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I was doing some reading about men being afraid to flirt and approach women. It reminds me of a time when I was approached in a parking lot by a man. He was around my age at the time, 30 or so. I had just bought curtains for my new apartment and I was loading them inside my car, along with my child and his things. The man approched me with his arms raised, and was asking me to remain calm, saying he was not going to hurt me. I stood there and looked in disbelief wondering what the hell was going on. So, he just asked me for a cup of coffee and I agreed. I still do not understand why that instance took place, but I was wondering what the men think? Are men worried about the legal repercussion of approaching a woman? #metoo, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, that guy from the today show...have women made such examples of men in hollywood that the average man, is now to worried about what will become of him if he approaches a woman?

ShellyBean 6 Feb 20

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1

<Are men worried about the legal repercussion of approaching a woman? #metoo>

Yes, we are! I'm not belittling #metoo or any woman's innate concerns of being approached by an unknown man but the bad apple guys have made it very difficult for the rest of us.

I applaud you for taking the guy up on that cup of coffee. I take it all worked out well.

31

I was reading the police report in my old Hometown, small town weekly paper. A woman called in to report a man smiled at her in a parking lot. The police investigated, but could not find a smiling man.

I was working at walmart, where we were required to smile and offer a polite greeting to any customer who gets within 10 feet of us. It's even called the 10 foot rule. I was reported for following this rule, hauled into the office and wasn't believed until my manager looked at the security camera. Without the camera footage, I would have lost my job. If a man says or does one thing wrong, the woman can make any accusation she wants and it's up to the man to prove it didn't happen.

I'm safe. I never smile

18

I wouldn’t approach a woman from behind when she’s alone, which is how this scenario sounded. I don’t think most men were too affected in how they interact with women by the me too movement. If you’re so far gone that you don’t know what the rules are you probably shouldn’t be dating in the first place.

Riley Level 6 Feb 20, 2018

I don't think that's fair. There was another discussion similar to this involving the #metoo movement. The problem is that "assault" has been so convoluted, how the hell do most guys even know what the rules are? Once upon a time, a guy may have had to ask a woman out three or four times to get a date. Nowadays that considered harassment. Out on a date and reach out and touch her arm without permission? Suddenly you've committed assault because it wasn't "invited". It's out of hand. And women wonder why they can't find a good man.

@Taijiguy Once upon a time is passe. Women no longer force men to chase them by refusing time and again, and men don't need to ask more than once. I've always maintained that asking once is acceptable. Asking multiple times is harassment. Pretty plain.

@EllenDale So, you speak for the entire female gender now? Seems like a lot of assumption there.
Like I said, women wonder why they can't find a good man...

@riley I don't see why you can't approach a woman when she's in a public place. I meet a lot of people when they are alone in public. That's how people go about their lives when they are alone, they keep doing things. I talk to lots of people that I don't know every day in public places. About 50 % are women, because that is generally how the break down goes. Why are there different rules if both genders involved are equal?

Yes it is harassment not to listen to another person’s boundaries. It is dangerous to set a precedent that ignoring what another person says is somehow romantic. Where else is it a positive interaction/appropriate to ignore what a person says?

@Taijiguy

@Myah @Taijiguy had it right that it used to be women were meant to be coy and men were meant to persist and "sweep us off our feet." However, it is not that way anymore. Just straight communication. So much easier that way.

@Taijiguy I no more speak for the entire gender any more than you do. However, you spoke in generalities so I did, too. There was a time males were taught that women were shy, reticent beings who needed a little encouragement in order to see he was serious, and women were taught to not be too eager/easy by accepting a date right away. That is not how today's and yesterday's generation is being raised. Women are taught more so to speak their mind and if she wants to date the guy, she will say yes. If not, she will say no. Today's dating groups are more likely to not "play games" as they term the older courting practices. It's not an inherent trait, it's a societal teaching. I would suspect that women within 5 years of your 58 years are more likely to prefer your practices. It's the women in their 20's, 30's, and 40's who have most likely been raised to be straightforward and say what you mean. I studied and taught communication for a couple decades. Communication is a soft science since humans are involved. That means there will be variances but trends tend to show up. Please don't kill the messanger.

@EllenDale I hope you're right. I certainly prefer direct communication. And for what it's worth, I've never been the persistent type. If they say no I let it go. I'm not interested in hard to get.

