Am already failing in my promise to myself to not read comments, because the ones on this article
about strange men approaching women? Made me want to scream. So, SO angry at the sense of entitlement from the guys there. (Side note: Was also grousing about entitlement in fandom over on Tumblr
today.) Amazing how so many of them seemed to think they have some sort of inherent right to attempt social contact with everyone they see. Just. No. Merely being in meatspace is not a 10-foot-high neon sign that says "HAI, PLEAZE MAKE FRIENZ WITH ME" and no-one--not a single person--is obligated to be overtly social with others just to go about their daily business.
I think what bugged me the most from those guys was the insistence that if they weren't allowed to approach strangers, they'd never get a date. Which just ... OK, unclear on the concept doesn't even begin to cover it. It's kind of telling that these guys are clearly so socially stunted that they can't seem to find a date via other activities, and have to resort to desperately chatting up complete strangers. If you can't even hook up with someone you meet at church or a bowling league or a book club? You have far deeper problems than chicks on the street telling you to fuck off.
Now, of course there are many folks who are interested in hooking up with strangers for mostly-physical encounters. But virtually all of them go to places/do things that are conducive to that sort of activity. The vast, VAST majority of women, and even most men, who are just going about their business in meatspace aren't actually interested in hooking up with people they know nothing about, and--this is key--who know nothing about them. And this goes for friendships, too.
If a total stranger approaches me in meatspace, I assume they're either going to harrass me or try to scam me or sell me something. Why wouldn't I assume they're just friendly and want to get to know me better? Because they know jack shit
about me based solely on what they can see of my physical self. I dunno about y'all, but I'd prefer to socialize with people who know at least a little more about me than the shape of my body, the color of my hair and what I happen to be wearing on a given day.
Contrary to the argument put forth by the jackass commenters over there, NO, this does not preclude socialization at all. Hardly. Every single friend I have I met through a common interest or activity of some sort. Fandom. Chorus. Gaming. Politics. Classes. Friend-of-a-friend. Hell, I met M on a BBS. I'm perfectly happy to chitchat with "strangers" in those situations because we already have a non-physical basis of interaction. If someone approaches me online, chances are they've read something I've written, participated in a discussion with me, know we share an interest in something. Likewise, if a fellow chorister or even someone at Pride or something talks to me, there's already something more there for us than just two bodies. THAT is what starts meaningful social relationships. Not someone babbling away at some poor, half-awake person in line at Starbucks.
I, like virtually every other woman on the planet, have been objectified my whole life. I have been told that my body is the most important thing about me--often the only thing about me that matters. I've been told that my relative attractiveness is cause alone to either adore me or hate me. And y'know what? I'm really not interested in giving any of my valuable time and energy to people who think that way. My body is part of me, not the sum total. And if you're someone whom I'd actually like, you're going to be someone who understands that, and who would therefore want to get to know me better than a chance meatspace encounter could possibly allow for.
Yes, of course I'm flattered when people are physically attracted to me--it's rare enough these days--but I'm really not interested in hooking up with someone who becomes
interested in me only because of how I look. Physical attraction should be part of the whole package, not the entirety of it. If I just want to get off, there's a guy upstairs who's usually happy to help out, and a couple of electronic devices if he's not. I don't need that from some nameless person on the street who just wants to stuff their face in my tits.
Now, it could well be that not everyone who would approach me in generic meatspace is a shallow idiot, and I might miss out on a potential friend. But y'know? If it means I'll avoid being harrassed by the other 90% of the people who'd approach me thus, that's a risk I'm willing to take. I'm a very social person, and I'm always open to making new friends, and even open to the possibility of more than that. But only if they're going to be genuinely interested in me. And a person who thinks physical presence alone is enough of a commonality to approach me? Ain't that.
ETA: I think I can boil this whole thing down to this: No-one is entitled to other people. You don't get to demand attention, love or sex from anyone who isn't willing to give it voluntarily. And only when one is in a specifically social space should one assume that other people there will be open to social advances from strangers. You're at a singles/cruising bar? Sure, you can ask if you can buy someone a drink. You're at the grocery store? Not so much. You are entitled to pleasure in your life, sure. What you're not entitled to do is to take that pleasure from anyone you choose, regardless of whether they've made it clear they're up for that.