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BREAKING: Women using earbuds to commit grave misandries upon innocent men

Oh noes!
Oh noes!

So this little screenshot is making the rounds on the internet. It’s from 4chan, so who knows if the guy posting it is sincere. But I’ve seen similar, albeit less histrionic, complaints from other would-be pickup artistes in the past.

Guess what, dude. Some of those women wearing earbuds aren’t even listening to music. They just wear them to avoid creepy dudes like you.

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inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

There was this amazing exchange in response to this post on tumblr started by user leupagus, and a Nice Guy showed up, and it was pretty great:
http://inurashii.tumblr.com/post/85850943185/ocelotspots-leupagus-jeffl95-leupagus

Leupagus then found this post on his blog:
http://leupagus.tumblr.com/post/85794627713/jeffl95-ok-ive-seen-a-lot-of-feminist-stuff

This stuff just writes itself with these guys.

He has since taken his blog down, no doubt to have a rational think about the discourse and definitely not because his whiny manbaby feels were hurt and he had to shitfit-flounce.

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

Yeah, I’m not in the habit of wearing earbuds in public but maybe now . . .

Hyena Girl
7 years ago

Amusingly when I was commuting in NYC I wore headphones for pretty much that exact reason. I could hear what was going on around me but pretend I couldn’t hear it. It’s a very useful threat detection method.

Supernova
Supernova
7 years ago

What? Women do things without considering if it will interfere with a nice guy trying to hit on them? Misandry! It’s only polite for women to go out of their way, but no! They just HAVE to friend zone us with their evil earbuds!

inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

I have no car and travel exclusively via the T. Earbuds were a saving grace even when I was presenting male. Now that I’m transitioning? Forgetting my earbuds is reason enough to turn back home and risk being late.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
7 years ago

Tricksie womenses! *gollum gollum* How dare you keep us from the preshussssssss?

Fade
7 years ago

what i find even funnier in an annoying way than the original screed is all the backlash i’ve seen from men saying “women are calling this guy an asshole? THIS IS WHY NICE GUYS NEVER APPROACH WOMEN ON THE STREET, B/C WE MIGHT BE CONFUSED WITH ASSHOLES. Gaaah you’re ruining romance”

Fade
7 years ago

@gillyrosebee

omigod, that’s hilarious XD

DreamingRainne (@DreamingRainne)

So, she should avoid listening to music or otherwise focusing on her own interests, at any time while in public, just in case some guy happens to have a crush on her and <sarcasm>is thereby entitled to override her</sarcasm>.

Besides, crush or not, if you want need the attention of someone using headphones/earbuds, just look them in the eye and wave, or something.

If you’re so nervous about approaching, then perhaps it’s because you have no existing connection that you can build upon; you have to start from scratch; you want to talk but have nothing to say. In which case, why do you assume there’s any basis for a relationship, other than the fact you’re attracted to her? That in itself is not enough, even if these guys need it to be.

cloudiah
7 years ago

@inurashii, That tumblr takedown was awesome.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

It was sincere. I saw this earlier. The guy made comments about how he had been “Facebook stalking” the woman he was raging about. He was unhinged toward her because she wasn’t living her life in a manner that helped him gain access to her body.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Headphones and earbuds deter some unwelcome attention, but not all. So many men do not give a fuck. I’ve never had anyone rip my headphones off before, but there have been times men try to talk to me and when I pretend to not see or hear them they tap me on the shoulder or touch my arm to force me to have to acknowledge them. Why would anyone think that’s OK.

No, assholes. Women are required to make ourselves open to sexual or romantic advances in public places. We aren’t even required to make ourselves available for small talk. You are not entitled to anybody’s attention.

Headphones have got to my favorite tool of the fascist gynocracy.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

I don’t wear headphones in public because if I’m listening to music I get too distracted–but headphones on at work sure do keep annoying interruptions at bay.

I use my epic resting b*tchface to keep strangers away.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@hyena girl

Amusingly when I was commuting in NYC I wore headphones for pretty much that exact reason. I could hear what was going on around me but pretend I couldn’t hear it. It’s a very useful threat detection method.

That sounds like a great idea :3 I don’t actually like using earbuds in public, because I feel so un-aware, but it’d be a good reason to not respond. especially since, even if people aren’t being dicks, sometimes I’m just socially shut down and can’t respond to people, and I think people who don’t know me would consider it rude, even though I can get by with my immediate family by just giving ‘not now’ grunts.

