February 14, 2014

"Like most women, I’ve had the experience of feeling intimidated by strangers on the street, or afraid while walking on my own at night."

"But very few of those moments stand out. When I think about this skirt-spinning incident, however, I still get worked up."
I’m certain that the guy wasn’t trying to belittle me; he was trying to be friendly and make small talk. He was clumsy, but he wasn’t a jerk. But I can’t help thinking that no one would ever make small talk with a man by complimenting his shoes and then asking him to see if he could jump real high in them.
From a New Yorker piece titled "Real Everyday Sexism," by Andrea Denhoed. Description of the "skirt-spinning incident":
I was meeting some friends at a bar, wearing a dress with a full skirt. A male friend-of-a-friend in the group complimented the dress and then suggested that I “give a spin” to see if the skirt would puff out adorably. I stared at him for a second, then said, “I’d rather not,” and sat down. Inevitably, the rest of my friends gave me some friendly ribbing for being “tough” and “not taking shit.”
Why, really, does Ms. Denhoed keep getting "worked up" about this? Could it possibly be that she's embarrassed that she was so cold to this poor man and that she didn't pick up on the opportunity that her friends gave her, by teasing her in a friendly way, to rethink the situation on the spot and laugh at herself and be sweet? Why wear a dress with a full skirt if all you want is to be treated the same as a man in boring trousers? Perhaps Ms. Denhoed is afraid that the full skirt made her look childish, like a girl who wants to be a ballerina, and she was cold because the "compliment" felt like the man thought that too.
It’s telling that the natural outlet for the tension in this instance was for everyone—myself included—to riff on my abrasive noncompliance, rather than on the cartoonish absurdity of his request. 
Yes, indeed, it is telling. It tells us that people would rather be absurd and laugh and that they invited you — on this social occasion, in a bar — to dance and laugh, and even when you did not laugh, they lavished upon you even more invitations to laugh, to give up your abrasive noncompliance, but you didn't. You held onto it, you thought and thought, until they were all wrong, and the wrong that was done to you fit a whole template of wrongs done constantly, everywhere hurting everyone. Look! Everyone! See it now!

"Give a spin," he said. And, in the end, she did. She gave a spin, a spin her way, in words. And he got to see if it puffed out adorably. It did not.

166 comments:

St. George said...

Oh, the suffering in America. Breaks the heart.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm becoming convinced most women are just walking mental disorders,...

Henry said...

If you see a man with a propeller beanie, don't ask him to spin it. He might get offended.

David said...

They are just very vulnerable to propaganda, Crack.

Sorun said...

I suspect this woman is the type who would get drunk, have bad sex with a stranger she met in the bar, and then cry rape in the morning.

surfed said...

I would've asked her to dance and then spun her myself to check out the gams...and then deliver the appropriate push - pull compliment. The guy didn't sequence it correctly.

Scott said...

How many New Yorker writers would you ever trust with carrying a concealed handgun?

Revenant said...

If someone asked how high I could jump in my shoes, I'd show them. It would be good for a laugh, if nothing else.

TosaGuy said...

"I'm becoming convinced most women are just walking mental disorders"

Nah, the vast majority of women are just fine -- they don't write for the New Yorker or the crowd that reads it.

Tank said...

This strikes me as fun, flirty, break-the-ice kind of conversation in a bar. It's a BAR for crying out loud.

Crack is right - some sort of mental disorder. Might be all the PC disinformation they get drilled into them.

madAsHell said...

Someone used the phrase "pulling girls", and I had to google it. I ended up at a youtube video that showed some guy pulling down tube tops of random women.

In every incident, the woman screamed "asshole" before she even begin to recover her dignity. It was an innate reflex.

Pulling girls?.....it has something to do with wife-beaters, TransAms, and peach fuzz mustaches.

Henry said...

From the article:

I suspect that there are a lot of women out there who are habitually overlooking little slights delivered by men who really, honestly don’t mean anything by it.

And is this a bad thing?

Incredible as it may seem, I think there are a lot of non-women out there going through life being just as habitually easy-going. It's a good way to be.

But you can't write 200 words about not being offended.

Michael said...

This fool has never been flirted with. What. A. Bitch.

David said...

Andrea is a Rhodes Scholar who graduated summa cum laude from University of Oklahoma. She got a degree from Oxford as part of the Rhodes. She grew up in Aurora, Colorado. Her mother is from India, her father from the United States. She is a very attractive looking young woman with dark hair. She rowed crew at Oklahoma, no sissy sport.

So how in the world does a woman like this get highly offended by a gentle flirtation like that?

It boggles the mind.

Inga said...

Oh hell, not only would I give him a spin, I'd show a little leg. And I'm a big bad feminist. Sometimes it's simply fun to be funny.

Aggle said...

That post is, quite simply, the most spot-on indictment of overly-sensitive feminism I have ever seen.

Brava!

David said...

Michael, I'm quite sure she has been flirted with before. She's very pretty and very smart. She is accomplished at what she set out to do. She was an athlete in a demanding sport.

That's why her response is so dazzlingly ridiculous. She has every reason to be highly confident.

Yet she lacks the confidence to shrug off something so innocent and tame. She's entitled not to think it was cute. But to be actually humiliated by something like that! Amazing.

Henry said...

I was meeting some friends at a bar, wearing a really big suit. A female friend-of-a-friend in the group complimented the suit and then suggested that I “give a spin” to see if the suit would puff out adorably. I stared at her for a second, then said, “I got a girlfriend that's better than that” and danced.

David said...

On further reflection I think Crack was right. Mental disorder.

Fen said...

