sexism

Misogyny is not legitimate criticism.

Women are people. Women face misogyny regardless of what they do.

Sometimes people do bad things. Some of the people who do bad things are women.

When women do bad things, that justifies criticism. It does not justify misogyny, or sexualized insults.

For instance: If a female politician votes against health care for poor people, it’s important to talk about how that will get people killed.

That doesn’t make it ok to call her ugly, mock her body, or make comments about how she needs to get laid. None of that has anything to do with health insurance. None of that is valid criticism. None of that serves any constructive purpose. It’s just misogyny.

Directing misogynistic insults at any woman is harmful to all women. It sends the message that there’s no problem with misogyny so long as the woman is a bad person who has it coming somehow. This implies that the only real disagreement about misogyny is about which women deserve it. 

We need to object to misogyny in principle, regardless of who the target is. Misogyny is not criticism. It’s just destructive hatred.

You may be saying that about your student’s parent

Content note: This post is mostly intended for k-12 classroom teachers, but probably applies to other groups as well.

When you teach, it’s really important to be mindful of the fact that people from all walks of life have children. 

When you say something about a particular group of people, you may be saying it about a student’s mother, father, or parent. It’s important to keep that in mind when making decisions about how to discuss things. (Including things that it’s 100% your job to teach your class about).


When you express an opinion about a group of people, your student may hear it as “I think this about your mother”, “I think this about your father”, or “I think this about you and your family.” Don’t forget that, and don’t assume that you will always know who is in the room.

It’s worth speaking with the assumption that there are people in the room who know a member of the group you’re talking about personally. When you’re working with kids, it’s worth speaking with the assumption that this person might be their parent or someone in a parental role.

This is important whether what you’re saying is positive, negative, or neutral. If you speak in a way that assumes that what you’re saying is theoretical for everyone, it can make it very hard for a child to whom it is personal to trust you. And you can’t assume that you will always know a child’s family situation, or that you will always know how a child feels about it.

For instance:


  • Many parents are in prison, have been imprisoned in the past, are facing trial, are on probation, have been arrested, have been accused of crimes, have been convicted, are on house arrest, are facing some other kind of court-ordered punishment or similar.
  • Many parents are police officers, prison guards, judges, prosecutors, probation officers, or in a related role.
  • Many parents (and children) have been the victims of violent crimes. (Including crimes committed by police officers.) Some children may have lost parents this way.
  • All of these people are parents, and most of their children go to school.
  • Some of their kids may be in your class, and you may not know this.
  • Even if you do know about the situation, you probably don’t know how they feel about it.
  • Kids have all kinds of feelings about all of these things (including, often, complicated mixed feelings).
  • If you want to talk about prison issues, crime, justice, legal reform, or any of that, it’s important to keep in mind that whatever you say about one of these groups of people, you may be saying it about a student’s parent.
  • And that you don’t know how they feel. 
  • Speak in a way that gives them space to have opinions, and to be both personally affected and part of the class.
  • If you say “we” and mean “people who aren’t personally connected to this issue”, kids are likely to feel that you are distancing yourself from them and their parents.
  • It’s better to speak with the assumption that what you’re saying applies to the parents of one of your students, and that they may have complicated thoughts and feelings about this.

Similarly:

  • People of all races have children of all races. When you say something about a racial group, you may be saying it about a student’s parent.
  • People with all kinds of disabilities have children. When you say things about disabled people or disabilities, you may be saying it about a student’s parent.
  • (Including blind people, deaf people, autistic people, people with intellectual disabilities, wheelchair users, people with conditions that usually shorten lifespan, and every other kind of disability).
  • When you talk about teenage pregnancy, keep in mind that some students may have parents who were teenagers when they were born.
  • People of all political opinions, including abhorrent opinions, have children. When you say something about members of a political group, you may be saying it about a student’s parent.
  • People who work at McDonalds have children. When you talk about McDonalds workers and people in similar roles, it’s extremely likely that you’re talking about a student’s parent. (Especially if you teach in a public school).
  • Many people who do sex work have children. If you say something about strippers, porn stars, escorts, phone sex operators, dominatrixes, or whoever else, you may be saying it about someone’s mother, father, or parent.
  • People of all faiths and ethnicities have children (who may or may not be raised in their faith). If you say something about a religion or its followers, you may be saying it about the parent of one of your students.
  • And so on.