@fade

what i find even funnier in an annoying way than the original screed is all the backlash i’ve seen from men saying “women are calling this guy an asshole? THIS IS WHY NICE GUYS NEVER APPROACH WOMEN ON THE STREET, B/C WE MIGHT BE CONFUSED WITH ASSHOLES. Gaaah you’re ruining romance”

Ohmigod, I saw those losers. And I just want to be like “now nice guys will never approach women on the street!!!!leven”

Good.

pineapplecookies
pineapplecookies
7 years ago

I was with some friends today, all women, having a nice time at the park. We were approached twice by creepy men in less than an hour. One of them asked where Hotel X was. When my friend answered he said “that is where my room is” and then proceed to convince us how nice it would be if we all went to his room. I almost said “that sounds great! Give me the keys and stay right here while we go to your room, watch pay per view and order room service without you. So nice of you to offer.” Oh, the misandric thoughts…

The other was soooooo creepy! He looked at one of our friends in the most disgusting appalling way. He even licked his lips and proceeded to send us kisses. Not to mention that he thought he was entitled to our attention.

I was very bothered. We were just having a nice time. Why do we have to keep being bothered by men like that?

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@pineapplecookies

::offers jedi hugs and brain bleach:: Those guys sound terrible. Whenever I hear about them I get violent thoughts, which is probably not the best thing ever. But still. Fuck them all.

pineapplecookies
pineapplecookies
7 years ago

@Marie

ohmygodthatissoadorable!!! *___*

banshee
banshee
7 years ago

I loved the tmblr rebuttal.
Geesh. How dare an attractive woman assert her right to be lef in peace. Lol, nothing demonstrates “high value” more t to a woman than ripping earbuds out of the ears of someone who was loudly signalling that she didn’t want to be bothered in the first place.

Zolnier
Zolnier
7 years ago

I sympathise with this guy. One time a comrade of mine tried to approach a lady with earbuds in their usual, eventually after making the traditional call of man to no avail, my friend tore the accursed miniature gramophones from the wrenches’ organs of hearing. As it turned out the woman was taking in Eric Zahn’s greatest hits and their absence unleashed an infinity of horrors upon the world. Damn you Jobs for making it harder to discern if someone holds within them hordes of horrors from beyond.

…At least that has to be what this guy is getting at, can’t imagine anything else worth that despair.

And did Apple even invent earbuds anyway?

Ally S
7 years ago

@inurashii

What are your pronouns? I’m sorry; I had no idea you were trans.

emma
emma
7 years ago

This has to be a joke. Right…?

I’m reminded of a recent post on another misogynist blog, Just Four Guys, written by an aggrieved young man (which is not saying much, as they are all aggrieved there, because women) who described being unpleasantly rejected by a young woman in a bar. Proof, for anyone listening, that women are evil, of course.

Judging by his telling of that story, she was indeed unnecessarily unpleasant — freaked out even (for no good reason) — and he received tons of supportive backslapping from commenters there, who all know how evil women are and are always ready to commiserate about it.

What was overlooked, however, is that the young man, in a rather unpleasant fashion, pegged the woman he was to approach as far less attractive than what (yes) he would really tackle (4 instead of 9 or something like it, if I recall, to use that charming habit of assigning numbers, based on physical attractiveness, to human beings — though since women are not human beings, it’s OK, I suppose). He said, essentially, that it was his practice run — being a shy nice (of course) guy, he was not yet ready to approach a real object of his dreams, a 9 or 10, so he used this unsuspecting woman as a training tool for his game skills; although that’s not how he put it, because that obvious realization eluded him and his back-slapping supporters. The assumption was that the “unattractive” woman would not reject him and be somehow unusually kind, because she should be grateful to be approached at all.

Yet when she freaked out — because she did, according to him, and for no good reason, according to him — he was mortally wounded and women are evil.

The entitlement of men who objectify women as a matter of fact, either because they are clueless or nasty (or both) is as mind-boggling as their lack of self-awareness and desire to blame women for, well, everything that’s wrong with their lives and the world as they know it.

inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

For those of you with a strong stomach, here’s the archived /r9k/ thread that shows exactly how deep the creep well goes:
http://archive.heinessen.com/r9k/thread/11116335

@Ally S:
Standard feminine pronouns. I’ve only been out as trans for a few months, though I identified as genderqueer for longer.

