African Women Voices

What It Is About Men

Do men really think women are complete idiots or they just like making a fool out of themselves?

Nowadays it seems to me that being a woman has become some kind of training to men absurd pick-up lines. The more foolish, inappropriate, indecent sentence you receive, the more you will be ready for the next silly attack.

It can happen anytime, anywhere: when someone sits in the tiny place next to you though the bus is completely empty; when you are stopped and asked for the time (and then his mobile phone rings in his pocket); when you are walking to the supermarket and a random guy first comment on the book you’re holding and then follows you all they way during the grocery shopping (!).

Being a black woman, who grew up in a white majority environment, I didn’t come across young black men as much as in the UK. Although the lines seems to be the same in every country (United Colours of Silliness), something that struck me is the constant assumption that because I am a fellow black woman, I would be willing to marry, go out, date, meet, give the number, call, whichever black men asks (in not a very charming way) me to.

Other than that, some of the ways men approach to the other sex, somehow imply women won’t understand what they really mean or want.

But here is the news: we might play it dumb but we do know what’s going on.

Just to refresh the compilation,  here is a collection of evergreens:

I’ll walk you home

WHAT IT MEANS: I will see where you live so I can stalk you properly and why not maybe even score!

WHAT YOU SHOULD SAY: No, thanks I’ll be fine (polite version)

Why? So that you can stalk me better? (challenging version)

I don’t need you to walk me home (decided version)

All women say that” (usually follows the lines: ‘how old are you?’-‘You don’t ask the age to a woman!’)

WHAT THEY EXPECT: To make you feel like you are not unique. This should apparently convince you to reveal your age (how naïve!).

WHAT TO DO: stick to something like “yeah, I’m like most women!” or “Still, won’t say it”

Are you here alone? Are you married?” (spy-out-the-land questions)

WHAT’S HAPPENING: the male predator is checking how the situation

is around its quarry (not that it really matters, but still!)

HOW TO ANSWER: Yeah, I’m here with my husband and three kids (if you feel creative)

No, I came here with my friends (doesn’t really matter if you haven’t)

I live here with my boyfriend/fiancé (you can always find a friend who’ll play the role of your boyfriend in the unlikely case you meet the guy again)

What did you say your name was?” (really?)

WHAT THEY HOPE: that you forget you actually avoided saying your name on purpose just five minutes before

WHAT YOU CAN SAY: “I didn’t say it!”

A random name that you like but doesn’t belong to you (create yourself an alternative life, might be fun! – I’ve been a Claudia once)

And the list might go on and on …

Just as a matter of clarification, I’ve got nothing against pick-up/hitting (whatever you want to call it) lines. After all,  the fortune favours the brave. My “what-the-hell” brain nerve though is quite sensible to the assumption that we (women) won’t get what’s really happening when men use their silliest weapons.

Be creative or be silent!

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