Here is something to share with the men on your Facebook pages, Twitter streams and email inboxes immediately to give them the perfect example of how not to behave during a date – and how to rectify said behaviour if you spot it in others.
The tale comes directly from the bowels of a Reddit thread asking women to share their worst “nice guy” experiences. You know, the manipulating dates that put on a nonchalant persona in the attempt to gain a woman’s trust.
So far, the thread as attracted 6,000 comments, many of which contain woeful tales of sexism, misogyny and outright harassment. But in the depths of a deeply depressing date story emerges a hero we hope others will read, admire and emulate.
Take it away, Reddit contributor ThrowAwayForPancakes:
“I’m having dinner with my girlfriend at the time, and behind us are a couple on a date. It is.. not going well. Guy was being rather creepy and making some pretty inappropriate comments, the girl doesn’t look at all comfortable.
“The girl finishes her appetiser really quickly, my guess is she wanted to get it over with. Guy proceeds to comment on it and says ‘well, least I know you can swallow right?’. Loudly.
“Girl goes red and tells him that isn’t appropriate, he literally waves his hand in a ‘shoo’ type motion and says ‘oh calm down I was going to find out in a few hours anyway’.
“I missed her exact reply as she moved to a hushed tone, but it was fairly obvious what was being said – f*** no, f*** off, f*** this. He responded with ‘sweetheart I picked you up, I know where you live’. She lost the colour in her face and said nothing.
“No. No. F*** no. I’m one of those ‘get involved’ type of people and there is no way I’m sitting here watching this go down. I get up. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m 23, fighting fit and happy to put that motherfucker through a wall. I may have had a slight temper in my youth. But anyway.”
“I was halfway out of my chair when a hand came down on my shoulder and I look up to this mid 50s but super fit guy who says ‘Easy.. I’ve got this one son’. Absolute, total confidence in his voice.. so seeing as my current plan amounted to ‘stab him in the neck’ and I’m already thinking maybe that’s not the best idea, I sit down.
“He walks over, grabs a nearby chair, flips it around and sits down with the couple. Then.. he pulls out his police ID and puts it on the table. Now the guy doesn’t have any colour in his face.
“Cop: ‘So, I’m quietly celebrating my daughter’s birthday with my family when I distinctly hear you threaten this young lady, would you care to explain yourself?’
“Guy: ‘I, ah, well, um, you see..’
“Cop: ‘That’s what I thought. Now see, we take a very dim view of that kind of thing, so right now I’m deciding if I want to have some of my buddies come pick you up.’
“Guy: ‘oh no well that…’
“Cop: ‘But that would disrupt everyone’s dinner, so how about you hand me your ID, because I wouldn’t want you running off on me, then you go see one of the staff here and settle your bill.. the full bill now, this young lady shouldn’t go hungry on account of your poor behaviour. Or we can go with the first option, I’ll leave it up to you.’”
According to the poster, the man in question hands over his ID and gets up to pay the bill, while the policeman informs the woman of her right to take the incident further should she wish to. He then invites her to finish her meal at his table with his daughter, who is the same age as her. He also offers to drop her home after they’ve finished their dinner.
“It was hands down the best way I have ever seen anybody handle any situation, ever,” he added. “That cop is my hero.”
Now, we have no way of verifying how accurate this story is. However, whether it is a tall tale or the gospel truth, it gives a clear and not unlikely example of a potentially dangerous situation averted by a quick-thinking member of the public.
All too often, women on the receiving end of threatening and sexist behaviour are ignored by passers by, who wish not to get involved. But at what cost? Men and women, think to yourselves, if this was your sister, or mother, or best friend, how happy would you be seeing them treated like this by a date?
If you deem the situation to be unsafe to approach, think about informing restaurant staff of your concerns for the woman’s welfare, speaking to other onlookers who may stage an intervention with you, or even calling the police for advice on the number 100 (999 only in an emergency). Even asking the girl if she’s alright could be enough to make a judgement call, or scare the so-called “nice guy” from taking things much further by letting him know he’s being watched.
If we’re going to beat this sort of gender-based humiliation for good, its time we all start calling it out for the injustice it is and sticking up for each other. Here’s hoping sharing this story will go some way to enthusing others to do just that.