After being stuck in line for an hour and thirty minutes too many, my friend and I ended up discussing the connotations of the phrase “Do you have a boyfriend?” One that is used by a lot men when they are hitting on women. This statement is one that many girls hear far too often.
When men receive the answer from women, that “yes, I do have a boyfriend,” they receive it as a message that some man already has possession of this women and he need not continue with whatever speil he was about to propose. In order to curb the situation, my friend lied about having a boyfriend so that men would not continue to berate her with questions. Another friend stated that they were gay, but even that did not subdue the man’s efforts. And in this case, he kept referring back to the point that she was missing out on a man… um no.
Many men see women as objects. And when another man is already in that territory the other will back off.
And of course “not all men” do this and that is true but what is “all men” is what is translated through jokes and through culture and how relationships are examined, formed, and expected to be. Far too often, I have found myself whining about something that causes me no harm, typically homework, but everyone else is doing it so I continue to do so as well. In the similar sense, this translates into how men treat women. A man might see his friend treat a girlfriend one way and say “well, I would never do that,” but this man also never interferes to interrupt the cycle.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” may seem like an innocent question, but don’t ask me if I belong someone else’s first before you decide to corner me into a conversation.
A lot of artists use music to make a statement on these types of advances. The beginning Alessia Cara’s song speaks more along the lines of being disinterested in male advances and I just like Hey Violet’s tunes.