The Sexist

Dear Abby Takes On the “Smile, Baby” Guy

Via Heartless Doll, I'm pleased to report that Dear Abby has finally taken on an issue of paramount feminist concern: The etiquette of reacting to the strange man who insists that you smile for him.

Abby, to her credit, suggests that the recipient of the "smile!" command drop the formalities and get the eff away from her harasser. But not before she engages in some dubious psychoanalysis of the "Smile, Baby Guy."

But first, the letter:

DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old female who would like to know why people feel compelled to tell random strangers to "smile."

I was in the market the other night and a man came walking by me saying, "You dropped something," and was pointing to the floor. I looked down and said, "I don't see anything." He then told me, "You dropped your smile."

Abby, I was SO not amused. I turned around going back to my business saying, "Oh, OK." The man proceeded to walk away mumbling, "Don't look so serious. It's only the grocery store."

I hate when people do this. It happens to me a lot and has most of my life. People—especially seniors—say, "Don't you dare smile for me, don't you dare!" Or, "Smile! You're too cute not to smile." An old gentleman said, "Oh, she's like ice — so cold, never smiles."

What can I do if this happens again? I don't see the need to walk around the store or sit at my desk at work with a Cheshire cat grin on my face all day. Any suggestions? — OFFENDED IN GILROY, CALIF.

Offended in Gilroy is actually posing two questions here: Why are these strangers telling me to smile? And what should I do about it?

Interestingly, Abby's response to the second question—get yourself to safety—contradicts her answer to the first question, which positions the "Smile, Baby Guy" as a hapless social misfit, not a harasser.

DEAR OFFENDED: The man who asked if you had "lost" something may have been making a clumsy attempt to pick you up. That sometimes happens in markets. As to the "older people" who comment on your expression—or lack thereof—they may consider themselves so "senior" that they can "coax" you into doing as they would like—like "coochy-kooing" a baby to make it laugh on cue.

Making personal remarks to strangers is, of course, rude. My advice to you is to distance yourself from those individuals as quickly as possible. Speaking personally, if I was approached the way you have been, the last thing I'd be inclined to do is smile or engage them at all. I'd be offended, too.

In Abby's view, strangers who demand that women smile are harmless, "clumsy" romantics who are just following standard behavior or what "happens in markets." Interestingly, Abby comes around when she addresses the behavior of the "older people" who tell people to smile. Abby theorizes that harassment from the elderly is born of a sense of entitlement.

Actually, anyone who instructs a stranger to smile does so because they feel entitled to exert their power over another person's private emotions. The fact that these casual, grocery-store power plays disproportionally target youth and women says a lot about how our social hierarchy works—and the harasser's dismissal that it's "only the grocery store" shows how this sexism is far-reaching enough to be excused as "normal" behavior.

Comments

  1. #1

    Great article. This practice irritates the hell out of me and frankly, when out in public surrounded by strangers I most definitely DO NOT want to know, I make a specific point of NOT going around grinning like an idiot.

    Your assessment that "they feel entitled to exert their power over another person’s private emotions" is perfectly on the money. Like other people exist for their private amusement.

    And coming from strange men, it's creepy, rude, and presumptuous. Right up there with unsolicited remarks about one's looks as though some stranger's opinion means a damn.

    Smile THIS, jerks...lol...

  2. #2

    You state "Actually, anyone who instructs a stranger to smile does so because they feel entitled to exert their power over another person’s private emotions."

    And people who get really upset over this think they have the power to make it stop.

  3. #3

    I can see how the stranger would have caught her off guard but i don't know if it's something i would have gotten freaked out about. You seem to more rude than the reverse. I mean really. The explanation given seems a little TOO deep but, it never killed anyone to smile at strangers. Or just smile period. Not all day of course, but sometimes. Maybe the guy was just trying to make some kind of conversation. I don't know. I think this was blown WAY out in left field. Lighten up dudette! Sheesh!!!

  4. #4

    Not Sure, you're probably one of those creeps who goes around telling random women to smile. How about minding your own business? You don't know their situation! Something bad could have just happened in their lives, or they might be perfectly content, but they do not owe you or anyone a smile! Get over yourself!

  5. #5

    I think the fact that I've ONLY had men say this to me says something about it, and it's not something positive.

  6. #6

    It appears that the original letter writer has had this comment so many times that she's had time to become not only annoyed by it, but accustomed to it.

