Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => Complete Silence => Topic started by: YogaChick on April 17, 2009, 10:18:07 PM

Title: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: YogaChick on April 17, 2009, 10:18:07 PM
This happened last year, but I thought it'd be worth sharing.  Anyway, I was riding the bus one day, and some guy (maybe in his thirties, maybe older) got on and asked, "do you go to XYZ University?"  I responded in the affirmative, and he started talking about the lanyard/keychain he'd bought from there, even though he wasn't affiliated with the school in any way.  This was fine, but the WAY he said it was just like it was something to be proud of.  For example, he said, "So, I walked into the student union building, had a drink of water, bought that keychain, and left!!!"; as if he'd somehow "cheated the system."  I kept my mouth shut about this, but he just kept talking.  Anyway, after a few more minutes of this one-sided "conversation" (well, two-sided, because the bus driver was participating too, as it was just the three of us on the bus, and we were right near the front), he pointed out the key on the end of his keychain, and he said, "If I gave you this key, you could come over to my house tonight."  I didn't say anything, and I just looked past him, out the window.  He repeated what he'd said, and I still didn't say anything.  At that, he got frustrated with my lack of response and said, "Geez, girl, can't you see I'm trying to pick you up?!?!?!"; to which I replied, "Yeah, I knew that, I was giving you a chance to save face."  The bus driver almost died laughing.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: MaggieB on April 17, 2009, 11:43:15 PM
The guy strikes me as being more irritating than rude.  Your response to him was unnecessarily snarky and intended to embarrass him.  I think you should have said (once) "I'm sorry, I'm really not in the mood to chat tonight," and then met any more conversation attempts with silence.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: shuniah on April 18, 2009, 12:13:04 AM
Yes, it's terrible to be slightly snarky to strange men on the bus who are using blantant come-ons.  ::)
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Alida on April 18, 2009, 12:28:42 AM
Yes, it's terrible to be slightly snarky to strange men on the bus who are using blantant come-ons.  ::)

That's called retaliatory rudeness and is not something that is appropriate, etiquette-wise.  There were better ways of handling his come on without being rude, as a PP has already noted.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: YogaChick on April 18, 2009, 03:12:11 AM
The guy strikes me as being more irritating than rude.  Your response to him was unnecessarily snarky and intended to embarrass him.  I think you should have said (once) "I'm sorry, I'm really not in the mood to chat tonight," and then met any more conversation attempts with silence.

Actually, Maggie, it wasn't entirely intentional--I was just so baffled by what he'd said (I mean, he was basically asking me, a complete stranger, to come over to his house, probably to have sex with him), that I couldn't speak.  After that, I told him I was "giving him a chance to save face." 
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Kate on April 18, 2009, 01:18:41 PM
Yes, it's terrible to be slightly snarky to strange men on the bus who are using blantant come-ons.  ::)

That's called retaliatory rudeness and is not something that is appropriate, etiquette-wise.  There were better ways of handling his come on without being rude, as a PP has already noted.
Yes there was a time when a woman being  engaged in unwanted conversation by a stranger in a public place, having the temerity to make assumpions about her willingness to engage in immoral behavior, would have been dealt with in a more forceful manner ..possibly by one of her male relatives.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: YogaChick on April 18, 2009, 01:28:14 PM
Yes, it's terrible to be slightly snarky to strange men on the bus who are using blantant come-ons.  ::)

That's called retaliatory rudeness and is not something that is appropriate, etiquette-wise.  There were better ways of handling his come on without being rude, as a PP has already noted.
Yes there was a time when a woman being  engaged in unwanted conversation by a stranger in a public place, having the temerity to make assumpions about her willingness to engage in immoral behavior, would have been dealt with in a more forceful manner ..possibly by one of her male relatives.


