This is What an Entitled Male Looks Like: A Close Reading

It all started with a pair of killer gold heels.

Snatched up late last summer, these babies had been biding their time in my closet — waiting for the day when I would whisk them onto my feet. It was in these shoes that I drunkenly chased my roommate and her boyfriend down the subway stairs to catch a late night train back to our apartment in Boston.

My roommate and her boyfriend made the train; my shoes and I weren’t quite so lucky.

Waiting for the next train home, I sat staring at my shoes, silently reassuring them there were no hard feelings over the missed train.

A man approached and told me he liked my shoes.

I barely looked up from my feet. “Aren’t they great?” I gushed. I proceeded to tell him the story of when we first met on that fruitful day of shopping last summer. We got on the train. He sat next to me and asked lots of questions, which I answered with a level of openness that even I only reach after a few pitchers of beer.

Unimpressed bunny 9

Oof.

He was still with me when I got off the train. I asked him where he was going. He asked if he could walk me home.

I slowed my pace and squinted through my beer goggles. He was wearing a worn white shirt and overall looked pretty disheveled. Just as I was about to turn him down, we made eye contact. He was looking at me in a way I wasn’t prepared for — something between pleading, searching, and desperation.

Back at my place, I was about 3.5 seconds into the worst makeout session of my life when I began planning his exit strategy.

We kissed for a few minutes before I yawned dramatically and said I had to work really early the next morning. He said he was really tired too and he left.

We didn’t exchange numbers; I never thought I’d hear from him again.

Fast forward to Father’s Day a week later, when I received the Foulest Message of Male Entitlement you could ever fucking imagine. Except you don’t have to imagine it because I’m going to pick apart every disgusting thing this human said to me. (With accompanying pictures of unimpressed rabbits, obviously.)

Exhibit A.

Buckle up bitches, it’s going to be ranty ride:

SUBJECT: An analysis and 2 proposals from Dan

MESSAGE: Dear Miranda

Would the attractive, intelligent, literate, friendly, feminine, curvy, sexy, petite, delicious, young woman kindly hear me out before you press the big red button that obliterates this message?

Let’s start with the fact that this person found me on Facebook by only knowing my first name and where I live, shall we? NOT CREEPY AT ALL.

But at least he makes the message super legit by titling it, “An analysis and 2 proposals from Dan. Who do you think you are?

Also, funny how he tries to give me like ten compliments in the first sentence to dissuade me from blocking him. It’s like he knows I might find this message super off-putting or something.

I’m that guy; the guy you met early last Saturday morning. I figured everyone is on the Facebook so I took the liberty of looking up you, I mean a, looking you up;). I’ve been thinking about you and about us. I know I was incredibly lucky. I don’t just mean in the “getting lucky” kind of way although it definitely was that. You are a woman of substance and style that any man should feel happy to have by his side (or in his lap:)) I liked you right from the beginning.

I’m really not sure what’s worse: the “look up you” and “in his lap” innuendo or the fact that he’s been thinking “about us” after knowing me for an un-hot 5 minutes.

Also, getting lucky doesn’t mean what you think it means, babe

Are you serious right now?

Are you serious right now?

An Analysis

I think In general, men and women are different when it comes to sex or affection. A man can pick up a woman in a bar, have sex with her, and leave her without knowing anything about her. Wham, Bam, Thank you ma ’am! Women want to have sex that comes with a person; they want to relate to the person for a sense of connection. I think you were out doing the bar scene last Friday not just because you wanted alcohol but because you also wanted someone to connect with, that would acknowledge at least some of your many virtues, and could give you some affection.

Oh honey. Keep your repulsive, gendered analysis of what men and women want out of relationships to your-fucking-self. You clearly have no idea who you’re taking to.

We talked. We walked. We got to know each other a bit. Perhaps you wanted there to be commonality for relating a bit too much? I felt something was up when you said how similar the Communications and English majors were. Hmmm, I don’t think so, but I shouldn’t want to disabuse you from believing that.

Oh my god, I was trying to be nice with the Communications comment. I happen to think Communications is pretty bullshit major. And you know what? This pathetically misguided “analysis” hasn’t done much to change my opinion.

