When He Won’t Take ‘No!’ for an Answer

| 10/15/2010 | Comments (20)

The Last Supper

Let me share with you an recent example of the kind of behavior I’m talking about, observed with my own eyes just this past weekend:

Man and woman are on a dinner date at Kincaid’s in Jack London Square. They are at the next table, so I hear every word clearly. They are smiling and laughing as they look over the menus.  He suggests the grilled Mahi Mahi. Very pleasantly she tells him that she doesn’t like fish and would rather have a steak.

Him: “Why not? Aw come on, fish is good for you!”

Her: “No, I don’t like fish, I told you.”

Him: “Well I think you should have it. You’ll like it when you taste it.”

Her: “No thanks.”

Him: “What, you don’t like Mahi? How about the salmon, that’s really good too.”

Her: “I just don’t like how fish tastes.”

Him: “But it’s really good. You can eat steak anytime, why don’t you try this tonight?”

Her: “But I already told you, I don’t want any fish!”

Him: (pulling out the guilt) “Gawd, you’re so stubborn and ungrateful. I take you out to a nice place, and all I want you to do is try something new. I’m just trying to expand your horizons.”

Her: (now speaking in a very tense voice) “But I told you over and over again that I don’t want fish!”

I wanted to lean over and say to him “she’s not interested in what you are talking about, sir. Get a fucking clue!”

I’m sure it was their last date. She looked entirely too disgusted to be bothered with him ever again.

Street Harassment

Things get even worst for women on public streets. For some reason knuckleheads all over the world think that a woman walking down the street is there to be verbally harassed, talked to in disrespectful profane ways, cat-called, wolf-whistled, stared at with disgusting lust-filled eyes, groped or fondled. The harassment is experienced by girls as young as 10 years of age, so this disturbing behavior is not limited to adults in “revealing” clothing.

groped on street street harassment inappropriate touching rude men

A female that responds positively (wasting her time trying to “be nice”), is followed and harassed for her number or address, or forced to listen to foul and inappropriate comments about her body. A woman that responds negatively or who totally ignores the rude behavior may be called a bitch, an ugly dog, a whore or a slut. Oftentimes these harsh words are accompanied by a demand for an explanation of the rejection (keep in mind he is a complete stranger harassing her on the street): “Why not bitch? You think you too good to talk to me?”

What you curbside lothario wanna-be’s fail to understand is that a woman doesn’t OWE you any explanations. She should not have to show you her wedding ring to get you to stop hitting on her. She doesn’t owe you an explanation of why she’s not interested. You have no right to touch her hand, arm or any other part of her body. She doesn’t owe you answers to any of your ridiculous questions about whether or not she has a man, where she works, if she has any children (child molester!), where she is going, where she is coming from, her name or her age. She owes you nothing.

She isn’t interested in any kind of verbal exchange with you, nor a date with you either. And you don’t have the right to ask her “why not?” after she already told you “No!”

Final Comments

Men in committed relationships often have problems hearing a woman’s “No” as well.  If you ask and your woman says “No!” it means she is not interested in doing that sex act, or having sex right now period. Or it might mean that she’s not interested in eating octopus, or jogging at 5:30 a.m. or watching you play video games all afternoon either. You don’t have the right to ask her “why not?” after she already told you “No!”

Full stop. End of story.

Ladies, understand that that answering his first question after you say “No!” (which is always “why?” or “how come?” or “why not?”), opens the door to a never-ending string of childish attempts to persuade you to do what he wants. The situation does downhill and becomes even more awkward and stressful as you realize he is not respecting your boundaries. You bristle with anger that he won’t honor your request and stop bugging you. Your desire is that he stop being pushy and respect your wishes. His agenda is to push and push until you give in and say “okay!”

You need to remember that any decision you make about what you want to do with your time and body is yours to make, and no further explanation is ever necessary.

“No!” really is a complete sentence.

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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Women's Issues

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  1. annabolan82 says:

    @TheLastBaron No, my little narcissist, we do NOT owe you an explanation when we say ‘No’.  It’s no because we said no.  End of.  And anyway, I’m not quite sure you’d like it if a woman did give a guy like you an explanation for why she’s rejecting you.  Do you really want to open that can of worms? If you choose to push yourself on a woman, you are owed NOTHING from her. We’re not here to cater to your needs, horrific as that thought must be to someone as narcissistic as you.