You mean the male relative would get angry at the woman, or at the guy who was trying to get the woman to have sex with him?
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Firecat on April 18, 2009, 02:49:18 PM
I think that, when he said that if he gave you the key, you could come over to his house, that would have been the moment for a puzzled look, and "Why would I want to do that?" Or I suppose a frigid "I'm afraid that won't be possible" could have worked, too. That could come across a bit snarky, though...so maybe just telling him that you weren't really up for chatting would have been better, maybe adding something to the effect of having a terrible headache if you felt inclined.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: YogaChick on April 18, 2009, 03:19:51 PM
I think that, when he said that if he gave you the key, you could come over to his house, that would have been the moment for a puzzled look, and "Why would I want to do that?" Or I suppose a frigid "I'm afraid that won't be possible" could have worked, too. That could come across a bit snarky, though...so maybe just telling him that you weren't really up for chatting would have been better, maybe adding something to the effect of having a terrible headache if you felt inclined.

I guess you would have had to have been there.  First, I was really taken aback, like, "Okay, this guy did NOT just say that," and then he said it AGAIN.  After that, I still didn't know what to say, so I figured that if I didn't say anything, he'd figure it out and stop. 

However, after "three strikes," as it were, he still didn't get it, so it was only then that I told him that I was "giving him a chance to save face."  If I'd gone with "Why would I want to do that?"; or "I'm afraid that won't be possible" (although the latter statement was true, because I had an exam that night), then that could have been interpreted as rude or snarky, so I would have ended up in E-Hell over that....if I'd even had the wherewithall to say it.  But, it's pretty hard to respond when your jaw is on the floor, KWIM?  

Also, if I'd just said "No," then that could have been interpreted as me being snarky as well.  If I'd said I didn't want to talk, he probably would have kept pressing me to continue the conversation anyway.  As for feigning a headache, I felt perfectly happy and healthy that day, and looked it as well, so I don't think that it would have been plausible. 

So, I figured that the best thing to do would be to say nothing at all, but then he didn't pick up on THAT, so I had to finally explain to him why I wasn't responding to his filthy overtures.  I mean, okay, maybe I "embarrassed" him a bit, but didn't he think that trying to set up a "booty call" with me, while we were on a public bus, might have been embarrassing for me? 

Anyway, after all that, we all had a good laugh about it ("we" meaning me, the bus driver, and the guy who'd been trying to get into my pants), and we (okay, THEY) went back to discussing non-objectionable subject matter.  I made it home in one piece, then back to school for my exam later, and I never saw the guy again.  Life continued as normal, and I don't think he was scarred for life because I gently let him know that he was being inappropriate. 
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Firecat on April 18, 2009, 03:58:00 PM
I think that, when he said that if he gave you the key, you could come over to his house, that would have been the moment for a puzzled look, and "Why would I want to do that?" Or I suppose a frigid "I'm afraid that won't be possible" could have worked, too. That could come across a bit snarky, though...so maybe just telling him that you weren't really up for chatting would have been better, maybe adding something to the effect of having a terrible headache if you felt inclined.

I guess you would have had to have been there.  First, I was really taken aback, like, "Okay, this guy did NOT just say that," and then he said it AGAIN.  After that, I still didn't know what to say, so I figured that if I didn't say anything, he'd figure it out and stop. 

However, after "three strikes," as it were, he still didn't get it, so it was only then that I told him that I was "giving him a chance to save face."  If I'd gone with "Why would I want to do that?"; or "I'm afraid that won't be possible" (although the latter statement was true, because I had an exam that night), then that could have been interpreted as rude or snarky, so I would have ended up in E-Hell over that....if I'd even had the wherewithall to say it.  But, it's pretty hard to respond when your jaw is on the floor, KWIM?  

Also, if I'd just said "No," then that could have been interpreted as me being snarky as well.  If I'd said I didn't want to talk, he probably would have kept pressing me to continue the conversation anyway.  As for feigning a headache, I felt perfectly happy and healthy that day, and looked it as well, so I don't think that it would have been plausible. 

