Gamer culture in a coffee shop

A couple of weeks ago, a woman shared a rather awful story on self.Reddit, entitled “How easy it is  to make a woman feel like sh*t.” In it, she describes being in line at a coffee shop when a conventionally cute young woman asks if she can cut in front of her because her boyfriend is waiting. The author kindly declines on the basis that her boss is waiting for the coffee and she’s already pressed to get to work on time.

Meanwhile the man in front of me is listening in and he took his arm and pushed me back while using his other to es-court the other girl to in front of me. He actually said to me ” a woman like this should never have to stand behind a woman like you”. Ya, that how to make a human being feel like shit. What made it worst is that that girl laughed and flirted with him as I stood there dumb struck and started crying. Then she got her coffee (which he bought) and went to her boyfriend outside. Seriously.

The author’s later edit indicates she was stunned at the level of attention her post got. In particular, I know I was stunned by the level of thoughtful attention it received. This is Reddit, land of the trolls. There’s a lot of “sorry that happened to you” and “fuck that guy.” There’s one remark advising her not to make it about women, since nasty things happen to the menz too, but honestly, that’s some low-level concern trolling for the Reddit norm.

People even get into what I call Violent Fantasy Venting, suggesting she should’ve hit the guy, kicked him, even stabbed him (they write a little story). No one’s serious – after all, the author would have been arrested had she done so – but there’s a lot of frustration. Everyone hates men like the one in the story. There’s just not much they can do, but fantasize on Reddit and enjoy the community spirit that evolves from those fantasies.

It’s important to note that what this man did was entirely about punishing the un-gorgeous woman for existing. It wasn’t about appealing to the gorgeous woman – she has a boyfriend, and is probably ninety yards out of this guy’s league. This isn’t a case of a man being led around by his dick: this is simply a case of abusing a woman for not looking how you think she should, and it rather proves that the gamer culture we were so recently advised not to take so seriously does permeate beyond gaming. It goes everywhere woman-hating knuckle-dragging men and boys go. And that, incidentally, is why we talk about it.

Can anybody think of something this woman could have done to teach this guy a lesson? As much as I like the idea of violence, I’ve not found it really helps anything long-term – some assholes seem to find it encouraging. I can’t think of anything she could’ve said, because while perhaps pointing out what they’d done would’ve resulted in people shunning them and, at best, the barista sticking them on the back of the line, the odds are good everyone would’ve just ignored it rather than get involved, and it would’ve reaffirmed the idea that what the man did was okay.

Comments

  1. says

    This is definitely not something the woman should have done, I routinely get in trouble for doing things like this, but I probably would have made a hell of a scene. I probably would have demanded to know if he really thought she was more valuable than I am as a human being because of her looks, and if he thought Antonio Banderas was more valuable than he because of his good looks, or if he was just a misogynistic asshole. But this is as I said why I have gotten into some real serious trouble.

    But I have pretty privilege. I’m more likely to be on the other end of this, even if it still makes me pissy.

    • says

      It’s interesting you mention that. Outside of L.A., I’m not unlikely to be on the other end of a scenario like that myself. Inside L.A., which is overflowing with starlets, I would be on the same side as the woman in the article, almost in every case.

      Honestly? I’d have said loudly, “You do know you don’t have a chance in hell with this gorgeous woman, don’t you? She’s so far out of your pitiful league AND has a boyfriend. Guess your brain’s the same size as your dick and your wallet.” And then if anyone looked at me funny, I’d play it like they were curious, and tell them, “She tried to cut in front of me because her boyfriend’s waiting, and I politely said no because my boss is waiting, so he not only pulls her up there, but says ‘No one like her should ever have to stand behind someone like me.’ You know, like he’s [insert hot male actor name here].” And then laughed.

      I’ve actually pulled stunts like this, and if you’re confident and brazen enough, it works. Other people will laugh with you – particularly guys, who will resent Mr. Asshole because even in a world that makes allowances for guys being a “little” sexist or a little overzealous in their competition for sex, men are not allowed to treat one woman like shit to impress another. I know being around college boys could make you think I’m wrong – yes, I’ve seen them yell derogatory remarks at women they don’t find gorgeous from their cars as they drive by – but that’s an act of drunken rebellion combined with mob mentality. Not the way a sober individual grown-up behaves in a coffee shop in the morning. And those same guys who yell abuse from their cars at night? Would not condone what Mr. Asshole said.

