When did men stop using you as a personal entertainer?
Between the ages of 15-25, I barely had a single train journey, flight, bus ride or wait in a waiting room without a middle aged/oldish man in the vicinity chatting to me.
Now, I’m a friendly person who likes 5 minutes of small talk (“where are you off to?” “Oh visiting an aunt? That’s nice, I grew up there.”) before settling down with my book or music.
And if by some miracle, the person next to/opposite me shares my interests, I’m happy to chat for longer.
But every. single. journey. I used to end up with a middle aged bore boring on about his motorbike, his marathon, or his politics. For hours. If I tried to interject with my own experiences, I’d get talked down to. On the rare occasion I said something (“Sorry, I just really want to finish this novel!” “Sorry, I’ve got homework to do, actually.”) the man would get huffy!
Then we’d have an awkward silence. Maybe he’d say something passive aggressive about me to another man.
(Part of the problem might have been me apologising, I know. I’m training myself out of it).
However, I’ve not really had this problem since the age of 25 - Is it because I don’t look as young and therefore men assume I won’t stand for it? - Is it because I genuinely give out more confident vibes and am less eager to please? - Or could it be because smartphones really became ubiquitous then, so men didn’t need a human entertainer any more?
When people say, “How does biological sex matter, it’s irrelevant, blah blah, why are you obsessed with a stranger’s genitals...”
I think “well why don’t you sit next to Steve from Watford and listen to him bore on about his fucking motorbikes then, I guarantee if Sharon had sat next to me instead, we’d be reading in comfortable silence.”
What have your experiences been like? Do strange men still use you for entertainment? How did you get them to stop?