    Maybe there's something about HER demeanor that needs to change if the scowl she's wearing full time elicits those kinds of comments. She has the same sour expression at work, according to her, so maybe she needs to check herself.

  7. #7

    "If you see someone without a smile, give him/her one of yours." Maybe the guy in the grocery store was a bit too forward in his approach. I know I've smiled at someone before and just said Hi, and they generally smile back. There's also been a few times when maybe I wasn't in the best of moods and had someone smile at me, and it made be feel better.

  8. #8

    Give the men a break here ,there,s a lot of caring men out there . i am the type of person who goes around telling people to put a smile on their beautiful face ,there is so many hurting people and they need to smile and know someone does care i love people and do care i have told many people to smile and i have come away with many knew friends.we are not exerting our power over anyone its just being friendly which is what we need in this country to make it better .telling a person to smile is just a way of saying i care why go around all sad and miserable and depressed when you can chose to be happy and full of joy and it sure makes your day better and for your info; i am a 60year old women who loves life and people so put a smile on ,ps i hope this gets published so everyone can see it

  9. #9

    How about saying something like "Sorry, I can't bring myself to smile at random people telling me how I should look!"
    or what about "smile? I've just been diagnosed with hiv/my whole family has just died/I've just had all my wisdom teeth removed/.. and you want me to smile at you for exactly which reason?"
    or "if you want a smile, go look in the fucking mirror"
    ...any more ideas?

  10. #10

    I tell them to fuck off. Those two little words work wonders.

  11. #11

    Thanks for the "smile" analysis. I find it annoying to be instructed by people who are so ignorant. One of the smile jerks approached me the day after my father died and I let him know what was up.

  12. #12

    A friend of my boyfriend thought he'd introduce himself to me with the line, "Smile for me pussycat" from Borat...I didn't remember where it was from, and it didn't go over too well. I preferred the friend who asked me if I was the 5th Cylon.

    I don't think telling people to smile is appropriate because you can't know their personal circumstances. The last thing someone who is having a supremely shitty day wants to hear is "It can't be that bad, can it?"

  13. #13

    Wow, I am shocked that so many people find a request to smile offensive. I am a woman and have said it to many people, though heard it only a few times. I personally probably smile more often then average and am often (negatively) asked why I am so happy, my response is always, because I deserve to be. I think everyone looks happier when smiling and we all should be happy. I know that someone can be happy without smiling, I just think it is kind of a silent hello or wish for a good day. Are the same people offended when someone says hi or gives a small nod as they go by? I do that also, maybe I am crazy, but I believe in spreading kindness, and for some people those small gestures are all the interaction they will get that day, other then workers obligated to speak to them. I will continue to smile and encourage others to do so, I think it lifts the spirit almost as much as a heartfelt laugh.

  14. #14

    ok I get it blah blah blah you're impinging on my private emotional universe, but jesus pick your battles. You will be a miserable person if every time you feel someone has encroached on your private world you must fight. Sure what these people do isn't exactly great, but they aren't doing anything so criminal either. Yes we live in a rape culture, and yes this may in fact be an offshoot of that, but come on it's really not that big a deal. So many greater issues to deal with that I am amazed that people have the time and energy to attack this as stridently as the other commentators seem to be suggesting.

  15. #15

    It seems to me that Dear Abby is taking a stance that the Dropped Your Smile guy is socially awkward but probably not a jerk. Creepy and corny? You bet! But I think that differs from, "Hey baby, smile for me!" I agree it's probably a good idea to avoid obnoxious people who tell women to smile but also in case they are more than just obnoxious.

  16. #16

    I have often had this happen to me and have gathered two things: that it is only said by men, and that the general feeling is that as a woman (especially one who appears young) it is my job to look pleasing. My general response is something equally inappropriate, like: "actually, my mother just died so I don't particularly feel like smiling." It usually shuts them up and hopefully keeps them from telling the next young woman to "smile".

  17. #17

    what ever happened to friendliness and wanting to cheer some one up? what is wrong with kidding some one into a smile if they don't have one, if they have a frown what is wrong with trying to turn it around and since when is it Rude to talk to strangers? some of my best friends were strangers... People get a life... not every stranger who speaks to you is trying to get in your knickers, or cut yer neck off. Some times they are just lonely or kindly people reaching out trying to spread cheer,,, besides some of them might be right,,, get the stick out of your butt and smile... takes far fewer muscles and leaves much nicer wrinkles over time. I'd rather end up with laugh lines from smiling than frown lines be cause I never smiled... sounds to me like this person is too selfish to care to brighten some one else life with a smile... Happy misers are like misery... loves company. Lighten up and smile already. Sign me; One of those idiots who likes to smile!!!

