This drives me mad. I used to work in a bookstore, and was talking to my coworker and he just yelled out “stop flirting with me!” at this ridiculous volume and it was humiliating because
1. I wasn’t
2. I got in trouble for acting unprofessional
3. He embarrassed me in front of a line of people
4. And he only stopped insisting that I was flirting when my boyfriend (who is now my husband) said, “dude, trust me, she’s not flirting with you” to him
That asshole respected my BOYFRIEND saying I wasn’t flirting more than he respected me saying it and I was the one who was talking! The whole scene got me in trouble at work. And the most ridiculous part is we were talking about a fucking book. In a bookstore.
One time, my ex boyfriend had a crush on some girl, and said that he thought he might have “a chance” with her.
When I asked him what made him think that, he said “Well, she talks to me.”
And this is why it is so difficult to be a girl and be friends with men who are attracted to women.
Can we also add that this is why a lot of women do the resting bitch face when out in public. Cause dudes swear a glance or a smile is flirting.
So yesterday something that perfectly illustrates this happened. I work at a fast food place and this guy comes in at 7am on a Sunday, still probably drunk from the night before, and when I smiled and said goodmorning he said “Did you just say that because you’re being paid to say that?”
I repressed my urge to sarcastically answer, and said “Nope, I just enjoy saying hi to everyone!” To which he responded, “Oh, so you weren’t flirting with me then.”
Dude, I’m not flirting with your gross 7am-on-a-Sunday-ass, trust me.
My defense mechanism when I’m uncomfortable at work is to smile, so I did that and said “Is there anything I can get you this morning?” to which he responded,
"There, you just smiled! What does that mean?"
At this point I was fed up, so I said,
"I smile at everyone sir, its just what I do. What can I get you, coffee, a bagel?"
And he said “I’m gonna be watching to see if you smile at everyone. I don’t like it when girls lie to me” and then ordered a coffee and a muffin like he hadn’t just said something at 11 on the “Is this guy a serial rapist” scale (where 0 is ‘no’ and 10 is ‘Yes, run away as fast as you can right now.”).
Then he sat there for another hour and a half, staring at me from his table. When he got up and left he came back to the counter, and said “You do smile at everyone. That’s fucked up.” and walked out.
I can’t even be innocuously polite and pleasant to people at my job (where customer service is the number one thing we are supposed to be focusing on) for fear of this shit happening. What happens if he had decided to wait until my shift was over?
New Rule: If she’s at work, SHE’S NOT FLIRTING WITH YOU.
there are a lot of good takeaways from this thread, but mainly it reinforces my belief that hitting on servers (especially women) while at work is all sorts of screwed up because emotional labor is a very big part of their job and reading too much into that is presumptuous as hell.
No one’s mentioned it in thread here (perhaps in the comments if I check?) but this is so rape culture it’s terrifying. Women must SO be available to all men all the time that ANY interaction between a woman and a man MUST equal flirting if it’s remotely pleasant or polite.
Which gets compounded with the hetero guys and girls can’t ‘just’ be friends and ‘don’t trust your girl if she’s friends with a guy’. Which some try to say is; ‘Oh I trust her, I just don’t trust him’. But the WHY of not trusting the guy is the same. The knowledge and awareness that women are meant to be available to all men at all times, until such time as a singular man stamps a claim on her and ‘good’ men will respect the ‘no trespassing’ sign.
And of course, this aspect of rape culture, this BEDROCK of rape culture explains ‘gay panic’ with hetero dudes. The thought that another guy could be interpreting anything polite or remotely pleasant THEY do as flirting…
The current era panic so high men and boys are throwing out that awful ‘no homo’ in order to ‘set the record straight’ - Pun intended. So much misogyny just embedded in culture.
One last note:
Expectation of Service From Black People - Particularly Black Women + Rape Culture Mentality That Lack of Hostility Means Flirting = Sexual Objectification + Harassment on a Monumental Scale.
I agree with a lot of what this post says but I have to draw the line where you assign being hassled by a (possibly) drunk customer at work to rape. That is frankly outrageous. Rape culture is a huge problem in society. It appears in the context of the alpha male with his ‘i know you want it’ jack-the-lad mentality to the ‘she’s a slut’ or ‘dressed like that would do you expect’ mantra of the public to legislative powers being biased towards rich, straight white men. I know this, we all know this and something must be done. But what you experienced was just a man, being a dickhead. Either he was an arrogant nob who thought he could charm you with his dickhead-ness or he was a socially awkward nob who thought that’s what ‘you’re supposed to act like’. I find it disgusting that you would chlorate an encounter people deal with on a regular basis regardless of gender, race, sexuality and economic situation as a ‘bedrock of rape culture’. I also serve people, and I have to deal with both arrogant men and women flirting with me, being cringey etc. Its horrid but It’s not rape culture. To throw that term around like it means fucking nothing is ALSO a part of it! To put that in the same category as a woman(or man) who has had their trust, privacy, body and soul invaded, stolen and destroyed by another human being, perhaps someone they trusted or loved; their partner, relative, teacher etc to you being hassled whilst you serve people coffee. Then on top of that, to have your peers whisper things about you being a ‘slut’ or ‘asking for it’ all the while have the legal system let you down on arbitrary grounds of your choice of clothing or your perhaps intoxication. It’s not the same, is it. You’re applying a social horror to something that is grey area situation. You don’t know what this mans intentions were, as as annoying and irritating his male arrogance that because he’s got a dick you must want may be, it is not rape culture. It is one man, being a twat whilst you must have served hundreds of male customers that day who treated you like a human being. This kind of generalization creates a huge double standard and gives ammunition to this bullshit ‘anti-feminist’ movement.