Saying No Is Not The Beginning Of A Negotiation #Yesallwomen


Comment: Hi, I really like this girl (19yrs). She is a bartender in a local pub. I tried asking her out, but she rejected me because she has a boyfriend. Well, I am not kind of a guy, who gives up quickly. I don’t generally meet the girls, I like a lot. She is probably out of my league, though she is in a long distance with a high school sweetheart. I have no idea, how long they have been together.
Myself, I am a confident, successful engineer, 6-7 years older than a girl. I am planning to write her a letter, something simple asking out for a coffee, and see where things go.
any opinions? whether it is a good or a bad idea? or alternative suggestions?
Age: 26
City: Allentown
State: PA

*Note: The title of this post was inspired by one of the almost one million tweets that were part of the #YesAllWomen hashtag. I could not find the original tweet to properly cite the source.

When I originally wrote the response to this post over 2 weeks ago, I think it’s safe to say that I wasn’t feeling nearly as frustrated as I am today, May 26th, 2014.  If you have an internet connection or social media stream you follow regularly, then you are aware of the #YesAllWomen twitter response that occurred as a result of the USBC shooting over the weekend, the impetus for which was the rage and entitlement of one very deranged young man. In the days leading up to the killings, he posted video after video of his plan to seek retribution on all of the women who had denied him what he believed was his God-given right to sexual gratification. Make no mistake, this was just not yet another spree killing carried out due to the delusions of a mad man. This was an act of terrorism against women. To the people who say that more men were killed by this young man than women and that women are using this as an excuse to rage vomit all their vitriol, I implore you to read this guy’s terrifying missive where he details his plans to shoot up a sorority house and explains that all of his anger and frustration is to be blamed on the women who rejected him. I also give a big “NOPE!” to the PUA guys trying to use this as a means to shill their services. Way to miss the point entirely, brah.

I would also implore that people stop looking for opportunities to make something about them. I can not stand when a certain topic is discussed here and someone says, “This post should have been called when people do this” or “This is like when men/women do XYZ.” Sometimes it’s not all about you, know what I mean? I firmly believe there are flaws in both sides of this conversation. But sometimes you just have to sit back and listen.

As a result of this weekend’s events, I chose to completely rewrite my response to this letter writer. I will start by quoting a tweet that I failed to favorite and now can not find. The tweet read:

When a man says no, it’s the end of the conversation. When a woman says no, it’s the beginning of a negotiation.

It shouldn’t be like that. As women, we’re constantly being fed message after message that we must tailor our behavior in such a way as to be considered attractive to men. It’s all about male approval. When we veer from that, we’re man-haters. Women are often expected to concede out of a desire for approval and acceptance. That includes debates with other women, too. I’ve lost count at how many women use the same sexist tactics on me that they rail against. That shit needs to stop, too.

Men are encouraged to assert their positions in an argument or interaction. Women who do that are considered “difficult.” A woman who carries on with her life with no concern for what people think is often pegged as some kind of enigma or anomaly. A man does it and he’s “independent” or “confident.” For some bizarre reason, women are expected to prioritize male approval. I’ve said this before, I think of my childhood and how I was raised and how the whole notion of functioning in such a way as to not be considered threatening to men is foreign to me. It has only been in the last year or so that I truly realized how rare that was.

I watched a movie over the weekend based on the love affair between Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky. When Chanel would walk through the opera house by herself, unaccompanied, people would turn their heads and then lean in to whisper. When she was brainstorming for her fragrance line, her female friend assumed the name she chose for the perfume would have something to do with the men in Chanel’s life. How wrong they were.  Even Stravinksy, who was clearly obsessed and consumed with Chanel, would try and marginalize her when he wanted to hurt her. “You’re not an artist” he said. “You’re a shop keeper.” Oh, Igor. This is something people do when trying to coerce women to give them what they want. They try to undermine her confidence and sense of self-worth by attacking it. They want her to doubt herself. They want her to feel guilty. They want her to second guess.

Dude, she said no. There’s your answer. If you write her a letter (and I highly suggest you don’t) then she’s probably going to go in to work every night dreading the moment she sees you at the bar watching her every move. That’s what actions like that do to people. By persisting, you’re going to take an already awkward situation and make it something darker.

Rejection sucks. Nobody likes it. There are ways to reject a person without humiliating them. I don’t believe that the fear of any kind of retribution that would come as a result of rejecting someone is strictly one felt by women. Men have similar fears. But the difference is that women not only worry about possible discomfort and awkwardness, but all physical harm. I may be generalizing here, but I highly doubt men carry with them the same level of worry when they turn down a woman’s overtures.