  18. #18

    Didn't your mother warn you "never talk to strangers"??

  19. #19

    I always wish I had a snappy comeback.

    One time, when I was around 19 years old, a man at the train station quite literally made me back up two steps when he sort of lunged at me. Then, he says, "Smile for me, cutie!"

    NO.

  20. #20

    This got on my nerves thirty years ago and it IS a matter of believing that a woman's job is to look good for you. It is not "nice" and "caring", and the anger displayed with one refuses to smile proves it.

  21. #21

    I hate the "smile for me" people. What kind of weirdo wanders around stores and streets, grinning like an idiot, especially if he or she is alone?
    I had some guy in a store say "you've got such a pretty face, why don't you smile" when I was there buying tampons! I said, "What do you do, lurk around the tampon aisle because women with PMS turn you on? Freak?" What kind of person tells a woman buying tampons to smile, for the love of god?
    Abby's excuses here are just lame. It's rude to go around telling total strangers what to do. I don't do it to other people and they shouldn't do it to me.
    But you know, if someone just smiles at me and says hello, generally I'll smile a little and say hello back. That's really all it takes.

  22. #22

    To say, "Do you know how much I charge people to discuss my demeanor and my facial expressions? A lot of money. Do you think you have that much on you?"

  23. #23

    i hate this too. When I ignore them, I get called a bitch or something along those lines, or they get hostile.

  24. #24

    Pick your battles folks. To actually get bent out of shape by hearing someone say "smile" strikes me as rather misanthropic. I love to see people smiling and I dont have any issue with anyone saying the word. So many folks seem to go through life with blinders on nowdays. I guess its the state of the world in which we live but I dont see the harm in smiling in public.

  25. #25

    This isn't about some power trip, sexism, anger or harassment ladies.......to all the feminist thinkers out there........get over it! This is about some man trying to talk to a women the best way he knows how. She was cool to him and he made a remark. That's all it was. The feminist minded drab is making some women angry, unhappy, too sensitive and defensive it seems. How sad. Fortunately, there are enough normal women out there who know how to handle situations properly. To all the men out there, just avoid the cold ones and gravitate to the warm ones. Plenty of fish in the sea. And this is for Jane: remember to look good as that will give you a better chance. As for anger......talk to Joan. She has lots of it apparently. Amada Hess, the author of this reply, has it all wrong. She has a lot to learn about men it seems.

  26. #26

    I'm the happy sort who wanders around in the store smiling and entertaining myself with happy (goofy) thoughts...yet women stop me occasionally with "what are YOU so happy about?" from men it is usually something nasty about WHY I am happy. It has a lot to do with how I look. When I got heavy a few years ago it stopped, but then I got "my, aren't you jolly" comments from men. Then when I lost weight it started again like always. To all those people/men out there who feel the need to approach women to alter the mood you suppose they're having...alter yourself.

  27. #27

    I've decided to try for keeping a straight face and saying, "Amuse me." I'll let you know how it works out.

  28. #28

    Bellacoker@27, that is an excellent idea. Turn it right back on the presumptuous jerks. I think I must steal it. :)

  29. #29

    Ladies, I can't tell you how much joy it brings me to know that your lives have been so trauma-free that something as innocuous as a stranger's request for a smile makes such waves for you. I'm so glad to know that you've never faced the kinds of traumas I've faced, because if you had, you'd know that this is nothing - truly nothing. How lucky you are!!

  30. #30

    Yes I can understand how this would really piss someone off. Why just the other day I had a stranger say to me "Have a nice day" . Can you imagine? I told her to mind her own damn business! If I don't feel like having a nice day then I won't! Really... the nerve of some people.

  31. #31

    @DD, I think the point is that the "smile" comment is just one more thing in the long list of things that men use to harass us. Besides, the "smile comment" is a trigger for some of us because it was what our rapists said repeatedly while raping us. There is nothing more traumatic that can happen to a person than that

  32. #32

    First: yeah, people who tell strangers to smile are pretty insufferable. But chill out. It's not an issue that requires in depth social analysis, or a long article, or 3-4 long articles like the ones that have been written on this site. It's a minor annoyance. Life is full of those.