Ally S
7 years ago

I use earbuds in order to ward off strangers who want to talk to me, but oftentimes people rudely talk to me anyway. Granted, I don’t mind someone asking for help like how to get to this or that place, what bus/train to take, etc. But very frequently I run into men who keep talking to me and show no signs of respecting my boundaries. One time such a man SAT RIGHT NEXT TO ME ON THE BUS as if he was a close friend. Like, maybe there was at most an inch of space between us. He also took a picture of me against my will and told me I look like Mark Zuckerberg. Asshole.

But I’m generally comfortable with women talking to me about stuff. It makes me feel less alone in a way, and I know only a few abusive women in my life, so I’m just not as afraid of interacting with them in general. And it’s even better if she’s cute.

EffieLou
EffieLou
7 years ago

Long-time lurker, first time commenter, cis pansexual female. Hi all!

@inurashii

The T? Are you a fellow Bostonian?

For those who are not Bostonians, we have a real problem with sexual harassment and assault on the subway. For some reason there are a lot of men who think it’s ok to masturbate in front of and onto women sitting on the T. The MBTA actually put up ads talking about it in an effort to curb it.

I’ve only ever had one guy really try to come onto me while I was wearing earbuds. It wasn’t just creepy, it was incredibly gross. I was sitting on the back row of the bus, dude sat down right next to me despite a plethora of empty seats. He tapped me on the shoulder, I pulled one earbud out to ask what he wanted. He started to try to flirt with me, I shut him down and put my earbud back in, and switched seat. He sat back down next to me, PULLED MY EARBUD OUT, then started to describe to me in graphic detail what he wanted to do to me. He got through about two sentences before I gathered myself together enough to go up to the bus driver and tell him I was being sexually harassed on his bus and if he didn’t do something about it I’d report both him and the harasser to the MBTA. Dude was put off the bus at the next stop.

Ally S
7 years ago

@inurashii

Yay, another one in the Trans Mammotheer Club! =D

emma
emma
7 years ago

“Just be open and receptive” or else!

The entitlement in dating extends to entitlement in marriage — thus these same nice guys don’t believe that marital rape is a thing. Same mindset; it boils down to “I want to have sex with you and you have no right to refuse.”

chocomintlipwax
7 years ago

True: I often wear earbuds without actually listening to something. I just want people to leave me alone. When I get off the bus and start my trek to work, then I turn on my audiobook.

Ally S
7 years ago

BTW, I’ve heard that some strange men rip out women’s earbuds in order to get their attention. That thought really scares me because I’ve already had more than enough experience with invasive men. What do you folks think is a good response to a man ripping out your earbuds?

emma
emma
7 years ago

“What do you folks think is a good response to a man ripping out your earbuds?”

Pepper spray?

Hyena Girl
7 years ago

Ally: A firm “no” combined with a knee to the groin would be the proper response in my book

inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

If you want to avoid violence, a firm “That’s assault. Touch me again and I will call the police [or scream for help]” may do the trick.

If you don’t even want to go that far, just shouting “Leave me alone!” loudly will get the attention of everyone nearby and dudeface will need to either disengage or engage under the knowledge that he’s being watched.

and yaay trans mammothers! I didn’t really expect any of this, and I’m wading through impostor syndrome and dysphoria in equal measure but uh yaayy?

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
7 years ago

I actually have a pair of earbuds I’ve altered so that I can listen to audiobooks in one ear and have no sound in the other so that I can be aware of my surroundings even when I am listening.

And, of course, YAY WORLD for never being able to just lose myself in a good book because I know from experience that there are very few places where it’s safe not to sleep with one eye open as it were, but I digress…

Ally, whatever you feel up to and whatever makes you feel safe in the moment. I’ve never had the earbuds thing happen (though I did have a guy once grab my arm and turn me half around because I hadn’t even been aware that he was catcalling me) but it’s as situation dependent as any other bit of harassment. Grabber got a “Fuck you, Sunny Jim” (and where THAT came from I will never know) and I shook my arm away and walked on. Partially because I was startled, partially because it was latish and there weren’t many people around and what I wanted most was to put distance between us.

On another occasion I was standing in a line and the guy behind me decided to try to “accidentally” bump up against me and grab my ass. In that case it was a longish line, there were plenty of people in the coffee shop, and it was in fact a place of business with a manager and a corporate image to protect, so I decided to rip the guy a new one. Well, I first told him to take a step back and keep his hands to himself, because I generally don’t try to escalate, but when he came back with the usual “Hey, b*tch, what’s your problem?” crap, I decided to open up on him. In that moment I wanted all eyes on me because he clearly DID want to escalate, and I figured I had a 50/50 chance that the shop manager would be on my side either on the merits or if not then simply for pragmatic reasons.

