So what? Most of the come ons are awkward or creepy or unfunny or unappealing. Many of the men are decades older, stare at her like a piece of meat, are crude. Sometimes they explicitly proposition her crudely.
She can't walk away. She has to smile, to pretend to think the lame approach is cute, so the customer will come back or not complain about her to management. Because if her livelihood depends on customer service, she can't be abrupt or rude. Especially if she's a waitress, who really relies on customer tips to pay the bills.

Your parents' meet cute also has nothing to do with a woman who stalks a man who has made his preference to not have contact with her abundantly clear.

And when women point that out, you, like the Ghost of Men Past resort to calling them the 2019 equivalent of "prude," with jabs at their politics thrown in for good measure. I'm sort of surprised you didn't use the word "snowflake."

Instead of doubling--and tripling--down, maybe you could listen to the women here. They are the ones with the lived experience. Personally, I never minded being hit on or flirted with when I was at work, as long as it was not done in a gross or disgusting manner. But just because I didn't get bothered by it doesn't mean I don't understand why women do. And it doesn't preclude me understanding the system behind it all.


@BiDanFan: That is not the worst that could happen, and it's not the worst that has happened. Thank god there are apparently people in student services who are reasonable enough not to act on what are, according to this woman being interviewed, shockingly common but petty accusations. In any case, you are conflating reasonable caution (crossing the street, taking mace when walking in a dark parking lot, reacting to a specifically and overtly creepy situation) with officially tagging a guy as a potential threat (and by officially I mean taking actual action with appropriate entities) over of minor issues, and thereby ruining him, as in my examples. But eh, man up, right? Check you PRIVILEGE.

So you feel comfortable saying that asking a woman in the service industry out is never OK? NEVER? You're comfortable making that kind of blanket statement, deciding what all women want? Dictating how two people in public comport themselves? That's some authority you've given yourself.


@184 nocutename:
To quote you: "That's juvenile. I mean, your calling people the "puritanical woke" because they don't get on board with your apparent creed of: it's men's right to come on to any woman they see any where they see her and under any circumstances and if women object, they're perpetuating a "grievance culture."

I have never said that, and you know it. I don't think it's OK for men to do that. However, I do take issue with the idea that it's NEVER ok to flirt with women in the service industry, and with the idea that it's justifiable to see all men as a threat and then act accordingly. Saying that does not mean I'm some kind of MRA. And you said I don't know what it's like to be a woman? No, I don't. And you don't know what it's like to be a man, but that doesn't stop the woke (yup, sticking with that word) crowd from dictating all kinds of things about men's intentions. This kind of "you can't say that because of your identity" THING is very Orwellian. And it's a really tired trope. I'm capable of observing the world and forming opinions, and believe it or not, I haven't just arrived at these ideas by thinking about them all by my male self, alone, while contributing to the Red Pill. As hard as it may be to believe, a good number of them came from women. Including my wife, who used to be a goddamn escort in NYC. (For what it's worth, she said she didn't once feel threatened by any of her clients, only her "pimp" (as she called him) who kept asking her out.) And don't dare put the term "men's rights" in my mouth. As I said earlier, I used to go to the Red Pill subreddits and just rail on those little boys. I have never, ever said or thought that men have a RIGHT to anything from women.

And yes, I do think many of the opinions here are puritanical, and I think it's absolutely possible for a person to be puritanical no matter what your avocation, and no matter how much casual sex you have. I see it as having a strict and narrow set of rules that try to dictate everyone's behavior; it doesn't even have to be related to sex.


Mikara @185, you're clearly too angry to continue this conversation in a reasonable manner. The man in your example was not "ruined"; he suffered some embarrassment, but he kept his job, yes? Did you consider that the woman in the story, the recipient of the comment which was intended innocently but did not come across as such, also suffered from negative feelings such as objectification, disrespect, disgust in the workplace? Either people's feelings matter or they don't. Ideally, your friend learned to choose his words more carefully at work, and how can that be a bad thing?

