I just read about this encounter, and couldn’t get it off my mind. Something about it disturbed me deeply.
I liked the way the boyfriend and girlfriend handled the situation. What bothered me was the customer’s response discrepancy. I’ll explain what I mean by that in a minute.
My brother sent me a link to a youtube video a couple weeks ago. It started with one, and I ended up watching several others by the same individual. He told me about the controversy that these videos brought up – comments had to be disabled because of the types of responses the video was getting. One of the many points she brings up is that in video games, movies, etc. women are portrayed as the “property” of men. She explains the point much better than I could, so watch if you’re interested in what she has to say.
Getting back to my first subject: as I’ve said, I like how they handle the situation. What bothered me is that
A) he didn’t drop the issue when she said she wasn’t interested
B) he objectifies her by asking another guy what he thinks she likes rather than asking her, and (possibly worse) doing so in her hearing as she’s standing right there, as if her own opinion is flawed or of no account
C) he apologizes to the boyfriend before making a hasty exit – suggesting that he wasn’t doing anything wrong unless the girl in the story already had a boyfriend, and he was present. Bothering the girl doesn’t seem to matter unless she’s “taken” and her male counterpart is present – and then it’s not the girl who needs the apology, but the fellow male whose territory he was attempted to encroach upon.
Now, I’m not saying that he was consciously thinking any of this. I doubt he honestly meant any harm. But that’s part of what bothers me – as a society, we are so bombarded by media with the idea that women, at many times and under many circumstances, play a secondary role to men that we don’t even question exchanges like this.
Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive – but I don’t think so.