Guys, even when drink has been taken, there's no excuse for lines like these – and yes, these were all really said to me.
- ‘I'm glad you went to the toilet. It's the first chance I've had to look at your arse.’
- [On an internet date] ‘I've been wanking to the thought of you all week.’
- ‘I wouldn't want to date you, but I'd love to take you into the loos for five minutes and fuck your brains out.’
- ‘You've got nice hands. Big legs, but nice hands.’ [then, upon seeing the look of horror on my face:] ‘No, don't get me wrong! I'd love to have those big legs wrapped around my neck tonight!’
- ‘You're so gorgeous I don't know why I haven't raped you yet.’
- ‘Do you and your friend want to come back to mine for a threesome?’
I could go on. I have loads more, and there are tons, I'm sure, that I've blotted out of my memory altogether. But you get the idea.
What astonishes me is that in anyone's head, it's ok to say stuff like that, let alone to a stranger you're trying to bed. Even accounting for the fact that drink silences one's internal filter, and even if said in the context of a place where people were openly on the pull, just…how can it ever be appropriate?
We're not in Ye Olde Times, I know. I don't expect to be treated as a delicate flower or have coats thrown over puddles for me. But have we really gone so far the other way? What comes through in remarks like those is an utter lack of respect. It's not cheeky flirting. It's not funny. It's not charming.
I hear men grumble that ‘feminists’ (or as dinosaurs call them, ‘women's libbers’) have killed off chivalry because they shout at any man who holds a door open for them. I've never encountered this myself, and suspect it's apocryphal. I thank anyone, male or female, who holds a door open for me. It's basic manners.
Some might argue that I want to have my cake and eat it if I expect to be treated as an equal yet appreciate having a car door opened for me. OK, we can have that debate. But when I'm subjected to lines like the above, we may have gone a little too far the other way. Give me too much chivalry over too little respect any day.