Reminds me of that stupid geek conference feminist who thought "Awkward Guy" in the elevator was Creepy Rapey.

Fen said...

The Crack Emcee: I'm becoming convinced most women are just walking mental disorders

I shudder to think what they were like before the pill lessened their emotional swings. No wonder they were oppressed for millenia - men don't trust people who randomly go bat shit crazy.

Ann Althouse said...

"Andrea is a Rhodes Scholar who graduated summa cum laude from University of Oklahoma. She got a degree from Oxford as part of the Rhodes. She grew up in Aurora, Colorado. Her mother is from India, her father from the United States. She is a very attractive looking young woman with dark hair. She rowed crew at Oklahoma, no sissy sport. So how in the world does a woman like this get highly offended by a gentle flirtation like that?"

One possibility is that the man was not attractive.

Inga said...

Althouse invites the misogynists to come out to play, they never dissapoint.

Fen said...

In every incident, the woman screamed "asshole" before she even began to recover her dignity.

Then promptly told her Nice Guy date goodnight as she went home with the Bad Boy to get pounded till 6am.

B said...

One possibility is that the man was not attractive.

A good reason for her to be offended? Which implies that she would not have been offended if she felt attraction. Which implies that her sense of being offended by a stranger's flirtation is not due to the act of flirtation itself, but the physical attractiveness of the stranger.

Swing and a miss, professor.

Fen said...

Inga: Althouse invites the misogynists to come out to play, they never dissapoint.

Awww. So sorry sweetie. Didn't realize you were there, what with your fragile disposition. Such harsh words for you to bear! Can I grab you a fainting couch?

And no, that dress doesn't make you look fat. No really.


Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chrisnavin.com said...

The Temple requires new and aspiring Sisters to tell their Tales Of Woeful Misogyny even if they have to embellish them a bit.

I know a girl in fashion who was leered at by a pack of burly construction workers. That day would come to change the course of her life forever.

Lo, upon that very streetcorner, she awoke to the patriarchal oppression inherent within the system.

She cried and scrubbed the makeup from her face under the noonday sun, suddenly aware of the garish lust-object she'd become. Her life up to that point had been a lie, a pathetic lie, and she saw reality anew, for what it was.

Darcy Mateo-Gunderson now travels the country, inspiring other young women with a melange of bad statistics and pulpy popular novels how to embrace their inner feminist.

66 said...

Yeah, she is way too fixated on this incident. But I think you hit the nail on the head when you suggested she may have been embarrassed. And that really is the guy's fault who asked her to spin. I doubt he meant to embarrass her, but when it was clear that he had, he should have exercised a little gallantry. An apology and perhaps a self-deprecating remark could have accomplished so much. Her feelings repaired, this incident would not be seared in her memory. She would have one less emotional wound to nurse and, who knows, she may never have become the ungenerous person that she appears to be today.

David said...

"One possibility is that the man was not attractive."

Certainly seems so but that does not end it for me.

Another possibility is that she is just congenitally rude. Or that all her accomplishments have made her a snob.

Her mother is from India. I've known a number of people who were from India, or their parents were. A distinguishing characteristic has been wonderfully good manners.

Of course that tells nothing about this particular person.

But all those good genes. All that work and great education. To become this? Wow.

FullMoon said...

Obviously what he meant to say was lift that skirt, drop those panties, and let's have a look at that wax job, right Inga?

Inga said...

Fen, my fragile disposition? LOL! I've kicked your pansy ass several times in the last few weeks. So has Althouse.

Fen said...

One possibility is that the man was not attractive.

There's an interesting video experiment that underscores that. Awkward Guy and Clooney Clone both make the same creepy pitch to women. The reaction of the women is different for the hot guy.

Apparently, women believe unattractive men are rapey-rapey.

Fen said...

Poor Inga.

If that were true you wouldn't feel a need to assert it.

David said...

Inga said...
Althouse invites the misogynists to come out to play, they never disappoint.


Projecting again, Inga?

B said...

Althouse invites the victim class to come out to play, they never disappoint.

To paraphrase Bill Crosby, have you ever considered, Inga, that your issues are not because of misogynists in your life keeping you down because you're too strong a woman (hear me roar) but that you're just an asshole?

Fen said...

Reminds me of that stupid geek conference feminist -

Ah here it is. The Rebecca Watson elevator incident. And it appears Althouse blogged on it.

http://theothermccain.com/2011/07/07/rebecca-watson-stop-sexualizing-me/

MadisonMan said...

What a truly boring thing to write about.

I give her kudos for getting the New Yorker to pay her for this column.

Yikes.

Inga said...


"Althouse invites the misogynists to come out to play, they never disappoint."
-------------------------
"Projecting again, Inga?"

2/14/14, 1:52 PM
---------------------------
No David, just pointing out the obvious. Does a black skinned person have certain personality traits simply because he is black? Why do women get accused of having a mental disorder because they have hormonal cycles?
---------------------
"I'm becoming convinced most women are just walking mental disorders."
----------------------
"I shudder to think what they were like before the pill lessened their emotional swings. No wonder they were oppressed for millenia - men don't trust people who randomly go bat shit crazy."

2/14/14, 1:36 PM
---------------------------
"On further reflection I think Crack was right. Mental disorder."

2/14/14, 1:33 PM
--------------------------

Amexpat said...

Reading this post was like reading a good short story. Except it was shorter and more to the point.

chrisnavin.com said...

You probably don't get published in the New Yorker these days w/o genuflecting before the feminist temple, the environmental texts, the postmodern, multicultural and existential verities etc.

The political editor is a social democrat, which means someone like de Blasio is just a pretty liberal dude.

