Save Your Compliments
The other part of dangerously straight is yelling unsolicited “compliments” to women from moving vehicles. I feel like nothing can exemplify #dangerouslystraight as perfectly as this; because street harassment is how these individuals let other people know just how straight they are. I mean, most straight men are content to think to themselves, “I’m attracted to women. I have pursued heterosexual relationships on several occasions. I’m currently driving past a woman who I find to be attractive. I guess that makes me straight. What a relief.”
That’s like, safely straight. Kinda like, “I’m into women, but I don’t have to go out of my way to be a dick to all of them.” Dangerously straight is more like, “I’m going to make you uncomfortable with my extreme off the charts level of testosterone. My straightness is so extreme that it makes people feel unsafe.” Because it does. Street harassment is dangerously straight because yelling at someone, even if it’s meant to be a compliment, makes people feel uncomfortable. And unsafe. Unsafe in their own cities, in their own neighborhoods, in their own clothes, in their own skin.
I have a big problem with street harassment for many reasons. First of all, I love women. That can sound like a very sleazy thing depending on who you are and how you say it, but I genuinely mean that. I have women in my life that I care for and the thought of having someone making them feel unsafe is infuriating. And I hate it when yelling something at a woman from one’s vehicle is rationalized as being a compliment.
Are you familiar with compliments as a concept? Merriam-Webster defines a compliment as, “an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration” and it comes from the word “courteous” which means, “marked by respect for and consideration of others.” If you hear that definition and the image of a man in a truck yelling something at a woman on the sidewalk comes to mind, you might be dangerously straight.
Compliments convey respect. They show consideration for the other person. A compliment cannot express respect and consideration while also making someone feel unsafe. Even if you think what you are saying is showing appreciation and that a woman should be thankful you were able to evaluate her self worth based on her appearance that is probably not how it will be received. She’s not thinking, “Oh wow! Some stranger in a truck thinks I have a ‘nice ass.’ Wow, what a great guy. Too bad he has to keep driving around letting people know how dangerously straight he is. I just want him so bad now that I know that I can’t have him!!!”
What she’s really thinking is, “Is he going to turn around or get out of his vehicle and accost me? Or worse?” Women have been followed home from the grocery store by strangers. A when I say women, I mean, like girls, like young women; teenagers. Who are in school. Followed home by strangers. This happens in big cities and small cities and communities just like yours. Now, someone who is dangerously straight might be thinking, “Well, I wouldn’t do that. I just wanted her to know that I appreciate her body.” She has no way of knowing that. So save your compliments.