Feminism Fridays: Guys, Learn How to Take a Hint

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For me, one of summer’s quintessential activities is watching Big Brother. Laugh if you like, but I’m shamelessly obsessed. Everyone has their reality TV show achilles heel. Big Brother is mine. As much as I could ramble for hours on the minutia of this show, though, today I just want to cover the fact that one of the houseguests does not seem to understand that most basic principle of “no means no.”

Caleb, or, as he refers to himself, Beast-Mode Cowboy, has a bit of a crush on Amber. At first it was cute. He told all the other guys how beautiful he thought she was, how she was the kind of woman he would take home to his parents. Then it got annoying. He wouldn’t stop talking about her, doing things for her, describing her to the other houseguests as if he’d known her for years when he’d only known her a couple weeks.

Then it got aggravating.

He called her his queen, his girl, as if she belonged to him. He put himself in a position of danger in the house to save her, even though she specifically asked him not to. He continued to ask her out on dates even though she said no every time. And this conversation happened:

Caleb: “There’s a certain way you like at me throughout the day and I’m sure you feel the same way. You look at me a lot. Am I wrong?”

Amber: “I don’t know. I didn’t know I looked at anybody a lot.”

Caleb: “Everybody sees you.”

Amber: “This is all news to me.”

That was the first time Caleb brought up his so-called “love” for Amber. She was understandably a little flustered and didn’t make herself  very clear. Since then, however, she has done everything she can to make sure Caleb knows she’s not interested. At one point he asked her what else he had to do to get a date. She told him again how she didn’t want him to do any of the things he did in the first place.

Go away, Caleb. I’m tired of you.

What really pissed me off recently, though, was that Amber and Cody have a little thing going, and Caleb is pissed. He confronted Cody about it, demanding that Cody tell him if anything was going on. He also follows Amber around the house, looking especially sullen if she’s with Cody.

There are a lot of guys with Caleb’s problem. None of them seem to realize that women are not possessions, things to be put on pedestals to show off to everyone in the land. You can’t call dibs on one and expect her to be with you because you did so. Women are people with free will, who can decide who, if anyone, we want to be with. We don’t need the help of men to make our decisions. Caleb claims to treat Amber with nothing but respect, but the mere fact that he won’t let go of the idea of them being together says otherwise.

So, just in case anyone missed it earlier in this post, NO MEANS NO. Just because a women is friendly toward you does not mean she wants, or is obligate, to go out with you. Also, we women can stand up for ourselves. If we ask you not to do something on our behalf, listen to us. That’s not to say I don’t want my boyfriend to come to the rescue if I’m being mugged or something. But if it’s a matter of defending my honor or something of a lesser severity, I can handle it myself, thank you very much.

This won’t sway me from my irrational love for Big Brother (trust me, last season was even worse), but it will remind me to make my voice, and the voices of all women, heard. Our voice is one of our most powerful tools.

Now, Caleb, GTFO.

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