So, I figured that the best thing to do would be to say nothing at all, but then he didn't pick up on THAT, so I had to finally explain to him why I wasn't responding to his filthy overtures.  I mean, okay, maybe I "embarrassed" him a bit, but didn't he think that trying to set up a "booty call" with me, while we were on a public bus, might have been embarrassing for me? 

Anyway, after all that, we all had a good laugh about it ("we" meaning me, the bus driver, and the guy who'd been trying to get into my pants), and we (okay, THEY) went back to discussing non-objectionable subject matter.  I made it home in one piece, then back to school for my exam later, and I never saw the guy again.  Life continued as normal, and I don't think he was scarred for life because I gently let him know that he was being inappropriate. 

For what it's worth, I would most likely have been too busy picking my jaw up off the floor to come up with a perfect response, too. A few years ago, I was waiting for the bus after work (what is it with public transit?). On the street where I was waiting, they have these big planters, and in nice weather, people waiting for the bus often sit on the edges of them (they're pretty much designed for that). So, I was sitting there waiting, and this guy plunks down next to me, and it was pretty clear that he had been heavily indulging in alcohol, but thoroughly restraining himself when it came to soap. And he proceeds to try to pick me up. And even my flat declaration of "I'm married" didn't deter him. I've never been so glad to see a bus in my life. I still can't believe that he clearly thought there was a chance that I would cheat on my husband...with him. Hugh Jackman or Viggo Mortenson...then, maybe, I might be tempted  >:D (not seriously, of course!)

Anyway, it sounds like he took your response well enough...and honestly, I think you could have been much more rude than you were - if what you said was rude at all. It was maybe a bit rude, but as you said, no ruder than trying to arrange ah...ahem...private encounter with you in that setting.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: MariaE on April 18, 2009, 04:10:02 PM
*shrugs* I think you did well. I definitely think your response was less rude (albeit perhaps more snarky... but I'd err on the side of snarkiness over rudeness any day) than "Why would I want to do that?" or "IATWBP" would have been.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: YogaChick on April 18, 2009, 04:16:39 PM
*shrugs* I think you did well. I definitely think your response was less rude (albeit perhaps more snarky... but I'd err on the side of snarkiness over rudeness any day) than "Why would I want to do that?" or "IATWBP" would have been.

Thanks, MariaE.  Actually, I was trying really hard NOT to have to resort to a rude or snarky answer--I was kind of hoping that this guy would lose interest in a girl whom he thought was too "stupid" to realize a pick-up line when she heard one. 
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Kate on April 18, 2009, 06:00:54 PM
Yes, it's terrible to be slightly snarky to strange men on the bus who are using blantant come-ons.  ::)

That's called retaliatory rudeness and is not something that is appropriate, etiquette-wise.  There were better ways of handling his come on without being rude, as a PP has already noted.
Yes there was a time when a woman being  engaged in unwanted conversation by a stranger in a public place, having the temerity to make assumpions about her willingness to engage in immoral behavior, would have been dealt with in a more forceful manner ..possibly by one of her male relatives.


You mean the male relative would get angry at the woman, or at the guy who was trying to get the woman to have sex with him?
At the accoster obviously.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: YogaChick on April 18, 2009, 06:18:12 PM
Yes, it's terrible to be slightly snarky to strange men on the bus who are using blantant come-ons.  ::)

That's called retaliatory rudeness and is not something that is appropriate, etiquette-wise.  There were better ways of handling his come on without being rude, as a PP has already noted.
Yes there was a time when a woman being  engaged in unwanted conversation by a stranger in a public place, having the temerity to make assumpions about her willingness to engage in immoral behavior, would have been dealt with in a more forceful manner ..possibly by one of her male relatives.


You mean the male relative would get angry at the woman, or at the guy who was trying to get the woman to have sex with him?
At the accoster obviously.

