Except there’s a small problem: Women don’t want you to hit on them in public.
Sure, some women may not mind being approached when they’re out and about — or at least tolerate it quietly — but there’s a growing groundswell of women pushing back against being hit on in public. Last year, anti-street harassment organisation Hollaback! produced a viral (and controversial) video exposé of a woman being relentlessly catcalled as she walks through New York City while being secretly filmed, and women are starting to call these so-called “compliments” what they really are: catcalling and street harassment. Rather than feeling flattered, women report feeling uncomfortable and unsafe when they are approached in this way, and for good reason. Women have spoken up loud and clear about our preferences, and it’s clear now that men approaching us in public spaces with romantic or sexual motives is almost always unwanted.
But as women, we have the right to leave our homes without every idle bus ride or dash to the corner store turning into an unsolicited singles mingle — and running commentary while we conduct our affairs (“Hey babe, can I get a smile? What’s that book you’re reading?”) is tiresome and unwelcome. While any one of those comments seems harmless in isolation, they pile up over the course of a day, leaving us feeling like prey; drained, uncomfortable and exposed.
This leads to an obvious follow-up question: How are guys supposed to meet women, then? And surely there are some women who want to be approached? Of course there are, and the answer is simple: Approach women who have put themselves in dating environments.
With the powers of modern technology, this is not at all difficult, and millions of women are quite literally at your fingertips. Dating sites and apps like Tinder and OkCupid are ubiquitous, free and require little more of you than access to a smartphone and a few flattering pics. Women on these sites have explicitly put themselves forward as being interested in dating. Of course, they have no obligation to date you in particular, and you are still at risk of rejection, but a polite and well-thought out approach will be welcome even if you don’t ultimately hit it off.
FUCK THIS BULLSHIT. ALL OF YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I DO HOW MUCH WE ARE FUCKED ON ONLINE DATING.