Actually, this is really not the first social tip I’ve written for my blog, but I think this is the first post I’ve made that is dedicated to one simple tip, so I’m just going to go ahead and call it #1 anyway. Hey, in the era of hashtags, is the # symbol still known as meaning “number”?
Right, onwards to the tip.
Never ever EVER flirt with or hit on a stranger in an elevator.
Ok, so this tip is primarily focused on men who want to hit on women, especially as they seem to be the worst offenders in this particular area, so that is what I am going to focus on when I go into more detail. That said, this tip is still for everyone, regardless of your gender or the gender of the person you are hitting on.
Let’s talk about the experience of women a bit here. When it comes right down to it, the world is not safe for women the way it is safe for men. Lots of things are riskier for female-bodied people than for male-bodied people. Getting hit on is no different. I see guys defending the action of hitting on women in elevators, claiming that she should just turn him down if she’s not interested. Problem is, turning a guy down is actually quite risky for us.
Sure, many guys, hopefully most guys, would take it in stride and be fine about it. If they feel grumpy about being turned down, they at least refrain from taking it out on the woman who rejected him. However, a non-trivial number of guys will not take rejection well. If a guy like that hits on a woman and she rejects him, what we’ll get is escalation, verbal abuse, and possibly even physical violence.
An important point is that we cannot tell which guys will respond civilly and which guys will get angry and possibly violent. You can claim til your ears turn blue that *you* would be ok with it, but in the moment, on the elevator, we don’t know that. A random guy hitting on us in an enclosed space that we cannot escape from immediately is *scary.*
So basically, don’t do it. Ever.