Stop Saying, "I have a boyfriend"

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This article made a very interesting point about excuses girls give to not be harassed. The author makes the point that when girls use the excuse that they have a boyfriend in order to not be harassed by a male, they are putting themselves on a lower level. They are basically saying that the man should fear the man associated with them, rather than the female herself. She says that this belittles women and does not help a man see that his actions are inappropriate and unacceptable. She says that when you do this, it is not only dishonest, but you are not standing up for yourself. She says that you are giving in to male privilege and that you are not really addressing the issue or making your own decision.
I think that the author makes a good point that giving a lame excuse that you are "taken" does not really address the issue of sexual harassment. I think that there is a place for males to protect females and that females don't always want to tell off guys. I think it is good for women to recognize the actual meaning of the message that they are sending to guys. I don't think most women realize that by using the tactic of lame excuses, they are not only being dishonest, but are belittling themselves and the power they have to verbally reason with the guy. I think that often men that act in inappropriate ways do not respond to verbal argument, but it is worth a shot. I think that there is definitely a place for even respectful confrontation of the guy, even thought he will probably not be used to this type of resistance. What is the point when a girl should stop trying to stand up for herself? Is this always appropriate?

1 Comment

This article is super interesting Elizabeth! As a male that hears "I have a boyfriend" all of the time haha I have never really thought about the implications of the phrase. This made me think about what if everybody at bars was just super brutally honest with each other, what would it be like? Like if a girl was just like nope I think you're too short for my tastes, It would sting a little maybe but I would be like okay I respect that. However, would that be reduce everything to just a surface level not accounting for personalities? Also, I am curious on where you imagined when reading this article? I instantly thought of the Dinkytown bars on the weekend where it's just full of drunk buttheads yelling at each other haha.

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This page contains a single entry by Elizabeth Michelson published on May 6, 2014 7:28 PM.

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