As it happened, I won the lottery on that – though the cashier was clueless and willing to stand there, Grabby had a full-on meltdown, complete with random outbursts of “c*nt” “wh*re” and “b*tch”, which brought the manager, who told Grabby to smile for the cameras that had recorded the whole thing, and then told him to get out and stay out or he’d be calling the police. They also offered to comp my coffee and to call a cab to get me where I was going so that if Grabby wanted to wait outside to stalk me he wouldn’t be able to follow me easily. Alas, Coffee Connection, how much do I miss thee!

Ally S
7 years ago

Maybe I don’t really have any real line of defense besides meek refusals to speak. I’m too scared of using pepper spray or kneeing someone in the groin. Every single time someone harasses me in public I freeze and become as vulnerable as a 10-year-old even though I’m like 19. I have tried to fight back abusers before only to make them hurt me even more, so the thought of a strange man hurting me in vengeance is even more terrifying.

:: sigh :: I just wish creepy men would back the fuck off already. It’s like they’ll never leave me alone no matter what I do. My brother one time told me that the reason all kinds of people (and therefore male harassers) approach me is that I come off as friendly and non-judgmental, and so people don’t feel afraid of approaching me. I’m almost willing to trade that image for a more intimidating one just to get these people off of my back.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Chocomintlipwax,
Is that a filovirus you have as your avatar? That amuses me.

EffieLou
Welcome! Sorry that happened to you. Gross.

Maybe Minnesota nice is a thing after all. We have plenty of creepers here but the public transportation horror stories I see on the internet from women in Boston, NYC and Chicago seem to be worse than what I and my friends experience in the Twin Cities.

One time I was sitting on a bus in a short skirt and a man sat down next to me, called me “white chocolate” and caressed my thigh. It was so gross. Luckily he moved after I told him not to fucking touch me.

Another time at the bus stop a man came up to me and asked “are your tits real? Because if they are, I’ll give you my home phone, cell number and address.” As if whether my breasts are real is some strangers business. As you all might guess, I had never expressed an interest in obtaining this guys contact info.

Those are only a fraction of my stories, so yeah, I’m not going to feel bad about wearing headphones in order to be less approachable.

Ally S
7 years ago

@inurashii

I know exactly what you mean by the impostor syndrome/dysphoria mix. I have felt that way ever since I realized I was trans, and it’s really rough. I’m sorry you’re going through it as well. All I can say is that it seems to be very common among trans folks (especially the CAMAB trans people I know), so we’re not alone in that respect.

Hyena Girl
7 years ago

@inurashii, Ally:
There’s always been a nice number of trans women here and it’s a very accepting place

P.S. I’m one of them.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Ally,
If the harassment is verbal only, sometimes freezing is actually the best response. I think they want a reaction. I find they’re a bit less likely to escalate if I just pretend I didn’t hear or see them then if I engage. Feed the trolls till the burst is great online but IRL it’s not practical or safe.

It’s a different story if the harassment is physical. If a lot of people are around, making a scene and yelling something along of the lines of “don’t touch me!” will get people to look at you. It’s embarrassing, but the attention often scares the predator away.

Fibinachi
7 years ago

What do you folks think is a good response to a man ripping out your earbuds?

Short, vicious jabs at the solar plexus, the shins, the groin and the kidneys? If someone escalates further, you move on to the eyes, the nose and the throat? The last three are potentially fatal, so never, ever strike someone in those areas without some serious due concern.

More helpful advice that’s not about disabling mammals – I’ve always found that a very perplexed “Sorry, what are you doing?” makes people lock up. It’s a bit tough to get the intonation correct, but you have to sound like you’re just incredibly puzzled and confused that this is a thing that is happening, because it forces whoever is being an ass to either answer you, in which case they have to state out loud something like: “I am taking your earbuds”, or “I am poking you for fun” or “I am touching you because you are a pretty”, or they have to ignore you and proceed with what they’re doing.

In the first case, them having said that out loud means they either stop (because they’re forced to acknowledge their behaviour is SO NOT OKAY) or you can answer “Well, stop that, I don’t like it”, and other people nearby have now clearly heard you state that you don’t like what someone is admitting to doing, so you have 100 % clear access to walking away / getting help / attention. Any escalation from their part is now totally not cool, you win this round of social aikido.

