Has Bad Game Become Sexual Harrassment?

When the #MeToo hashtag kicked off last year, my thoughts were divided. One on hand, some women shared their stories of rape and sexual assault, helped raise awareness of the cause, and directed their followers to useful resources if they experience something similar.

On the other hand though, there were tweets complaining of catcalling and wolf-whistling. There were also posts where women derided men for looking at them, or attempting to engage them in conversation on public transport.

has bad game become sexual harrassment

This seems to be a common theme. Since then, I’ve seen other tweets, or blog posts- and I’m not referring to one person in particular, there have been several- where a woman has complained about a man being “creepy”, or “sexually harassing” her, when all he really did was try and talk to her, or tell her he liked her. 28% of 18-24 year olds now believe winking is sexual harassment. Wolf whistling is about to become a hate crime. Labour MP Melanie Orr has called for catcalling to become a misogynistic “hate crime”, and also- get this- following a woman out of a shop to chat to them when it’s unwanted.

I get that catcalling is a divisive issue. Although it should never be a criminal offence, I understand some women don’t like it. But for merely talking to a woman in a shop to be a crime? That’s a step to far.

I get it. Being chatted up can be annoying. It can be awkward, and you can feel a little uncomfortable. Sometimes you’re in a rush, or you’ve just finished work and you’re exhausted and don’t have the energy to talk anyone. And let’s face it, it never seems to be the men you’re actually attracted to. But look at it from the guy’s perspective. All he really did was try and talk to you. It takes balls to approach someone. He could have been single for a really long time and be looking for all the same things as you. And while some men are natural charmers, some are not, and may end up inadvertently making you feel uncomfortable. Fair enough if you’re not interested. But what happened to just saying you have a boyfriend and moving on? Men shouldn’t be cast as the oppressor just for having bad game. Let’s face it, if Brad Pitt stopped you on the street- would that be harassment?

Things are leading to the point where men will be scared to approach women out of fear of being branded a creep or arrested for a hate crime. We complain about online dating and dating apps. We complain about how hard it is to meet people organically. We should be encouraging more men to have the balls to approach us, and work towards a society where it’s as easy to meet someone down the pub as it is on an app. But instead, we’re blasting men when they do. Before the age of the internet, our grandparents probably met in the local shop, or perhaps he approached her on the street. But what used to be normal social interaction is now being branded as harassment.

While sexual assault and sexual harassment are both very real things, and there are some situations where men approach women and do end up crossing the line, this is very different to merely unwanted attention. We need to make sure that we don’t scare men off from approaching women organically, or trivialize sexual harassment by putting it in the same category as bad game.

Do you feel like the #MeToo movement has gone too far? Let me know in the comments but please keep all discussion respectful. 

Side Note: If you have been sexually assaulted or harassed, This Morning have a great list of resources.

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5 Comments

  1. June 3, 2018 / 8:34 pm

    MGTOW started years ago. the #metoo movement just reinforces many men’s belief that women are just not worth it.

  2. Kate
    June 4, 2018 / 8:10 pm

    “But what happened to just saying you have a boyfriend and moving on?”

    Teenaged boys and are shooting up schools and stabbing young girls to death because the girl rejected them. Adult men are opening fire in office buildings in an attempt to kill their ex-girlfriends for leaving them. THAT’S why “just saying you have a boyfriend” isn’t always an option. There’s a valid fear factor involved that makes women afraid to say no. You don’t get to decide what is or isn’t a line cross for other women.

    “But for merely talking to a woman in a shop to be a crime? That’s a step to far.”

    That’s not the original example you gave. The original example was that following a woman out of shop to talk to them would be considered a hate crime. It’s not the talking part that is the problem. It’s the following part that crosses the line. Youre conflating two different things and trying to make them equal when they’re not. Following someone who has not given explicit permission for you to do so is stalking.

    “Let’s face it, if Brad Pitt stopped you on the street- would that be harassment?”

    Using a celebrity as an example is a way to skew responses in your favor. It’s a cheap ploy that indicates your argument is weak. That said, if Brad Pitt stopped me on the street to ask directions, gave a polite thank you for my help, then walked off, then no, that’s not harassment. If he stopped me on the street and started chatting me up for no reason, that’s just creepy and shows a startling lack of social skills. If you don’t think it’s odd for someone to stop a woman on the street to talk to her, you have very questionable social skills.

    You need to ask yourself why you’re so quick to sympathize for men and are less sympathetic for women in these situations. I’m starting to understand why you have so many issues with your female friends.

    • aliceeriley
      June 25, 2018 / 7:00 pm

      You could be onto something, plenty of awful girls like you in London. But thanks for boosting my SEO 🙂

  3. Anonymous for the moment
    June 5, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    Approaching women and initiating intimacy are both things I worry about. The line where things become harassment in one situation is not the same as another. And like you say if you have “bad game” how are you going to know? I may get criticised for saying this but I feel some women expect men to be confident in their approach and some women will not want to be approached at all. Whose rights deserve more respect?

    • aliceeriley
      June 25, 2018 / 6:59 pm

      Yeah maybe some women would prefer men not to approach them, but how are men supposed to know?

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