Well, maybe it wasn't so obvious.  In days gone by (and even nowadays, to some extent), there's a bit of a double standard--if a guy tries to get a woman to do something PG-13 that she doesn't want to do, a lot of people think it's the woman's fault for "asking for it" somehow.  In any case, I actually had a near miss one time (a much nearer miss than what happened on the bus), so when something like that comes up, I put self-preservation before etiquette.  That day, I was able to use humour, but sometimes, it's just not that easy.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Miss Misery on April 18, 2009, 06:44:02 PM
Is it really time to dig out the etiquette book when some creep is blatantly hitting on you and can't take the hint? I think YogaChick let the guy off easy....my response to his icky pick-up lines would be unprintable.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: DianeRN on April 18, 2009, 07:11:19 PM
I think your response was perfect for the situation.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: RooRoo on April 18, 2009, 09:49:39 PM
The assumption that "she asked for it" has never been universal. Yes, some less thoughtful people have held it, but not reasonable ones. It's tied to the belief that being sexually aroused makes men completely uncontrollable. (Fooey!)

But there's another standard, one that my mother held, that is completely ridiculous in my eye. That is the idea that, when sexually harassed in public, the woman should not make a fuss. She thought that, for example, my friend Chris was very rude for confronting a groper and yelling at him, "How DARE you touch my body! It's MINE and you have no right to do that!" (Note that she didn't swear, she just told the truth, loudly.)

There's a double standard for you. "If a man does something completely unacceptable in public, a woman must shut up and take it, or appear ill-mannered." Sorry, Mom. You're wrong on this one.

She thought it was fine to react silently, though, like the time in the NY subway when someone's hand came over my shoulder and grabbed one of my "girls." I bit him as hard as I could. She was fine with that. Go figure.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: shuniah on April 19, 2009, 01:55:50 PM
Safety before etiquette. Shutting him down is more important than his feelings at this point- you don't want to leave a creep like this with any "hope" that he can change her mind.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: MaggieB on April 19, 2009, 03:15:42 PM
Safety before etiquette. Shutting him down is more important than his feelings at this point- you don't want to leave a creep like this with any "hope" that he can change her mind.

This was not a safety issue.  The OP gave no indication that she felt nervous or at risk or anything other than annoyed at this guy's persistence.  The bus driver was also engaged in the conversation.  It's not like she was cornered in the back by herself.  And if the guy had been scary, why provoke him further by making fun of him?

The rules of etiquette do not go out the window when people are rude or inconsiderate or insensitive to hints.  Those times are what the rules of etiquette are for.  Now I'm not trying to beat up on the OP, and I'm not saying that her behavior was overly egregious or anything like that.  But this story seems to be presented as an example of the correct way to handle a situation like this, and I think a more direct approach earlier on would have been better.  This is a place for opinions, and I'm OK with being in the minority on this one.   ;)
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: delphinium on April 20, 2009, 07:02:00 PM
I think you did fine!  As far as I'm concerned, you could be as snarky as you want!  He was a jerk and got what he deserved. :D
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: anonymoose on April 20, 2009, 07:11:37 PM
I think you did fine!  As far as I'm concerned, you could be as snarky as you want!  He was a jerk and got what he deserved. :D

Just because someone is a "jerk" does not give one carte blanche to be snarky or mean. It is called retaliatory rudeness and it is not endorsed at ehell.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: YogaChick on April 20, 2009, 07:18:37 PM
I think you did fine!  As far as I'm concerned, you could be as snarky as you want!  He was a jerk and got what he deserved. :D

Just because someone is a "jerk" does not give one carte blanche to be snarky or mean. It is called retaliatory rudeness and it is not endorsed at ehell.


I wasn't going to say anything at all, but hey, three strikes.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: immadz on April 20, 2009, 09:21:28 PM
I fail to see how the OP was snarky or rude. Public embarassment has long been used as an etiquette tool. If the man had cued in on the obvious hint the OP would not have needed a rejoinder to his crass pick up line.

That being said, I see this an example of how complete silence failed rather than worked.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: anonymoose on April 20, 2009, 11:05:55 PM
I think you did fine!  As far as I'm concerned, you could be as snarky as you want!  He was a jerk and got what he deserved. :D

Just because someone is a "jerk" does not give one carte blanche to be snarky or mean. It is called retaliatory rudeness and it is not endorsed at ehell.