To the letter writer, leave her alone. Find another watering hole to frequent for awhile. No amount of pleading your case will be flattering to her or to you. Respect the boundary she set. But don’t do it because you think it will score you points. Do it because that’s what you’re supposed to do whenever anybody – male or female – says no in a situation like that. Once the word “No” enters an equation like this, that’s the signal for somebody to back off. It’s not about you or your ego. It’s about what is appropriate and respectful to the other party involved.



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56 Responses to “Saying No Is Not The Beginning Of A Negotiation #Yesallwomen”

  1. fuzzilla Says:

    Yikes. Great post, Moxie.

  2. Noquay Says:

    Yep, it’s scary how someone can feel such rage, such a sense of entitlement towards women who have the sense to say no. It’s also scary how easy it is for such a person to acquire a firearm. No background checks are going to suss out evil. Gun lovers be damned. As for the OP. The woman clearly stated she had a boyfriend. Doesn’t matter if he’s long distance, she is not available, end of. As for “not giving up easily”; you wanna be seen as a creepazoid and stalker??? Just keep it up dude. Feel lucky she stated her situation clearly, without ambiguity. It’s being strung along without knowing the facts that does the most harm. You got your answer, now bow out with dignity and move on.

    • Matt Says:

      Yeah, man, at least she didn’t set up something you thought was a date but was really something to socialize with “kids your own age”.

  3. Tinker Says:

    What Moxie said.
    PK, if you continue in your unwanted pursuit, you are going to make this young lady extremely uncomfortable. She doesn’t deserve that. Find someone else.

  4. Snowflake Says:

    This… totally resonated… You put into words what I have been trying to explain to my brain for months. Thank you!!!!

    “This is something people do when trying to coerce women to give them what they want. They try to undermine her confidence and sense of self-worth by attacking it. They want her to doubt herself. They want her to feel guilty. They want her to second guess.”

  5. bbdawg Says:

    The OP sounds like a total stalker…assumes the woman’s choices are not meant to be respected.

  6. C Says:

    Obviously what happened in UCSB is a tragedy, but I dont know if classic social ineptitude and possibly some mild Aspergers can be extended to be included in some greater truth about sociopathic or homicidal tendencies or for that matter the broader issues of gender inequality. I cant say how deep the LW’s social pathology runs, but if he is like most, he is little more than a nuisance.

    • Lurker Says:

      I don’t think the LW is “little more than a nuisance.” Men like this often make women feel physically unsafe. They are why waitresses do not feel safe walking to their cars alone after their night shift.

      Not all men like the LW resort to physical violence. But the trouble for women is, there is no way to tell who will. Which means the fear of something happening is always there. That 19 year old waitress has no way to tell what that guy is capable of – all she knows is that he totally crossed her boundary by blantantly disregarding her clearly spoken “I’m not interested.” What other boundaries is he willing to cross or ignore? She has to be on guard. And that’s definitely more than a nuisance.

    • Lulu Vuitton Says:

      Thank you for that. Elliot Roger belongs in NO dating discussion. He was mentally I’ll and another example of how our country has no solution in place at all for people like this who are, literally, homicidal maniacs. No one could force him to take his meds, he presented as normal to law enforcement (who certainly has plenty of experience, at least a boatload more than I do, with mentally impaired people on a nightly basis).

      His wealthy parents couldn’t even put him someplace where he was kept from the general public, because there IS no place fo put delusional schizophrenics to protect the rest of us.

      The families of these schizophrenic have nowhere to turn, no matter how many violent tendencies these people display. What if your brother or son was schizophrenic? What would YOU do to protect the children in your neighborhood? The only answer means you go to prison for the rest of your life. There is no legal solution.

      • C Says:

        Obviously an unpopular opinion, but I totally agree. I too feel the Elliot Roger case is part of the bigger problem of a system that leaves known psychologically disturbed individuals to their own devices until something catastrophic happens. He wrote a 140 page manifesto and posted videos on youtube! Did no one see this coming?

    • C Says:

      I’m sure he is very scary to a 19 year old bartender, but that doesnt make him dangerous. His behavior isnt even driven by his “disregard” for womens feelings but rather a lack of understanding of them. Its an almost infentile notion, “She said ‘no’, but if I write her a letter, she will say ‘yes’.” Really?

      I’ve met a number of these guys in my life, and as soon as you snap at him once, he totally backs down and is confused as to why you are angry. Its sad more then anything else.

      On a separate note, how can a bartender be 19? I thought that you had to be at least 21 in the united states to serve alcohol.

      • fuzzilla Says:

        **I’m sure he is very scary to a 19 year old bartender, but that doesnt make him dangerous.**

        Okay, what? He is scary to the bartender precisely because he does pose a possible threat to her; or does her point of view not count? If this girl was your friend, would you say, “Well, sure, he’s scary to *you*, but…so what?” (No, I’m not saying the OP is definitely gonna go ape shit and shoot people, but he does present enough red flags that it would be smart for this bartender to take precautions to keep her distance. Kinda like I don’t think most people from OKCupid are gonna hack me to bits, but they’re still strangers, so I still always meet them in a public, well-lit place. They probably are not a danger to me, but I still don’t put myself in a position where I’m too vulnerable around unknown entities).

