Ooh, interesting question, I was talking to my partner about this very thing just recently. I’ll give it my best shot at answering.
Oh oh and this article is really good, not exactly answering your question but definitely relevant.
First off, don’t do it from a car, or in a way that the woman (I understand it may not always be a woman but for the purposes of discussion I’ll stick to the female example) is not able to respond to you. To have something yelled at you, however well-intentioned, and to look up and not even see who said it or be able to respond, is very intimidating.
Some people find compliments from strangers very uncomfortable, whether because they’re wondering what the stranger’s angle is, or they find it hard to take compliments and don’t know what to say, or they think it’s rude that they should be able to go out without a stranger feeling entitled to judge their appearance (even if it is a nice judgement). I personally am okay with it: it makes my day when someone compliments my outfit (it is very often my shoes, I like wearing exciting shoes xD). But not everyone is in the same position.
Also I guess we have to consider what your aim is: are you flirting with the girl in like a bar situation? Or are you on the bus and you just really like that girl’s hair and you want her to know that, for example? If it’s the flirting example, I advise to strike up conversation with something neutral, or if you start with a compliment, stick to complimenting her outfit, shoes, or maybe her hair: stay away from body-related comments, like how good her ass looks in that skirt (which in my book is a big no-no, to say first off). I think that maybe hair and clothes compliments are safer because, like, they are something that the woman has worked on? She spent time putting the outfit together or doing her hair: your complimenting something that in a way she can be proud of. Coz saying something like, “you have nice [body part/s]”, I automatically default to the reply, “thanks, I grew it/them myself” xD
I respect your comment about “Obviously, I’m taking it as given that she has every right to ignore me completely”. There may well be situations where you do try and compliment a woman and she takes it badly. It sucks to be rejected, and there seem to be a lot of examples of guys losing their temper when their advances have been rejected, to the point where women are scared to say ‘no’ in case their flatterer flips the fuck out. Understand where some women are coming from, whether it is very low self esteem, or a history of manipulative partners who have used compliments as a way to get what they want, etc etc.
Unfortunately I can’t say what to do and what not to do (apart from the very obvious examples), because it is an entirely situation-dependent thing. You have no way of telling if your compliment will make a girl’s day, or ruin it. Your question shows you have a high level of awareness of the issues, and common sense, so I guess all I can say is use your best judgement depending on the situation. :) I hope this helps somewhat, and isn’t all just obvious stuff you already know. Thanks for stopping by my inbox! :)
If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.
And we should not be surprised when they behave these ways during attempted or completed rapes.
Women who are taught not to speak up too loudly or too forcefully or too adamantly or too demandingly are not going to shout “NO” at the top of their goddamn lungs just because some guy is getting uncomfortably close.
Women who are taught not to keep arguing are not going to keep saying “NO.”
Women who are taught that their needs and desires are not to be trusted, are fickle and wrong and are not to be interpreted by the woman herself, are not going to know how to argue with “but you liked kissing, I just thought…”
Women who are taught that physical confrontations make them look crazy will not start hitting, kicking, and screaming until it’s too late, if they do at all.
Women who are taught that a display of their emotional state will have them labeled hysterical and crazy (which is how their perception of events will be discounted) will not be willing to run from a room disheveled and screaming and crying.
Women who are taught that certain established boundaries are frowned upon as too rigid and unnecessary are going to find themselves in situations that move further faster before they realize that their first impression was right, and they are in a dangerous room with a dangerous person.
Women who are taught that refusing to flirt back results in an immediately hostile environment will continue to unwillingly and unhappily flirt with somebody who is invading their space and giving them creep alerts.
People wonder why women don’t “fight back,” but they don’t wonder about it when women back down in arguments, are interrupted, purposefully lower and modulate their voices to express less emotion, make obvious signals that they are uninterested in conversation or being in closer physical proximity and are ignored. They don’t wonder about all those daily social interactions in which women are quieter, ignored, or invisible, because those social interactions seem normal. They seem normal to women, and they seem normal to men, because we were all raised in the same cultural pond, drinking the same Kool-Aid.
And then, all of a sudden, when women are raped, all these natural and invisible social interactions become evidence that the woman wasn’t truly raped. Because she didn’t fight back, or yell loudly, or run, or kick, or punch. She let him into her room when it was obvious what he wanted. She flirted with him, she kissed him. She stopped saying no, after a while."
Let’s see how many things are wrong with this shall we?
- Shaming girls for flirting
- Shaming people for having sex
- Shaming sex workers for their profession
- Shaming men for having sex
- Shaming a woman for being confident sexually
- Assuming that a double standard does not exist
- Children doling out sexual advice that way too many people buy into
- Teens and young adults being forced to assume that the social norm is that they should not want sex but ALSO should not want to ‘just flirt’
- Claiming that sex with two consensual nonpaying people is tantamount to the ‘shameful’ act of prostitution
- Claiming that flirting and being sexually attracted to multiple people is tantamount to prostitution
- Implying that even if you DON’T have sex you will still be viewed as a shameful prostitute.
Did I miss anything?
He really does need to shut the fuck up.