    Second: who the fuck writes letters to Dear Abby, or any advice column for that matter? Advice column writers don't have any special qualifications for dealing with difficult situations. Don't these people have friends or family they can ask for advice?

  33. #33

    LoL, I dont think that an elderly man telling people to smile is a way for him to exert power of another person. It's being read into way too much. It means nothing but to cheer up. The old guy is probably old enough to know that its a waste of time to be grumpy and disgruntled all the time, life is too short. Crazy feminists, always thinking everything is against them. P.S thanks for ruining chivalry to ladies.

  34. #34

    I think Shirely sums it up nicely: "I think everyone looks happier when smiling and we all should be happy."

    People who pull this shit just want everyone around them to LOOK happy. You are a stranger, not my friend; you don't know or care whether I actually feel happy or not. You just prefer to see smiling people and think it's your right to ask people to smile for you. Well, my feelings and facial expression are none of your business. If you want to brighten my day, tell me you like my shoes. If you want me to smile, make a joke and give me a reason to smile. Or better yet, just leave me alone and let me go about my business in peace. Commanding total strangers to smile is just rude and presumptuous.

  35. #35

    PS: Lynne, you're welcome. I'll take legal personhood and access to economic power over someone opening doors for me any day.

  36. #36

    If someone tells me to smile, I completely ignore them. 98% of the time, this is met with anger, yelling, profanities along the lines of "cold, stuck up bitch - think you are too fucking good to talk to me" and the like. I'm not "grumpy or disgruntled", but I am usually walking quickly and with purpose and not batting my eyelashes at every dude I pass on the street.

    So sorry folks... this isn't about someone being friendly or chivalrous. It is a command, an order! It IS about power and anyone who doesn't think it is clearly hasn't been harrassed on a daily basis while minding their own business on the streets on DC.

    For those who think we feminists should chill out about "little annoyances", I will let you know that one "Smile baby!" guy I ignored opted to yell and intimidate me for 3 city blocks one afternoon in Georgetown. So it's pretty easy for some dudes to take it too far and make me feel unsafe. But whatevs... relax ladies! Don't think too hard now!

    Great piece Amanda!

  37. #37

    Miss Manners also recently covered this topic in her usual deliciously snarky way.

  38. #38

    I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly validating it is that I'm not the only one who thinks total strangers ordering me to smile is not OK.

    That said, I've tried ignoring it, I've tried saying "eff you," but in my experience, these reactions aren't what the person doing the asking is looking for, and they could potentially become violent. I still don't know what is the right way to respond, but it helps to know I'm not alone in my opinion!

  39. #39

    My mouth naturally turns down at the corners so when my expression is neutral it can look like I'm frowning and my forhead is pretty expressive and when I'm thinking it looks even more like I'm frowning. But that's just the way my face looks. If my face and its normal, natural alignment aren't pretty and acceptible enough for some Tom, Dick or Harry I don't know from diddly why do I need to be told that? I don't come up to strangers and go 'Hey Daddy, why don't you lose some weight for me' or 'Hey hot stuff, you'd be really cute if you washed the mustard stains out of your vest' - even if I thought these things, it's none of my damn business.

    As for the idea that these people are just trying to spread some love and joy in the world and it's not about hitting on women or making them feel uncomfortable then why don't you ever see guys going up to some 40 year old bruiser, bouncer type man and asking him to smile? Don't men want to spread joy to other men too? Or is it only 20 something women who deserve some of their 'joy'.

    I am perfectly happy in life, my face just looks the way it looks. I don't see how it is my job to moderate my behaviour (which bothers nobody) just because the 'Smile Baby' guys won't moderate theirs.

    Oh, and by the by, as a couple of others on here have mentioned if someone starts a friendly conversation I will participate and if a stranger gives me THEIR smile instead of just demanding mine I will always reciprocate.

  40. #40

    sulkydog--Your assertion that she needs to "check herself" because she's most likely sporting a sour expression is exactly what this is all about. The point is that she shouldn't have to change her expression for anyone, let alone complete strangers.