@Taijiguy Everyone would be better off. Classes used to get a kick out of discussing things women/Men say. For instance, women might say, "You never take me anywhere!" when what she means is "I want to go iut somewhere, do something." And don't even get me started on the difference in bathrooms! Dad's will teach, "Keep your eyes straight ahead," "Don't talk," and of course, "Never shake hands!" And Women...I'm sure you know the jokes! Lol

@SACatWalker that’s the difference between ethics and law. It’s not written. But you should know that approaching anyone from behind (she was loading stuff in her car when he approached) is wrong, and then asking that person for a date—>sex when she’s alone and has to fear what could happen if she says no is also wrong. It’s predatory behavior.

@ShellyBean So, you're saying you like coffee?

17

Approaching a complete stranger to ask for a date and/or phone number is not appropriate behavior in any situation. I'm old school when it comes dating. If I meet someone somewhere and a conversation happens to strike up, I don't take that as any interest outside of a good conversation between two people. I very well may say that I hope to run into the person again, and if lucky enough we may cross paths again. After I have had some interaction with someone under these circumstances, I ask questions to get more info about their situation (significant other, relationship status, etc.) and then decide if it is appropriate to suggest a date. I never blindly ask someone for a date without knowing if they are single first. And assuming otherwise is plain bad form. Respect goes a long way.

12

I don't think starting up a conversation with a stranger akin to an Ailes, O'Reillys, Weinstein, etc. behaviour.

I see no problem with starting up a conversation with women. (Going the next step and asking for a date when the social situation, content of the conversation, flow of the conversation, etc. doesn't suggest the conversation as a pick up is another thing again. But not a #metoo moment.)

But it's telling of some men that think a casual conversation could be misunderstood as sexual harassment.

@SACatWalker Maybe I simply was not socially aware. Awkward encounters, yes and there were plenty. Women walking away with a respectful "no" to a dismissive "head shake", definitely. But I've certainly not freaked anyone out - as I can remember. I'm sure that I would have freaked women out if I had opened with "Don't be alarmed, I won't hurt you." - especially if I had chased her down across a car park.

My point in my comment is: what in their casual conversations do men, who think their casual conversations may freak women out, think may freak women out? If a guy thinks his casual hello may come across as creepy, it likely will be.

Women saying "no" or walking away, doesn't make the guy's attempt at starting a conversation sexual harassment - UNLESS he was being condescending, sexist, abusive, not age-appropriate, etc...

12

Well, if you work at the same place, treat it like a minefield. If you are in any position of power over them, they should be off limits, period.

If they are a random person, use some common sense and treat any decline as permanent. If they are interested they will make it happen.

If you are friends or something outside of work, then they should be able to handle some flirtation.

Guys should also remember that simply accusing someone of impropriety is a huge thing, people rarely do it without good cause.

The grey areas are when there is some mutual interest, but the circumstances of life simply get in the way. Just stay in touch and let life move on.

10

It definitely make me think twice, especially at work. I think these a-holes like Weinstein deserve it, but it certainly sends a chill down my spine. I have worked with some real batshit crazy women in my past. It goes both ways.

9

Women are not here to appease men. If men feel threatened by #metoo, then perhaps there's a reason they feel that way. Approaching a woman in a parking lot while her hands are full and her children are around her is not at all a smart thing to do. What else is a woman supposed to think if a man she doesn't know approaches her in that situation? Most women would assume the guy has possible harm on his mind. Even if the woman was child-free, had no packages and was just walking to her car, being approached by a strange guy is not ok. There are times and places where guys can meet women, such as at a singles event, a meetup group, online dating, a bar or club. Guys don't need to approach women they don't know in parking lots, and the fact that this guy did would immediately set my radar off. If he can't find a date through other dating venues and feels the only way he can meet women is by approaching them in parking lots, that strongly suggests to me that he isn't a guy you want to spend a lot of time with. I'm glad his intentions were, essentially, innocent and he just wanted to ask you out for coffee. But it worries me that he felt the only way he'd have a chance at getting a date was through the shock factor of approaching a woman he doesn't know in a parking lot. To quote Canadian author Margaret Atwood, "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them." For the men: don't be that guy.

8

I think any man who's changed the way he interacts with women in the wake of Weinstein, Cosby, et al either doesn't understand the situation or is a piece of shit. However, I would try to be considerate when approaching a strange woman. It's understandable that anyone, especially a lone woman, would be on edge in the right (wrong) circumstances.

JimG Level 8 Feb 20, 2018
8

It's sad the way things are going. Persistent predators like Weinstein, Cosby and Spacey needed to be exposed, but once the Internet vigilantes get a taste of blood, they start widening their sights. The next thing you know, they're ripping into anyone who may have made a clumsy drunken pass at someone, once, 40 years ago (such as the allegation being made against George Takei at one point.)