I'm leaving the discussion for now; if you come back ready to listen and not attack with hyperbole (I literally stated how to appropriately hit on someone in the service industry in my post @156), I'm happy to take it from there.


Over the years I have met a handful of women in their work situations where there was obvious attraction and flirting going on. Went on a handful of dates and a couple turned into “serious” relationships. I don’t think the rule is NEVER hit on someone at work. The rule is, use tact and common sense and don’t be an asshole. “You seem really nice, if you would like to get together sometime here is my number” is non-threatening and leaves the ball in their court. If they really are interested in you, you’ll get the call. If not, nothing ventured, nothing gained. This, of course, assumes a fair amount of interaction has taken place, you don’t just walk up to any random person and say, “Hey, baby, wanna fuck?” (although that is exactly the approach my namesake “DonnyK” used in college, but he was an idiot and got his face slapped routinely...deservedly so... with the rare, one-out-of-thirty times exception when it actually worked and she said, sure! But times have changed since 40 years ago and I wouldn’t advocate it now. Hell, I didn’t advocate it then.)


This isn't hard. Men don't get to decide what is (in)appropriate interaction with women in the service industry, just as white people don't get to decide what is and isn't racist.


@187 BiDanFan: When all else fails, just declare that the person you disagree with is being angry and unreasonable, right? As if feelings aren't running high from most people here. By the way, you may have noticed that at least one other person in this discussion has already broken out the petty insults. Wanna direct any accusations at her? Naa? Ok.

I see how you're taking the side of the female coworker with no details beyond what I've said. And I'm not surprised. I never said that particular guy's life was ruined (or it wasn't my intention, anyway) but he was very humiliated and for no reason. And in a professional setting, it could very well have led to his being ruined. But, whatevs, right? He needed to be taken down a peg or two; even if it was unjustified, he'll get over it. It was worth demeaning him to help ease her petty discomfort. Interesting, coming from the crowd that coined (or at least ran with) the term "microaggression."


@186: Mikara, I don't have the time or patience to go back through the comments and see if anyone said that it's "NEVER ok to flirt with women in the service industry;" what a lot of are saying is that people shouldn't be harassed at their place of employment. That's relatively easy to understand, isn't it? And not once has anyone spouted the idea that "it's justifiable to see all men as a threat and then act accordingly."

It was men who shifted this conversation away from CREEP's specific situation, and some, like Sportlandia, are still saying what's the big deal if she sends the guy an email at work? You don't know until you try and if he doesn't want to see her again, he'll tell her so and no harm, no foul (words to that effect. I'm not pretending to quote him verbatim). It was a man--maybe you, maybe Dadddy, I can't remember and I'm not going to comb through 180-something comments--who brought up the idea that women were saying it was NEVER okay to approach someone cold and ask them out.

Not one woman here has said that all men are threats and that they should be treated like dangerous rapists at all times. Stop with the fucking hyperbole. Stop with the inapplicable analogies, like your parents' meeting or a woman at a college complaining about being looked at.

If you want to characterize the position that people deserve to be able to perform their work with dignity as a prudish or puritanical one, then I guess no one can reason you out of that attitude. If that's your idea of being a puritan, then please sign me up for the buckled shoes. I wear a size 8.


I personally rarely felt that a man who flirted with me while I was waiting tables or bartending was dangerous. There were guys that were dangerous, but that's different. Creepy, yes, but not usually. Usually it just annoyed me specifically because I'm at work and cannot respond naturally. My naturally bossy salty arrogant personality is muted- like most of us, I have to adopt a socially appropriate persona in order to do the job that paid my bills. My actual ability to feed and house myself depending on "being nice". This means grinning and bearing it and apologizing when someone wanted to complain about some stupid shit or yell at me because they were having a bad day or whatever. You know how when people tell you a long story that you don't give a fuck about and you have to listen and respond with fake laughter to be polite because you are at work? That's how it feels when someone flirts with you at work- it's all about them, you are their captive audience, you cannot be genuine in response- only on top of this tediousness, it's sometimes also insulting or condescending b/c a lot of guys (including those who do not see themselves as creeps) have backhanded insults in their flirting. PUA types actually teach this- subtle insults to the girl you flirt with- but it happens a lot actually, my guess is it's self-defensive against rejection or some buried resentment coming out, I dunno. But often there was more than a hint that I, mere service industry worker, should be flattered that a man with money would give me attention. Overall, I just don't see why anyone would want to make a person feel any of these things, especially since people cannot be themselves at work so the person you are flirting with is not the person that they really are anyway. Each individual encounter itself is no big deal, but the whole experience grinds at you over time. It does not feel good to repeatedly swallow your pride or ignore subtle insults. And I suspect that most guys who call you over to chat or show off do not think of themselves as creeps even though they are. And sure, probably most of them are not creeps at all, but why take liberties in the first place with someone who is literally being paid to be nice to you? My main feeling was that these guys were foolish.