Are these the incentives for young and inspiring writers we want to create?

Is this what Dorothy Parker would have wanted?

chrisnavin.com said...

And when are they going to review the TGI Fridays on E 42nd?

Birches said...

Sounds like she'd fit right in on the mommyish blogs . . .

Fen said...

Inga: Why do women get accused of having a mental disorder because they have hormonal cycles?

No, I remarked on women being mentally unbalanced because they have hormonal cycles. And wondered how much worse it was before the pill started being used (for many) to alleviate those swings.

Inga, your Sin is Vanity. If I wanted to be mean to you, I would simply ignore you - thats your hell. This thread doesn't have to be about you. We have a host of them archived and tagged with #IngaInsecurityShow

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

66 wrote: I doubt he meant to embarrass her, but when it was clear that he had, he should have exercised a little gallantry. An apology and perhaps a self-deprecating remark could have accomplished so much. Her feelings repaired, this incident would not be seared in her memory.

How do we know that did not happen? Ms. Denhoe is the one telling the story. It is worth noting who is in the position of power here.

I think one of the more telling phrases is "a friend of a friend". Who knows if the man was attractive or not. What is more important is that he was a stranger.

Tibore said...

"When I think about this skirt-spinning incident, however, I still get worked up. I’m certain that the guy wasn’t trying to belittle me; he was trying to be friendly and make small talk. He was clumsy, but he wasn’t a jerk. But I can’t help thinking that no one would ever make small talk with a man by complimenting his shoes and then asking him to see if he could jump real high in them."

No, but I've had people ask me to "Say something in 'Filipino'" when I in fact grew up in the US and don't speak the language. I chose not to take offense despite the fact it was a request based on my race. I've seen people beg amateur magicians for card tricks and seen them not take offense despite the fact they weren't out at the bars or at people's houses to do their act.

Why do people chose to find offenses where none were intended? Above that, why choose to turn an act into an offense when the person herself completely admits it wasn't intended as such?

The problem here is not simply oversensitivity on the part of Ms. Denhoed. It's that she well knew the man did not mean ill and still artlessly chose to be a bad person to him. Which is made worse by the dancing scarecrow of a strawman she builds with that opening vignette from the French movie. Antisocialism is built of these blocks of insensitivity directed at perceived slights. So are poor reputations.

"I suspect that there are a lot of women out there who are habitually overlooking little slights delivered by men who really, honestly don’t mean anything by it."

It cuts both ways. Was this sexism? I can easily see a dressmaker asking the same thing. I can see a woman saying "give it a spin" - and in fact, have seen people twirl dresses on the red carpet at awards shows - without the dress wearer taking offense. Why is this being called "sexism" when at other times the exact same act is done without that overtone? Simply because a man was involved? Is that misogynistic sexism? Or misandrist petulance?

I read once that soldiers call such stuff "Chicken shit". Overreactions to small things, even small injuries or injustices, is precisely the sort of act that people of small aims and concerns choose to engage in to inflate their importance. Citing sweeping narratives such as sexism to criticize what is arguably just clumsy and poor interaction is precisely why small social wrongs exist. They're not the cure of the casual incivilities that plague everyday life; they're the cause of it. They're the continuation of the problem.

Was this sexism? By her own testimony her friends didn't seem to take it as such. It's safe to assume some were female. If they didn't perceive it, and only she did, then perhaps the problem doesn't lay with everyone else. The only question is, would that thought ever occur to her?

Tibore said...

"B said...

A good reason for her to be offended? Which implies that she would not have been offended if she felt attraction. Which implies that her sense of being offended by a stranger's flirtation is not due to the act of flirtation itself, but the physical attractiveness of the stranger.

Swing and a miss, professor."


Truth be told, B., I interpreted Professor Althouse's post as a criticism of Ms. Denhoed. The post implied that Denhoed is the shallow one and wouldn't have objected had she felt attracted to the man.

Frankly, I think she'd be a poor person regardless of how the other man looked, but that's just my opinion.

Unknown said...

More likely, wearing a full skirt to cover her pear shape and chubby legs…

Inga said...

Actually Fen, I wish you would ignore me, but that doesn't mean I'm going to ignore your imbecilic comments about women, their hormones and their sanity. Althouse calls you out on your moronic statements almost every thread you comment on. You think she's trying to get your attention, or divert attention to herself? No, she calls you out because you say stupid things regularily.

Thorley Winston said...

I think the lesson from this is that none of us control what other people say or do – all any of us can do is control how we react to it. Instead of providing a lesson on “everyday sexist behavior,” she’s provided an object lesson on what happens when someone unnecessarily dwell on things.

Shouting Thomas said...

A woman in her mid 40s who worked as a fashion model when she was young recently friended me on FB. She lives in Woodstock.

She became quite flirtatious, and then began to follow my band at gigs.

At one point, she asked me for a date on FB, so I perused her FB page for old posts and discovered that she was obsessed with "rape culture."

I told her that meeting her in any private or public place seemed like a remarkably bad idea, given this obsession.

"You don't have anything to be afraid of from me," was her reply.

"I intend to spend my retirement playing music, babysitting my granddaughter and enjoying life, not visiting the police station, pay lawyer fees and going to court," I answered.

Haven't heard from her since, thank God.

Yes, a lot of females seem to be walking mental cases these days.

Anglelyne said...

It's a weird trait, and I've never understood it myself, but I've noticed over many years that there are a lot of women out there, even the most "feminist" (hell, especially the most feminist), who seem underneath it all to think that they'll be struck by lightening or damned to hell for all eternity or something if they refuse to comply with anything any man asks them. They seem incapable of just saying "no, thank you" to something they don't want to do, and therefore end up feeling bullied and put-upon by the most innocuous requests.