  2. annabolan82 says:

    @TheLastBaron I realise this is an old comment but frankly, it’s not the problem of women if you’re feeling frustrated and angry. Also, your statement: ‘Just look at this through the other side’s perspective for once’ is ridiculous. This article IS the other side’s perspective being looked at for once. Women are conditioned to look at things from the guys point of view, and to consider his feelings before her own.  It’s guys like you who need to look at this through the other side’s perspective for once.

  3. Deborrah says:

    Here is a video interview of Gavin DeBecker, the #1 expert on personal security and the intuitive voice that people often ignore, which ends up getting them trouble.


    • AndreaLewis says:

      I read “The Gift of Fear” in high school and it totally changed my life. Ever since, I have rejected the whole trust me and pretend to be my oldest pal / girlfriend — despite the fact that I have never laid eyes on you before, because we’re both Black non-sense.
      Before reading that book, I had no idea how very dangerous it could be to allow strangers who behave in an overly familiar fashion into your personal space. Every woman should read that book, but especially BW. BW are waaaay too trusting of other Black folks.

  4. TheLastBaron says:

    I admit I’m being pretty harsh here, but I’m far from an idiot or an asshole. I’m just a frustrated and angry guy who’s been rejected too many times and just went through a bad breakup. Just look at this through the other side’s perspective for once, that’s all I’m saying.

    • Raz says:

      The LastBaron: “I’m just a frustrated and angry guy who’s been rejected too many times and just went through a bad breakup”
      Well since you’re being rejected ‘too many times’ and went through a bad breakup, rather than blaming the woman and wallowing and whining in your self pitty, get off your fonky azz and start work on your inner self. Time for to self-reflect, improve. That’s the problem with some dudes like you, they stay stuck on stupid, and bitter and angry, they never grow up and mature emotionally and try to figure shyt out. They just blame the woman instead of looking at what they need to improve in themselves. There are plenty of articles on this blog you can get busy reading to improve yourself such as:

      Dating Tips for Men: How to Dump Proof Your Relationship
      How Nice Guys can Develop the Player Edge that Women Love (written by a happily married guy)
      Why Nice Guys suck and women don’t want you

      You can either stay bitter and wallow, or improve yourself. “Where ever you go, there you are”. By your own admission, you’ve been rejected ‘too many times’ which means that something is going on with you’. Either you’re ugly as a troll trying to get women way out of your league, or you have a nasty fonky attitude that turns women off with no ‘skills or game’ on knowing how to get and please and keep a woman happy. I suspect it’s some of both.

      • Nigerian Sista says:

        I personally do not understand why I a woman would owe a guy an explanation to after telling him no. Guys do not HAVE to do this. If anything if a guy does tell a woman he’s not interested he will do it in a mean (i.e. short you aint pretty enough/your a– AIN’T phat enough). He will attempt to hurt the woman’s feelings. I’ve been around long enough to know that many African American males share a streak of mysogny and cruelty when it comes to interacting with women. Many males think that they are superior to women, so they have this delusional belief that certin things should be made available for them no matter what. Buy they don’t seem to owe anyone anything.

      • LMH says:

        Got it! You are a frustrated, angry guy who now expects all women to cater to your bruised ego. Dude! Frustrated, angry and needy is NOT attractive!

  5. TheLastBaron says:

    Women, you DO owe men an explanation when you say “No”. You often won’t explain yourselves because your reasons are shallow and illogical and deep down you know it. I find all this talk of “putting yourself first” rather hypocritical. The examples given in the article are pretty extreme and the men involved are going about it the wrong way, but in the end they’re just pursuing what they want and will make them happy. Don’t castigate them for this! Most of you are no better than the men you’re criticizing

    • Raz says:

      The lastBaron: “Women, you DO owe men an explanation when you say “No”

      Women don’t owe men shyt! Especially some stranger who simply asked her out. But if a dude just has to have an reason, here’s one for you. “You stank, ugly, and the thought of one more second in your company makes me vomit in the mouth’. Now be gone lout!” How’s that for an explanation.

    • You’re an asshole and an idiot. That is the only response I feel you are worth having.

    • LMH says:

      Here is the explanation for “No”…ready…SHE IS NOT ATTRACTED TO YOU!!!

      That is all the explanation anyone ever needs and it should be evident by the word NO!!! End of explanation.

  6. C says:

    It’s irritating and rather insulting to me, as a guy, that this article is even needed. Of course, it’s a failure of society. Men are taught to be ambitious, that persistence will ultimately win. However, I don’t understand how so many of us apply it to our interactions with women.