      • says

        When I do it, it shocks the hell out of people because the tiny pretty blonde girl with the oxygen is supposed to smile and be gracious, and mild mannered. And usually people think I should act like a child. And then people try to punish me like one.

        I’m from LA myself, actually, and when I moved away, I went from being the worthless little crippled girl to being “oh cool, can you tell me about how real people in Hollywood sound?” It was pretty jarring. I’m naturally pretty in a very curvy way, but I never wear makeup, and my old neighborhood was very very Calvinist in its ideas. Having disabilities was obviously my fault. But outside LA, my disabilities combine with my petite good looks combine to make guys want to protect me and take care of me. Unfortunately, they tend to get very angry when I object.

        The one thing about the comments on reddit was that most of the anger seemed to be directed towards the pretty girl. She might be spoiled and entitled, but the man is an asshole. And a lot of the anger seems to be along the lines of “all hot girls are evil!” No, please no.

        One of my best friends is a baristra, and he has a habit of explaining in small words the concept of a line It’s satisfying to watch.

        • says

          Hmm, at the time I wrote the article, the vast majority of comments I read heaped abuse on the man, not the good-looking woman. That was another thing that pleased me. And I agree – she was wrong to accept his offer, but he was much worse to extend it, particularly the way he did. In defense of beautiful women, I’ve known quite a few who wouldn’t have accepted his offer, and would have been appalled at what he said.

          Your description of L.A.’s reaction to your disability and looks is appalling. I shouldn’t be surprised, but while I expect extreme superficiality from Los Angeles, I sometimes forget how goddamn… well, hick it can be in its way of looking at things. “Calvinist” is a nice way to put it, but being from the South*, I’d just call it “hick.”

          *Yes, not everyone considers WV “southern”, but culturally, it really is. We have grits and gravy and super-strong women who know how to run everything but let the pampered little wussy mama’s boy-men feel in charge even though everyone knows they couldn’t tackle a spider without an assault force backing them up. Yep – we’re Southern.

          • says

            I think it would have been interesting to know what he would have done if she had refused. A lot of men like that can get really nasty when their “courtesy” is refused… Not that this was probably the girl’s reason for taking the “hel” but still.

            I totally get where you’re coming from on WV. My mom’s from rural Pennsylvania. Talk about places that aren’t The South but totally are. My dad’s from Alabama and my mom’s home town shocks him with it’s hick-ery. The thing is, I wouldn’t call my LA neighborhood all that Southern in attitude, just full of pampered, privileged people who thought there was something wrong with everyone who either didn’t want to or couldn’t manage to live exactly the way they did. When I was in the south, I always had a feeling I was doing something horrible and no one would tell me what. In LA, they wouldn’t stop telling me how awful I was and why. Calvinist in this case is code for “God shows his favor by blessing you. If you aren’t blessed you must be evil and going to hell” sort of way. Where I lived was obsessively competitive, and if you couldn’t compete, you just weren’t human.

          • says

            Slightly OT– I’ve been living in northeast FL for the past several years, and as a transplanted Northerner, I can tell you I didn’t think of FL as the South until I actually got here. In the North, FL = Palm Beach, Orlando, Miami. The rest of the state simply doesn’t exist, except maybe for Kissimee. Washington DC and south are Southern, imo.

            That said, the least “hick” place I ever lived was also the most rural, so make of that what you will.

            • says

              That said, the least “hick” place I ever lived was also the most rural, so make of that what you will.

              Yes, it’s a half-ass stereotype that hick goes with rural. People in L.A. can be unbelievably unworldly if they haven’t explored the rest of the world. I mean, at least the guy who never leaves his stereotypical trailer in rural Somewhere sees what the rest of the world looks like on TV, putting him one-up on the Los Angelino.

          • says

            When I was in the south, I always had a feeling I was doing something horrible and no one would tell me what. In LA, they wouldn’t stop telling me how awful I was and why.

            Ha, my experience was totally backward to that. Wonder if it’s anything to do with youth v. adulthood? I was a kid in the South, and never stopped hearing what was wrong with me, but once I moved to L.A. as an adult, it’s more like I don’t fit in but no one says anything. Like, maybe it’s the same attitude, but kids manifest it differently than they will as adults? Just a possibility.