I wasn't going to say anything at all, but hey, three strikes.

I didn't mean to imply that you were rude Yogachick (although I think you should have simply stated that you were not interested rather than what you did say). I was responding to delphinium's reasoning that it is acceptable to be as snarky as one pleases to people deemed "jerks."
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: YogaChick on April 21, 2009, 07:05:38 AM
I think you did fine!  As far as I'm concerned, you could be as snarky as you want!  He was a jerk and got what he deserved. :D

Just because someone is a "jerk" does not give one carte blanche to be snarky or mean. It is called retaliatory rudeness and it is not endorsed at ehell.


I wasn't going to say anything at all, but hey, three strikes.
I didn't mean to imply that you were rude Yogachick (although I think you should have simply stated that you were not interested rather than what you did say). I was responding to delphinium's reasoning that it is acceptable to be as snarky as one pleases to people deemed "jerks."

I guess I explained myself badly--I didn't WANT to say anything (partly because I was frozen in shock that a strange guy would ask me over to his house for a booty call, even jokingly), but ignoring it didn't work, and I don't think that saying "I'm not interested" would have worked either.  Save for getting off the bus and making the (approximately) 20-minute walk home in the snow (think Canadian winter), I don't think there's anything else I could have done.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: michele on April 21, 2009, 11:45:02 PM
What's wrong with a little snark once in awhile? Some people don't get it any other way. This certainly seems to be one of those people.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: gollymolly2 on April 22, 2009, 12:33:06 AM
What would have been better for her to say?
"Please stop sexually harassing me?"

We want our young girls to respond verbally (and physically, if necessary) to physical or sexual harassment or to encroachments by strangers that we are not comfortable with. But when somebody does it, we tell them that they're rude.

IMO, if YogaChick had responded to his College-lanyard-weirdness with snark, then yes, that would be retaliatory rudeness.

But once a guy makes a comment to me basically insinuating that he wants to have sex with me, I feel it's completely within my rights to communicate to him that I want nothing to do with him and he needs to leave me alone. That's not rude, that's assertive.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Shiraz_Much? on April 22, 2009, 07:34:59 AM
I fail to see how the OP was snarky or rude. Public embarassment has long been used as an etiquette tool. If the man had cued in on the obvious hint the OP would not have needed a rejoinder to his crass pick up line.

That being said, I see this an example of how complete silence failed rather than worked.
I'm inclined to agree with this 100%.  I do not see that the OP was rude at all.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Twik on April 22, 2009, 01:20:45 PM
Yes, it's terrible to be slightly snarky to strange men on the bus who are using blantant come-ons.  ::)

That's called retaliatory rudeness and is not something that is appropriate, etiquette-wise.  There were better ways of handling his come on without being rude, as a PP has already noted.

Ah, yes. The "Don't make him feel bad for assuming that you'll be grateful for his sexual attentions" approach. Unfortunately, how often does that work? Men who have the rudeness to approach women going about their daily business for such purposes are rarely sensitive enough to appreciate "I'm honoured by your offer, but it's unfortunately not possible."

It is not rudeness to decline an offensive offer (and to be told, blatantly, that a stranger is trying to pick you up is offensive to many women) in a direct manner. In fact, in such cases, it's possibly the safest thing to do. (There are a lot of court cases for sexual assault in my country where the man claims "She didn't REALLY tell me she wasn't interested, so I thought I was OK to go ahead. She was just playing hard to get." And, unfortunately, a number of juries and judges who agree that, short of hitting him in the solar plexus and screaming, you're "going along with it".)
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: RooRoo on April 22, 2009, 06:08:12 PM
Quote
[Stupid excuse that] "...She was just playing hard to get." And, unfortunately, a number of juries and judges who agree that, short of hitting him in the solar plexus and screaming, you're "going along with it".

