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Please Stop Saying You Are Afraid to Talk to Women Post #MeToo

It was a perfect date until... 

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TL;DR: The perfect anti-date I went on last week.

Yaar, even Henry Cavil is afraid to talk to women after Me Too and all that,” he sniggered with a child-like sneer playing on his lips, while noisily munching on a packet of fries. There was an air of bloodless arrogance about him that reminded me of fingernails scraping a chalkboard.

I knew the date was over.

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Must you draw conclusions so easily, the pheromones screamed with wounded voices. Yes, this was it. I had to put my foot down. He had just detonated a stink bomb in my face and the stench was far too strong to accommodate my fiery hormones.

What a turn-off!

There’s nothing stinkier in a man than a penchant for microaggressions masquerading as humour — “Bhai, ye sab witch-hunt hai”. “Why, good Lord, why?” I whispered to my mangled expectations.

It was a perfect date until... 
He smelt like Brad Pitt in a Gucci advertisement, he spoke like Obama at an AIB Roast, he laughed at all my self-taught jokes without a hint of one-upmanship and he latched on to my kitschy sitcom references like a Freudian baby does to his myriad complexes.

Could I possibly ask for more?

Yes. I am not going to shoot for the stars and end up on the moon anymore. Nah, no thank you!

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All my boxes were checked — he was a good listener, he was agreeable, and he was not mansplaining. What’s more, we both agreed that a sharpened pencil tip and a morning dump are the two most underrated things in the world.

Woah!

A man who seemed to be taking after my own heart. Until...

He made me feel like an exotic ogre ready to lash out at his lot without good reason. Clearly, I had been betting on the wrong horse. I gave the date 20 more minutes, out of pure goodwill, but it only got worse. Brief remarks here and there made it very clear that everything looked picture-perfect but we were fundamentally quite different.

I wondered if he reads articles that serve as self-help guides advising men how to talk to women post the #MeToo movement:

6 Keys To Interacting With Opposite Sex Coworkers In The #MeToo Era

*Blows raspberries*

It was a perfect date until... 
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Unpopular opinion: Women don’t speak Parseltongue.

Nobody, not even Rajesh Koothrapalli, should, ideally, need a guide to LEARN how to talk to women. At least in the #MeToo context. If you know someone who conflates talking or flirting with sexual harassment, then, maybe, just maybe, he needs to take to the hills and spend some time with himself.

Kind brethren, women aren’t voodoo practitioners towering over unsuspecting souls. Neither are we ticking bombs waiting to unjustly accuse a man at the drop of a hat. That would just be counter-productive to the entire cause.

Would you need a pompous, chicken-soup guide that tells you how to talk to a human being? Mama taught you this, and more, years back. Right? A tale as old as time. That’s it. That’s all the guidance you will ever need.

Every woman has a different boundary, a different manner of navigating cues, of expressing herself, of reciprocating, and speaking up. All we need to do is pay attention to each other.

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If anything, men should feel better post #MeToo. A lot of things are being cleared up, what is okay, and what’s not... now you know your #MeToo basics, good sir! (And you didn’t even have to spend a year in the hills!)

I refuse to believe that my date can’t hold himself accountable for his actions or words and is, thus, afraid to talk to me. Should he be talking to anyone, for that matter? Men, you were doing fine and you still are, save for the ones among you who’ve internalized the sense of entitlement.

Calling a woman a “snack” in office is not funny.

Rape jokes aren’t funny.

#MeToo jokes aren’t funny.

Feeling a woman up, despite her discomfort, on a date is not funny.

It was a perfect date until... 
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You see, on account of the dynamic that we share, we can’t ever let go of you guys. And gladly so.

Men, we’ll always be in love with you.

But when you further break our hearts, by saying you are NOW afraid to talk to us, thus implying that you never really knew how to talk to us, the deal falls apart at the seams. Please don’t become a #MeToo story.

Bottom Line: If you are afraid to approach the woman you like, it is time you think things over!

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(The above is a part of TLDR (Too Long. Didn't Read), a weekly blog that aims to crunch things down for you. I will give you the long and short of most things that need to be taken extremely seriously like your bookshelf, beer, existential dread, aimless conversations, rainy days and bubble-wrap. I promise to cater to all readers, but I brazenly harbour a soft-spot for skimmers, bathroom-readers and infinite scrollers. Now, let's bring the written word back!

P.S: Follow me @medhac1)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Morgan Freeman   Henry Cavill   Aziz Ansari 

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