In the second case, someone is proceeding with what they’re doing despite your protests, which means you go directly to “Stop that”, and you have the social backing of everyone around you. Sometimes you get the really glip / guilt-less types who go “Having fun”, or “Oh, nothing”, and then you just proceed to “Stop that, please”, and boom.

Handsy strangers are the worst. At least when it normally happens to me I’m dressed like a monster and armed to the teeth.

Ally S
7 years ago

@WWTH

I guess it makes sense to just freeze. (I’ve only been verbally harassed.) I just wish I had another way to deal with it.

Ally S
7 years ago

Oh, sometimes I’ve noticed that being stoned out of mind makes harassment easier to deal with because I’m more likely to comfortably go all “Dude, what are you doing?” and not freeze up as much. The problem with that approach, of course, is the being high part.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
7 years ago

Ally, my guess is that you’d freeze less if you had a strategy. Could you decide on a response you’d feel comfortable with and practice that with someone you feel comfortable with? Like anything else, repetition and practice builds both familiarity and confidence.

ako
ako
7 years ago

That Tumblr Nice Guy is using that “Women wonder why nice guys don’t approach them” line I’ve seen a million times. It’s this weird assumption a lot of Nice Guys make that any woman they’d want to approach must be single, attracted to men, wanting to be in a relationship right then, and bemoaning how very hard it is to find someone nice. Because being a lesbian, I don’t exist, neither does my friend with an anxiety disorder who doesn’t want to date because socializing with anyone new is so stressful, neither does my other friend who’s asexual, and neither do the dozens of women I know personally who are committed monogamous relationships.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
7 years ago

…and as per Fibinachi, “Dude, what ARE you doing?” is a pretty good non-escalating response. Say it in the same tone you’d use if someone was going to stick their hand in a blender.

Ally S
7 years ago

@Fibinachi

Your advice about non-violent defense is really helpful. Thanks. :}

@gillyrosebee

The thing is, my way of coping with an uncomfortable situation with someone is to intellectualize the conversation. Ideally, if someone touched me inappropriately or violated my boundaries some other way, I’d like to have the courage to calmly respond with an explanation of why I didn’t like that behavior and a request for them to stop. And hope that they’d understand and leave me alone. But a lot of people are unreasonable, so I guess that idea will just remain unrealistic.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
7 years ago

I get it, I have a tendency to intellectualize too. The only problem I have with part 1 of your response is that you don’t owe anyone the “why” and it’s a bad idea to enable that bit of acculturation, in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that the kind of people who are gonna do the harassing 1. are only interested in you inasmuch as they like to upset people, 2. aren’t the kind of people who are going to listen, let alone actually hear what you saying and 3. if they do hear you, are more likely to use “why” information to be more of an asshole.

This is one of those, “would you rather be right or would you rather be happy” issues. Yes, you are right that it would be great if we could sit idiots down for a lecture (with full color glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one) in why their behavior is unacceptable and must change. But they aren’t going to listen and they will find the spectacle of you feeling the need to justify yourself to them personally satisfying.

So, skip to part 2. And tell, don’t ask. “Stop that and leave me alone,” is a perfectly appropriate thing to say in this kind of instance.

Xen
Xen
7 years ago

This is a troll, right? Can someone really think this way? If so, I’m wearing ear buds anytime I go out. I won’t even play any music on them.

Ken L.
Ken L.
7 years ago

If this not a joke. This is not creepy. Arrogant beyond arrogant for sure. also Jerk like and very immature. I am honestly shocked that he didn’t pull her ear buds out. Now that is creepy

@emma

First retake you buds. figure out if he is mental disabled or in need of actual help. if not tell him, in any way you like not to do that again. then if the problem goes on spray.

Calla
Calla
7 years ago

Ear buds are a signal the wearer is not receptive to an advance and thus saves the nice guy time and trouble. If someone approaches anyway, they deserve any sort of rude rejection they get.

Ally S
7 years ago

@gillyrosebee

You’re so right. I think I feel that way because all my life I’ve felt obligated to educate everyone and fix their problems. And if I slip up, I’m nothing.

Anyway, thank you for talking to me. It helps to talk about these things openly because I’ve been triggered by thoughts of harassment all day today. I still feel anxious as hell but at least I’ve received some really good advice.

Ally S
7 years ago

First retake you buds. figure out if he is mental disabled or in need of actual help. if not tell him, in any way you like not to do that again. then if the problem goes on spray.

Something about this comment really rubs me the wrong way.

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