        • Casey says

          Wow, people in LA are fucked up…I don’t know the five tenets of Calvinism and I CERTAINLY didn’t know that if you were disabled that means God hates you and ur doin it rong or some shit. :|

          Speaking of places that aren’t Southern yet are, I live in Southern Oregon and I’m still positively baffled at how many people hang Confederate flags from their cars/adorn their backpacks, etc…despite the people doing this usually being of mixed race. Ha-ha? :|

          • says

            Most Calvinist descended denominations don’t have that attitude anymore at all. It’s a remnant of a Puritan era belief. See, Calvinists believe that since God is all knowing, and knows the future, who is going to heaven and hell is already known to him. This led to a focus on determining whether you or your loved ones were saved. To comfort their parishioners, who if they were going to hell were going to hell no matter what they did, the ministers said that God blesses those going to heaven with good fortune and health. The unintended consequence of that was an ideology that condoned victim blaming.

          • Patrick McGraw says

            Argh, the Puritans. I have ridiculously long rants regarding them, but I’ll just sum it up as this: They were a culture that, judging from their own behavior, viewed arrogance as the supreme virtue. Had Jesus come among them, they would have hanged him.

        • Casey says

          OH! Well in a weird way, that helps explain to me every fucked-up thing ever in America (regarding stuff pertaining to social injustice and the like)…”Bad stuff happens to bad people, they just don’t know they’re bad yet”, I guess~?

        • says

          So true. My uncle lives in the back of beyond Illinois corn country, and he’s as sophisticated as they come. Of course, he’s also a professor. And my LA neighbors might not have been southern, but they were hicks of the first order.

  2. jeff says

    1. This should not ever happen to anybody, ever. I like to hope that if the person had been working the register had seen this, they would have ignored the “cute” girl entirely. I honestly don’t know if there’s anything the woman could have done other than to insult the guy verbally. Though, considering the amount of douchebaggary shown by this guy I would be worried he might retaliate with physical violence. From what’s described in the post, I wouldn’t put it past him.

    2. I’m not sure what the link to gamer culture is here, other than that gamer culture is a more overt and distilled version of the misogyny that permeates society in general. Is there any indication that this particular asshat is a gamer? Is your thesis that “gamer culture” is the source of modern misogyny?

    For what it’s worth, I’m not trying to defend gamers. God knows we have a lot to answer for.

      • jeff says

        I did indeed read the article. Twice, actually. I quite enjoyed it. It’s nice to be informed that even a troll farm like reddit can be exhibit basic humanity from time to time instead of just it’s usual apathy and/or idiocy. And I completely agree that this guy is just treating a “pretty” woman better because she’s pretty. I also agree that my fellow gamers are, on the whole, utter misogynistic idiots. I try my best to counter those sentiments when I find them. We’re at like 99.9% agreement here.

        I simply don’t understand how this particular incident has anything to do with gamer culture, though. Nothing in the article points to this person being a gamer, or having anything to do with gamer culture. If he’d been wearing a HAXXORS shirt or had said “MAN THE HARPOONS” or any of the other millions of misogynistic memes that permeate the internet, there’d be no questions.

        I’m not defending this guy. I’m not defending gamers. I’m just not clear on what demonstrative effect gamer culture has to do with this particular idiot being particularly idiotic? It’s a non-sequitur. The only clear link between this guy and gamers is that both are misogynistic. The same thing could be said about office culture, or sports culture, or any number of other things.

        • sbg says

          It’s not really a non-sequitur – it’s demonstrating quite effectively how that “defense” in the gamer kerfuffle THL had with those folks over at Team Liquid of it being “not a big deal” really, in actuality, is a pretty big deal because that sort of thing happens in many ways, in many venues, etc., etc., in a woman’s daily life.

          The reference was to the gamer post and thread, precisely because it does all tie in to a much broader culture.

        • says

          Jeff, we had just been told we shouldn’t call gamers on their sexism because no one acts like that in real life. This incident demonstrates that people do indeed act like desperately sexist little gamer boyz in real life, hence our concern about gamer sexism was not overblown. If quite a few gamers hadn’t insisted we were blowing things out of proportion, I wouldn’t have felt the need to provide a nice, handy, concrete example of precisely WHY it’s not out of proportion at all. But they did, repeatedly, so I provided it here.