    Common sense should tell us that life isn’t a friggin’ romantic comedy. When the protagonist is rejected by his love interest, persistence only works here because the outcome has already been decided. Persistence of that level, up to and including, showing up at her goddamn workplace… that’s called harassment in the real world. Especially if the protagonist is required to rescue her from the “no good boyfriend/husband/whatever.”

    When the roles are reversed, she is usually cast as “crazy stalker ex.” Therein lies the rub. I hate those guys who catcall, persist with a woman who clearly said no, and generally make asses of themselves when they catch a whiff of pheromone. They perpetuate that tired old script that says a man can’t help himself. Like hell, I can control myself just fine. The men who can’t simply have a weak will, and blaming women won’t help them.

    It’s all about personal responsibility. Blame only goes so far. It doesn’t matter how they’re dressed, whether anyone put themselves in a vulnerable position, or how they may be acting. Anything that violates the autonomy of another human isn’t right nor deserved. I recognize the difference between when a woman is interested and when she wants nothing to do with me. And I respect her wishes because that’s what a sensible person does.

    • Danta' says:

      Speak on it C!!!! Again it’s a maturity thing, as well as a respect thing. Actually for this Blog a Picture on the street and not a club would’ve been better and more realistic. It was changed and brought back Club pics don’t count.However both Men and Women need to respect each other’s wishes if neither is showing interest towards each other. The word Respect needs to be emphasized if not Society will have more wrecks in it.

  7. SunnyDay says:

    I was just talking to my sister about this last night. Guys hate the word, they have no idea what to do when they hear it.

    My sis was telling me about a brother who is married yet keeps pursuing her. She has repeatedly told him no (for about 6 months now) and he continues to proposition her to join him at a hotel for him to become the man of her dreams. PUUHLEEZ I mean pure maddness!

    I cringe at the cat calls I receive more often while I’m dressed in my professional work attire, I absolutely hate it. I hate when older men, who more too often stare at me with as you mentioned “lust filled eyes”. I think of the women in the Congo who are raped and used as pawns of war and think Sistahs need to form an army.

    I refuse to make eye contact with men as I walk the street. Dudes can be very brutal. It’s a shame that we have to go through this on a daily basis and some of us who are lesser willed succumb to these advances all time to their detriment I believe.

    Not sure where we can go from here but I am grateful to your words and appreciative of all the sistahs who shared their experiences. Teach our sons differently…

    • Raz says:

      SunnyDay: “My sis was telling me about a brother who is married yet keeps pursuing her. She has repeatedly told him no (for about 6 months now) and he continues to proposition her to join him at a hotel for him to become the man of her dreams.”

      Tell your sister the next time this man harrasses her, she has the cops on speed dial 911 for stalking. She has already told her to leave her alone and NO! If she means this emphatically then this married man should have gotten the message. She needs to let him know that there will be consequences (and no idle threats) that will be carried out if he continues to harrass her. He’s already continued, so at this point she needs to pursue seeking the law on his butt. Then he’d have no choice but to leave her alone or his butt will be locked up. Women need to stop being afraid to throw these scumbags like this married man who is harassing your sister under the jail. See this is why so many women end up dead. They too damn nice to these losers. They are too scared to take a stand and stop putting themselves in the ‘victim’s shoes. That fool should have been reported to the police a long time ago. They will tell him NO in a way he understands!

    • Since so much time has elapsed, I am assuming that your sister knows this guy – as in he is a neighbor, a coworker, a transit driver on her bus, the guy that works in her bulding, etc.

      She is fully within her rights to file a harassment claim and request a restraining order. What he is doing to her is stalking and sexual harassment. What he is exhibiting is the traits of a sociopath. These are people that have no concern for your feelings, your life, your body or mind, your boundaries, your needs or anything else about you. Their single-minded focus is on what THEY want.

      She could also try telling him one of the following:

      (1) And what would your wife say about that? Because if you ask me that shit again, I’m calling her and telling her to keep her dog ass husband away from me! OR

      (2) If you do not leave me alone I am going to file stalking and harassment charges against you. I’ve told you numerous times to leave me alone yet you persist in disrespecting me, my husband, my marriage, and your wife. You are NOT a man of quality and certainly cannot be the man of ANYONE’S dreams. OR


      My personal preference is #3 first, #2 second.

  8. Pat says:

    How about telling them to practice ‘safe sex’ and go f*&^ themselves.

  9. Anderson says:

    If the guy gets on your nerves and goes to the extent of stalking you or something, it would be better to let a male accomplice confront him or better yet, approach the cops.

  10. Golden Silence says:

    I agree! Women need to stop being polite to these men and learn how to put themselves first.

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