Being more abstract again:

  • People from all walks of life have kids, and you may be teaching some of their kids.
  • Keep that in mind.
  • Whatever you say about a group of people, you may be saying it about your student’s mother, father, or parent.
  • If you speak about it like it’s an abstract issue that couldn’t apply to anyone in the room, it’s likely to be really alienating.
  • This is true even if what you say is positive or sympathetic.
  • Kids need to be seen and acknowledged. If you speak as though they’re not there, it gets harder for them to trust you.
  • When you speak about a group of people, speak with the assumption that at least one student in the room has a parent who is a member of that group.

(To be clear: I’m not saying don’t talk about these issues. Sometimes it’s 100% your job to talk about these issues. What I am saying is, keep in mind that it may be personal, that you may be talking about a student’s parent, and that you won’t always know that this is the case. Taking this into account makes it possible to teach everyone in the room.)

tl;dr When you’re teaching, keep in mind that the kids in your class probably have parents, and that you don’t know everything about their parents. Their parents may come from any and every walk of life. Keep this in mind when you talk about issues and groups. You may well be talking about a student’s mother, father, family, or parent. 

Being wary of women isn't always misogyny

It’s completely normal for people who have had traumatic experiences with women to be wary of women. Or to have triggers related to women.

For instance, some people can’t tolerate being touched by women. Or don’t feel safe with female therapists. Or feel safer around men than women in general. Or need activities they participate in to be co-ed rather than single-gender. Or any number of other things.

Sometimes people with those kinds of trauma responses are told that they’re being misogynistic, or that they have internalized misogyny. And that’s wrong. Having a completely normal trauma response is *not* sexism, and it’s not a moral failing of any kind.

(It would be sexist to think that women are inferior, or inherently incapable of treating people well, or something like that. Being wary of women as a trauma response is *not* the same as thinking that kind of thing.)

tl;dr Trauma is not a moral failing, even when your trauma responses are politically inconvenient. If you have been hurt by women and have trauma responses to women, it’s not your fault and it’s ok to take care of yourself.

When people keep asking why you don't have kids

Anonymous said to :

I’ve had a hysterectomy and I live in a region where it’s very odd (like, statistical outlier odd) for a woman not to have kids by my age.

So it’s fairly common for people to continue to harass me about why I don’t have kids and not take any of the polite attempts at diverting the subject as hints to leave me alone until I tell them the truth.

Then when I tell them the truth they get mad and say that it’s too much information. Any advice for dealing with this?

realsocialskills said:

It might help to be direct about saying it’s a personal question.

I’m not sure how your conversations are going. I’m getting the sense that they might be something like this:

  • Them: So, why don’t you have kids yet? When are you going to have them?
  • You: Nice weather we’re having. But it’s summer and so it will probably rain soon. Do you think it will cause flooding again?
  • Them: Oh, probably. It usually does. But what about kids? Are you seeing anybody? Fertility doesn’t last forever.
  • You: So, I have this great new recipe for a seven-layer congealed salad.
  • Them: Children are a blessing. Life really can’t be complete without them.
  • You: That may be true, but I had a hysterectomy, so it’s not happening. Now can we please talk about something else?
  • Them: Why would you tell me something like that?!

It might help to add a warning layer before you tell them the truth. One possible layer: Saying it’s personal and that you don’t want to talk about it, then an immediate subject change:

  • “That’s awfully personal. I don’t like to talk about this.”
  • “That’s private medical information.”

Another possible layer: Asking rhetorical questions that warn them that they might not actually want an answer. This can make it harder for them to blame you, and more likely that they’ll back off:

  • “Do you really want the gory medical details?”
  • “That’s a very personal question. Do you really want to ask that?”
  • “Are you sure you want an answer to that?”

Another possibility: Answering the question in a way that’s a bit less graphic but still gets the point across:

  • “It just hasn’t been in the cards.”
  • “I can’t have children.”
  • “I’m sterile.”
  • “It’s not medically possible.”

If you’re in the South, there are some nuances about how to make people feel bad about asking inappropriate questions that I don’t really understand. (Which is part of the reason I don’t live there anymore.) It’s mostly a matter of affect. I know that it involves inserting a certain kind of pause and icy body language that tells someone they’ve crossed a line, but I don’t know how to do it or describe it well. If anyone who is better at that wants to weigh in, that would be welcome.

tl;dr If your attempts at subtly deflecting intrusive questions are failing, it can help to more explicitly say that the question is too personal and that you don’t want to answer it.

