Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Is it wrong to compliment a woman on her looks?

NOTE:  My views on this have matured some but I am leaving this blog up unedited for posterity.  To see how I would blog about this now, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Last month, I wrote a blog critical of Landline (a trucking magazine) and their beauty contest.  You can read that blog HERE if you wish.  Essentially, I viewed the contest demeaning towards ladies in the trucking industry.  A lady should be ranked on her merits not on her beauty which is temporary and for the young.

Today I was glancing through YouTube.  I wanted to see what my friend LaciGreen has been up to so I went to her channel.  She did a video about people who compliment women on their looks.  As this is something that I frequently do, naturally this video piqued my interest.

Creeps on the Street

Now let's clarify what exactly I do.  I do not approach a lady and tell her that her booty is so fine I would lick her toilet paper.  Nor do I say anything else that I would consider to be offensive.  What I simply do is what I believed to be a courtesy.  I would find something positive to comment on and I would do so.  For some ladies it would be their hair, others perhaps might have on a pretty dress.  Sometimes I would compliment features such as a smile or their eyes.  Given enough time I can usually find something to compliment everyone on.

It was my understanding that my compliments were appreciated.  I never made any sexual remark, unless of course it was someone I knew and someone who gets my weird sense of humor.  For example, I was recently chatting with a friend of mine and she wanted to know if her outfit looked ok.  I told her she was but I would have to inspect it in my basement to be sure.  (FYI I don't have a basement and my friend knew that.)  Every compliment I have ever given has always gotten a smile and a thank you.

However, from Laci's video and the comment section apparently there is a large portion of the female population who views what I do as harassment.  This is obviously not easy for me to accept.  However, if my compliments are not welcome, then obviously this is a behavior that I should discontinue.  Old habits die hard, but if I fail to make an effort to improve myself then what is the point of having a tomorrow?

I certainly don't wish to become this some day.

I discovered this video response and I highly recommend you all watch it.  She answers a lot of questions guys have been asking in the comment section of Laci's video.

Street Compliments:  Response to Creeps on the Street

UPDATE:  September 1, 2014

I recently re-read this blog and rewatched the embedded videos.  I no longer view what I do as wrong and I would like to explain why.  First of all, I never cat call.  That was the chief complaint in Laci's video.  She felt that she could not walk down the street with out men shouting very vulgar things.  I don't do that.  When I am interacting with a woman, even something as common as a cashier ringing up my groceries, I treat them as a person not as an object.  If they wear a name tag I address them by name.  In every case it is with a lady that I am spending at least a few minutes of my time with.

Secondly, many women like being complimented.  Talk to any man who is in a long term relationship and he will tell you that a frequent concern of his mate is that he doesn't compliment her enough.  Whether I am chatting up a lady in a social setting, or just a few minutes with the cashier I strive to find the most feminine thing I can about the lady and compliment her on it.  I'm not rude and I am not vulgar.  I have yet to find a woman scoff at me for what I have said.  (Not to say that it will never happen, only that it hasn't happened yet.  One thing life has taught me, is that I can not control someone else's reaction.  If they chose to scream harassment because I complimented a woman on her hair then that is on them.

In the above blog I wrote about having to change my behavior because it might upset some women.  To that I say this.  These women need to get a clue.  Not every man is a rapist.  Sometimes when someone pays you a compliment the appropriate response might be to say, "thank you."  While I can understand cat calling and vulgar obscenities can be a pain to live through every day, I am not one of those men.  Furthermore, don't allow yourself to be the victim.  If you feel someone is being inappropriate then by all means let them know.

Trash talk them back, tell them they are not up to your standards and focus on their shortcomings such as their weight or hair, or style of dress.  If you allow yourself to be a victim, then a victim you will be.

Now the next obvious question I'm sure some of you are asking is why do I bother?  Why do I feel the need to compliment women at all.  I do it because I enjoy doing it.  Every time I have gotten a positive response, every single time.  I have even gotten dates this way.  I once spent the evening holding a beautiful woman in my arms simply because I complimented her on her painted toe nails.  Eventually the evening progressed to us sitting on the sofa and I was sucking on her toes.

I do it because it is a decent thing to do.  Every woman has at least some feature you can compliment her on. Some things a woman can't control such as being cross eyed, but perhaps she has let her hair grow long to a feminine length.  Sometimes a woman has a visible scar on her face but you see that she had her nails done.  You might see an older lady but you notice that she has on the most beautiful outfit.  You might be the only person who has said something nice to her all day.  Everyone likes to be validated and many woman place a high value on their appearance.  Saying something positive about the way they look is the right thing to do.

But what about the stares?  Well that is simple human biology.  Hetrosexual men like looking at pretty women.  If you can't help yourself buy a pair of sunglasses and learn how to look without making it obvious.

A better solution would be to quit staring and start approaching.  Learn to get over social anxiety and find ways to introduce yourself to women without being a creep.  Some of the methods I have found are

  • If a woman has open toed shoes and is sporting a pedicure ask her where is a good place to get one done.  I get pedicures once every three weeks and due to my travels I'm always having to find new places.  If you think you are too manly to have a pedicure get over it, it really is a great way to break the ice and it lets women know that you take pride in your appearance.  If she does not have open toed shoes then ask where she gets her hair done and tell her you need to get a haircut.  Keep the conversation going by asking her what type of haircut she thinks you should get.  
  • If you see a girl at a bar instead of offering to buy her a drink, ask her what a good drink at the bar is, then order one for yourself.  (For non alcohol consumers such as myself know some things about non-alcohol drinks such as my favorite:  The shirley temple.)  This set's you apart from the herd of other men who are trying to curry favor by buying her a drink.  
  • If you are trying to secure a date with someone while they are working, such as a waitress, cashier, ect bring up the topic that you can't wait until (insert day of week that you are scheduled to be off) Not everyone works Monday thru Friday anymore.  Almost always this in turn will prompt the lady to inform you of when her next day off is.  Go in with a game plan.  Know which events are happening on each of the next seven days.  What ever day she chooses ask if she would like to (insert specific activity here)  This works so much better than the casual, "want to get together and do something?" If it is a specific day and a specific event then your chances are so much better than going in unprepared and just winging it.  
Dress for success and keep condoms with you at all times.  You never know when your luck will strike, but you must be ready when it does.  Now I will admit I don't have a lot of success when I am hitting up a lady.  Much of that is my own fault.  I am overweight, very overweight.  However slowly the weight is coming off.  As my weight loss continues my chances with the ladies will improve.  However my success even if it is only 1% is still more than the person who never goes out and tries.  

Don't try cheesy pick up lines and don't be fooled by seminars by self proclaimed pick up artists.  Be the best you that you can be.  Women can spot a phony a mile a way, be yourself and have confidence.