Sure, it ALSO happened that I met cool people at work, became friends with them, and yes like I said, dated some of them. This is also common, especially in bars that are in a neighborhood like where I bartended- several of the customers were friends outside of work as well or at least knew others who I knew or were part of the same music scene or lived in the same apartment complexes etc. This is why I disagree with BDF and Traffic that you should never ask out a service industry worker- in reality a lot of people make friends/dates this way. Instead I advice against any cold approaches and agree (again oddly enough) with Daddy's advice here. The best way I can describe this distinction is, only do it if there is real rapport and genuine interest - not just because you think your waitress is hot. And if you repeatedly have trouble understanding social cues, then err on the side of caution.


@nocutename: For the fucking thousandth goddamn time, I am not saying harassment at work is OK. Jesus Christ. I know you want, very very badly, to think that I'm saying that, but I'm not. And never have. And you goddamn well know I'm not saying that they're being prudish and puritanical because they want to pursue their work with dignity. I can't even begin to fathom where you got that one.

If you want to take the time to argue with what I'm saying, maybe you should go through the comments to see what I'm responding to. But it's easier to just scold, I suppose.


I'm sorry, Mikara. Who is scolding, again? I can't remember. It couldn't be the person telling us that we're puritanical and promoting a culture of victimization, could it?


Simple solution: let the woman (or the server/barista/etc.) do the asking.


@EmmaLiz 192. Well said. I mean, I guess we've disagreed harshly here, but I honestly agree with everything you wrote in that comment. That's pretty much my entire opinion on this issue. (I'm sure you may have disagreed with OTHER things I've brought up, but at least on the details of your 192 comment, I'm in 100% agreement.)


BTW I was never an exotic dancer but I did wait tables and bartend in a topless bar. I also waited tables and bartended in regular restaurants and in a neighborhood pub. For the purposes of this conversation, I have not referenced any of my experiences in the topless bar since I think the rules there are different. Though I will add that it's absolutely ASTOUNDING how many men who patronize topless bars really and truly believe that the women they are paying to serve them are actually genuinely attracted to them and interested in being with them. This was quite an eye-opening experience to my younger self. But what I'm talking about here is work in the part of the service industry that has zero crossover with sex work since I think flirting and asking out in a topless bar has its own very different set of norms.


Aaaand, I'm out. I've spent too much time here today already. I need to get back to work, where I assume I won't get an email from some dude I have done my utmost to make sure only hear from if I initiate the communication.



Nothing else is failing, Mikara @190. You're lashing out, using hyperbole, putting words into our mouths. It's ridiculous. See you tomorrow.


@194 nocutename: Oh, I guess you could characterize what I've done as scolding, if telling people maybe they should scold others constantly is scolding, sure, I'll own that. But at least I've tried to make sure I knew what was being referenced rather than being too lazy to see if it was a valid response.