          If you think that’s unfair, you’re on the wrong site.

          • Sam L. says

            Maybe a more specific call out in the thread would have been helpful, imo. Without a priori knowledge of the flak with Team Liquid, the gamers comment did feel like a bit of a non-sequitor.

            Granted, I probably would have got it if I’d clicked the links, but I usually don’t do that until after I’ve scanned the comment thread, so there ya go.

          • says

            Ah, I see. So the confusion arises because you guys are too lazy to read. If you can’t be bothered to read, then you can’t be bothered to comment. I can help you stop bothering to comment.

            Everyone, the discussion thread does not exist so that lazy individuals can have the article personally spoonfed to them in Twitter-sized chunks until they finally get it all. It exists so that people who actually read the article have a place to talk about it.

          • Patrick McGraw says

            But isn’t it your duty as a feminist to spoon-feed information to people until they finally get it all?

            If they were to actually read the whole thing themselves, you might have time to get things done, and that wouldn’t do at all.

            • says

              Hey, that was the original debate, wasn’t it? I needed to come over there to their forum and explain it slowly and carefully. Because, of course, their minds were wide open and just waiting for some clarity. I was a bitch monster from hell for thinking such an endeavor could possibly be a waste of my time.

  3. The Other Patrick says

    Yeah, I’d try and change the thing around to make it about him, too. “Do you think she’ll leave her boyfriend for you? Did you go to school on Fantasy Island?”

    Or maybe: “When you masturbate about her later, does it make you cum harder if you paid for the coffee?”

  4. Jaynie says

    ON a good day, I would probably give the asshole a piece of my mind. I prefer to do it calmly and rationally because it makes the guy look that much more pathetic in his jerkish behaviour, but you know, whatever works for you.

    On a bad day, I’d probably have cried, or stood there in shock, because seriously? I don’t encounter such obvious sexism in real life very often, so I would probably have had the same reaction that I have to an obscure and vicious animal at the zoo, a sort of appalled curiosity over this bizarre specimen.

    Also, the guy is totally the jerk here, and it’s bothersome how many people are blaming the pretty woman exclusively, but I think if *I* were on the pretty girl side of the equation I would have made a point of refusing to go first, and I’d probably have said something mean about the guy or complimented the other woman on something. ‘Cause he deserves to have his ignorant behaviour shot down.

    • says

      Thank you! I don’t think blaming the normatively pretty woman exclusively is the answer to this situation, but how is it acceptable, after being refused when asking someone to cut in front of them in a line, to then TAKE THAT PLACE ANYWAY when the person IN FRONT of them PUSHES THEM AWAY and offers you THEIR SPOT? The guy had no right to put his hands on the original poster, or offer her spot in line, but the “prettier” woman had no right to take it, and clearly felt entitled to get whatever she wanted due to what was obviously privileged treatment. They’re BOTH assholes. With astoundingly poor home training, I’d warrant. Who the hell pushes people, and doesn’t expect a fight? Seriously, keep your hands to yourfuckingself.

      Then again, as another customer or as a barista I’d’ve said something, even if it was just, “Are you going to let him do that?” or “Oh, you must be giving up YOUR spot in line, then,” both of which I consider very passive responses. That’s how I was raised, I guess. If I was the woman being pushed, I would definitely be screaming, cussing, and getting the barista’s attention, and possibly threatening dickless with either legal or physical action. Before reading this, I’d’ve been in a state of obviously disgusted and judgmental disbelief if I were the “pretty” girl (not as much shock since I’ve read this were it to happen now, but I give a mean condescending side-eye). I’m rude like that, though, in the not looking to take shit off strangers kind of way, and lousy at hiding my true ~feelings~ on stuff, to boot.

  5. Brand Robins says

    I don’t know that there is much she could have done. The antics others have suggested strike me as hilarious and possible, but also problematic and often up to the brass level of your ovaries. (I could maybe pull it off, my mother couldn’t.)

    What I do think needed to happen was for others in the place to get involved. One person has a limited set of options when dealing with another person who is being a dick — and most of them can be problematic in a lot of situations. OTOH, if a group gets involved, then this stuff can be shut down rapidly.

