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And yet, mentioning these stories will bring out the apologists, the Not-All-Men, the dismissers and the derailers, and the ones who will continue to complain that women aren’t saying “no” clearly enough. For a lot of guys – especially ones who ignore soft no’s – holding on to those ambiguities gives them the opportunity to try again and again.
In fact, this is the basis of the techniques pick-up artists teach to overcome “last minute resistance” – applying social pressure to coerce a woman into sleeping with the PUA even when she doesn’t want to.
In less extreme – but no less threatening or disturbing – examples, women will tell you about the times they’ve been followed, yelled at, grabbed or even on because they didn’t want to talk to somebody. Women are socialized over and over again to be deferential to men; it’s “polite” for women to use indirect language, especially when dealing with men. Over and over again, women are socialized to not trust their instincts and ignore red flags… A friend of mine has given far too much head-space towards trying to understand her personal creeper’s side of things because she’s been taught it’s better to ignore her gut and give him the benefit of the doubt over and over again. because they’re even more afraid of disappointing him. Women are continually pressured to “give the guy a chance” and to understand that “he’s just a little awkward” or that “he’s a nice guy” and she had to be mistaken. An “I’d love to, but I’m busy that day”, for example, is a soft no.
Because she didn’t want to give him her phone number. Because she didn’t want to go home with him, to be touched, fondled, kissed or otherwise just did not want to accede to that individual’s demands of the moment. So is a “Maybe some other time.” So is pretending to misunderstand an offer, ignoring it entirely or even just what’s going on – they just don’t like the answer.
It’s a horrifying scenario, one that seems more like a horror movie than real life; one moment they’re two teenagers having a conversation, the next minute a brutal murderous attack that comes out of .