If anyone claims they no longer understand the rules, they're ridiculed. This means that we don't get to the bottom of what is and isn't acceptable behaviour these days. No, a man can't randomly walk up to a woman and pinch her behind anymore. That's perfectly reasonable. But it's got to the point where even continuing a conversation after being told 'no' amounts to sexual harassment.

How many people are happily married to someone who didn't take 'no' for an answer the first time they were told it? There is a thrill of the chase for both sides in the human mating ritual, and I feel we're in real danger of destroying it in the name of political correctness.

I respectfully disagree. When I say "no," it's not an invitation to try harder, and if that was the norm before, I'm glad it's changing with our generation.

I also agree with hammerhead

I was once told that the most dangerous man was the one that would not hear the word “no”. I believe it (bad in women too of course).

I was once asked out by a coworker and I told him no, but we could be friends. He took me up on the friend option and we would sometimes hangout. I found out I really liked him as I got to know him better and ended up asking him out.

I guarantee this would never have happened if he had not respected my boundaries. I could see he was always very careful to respect my wishes to just be friends. If he had kept in trying and pushing that would have just meant he was going to always put his needs ahead of my own - Not boyfriend or just plain buddy friend material.

The way I see it: They ask. You say "No"." They ask. You say "No, and never ask me that question again." They ask. Now they're a sex pest.

The way the world seems to see it these days: They ask. You say "No." They ask. Now they're a sex pest.

The first of those two options leaves room for the old-fashioned approach for those who want it, without causing any major inconvenience to those who don't. Really, I don't see the harm in having to elaborate a little on the "No."

7

Men already have poor reputation among women, I just don't want to feed the "creep" stereotype. So I wait for a genuinely interested girl to show signs before I approach her.

7

It's interesting, and enlightening to hear women's perspectives on this whole subject. The answer is a big YES, we're now paranoid as fuck. And I'm not even on the look-out for a female partner.

It takes nothing more than an accusation to ruin a man's life. This misuse of the the #meetoo movement could end up being its undoing.

And interestingly, the most criticism for this observation comes from men, even here in this web site.

It saddens me you had to go through that. Women who falsely accuse men not only harm that man, but also make it more difficult for women who legitimately been harassed to be believed.

I really don't believe most men need to be paranoid as fuck. Use common sense. Don't touch a woman's boobs, butt or crotch. Don't approach a woman who is alone in a creepy place like a parking ramp or lot.

But if you are somewhere public, say the grocery store, I don't see a problem with striking up a conversation over how to choose a pineapple or something similar. Don't tell you something creepy like you want to rub the pineapple over her naked body! But a friendly, non-threatening conversation is fine.

7

It makes me more nervous about doing it tbh. There are some that are sensible about these things, but I’ve known instances where people just saying they are interested and asking someone out was seen as sexual harassment. To me if you’ve done it respectfully, and the answer is no and you backed off, it isn’t. Also I’ve found if you dare to have this opinion, you’re often shot down as being ‘part of the problem’. As society in general though we’ve become scared of real life interaction. You try to strike up a conversation with a stranger on the bus and you’re considered weird nowadays.

I always embarrass the hell out of my kids by talking to strangers. Both men and women. Elderly and young adult. I'm just a naturally friendly person. If someone has an adorably cute kid that is making me smile, I'll mention it. Granted I usually only talk to people if I've made eye contact with them. I see no problem saying hi to someone on the street that I don't know.

I'm not sure, maybe it's a midwestern thing. I'm in Minnesota and it's just not uncommon for strangers to talk to each other.

As for sexual harassment, unless a guy touches my boob, butt or upper thigh, I'm generally not going to be offended. Although I tend to be a touchy-feely person. Similarly, unless he says something really crude to me, I'm generally going to take a compliments as just that, a compliment.

5

I would Never blame a guy for respectfully asking fr coffee or a date....altho your parking lot scenario is iffy at best! But if I say no thank you, anything beyond that is inappropriate, period. Women have been raised to worry about other's feelings and anyone who takes advantage of that is a nasty piece of work!

5

While I tend to believe most accusations of grossly unnappropriate behavior towards some simply because of the number of accusers, I also tend to be outraged at the potential for abuse by some women who might not be truthful, and I am still a believer in "due process". Case-in-point: Duke lacrosse team. Just sayin'.

The problem with that is it's often a he said/she said thing. There's no actual evidence. Even if sperm is found in the woman and there are signs of being forced, what's stopping a guy from saying it was part of BDSM or rough play?

Look at the idiot in chief, he's been recorded bragging about grabbing women by the pussy, accused of rape by an ex-wife and of harassment by numerous women. But still, it's the woman's fault somehow.

