10 new rules of communication with women
Imagine being written about you tomorrow with the hashtag #metoo. Every man has probably thought about it. It’s human nature to run all sorts of horrible scenarios in your head. What if I’m in a falling plane? Where would I run if there was a fire in the building? What if I’m accused of harassment? That’s ridiculous, of course, but what’s the big deal? And you even remember one incident: a couple of years ago, at a corporate function. She was sitting across the hall, laughing out loud at my jokes. I offered her a ride. We got in the car. I acted brazenly: I thought that women like confident men. She slammed the door loudly and left. I’m still embarrassed.
Men are afraid. Harvey Weinstein’s public execution marks the beginning of the Women’s World, which aims to redivide the world and destroy the patriarchal empire. Female participants in the flash mob bring to the public stories from the past that would have been embarrassing to talk about before. Only now it is not them who should be ashamed. Let the new world know how it was yesterday and how it cannot be today.
The men laugh, but it is a nervous laugh. They guffaw that now before every kiss they will demand a no-claims document. That the women will have to carry the suitcase themselves, open the heavy door, and change the wheel on the side of the road. As if that were the problem. Men gloss over the conflict, trying hard not to see the new world unfolding before them right now.
It’s time to get to the bottom of it. Esquire interviewed feminists, who formulated the new rules of the relationship with a woman. Remember them if you want to live in 2018 and not offend anyone.
- At work, work. No relationships!
What would never have happened to MP Leonid Slutsky if he had followed this rule. Work is a place to work. If you have a relationship with a colleague, someone will have to quit. Believe me, it will be better for everyone. No one can combine work and personal relationships, so there is only one way out – not to do it.
“Many companies forbid relationships between co-workers. It’s written in black and white. Such rules are necessary everywhere, because you can’t give your object of affection a guarantee that a personal relationship won’t affect workers in any way. You know what a conflict of interest is, right? In government, they fire you for that. If your contract is performed by a relative, that’s cause for an anti-corruption investigation.”
- If you are the boss and she is a subordinate, you are not entitled to anything at all
If you lived in America and decided to start a relationship with a subordinate, you would go to jail. Entering into a relationship under conditions of dependency and social inequality is the height of manipulation. That’s why people see a therapist, take antidepressants and suffer from neuroses all their lives. Do not deceive yourself: nothing good will come of such communication.
“If you are a woman, you are already in a humiliated position in front of a man. It doesn’t matter if he is the boss or not. If he is the boss, things get even worse. There is nothing worse if the aggressor has power over the victim and can dispose of his fate. You have to understand that Harvey Weinstein was not convicted because he walked around in a robe, but because he used his official position to intimidate and suppress.”
- Compliments about appearances leave them for your grandmother
Compliments to unfamiliar people about appearance are tactless and can make a person feel uncomfortable. Believe me, there are plenty of nice things you can say to someone without commenting on their appearance.
Deputies, presidents, and janitors alike must distinguish between situations in which compliments are appropriate and guess whom they are pleasant and whom they are unpleasant. Commenting on appearance in the space of working relationships means a lack of taste and normal upbringing. As for touching, while intrusive compliments and comments on appearance may look like psychological abuse, touching work partners who don’t want it fits the article on physical abuse.”
- Forget the old rules of etiquette
You think you act like a gentleman by treating a woman like a lady? Women don’t want to be ladies anymore, don’t want to discount the “weaker sex” and think they are capable of opening the door for themselves. Behave neutrally so as not to seem intrusive. Some women believe that gallantry is compensation for the infringement of women’s rights in other areas. Is the man paying for her coffee? Fine, obviously he remembers the 30 percent difference in their paycheck. If you’re not sure how your gesture will be received, don’t make it.
“The rules of etiquette change with the changes in life, but if people are comfortable with the coat and the hand they are given, it doesn’t bother anyone. It’s much more unpleasant when you don’t have time to pull your hand away from kissing a man whose tactile contact is unpleasant to you. Still, equality should not be determined by who gives the coat to whom, but by the fact that both sexes have equal representation in government and equal influence on basic decisions concerning the life of the country.
- Sending a bottle “to that table over there” is a bad way to get acquainted. You have to be more careful with gifts in general
Do you have money? That’s great, but keep it to yourself for now. When you order strangers drinks, you’re forcing them to get to know you. When you buy an expensive gift, you make a woman feel like she has to do something in return. How do you answer? You yourself know what kind of follow-up you’re hinting at. It’s not nice.