This is why some colleges have been publicly emphasizing that "No means No." There are many men who actually believe that, unless you reply in a way that is clearly antagonistic, "no" means "maybe."

A polite "No, thank you," falls into this "maybe" category. We Ehellions need to find a way to be clearly antagonistic without being rude. It's a fine line. To say "I'm not in the habit of playing scrabble with strange men" sounds like you might feel like changing that habit. How about:

I never scrabble with strangers.
You do not meet my standards.
You are not my husband, and I scrabble only with him.

Or the silent, fish-like stare, meaning, "WHAT did you just ask me?"

What else, fellow Ehellions?
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: YogaChick on April 22, 2009, 08:12:23 PM
Quote
[Stupid excuse that] "...She was just playing hard to get." And, unfortunately, a number of juries and judges who agree that, short of hitting him in the solar plexus and screaming, you're "going along with it".


Or the silent, fish-like stare, meaning, "WHAT did you just ask me?"




That's what I did.....and it didn't work.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: GoldenGemini on April 22, 2009, 10:01:08 PM
Quote
[Stupid excuse that] "...She was just playing hard to get." And, unfortunately, a number of juries and judges who agree that, short of hitting him in the solar plexus and screaming, you're "going along with it".


Or the silent, fish-like stare, meaning, "WHAT did you just ask me?"




That's what I did.....and it didn't work.

Also, I think you'll find that really won't discourage them.  You did not say "No", and I am afraid a really good (creepy) lawyer will be able to spin that.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Shortcake on April 23, 2009, 10:24:18 AM
RooRoo do you think saying "No" in a firm voice (not yelling) with an angry facial expression would be enough to discourage creeps?

I don't think the OP did anything wrong. She tried ignoring him, and it didn't work.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: caranfin on April 23, 2009, 10:43:45 AM
Giving an unfailingly polite response such as "I'm not interested" or "That won't be possible" tells the guy that he had every right to make his proposition. The OP managed to let him know that his proposition itself was inappropriate. I think she did well.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: gollymolly2 on April 23, 2009, 10:47:27 AM
I think there are sometimes when etiquette is just not a primary concern. I worry about etiquette in dealing with normal people in everyday situations. Rudeness or odd situations definitely come up in those situations, and etiquette should not be abandoned then.

But honestly, if someone was coming on to me in a pushy and creepy way, they get a big "Get the F away from me" from me. I don't care about etiquette in that case, I care about making it extraordinarily clear to that person that I don't want them to have anything to do with me. That may be retaliatory rudeness - I don't think so - but I dont care either. I dont think getting rid of someone who has crossed certain lines requires you to be unfailingly polite and, frankly, from some of the suggestions here, passive.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Aeris on April 23, 2009, 10:59:38 AM
I think there are sometimes when etiquette is just not a primary concern. I worry about etiquette in dealing with normal people in everyday situations. Rudeness or odd situations definitely come up in those situations, and etiquette should not be abandoned then.

But honestly, if someone was coming on to me in a pushy and creepy way, they get a big "Get the F away from me" from me. I don't care about etiquette in that case, I care about making it extraordinarily clear to that person that I don't want them to have anything to do with me. That may be retaliatory rudeness - I don't think so - but I dont care either. I dont think getting rid of someone who has crossed certain lines requires you to be unfailingly polite and, frankly, from some of the suggestions here, passive.

I have to agree.

And any comments of "but he wasn't actually a threat in this context" don't hold any water with me. As far as I'm concerned any man trying to pick me up in an inappropriate way, or after I've expressed any disinterest is a potential danger. DF did not understand for the longest time how the unspoken threat of sexual violence hangs hangs over these interactions. He does now, after years ago when he actually watched me handle someone who was (inebriated and) potentially dangerous.

This is not, of course, to imply or suggest that all men are dangerous or active threats in this way. But the reality is that it can go from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, and you never really know who you are dealing with.