    Someone in a subway a few months back was trying to shove a homeless guy out of the way. Folks around him made a quick set of comments, and mostly just looked at him in a way that made disapproval and contempt obvious. Another guy got in and moved the homeless guy away from him a little, and I asked the attacker what was going on. When he answered (“he was pushing me” — obvious bullshit in this case) I just looked at him like he was a brain damaged fuckwit. Everyone in the circle around him looked at him like he was a brain damaged fuckwit. No one threatened, no one was clever (though I had an urge to be), we just looked at the dude.

    He ran away pretty quick after that. Its amazing how much a group of people looking at you like you’re an idiot can suck.

    So what could she do? Some things, but many of them could really suck if done wrong. But what could all the others in the shop have done? A lot, and fairly easily.

    • The Other Patrick says

      Yeah, from a barrista taking her order first (or someone letting her cut in front of the guy) as a fairly small thing to actually speaking up, a lot of potential for bystanders.

      • says

        I totally second this. It’s possible no one else overheard the exchange, in which case I can’t blame them for not speaking up. But when we see shit like this happening, we should speak up. At the very least, to offer support to the person it happened to, i.e., “Did he just say what I think he said? What an asshat!”

  6. Jenny Islander says

    In a hurry and the boss is waiting? Bellow, “GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME, YOU WEIRDO! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PUSHING ME FOR?” and get everybody looking. Which should hopefully get Mister Jackmypeen embarrassed enough to move away.

    • Casey says

      Yeah, except I think it’s already been established further up in the thread that if you loudly raised a snit, everyone would just “ignore” it and shuffle around awkwardly.

      • says

        Well, we agreed that yelling about the line cutting probably wouldn’t stimulate anyone’s interest. But what Jenny’s suggesting is a little different, and it probably *would* get a man some evil stares from the crowd. The reactions may also vary regionally – not every state/country/region has the same ideas about what’s polite and rude, and when to get involved and when to ignore.

        • Casey says

          Eh, she just said a bunch of stuff like “YOU’RE PAINTING GAMER CULTURE IN A BAD LIGHT! IF YOU SAY THEY’RE MISOGYNIST MAN-CHILDREN, THEY’LL HAVE NO INCENTIVE TO ACT ANY BETTER, THE FEMALE CHARACTERS OF POKEMON ARE REASONABLY CLOTHED!”

          Then she sputtered some tired old lines of pseudo-feminism like “I’m tired of men thinking women are weak and that if we fight back we’re bitches”…which is TEH IRRELEVANT (unless that was just her hackneyed way of trying to convince us “I’m really on your side, girls! Really!!” :p)

          • Lisa says

            My apologies. I did not like being called on his side because of a hobby, and let my anger get the better of me. I brought up events that were completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. Thanks for stopping the flame war.

            • says

              You were not being called on his side. You’re just missing the entire point, and I think you’re working hard to do so. The point is: multiple gamers assured us we were being silly about the sexual harassment at Team Liquid because it only goes on in gaming. Well, here was an example of someone treating women PRECISELY the way many of the forum members treat them at TL. What part of that is hard for you to understand?

              And you know what else? If you and Jeff feel you’re being mistreated for being gamers, yet you agree that gamer culture has serious issues, you should consider trying to change that culture from within instead of getting angry with me for telling it like it is. That’d be a better use of your time.

        • says

          She said I’m perpetuating a stereotype about gamers, but failing to shame them because they think it’s funny. She went on for some time about how my “guilting” tactics wouldn’t change these trogs. Problem is, that’s not my plan. I’m not engaging with the assholes; I’m engaging with their opposition in all these articles. Letting them know they’re not the only ones who feel it would be nice if these knuckle-draggers fucked off, never to be heard from again.

          She also took the whole thing personally because she is a gamer, like Jeff is doing, and missed the point that what gamers claim we can avoid by not gaming is, in fact, available at a coffee shop near you.

          It’s really interesting that all the people I had to mod on these topics were the ones who thought I was attacking gamers – it’s like they just can’t imagine that people who take issue with gamer (and other) bullshit might build websites where they communicate with one another. No, I HAD to be talking directly to them, because who else exists on the earth? /eyeroll

  7. lilacsigil says

    Why is the onus on the ignored woman to do something? If that was me (and it has been in, less heinous ways) I just ignore the whole thing and get on with my day. This is not to say that she should – but that the whole idea of “what should she do?” is just as much a fantasy as “she should be violent!” The whole situation is about making her powerless, and the idea that it’s also her responsibility to fix it is kind of offensive.

