A man approaches you, buys a drink for you and asks you out for a date. When you say that you are not interested, the man might try flirting with you to convince you that one date doesn’t change anything. As you continue to reject his advances, there is a chance that his attitude changes from good to bad and then to worse. That’s because Indian men don’t know how to back off and just can’t take rejection in the right spirit.
In our society, the twisted understanding of consent among men has affected the dating life of women immensely. If a woman says no, men assume it as yes and attribute the initial rejection to either coyness or the female tendency to play “hard to get”. Or when women indirectly say no by using words like maybe, later or not ready for it, men try to gaslight women into thinking that their “maybe” is actually a “yes”.
Why do Indian men have such a hard time understanding and respecting a woman’s consent? Why do they always tend to twist women’s words and coerce a “yes” out of them? Do men not realise that aggression doesn’t flatter women in the game of dating? That women today desire men who will let them make their own decisions and not the ones who will force their will on them?
Dating life of women and male entitlement that ruins everything
Most of the time to avoid unwanted dates, women are forced to reveal their relationship status or lie about a fake boyfriend. This is because men see women as territories- if they are “owned” by another men only then will they back off. In fact there is also the angle of bro-code in which every man tends to respect the partner of another man, no matter whether they know each other or not. But if the woman is not in a relationship with any other man, she automatically becomes available for everyone and for everything.
On the other hand, when a woman rejects a man despite being single, he tends to take is as an insult. He think that the woman doesn’t think of him to be worthy. Very few men back off at this point with their heads held high. Others proceed to either berate the woman, slut shame her or hound her, till she changes her mind.
Men need to start understand dating isn’t a fertiliser for their egos. Having sex women isn’t just a way to prove your machismo. There is more to sex and love than that. Perhaps the fault lies with out society which never teaches boys to take no for an answer. Only when the sense of entitlement is taken away from boy as they grow up to become men, will they truly learn to see courtship, love and sex and mutual acts that require consent and willingness of both the parties involved.
Views expressed are the author’s own.