Yes! Roy Moore was falsely accused and it cost him the election. I would think all women would be furious about that, as it makes people suspicious of subsequent accusations. Some like to claim that since he was a conservative, that the end justified the means. That's to me just a contemptible attitude.

5

Men are pretty unsecure animals. True story... first girl I met in Crete... she was from Norway. I been drinking... I approached her and she say hi... I attempt to speak to her and spit on her by mistake of course due intoxication... her reaction is as expected... You spitted on me! So I just said... I am sorry, I been drinking and I am Puerto Rican I am used to Rejection. She said you are Puerto RIcan? Figure out the rest of the story but what I meant to say to the guys is watch "Carlito's Way" and the scene when his girl tell him... "if you don't get in, you don't get it". I had met women in the most ridiculous ways. But the key is... I had met them. I had Royally Fumbled on first dates, like spilling a drink on her on our first thing, we still got married and had 3 kids together. Just be Sensitive to know when She Said No, she meant No. And Remember... "You show me the most beautiful woman in the world and I will find you a man tired of her shit". We are Nothing but Humans after all... Flawed Humans.

@SACatWalker And you are so right and as a young woman once told me... You May Not be the Guy but if you are at the right place at the right time... You Are Going To Be The Guy. And we got trump as president. It is all about Timing and Confidence. I am terrible, I am a hellish, devilish guy. That turned the world into his playground within his limitations...so I move in Salsa circles. I am new to most here where I am because haven't been around for many years. I observe a woman in a club for a while I can see she can dance... I go to her not with intention of dancing, I know she can dance I seen her... but she have not see me... so I try conversation, she brush me up thinking I can't dance I am one of the those guys! Oh but when she see me later dance suddenly she is friendly to me... But I am Cold as Hell. Because you only have one time to make a first impression. I play the asshole sometimes. I think my Ex GF knows when I take her to dance is because I am trying to impress somebody else and no woman makes me look good as she does because she is a pro and when I messed up, she correct me with a look. Love is that never ending game. Timing is everything but expect Surprises. Sometimes you are the hammer... sometimes you are the nail.

5

I don't think I'd put my hands up but I do find it really awkward to approach a girl I'm attracted too. It has nothing to do with #MeToo and I think people have broadened that out way too far - we know what abuse looks like and a bit of flirting or asking for a number isn't that. For me, I'm a bit shy and I find it hard to read whether there is interest from the other person - and I just think the girl might be weirded out by it and not appreciate the approach. That's probably not the case at all but it just feels weird unless you can start a natural conversation first and judge if they are interested in you.

Socially awkward people unite!

@Marcie1974 Yeah, like so many socially awkward people I am fairly outgoing, charming and friendly but when I meet a woman I am attracted to I just can't seem to get the approach right and usually I think girls just assume I'm not interested or they just pick up friendly vibes. Classic for me was when I started to spot a pretty girl walking on the opposite route to work - so I smiled at her and she smiled back. This happens a few times and I'm thinking "how do I take it a step further?" so I get some words in my head ... think I'll offer to meet for coffee after work and give her my number on the back of my work card, so I'm being open and not a crazy. All seems set up nicely ... but I never see her again ... gone.

@ChrisR Ugh, so hard to know what to do in those situations!

@ChrisR Happen to me in a Wedding just arriving to DC from Germany. So me and this woman spent a good amount of time looking at each other on the reception but i never asked her to dance thinking... I just got here, I will see her again. I never did. I asked around and nobody knew her or noticed her. You have to act sometimes as if is the only chance you are going to get. We waste opportunities way to often.

5

I can see that approaching women in isolated places can be very confronting and do not recommend it. I have no concerns approaching women in public places, not that I do so to ask them out. In 3 organisations I have been the person to whom sexual misconduct could be reported, in each case it was female staff who made the request. My title at one company was "Sexual Harassment Officer" with the comment that if anyone wanted to be harassed they should come to me, but that no-one else in the organization was permitted to hassle the girls. It was partly tongue in cheek, but also recognition that things were not as good as they should be. I did cause a couple of managers to lose their jobs for misconduct. To be honest, things are bad, guys have brought this on themselves, but looking back over the past 50 years, many many women and girls actively encouraged behaviour that is not acceptable any more. As a junior I was groped many times by female staff, both my age and much older.The world has changed. I believe for the better, I hated working with sleazebags.