Like I said, I don't understand where this attitude comes from, but I've sure observed it over and over again. My daughter sees the same things now in her own cohort - girls who are incapable of politely declining male requests for anything (because somebody might think they're "not nice"?, I dunno), who then get angry about the non-existent compulsion, and end up being rude and tactless to the men. It's as if the women most obsessed with male approval end up being the biggest bitches. Serious lack of basic manners and social skills going on here.

Michael said...

I have read the article again. She saved her twirl for her readers. Her preening is not cute but it is what we are having to get used to with a certain type.

chrisnavin.com said...

For someone claiming to be brave and independent, Inga, you sure do appeal to authority and get personal a lot.

B said...

Tibore said...

"B said...

... Truth be told, B., I interpreted Professor Althouse's post as a criticism of Ms. Denhoed.


Agreed. Though my comment was not directed towards her initial psot but here follow up comment at 1:38pm when she tossed out the attractiveness what if as a qualifier for the type of reaction Denhoed had.

I concede that the professor did not use the term 'good reason' that I used. That was my misinterpretation and does change the sense of her 1:38 comment entirely. Mea Culpa.

Opinh Bombay said...

Here is a list of Rhodes Scholars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Rhodes_Scholars

Looking through the names, I think there is evidence that either a) education takes really bright people and turns them into PC idiots or b) the Rhodes is selecting for PC idiots.

chrisnavin.com said...

And Shouting Thomas, I'm sure you have to beat them away with a stick, as the ladies can pick up on those cosmic vibrations

Fen said...

Inga: that doesn't mean I'm going to ignore your imbecilic comments about women, their hormones and their sanity.

You couldn't ignore me if you wanted, sweetie. I own space in your head. Sidebet that you can't resist responding to me for a month.

Althouse calls you out on your moronic statements almost every thread you comment on.

Bullshit. She had one instance where she frontpaged me by misrepresenting my position on gays, because I said I was "bored" with the constant gay harping.

But I find it interesting you are so concerned with Althouse's favor. So much so that you use it as some standard? Why is that?

B said...

post but her follow up comment at 1:38pm

Fen said...

Angelyne: They seem incapable of just saying "no, thank you" to something they don't want to do, and therefore end up feeling bullied and put-upon by the most innocuous requests.

Very insightful. You should guestblog.

BTW, its people like Angelyne and Freeman Hunt and others that restore my faith in women.

Inga said...

"BTW, its people like Angelyne and Freeman Hunt and others that restore my faith in women."

2/14/14, 2:33 PM

Yeah.... And they have hormonal cycles! Go figure.

Trashhauler said...

Women get to choose. That's what all this is about. Men should wait until they get the sign. And God help 'em if they miss it.

Ralph Hyatt said...

I'd say she found something about the man's behavior or appearance off-putting, which led her to refuse his request, which in turn caused her to be slightly embarrassed in front of the group because she did not go along.

She doesn't like feeling embarrassed, most likely she has little experience with it being intelligent, attractive, and accomplished. So, usually adroit in social situations and interacting with others. In order to deal with this uncomfortable feeling she externalizes its source.

Or I could be full of it.

Trashhauler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shouting Thomas said...

@chrisnavin

It is in the nature of being a public performer that one attracts crazy people.

Adeptly avoiding (without offending) the crazy women who want to drag you into the men's room for a blow job is a job skill for a performing musician.

That is, unless you prefer visits from the police, paying lawyer's fees and visiting court.

John said...

Anglelyne said..."Serious lack of basic manners and social skills going on here."
------------------
Fen said..."BTW, its people like Angelyne and Freeman Hunt and others that restore my faith in women.

Seconded!

gypsy rose said...

"Give a spin," he said. And, in the end, she did. She gave a spin, a spin her way, in words. And he got to see if it puffed out adorably. It did not.

And this is a perfect example of why I keep coming back here. Thanks, Ann!

Shouting Thomas said...

And, I'll add that Woodstock feminist women are so fucking crazy that, as you can see, they announce to you that they intend to entrap you... and then dare you to take them up on it.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

She's gonna end up old and alone. Men like a woman who has a sense of fun and doesn't take herself too seriously. Like you, Inga. As much as you have annoyed me here over the years, I like that you clearly have a sense of fun, and I doubt that you've ever lacked for male attention (before and after your marriage, of course).

Michael K said...

"One possibility is that the man was not attractive."

Maybe no men are attractive to her.

Rowed crew ?

Inga said...

Well thank you Panties! I do like men, and a few have seemed to really like me back. :)

Rumpletweezer said...

The only decent Rhodes scholar who comes to mind is Kris Kristofferson.

chrisnavin.com said...

You know ST, if you got some of these women together on a compound, tapped into cosmic vibrations and had activities for the kids... You could become a real cult leader

Jim said...

1:38 Althouse FTW. Of course if she cottoned to the man's looks, she would be spinning like a top. Poor little baby got hit on by a man she didn't fancy. Got to pick up on those IOIs to use the PUA lingo.

Inga said...

And Pants, I bet your husband is glad you lost them and hopes they are never found. ;)

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

@chris navin....lol

The Crack Emcee said...

"One possibility is that the man was not attractive."

A few things:

1) Why would that be an issue in this case?

2) Why did Ann say it like it justifies anything?

3) Is Ann asserting a woman can mistreat people as long as they don't want to fuck them?

4) Do women think with their vaginas more than men do with their dicks?

5) Are their vaginas reliable?

We already know they're not loyal - and they'll kill the kids,...

Shouting Thomas said...

