Friendship with you? Certainly not

Published: October 23, 2013

When a woman says ‘no’, she means it. This, according to the opinion of yours truly at least, is the simple truth. There are no double meanings, no hidden messages and no shades of ‘coquetry’ involved in the straightforward negation.

Constant unwanted and unsolicited attention from men is an unfortunate occurrence that many women experience at least once in their lifetime. Of course, I am not generalising here; this rhetoric is directed only towards men who indulge in such activities. So, now that the disclaimer has been done with, I would like to bring forth another facet of the said men’s psyche: if their target(s) repel the harassers’ initial advances, it signifies to them a ‘challenge’ that should be accepted if the sacred code of ‘manliness’ is to be protected. Hence, the harassment is increased manifold.

There is also another school of thought claiming that a woman is only being ‘proper’ and ‘modest’ if she expresses her disinterest; continue pursuing her and she will eventually capitulate. May I humbly point out here that a female’s life does not revolve around waiting for any man to bestow his consideration on her? Also, she is fully capable of choosing her own acquaintances and friends without the need of a forced violation of her personal place, be it mental or physical.

Said the irrepressible William Collins to Elizabeth Bennet in the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice, “I am not now to learn that it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept, when he first applies for their favour; and that sometimes the refusal is repeated a second or even a third time. I am therefore by no means discouraged by what you have just said, and shall hope to lead you to the altar ere long.”

The fact is, these lines are reflective of what was generally believed in early 19th century England. Fast-forward two centuries, Collins’ spirit would be flattered to notice that his mentality is still prevalent among a sizeable segment of the male sex. In today’s technological epoch, physical proximity has been rendered unnecessary for harassing women. Crank calls, sleazy text messages and social media stalking are being used freely to ‘make friendship’. It does not make a difference if their numbers are blocked; they seem to be in the possession of a non-ending supply of SIMs to satisfy their eternal quest of driving women to the edge of a breakdown. Seriously, don’t these men have anything better to do?

Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2013.

Reader Comments (10)

  • GrimmJow
    Oct 23, 2013 - 5:36PM

    @Author – Will you fraandship with me? :)

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  • S
    Oct 23, 2013 - 5:51PM

    what do you think of yourself? purely stupid

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  • Macho
    Oct 23, 2013 - 5:54PM

    If you put up such a pretty picture then don’t blame me for wanting to ‘make friendship’ with you! You have my email. Add me on FB, and we can take it from there!

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  • Umer
    Oct 23, 2013 - 6:32PM

    You were given fraandship offers? SERIOUSLY?
    No offence intended :D

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  • The Failed Rebel
    Oct 23, 2013 - 7:25PM

    I concur with the author. As a man, it is sometimes shameful for me to see the ones of my own gender being tails to ladies who clearly negated their social indulgence request.

    Men, guys, my friends, you have to realize that asking a girl for social contact is just like someone asking for your best car. You will only and only lend it to your best friend. Maybe not even your family members. Why would a girl be interested in you, specifically you. Sure if you are way over your head for someone, you can express your sentiments boldly, in good words, and she might even appreciate you for that, but begging for approval does more damage than acceptance.

    Having said all this, and being a man, I think we have a hard-circuit in us which makes us apparently blatantly subservient to the opposite gender. Alright, I am off to get the groceries because she won’t talk to me otherwise…

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  • Aqilmund
    Oct 23, 2013 - 7:38PM

    While the sentiments may be laudable in abstraction people still follow that old code where coyness and playing hard to get is part of the repertoire of the courtship rituals. Having said that my sympathies to anyone who has ever had to face the overly insistent and unwanted attentions of an over zealous ‘admirer’. Societal prohibitions or at least restrictions on unwarranted co-mingling of the sexes have been tried in different societies with varying levels of success however the more pertinent question is where do you draw the line? I hear females express varying sentiments depending on how ‘cute’ the pursuer is and those mixed signals are what confuses; especially if the messages being received are not applicable to the local norms.

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  • Kaka
    Oct 23, 2013 - 11:50PM

    Haseena maan jayegi !

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  • Vikram
    Oct 24, 2013 - 1:00AM

    In Muslim culture question of yes or no does not arise? A Muslim woman has to think about consequences of saying “yes”. Like what if her “father” finds out about it. A Muslim woman is even not even “FREE” to say yes to a guy she likes, because her family may want her to spend life with her cousin.

    In my opinion a man should approach a woman only after he gets a positive signal from her.

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  • The Failed Rebel
    Oct 24, 2013 - 3:40AM

    @Vikram:
    No cultural bashing is necessary.Recommend

  • Kushal
    Nov 19, 2013 - 2:22PM

    @Macho: Good one.

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