@108. Dadddy. You ask for a male-inclusive discussion, then take it for granted that it will always be the guy chatting up female service staff. Well ... if it is, it's because of pervasive sexism in society--lots of different forms of sexism, including the idea that women are more amenable and better suited to customer-facing low-level or low-paying jobs. The framing of the question--'how can a customer establish relations with a serving-person, such that it's OK to ask her out?'--is also iffy. People decide to go out on dates when they get along; and they know they get along after they've talked for a bit. The non-contentious boilerplate should be, 'talk to the hot barista just in a friendly way and put away any thoughts of 'flirting', 'asking out', 'an approach', e.g. 'a cold approach', 'a warm approach''. Perhaps you'll just get on as people; and the genuine (not ulterior-purpose) human contact will lift both your days. This would be enough and might be a first step to something more.

Bi's 'there's no way to hit on a barista without being a creep' (or words to that effect) is correct.


Mikara, you keep saying you disagree with this or that comment and then when it is explained to you, that you agree or you change the conversation, etc. I honestly don't know what you are arguing about except some bogey man that you created. Again, I recommend that you instead go get mad at whoever all these prudish SJWs are that want to scold men for ever hitting on women. I suspect they are hard to find outside of Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson videos. But let's pretend for a second that they DO exist, that this issue IS new, and that they DO have power. As a result, let's say their extreme agenda of ending all cold approaches is achieved and men now can never again hit on random women in public or else those men will be flogged in the town square. Let's say that if the random women in public also happen to be at work, then these men will not only be flogged, but also subjected to cock and ball torture while an angry mob of SJWs yell at them to smile. Would this have any effect on the ability of het people to date and/or hook up? I'd say the effect would be miniscule. Because as much as SOME men want to defend their ability to hit on random women in public while likewise bemoaning the burden of having to initiate these encounters, they mostly amount to nothing more than annoying women - most of the time they fail, most people (couples or hookups) do not meet this way. So if we did indeed have the power to wave a wand to reduce complex human behavior to simple rules like "don't approach random strangers in public especially if they are at work" then it would ultimately do more good than harm- the benefits would be far fewer annoyed and harassed women, far fewer men complaining about the sting of rejection and the burden of having to initiate random encounters, and hardly any noticeable reduction in the number of successful het hookups and relationships. So who gives a fuck if all those SJWs win and you are no longer "allowed" to randomly approach people at work. I agree with BDF that you would do much better to argue your cause with the men making things hard for you. But you keep ignoring these things, just like you keep ignoring the actual reasons it would be bad for the LW to write to her anon hookup. Since the actual reasons have nothing at all to do with the grievances of campus SJWs, I don't know why you keep talking about that instead. But of course I have my suspicions.


Fuck off Mikara. @177. Grievance culture the far left like to cultivate? And all the other shit you’ve been mouthing off about. Who the fuck are you anyway. I can’t remember reading your posts before. You up on this Canadian jerk’s sexist crap words too? Who cares. You and idiot men like you give decent men a bad name.
Don’t hit on women while they work. Don’t hit on women when they have looked you in the eye and their eyes say ‘ Not Interested.’
If you are too fucking stupid to read other people’s non verbal behaviour, then I guess since forever some poor woman has got to put up with your fumbling words when she thought she’d cued you pretty clearly that she’s not interested, so please go away.
Fuck you Mikara. Women get raped, attacked, murdered, and you talk of victim culture. Go home and rave at your wife mate. The women here are not interested in your bull shit.


@112. slinky. Truly sterling work explaining about cishet male socialization and how it would be good for these people--very broadly generalising--to learn empathy.

@143. Lava. Thank you for your surprising support.

@145. Bi. You're right. That is what I meant.

Re 'resiliency', while it would be a good thing to learn, I can't help thinking it would be better to work towards creating an environment where coping skills aren't needed. Take cat-calling. Rather than learning to cope with it, we should collectively be trying to do away with it.


BTW in case I need to spell it out for you, the conclusion I'm drawing is that a heartfelt and obsessive defense of the right of het men to apply a dating strategy that fails 99% of the time actually has very little to do with het men's interest in dating and everything to do with their feelings of entitlement. Likewise with their resentment over the so-called victimization and prudishness of SJWs and their supposed attacks on men, when literally half the states in this country have restricted the rights of women in the last few months (including attacks on even birth control today) and zero have restricted the rights of men AND when the entire lauded MeToo movement did not send anyone to jail (that I can think of) nor even cost anyone more than a job (but not their wealth) and most of the time not even that. Even if you are correct and the culture is scolding, so the fuck what. Get mad about the real shit, not the fact that most people will think you are a pig if you hit on the poor person pouring your coffee.


