Are Men Permitted to Flirt? Should They Be Encouraged?

Are Men Permitted to Flirt? Should They Be Encouraged? December 30, 2014

Image copyright Antonio Diaz, courtesy of Shutterstock
Image copyright Antonio Diaz, courtesy of Shutterstock

On her Facebook page, Elizabeth Stoker (whose blog can be found here) posted a question which — in an era where men are routinely depicted by Madison Avenue as either slovenly slackers or pathetically stupid-and-neutered — is well-worth asking:

When a guy flirts with me out in the wild i always turn them down because i am married, but i have also for sometime offered like a brief performance review, example:

[me at starbucks]: a gingerbread latte please
[dude behind me in line]: i’ll pay for that if you’ll drink it with me.
[me]: aww i can’t accept that, i’m married, but that’s really charming.

i do it because i feel bad the impetus is often on the fellows to make the first move and if they get rejected without knowing why, they might turn into pickup artist types or whatever, and i’d like to reinforce good behavior for the sake of the other women they flirt with, and for their self-esteem. THOUGHTS? is this bad? weird?

What do you think? I responded that I thought Elizabeth’s reaction was a kind one, and I believe that men need to be shown some kindness, these days. My poor younger son, raised to be a gentleman, always holds the door open for people — male or female — as he leaves a shop. Men say thanks. Older women say thank you. Several times, though, younger women have cursed at him (and in one case literally screamed at him, and made a scene) because his small, genial gesture was taken as a “microaggression” against her strong womanhood.

Because strong women fall to pieces at a genderless social nicety, or something.

So, yeah, I think a guy who has been charming and inoffensive should be told so. In a world where the common courtesy of holding a door open for the next person is cause for high public drama and recrimination, men could use some help in gauging the parameters, and also a little encouragement that they are worthy of a kind response, and to be seen as something more than a bag of chromosomes.

You know, just like women.

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