        Also, yeah, I thought bartenders had to be 21.

        • C Says:

          Thats fair and yes I would definitely tell my friend to stay away from him.

          Not to beat this to death, but my point was only that lumping some socially inept dude who wants to write a girl a love letter in with psycho killers and male oppression seems a stretch…but thats just me.

          • PGH Gal Says:

            But this speaks to a larger point here that we as a SOCIETY don’t accept that a woman’s no means no. In a lot of ways we don’t accept anything that a woman says unless it is what we want to hear. THAT is what is so scary.

            I think that a lot of men don’t understand that women have to literally be vigilant in some way about their physical safety AT ALL TIMES. So our thought process about everything is very different. A woman who “doesn’t give up” may not seem like a big deal to a man…but it can very easily turn into a big deal when the genders are reversed. And I’m not even talking about someone as obviously disturbed as the shooter in California.

        • J Says:

          I think it’s 19 to serve, 21 to pour. It may vary by state.

  7. Auslander Says:

    Thank you Moxie for this timely post.

    I have been reading the killer’s 140-page manifesto this weekend. It details his life back to before he was born. He was an extreme head case. Time after time he didn’t even get to a point where women could tell him “no” because he was too terrified to even speak to them.

    Just the experience of seeing other young men and women chatting together, or holding hands and walking near the campus drove him into a frenzy. He would hide in his room and cry for hours. He dropped out of almost all of his college classes because he couldn’t stand being near women. He did stay in one class long enough to take the final, but only because “there were no pretty girls in the class.”

    The other sick act, that I see repeated several times in his writings, is that if he saw a man and woman together, he would become enraged, drive up behind them, and splash them with his coffee or juice.

    This guy was way off the charts. The women (and men) that he hated so much probably didn’t even know what effect they were having on him. G-d be with the family and friends of those he killed, and his own family.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      140 pages? God damn, I couldn’t even finish watching his YouTube video (apparently he made several, but there was one I saw on One thing I read was that it wasn’t even like the guy got rejected a lot – from the sounds of it, he didn’t even try to approach women; never even put himself in a position to *be* rejected.

    • C Says:

      No kidding. Can you imagine the guilt that nut jobs poor mother must feel?! Very sad all around.

  8. John Says:

    To the LW- I don’t think its a good idea to send her a letter. You already know the answer. If you spook her out and she fears for her safety, I am sure she will have no problem getting guys to come to her aid.

    Any bouncer, or another male customer that she tells you are stalking her, will gladly try to impress her by rearranging your face. Not worth the risk.

  9. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    I agree, she said no, let it go.

    But as an FYI, this is what kind do advice is being doled out to men: this is lifted from a mainstream men’s magazine titled ’15 Dating Mistakes You’re Making':

    “You asked her out, she said no, you cut your losses and move on—right? Not exactly, says sales expert Grant Cardone, author of If You’re Not First, You’re Last. “It’s like trying to land a multi-million dollar account,” Cardone says. “You have to be creative, confident, and positive.” Pursuing a girl like you’d pursue a client might seem desperate, but Cardone disagrees. “You only come across as desperate if you try the same thing more than once,” he explains. “Don’t call her twenty times and ask her to dinner. Nobody wants the life sucked out of them.”

    So there you go.

    • Matt Says:

      Yeah, that’s a problem. I’ve had women tell me that when I ask a girl out and she says no, I have to ask again. There’s a lot of bad advice out there messing guys up. That doesn’t excuse their obsessive behavior, but it does help explain it.

      • Steve From the City Next Door Says:

        I got that advice a lot when I was in my 20s – mainly from women. And some of them told me that they always said no the first time. Kinda of a test. I found I had much better success with the second asking. One girl I ended up dating who rejected me on the first ask but accepted on the second about a month later when we happened to bump into each other again later told me that when I first asked it seemed like I wasn’t that interested but the second time I seemed interested and confident because I was still after her even though she had implied she had a boyfriend (note: I did not get the implication of the boyfriend).

        Dating seems to be way to complicated with way too many games.

        • Matt Says:

          Indeed. People should say what they mean. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

        • C Says:

          Really? Thats terrible advise!!

          Although, I think even the rom coms encourage this behavior. Damn near every one of them has a moment when the woman, in some melodramatic huff, rejects the guy she desparately wants only to have him pursue her even more aggressively while professing his undying love.

          Awww, its the stuff restraining orders are made of.

