There is a men’s advice column about approaching women wearing headphones, and here is why that’s a problem

How many of us ladies have gone for a jog while wearing headphones so that strange men won’t approach us? How many of us have worn headphones on the subway so that strange men won’t hit on us — even if no music is playing? How many of us have worn headphones in a public space because that’s simply what we want to do, and we also don’t mind the privacy?


In 2013, a blog called The Modern Man published an article written by Dan Bacon entitled “How to Talk to a Woman Who is Wearing Headphones.”

The obnoxious article began re-circulating yesterday. Of course, it completely disregards any possibility that a woman is wearing headphones because she doesn’t want to be bothered and you should remain far away from her personal space.


The article is based on the premise that just because women are wearing headphones, “that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them.” ATTN: selected some of the worst lines from the post:


The article also presents a real-life example for our aspiring lotharios:



But fear not — Twitter was not about to let this go down quietly.

Now, this is not the worst kind of unwanted interaction that women commonly experience. But our culture frequently ignores the kind of behavior that violates a woman’s personal space and can escalate into extreme annoyance or creepiness. And that’s why Twitter rightfully went off.

As Almi Rose succinctly states for ATTN:, “The main fault with the article is that Bacon seems to assume a woman wearing headphones in public is just a fun challenge for him in his efforts to hit on her.” Not a human being minding her own business.

Iron_Spike got the conversation going:


And Twitter user Amandi broke down why this represents so much about our cultural understanding of consent.

It would be much better if these kinds of articles never made it to the internet. But since they manage to get published, thank goodness for women who tear them to pieces and speak on the realities faced by many of us.

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