Tabatha McGurr is a Brooklyn bred-writer currently residing in Bed-Stuy with her boo and dog Coco. She's been running to the Married To The Mob blog for the past six years. In her weekly column, she gives Complex readers insight into what today's young women really think about love, sex, and relationships.
For females, it doesn’t matter how old we are or even how good we look, as long as there’s something to stare at and guys are around, we’re going to get hollered at. I’ve experienced similar behavior everywhere, but I’d say that NYC has the hollering game on lock. There’s just too many confident, pussy-hungry dudes running around in these streets! Now personally, I don’t mind a little “God bless you miss” or “Have a nice day beautiful," and why should I? It’s getting reassurance from an outside perspective, and men are the ones we’re subconsciously trying to look good for anyway, but there’s definitely a line to be crossed. And it’s a shame too, because some of you are actually kind of cute, you just totally blow it by approaching us the wrong way. So before you go chasing after that big butt girl with your tongue flapping, remember that women are humans and not just prime pieces of dangling meat. Sure, hollering may be more for sport than an attempt to actually land a chick, but like all games, there are some basic principles on what flies and what doesn’t. Here’s a little rundown...
DON’T HOLLER FROM THE SAFETY OF YOUR CREW
If a pretty girl walks past any large group of straight males, we know you’re going to ogle our asses and whistle for the entire block, it’s just your sadly primitive nature. That’s why any time I see a pack of dudes, I take a deep breath, turn up my headphones, and put the blasé face on. Besides crossing the street, what other options do we have? Getting all worked up would only be a waste of time. I’ve done experiments in the past where I pretend to be listening to music just so I can hear what they’re really saying and Jesus—it’s the kind of shit that makes you never want to have a daughter. If you ever want a chick to take you seriously, don’t surround yourself with a court of animalistic goons while making your move. Ask them to fall back while you approach on your own. Oh, and don’t even get me started on that bullshit move where guys send their friend to ‘talk to you’ for them. It wasn’t cute in 9th grade and it still ain’t cute now!
YOU’RE CORNY AND GIVING OFF SECOND HAND EMBARRASSMENT
Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t mind the bit of positive attention that comes from a guy trying to pick me up in public, but sometimes I get the unfortunate feeling that there’s way more wack ones on the prowl than respectable gentlemen. It’s always some dude who I can already tell is shameless by appearance—fake Prada’s, pierced eyebrow, incredibly precise facial hair, etc.—so I know he doesn’t give a shit about the humiliation of public rejection. They’ll usually start off with lines like, “Excuse me, but what does that tattoo mean?” or “Hey, couldn’t help but hear your music, is that Wu-Tang?” or whatever other meager little connection they can make.
Regardless of what a man looks like—unless he has a murderer/rapist vibe—I generally at least smile their way in appreciation, but you can’t do that with lames. These dudes go for it full force. They’ve got nothing to lose. Not even dignity. Confidence and corniness is an extremely dangerous mix, and once they latch on, they won’t let you go for a whole city block. It’s straight up embarrassing, but unfortunately there’s no way for females to avoid it. Which brings me to my next and most hated hollering scenario...
DON’T TRY TO PICK UP A CHICK ON A CROWDED TRAIN
Let me set the scene for you. It’s nighttime, I’m homeward bound on the G after a treacherously long commute, fading away to the sounds of Pete Rock, when suddenly—I’m tapped on the shoulder by the kid to my left. Now the way I see it, when someone has their headphones on and you don’t know them, you really shouldn’t bother them. It’s one thing to gesture at me if I dropped something or bumped into you, but motioning for me to take them off is an invasion of personal space. But being a polite person, I obliged, only for him to creepily point to a piece of paper on his lap and say, “I wrote my number on here for you, would you write yours too?” Then of course the eyes in every surrounding seat were on us, waiting to see what my response would be to such a retarded attempt, which was simply, “Thanks, but I have a boyfriend," followed by putting my music back on. Still determined enough to give it his last shot, he then asked me to take my headphones off once more, this time to hand me a pen and ask that I cross out his phone number. I refused and asked why, to which he said, “I don’t give this out to anyone. I don’t want anyone else to have it, so can you cross it out?”
Of course, this man doesn’t summarize all efforts I’ve seen guys make on the subway, but any time you’re trying to step to a stranger on the train, it’s bound to get awkward. Not only is it all happening before a live audience, but after you’ve made your move, you’re left standing an uncomfortable distance away from the very person you just approached, counting the seconds until the next stop. If a girl truly catches your eye along the commute, wait until right before you get off to say something, because even if you’re cute and charming, nobody wants to be in such close, noiseless proximity with a stranger they just met. Come at her smoothly with a simple compliment first, then see where she takes it. If there’s reciprocation, keep it going, if not, fall back and make sure you’re on the opposite end of the car as her. If all that fails, at least there’s Missed Connections.
“YO MISS CAN I HOLLA? AIGHT FUCK YOU TOO THEN”
Ah, it’s so classic! Turn a man down after he puts himself out there and you may just get hit with the counterstrike, an instinctive form of self-defense where he’ll try to shit on you harder. It blows my mind when dudes do this, especially the “you’re ugly anyway” line, seeing as how they’d probably eat your ass two seconds later if you let them. You’d think that most grown men would put that type of silly behavior behind them with age, but I’ve witnessed it all. Like having your boys to back you up, it’s just another weak form of armor, a crutch to lean on when plan A fails. If you’re gonna speak up and tell a woman what you think, be a man about that shit and stand by it. That’s when women stop and turn around to give you a smile—once they see that you’re really about what you’re saying and not spewing the same sleazy shit you say to every other female. Besides, you don’t wanna take the risk of insulting a random chick, you never know who you could be dealing with or where they're at mentally. Bitches go crazy every day!
I’ve witnessed lots of botched hollering attempts in these 21 years, but that said, it’s still possible to do the job right. Alas, it’s a thing of finesse, a gift rarely possessed by a lot of these basic dudes walking among us. If you’re a true boss, you may already have one of these tucked in your wallet. Something like that does the talking for you without disturbing the peace. Still, sometimes it’s just a matter of girls being so used to getting harassed that they turn you down before you even approach them. Although, as much as girls pretend to hate getting cat-called and drooled over by men, we’d all have a bit less flavor in our lives if it weren’t for those random little shout-outs. It’s the natural order of things, like alpha-males attracting tail in the wild, it maintains a certain skewed order that our society requires. So keep on hollerin’ fellas, just minimize the corniness, tone down the rudeness, and don’t ever honk at us while you’re driving. We fucking hate that.