          • Matt Says:

            Movies show a lot of things that you shouldn’t do in real life. For instance, despite watching many, many cartoons, I have never ever had the urge to jump of a cliff with big industrial size springs strapped to my shoes.

            If you can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality, you shouldn’t be dating.

            • C Says:

              What? TV isnt real?

              I guess thats what I get for agreeing with your point of view.

              No, you shouldnt be dating if you cant tell the difference between reality and fantasy, you should be locked up and heavily medicated. But guess what, Casanova, you wont have much luck in dating if you can tell the difference between fantasy and reality but have no idea as to what women want and many if not most women would love [man of our dreams] to profess his undying love for us no matter how many times we tells him “our love can never be”. If it werent so, Danielle Steel would be dying peniless. The problem is that its rarely the man of our dreams professing his undying love for us, and more commonly its the creepy guy at our gym stalking us.

              • mindstar Says:

                But the creepy guy at the gym probably thinks he IS the man of your dreams (in his mind he certainly is) and does not understand why “our love can never be”.

                He may wrongly believe that if he just persists you will realize “true love was in front of you all along”. After all you want the love of your life to persist in asking you.

                It’s a variation of playing outside your league. The low ranking guy on the totem pole see’s women responding to cat calls from successful men and wonders why they reject him when he does the same. They see the tall well built man with many dates and wonder why they don’t have women swarming them and ignore the fact their short and in lousy shape.

                That lunatic in California felt he was “entitled” to women. No one is entitled to anything except life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Elliot Roger didn’t even try to pursue happiness he felt merely demanding it was enought. And six people are dead because of his insanity.

                And PK do NOT write the bartender a letter. She’s still a kid you’re 27. Date women who have at least graduate from college

  10. Chester Says:

    OP, pursuing a hot female bartender is really a fool’s game. There is almost an unwritten rule that female bartenders (and waitresses) will never say yes to customers asking them out. They are hit on ALL the time.

    It is her job to be friendly to every client; don’t confuse this with interest.
    You are thinking the letter will be a unique way to get her attention, but it will be seen as creepy as the others here suggested.

    Pursue the patrons, not the workers.

  11. Howard Says:

    “When a man says no, it’s the end of the conversation. When a woman says no, it’s the beginning of a negotiation.”

    While this has much truth in it, in terms of what happens up front, it’s not the best comparison, because men really don’t say “no” that much upfront.

    Men tend to save their “no” for after sex. The argument could be made that by the time a man says no, he has had ample time to fully examine a situation, with a woman getting a shot, and being given the chance to show who she is.

    While I don’t excuse guys from the negotiation mentality, I think some guys go into negotiation mode, because they feel they haven’t even been given a shot to show who they are.

    I personally believe such behavior as this OP is ridiculous in the modern dating arena, especially given the current realities of easy access to many members of the opposite gender.

    Women have unfortunately, played along with this behavior too much, leading these guys to imagine that they still have a shot. I am not saying this to indict women in any way, but to urge them to stick to their guns. I personally prefer when a woman tells me “no” as early as possible. It just saves me a lot of time and energy.

    What tends to bother me more, is me being villainized for leaving a woman to her own devices after she has been expressing ambivalence. And this has happened to me a few times. I put in some effort; the women balks, I move on, and she somehow suddenly wakes up, and asks me why I moved on, with her getting quite peeved in the process.

    When that happens, I am always left scratching my head! The problem, is the old paradigm of a man always having to chase a woman and convincing her. Unfortunately that paradigm has been internalized a little too much by both men and women. That has led, to exactly these types of irrational behaviors, as expressed by the OP.

    And it’s not like we’re about to throw away that paradigm any time soon. Women seem to still like the onus, being on the man for approaching and convincing and financing the social interaction.

    Until we reject that paradigm, we are going to continue to see guys do this type of nonsense, and on the other end, women getting upset by a men who give up too soon.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **What tends to bother me more, is me being villainized for leaving a woman to her own devices after she has been expressing ambivalence. And this has happened to me a few times. I put in some effort; the women balks, I move on, and she somehow suddenly wakes up, and asks me why I moved on, with her getting quite peeved in the process.**

      The conclusion I’d draw from that is that these particular women didn’t know what they wanted, not that oh, of course men should ask over and over after being rejected.

      Also, what dose “expresses ambivalence” mean? They say “No, Thursday’s not so good for me” and it might actually be a polite “no, sorry, never with you” in disguise? Yes, you may have a bit of wiggle room to keep pursuing if that’s the kind of feedback you’re getting. In the OP’s case, it’s “No, I’ve got a boyfriend, you’ve got no chance in hell, move it along, son.” For the OP to keep pursuing would be to reveal himself as a creep with no respect for a woman’s boundaries. It’s especially creepy to do at her place of employment. Would you want someone you’re not interested in hassling you at work?