    There is nothing RUDE about not smiling at other people/wearing a neutral expression or even a scowl (so long as you're not staring daggers at someone). It's not doing anything to them personally. Sure it's not particularly "friendly" but who cares? 99% of the time I'm in public I *don't* want to interact with strangers.

    This happens to me all the time too, and I promise you, I do NOT sulk or scowl or even frown. I usually just look expressionless or I'll be deep in thought and still I get this stupid comment. Smiling at me or saying hi is one thing. Or even starting a conversation. But saying "Aw, come on, give me a smile" is demeaning.

  41. #41

    You should listen to Mr. Smiles, Amanda. You have so much to learn about men and what they want! Because that's what we're talking about right? What men want and how we can get them to like us. New Sexist post! "Ladies smile! It'll help your chances in getting a man!"

  42. #42

    I'm trying really hard to understand how anyone could read this post and pretend they understand that the behavior bothers women...and then write a comment telling women what they should and shouldn't take offense at, or think about, or write about, or mention as a symptom of a larger ill. Do these folks post comments on men's blogs telling them what to write about? I doubt it. This is exactly the same as "Smile, Baby!"

    The last time this happened to me, I snapped back "Dance!" before I even knew what I was going to say. I think it got my point across: you're not my monkey, and I'm not yours.

    I'd find the behavior less offensive if a woman had ever said this to me, but that's not the case. Not even once.

  43. I'm mildly ashamed i read through all this.
    #43

    I think it is important that there are many degrees to this. An old man saying something like "you should smile" isn't the same as a guy DEMANDING you smile and then harassing you for 3 blocks or whatever the horror story was above. Furthermore, everyone remembering their worst "smile story" ever probably isn't a very accurate representation of the norm. The people who get all pissed off when you don't smile, well they're fucking crazies. That doesn't mean that everyone else who says it has some agenda.

    This is simply a lesson in tolerance. If you go into public you may be forced to stop listening to your Mp3 player and interact with other humans. Sometimes it's not so great (though it should be noted that sometimes it really is), but tolerance doesn't mean everyone has to like each other. So just relax, if you don't want to smile fine. Just ignore them and move on, maybe even do something crazy like say "no" or "i don't feel like it" instead of "fuck off"

    Also I know everyone is going to say "I don't have to justify why I'm not smiling" yadda yadda, refer to option one, just ignore them.

  44. #44

    Laurel, you're a genius. "'Dance!' ... I'm not your monkey" indeed. I'm keeping that one. And Jenny, amen -- we don't want doors opened for us, we just want the rug to stop being pulled out from under us.

    Oh and BTW everyone, check for your local hollaback website. I think we can snap and post pix of the "smile" would-be-dominators along with all the other harassers. Step off! It's that simple.

  45. #45

    i think the thing everyone is ignoring: would grumpy looking guy in a grocery store get the same comment? despite not knowing the exact situation and without the barrage of "that old guy might say random crap to everyone"... the fact is that because a guy makes a comment like that to a woman, there is an implied flirtatious undertone. if you can make a member of the opposite sex smile, you're worthy.

    i totally see the sexism in this but also the innate social behaviors in which we interact with each other. despite the fact that it was a harmless meant for the best comment, people in general don't like others telling them how to live. if you don't believe me, harmlessly tell someone in a grocery store they should lose some weight, it would make them feel so much better... or correct someone's grammar when they're talking to someone else. you're just trying to help right?

  46. #46

    Rather than telling someone to smile, if you're genuinely concerned about them, maybe you could actually, you know, do something to make them want to smile. Stop defending these creepy dudes who think that people should do something just because they say so. If you really want to cheer someone up, then tell them a joke or just smile at them first, or find some other way to make them genuinely happy.

    If you tell someone to smile and they do it for you, it will only look forced anyway. And telling me that I should smile because I'll look pretty is a little insulting. It's not my duty to make sure that everyone always has a pretty face to look at! And I also might have other things going on in my life that are more important than whether or not men find me attractive at this particular moment.

    I have a female coworker who is sneaky and manipulative. She'll often interrupt my work to try to be friendly. She's annoying and I don't trust her. Naturally I don't smile much when she's around. Lately she has been telling me that I should smile more. If she really wants me to smile, then she should let me get work done and be more trustworthy.

