The modern human first appeared around 200,000 years ago, but apparently 200,000 years still hasn’t been enough time for us develop skills like the basic human decency to respect women. Obviously, there are a lot of good guys out there, but every time we go to a frat party or club, it seems like there’s at least one guy who just can’t take no for an answer. Not only is that creepy, but it’s incredibly disrespectful.
Not to mention that when a guy won’t leave you alone, it can be pretty scary. Luckily, feminist pop culture site The Mary Sue has come to our rescue.
On October 23rd, The Mary Sue announced that it developed a “rejection hotline.” Basically, if a guy at a party asks for your number and you don’t feel comfortable giving it to him, you can give him the number (646) 926-6614.
When he calls that number, an audio recording will say, “Oh hello there. If you’re hearing this message, you’ve made a woman feel unsafe and/or disrespected. Please learn to take no for an answer and respect women’s emotional and physical autonomy. K THANKKS.” If he texts the number, he’ll receive that message as well (but after an hour delay, “giving you enough time to GTFO,” according to The Mary Sue website).
— Edward Branley (@YatPundit) October 24, 2017
This is definitely a service I could’ve used before and, unfortunately, I’m sure I’ll have many opportunities to use it in the future. As Elite Daily says, “Although this is a great service that The Mary Sue is providing for women (and definitely a number that I'll be saving in my contacts), when you think about it, it's actually sad that something like this feels necessary in 2017.”
Every day, we see more and more evidence that lots of people don’t yet know that “no means no” — or if they do know, that they certainly don’t care. The Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations have brought this to light, but Weinstein is by no means the only one assaulting women. We’ve learned this from the #MeToo movement, where it seems like pretty much every woman posted online to show that she has been sexually assaulted or harassed. Even four female senators joined in on this movement and shared their stories. Lots of times, parties and clubs are a hotbed for rape culture with some people so set on their goal of "scoring" that consent and respect are the last things on their minds. (Absolutely not okay!)
It’s great that The Mary Sue provides services for those who are made uncomfortable, but it would be even better if we could work as a culture to make it so that women never even have to use the hotline. Let’s all make an effort to help each other out and to make sure all of our friends understand the right to say "no" and learn to respect it.