@chris

You're on to something there.

Woodstock is full of furiously angry musicians who wanted to be the next Dylan, but didn't make it.

Once the Dylan dream fails, the fallback dream is to become the next Charlie Manson.

Levi Starks said...

The friend of a friend wanted to find out what kind of a girl she was.
He did.

Michael said...

Shouting Thomas!!! Dude, you are scared to write the name of the guy who was with the Fugs and wrote the great Manson book? The guy with the garage filled with Manson shit? Your neighbor?

I would be too.

Shouting Thomas said...

No, Ed is not my neighbor, but I do see him from time to time.

The Fugs are perhaps the worst rock band to ever achieve some degree of commercial success.

Ed is about as atrocious a piece of shit as you will ever meet, and if you've listened to his lyrics, that won't surprise you.

Fen said...

Tibore: It cuts both ways. Was this sexism? I can easily see a dressmaker asking the same thing. I can see a woman saying "give it a spin" - and in fact, have seen people twirl dresses on the red carpet at awards shows - without the dress wearer taking offense. Why is this being called "sexism" when at other times the exact same act is done without that overtone?

Yup.

There's a guy sitting at the bar, trying to gin up his courage. He thinks he's found his Soulmate, the woman he wants to grow old with. But he's never been a "player" and these social functions always turn him into a wallflower. Every 5 minutes he reminds his introvert to "relax and just be yourself".

She's walking over with her friends. In a cute skirt that bounces playfully. This is what he loves about her - her spontaneous displays of mirth. Just being around her makes everything seem brighter and more intense. Life itself is more crisp and real. Yes, thats it, she makes him feel alive again.

But he doesn't know what to say to her, and then the skirt catches his eye again. Go with that. It worked for George Clooney. C'mon dude, the pause is getting awkward and you close up when that happens. Say something. Anything. And don't forget to smile.

"Cool skirt! Lets see? Give it a spin? "

chrisnavin.com said...

Waaaiiiit a minute. Cult leaders. Women Believing crazy stuff. True believing feminists. Musicians. Men's groups and machismo.

It'a like the threads of yore

Matthew Sablan said...

Whenever I try on shoes in the shoe store, I do a running and standing jump. It's only practical.

I assume women don't do the same in dresses/skirts.

Unknown said...

Shouting Thomas said...2/14/14, 2:23 PM

For a few moments I thought you were insightful and human. thanks for recalibrating with the followups.

Matthew Sablan said...

"One possibility is that the man was not attractive."

-- The fine line between sweet flirting and creepy flirting is how receptive the other person is willing to be.

Matthew Sablan said...

"There's an interesting video experiment that underscores that. Awkward Guy and Clooney Clone both make the same creepy pitch to women. The reaction of the women is different for the hot guy."

-- How is that any different from the fact that guys let cute girls get away with a lot more crap than their less attractive friend?

Andy Freeman said...

> I suspect that there are a lot of women out there who are habitually overlooking little slights delivered by men who really, honestly don’t mean anything by it.

Guys overlook slights (some intended, some not), so why is it surprising that women might?

Yes, I'm aware that there are subcultures where slights trigger fights, but is that really where women want to go?

For being the gender of empathy, women sure are clueless about men and social behavior.


Bob Ellison said...

Well, now I think I know what a "full skirt" is.

the wolf said...

So how in the world does a woman like this get highly offended by a gentle flirtation like that?

By spending too much time steeped in the world of people who write for the New Yorker.

amielalune said...

If she didn't want to spin (and I admit I might have been taken aback by that comment, as would any woman over the age of 6); she could have made a joke of it ("No, I need a few drinks before I start spinning.") and then the noncompliance wouldn't have been so hostile-seeming.

Of course, she seems to think that the hostility was deserved. The New Yorker happy hours must be a real blast.

Julie C said...

Just give this poor dear a few more decades of life on earth and she will discover what all of us women who are in our 50s discover. You rarely, if ever, get the looks that you used to get! Dammit!

Once in a while some older guy will try to strike up a conversation with me in the grocery store, and I'm thinking, why is this old guy flirting with me? And then I remember! Oh yeah, I'm old too!

I'm always thrilled BTW. It's nice to be noticed. And I always tell my husband. I don't want him to get too comfortable!

Matthew Sablan said...

It seems, after a brief look through the comments there, that even the readers there are Not Impressed. I particularly like the one about how women can get away with asking to touch or feel material. I hate when women say "Your scarf looks soft" or "What is your tie made of?" and they just grab it. I have a personal bubble people!

I've never had a man just grab my scarf/jacket/tie, but I'd probably like it just as little.

Michael said...

ST: I would agree, but often wonder how he could have turned out such a great book as the Manson thing. Without a doubt the one book on the topic that got the vibe.

Shit band the Fugs.

Pogo is Dead said...

This would only be important if she were lesbian.

Original Mike said...

"I’m certain that the guy wasn’t trying to belittle me; he was trying to be friendly and make small talk. He was clumsy, but he wasn’t a jerk."

Why isn't that the end of it? Me thinks she wants to be offended.

Ralph Hyatt said...

""There's an interesting video experiment that underscores that. Awkward Guy and Clooney Clone both make the same creepy pitch to women. The reaction of the women is different for the hot guy."

-- How is that any different from the fact that guys let cute girls get away with a lot more crap than their less attractive friend?"

It isn't. Its just a fact of life that pretty people can get away with stuff the unattractive can't.

The three rules.

1) Be handsome.
2) Be attractive.
3) Don't be unattractive.

http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/tom-brady-snl-sexual-harassment-psa/h7nIkQjgII_oYNH7gQfUpA

Fen said...