      • Howard Says:

        You’re preaching to the converted. Trust me, I don’t believe in heavy lifting only being done by a man. I think we have come to a point in our existence where both genders have to accept the responsibility and onus for making things happen. What’s the point of preaching feminism and equal rights, but when it comes to relationships, some how putting forward an outdated mode, which is de facto laziness, cheapness, usury or at best hypocritical?

        Of course it’s creepy for some guy to pursue a woman who has said no, when there are so many women out there. It’s not like we still live in villages of 50 people. I however still believe that this type of nonsense is driven by the paradigm of women expecting men to pursue and wholly placing that onus on them. This type of fallout is bound to keep happening.

        • Matt Says:

          “I however still believe that this type of nonsense is driven by the paradigm of women expecting men to pursue and wholly placing that onus on them. This type of fallout is bound to keep happening.”

          So, in the wake of a shooting where the killer blamed his problems on women, you’re blaming a related social issue… on women?

          • fuzzilla Says:

            My thoughts exactly.

            • Howard Says:

              We have all had our fill of telling the OP how misguided his intended actions are. A shooting analogy is certainly a crude comparison, but if we followed that analogy, while condemning the shooter, I would not want another shooting to occur.

              Obviously my attempts at delving into that territory is beyond some people on this board, who would wish for sophomoric gut reactions to problems, rather than attempts to comprehend what would drive people to behave the way they do.

              To use a better analogy. I would certainly place a plaster on a sore or give a person an aspirin for a headache, but at the end of the day, it’s more important to figure why that person got that sore or headache.

              There are too many people stuck in blame game mode, looking to interpret everything being said as placing blame on one person or another, when the problem often goes beyond the players at hand.

      • Matt Says:

        “They say ‘No, Thursday’s not so good for me’ and it might actually be a polite ‘no, sorry, never with you’ in disguise?”

        In that instance, if they did in fact want to go out and Thursday wasn’t good, they’d come up with a counter day, like “How about Wednesday?”

  12. mark Says:

    I seriously doubt that the original letter writer mentioned is going to read these responses.

    He likely already made up his mind what he was going to do before he even submitted it. Maybe he was/is looking for validation. I don’t know.

    In the slim chance he is going to read responses (or anyone else in a similar situation) my answer is don’t do it. The fact that you seriously considered doing it is troubling enough.

    Listen up dude.

    You are talking about a young woman who works in the service industry. Specifically a bartender. Part of her job is to smile and make nice with the customers. She smiles and then the customers feel good. They hang around and buy more booze. That includes you. She does that to make the customers happy and in doing so they buy more drinks and or food. I sfhe doesn’t do that to the manager’s/owners satisfaction…no job.

    You asked her. She said no. No means no.

    She even mentioned a boyfriend. If she actually has a boyfriend means she is off limits. If she doesn’t have a boyfriend, he used that line as a face saving measure for you so not to embarrass you.

    If in any way she was even remotely interested, she would have indicated it to you in an unmistakable way. The social clues would be obvious and not veiled in any way.

    C’mon….. You should know better. She is 19 you are 26. Really.

    The fact that you even contemplated writing some sort of letter is going to hit her high on the creepy meter. That would be only the start of things you probably don’t want to happen to you.

    Don’t make everyone feel uncomfortable (or worse) by going through with this. Work harder on recognizing social contexts. Get help if need be.

  13. bbdawg Says:

    “Men tend to save their “no” for after sex. The argument could be made that by the time a man says no, he has had ample time to fully examine a situation, with a woman getting a shot, and being given the chance to show who she is.”

    In order to say their no, they still need the “yes” from the woman. Obviously the man needs the woman’s “yes” before having sex with her. I disagree with this statement, ot sounds as if the woman is begging for the man’s approval. “I’m glad a got a shot with ____ and got to show him who I am….”.

    That’s not something I have ever heard any woman say. Maybe if a man is George Clooney or an heir from a prominent family (Prince Harry, etc…) (i.e wildly out most women’s league) The reality is the opposite. A man pursues if he is attracted to a woman. Often “attractive” women will have many men interested in them. The woman will then accept (or not – as in the OP’s case) the initial overture and go from there, assessing and selecting, making mistakes sometimes, since many men showing interest aren’t as interested in commitment as they are in sex.

    • Howard Says:

      So according to that, I guess it must be better for men to keep being the only ones asking for approval. Well that type of thinking, keeps a woman single.

      The reality is that both genders are seeking approval and validation. This is the heart of the matter as to why so many women are single and hate it, in spite of all pretensions otherwise. They have not wised up to the fact that the worthwhile guys, in the modern world, are not going to endlessly stay in the mode of being the only one pushing things along.

      I daresay, even the bums are not going along with that outdated mindset.