    She should do whatever she feels like to feel better, including “nothing”. I certainly wouldn’t blame the other woman, either, as she’s almost certainly, as a woman, been trained not to make a fuss, not to insult a man, not to stand up for herself. Same for the barista, but same problems there, plus being in a service job. It would be nice if one of them did act, but there’s only one person in this scenario who is at fault: the guy who started it.

    • says

      If you’re talking about the article, you’re twisting my words, and I don’t appreciate it. I asked our readers what COULD she have done, in order to make the point that there really is very little that would even have a snowball’s chance in hell of working. In fact, I stated in the final paragraph there was really nothing she could’ve done, so why would I be asking what she SHOULD have done?

      And I disagree that the pretty woman bears no responsibility. I know quite a lot of beautiful women who would’ve told him to fuck off.

      It’s true that no one is responsible for the behavior of assholes other than assholes. But everyone is responsible for creating an environment in which assholes feel the need to censor themselves. It’s the attitude of “Well, I’m nice, so I don’t need to get involved” that enables them to thrive and get away with shit like this.

      • says

        If I’d been the beautiful woman, I wouldn’t have told him to fuck off. He just demonstrated, right in front of both women, that he has no regard for women as people. He demonstrated to both of them that he wasn’t someone who could be trusted to act in a human fashion. If I’d been the beautiful woman, I’d be afraid of, at the very least, a nasty reaction from the man. I’d be more afraid that he might follow me out of the store and provoke an angry confrontation with me or my boyfriend. I’d be terrified of physical violence.

        Remember, men’s greatest fear is that women will laugh at them. Women’s greatest fear is that men will kill us. Going along to get along is a survival behavior. Flirting with someone who makes you feel unsafe is a survival behavior. Smiling and making nice until you can get to safety is a survival behavior. I don’t blame either women for their actions in the face of a man who indicated he might be a danger to both of them. I find it strange that you do, to say the least.

        • Ikkin says

          The problem with flirting and making nice as survival behavior is that it doesn’t seem to be particularly effective at removing the threat. It doesn’t even allow you to remove yourself from the situation, because you need to stay close enough to the creep to do it.

          If you operate on that instinct and don’t put your foot down at some point, the only way the situation will ever get better is if the creep gives up. Which might work if he’s some jerk at a coffee shop who you’re never going to see again, but definitely doesn’t work in the case of abusive boyfriends, who use this very instinct to trap the women who love them.

          It just doesn’t seem particularly useful in situations where your life probably isn’t hanging in the balance, especially if you want to have any hope for change.

          • says

            I totally, heartily second this comment as a response to Godless Heathen. Smiling and making nice actually tends to encourage this type of man and can actually provoke the very violence you’re hoping to avoid (because he thinks you’re a pushover, or convinces himself your flirting constitutes some kind of relationship).

            I’ve had inordinate experience with men like this one, and studied psychology, so I’m confident this particular guy is the type of bully who will run away from someone who stands up to him and delete the whole incident from his mind. But I do see where GH is coming from, because not everyone knows how to tell what type of personality they’re dealing with, and how to tell the ones who crumble when you stand up to them from the ones who fly into a rage about it.

            Here’s my suggestion if you want to be non-confrontational in a situation like this and play it safe, which is absolutely 100% fine: don’t do it the way GH suggested, for the reasons Ikkin outlined. The pretty woman should have simply said, “No thanks” to his offer to get even closer to him, the danger. By getting closer to him, she was actually putting herself more at risk, if this man is dangerous at all (while I’m confident he’s not the uncontrolled type who would start hitting people in a parking lot, he could be a stalker type). Because by taking him up on his offer, she just formed a relationship with him, in his mind. If he’s that deranged, he might see her acceptance of his offer as anything from a first date to, “OMG, I’ve met my soulmate, I shall have her no matter what.” Mind you, I’m not saying he is that deranged. I’m just saying that whether he is or not, and especially if you have no idea how to tell, it’s safer to resist his overtures in a non-confrontational way rather than submit to them to avoid confrontation.

            For example, if your “No thanks” was followed by him urging you further, you could just wave it away with a content expression and say, “Thanks, but I’m fine waiting.”