    So for random dudes that tell other women to smile, maybe you are being creepy, irritating, or untrustworthy even if you don't realize it. Maybe there's a reason she's not smiling at you. Maybe she's really busy and in a hurry and needs to get the milk and bread and get back to her children to make dinner. Maybe you come across as creepy, or you remind her of someone she had a bad experience with. Maybe she knows she'd look pretty if she smiled but she doesn't care about getting your approval. Maybe it's just none of your damn business and if she doesn't feel like smiling then she should just keep on frowning.

  47. #47

    It's not about being nice, or friendly or trying to cheer up a total stranger. It's about the arrogant, asinine assumption that other people give a crap what you think of their emotions, appearance, etc. and actually believing you have the right to intrude.

    You don't. It's none of your damn business why a complete stranger isn't smiling. And whining about it and whining about how women should just shut up and take it because ZOMG there are other things to worry about! is a waste of everyone's frigging time. If you're dumb enough to think it's not that big a deal, then stfu and let the adults discuss it in peace.

  48. #48

    i hate it when people do this. i once bought something from a clothes shop and the guy that served me refused to give me the bag until i smiled. what. the. hell.

  49. #49

    I've told dudes, hey buddy: I'm not the window dressing in your life-you're the window dressing in mine.
    It is insulting, and it does presuppose that my job here is to make sure dudes have something nice to look at everywhere they look. I don't know if some of these commenters are just trolling or are are for real with this weaving unicorns made of rainbows out of their asses with their healing smiles crap but count me out. I'll feel how I feel like feeling and I'll express it how I damn well feel like expressing it when I feel like expressing it.

  50. #50

    I'm a man and I too do not like it when someone tells me to smile. I have a sister and an aunt that wake up every morning on the right side of the bed, smiling and happy. My mother and I are different with lifetimes of depression and I wouldn't change places with my sister and aunt for anything. My sister too tells me and others to pick our battles. What this really means is my battles are not important to her so she can ignore what bothers us and instead obsess on what is important to her. When I was in the military, standing at attention in front of some superior officer or non-com, they would yell at me to " wipe that smile off your face soldier" as if that would erase the thoughts in my head and give them back control of their world. Someone telling me to smile is not a small thing, it is everything. Telling that person to fuck-off is too easy but not inappropriate! Maybe that person needs to wake up and understand that some people look at the world differently, and should be allowed for at least that moment to not smile and be what is.

  51. #51

    Where is the elderly gentleman involved in this? I would love to hear what his true intentions were? This is a really long discussion based on a lot of speculation of what this guys intentions were.

    I do appreciate reading this as I am writing a persuasive speech about smiling at the person you walk into on the street (In my opinion its better than putting your head down) It seems there is a pretty split opinion on it though, and it helps me to understand an audience.

    When I do my speech, I'm going to wear my "SMILE" shirt and tell people to smile! I hope they don't think I'm a creepy 39yo SWF!!

  52. #52

    I think the most disturbing theme in many of the comments is focusing on the reaction of the recipient of someone elses' behavior. If someone feels that they have the right to say or do something that I find inappropriate or offensive, I at least have the right to say how it affected me. Why are we not supporting someone who speaks up for themselves? The focus shouldn't be on the recipient but the initiator.

  53. #53

    People are missing the fact that if you are a woman, walking down the street smiling just invites attention. Some men may think you are smiling at them, and try to engage you. That's one reason why most women don't walk around with big grins on their faces.

    As for people (men, mostly) who command other people (women, mostly) to smile: it's dehumanizing. If I order you to smile, I'm asserting my authority over how you look and present yourself. I'm also asserting my sense of entitlement to your time and attention.

    Thought experiment: Would you, as a man, respond well if some stranger told you to stand up straight? Or to take your hands out of your pockets? Or to get your hair out of your eyes? Or to do or not do anything at all with your own body? I'm guessing most men would bristle at such interactions. Well, it's the same for women because (I know this is a shocker to some people), women feel as entitled to control our own bodies as men do. And we get just as offended by others telling us what to do with our bodies as men would.

    The "smile, baby" guy is not the most important issue facing women today, but that doesn't mean he isn't problematic. He is indicative of a larger pattern of norms regarding women's bodies, autonomy and roles in society. If men didn't feel entitled to women's attention and bodies, and entitled to control how women look and behave, then the "smile, baby" guy wouldn't exist. Neither would the anti-abortion movement, slut-shamers and rapists.

  54. #54

    On second thought, "dehumanizing" isn't the right word. "Demeaning" is better.

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