      • C Says:

        This isnt new. Women have always had to do plenty to attract men. It has never been one sided.

        I dont think men give every interested women a chance. As far as that goes, I dont think men and women are all that different. I can see giving a chance to someone you are only “somewhat attracted to” a chance, but I am going to guess you wouldnt give a chance to Roseanne Barr.

        • Howard Says:

          It’s easy to go far afield to make a point with the Roseanne Barr example. Yes, when the situation is that extreme, a man will not approach Roseanne Barr. However, a man won’t be rude to Roseanne Barr, if she approached him. Some guys, may even entertain her for a minute.

          I would not keep her dangling, because I believe in being polite but forthright with people. I also admire that quality in women. We see women being rude and disrespectful to lots of guys who approach them. And oftentimes, these guys don’t look like Quasimodo. That type of rudeness comes from a place of entitlement. It’s the “How dare you even speak to me?” mindset.

          Men just tend to reserve judgement for later rather than earlier. With women, it’s often a very quick gut reaction decision that is made that a guy just doesn’t cut it. This is especially true with younger women, and their reaction is often rude. As women get older, they mellow out, and they are more likely to be polite to the inquiring guy that is not their cup of tea. However, they still often discourage inquiring men quite easily.

          • C Says:

            “Men just tend to reserve judgement for later rather than earlier. With women, it’s often a very quick gut reaction decision that is made that a guy just doesn’t cut it.”

            I guess we will have to agree to disagree there. I’m going to have to put my money on men know as quickly as women if they are somewhat attracted, very attracted, or not at all.

            “This is especially true with younger women, and their reaction is often rude. As women get older, they mellow out, and they are more likely to be polite to the inquiring guy that is not their cup of tea.”

            I agree with you there. Its a kind of complicated dynamic. Generally there are 2 things happening there. In the first case, its not a “how dare you speak to me”. Its more of a “Ewwww. You think I’m in your league?!” I know, thats not actually any better. Its not uncommon with teenaged girls and young women. Fortunately, its mostly a maturity issue.

            The second scenario and I used to see this from friends all the time is when a MUCH older man hits on a teen or 20-something…which by the way, happens all the time. A lot of young women are kind of naive. When a man starts being nice to them, they assume they made a “new friend” who is something of a mentor or a father figure. Then when said “friend” makes a pass at them, they have an inordinate overreaction to it. “OMG! I thought he was my friend. And all that time he was having these leacherous, dirty thoughts about me. Ewwww!” By late 20s, women usually outgrow this high school mentality and are usually more sympathetic.

  14. chillybeans Says:

    PK, don’t go to parties where you are not invited. Yes, it’s that simple even an engineer can figure it out!!! And why does a “successful confident engineer” want to date a teenager? Just calls out your obvious social awkwardness.

    Try using empathy which I’m assuming you are unfamiliar with:
    Imagine an older woman, not even close to being in your league,has asked you out and you have said no. She continues to pursue you, writing you letters and showing up at your place of work?
    Creepy, isn’t it? Probably will involve contacting building security and/or police right?
    Is that what you want?

  15. Howard Says:

    This is to the OP. Dude, she said no, that’s it, Move on. Would you want your little sister to keep being harassed by some “lot older” dude who can’t get it?

    We have all had crushes, though generally not on girls six years younger when we are 26. There are so many girls in the world. There is no need to imagine this is the only girl that could make you happy. Whether you care to believe this or not, there are a few million women on this planet that can make you happy.

    If a woman doesn’t give you back some type of positive feedback, she may think you are a creep, but in real terms you are not what she wants. If a man is that valuable, he doesn’t have to keep endlessly pursuing a woman. You are a young engineer. I used to be that once upon a time. You have been trained to think analytically. Look at what is being presented to you. The situation is exactly that, not some wild imaginings by you.

  16. Lisa Says:

    Letters, in this context, are creepy.

  17. LostSailor Says:

    First, to PK, the OP, I can but echo Moxie and the other commenters: Do not write the 19-yo bartender a letter–this isn’t the 19th century or the era of courtly love. Let it go. Pro-tip: the first rule of bar-going is that you’re not going home with the cute lady behind the bar. By 26 you should have picked up on this. Perhaps she was genuinely friendly chatting with over your trendy craft beer or ale. But, then, she’s trained to be friendly. One word: Tips. I second Moxie’s suggestion on finding another place to drink.

    But on to the bigger meta-topic. Which I’m going to largely ignore. The deranged acts of a man with crippling social anxiety and mental health issues have produced the usual firestorm of both men and women, as Moxie puts it, “rage vomit[ing] all their vitriol” on the interwebs, replete with all the usual ideological strawmen and agendas that I have little interest in. I have skimmed through this guy’s written “manifesto” and find that yes, he was targeting “all women” who he saw as utterly rejecting him, but he also expressed nearly as much rage against the men who “got” those women. His first victims were his male roommates, whom he stabbed multiple times, which is a rather more up-close and personal statement than random shootings.

