Wednesday, 7 May 2014

In which you need to ask for someone's number to call them

Flirting with an attractive chap: all good fun*. Having someone ask you for your number: often flattering. Having someone text you having got hold of your number through means other than directly asking you: creepy and stalkerish and just shouldn't happen. If you have neither the guts nor the manner to ask a woman directly, you have neither the guts nor the manners to date her.

Recently, The Redhead went to get her hair cut. She came out of the salon with that very specific, and sadly all too uncommon, feeling that you get when you've found a new hairdresser who's done wonderful things to your hair.

Then, a few hours after leaving the salon, she gets this: 

Which was followed a few weeks later by Nimko Ali, one of the women who's done such incredible work recently campaigning against FGM, tweeting that the taxi driver who had driven her home from an interview with the BBC had since texted her to ask her out.

Both are not only in total contravention of the Data Protection Act, they're completely morally unacceptable.

While everyone might use a Post-it note at work to write the occasional personal shopping list, there's a marked difference between doing so and going through a corporate database of customers' personal details in order to find a number and ask them out.

The discomfort that must come in knowing that someone who finds you attractive enough to make an unwanted advance knows where you live is, I imagine, extreme.

There is nothing wrong with finding someone attractive and asking to get to know them. But how you go about it is critical. And not to have the courage to ask them directly in a situation where they have the chance to see who you are, be able to put you in context, and have a chance to feel safe while they're doing it is horrid and creepy and stalkerish.

It smacks of the same old problem of not treating women as people - as seeing them somehow as 'other'. Shyness is all very well, but it should never be an excuse for the total disregard of someone's feelings and their privacy.

If you want someone's number, ask them for it. Man up. 

(*Not something I'd ever think of doing, TW, in case you're reading. Other than in cases where I need to in order to get something done. See: served at a bar, free coffee at Pret, something tricky from a colleague etc. Obviously.) 


Alicia Foodycat said...

Creepy and bad manners! And does that mean The Redhead has to find a new salon?

The Redhead said...

Sadly, yes. Though I've done pretty well to maintain my new fringe with nail scissors so far.

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