If a woman has her headphones in, the answer is never

Martha Mills at the Guardian has thoughts on Dan Bacon’s how to intrude on women advice:

Here’s Dan’s interpretation of how the conversation goes once a man has used his infallible five-point Jedi mind trick to bludgeon a woman from her blissful state of aural security:

You: [Smile in a friendly, confident manner] Hey – I know it’s not normal for people to talk to someone with headphones in, but I was walking along and saw you and thought – wow, she’s a cutie, I have to say hi. I’m Dan, what’s your name?

Woman: [Usually flattered by the compliment and impressed by your confidence to approach her like that] Jessica.

You: [Add in some humor] Cool…nice to meet you Jessica. I don’t normally talk to girls with headphones, but your big green headphones were just calling out to me.

Woman: [Most likely laughing, smiling and enjoying the interaction].

You: [Let her know that you have something to do/somewhere to go, so she understands that you’re not going to stand there talking to her for 30 minutes] Anyway, so I’m just out doing a bit of shopping at the moment. I’m on my way to a store up the street. How’s your day going so far?

In his scenario, Jessica has just been waiting her whole life to be blessed with the attention of a complete stranger who mistakes hunched shoulders, darting eyes and rictus for laughing and smiling.

Here’s how it plays out in real life. Trust me, I’ve been it, seen it and spoken to the survivors:

Him: I see you don’t want to be talked to but I find you physically attractive and I’m making that your problem.

Her: Please leave me alone.


Then she explains how threatening and insulting all this really is:

I appreciate the world of mating is hard but please, for the love of humanity, learn this: just because you want, doesn’t mean you can have. Women are not commodities to be hunted and won, and if you have no luck finding someone to bump pink bits with, that’s your problem, not our fault for not adhering to the playbook rules. It’s a playbook we never signed up for and it’s only a game if both teams actually know they’re playing.

Nowhere in his advice does Dan tell his frustrated man-babies how to handle rejection with grace, because the advice is simply not to accept it. This attitude is why I and countless other women have been been chased down the street, followed home, physically restrained, spat at, verbally abused and generally made to feel like garbage, merely for trying to exist.

So when, I hear the whiny pissbabies ask, when am I allowed to approach hot single women? Simple.

If a woman has her headphones in, the answer is never – and before you bleat on about “ooh, what if there’s a fire?”, she’ll smell it, even through all your bullshit. If you’re in a bar or party, her flirtatious smile may be the come-on you’re looking for, but be prepared to accept that you read it wrong, politely wish her a good evening and toddle back off out of her life without 20 minutes of awkward pawing, insisting she let you buy her a rohypnoltini. But how about this; take up a hobby, ask your friends if they know of someone looking to date or (brace yourself for a whopper of a revelation) if you’re looking for a horde of single, eligible women all looking for friendship-maybe-more in one convenient place, try a dating site.

Here’s a tip from me: don’t assume you have a “sense of humor” in the sense of being amusing to other people. It’s not something you can just assume and it doesn’t included along with the testicles.

11 Responses to “If a woman has her headphones in, the answer is never”