Anyone else want to weigh in? Do people intrusively ask you why you don’t have kids? Is there something that gets them to stop (or that makes you feel better)? Do you have experience dealing with this around other intrusive personal questions?

Women are not inherently safe

Sometimes people talk as though men are inherently dangerous, and imply that women are inherently safe.

Neither is true, because women are people, and people make choices.

Women can do anything that men can do. Including the bad things that men can do. Including abuse. Including violence. Women are people, and people can be dangerous.

It’s important to be able to acknowledge this. Women need to know that they have power, so that they can be careful how they use it.

People who have been hurt by women need to know that what happened to them matters, and that they are not alone.

Illegal doesn't mean uncommon

So, sometimes when I talk about disability or racial or sexist or religious discrimination, people will be like “but isn’t that illegal?!”.


If you’re inclined to react that way, consider this list of things that are also illegal in the United States:

  • downloading copyrighted movies without paying
  • uploading someone else’s copyrighted content to YouTube
  • Scanning a whole book and putting it on Blackboard for your students to download 
  • smoking marijuana
  • shoplifting

You may have done one of these things in the past week, and you almost certainly know someone who did at least one of those things within the past week.


Illegal discrimination is like that too. It is against the law, but people don’t always follow the law. And, while serious consequences are sometimes imposed, a lot of people get away with breaking those laws without facing any serious penalty.


People who are discriminated against know this. You should keep that in mind when you talk to them about discrimination and the law.


When people with legitimate grievances express them in ableist ways

Content note: This post is about effective ways to contradict ableist statements. It talks about contexts in which doing so might not be a good idea. It also talks about people using social justice language in mean and unjustified ways. Proceed with caution.

Anonymous said to :

Sometimes people mess up and people get mad about it, they yell about it but also gross things- like this guy is a creep, and they say gross stuff, like “he lives in his parents’ basement” or calling them autistic in a bad way.

A lot of the time, if you bring up how that’s wrong, they accuse you of defending them and their bad actions. What do you do when people are being mean about stuff when mad at people who have done awful things and they think youre defending them if you say anything?

realsocialskills said:


That gets complicated.


Sometimes I think it’s a matter of picking the right time. Like, if someone just got hit on by a creep in a threatening way and they’re freaking out, it’s probably not the best time to explain to them that some of the way they’re thinking about creepiness is ableist. When someone is freaking out in the immediate aftermath of an incident. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) validate the ableist aspects of what they’re saying, but it’s probably not a good time to actively contradict it either.  When people are actively freaking out, all they are likely to hear is support or contradiction.


After the point where they’re so afraid that the most important thing is supporting them passes, it’s ok and good to contradict ableism. It’s ok to do this even if they’re mad and ranting or upset. Being upset is not always an emergency.


I think the best way to contradict it is to make it explicit that you agree that the guy is creepy and unacceptable, and that what you’re objecting to is the comparison, for instance:

  • “I’m autistic and I don’t appreciate being compared to creeps like that guy.”
  • “I have a lot of autistic friends, and it really hurts them when everyone compares them to creeps like that.”
  • “Hey, can we not conflate poor and creepy? That just lets rich charismatic creepy dudes off the hook.”
  • “I’m not comfortable with the direction this is taking - it seems like we’re starting to mock guys for being disabled or poor instead of talking about how creepy they’re being. Let’s talk about creepiness?”
  • “Autism really isn’t the issue here; it’s the creepy and awful things that guy does.”

Another factor: People will probably get mad at you. No matter how well you phrase this, no matter how considerate and respectful you are, people you contradict will probably get mad at you at least some of the time. People don’t like to be told that they’re doing things wrong, and they especially don’t like to be told that they’re wronging someone they’re justified in complaining about. If you contradict people who are complaining about real injustice, they’re likely to get mad at you even if what you are saying is entirely correct. That doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong, but it can be emotionally very difficult to handle.


It’s likely that, at least some of the time, people will come down on you really hard in social justice terms.