@EmmaLiz - I would guess that the reason you might be confused is that there are many different issues being argued here, and yes, I've contributing to expanding this discussion beyond what it probably should have been. My overall point is that approaching a person (even in the service industry) can be OK, but harassing is not.

But I really am done going back and forth on this. No one is changing anyone's minds and the issue has become so convoluted and all encompassing that it's pointless to try to sort it out. At least that's my view. My examples don't work in your opinion, but no examples means I'm making it up, I guess. I think they do work, but you don't, and that's that. It honestly does bother me that you have suspicions because I've used campuses as my example. Well, it's what I know. Most of my career has been on college campus or in orgs that work closely with them. And no, I don't have a single thing in my past related to inappropriate behavior with college students. If you want to use that to assume I have some creepy backstory, then I can't stop you.

I'm out. Really out. Done. Not responding any more.


No I'm not confused Mikara. I understand that you see a distinction between harassing and approaching someone in person. I understand also that you see a distinction between polite approaches and creepy. No one here is confused about that despite the fact that you keep claiming they are. What I'm telling you is A) the person doing the hitting on public often is not a good judge of whether or not his behavior is harassing and/or creepy, and you especially seem to have trouble with this if your posts are any indication despite the fact that you don't think you do, B) even when it is not creepy or harassing, it's still unwanted and a failed strategy almost all of the time with almost all women so it's weird that you want to defend it so much.

And most importantly, as much as you've banged on about all this, you have repeatedly refused to actually address the specific issues raised regarding the LW, instead deferring to personal arguments and cultural complaints.


@EmmaLiz: Sorry for misidentifying your prior job.
I liked your comment @205.


Mikara @193: "If you want to take the time to argue with what I'm saying, maybe you should go through the comments to see what I'm responding to. But it's easier to just scold, I suppose."

Couldn't have said it better myself.


@171. Emma. Only 25% of college teachers have hopes of tenure? Wow! As little as that...? Do the figures include TAs? Checking my privilege, I'm taking these facts on board! The profession is too precarious and needs to be set on some other basis, I would feel. My supposition was that a tenured prof would have a personal webpage and that the non-tenured adjuncts would have their courses and contacts listed behind a 'student login'--like on an online course catalog. This is true for some schools I'm familiar with, but I readily accept that it won't be true of all. No view on whether the guy she fucked was a Professor or an adjunct.


See cbu, this is what we women have to put up with from lots of men. Them defining our reality.
I’d be a gay man if I could, even though there’s no woman around to suss the finer details: gay men can’t get pregnant and it looks like they have fun. Or Bi. Yes, I wish I was bi.


It's not against the law to be an asshole. Everyone has the choice of being an asshole. All you have to do is ignore the desires and concerns of the people you are interacting with.

But some people enjoy getting along with others and don't want to be an asshole and would like to learn how to be more polite instead. Talking about cares and concerns of individuals is the only way to figure out what "polite" is.

I think Mikara's wife should try to change her workplace culture as much as possible with his support, since she is inside it, and has some understanding of possibly frivolous accusations, and how they've affected someone else's career negatively.

Frivolous harassment complaints should not ruin the accused's reputation, this is part of a larger societal problem, arrest records without convictions can also cause career problems, sometimes " blaming the victim" is encouraged in our culture, I'll leave the cliche complementary example out. It's unclear if any HR departments enforce some sort of discipline based on frivolous complaints. I would hope not.

I hope Mikara listens to the pain of the women who are commenting here, as well as the pain of his wife's male coworker.