            To be clear: neither of the women are responsible for his behavior or anything further he does, under any circumstances. The pretty woman’s choice to conspire with him is the only thing I hold against either of them. And I’ll tell you why I don’t buy that she did it because she was scared: she could have safely given the victim some kind of indication she thought the man was scum – a look, a whispered “what an asshole”, something. I don’t see how that could’ve put her in danger, and I think that’s why most of us feel she was just enjoying her pretty privilege rather than reacting out of fear or anything we can understand preventing her from collaborating with the victim rather than the perpetrator.

  8. Stines19 says

    I believe that a man punishing a woman for being less attractive is horrible. Women can’t help the way they look, just like men can’t help the way they look. Women in the media are portrayed as looking gorgeous all the time, so any woman that is less attractive than an airbrushed model is put down or not put in as high regards as the attractive women we see every day all over billboards and magazines, movies and commercials. No person should be punished or put down for the way they look, and no one should be overly praised and put above anyone else for the way they look. Somehow looks appear to have been put in front of everything when judging a person, and that’s pathetic.

  9. I. Scott says

    I’ve been thinking about this all day now, and all I can think of for a powerful response is to have a sympathetic witness (probably to even the numbers).

  10. Lisa says

    In a more professional note than my earlier careless rant: If someone asks to cut in line because their boyfriend is waiting, I do not explain why I need the spot more than them; I simply say nope. Why not? None of your business. I do not owe them sympathy any more than anyone else in line. I would not have shown the girl nearly the politeness the original poster did, and my coldness might have saved me being walked all over. To some jerks sympathy = doormat.

  11. Janbo says

    If I were the writer, I’d whip out my cell phone and loudly announce, “You assaulted me! I’m calling 911!” and then speed-dial my home phone. He did touch her, and that’s assault in most states. Heh. Doesn’t even matter if the cops show up, I bet the guy would think twice before doing that again. We should be speaking up for ourselves. I admit, it’s often difficult to come up with the words for this kind of situation as it’s happening. But by writing about the incident, the writer has given everyone who reads her story a chance to think about this situation ahead of time and come up with something like the above as a rejoinder.

  12. says

    My husband is a Reddit reader and we talked about this story when it first hit Reddit – interesting to see the feminist take on it. I think one of the reasons later comments were so angry about the hot girl is there’s really nothing to debate about the guy’s actions. They were reprehensible. Not much to debate there – but there’s much more to discuss about the gorgeous woman, because she had the opportunity to speak or act in defense of this woman (and to not act so entitled in the first place).

    I think the guy’s treatment of the subjectively less-attractive woman came from both the desire to punish her for existing and to try and get the hottie’s attention – hopeless though it might be to attempt. I’ve seen the punishing behavior from men before – and take some comfort in the fact that, honestly? It’s not like they’re ever going to have a happy, satisfying relationship with a woman. As such tremendous douches who disrespect women, they’re doomed to miss out on the loving relationships that the rest of us get to have.

    • says

      I’m sure their relationships with women are about what they expect to have. And you can’t miss what you don’t know. Or, you can *know*, but be frustrated, and take it out on the women in your life rather than fix yourself. It’s easier to bully than it is to face what an arsehole you are.

      • Casey says

        Or we’ll just end up with a third or fourth season of Tool Academy…I hate how they have a psychologist on that show who seemingly can’t tell apart douche-bro behavior from abusive/sociopathic behavior…it’s really scary (but why should I expect so much from VH1 Celebreality? :|)

        • says

          I can see Tool Academy being cancelled for these reasons and these reasons only:
          A) the commercial revenues dip lower and lower
          B) one of the women featured in the show is murdered shortly after by her featured boy-tool & the resultant furor over the incompetence of the “therapist” is exposed
          or
          C) something else that’s better at putting the little wimminz in their place comes along

          Didn’t VH1 used to play soft-rock videos? Or is that ancient history? Kind of like when MTV actually used to play rock videos off the pop charts? So now they’re showing abusive boys being abusive and their codependent girls taking it, and it’s all for fun?

          VH1 should go back to that harmless, insipid music programming.