How is that any different from the fact that guys let cute girls get away with a lot more crap than their less attractive friend?

When a girl makes a bad play, the guy doesn't accuse her of being rapey. Thats the diff.

Fen said...

I hate when women say "Your scarf looks soft" or "What is your tie made of?" and they just grab it. I have a personal bubble people!

I know a woman who uses that as a technique to gain trust. Its works too. She'll be talking with you and then pause to reach out and remove a piece of "lint" on your shirt. Just below the collarbone, so nothing sexual or flirty.

But if I tried that on her, some people would assume I wanted her.


LordSomber said...

Why do people chose to find offenses where none were intended? Above that, why choose to turn an act into an offense when the person herself completely admits it wasn't intended as such?

Moral one-upmanship, on the cheap.

Deep down, these are insecure people, and their every response to any social friction (real, perceived, or just for kicks) is to go nuclear.

MadisonMan said...

Say something in 'Filipino'

Google says you should learn the phrase Boogie-off at mamatay.

HoTouPragmatosKurios said...

Did you the one about two feminists in full skirts?

FullMoon said...

"Let's see you give it a spin", he drunkenly sneered

"Let's see you give it a spin," he joked light kindheartedly.

dreams said...

"Althouse invites the misogynists to come out to play, they never disappoint."

A little red meat for the pack. I think Althouse has it right, the guy just wasn't cute.

MadisonMan said...

I'm a man, (yes I am and I can't help but love you so) and I have felt afraid walking along at night.

Does this woman writer presume that fear is a woman-only thing? Or is she so lacking in imagination?

Saint Croix said...

I can’t help thinking that no one would ever make small talk with a man by complimenting his shoes and then asking him to see if he could jump real high in them.

There's a lot of humor to be had with sex reversals.

If you accept sex difference as a biological reality, you might start enjoying it.

Freeman Hunt said...

I know a woman who uses that as a technique to gain trust. Its works too. She'll be talking with you and then pause to reach out and remove a piece of "lint" on your shirt. Just below the collarbone, so nothing sexual or flirty.

You don't think that's supposed to be sexual or flirty? Ha ha ha. Dude, she's coyly breaking the physical barrier, a "meaningless" touch. Deniable flirtation. Many women greatly enjoy deploying and attempting to stir up desire, not because they want to follow through necessarily but because they enjoy being wanted.

Basil said...

Glad to see the micro aggression tag. Newish lefty tactic to attack normalcy, which is what they are all about.

Michael said...

Micro aggressions only happen to macro assholes

Paul said...

Maybe Ms. Denhoed didn't have any knickers on....

Spiros Pappas said...

The "Princeton Mom" would refer to this woman as a bully and a "man repellant." I think she's right...

Paul said...

"If you accept sex difference as a biological reality, you might start enjoying it."

And how. I've met many a women who had a sense of humor and we would joke about sex and maybe even flirt a bit.

It makes like fun. Yes you can still be a gentleman and lady and flirt a bit.

This sad woman who writes finds something offensive in every uttered word.

The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman Hunt,

Many women greatly enjoy deploying and attempting to stir up desire, not because they want to follow through necessarily but because they enjoy being wanted.


And again - this is considered sane behavior? I do not spend my days wanting to be desired. I don't think until I saw the phrase "wanting to be wanted" I gave a thought to wanting to be desired and I'm pretty sure it's not an impulse I'd care to cultivate.

Yet I'm expected to look at a 24/7/365 hormone cycling look-at-me-or-I'll-cry-or-freak-the-fuck-out hypergamy person the same way?

How, exactly?

Marshal said...

LordSomber said...
Why do people chose to find offenses where none were intended? Above that, why choose to turn an act into an offense when the person herself completely admits it wasn't intended as such?

Moral one-upmanship, on the cheap.


This overthinks the matter. One becomes successful in feminist circles by developing new principles to be outraged over. She's just someone who internalized the culture.

Freeman Hunt said...

Crack, I didn't call it sane. I think it's not a good way to act.

Women are no more insane than men though. There are plenty of bad ways lots of men act.

Inga said...

Irritable Male Syndrome (otherwise known as men on the rag).

Inga said...

Manopause

rcocean said...

So I've learned two things from this blog. Never:

1) Ask a woman in a full dress to "spin" for you. No matter what.

2) Ask a woman at 4 am -in an Elevator -if she wants to go to your hotel room and have coffee. No matter what.

AReasonableMan said...

Marshal said...
One becomes successful in feminist circles by developing new principles to be outraged over. She's just someone who internalized the culture.


This criticism applies equally to Marks Levin and Steyn. Two whiny cry-babys endlessly outraged by the evil machinations of the left and, since hating the left is apparently not enough any more, increasingly by those on the right. A constant one-upmanship of moral outrage. It would be difficult to find two more tedious fucks on this planet.

kentuckyliz said...

"Oh, I can't spin in this skirt right now, because it flies up really high and I'm not wearing any panties." Sly smile. Turn and walk away. Wait to be bought a drink.

kentuckyliz said...

I doubt she rowed, with such a pansy attitude like that. Rowing gives you an Amazon attitude.

Feeling intimidated by strangers? Feel scared?

"Come and get it, motherfucker!" Hands up ready to box or judo.

I rowed.

SOJO said...

Too many variables. it just depends. Once I had a 1930sgreen velvet hooded cloak. My 40 ish artsy landlord and his friend were there when I was unpacking to move in. He saw the cloak, it reminded him of the 70s fashion no doubt, and he very aggressively asked me to put it on, basically to give it a spin. I felt awkward and giggled it away, as early 20s females will do. But his bud came to my rescue basically. He exclaimed, "Andrew!" in a suitably appalled tone. (At that point , I would have been happy to get to know the friend but no such opportunity came my way.)

kentuckyliz said...

