It’s okay not to be interested in a guy.
You don’t owe an explanation. You don’t owe a justification. It’s okay to just not be interested. This should be acknowledged and respected; there’s no offence in it, so move along graciously.
It’s okay to say, “Thank you, but I don’t want a drink,” or “Thank you for the compliment, but I’m not interested.”
If you’re out, and you don’t want to engage in pointless polite conversations or chat-up lines, it’s okay to tell them straight away that you’re not interested in chatting with strangers and that you’re content with the company you came out with.
This isn’t rude. This isn’t being obnoxious. You don’t have to explain yourself to strangers if you are not intrigued by them.
If you tell a man that you wouldn’t like a drink from them, he shouldn’t ask why. If you tell a man that you aren’t willing to engage in a conversation, he shouldn’t ask why. If you tell a man that you are in a relationship, his response shouldn’t be “so what?”
The response to any of these statements should be appreciation of boundaries and respectful retreat.
What is absolutely not okay is if someone says that they are not interested because of their sexuality, and this is followed by questioning and harassment.
If a female says she is not interested, and—despite this being enough of a reason to stop—you still insist on pushing the pursuit until they unnecessarily explain to you—a stranger—that they are not interested because they are attracted to the same sex and have a partner, that should be where the attempts end.
In fact, there should be an apology for pushing the matter beyond the initial declining of unwanted attention, but there’s no reason this can’t still come to a polite and respectful end.
There is no situation where it is acceptable to inform a female that they do not “look gay,” nor is it acceptable to inform them that they haven’t met the right male yet or had the right sex yet.
I certainly believe that every gay woman has heard these remarks—multiple times—from multiple different egotistical males who have had their masculinity bruised by this type of perceived rejection.
Unfortunately, these men still have a long way to truly understand the concept of sexuality.
This is not just part of going out. This is not just part of “boys being boys.” This is not just harmless bar banter.
This is reinforced when male security staff can hear an exchange like this happening, and they say nothing; when they hear a female ask a male to leave her alone, and they say nothing; when they hear the female’s friends also saying “she told you to leave alone, so go away,” and they say nothing.
This is not something we should expect, but the sad truth is that we do.
We’re told not to go out if we don’t like the attention or avoid certain places or not to dress in a certain way or only go to gay bars.
Well, if gay women can control themselves, then why can’t men? And, yes, we all know it’s not all men, but it’s too many men.
How many times has this happened to you on a night out, ladies? Or to your sister or your friend or your wife?
It’s okay to not be interested in a man. It’s not okay to be harassed for it. It’s not okay to be harassed for your sexuality. It’s not okay to constantly put up with harassment because that’s just how things are.
It shouldn’t be the way things are going right now.
From a young age, we should be teaching boys to accept boundaries and choices and to not question the word “no” from a woman in this context.
We should be teaching boys that they should treat all women how they would want their mother or sister to be treated.
We should be teaching girls that it’s okay to hold your ground and say no, no matter how persistent the person is.
We should be teaching girls that, sometimes, you don’t need to be gentle; you just need to be straightforward and assertive.
We should be teaching girls not to accept this behaviour.
We should be teaching all of them to call out their friends if they witness any sort of harassment.
No, we shouldn’t have to teach this, but the sad reality is that it looks like we do, especially before the legal drinking age when inhibitions and, apparently, respect are in more danger of being lost.
Maybe, then, women won’t have the harrowing expectation that they will inevitably face sexual harassment and unwanted advances.
It’s not just one of those things.
You don’t ever have to explain your disinterest.
It’s not okay to be harassed.