Unimpressed bunny 5

I eat comm majors for breakfast.

Playing at love without the substance of love is like a sexual junk food. It must have felt as good for you as it did for me at the time but like any junk food it is not satisfying for long. Presumably you will have to start over again with someone new when you feel that same need for connection, acknowledgement, or affection. Hopefully this person will be as interested in you as I am, will listen to you as I did, and will be contagious disease free as I am.

Still, I can’t say his studies have completely failed him: “Playing at love without the substance of love is like a sexual junk food.” Such wisdom! God, I want that on a shirt, or on pair of Victoria Secret underwear. Maybe I should just get it tattooed across my lower back in comic sans.

When all else fails, it’s always good to throw in that you’re “contagious disease free.” HOT.

You are depending on random chance for reoccurring needs. Random chance also played a factor in our meeting in that when we met I just happened to be tired, hot, sweaty, and probably smelly. Sorry about that, but this is a problem with catching someone at some random moment and at that moment I needed a shower and some sleep.

As you told me, I know you are currently between boyfriends (or girlfriends). Dry spells can happen to anyone. I have no doubt that one day you will find the man (or woman) of your dreams. You are DESIRABLE Miranda. It will happen, if you want it to. So with you it’s just a matter of what to do in the meantime. If you are going out with your roommate and her boyfriend I’d say you get along well with them. I wonder if it can be a little bit annoying being with them however as they are a couple? I sensed a bit of rivalry too perhaps?

Wait. Is he really still being condescending even after pseudo-apologizing for being “tired hot, sweaty, and probably smelly?” Like, oh sorry about being so unappealing, but that’s what you get for being single and taking pity on me.

Aww but, wait! He thinks I’m DESIRABLE. I’ve been waiting my whole life for a man to say this to me! I feel so fulfilled, I was lost but now I’m found, etc.

Never again.

Never again.

Proposal 1

You’re Human. You have certain needs. You have a way to meet those needs. But wouldn’t it be better if your partner was a partner in more than just the role of partner? What if your partner had genuine concern for you as any friend would?

After all that buildup, he’s ready to give his first proposal: “But wouldn’t it be better if your partner was a partner in more than just the role of a partner?

Such eloquence! I wonder where this is going!

Sex between strangers will be an act because they are concerned primarily for themselves and are trying to emotionally protect themselves. Friends are open with each other and so can be can be vulnerable with each other. Friends can risk making mistakes. Learning from mistakes improves the friendship and the sex. Sex has a rhythm that takes two and that is harder when one is just thinking about number one. Sex is just better when the lovers are friends. How can one even call it “Making Love” when there is not the love of a friend?? Have you heard of the term Friends-With-Benefits? That is what I am proposing.

Nothing I love more than some good old-fashioned slut shaming. Tell me more about how inferior casual sex is. Please.

Another quotable: “Sex has a rhythm that takes two and that is harder when one is just thinking about number one.”

Are we talking about a fetish here or…?

We can help each other. I am a man that is into you . You have my attention and interest. The more I know about you the more interested I am. I’ll try to be as good a friend as I can be for you. You won’t have to rely on a stranger if you don’t want to. I do not have Infectious Mononucleosis (The kissing disease), an STD, or any other kind of contagious disease. Assuming you do not either (but it is never good to ASSUME because U will make an A$S out of U and ME an old old word joke) together, we will stay healthy. I’m disease free, drug free, smoke free. Heck, I’m almost drinking free. I hardly drink except for special occasions. And I am a fellow college student that lives within walking distance to boot.

And AGAIN, with the STD-free selling point. I guess if you don’t have many other things going for you, you really have to drive this point home, ya know?

I’m honestly offended that he thought “drinking free” would be attractive to me. Marketing 101: Know Your Audience, babe.

That don’t impress me much.

You can help me too. When I was in the Army I was fit. We did PT (physical training) every weekday. The only bad thing about it, motivation came from without. As happens to a lot of soldiers once that external motivation is gone the drive to stay fit goes poof and one gets out of shape. Since February 2012 the only running I’ve had to do comes from running for the bus. The only lifting I’ve done is lifting a pen.