People will probably tell you that you don’t care about female victims, that you have internalized misogyny, that you’re a gross man who needs to shut up, that you’re an MRA, that you need to go away and learn feminism 101, or other similar things. That might be very hard to bear, especially if you are scrupulous about trying to avoid oppressive speech. It doesn’t mean that you are wrong, though. Sometimes people will yell at you in social justice terms and be wrong. It’s important to learn how to figure out what you think even when people are yelling at you that you’re being oppressive. If you want to do the work of pointing out the ableism in some reactions to creepy dudes, it’s really important to work on having perspective in the face of other people’s anger.


It’s also important to pay attention to what you are and aren’t up for. You don’t have to challenge every piece of ableism you ever see. It’s not ok to validate that kind of ableism; it’s not ok to reblog it uncritically; it’s not ok to agree with or participate in it. But it’s perfectly ok to not always proactively contradict it. You matter, and that kind of work is draining.


Anyone elsewant to weigh in? What have you found effective in this situation? What hasn’t worked?

Stop blaming teenage girls for body image problems

As kids raised as girls grow up, they get tremendous pressure from almost everyone to fight their bodies: 

  • They get pressure to diet (“You don’t really need that cake, do you?” “Why don’t you start coming to Weight Watchers with me?”)
  • They get pressured to exercise to stay thin, but to avoid growing visible muscles
  • They get pressured to dress within a very narrow range
  • Show too little of your body and you get tons of ~helpful~ suggestions both from peers and adults about how to be more attractive/presentable/adult
  • Show too much, and everyone tells you that you have no self respect (and treat you as though you deserve none)
  • They get pressured to wear makeup and to have time consuming hairstyles (“You’d be so pretty!”)
  • But, at the same time, wear too much makeup or the wrong makeup, and people (including parents and other adults) will react with disgust

Some well meaning people have discovered that girls often feel bad about their bodies, and sometimes develop related eating disorders. They often address it in a counterproductive way:

  • They lecture teenage girls about body image
  • And they tell them to feel good about themselves
  • In a way that suggests that it’s their own fault they don’t
  • And that they’re just being shallow by worrying about their makeup, weight, skin, hair, and clothing. Because “true beauty is on the inside, not the outside” and “there’s more to life than beauty”
  • Or they attribute girls’ body image to peer pressure, while ignoring all the things adults do that make girls feel bad about their bodies (eg: if you talk about girls pressuring girls to wear short skirts, but not principals who scornfully send them home, you’re missing the point. If you talk about pressure from teen beauty magazine to be thin, but not the posters in the gym class and cafeteria; you’re missing the point)
  • This is not helpful. If you pressure girls to feel good about their, all you’re doing is adding just another body-related task they’re failing at

This is what I’d like to say to teenage girls, since I know some of y'all are listening

  • It’s not your fault that you’re facing sexist pressure to fight your body
  • Our culture is really hard on women in this regard
  • This is a way in which it’s really, really hard to be a woman
  • People put all kinds of pressure on you to fight yourself and your body at every turn. It’s relentless, and it’s from any number of angles.
  • It shouldn’t be that way. It’s not your fault that people are being mean to you. There’s no amount of weight loss that will make them stop. There’s no outfit range that will get them to stop. You’re being treated badly because sexism, not because of anything you’re doing.
  • It doesn’t ever get better exactly, adult women face all of these pressures too, but it’s not always as overwhelming
  • It’s harder when you’re young and just learning how to cope, and everyone is constantly yelling at you
  • Women learn strategies for coping with this sexist pressure, and they all have upsides and downsides
  • There’s a huge range of different approaches. These are very personal choices, and no one’s business but yours. Deciding that you’re going to spend a lot of time working on makeup and clothing doesn’t make you shallow. Deciding that you’re not going to do that doesn’t mean you’re lazy or immature. And there are any number of combinations, it’s not a decision you have to make the same way for every aspect of expected femininity. It’s personal.
  • As you figure out what works best for you, it can become much, much more bearable
  • It is not your fault if you feel bad about yourself or your body. It’s not a personal failing. Most women and girls feel that way at some point; many women and girls feel that very intensely for years or longer. It’s hard not to.
  • (Also, not everyone who grows up socially perceived as a girl grows up to be a woman. It’s possible that your relationship to your body and your gender is difficult for reasons other than misogyny and sexist pressure on girls. Some people who grow up treated as girls are men or nonbinary. Some people have body dysphoria that is neither caused by misogyny nor relieved by feminism. If you’re dealing with that, that’s not your fault either. It’s also not your fault if you’re unsure or confused. Some people know that they are trans; some people take a long time to figure things out; neither is your fault.)
  • (I want to acknowledge here that this issue affects trans girls, people raised as boys who are nonbinary or unsure about their gender identity, and others. I don’t know how that dynamic works well enough to describe it, but I don’t want to imply that everyone raised as a boy is immune from all pressures directed at girls and women)
  • It helps to build relationships with people you respect and who respect you.

