All women probably received messages from unknown men on Facebook. I usually block the ones who send inappropriate messages. But off late I have noticed young boys sending messages. When I click on their pictures, they look so innocent. They look like they are easily 10 years younger than me! Maybe even more. Some of them are probably in school or college. Minors! They send the following kind of messages:
Why you are not replying!
I really like you!
Did I do something wrong!
One young man had sent a poem also. It was accompanied by a picture of a man literally taking out his heart on his hand. Jaan hatheli par le aaye? Please note that it was not a cute red heart shaped emoticon that we send on whatsapp. It was a picture of a heart – the organ oozing out of a body with blood!! The poem had rhymes. I thought at least I should give him credit for that. Until one of my friends who read it said it was copied from a regional movie.
Had they been older, I would have ignored and blocked. It is too late to educate the older ones! But I don’t think it is right to give up on the younger boys. Boys who probably do not even have the guts to talk to me in person, look me in the eye, or would probably call me Didi if at all they did talk to me in person, think it is okay to address me as darling!
I had a discussion with few male friends on this. They said that these boys are trying their luck. They probably send these messages to so many women every day and they may get a response too. They also said that these boys are perfectly aware that they should not be behaving this way. But they don’t care. They do it anyway.
One of the thoughts that stayed with me was ‘Did I do something wrong? Tell me please.’
The 17-18 year old probably does not know that it is NOT okay to address an unknown woman on the internet as ‘gorgeous’. He thinks it is a compliment. Something I would like. I would appreciate. Be flattered. He has not chosen a term like ‘sexy’ or ‘hot’. He has gone far in his vocabulary to choose a respectful term.
Can we blame him for asking me if he has done anything wrong?
I want to ask him had I approached me in person? Would he come to me in a public place or on the street and tried to talk to me with an opening line of ‘Hi beautiful’. I want to tell him that he should not speak to women on the internet in a way any different from how he would speak to them in person. But we all know that does not happen. Every one has a voice on the internet. Every one hides behind anonymity. And what do we teach this boy about approaching women in person anyway? It is not like he would be used to ‘asking women’ out. Dating is not part of our culture. His only benchmark would be Bollywood which would have taught him:
Hasi to phasi
Ladki ki naa mein haa hai
Lover boy will always win. As long as he keeps trying. The means do not matter. The end does. Whether he stalks. Or threatens. Or tries to commit suicide. At the end the woman will realize his ‘true love’.
I remember talking to a man who from the US. He must be around 55. His son who was about 15 had started dating. He was telling me that the son is very much ‘in love’ with his girlfriend. He used to invite her over to his place along with other school friends. He said he talks to his son about how to treat his girlfriend. That he should respect her. He said his son had written a poem for the girl. This man never knew his son was interested in writing. He was proud of his son. Father would tell his son about his girlfriend when he was that age and how he used to ask women out by inviting them to events that they were interested in so that they could not resist!
‘I have taught my boy right!’ he said proudly.
We have not taught our boys right. We have to accept it. Rather, this is something we have not taught at all!. No mature adult – teacher, parents, etc will talk to them about dating, approaching women etc. It is not because people don’t date in our country. They are on their own. At the mercy of Bollywoord and other immature friends. We don’t think it is appropriate to talk about it. We think if we talk about it we would encourage it. We don’t realize that they would do it anyway. As much as we would like to deny.
Coming back to the boy who sent me the message this one is for you:
A woman who you don’t know may choose not to speak to you. It does not mean she is arrogant. It does not mean you are ugly. She doesn’t even know you. You messaged. She ignored. Move on.
Even though it is a compliment addressing unknown women as ‘gorgeous’ may not be the best way to start a conversation. If you know her, and you are already friends with her you can probably compliment her. ‘Darling’ again should not be used for unknown women. Ever!
What you say, how much you say, depends on the response you receive. It is not rocket science to figure it out. No response. Stop. She responds in a friendly way. Continue. She doesn’t like something you say. Stop. Apologize.
There are women who have public profiles on social media. But it is mainly for their work to have a connect with their target audience. It does not necessarily mean that she has put her pictures for attention, and then when you give her that attention, she is being all arrogant!
Lastly, most importantly. Don’t keep trying. If someone is not responding to your messages, it means they are not interested. Respect the choice. She does not even owe you an explanation. It does not mean that you should feel insulted. Women have brains too. And thinking and decision-making capabilities. They have their own likes. It does not make you a loser. Please do not associate your self-worth with the responses you get from women – in the virtual world or in the real world!
© 2018, Tanvi Sinha. All rights reserved.