One night after bar, my teammates and I (all women) started a bar bet, that we could lift a car. We did. Surrounded it, and our cox (the short one) called the commands: Hands on, up to waist, ready up! and we lifted that thing. Of course it was a small econobox type car but still.

kentuckyliz said...

We were the only chicks in the free weight room. The spandex bunnies were in the Nautilus room in their makeup straining to lift 10 lbs on a machine.

kentuckyliz said...

Women on hormonal contraception are far nuttier than uncontracepted women. Permanent jacked up hormones. If most American women are insane, it's because they're on the Pill.

n.n said...

So, what it is the significance, or hidden motive, of a woman asking a man to move the furniture? Does it make a difference if he is wearing shorts?

That said, I wouldn't ask an arbitrary woman to arbitrarily perform. It seems like an awkward attempt to broach the divide.

EMD said...

If were wearing a jacket and tie, I certainly would've done the old moving tie trick with the jacket lapels just for shitz and gigglez!

Bob Ellison said...

Well, I have enjoyed women flirting with me on rare occasion. Sometimes they were much older than I.

David said...

Inga, in this particular case, with this particular woman and her strange reaction, and upon reflection, it seemed to me that Crack's diagnosis of Mental Disorder is as good as any and better than most.

You thought her behavior was strange, or at least killjoy, based on your initial comments.

Assuming that she has good manners generally (as I do), what other explanation would you give for her behavior?

Crazy Jane said...

Wow. If this sort of encounter is grist for short-form memoir, my friends and I could take over The New Yorker for about 10 years.
As a practical matter, though, we can't. We forgot about the awkward young men and acknowledged our own prissiness. We shared laughs over a glass of wine and grew up. Life goes on.

Matthew Sablan said...

"2) Ask a woman at 4 am -in an Elevator -if she wants to go to your hotel room and have coffee. No matter what."

-- Uh, yeah, wait? That's what the awkward guy did?

... Meeting a person of the opposite sex that late at night for something innocuously silly ["I've got a great CD/movie/whatever you should totally see,"] is basically a deniable "Let's have sex" proposition.

broomhandle said...

On this particular issue I actually agree with the New Yorker chick. I'm probably more trusting than the average person, but if a stranger (male or female, bar or church) inserts themselves in my personal space in an overly familiar way, you can bet I'm thinking about how I can hurt them if things get wierd. That's not paranoia, it's common sense. If I was an attractive young woman I imagine I'd be far more sensitive to anything that could be construed as creepy. "Twirl your skirt" from a stranger just isn't that far from the good old "show us your tits".

mccullough said...

Sounds like she's not a Stevie Nicks fan

Freeman Hunt said...

No need to twirl, and no need to be cold about it. Just laugh it off.

Gene said...

It sounds like Ms. Denhoed is very smart, very athletic and very brittle. Perhaps she needs a graduate course in the social graces.

Kirk Parker said...

B (and also Crack),

"A good reason for her to be offended? "

Oh good grief! Althouse is not defending the behavior, she's explaining it. It perfect Jeevesian fashion, I might add. (Does Althouse read Heartiste or something?)


Freeman @ 5:40pm,

Yes indeed! I was going to say the same thing, but it's more credible coming from your side of the gender fence.

The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman Hunt,

Women are no more insane than men though. There are plenty of bad ways lots of men act.


You'll get no disagreement from me there - I speak generally -but the cultural conditioning is different:

If a man's crazy (in theory) men handle it - set him straight - but women are encouraged in their idiot behavior. By other women, even. Listen to how readily the suggestion this guy was ugly is accepted as a fine excuse for mistreating him. Nobody else is even challenging that - it's the most casual form of accepted discrimination in the world. And you can gather, from the way it was posited, there's a sense of superiority there - again, something men (in theory) would knock down in another guy but women wallow in.

It's crazy, evil, and unacceptable to insist anyone kow-tow to it,...

Kirk Parker said...

Crack,

" Listen to how readily the suggestion this guy was ugly is accepted as a fine excuse for mistreating him [emphasis added]"

Find one single comment here that's suggests it's OK. You're confusing explanation with justification.

Robert Langham said...

It's JUST LIKE SELMA!

Eric said...

Someone asked "Is that what Dorothy Parker would have wanted?"

Um, possibly. Dorothy Parker wanted all manner of nasty things. She was a fully-subscribed Stalinist. Near broke my heart when I learned this.

Real American said...

Punchline: That's not funny!

Tantor said...

Let me explain it to you. An unattractive guy who flirts with a woman is a member of the sexist patriarchy perpetrating sexual harassment. By contrast, a hot guy who flirts with a woman is wildly exciting, hopefully a date.

Denton said...

He was probably physically unattractive.

Zach said...

I think the guy is getting a bad rap here. "Cool skirt! Can you spin in it?" is not an awkward opening line. It's a *neutral* opening line. It's friendly and a little flirtatious, but it doesn't put the girl on the spot. There are a million possible responses, and which one the girl chooses will tell you a little about her character. This girl chose to be rude, and doubled down on being rude by declining several chances to politely back down.

As I score it, the guy didn't get the best possible outcome of flirting with an interesting girl. But he did avoid the worst possible outcome of spending time with a rude girl.

As to Denhoed, I can only think of the classic Kennedy put-down: "No class."

chillblaine said...

"Althouse invites the misogynists to come out to play, they never dissapoint"

The probability that someone will accuse another of misogyny during an internet thread about male/female interactions approaches one.