When I was 19, sophmore in college, my dorm was in a bad neighborhood. As a freshman girl and I walked to the subway (at 9am no less) a 20 something yr old man made some explicit pick up comments to us as we passed. We said, politely, that we weren't interested. He got up and followed up. For 4 blocks. Stayed about a quarter block behind us and yelled about all the stuff he was going to do to us. Until I stopped, turned around and yelled back some explicit stuff of my own. He then slunk off.

Etiquette just didn't matter there. Our polite refusal simply intrigued him.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: RooRoo on April 23, 2009, 03:59:43 PM
Quote
I dont think getting rid of someone who has crossed certain lines requires you to be unfailingly polite and, frankly, from some of the suggestions here, passive.

I completely agree; I'm sorry if I gave a false impression.

My body is mine, and I reserve the right to make anyone who threatens its integrity in any way to leave me alone, no matter what it takes. Sometimes you have to use language the other person understands.

I've seen this sentiment in threads about many different forms of rudeness: Etiquette does not require you to be a doormat.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 25, 2009, 11:15:51 AM
I think the OP's response falls well within etiquette standards, was effective, and as a bonus was very funny.

She wins the trifecta!
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Hanna on April 25, 2009, 11:48:21 AM
I think the OP's response falls well within etiquette standards, was effective, and as a bonus was very funny.

She wins the trifecta!

I agree!  There is nothing in etiquette that suggests one must endure offensive blatantly sexual remarks from complete strangers.  Further, this guy wasn't even hitting on her, he was was attempting (even if only subconciously) to dominate and embarrass her by making sexual advances in front of another person.  There's no way he thought she would say "Sure, sounds like a great idea", so the purpose could not be to actually get a date with her.  She isn't rude for turning it back on him and thereby maintaing control. 
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Raintree on April 29, 2009, 04:58:53 AM
Is it really time to dig out the etiquette book when some creep is blatantly hitting on you and can't take the hint? I think YogaChick let the guy off easy....my response to his icky pick-up lines would be unprintable.

This. I can't believe people are suggesting the OP should have been polite to the stranger making suggestions about going to his house. And I don't think her response was particularly rude. Sounds as though she kept it light and humourous.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Warbaby on May 03, 2009, 05:09:51 PM
Man's point of view:  Her silence should have been more than enough to tell a gentleman that she was not interested.  The clod she was dealing with would have never taken a hint or polite refusal.  OP handled the situation in what I would term a most ladylike manner under the circumstances.

There is a class of biological male (they're not men) who have the impression that all women should be grateful for their attentions and that all women should be considered as property.  Both of those attitudes should have died out with the dinosaurs, but they didn't.

For my money, a lady who is unfortunate enough to encounter one of these (insert favorite word that the eHell filter wouldn't pass here) is justified in dealing with him (it?) in any manner that she finds effective. 

My Father, God rest his soul, taught me when I was a young boy that "no" means just that; "No."  He did not understand any other way of thinking concerning interactions between men and women.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Hanna on May 03, 2009, 05:16:20 PM
Man's point of view:  Her silence should have been more than enough to tell a gentleman that she was not interested. 
I totally agree, but then a gentleman would never have presumed to ask a unknown lady home in this manner in the first place!
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: maryb on May 23, 2009, 08:22:37 AM
I would have been far ruder, I'm afraid - you did well.  It's intimidating and frightening to have a man you don't know coming on that strong on the bus or train, and it's not appropriate of HIM.  You did nothing wrong.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: mechtilde on May 23, 2009, 08:34:01 AM
When the man propositioned her, the OP would have been entirely justified in telling him to go away and stop bothering her, or she would start to scream. Then carry out her threat and yell the place down. No-one should be expected to tolerate such harassment.
Title: Re: Complete Silence worked for me :)
Post by: Suze on May 23, 2009, 09:44:19 AM
Does anybody else think a solution could have been for her to take the key and drop it out the bus window? (it might have got him off the bus and out of her hair?)

Ok - so that only happens in movies (of the Doris Day type)

I do NOT think that she was rude.