Some resources that help some people:

  • You Get Proud By Practicing  is an amazing poem by Laura Hershey about the deepest kind of pride and self-respect
  • Body positivity blogs can help. So can fat acceptance blogs (even if you are not fat). Fat Girls Doing Things is a good one
  • Blogs by people who are joyfully into makeup and nail art as an end in itself

tl;dr Teenage girls get pressured to feel bad about themselves and their bodies, and then get shamed for feeling bad. If you are responsible for supporting teenage girls: don’t do that. If you are a teenage girl: it’s not your fault. This is hard.

A post for men about creepy men

I wrote a post a while back about how some people are very good at getting away with doing intentionally creepy things by passing themselves off as just ~awkward~.

Recently, I noticed a particular pattern that plays out. While creeps can be any gender, there’s a gendered pattern by which creepy men get other men to help them be creepy:

  • A guy runs over the boundaries of women constantly
  • He makes them very uncomfortable and creeped out
  • But he doesn’t do that to guys, and
  • He doesn’t talk to guys about it in an unambiguous way, and
  • When he does it in front of guys, he finds a way to make it look deniable
  • And then some women complain to a man, maybe even a man in charge who is supposed to be responsible for preventing abuse in a space
  • and he has no idea what they are talking about, since he’s never the target or witness
  • And he’s had a lot of pleasant interactions with that guy
  • So he sympathizes with him, and thinks he must mean well but be have trouble with social skills
  • And then takes no action to get him to stop or to protect women
  • And so the group stays a place that is safe for predatory men, but not for the women they target

For example:

  • Mary, Jill, and Susan: Bill, Bob’s been making all of us really uncomfortable. He’s been sitting way too close, making innuendo after everything we say, and making excuses to touch us.
  • Bill: Wow, I’m surprised to hear that. Bob’s a nice guy, but he’s a little awkward. I’m sure he doesn’t mean anything by it. I’m not comfortable accusing him of something so serious from my position of authority.

What went wrong here?

  • Bill assumed that, if Bob was actually doing something wrong, he would have noticed.
  • Bill didn’t think he needed to listen to the women who were telling him about Bob’s creepy actions. He didn’t take seriously the possibility that they were right. 
  • Bill assumed that women who were uncomfortable with Bob must be at fault; that they must be judging him too harshly or not understanding his awkwardness
  • Bill told women that he didn’t think that several women complaining about a guy was sufficient reason to think something was wrong
  • Bill assumed that innocently awkward men should not be confronted about inadvertantly creepy things they do, but rather women should shut up and let them be creepy

A rule of thumb for men:

  • If several women come to you saying that a man is being creepy towards them, assume that they are seeing something you aren’t
  • Listen to them about what they tell you
  • If you like the guy and have no idea what they’re talking about, that means that what he is doing is *not* innocent awkwardness.
  • If it was innocent awkwardness, he wouldn’t know how to hide it from other men
  • Men who are actually just awkward and bad at understanding boundaries also make *other men* uncomfortable
  • If a man is only making women uncomfortable but not men, that probably means he’s doing it on purpose
  • Take that possibility seriously, and listen to what women tell you about men

tl;dr If you are a man, other men in your circle who are nice to you are creepy towards women. Don’t assume that if something was wrong that you would have noticed; creepy men are good at finding the lines of what other men will tolerate. Listen to women. They know better than you do whether a man is being creepy and threatening towards women; if they think something is wrong, listen and find out why. Don’t give predatory dudes who are nice to you cover to keep hurting women.

myindustrialvagina:

realsocialskills:

Do you have any tips on how to figure out who is trustworthy and who is not? As in whether or not someone intends to cause harm to you, etc. I find that I never realize I’m being mistreated until it’s too late, and it makes it really hard for me to find good friend, especially IRL. Advice/tips?
realsocialskills said:
Here are some things I consider to be red flags:
Having a strong self-image as not being the kind of person who does bad things:
  • We all do bad things, even awful things, from time to time
  • People who think that they’re “not that kind of person” actively avoid noticing when they’ve done bad things
  • People who deal with one another regularly hurt one another from time to time, and it’s important to be able to acknowledge this and fix things
  • If you’re dealing with someone who can’t bear the thought of having done something wrong, you’re not going to be able to tell them when they’ve hurt you
  • Because they will blow up at you and hurt you worse when you try, or else they’ll cry and convince you that you’re a terrible person for making mean baseless accusations.
  • Either way, it will make it impossible to deal with problems, and you’ll end up tolerating things that hurt you badly
  • I wrote about that some here
Expecting immediate trust
  • Trust is developed over time
  • If someone wants you to talk about deeply personal things right away, and gets upset when you don’t, they’re not respecting your boundaries and that’s dangerous
Asserting that a deeply intimate relationship exists without considering your opinion on the matter relevant
  • Close friendship only exists if you *both* think it does
  • You are only dating if *both* of you think that you are dating
  • Someone can’t just decide that they’re close to you and that you have a deep close committed relationship; you both have to want it
  • If someone considers your opinion of the matter irrelevant, run.
  • I wrote a post about that here 

Wanting you to depend on them

  • If someone tells you that you couldn’t function without them, do not trust them
  • If they want you to fix your life, do not trust them
  • If they think your sanity depends on their loving understanding care, *seriously* do not trust them
  • If they get angry, or hurt, or cry when you don’t do what they want you to do in your personal life, don’t trust them

Being under the impression that they’re doing you a favor:

  • If they think that they’re doing you a favor by being friends with someone like you, they’re not likely to treat you well
  • Friendship is not a charitable act. It is a mutual relationship between people who regard one another as equals.
  • Similarly, when someone thinks they’re doing you a favor by employing you, it will probably end badly

If people you trust dislike them:

  • If you have people you know to be trustworthy, and they don’t like a new person in your life, it’s important to find out why
  • Sometimes they will be wrong, but often they will be right
  • It’s important to figure out what’s going on, and why they think that — then if you disagree that’s fine, but it’s not a good idea to dismiss it without thinking about it

I’ve also written a lot of posts relevant to this issue. It might help you to read through my abuse tag and my boundaries tag and my red flags tag.

myindustrialvagina said:

and also

1) people who suddenly take a shine to you out of nowhere then always need stuff (physical things like money or car rides) 

2) people who cannot deal with confrontation under any circumstances and either refuse to talk to you about your concerns or constantly change the subject or make it your fault

3) people who discuss others esp talking bad about them, because i guarantee they’ll do the same thing to you as well

realsocialskills said:

Yes, although talking bad is a somewhat misleading way to put it. Because people who’ve been mistreated a lot might have really legitimate reasons to say bad things about others.

I’d say it this way:

  • If someone violates confidences without any apparent reason, they will probably violate yours
  • If someone doesn’t seem to respect anyone they talk about, they probably don’t respect you either
  • If they go out of their way to humiliate other people, or talk about others in degrading terms, that’s a serious red flag

Also, if they tell hate jokes (eg: racist/sexist/antisemitic/disability hate/mocking children or old people) or use racial slurs, that’s a red flag for being untrustworthy. (And for being someone who is likely to make *you* less trustworthy for members of the groups they’re mocking).

Socially stigmatized people still have to respect boundaries

Here’s something I’ve seen happen among autistic folks. I think it probably happens in other groups too.

  • Someone is subjected to a lot of social violence
  • People don’t want to talk to them because they’re autistic and weird
  • People mock the idea that people like them could ever be a good friend or partner
  • They’re very lonely and isolated as a result of social violence and discrimination

Then, as they’re figuring out that social violence is bad, this leads to an entitlement mentality:

  • They think that, since discrimination is wrong, other people owe it to them to be their friends
  • or to consider dating them
  • Or not to consider things associated with their stigmatized group dealbreaking (eg: if an autistic person who doesn’t understand social cues violates boundaries a lot)
  • And they get angry at people who reject them
  • And act like they’re doing something wrong
  • And then invasively try to explain why the person they want to be friends with is wrong and really should be their friend
  • and then persists, even after the other person has clearly said no

It really doesn’t work that way, though. No one has to be your friend. No one has to date you. No means no, even when it is motivated by bigotry or misunderstanding.

And it’s a lot easier to find good friends and partners if you stop pursuing people against their will.