I haven't decided what to name my new theorem. I will go with Brannigan's Second Law for now. And Brannigan's Law is like Brannigan's Love: hard and fast.

The Sanity Inspector said...

Moral: Don't date feminists.

kernel cathcart said...

In the power industry, turbines are protected from flying apart by speed limiting governors, which are relatively scary to test, because if they don't work, the turbine flies apart, killing everyone.

To 'spin someone up' is to purposely agitate them, to leave them sputtering is putting them 'on the limiter'.

This lady has a personality type which is useful for the entertainment of others. What she described as a man having a "hold my beer" moment, will someday be a man creating a "hey, watch this" moment.

TheRadicalModerate said...

Some day real soon now we're all going to tumble to the fact that this constant vigilance against perceived assaults on our world-view comes with a pretty steep cognitive price tag. When every social interaction comes burdened with a vast array of calibrations against all of our pet peeves (is this offensive to me as a feminist? could it be construed as racist against any of the fifteen groups I've been taught are aggrieved? does this conform to any of the ten political faux pas that I've resolved to lose friends over?), one day we'll wake up and discover that we could have been a lot more productive and gotten a lot more enjoyment out of life if we'd just settled on some social customs and had done with it.

Things are just easier when all you have to be is polite. I guess this incident would therefore constitute a double-fail.

J Blaze said...

I don't understand the conversation. She's writing a story, either for recognition or money. It's FICTION. Everyone wants to comment on the story and that is her purpose. She writes for the uber-sensitive feminist crowd, that she is a part. It didn't happen, her own biography suggests it couldn't happen, but she made a silly story out of it anyway. She was probably in bed, about to fall asleep, when the idea popped in her head. "How about a story about a guy that made me uncomfortable, and how it changed my life forever." It's utter bullshit, as is 90% of New Yorker opinion pieces. Yet people still seem to believe that if it is written, it is assumed to be true. Lame.

J Blaze said...

I don't understand the conversation. She's writing a story, either for recognition or money. It's FICTION. Everyone wants to comment on the story and that is her purpose. She writes for the uber-sensitive feminist crowd, that she is a part. It didn't happen, her own biography suggests it couldn't happen, but she made a silly story out of it anyway. She was probably in bed, about to fall asleep, when the idea popped in her head. "How about a story about a guy that made me uncomfortable, and how it changed my life forever." It's utter bullshit, as is 90% of New Yorker opinion pieces. Yet people still seem to believe that if it is written, it is assumed to be true. Lame.

Eric said...

BTW, its people like Angelyne and Freeman Hunt and others that restore my faith in women.

The problem is the single ones are much more likely to be Inga or Shouting Thomas's "rape culture" fantasist.

Eric said...

Why isn't that the end of it? Me thinks she wants to be offended.

Yep. That seems to be what gets a feminist out of bed in the morning - the possibility she may be able to twist some poor guy's honest attempt at normal social interaction into a reason to be outraged.

It would just be amusing if it weren't so easy for her to get the authorities involved.

paul a'barge said...

By the way, fans of male GAME would call the "give it a spin" comment a neg.

And it worked. For the man who made the neg. Because she immediately displayed her unattractiveness and bitter, vile personality. And he was spared from having anything more to do with her.

Negs work, even when they don't appear to work.

paul a'barge said...

@Althouse: One possibility is that the man was not attractive

Althouse, displaying boundless cluelessness about male GAME.

paul a'barge said...

Picture of Andrea:
Click to view her

Really? She's not that hot.

blogagog said...

"I was meeting some friends at a bar, wearing a dress with a full skirt."

Full skirt? Does that mean that some people wear dresses with only part of a skirt? Which part is missing? The front or the back? This is intriguing.

EMD said...

I can’t help thinking that no one would ever make small talk with a man by complimenting his shoes and then asking him to see if he could jump real high in them.

I think that would be awesome, frankly.

Ann Althouse said...

"Negs work, even when they don't appear to work."

With a theory like that, you can't lose.

Who would adopt a theory that defines away losing but... a loser?

Freeman Hunt said...

How would the spinning comment even be a "neg?" What is negative about it? It might be a little goofy, but it sounds friendly.

wildswan said...

Well it certainly is interesting to see how many spins can be given to that ridiculous woman's non-spin.

wildswan said...

Well it certainly is interesting to see how many spins can be given to that ridiculous woman's non-spin.

Matthew Sablan said...

Wouldn't a neg be more like "I don't think you pull that skirt off; let's give it a spin and see if I'm right?"

Ann Althouse said...

"How would the spinning comment even be a "neg?" What is negative about it? It might be a little goofy, but it sounds friendly."

It's a neg because a guy who believes in the ideology of negs uses the label neg to try to flip the narrative.

The beta male becomes an alpha. This is an example of framing. In the game frame, every man can be dominant, even as the females reject him.

scf said...

That woman is a nightmare to any unlucky man who tries to date her. Life is too short to waste time on people like her.

David H. C. said...

Glancing at these posts... so sad to see so many cruel comments against all women and also directed at one woman simply for being honest about how she felt in one situation -- she was asked to do something she didn't want to do. She said "I'd rather not."
You may not agree with her analysis of that incident; I don't totally agree myself. But some people don't like to be asked to "pose" or to be put on the spot to perform in a way they might think of as childish. But she was not rude to the guy. And she is allowed to say no! Right? Why do so many of you have to mean about it? Look at the vicious comments about women's "mental disorders" here and in her blog too. THAT is the real story! THAT is what she is 100% correct about. To paraphrase: "Give a spin for us." "I'd rather not." "Bitch!!!"