Holding you and getting my balance was harder than it should have been suggesting I need some weight resistance exercise. I wasn’t , um, as hard as I should have been suggesting I could also use some cardio vascular exercise. Knowing that I would be with you again would powerfully motivate me, firing me up to be fit again. As I get into better shape that would benefit both of us.

Safe to say I have no interest in “helping” this asshole, or hearing about his time in the army, or reliving a second of that awful makeout session. Thanks anyway!

Proposal 2

Perhaps you feel that what I’m proposing in Proposal 1 is unrealistic because we just met and don’t know each other very well. I would argue that one gets a friend by being a friend and that this doesn’t necessarily take a long time. I think it is possible to work on both the friends side and benefits side at the same time. If you disagree we could leave out the benefits for now and focus on the friendship. Seeing if we can be friends first is proposal 2.

It seems he might have already known this: proposal 2 involves some serious backpedaling to friends sans benefits.

Survey says? No way in hell. But don’t worry, he saved the worst for last.

Un-fucking-believable.

So. Over. It.

I want to see you again Miranda. Please consider my proposals seriously. If you decide to contact me I am in the Facebook under my nick name Dana. 

I’ll leave you with the following thoughts. I’m not sure what to say here and I’m a little worried that I’m going to say the wrong thing so please be patient with me. I’ll relate from my experience.

If I understand you correctly you lost your father recently? So does that mean this is your first father’s day without him? Sixty-two is not very old in this day and age. My mother was relatively young too when she died. Like your father she was cheated out of every good thing that should have happened later in life. When I lost my mother I felt cheated. We all did. We loved her and she loved us back. We needed each other. My mother was the rudder of the family so to speak. When she died we all started to go adrift.

It is perfectly natural and normal to grieve. Everyone grieves in their own way. There is no time limit. I still grieve for my mother.

One way to honor him is to visit his grave often and pay your respects. Don’t be self-conscious to talk to yourself to him. It’s cathartic for you and who knows, perhaps somehow he can hear you. Try to keep his memory alive. An online website tribute might be one idea. Most of all honor him by living a good and decent life like I’m sure he would have wanted for you. If you can think of anything else please let me know as that would help me and my family heal.

Yours Always,

Daniel

Ok, deep breath.

For any potential sympathetic souls out there, let me break down why this section is the worst part of the whole message.

Look back to the first sentence of this message. It’s clear from the start that this guy knows I’m not interested in him. Why else would he bring up the fact that my first reaction would be to block him?

And no matter how many times he tells me how lonely or desperate I am, that still can’t explain why I kicked him out of my apartment after only a few minutes.

GTFO.

GTFO.

But rather than just letting it go and accepting my disinterest, he writes this message as a last-ditch attempt to win me over by preying on my vulnerabilities.

Not only is this message repulsive and manipulative. It’s extremely predatory.

In addition to all my personal information being wrong — my father wasn’t 62 when he died, this year wasn’t my first Father’s Day without him — the real problem is the intent behind what he’s saying.

The reason for the emotional appeal here is the same reason why he (completely sober) approached a drunk girl staring at her shoes late on a Saturday night.

This has nothing to do with caring about another person; it’s about seeing yourself in a position of power and trying to control a situation because you feel entitled to do so.

Look at the way he signs the message with “Yours Always.” It’s like he thinks he can change my opinion by adding romantic language — which I obviously won’t be able to resist because I have a vagina. That’s how that works, right? Patriarchal Plot Twist: Being a woman does not mean my self-worth relies on being found desirable by a man.

I have my own opinions and agency and don’t swoon over romantic, emotionally charged words from strangers, especially when they’re so calculated.

It’s safe to say Dan’s message is not something I’ll easily forget. Even though his words are offensive and harmful enough on their own, the scariest part is they’re written within a society where messages of male entitlement like this are constant and inescapable.

About Miranda Paquet

Miranda is a co-founder and editor of Woolf Woolf. She is a recognized HBIC, with experience in PR and publishing. In addition to writing and feminism, Miranda has undying appreciation for female leadership, good marketing, bunnies, and cocktails.