PSA: If She’s Wearing Headphones, Leave Her Alone

Have you ever read an article so absurd and wildly insulting that your mouth literally drops and stays hung open, only letting out uncomfortable laughter and having a rolling oh my god, this cannot be real mantra going through your head?

Well, that just happened to us. And it’s about to happen to you too.

Let us have the honor of introducing to you, the now infamous, deranged, self-proclaimed ‘dating and relationship expert’, Dan Bacon. He is the sole writer for the blog, The Modern Man, and even though his infuriating article was published in 2013, it just re-surfaced on the Internet in a big way and couldn’t have had a worse (well-deserved) backlash.

In his seemingly satirical, but unfortunately real, article, How To Talk To A Woman Who Is Wearing Headphones, Bacon goes into disgusting detail as to how men should approach women who are wearing headphones. He even gives men a step-by-step process into how to convince the woman to speak to him, regardless of if she casually ignores him. He explains that if a woman has not looked up at you after a few moments of standing directly in front of her, men should apparently “wave [their] hand in her direct line of vision so she can see it” to get her attention. Once a woman looks up, a man should then gesture to a woman to remove her headphones, and if she doesn’t ‘understand’ (a.ka., if she’s still ignoring him) a man should continue to gesture and tell her that he wants to talk to her now…

Are you annoyed yet?

Basically, his advice to men is to harass a woman until she does exactly what he wants her to do, regardless of what she wants. If a woman has her headphones in her ears and is not making eye contact with a man (or anyone, for that matter), then what a man should do is really easy:

Leave her alone. 

It doesn’t end here though; advising men to harass women just isn’t enough for one misogynistic blog post. He continues to shame men for being sensitive, shy, gentlemanly or even being a normal, not sexist human being. He begins by shaming men for being respectful of a woman’s wishes of not being interested in talking to them and leaving them alone, telling men that if they back off too easily, the woman will not be attracted to them because they’re not being manly enough…ugh.

He says, “some women like to test to see how confident a guy is by ignoring his attempts to converse with her and then seeing what he does next.” Bacon continues, “If a guy gives up at the first sign of resistance, a woman like her will lose interest because he lacks the type of confidence that she looks for in a guy.”

Wrong again, Bacon! He would instead be respecting her enough to understand that she is not interested, and they would both carry on about their days without one feeling objectified and the other not being this close to having a harassment lawsuit against him. Solid Tuesday.

To end this ridiculousness,  he explains to men that women do not approach men in public places because “women know that is the man’s role to be confident enough to walk over and talk to a woman he finds attractive, so they have a chance to meet.” He continues to poorly advise men, “So, don’t ever think that you’re doing a bad thing by approaching and talking to a woman in a confident, easy going way.” Yup, he went there.

When you view his website, this is not just the only infuriating one there is. There is a slew of disturbing posts about women and for some reason, he thinks what he is telling men is okay. 

Unfortunately, these are some of the messages some men are hearing, so we are here to tell men to leave a woman alone if she is wearing headphones or if she just simply asks to left alone. If a woman seems as though she is not interested, she really, truly is not interested so please carry on with your day.

To all our headphone-wearing ladies out there, keep rocking those earbuds and listen to every jazzy beat you have to get yourself amped up for your next workout, that big meeting at the office you may have or even a date with that respectful level-headed man you met through a mutual friend.

If a man (or anyone) tries to speak to you and does not back off once you have asked him to, that is not something you just simply have to deal with, you have the power to alert the authorities as that is a form of harassment. If you have concerns and questions about why and when to report street harassment, check out Stop Street Harassment now. But, as a general rule, if you feel like you are being harassed, then it is harassment and you have the right to report him or her.

Ali Lizzi is a New York City based freelance fitness, health and beauty writer and an active member of the fitness community. She’s always up for discovering a new fitness studio to sweat in, flying to another city to travel to and eating any kind of vegan bites that she can get her hands on. Follow her journey on Instagram!