4

This theme of conversation reminds me of an experience I had with my brother. We were walking down the street late at night and we were gaining on a woman on the same side walk. As we approached her, I veered off the sidewalk and crossed to the other side of the street, and we passed her. After a while, my brother asked me why I had crossed the street. I said that we had been gaining on that woman and I didn’t want to scare her.
He said that was what he thought. Then I asked him if he would have crossed the street. He answered that if he had been alone he would have crossed the street a bit earlier than when we did. We both had the same thought - him a little earlier.

I think the moral of this story is that it’s everyone’s job not to scare the shit out of other people. I, even as a female, was aware that our greater speed and greater numbers could be interpreted as threatening, and so I crossed the street. Males often act as if they are the only ones doing this because like my brother, you “cross the street” earlier than I “crossed the street.” This makes sense as men are on average more threatening than women, so yes, you might give bigger berth than I do.

I personally think that everyone has the right to ask someone else out (once - if they say no, you need to respect boundaries) provided there is no potential conflict of interest.
That being said, if we are going to be promoting a gender role on whose responsibility it is to ask someone out, I try to promote women doing the asking out. Men always have to navigate the inherent physical size difference (which isn’t going away) and other patriarchy power dynamics (which aren’t going away fast enough) to get in the good graces of women (basing off heterosexual relationships in the advice obviously). It is much better to have women ask men out as a societal norm in my opinion. For women I tell them it works in your favor. The chances of you picking out an asshole out of group of men is much less than an asshole picking you out and targeting you.

Myah Level 6 Feb 20, 2018
4

I think society is undergoing a much needed paradigm shift in how men and women interact on several different levels. Until we get it worked out, things are likely to be kind of uncomfortable, and a bit awkward for a while.
Btw, Hollywood is not the only place with the problem. It has existed everywhere, for a very long time. The #MeToo movement has been a long time coming, and it's not going anywhere. There have been too many people (mostly male, but some female) who have been getting away with their bullshit antics for far too long. It's going to take a minute to sort through all this bs. Don't blame women for men not knowing how, or being too scared, to approach a woman. That is not a valid argument, it's an excuse for not being able to communicate clearly and with confidence. Approaching women isn't the problem, it has never been the problem.
If some men and women can't handle the changes happening, that's on them. Would you prefer going back to the Victorian-era practices of courtship? Btw, those only worked for the upper classes. Regular people still met and courted the same way they always had.

4

I don't think I'm going to have any further problems, as it still takes all the courage I can summon to even talk to girls in the first place.

4

I think that is a far cry from the fear that most women have when being approached, or when they turn down a date, or a flirtation, or get catcalled, etc. Men are seriously weak and whiny when it comes to any infringement on their ability to say or do whatever the fuck they want whenever and wherever they want. I have no sympathy.

Hear,hear!

@SACatWalker On the contrary, if that is your perspective then you should understand exactly what I’m talking about. The vast majority of women have been harassed and treated as inferiors for most of their lives. Now that there is finally some public recognition of that we need to do everything possible to empathize with their feelings rather than safeguard our own. The same thing applies to minorities, to the poor/underprivileged and those with little political power, to the disabled. We should do everything we can to put ourselves in their shoes and to treat them as we want to be treated.

@SACatWalker I'm not sure I agree with you. If a fit, handsome man who has lived a charmed life approaches me, I generally tend to think that he's used to getting what he wants. Perhaps he won't take no for an answer because he's used to women falling at his feet. I feel more comfortable around "average guys" because they don't expect everything to be handed to them.

No offense against you @PhitDoctor50, I don't know your story of if you've lived a charmed life. Just saying what would be going through my mind in the first couple seconds of meeting. Before I've had a chance to talk to a guy and determine if he's creepy or cool.

@Marcie1974 not taking it personally at all.

4

It's good that men now have to stop and consider the consequences of their actions. It's about time.

I have no problem "approaching" women. My only desire is getting to know who she is as a person, and sharing who I am. Occasionally, that initial conversation turns into more, and every once in a while, those conversations lead to more. I can never have too many real and honest friends. I could not be less interested in "hookups". And, I have the benefit of not being accused of anything inappropriate. When you respect people, you don't treat them as objects.

My friends tell me I'm not typical of males.

4

A terrifying situation is now made worse as you have to worry if the lady you are interested in us going to call the police f she doesn't like you

PS I agree with the other posts it's the assholes out there that have made things bad for the rest of us

3

All my life, if I see a woman who I would like to meet, I will approach her, apologize for my forwardness, and ask if I could make her acquaintance. I have never had any bad reactions in doing that and have met many women. Nothing ventured, nothing gained,

3

Wow. If ever I get back in the game I'm going to try that approach, "Stay calm. I mean you no harm."

That actually would be really hilarious.

@Marcie1974 you are a brave woman

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