Hello, class. Good to see that a lot of you were kind enough to return for this session. We’re not serving refreshments. You should have brought your own; that was on the flier.
Without preamble: Many years ago, I was told by a friend, “If you see a pretty girl while you’re walking past, you should tell her she’s pretty.” This was around the time of glasnost and the zenith of parachute pants as fashionwear in the Midwest, if that provides any context. In the years that have passed since then, I can only be grateful for my crippling social anxiety circumventing any adherence to this advice on my part, because it’s a dumb thing to say to an utter stranger. Same goes for any variety of same: “HAY BOOFUL,” “what up hawtness,” “it’s like an angel just fell from heaven into my jeans during my zodiac sign.”
(That latter choice only applies if you are really bad at remembering shitty “pickup” lines.)
Guideline for men: If you see a woman that you think is pretty, that’s fantastic. Just keep it to yourself. Let me put it this way: you’re walking around your town at night, around 0300. (That’s 3AM, you in the back row with deer-in-the-headlight eyes.) Streetlights are on but there are still areas of shadow, impenetrable and oozing malevolence. Out of one of these pockets of the unknown comes a clear, strident voice, with a leering purr: “Hey. You’re a really fine-looking guy.”
There is a lot of threat you can read into that, and a lot of ways you can finish the sentence. “You’re a really fine-looking guy… And I’ll bet your liver is pretty tasty”? “…now come and give me some sugar”? What? Oh, good point, young Rivers Cuomo in the west end of the hall. (Good acoustics in here, pal.) Sure, you wouldn’t walk around at 3AM unless you have to. But you should be able to, right? It’s a free country. And you should be able to do it without getting harassed.
Is this picture getting clearer?
Okay - now, the “Smile” thing. Some of you may think this is a good idea, but it isn’t. What is it? Similar in concept to the previous topic, but this contains an additional, insulting element of command: “Smile, beautiful.” Variations of same also qualify.
Lets deconstruct this statement. “I think you’re beautiful, stranger” — icky thing number one — “but I think you should smile, because I am a man and I know what I like to see.” Douche chills. “Change your expression for me because I am the final arbiter of your most important quality: physical attractiveness.” Oh god, the barfing.
With two words, you communicate your belief in your own dominance and a relative level of worth for others. You have a remarkable belief in your opinion and its relevance to other people. You also have a lot of Ed Hardy gear, I’d wager.
Bottom line: That face is not your face. Your opinion is your opinion. Keep your opinion out of other people’s faces. Doing otherwise gives the other party a free pass to send your testes to torsion town, as far as I’m concerned. If I see any of you guys limp in here with your wingnuts in a wheelbarrow next time, you’re not getting any college credit for this series.