While in Paris for the weekend with a friend, we went to a bar Saturday night enjoying some drinks and nice conversation. At one point the ladies at the table next to us leave and it doesn’t take long until a guy takes a seat next to my friend and starts talking to us. Which is fine in itself, I guess. His English wasn’t very good so we barely understood him at first, but he tried to communicate and explain things as best he could. He was being “friendly” asking where we came from (which became a long ordeal for my friend seeing as he had never heard of her country, but oh well..) and trying to teach us French words/phrases. However, seeing as personal space here is not really the same as it is where I or my friend live, I quickly noticed that she was getting a bit uncomfortable every time he was talking because he kept leaning into her, so I tried steering us back to our original conversation which only involved the two of us. Surely, he would get the hint. But they never do..
We managed eventually to return to our own discussion and all of a sudden some friend of his appeared joining the table so there I thought, now it should be ok cause he was probably just being social while waiting for his friend and now that he is here they will see to themselves. Sure, that worked for a while, until suddenly the guy starts talking to us again, being even more persistent, asking for our names (fake ones were given), how long we are staying in Paris and so on. The conversation then took a turn for the worse when he said, or pointed out inquiringly: “Oh, but you are here alone..” I frowned and responded: “No, we are not here alone, we are here together.” He then tried in a ridiculous way to explain that he meant that yeah we were technically here together but “separate” as in her and I were two women “alone”, as in not accompanied by men, as in single, and thus in “need” of male company. I was already pissed off at this point so I said: “No, we are together.” Because I learned a long time ago that the lesbian card is handy to use with your friends when trying to get rid of men who just simply cannot take a hint, or even a dozen. While he tried to figure out if what I said was true, we downed our drinks and left the bar.
So. Why is this upsetting to me? Well, it’s simple: In what logical, rational way, would it ever be considered normal for me to go up to two or more men hanging out and say to them that “hey, you are here alone ey *wink wink*”, when clearly, they are not alone, they are hanging out with each other, and that doesn’t automatically mean that they are single, or that they even want my company or anything other than that they are in fact hanging out. I would never even imagine doing something like that, and if I ever did, it would just be ridiculous. But for women to enjoy each others’ company while not accompanied by men, suddenly, they are alone, and of course they must therefore be single, and of course they must want some male company. How does that make any fucking sense?
And furthermore, even when I happen to be hanging out alone as in not with any friends or whatnot, that does not automatically mean that I want any, much less a strangers, company. I cannot even count how many times strange men have come up to me while I’ve been out in public enjoying my own company and just persisted to invade it, even though my words and body language say the same thing: I do not want your god damn company, go away.
Learn to take a hint guys, seriously. We would all be better off if you could check your privileges and stop assuming women, or anyone, want or need your company when they show you that they don’t.