    What’s more pertinent to me was prompted by Moxie’s comment what he believed was his God-given right to sexual gratification.

    This theme–entitlement–frequently comes up when situations like this arise, or discussions of the Nice Guy® phenomenon, or PUAs. The idea that men are somehow conditioned to believe they are “owed” sex. I think this idea is just as false as the other side of this same coin that I’ve commented against here: the idea that women (and it’s nearly always women–if you can find anywhere on the internet where this has been applied to a man, I’ll eat the pixels) “deserve” the quality, handsome, successful man who will love them unreservedly and that they should never settle for less.

    I’m not talking about the socially crippled men on the extreme, either. The average guys in the middle haven’t been conditioned to be “entitled” to sexual gratification (oddly, the men most likely to feel entitled are the quality, handsome, successful men who are already getting it), they’ve just been doing what they’ve been told: be nice, be yourself, be respectful and you’ll find a girl” and finding that a lot of the time, it doesn’t work. And if they voice any complaint, they’re labeled “creepy” or a Nice Guy® and generally mocked. The dichotomy of women being urged to “never settle” and the mocking of men’s natural desire for love, companionship, and, yes, sex, is rather stark.

    The #YesAllWomen hashtag is a feel-good event to vent and bash men that is unlikely to actually achieve much, other than to further quail all those average men into not speaking about their lonely lives (grow a pair, sack up, and take it like a man). The jerks and assholes, and those prone to violence are unlikely to be reading and thoughtfully considering Twitter hashtags.

    Much more could be done with #MentalHealthForMenToo.

    Let the downvoting commence…

    • mindstar Says:

      I also scanned some portions of his “manifesto” and two things really stood out.

      One he actually did little if any approaching or asking women out (as I said above he did not even seek to pursue happiness). He was apparently so “devastated” by childhood teasing that he retreated into his World of Warcraft lifestyle rather than interact with people. One of the roommates he murdered had said he was not social.

      Two (and this ties in with #1) his wrting has an overwhelming level of envy and jealousy of others. This seems to have eaten away at him like a cancer.

      Compared to those of his peers in school his parents were neither wealthy nor had they achieved the same measure of success.

      He ranted about his father not being more sucessful as a director and his mother’s failure after their divorce to marry a wealthy man. Apparently so he could be supported in the lifestyle he felt he was meant to have.

      He resented his stepmother and was angry at his sister’s lover.

      His statement that as a descendant of British aristocracy (I sense he’s parroting his Engish father) he “deserved” a white girlfriend and his shock that his BMW did not get him girlfriends is further proof of this sense of envy. He also seeemed fixated at comparing his appearance to that of other men as if their looks were why they had success with women and he did not.

      Would he have gone down a different path if a woman he saw as beautiful made out with him once? Maybe though I doubt it. I believe he’d lived his whole life in envy of the world around him. He never sought to make his own way in the world he just wanted it given to him.

      • LostSailor Says:

        One he actually did little if any approaching or asking women out….One of the roommates he murdered had said he was not social.

        Having read through his “manifesto” more thoroughly, I can say he did absolutely no approaching of women or anyone, really.

        This wasn’t a guy who was just antisocial. He was clearly on the Asperger’s continuum, as evidenced by his crippling social anxiety, magical thinking, and growing megalomania. He craved social contact, and constantly tried to “improve” himself by working out for a couple of weeks or buying designer shirts and going out in public thinking he was so attractive and fabulous women would approach him only to be devastated when they paid him no more mind than anyone else.

        The thing is, he wouldn’t have known what to do even if a woman did approach him to even talk to him. He magically just expected it to happen.

        This is pretty serious mental illness, and it was enabled by his parents and the few friends he managed to maintain some contact with. One particular, possibly also ‘spergy kid, knew of his rage-fueled fantasies of maiming, torturing, and killing the happy couples he considered his “enemies” and instead of telling anyone and getting help, he just cut him off.

        This wasn’t, as Moxie characterized it, an “act of terrorism against women.” It was indeed another killing spree carried out due to the delusions of a mad man.”

        Which is why the #YesAllWomen hashtag is kind of sick. It’s in response to a previous hashtag #NotAllMen and is leveraging it to advance the idea that virtually any man could be this mad man just because women fear it to be so. Sorry, but no. This was a seriously mentally crippled and maimed individual with severe delusions of grandeur.

        This man wasn’t rejected by women who said “no.” This was a man who women never even talked to, nor did he talk to them, so there was no opportunity to say “no.” This man assumed the rejection and so made no attempt. To try to extend this to “no means no” seems rather disrespectful of the dead.