      • Genevieve says

        Yeah, judging from this guy’s behavior he’s probably the type who pursues women who look like Attractive Woman in This Story, no matter what their personalities are like, without even acknowledging the existence of Less Attractive Women. The Attractive Women might be momentarily nice, but chances are they feel a bit uncomfortable around him in the long run because all he sees them as are wish fulfillment fantasies.
        …chances are he’ll end up alone. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being alone…but this guy doesn’t want to be alone, he wants arm candy, and without it he becomes progressively more bitter.)

          • Genevieve says

            Sadly true.

            I used to be friends with someone who seems headed on this trajectory right now…the bullshit eventually got to be too much, and now at the back of my mind I’m dreading that a similar thing will happen in Cleveland that did in Pittsburgh.

  13. DragonLady says

    I know this is slightly off-topic (yes, the guy was an asshole) but… I’m curious about the employee who allowed it and about his/her manager. Because I work customer service.

    If that incident had happened in my shop when I worked for the boss who treated her employees like reasoning beings, I would have told the first woman she needed to step to the back of the line, please, and if Chauvinist had gotten bellicose, asked him to leave knowing full well that my manager would back me up.

    Now that I work for the boss I do now, who thinks her employees are idiots out to destroy her business due to their lack of concern, I would allow the cut, give Chauvinist bad service, and then apologize to the second woman and issue “an unauthorized discount” on her product. Assuming my boss is working that day. If the boss isn’t working, I would go back to plan A knowing my Assistant Manager is going to back me up.

    Either way, I’m wondering about that shop. Because either the baristra agreed with the Chauvnist or the management isn’t fostering a healthy workplace. Social ills are inter-related, one bolstering the other. /disgust

    • says

      I think you’re assuming too much about the barista(s?). If the coffee shop was so busy that there was a line long enough that the butting-girl was so worried about her boyfriend waiting, they very well may not have even seen that it happened, and if no one made a fuss and LET them know there may not be anything they can do about it–since they wouldn’t have known that it even happened.

      My sister’s a barista at a little coffee shop in Colorado Springs. (the one time I went there while she worked around closing at 11PM, four guys invaded the shop and began proselytizing…it was soooo weird, I just stood there smiling incredulously.) Depending on the coffee shop, baristas may have to be running the register and making drinks. I.E., it may not have been just one person at the register taking orders and sending them to others working–they may have each been grabbing an order, getting it paid for, and then going to make the drinks themselves while another of their coworkers took the next in line.

      If they saw this happen and didn’t do anything, yes, that’s bad. (I can’t get to Reddit right now, the page wont load and it’s telling me the traffic is too heavy, so if the woman telling the tale did say that the baristas saw this go down and did nothing, then I agree with much of what you’ve said.) But, at least when I was working as a box office employee at a theater, if things were busy and even though I stay at my own register and don’t have to make drinks, and this happened, I might not have seen it. I may have seen two women and a man talking, then the man pulling he woman into line and paying for whatever she’s getting, and assumed that they were together–especially if they are friendly with each other.

  14. Nereverine says

    “Rage Venting” certainly comes to mind. Kick to back of left knee to make him kneel (assuming he is taller if not then he is off-balance). Hook own left arm around his own (thereby controlling direction of fall) then plant an elbow with the right arm on the back of the head. At this point one could preform a very simple elbow lock that would break the prone or collapsing man’s arm if one were so severely inclined.

    I certainly would have enjoyed doing so had I been witness to the encounter. Then tell the other woman to get the hell back in line. Not that there would be a line anymore what with all the screaming. Although since we are fantasizing, why not just say that the storyteller herself had the aptitude and will and a get-away-car to just do it hereself thereby graciously avoiding the knight in shining armor cliche.

    Non-violently? I suppose she could have rushed in front of the line and started a tirade publicly calling attention to the man’s actions (perhaps extravigating them slightly) in order to either draw popular support, embarrass the guilty parties as a form of punishment or just having the manager give her some fucking coffee to get her out of the store. In order for that to work she would have to have had very few scruples indeed, especially in such a public environment. Although the asshole had no trouble embarrassing her in public so it seems a perfectly feasible form of proportional response. At that point it wouldn’t be about the coffee, naturally but about throwing all your dice on the table in order to get an edge up and feel at least slightly vindicated. Hell, even if the authorities valiantly arrived on the scene to escort you away and then fine you, you would have at least made a stand, which is a hell of a lot more commendable then silently justifying the fuckers actions.

    ~From Russia with Love

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