How do you feel about the slogan "If it's unwanted, it's harassment"

Thanks for the constructive reply. I'm not trying to justify some asshole behavior here. I want to know people's feelings on this so that I don't end up putting anybody in a bad spot by doing something that makes sense to me but may make someone else at all uncomfortable. It seems like I'm in the extreme minority in what I think is normal societal interaction.

  1. I don't want to get into any personal details about myself if I can avoid it, but I have a great deal of experience in NYC also, and I don't really have the same experiences as you I guess. I've had people start little chit chat conversations with me more than a few times, and I never really thought it was an asshole thing to do. People are busy everywhere. Anyone with basic social skills should be able to tell when someone does or doesn't want to talk at all. Do people of the same gender compliment each other? Yes, sometimes. I've had strangers compliment a pair of shoes or a jacket I've been wearing and we both just go on about our day. This idea that it's weird or aggressive to talk to people is kind of what I'm talking about. A person saying something to another person is automatically weird and aggressively familiar? We're all humans and we're all living in the same spot. Life fucking sucks a lot of time, I don't think a stranger injecting a tiny bit of kindness into my day is a bad thing assuming it's done respectfully and without expectations of anything in return. Maybe I'm in the minority there. I don't think a compliment has to be "half-assed" solely because it's in passing. Again, I'm talking any gender to any gender. The entire world isn't heterosexual obviously.

  2. Again, what "barrier?" Of engaging with any strangers at all anywhere but a bar? And again, any gender to any gender. You see a guy with a pair of glasses that you like, you're both waiting in line somewhere. "Hey, man, I really like those frames. I've been looking for something like that. Where'd you find them?" Is that passive aggressive? What if I'm gay and I want to have sex with this guy? What if I'm straight and I just like his glasses? Does that make all the difference?

  3. I'm not talking about yelling at people, I'm talking about interacting like a normal person - regular volume, regular tone, acting without expectation of anything in return. This is what I'm getting hung up on - talking to a stranger is automatically "yelling" or being "aggressive" or "gross." What kind of society is this where those assumptions are justified?

Maybe these thoughts would be more justified in some type of utopian society where women don't have to be on eggshells around strange men. I understand that our society mostly isn't that, and I completely understand why women in particular can be leery in situations like this. I also understand that you might be one person who isn't annoying but you could be in a chain of people who together are very annoying.

I'm just really put off by the implications of all of this I guess. It seems to essentially boil down to don't ever talk to anybody unless you're at a bar or you already know that person. That seems so awful, so bleak.

/r/AskMen Thread