Conversations with Men: Talking Down a Wannabe Stalker
In China, stalking of women by men is a standard and highly accepted part of the romantic narrative.
I’ve (unfortunately) been privy to countless examples of this. The wearing down and terrorizing of a woman by a man in order to ‘prove’ he loves her is more common than you might realize.
I can still remember back to 2003 and acquiring my first data point. A Western (male dickface) colleague chuckling over having his adult ESL class interrupted by a petulant Chinese man who had been harassing and stalking a female classmate with whom he was in love. He interrupted the class to throw a tantrum since the woman had not yet submitted to his displays of (immaturity, misogyny, entitlement) love. I was disgusted by the whole thing – had it been my class, heads would have rolled.
And over time, I’ve heard more and more stories. Sometimes from the lovelorn themselves looking for advice on why their stalking behaviour was not working as planned. I think most of the time it works. The poor young woman is beaten down through relentless unwanted attention and forced to give in. Yeah! A boyfriend! How long can one be terrorized and remain sane in a place where stalking and violence against women isn’t taken seriously?
And so today, it happened yet again.
I had parked myself in a huge mostly empty classroom reading Andrea Dworkin of all things, waiting until it was time to make my way to my own classroom in another building. I suddenly became aware of someone sitting beside me, but across the aisle. It struck me as strange as the classroom seated about 200 and I was one of maybe 4 people in the room.
I realized it was someone who wanted to talk to me.
Okay, what the hell. I was tired and having trouble focusing on reading. It turned out I had met the student before about 6 months previously. I could barely remember, to be honest. There are 45,000 students at my university. Luckily, it was a business English major, so he had better English, and thus was able to have a higher level conversation with me. And we talked about a variety of things which were actually interesting to me.
But one of the topics we covered was how he could ‘persuade’ his ex-girlfriend who had broken up with him that she should take him back.
I tried to tie my answer to one of his previous questions, “How can we be happy?” I could have said, “Overthrow Patriarchy,” but most dudes don’t have the capacity or intelligence to begin to comprehend what that means. But, to be honest, I haven’t a fucking clue how to be happy. I think we obsess about it too much, and spend too much time trying to find and force happiness, which, in my opinion, is the surest way to be thoroughly unhappy.
So instead, I delved into the idea that trying to get, take, or receive things is not the way to be happy. But that is what most people (especially men) try to do. We try to get a partner in love, we try to acquire money and possessions, and we want people to give us their loyalty, love or respect. None of that really works. What I suggested is that he stop focusing on taking or getting or expecting, and just try to give. I said that happiness comes from inside ourselves and when we give without expecting something in return, we are more likely to feel happy and free.
And I waited for it… He jumped in with: “But I want to give love to my ex-girlfriend.” And I countered with: a) Don’t give people what they don’t want or need. If the girlfriend broke up with you, she doesn’t want your ‘love’ (I suspect he wasn’t giving love, but rather, control and unreasonable demands). And b) you can’t give something and then secretly expect something in return. You’ll never be happy if your motivation for giving is ultimately selfish.
That gave him some stuff to mull over. I am not sure if it will sink in. Most guys can’t comprehend the notion of selflessness or understanding others’ (especially women’s) needs and wishes. But he seemed to think about what I said.
And then again, I might be completely full of shit about all of this happiness nonsense. But I hope I at least put a damper on his stalking potential. I am pretty sure that is where his obsessive thoughts were taking him. I’ve seen this a million times before.
Posted on November 15, 2015, in Conversations with Men, Feminism, Male Privilege, Patriarchy and tagged China, dating, girlfriend, happiness, relationships, stalking, violence. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Conversations with Men: Talking Down a Wannabe Stalker.