        • Matt Says:

          And the tweets where men said, “Girls, this wouldn’t have happened if you just gave the boy some action” aren’t indicative of a larger problem?

          • Speed Says:

            No, a troll who posts something offensive to Twitter is not a mortal threat to society. Twitter is already full up with that stuff.

            But echoing what Lost Sailor wrote, the #YesAllWomen movement is (yet another) campaign to cast all men as bad and force them to “plead their innocence.” It’s feminist extremism gone way overboard and almost devoid of facts or analysis.

            –The shooter was called “a product of white privilege,” overlooking the fact that he is half-Asian

            –The shooter clearly hated women, but also the American/LA elites, “nerds” and had extreme racial self-identity/self-hate issues

            –The shooter had insane ideas about money, including a goal of becoming a millionaire through winning the lottery
            I could go on. The fact is, the shooter was crazy (to use the scientific term) and in no way representative of men.
            I shouldn’t even have to write this and I’m certainly not going to drop to my digital knees, “taking my share of the blame” and begging for forgiveness for the acts of some crazy California guy.

            I guess the bigger issue, though, is that, yes, women do face challenges in our society: everything from catcalls (or worse) on the street to abuse by partners to being denied compensation or access to capital based on their merit. These types of tough, entrenched issues aren’t going to be dissipated by a hashtag campaign, (more) women’s studies courses, or sisterly fist-pumping on Jezebel or XOJane.

            Western women have made incredible gains over the last +60 years, but further gains will just require more intense trench work, networking, capital accumulation and so on. Nobody gives anything to anybody or alters their behavior because they realize they are acting “unfairly” or “or racist” or “sexist” or “against the greater good” or whatever. Life is a fistfight, a UFC brawl, not a pleasant, equity-based, gender-normed, racism-free, speech-coded college classroom. Again, I shouldn’t even have to write this.

            Moxie mentions Coca Chanel as some sort of dynamic, entrepreneurial women beset by narrow-minded, sexist men. Which she was. But she was also a notorious Nazi collaborator in Occupied France. Of course, many French were. My point is that women are not just a huge, singular victim class. Like men, women are capable of incredible wrongdoing. People—like Chanel–do what they need to get over. They’re not going to be scolded into doing otherwise.

            This is the exact same advice I give to brothers and sisters who lament that the “white system” is “unfair” or “stacked against them.” There is no shortcut to getting what you want in life (as a person, race, gender, whatever), and even if there were, it wouldn’t be a hashtag.

    • Tinker Says:

      I agree the hashtag will not give someone who was already prone to violence pause. But it can raise awareness for the average joe, help people realize that the thinking behind these types of actions is not rare, and recognize when a friend may need mental help as opposed to dating advice.
      And great point about the anger towards sexually active men too… This isn’t just a ‘woman’s issue’.

    • D. Says:

      In my experience, actually decent men who voice discontent with their inability to find the kind of love they want are usually met with sympathy and support. The “Nice Guy(tm)” thing is generally reserved for guys who claim to be nice guys, but who exhibit attitudes that are intolerant, highly judgmental (particularly towards women), or who treat sex and love as somehow transactional, where going through the motions in and of itself should be resulting in success for them (however they gauge success). I think these latter guys are highly visible, and highly irritating to women, but that label is not applied to literally any guy who wonders at why he can’t seem to catch a break.

      By the same token, in my experience, most women who are frustrated with their bad luck in dating, aren’t demanding that they date a unicorn (or even a coelacanth) because they “deserve” it (along with being treated like royalty); they just want to find love. The entitled women do exist, and are highly visible because of their entitlement, but I don’t find them to be all that common, either.

      Really, I think the internet tends to magnify these kinds of folks, or provides the kind of context-free sound room in which people can make statements which are read as pure entitlement, but where we lack their backstory or really any insight into what they actually think. It also seems to provide an environment in which you can find concentrations of the more unsavory types of entitled people, which can make it seem as if they’re far more common than they really are “out in the field.”

  18. D. Says:

    Probably the single most important epiphany I had in my early 20s was:

    Don’t waste your time chasing unavailable women.

    Doesn’t matter the reason why they’re unavailable. Could be lack of interest. Could be boyfriend. Could be they’re long-distance or whatever. The bottom line is that there’s just no reason to spend time and energy pining for someone you can’t be with when there’s a whole freakin’ planet of people you CAN be with, and likely at least a handful of them will make you happy.

    On a related note, maybe ask yourself why you’re pining for a woman who’s unavailable. “Perfect, except for…” is, by definition, not “perfect.” It’s not even “perfect for you.” Particularly when “Except for…” is “…she has a boyfriend” or “…she sees me as only a friend.”

  19. J Says:

    Don’t send the letter! And the fact that you’re even bringing this up shows you have no business in the dating scene.

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