Thank you BiDanFan, it's always nice to read you.
I think basic social equality is cool. The Justice Warrior thing always struck me as a bit overblown. It would be nice if we could communicate without Waring.
Cbt/cbd/cock&ball torture lol


Mikara, I have no opinions about your actual real life behaviors. I have suspicions about the origins of your grievances and resentments as well as of your ability to interpret social cues or other people's perspectives. That does not mean I think that you actually act in any inappropriate way in real life and I never indicated such- I don't know you. You could be shy in real life for all I know. My suspicions are that you spend a lot of time nurturing resentment and feeling like men are being bullied by all the mean intolerant campus activist feminists and id pol SJWs, not that you actually go out and hit on random women or students. For one thing, if you actually did a lot of that, you'd probably have a much better experience of what social cues are and then you wouldn't be confusing your parents rom-com style cutesy story with random cold approaches. As I said, despite Daddy's misogyny, you can tell from his posts that he does in fact date and interact with women out there in the real world- if your actual motivation is to get dates or get laid (rather than just defend men from supposed victimization and scolding) then you'd drop the cold approach as an option just because it's totally nonstrategic. It does not require respect for the experiences of another person to see this, though that too would be nice. But I don't think you are motivated by a desire to either be more skillful in your approach to dating NOR more mindful of others' perspectives. I think you are motivated by a desire to nurse resentment- those are my suspicions for you, not your actual real life behavior which could be benevolent for all I know/care. I'm clarifying this because I don't want you to walk away with the view that a woman has accused you of bad behavior just because we disagreed, another male victim of feminist hysteria, etc. I don't see where anyone here has accused you of anything (though maybe I missed it) but I do see plenty of times when you have interpreted comments that way.


There are several levels between part-time adjunct faculty and a tenured (full) professorship. Most schools rely heavily on adjunct faculty. Some schools have phased out the tenure system. When tenured professors (whether full or associate, because the majority of professors never make the rank of full professor) retire, many institutions aren't replacing them with tenure-line positions. It's far easier to higher an adjunct, whom you can pay poorly, not give benefits to, and fire at will by not picking them up next semester. They're plentiful, and pathetically grateful for the chance to use their PhD doing what they've dreamed and trained to do for close to a decade. It's disgraceful.

The guy in CREEP's case could be a grad student TA, an adjunct, an assistant professor (generally untenured), an associate professor (frequently, though not always, tenured), or a full professor. He could also be a visiting lecturer, an instructor, or a senior instructor. There are lots of teaching positions at colleges and universities.

So what? He could be a janitor and the issue would still be the same.

But most faculty aren't making bank. Adjuncts can BARELY survive. Assistant profs have difficulty making ends meet. Those are most faculty members. Not that any of this has anything to do with CREEP's letter or her dilemma.


Lesbian and bi women have given me the eye, and in return energy, I’ve declined. And every one of those women accepted my rejection, without saying a word and making it awkward.
I’ll give you grievance bud. If a woman is sitting by herself in a coffee shop, reading a book, on her lap top.. it means she’s concentrating on her inner life, her work life. Leave Her Alone.
If a woman is sitting at a bar, alone, or with a couple of friends, looking around the room. What do you think they are looking for? Yes. That’s right. A bit of action. So then, go audition.
Yes, if a man is sure this woman and he have something, like grievance man dad did, fine. Make a move.
Hitting on random women in the street, makes you like dogs, sniffing away at every post or shrub they see.


@176. Emma. Maybe you've hit the nail on the head with the Ahmadi conversion thing ;) .

I think we have to speak in the same way as we would, were we in the position of the therapist. As if we knew more, as if we could ask for background. Dan presumably engages in email/messaging exchange with as many of his correspondents as he can, and tries to find out more about their situations. Often, it seems that would be the better course than just opining or shooting from the hip--but it isn't available to us. In practice, I wouldn't say, though, that it's the m.o. of the commenters just to give thumbs-ups or thumbs-down to the lw s' suggestions e.g. 'should I contact this guy?' People don't just say, 'that is a spectacularly bad idea!'. They try to take into account the features of the situation (that they know of) that make it a real person's problem--or that make it problematic, not just a slam-dunk, for a specific person.