These days, many women walk around wearing headphones for two simultaneous reasons: To listen to music, and to drown out catcalls.
Yet, many men still believe you can win a vagina if you simply have the confidence to ruin a woman's commute by trying to pick her up, thanks to people like Dan Bacon of The Modern Man.
Of course, #NotAllMen are looking to intrude on a woman's day. But, since a few apparently are, let's be clear: Even if a woman wearing headphones is single and hoping to meet a boyfriend or lover, she will not be happy that you made her take them off to hear your dumb pickup line.
And if she does remove them, it doesn't necessarily mean she's interested in you, either. Usually, it just means she's being polite in case you need help, or she's worried you'll physically hurt her if she ignores you (like this creep did).
Here comes the shocker: Like men, many women wear headphones to indicate to the outside world that they don't want to talk to anyone.
Most of us tend to learn at an early age that a lot of men think we're always open to conversation — as if we're slot machines that you just need to keep pulling on until you get a prize. (There is an entire industry of pickup artistry dedicated to teaching this very theory.)
For us, headphones are our modern-day defense mechanism, a clear "out of order" sign to deter unwanted advances.
Despite all this, if you still think trying to chat up a woman wearing headphones is a good idea, here's a precise rebuttal to Dan Bacon's piece to prove exactly how (and why) you should not do that:
1. Do not stand in front of her.
Recognize that, in general, men have historically posed a threat to women's safety. A woman will feel uncomfortable and unsafe if you stand directly in front of her, even with 1 to 1.5 meters between you.
That's also just a weird, creepy thing to do. People will look at you funny.
2. Have a neutral, natural look on your face.
You know, like, a human.
3. If she looks up at you, it does not mean she wants you to talk to her. Do not point to her headphones and say, "Take off your headphones for a minute."
Sometimes, women like to look up and take in the world around them. Please don't mistake this for a sign that she wants to bang you if you happen to walk in front of her gaze.
Also, instead of talking to her, stop and think about how pissed you would be if a stranger did this to you, especially if you were in the middle of your favorite Beyoncé song.
4. If she doesn't look up at you, do not get her attention with a wave of your hand.
Women are not dogs, and you are not a dog trainer. We don't need to, nor want to, respond to such pushy hand gestures.
5. Add a reminder on your phone that says, "I am not entitled to anything." Set it to go off every five minutes.
Over time, this message will become ingrained in your brain, and you will remember that having a dick does not mean you are entitled to anything, least of all a woman's time and attention.
If you follow these five simple steps, you will be well on your way to not talking to a woman wearing headphones.
Despite what Dan Bacon may tell you, women are not constantly open to being approached.
We are humans — just like you — who appreciate it when our personal space is respected. We don't go to public places to wait for a strange man to approach us, nor do we put on headphones in hopes that a man will manipulate us into taking them off.
Women do not walk this Earth for you.
Actually, you should probably set that as a reminder on your phone, too.