Opinion

The Women’s Corner: Telling us to smile will result in the opposite

Tabitha Barr

This week’s column is really only going to make sense to those who have lived through it before. And to those who haven’t, you’ll most likely call me a radical feminist. But, to be quite honest, if you believe that I’m being too extreme, you clearly don’t understand the uncomfortable feeling that comes with it.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I ranted for a good paragraph without acknowledging the topic. But when this has been brought up before, many tend to see me as overdramatic.

However, when strange men randomly tell women they’ve never met to “smile”, it’s utterly disgusting and wrong. Not only does it make us extremely uncomfortable but it also leaves us feeling thoroughly violated.

So let me tell you something straight up. First of all, a man telling me smile will definitely not encourage me to. I will absolutely lose all emotion and look at him with disgust. He has no idea who I am, what I’m doing, how I’m feeling and no reason to tell me what I need to be doing.

For me, it goes back to the olden days when women were supposed to be happy all of the time and the reason men smile. Which is so irrational and ignorant that it hurts me to think that women had to go through that. It also hints back to when men could tell women what to do and the women just have to listen to them because that’s what was expected.

But thankfully in today’s society, women are their own persons and can do whatever they please without a man’s consent. But, for some reason, some men still think it’s necessary to comment that women should be smiling, because why shouldn’t we?

I think the main reason this still happens is because men don’t understand why it’s such a bad thing. They think they are doing us a favor when in reality they are just being complete garbage.

Most men don’t realize that it’s harmful and naive of them to assume they can make a girl happier by simply telling her to smile.

That’s so not how that works.

Telling her to smile only makes the situation worse, as it usually pisses her off to no end. And some women will feel completely uncomfortable and say nothing while walking away, while others will straight up call them on their bullshit.

Either way, men need to not tell women to smile because it’s just positively ridiculous. And the next time that the situation arises, please, please call the man out on his rudeness and show him the correct way to treat women by not telling us what to do.

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