In these Trumpian times, it’s important that we, the male species, continue to not be raging assfaces when speaking to, being around, or talking about women. So we asked wise, wildly funny Samantha Bee of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee for the rules on how to remain gentlemanly. (Hint: They’re basically the same as the old ones.)
#1. First things first:
Why are you having trouble interacting with women? What’s so hard about us? Where have you gotten all your information about women in the past? And I swear to Jesus, don’t say, “This magazine.”
I think you may have read somewhere that we are all very complicated and mysterious and require extra handling, like precious Fabergé eggs. The secret is: All we really want is to be treated with the respect that should be accorded all equal people. John Mayer explains all of this in “Daughters.” Maybe check in with him?
#2. We love you, I promise.
Sometimes people approach me and they want to talk about how “feminists” are ruining everything. It’s a fun conversation that makes me want to hop on an ice floe and send myself out to sea forever. I say from the bottom of my heart, from one woman to the tens of thousands of men reading this magazine they stole from their dentists’ offices—we love you, I swear. We just want the same advantages for our sisters and daughters. (That includes the presidency.)
Kathy Griffin’s Guide to Bad Pick-up Lines
Even after you’ve gotten the go-ahead, there are still many ways you can go wrong when approaching a woman. Kathy Griffin helpfully gave GQ some pickup lines for men to avoid (particularly if they’re leading the free world):
- “You’ve got a real runner-up quality.”
- “I would rate you somewhere between Gwyneth Paltrow and Diane Sawyer, and I’d gladly nail either one of them.”
- “I’d like to deport you…to my bedroom.”
- “You’re almost as sexy as my daughter.”
- “You get any closer, and I’m going to build a wall in my pants.”
- “Were those made in China?”
Kathy Griffin is a comedian and the author of Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-ins.
#3. That said…
“I’m a feminist” isn’t a pickup line. I mean—go for it—be a passionate feminist and all that, but think of it as more of a “way of life” than an 11th-hour panty-dropper. Please don’t say those words as part of your hookup vocabulary. It literally makes our vaginas cringe. (BTW, did I just coin the term “11th-hour panty-dropper”? If so, #proud.)
#4. If you see a stop sign, just, you know, stop.
If you go and pick up a turtle that has its head and arms stuck inside its shell, it’s not going to hug you. It’s not gonna go on a date with you. There was an article on the subject of “How do I approach a girl with her headphones on and force her to talk to me? How do I approach a girl who’s doing absolutely nothing and not seeking my attention at all, in any way, and force her to take her earphones off so that she’ll interact with me?”
It’s not personal that she doesn’t want to talk to you—she doesn’t want to talk to anybody. Do not approach this as a challenge to warm her heart. And if, after she has reluctantly taken off her headphones and engaged with you, despite all evidence that she was not interested in doing so, you then tell her to smile? Oops! Her blood just turned to ice.
#5. We know we look great, but we don’t necessarily need to hear it from you.
You have to take the temperature of your relationship. If I’ve dressed up for an event, people I work with will say, “Oh, your dress looks great on you” or “That’s a nice departure from the hideous one-piece pantsuit you were wearing earlier.” But I doubt that anyone would come up to me at work and say, “My God, your tits look amazing in that T-shirt,” be they male or female. If someone said “teats,” that would be entirely fine, though. Comedy shows are complicated. Also, I have teats.
#6. You should not just be randomly hugging women after casual meetings.
Don’t automatically do that. Unless you have a concrete reason to believe that we want to press ourselves against you and form a Milano cookie with our bodies, maybe let’s don’t. One cool trick is: You could just ask if it’s a welcome gesture. Also, if our hand is outstretched in handshake formation, that’s all the information you need to know.
#7. What are you doing on that panel?
If you are invited to be on a panel discussing gender equality in your industry, and you find that there are no women on said panel, be that man who says, “Um, guys?” Then go find a woman to also be on that panel. While we’re at it, if the panel is about diversity and you find yourself on a panel of all white people…need I say more?
#8. Don’t interrupt.
How many situations are there where you’re trying to top other people and wind up drowning them out? So be open to different ways of hearing things. Like, ideas don’t have to come at you audibly. They can be written down.
Not to make this all about Madeleine Albright, but she was telling me about the first time she represented the United States somewhere, and she was like, “I think for the first day, I won’t speak. I’ll just listen and hear what everybody else has to say.” But then she realized that she had a little placard on her that said UNITED STATES, and if she didn’t speak that day, the perspective of the United States would not be heard on that day, and so she forced herself to talk.
But for you: If you don’t close your mouth and listen at some point, you could be bulldozing Madeleine Albright.
#9. Seriously, sometimes you need to shut the f#©k up.
Really, please don’t do that. See Pro Tip No. 8. It makes your workplace Madeleine Albright want to punch you in your workplace dick.
#10. Hire wisely.
If you are in the position to hire people, don’t just hire a carbon copy of yourself. You might just find other types of people are really smart, too! (Or maybe the lone female in your office would like a friend.) Oh, and when you hire a woman and she rocks, pay her what you’d pay a man. I can’t believe I needed to say that. I never want to need to say that again.
#11. Address the big pussy in the room.
If someone gets on your entertainment bus and brags about using women as human bowling balls, don’t be the person who eggs that guy on. I know it sucks. But we really, really appreciate it when you shut down shitty conversations about us when we’re not there.
Bonus: Ten years later, you won’t have to beg for a spot on Dancing with the Stars to repair your public image!
#12. If all else fails…
For those people who still find that they have something negative to say about a gender as a whole, I always advise them to release that tension by screaming it into a dirty sweat sock. Alternately, they can go deep into the forest and pound their head on a rock until they’re all sorted out.
Samantha Bee is the host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.