“After a man in a restaurant sends a drink, he immediately comes over to get acquainted. For him, this purchase is like a ticket to my table – having paid for it, he thinks he has the right to sit down and start a conversation. I don’t understand why, in broad daylight, I have to deal with someone who has invaded my personal space. Sometimes it’s a little scary to say no – an offended man can be sassy. A woman does not need to impose anything. Imposing gifts is bad.
- No means no
There is a stereotype that if a woman says “no,” what she really means is “try again.” After each “no,” the man must continue with redoubled vigor until the “impregnable fortress” falls and the conqueror smokes a victory cigarette. This conception of the structure of the world is as outdated as the fact that the earth is flat, sorry.
“A woman has the right not to answer your text message, not to go to a cafe with you, not to appreciate flirting. Men, as a rule, come from this in a rage, but it is necessary to be calmer. Rejected? It happens. Generally speaking, the concept of “no means yes” is terribly outdated and has hurt men and women many times. I think it is because of this inverted rule that there are so many family conflicts in our country. People live by stereotypes and want ‘no’ to mean ‘yes.’ But they lie to themselves.”
- Talk about sex openly
We have a paradoxical country in which the high point of courtship is sex, but it is not customary to talk about it. When you invite a girl over to your place to watch a movie, you lie. Looking at her, by the twinkle in her eye, you’re trying to guess if she got your subtle hint. Calm down – she did not. Admit that all of this nondisclosure – manipulation. You mean one thing and say another, forcing the person to play by made-up rules. You can’t do that. This strategy has only one advantage: if it doesn’t work, you can always say, “That’s okay, we were just having tea.
“I’m all for talking through all the issues and against saying that watching a movie together at someone’s house implies sex. So that there are no cases where one party thinks everything is okay and the other feels that its boundaries have been violated, and so that men do not have to worry about possible accusations of rape (which is now a common fear), we need to speak openly about all of our intentions. There is nothing wrong with that. You have to talk all the time.
- All domestic work must be divided equally. Including maternity leave
After three months with a newborn, any man will understand that the work is much easier than at home. The most exhausting project does not come close to taking care of the baby, daily trips to the store, cooking, cleaning and sitting in four walls. This is the hardest and most joyful work. Give it your best shot.
“Unfortunately, there is a widespread belief that children and the kitchen are a woman’s business. That is, in addition to working, women have to come home and plow the second shift around the house and the kids while the man plays dancers. Russian women live in an exhausting situation of double or triple workloads. On the other hand, if a woman doesn’t work, there is a huge room for speculation. Since she does not work, she is obliged to do everything around the house. In fact, men, being with a child around the clock is harder than any job, whether you’re a CEO or a president. Don’t believe me? Try it for a month.
- A woman is a person. You do not have to treat her in a special way
Treat women the same way you treat other people – politely and respectfully, without breaking personal boundaries, so you don’t have to invent any “special rules of communication. The most correct way is to imagine your friend in a woman’s place. That’s how you should test the appropriateness of your behavior.
“There was a meme in Hollywood: If you don’t know how to behave with a woman, imagine you’re facing Dwayne Johnson. This joke carries the rather harmful message that you can only behave respectfully with someone stronger than you, so I suggest that all ambiguous situations be shifted not to Rock Johnson, but to your imaginary friend. This is an excellent test of the adequacy of your behavior: yes, you would hug your friend if he got a promotion. No, you wouldn’t touch his knee just because he came in short shorts. You wouldn’t joke that he wasn’t in the mood because he had PMS. And you definitely wouldn’t send him naked pictures of yourself unless he openly asked you to.
- A woman is not a victim
After the harassment hype, men may get the false sense that women should be shunned. Allegedly, they should be treated neutrally, not touched, not looked at, not hinted at, lest God forbid they be traumatized. This is wrong. Women don’t need your pity or condescension.
“The fewer inhibitions about women, the better. You don’t have to try to walk around a colleague in a tight skirt in a large trajectory, hide your eyes from the attentive gaze of an assistant, and be afraid to touch elbows in the dining room with a young intern. Not looking, not talking, not smiling are rules of orthodoxy and fundamentalism that definitely should not be taken as a model in 2018. If you don’t act like a pig, make dirty jokes and stare, your attention, even unwanted attention, is unlikely to be offensive to us. A woman is not a victim; she is capable of letting you know that your behavior makes her uncomfortable.”