This page is a collection of resources on how to interact with women, for geek men who feel that they aren't very good at it.
You may be interested in Feminism 101 in general to understand where this page is coming from. But these are the fundamental principles:
- women are people who are very varied
- as people who are very varied, we suggest that you do not disproportionately assume any of the following
- "women should reward me for good behaviour/my high income/my intelligence/my history of discrimination against me/my maleness by having sex with me or being my friend"
- "women are good listeners, and can help me out with what makes me sad"
- "women can explain other women to me"
Would I do this talking to a man?
This isn't a perfect test, but it might be a useful one as a first approximation.
- In what circumstances do you go out of your way to talk to men? Do you seek out women's company especially or avoid it especially relative to men?
- Would you talk about this subject with a man, or expect him to be interested in it? Why/why not?
- Would you ask a man if he was there with his partner?
Resources on women
- Elementary mistakes in interacting with women
- Elementary mistakes in feminist discussion
- HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux is useful for geek groups beyond Linux too
- How To Like Other Women -- written for women, but largely applicable to men as well.
Finding interacting with women very strange and formidable may be a sign that you are not very comfortable socially in general, or at least not with people who aren't very very similar to you. These are general sites about social skills that you might find useful.
- Some points on social skills.
- Real Social Skills -- "social skills for autonomous people", written from an autistic self-advocacy perspective but applicable to everyone.
- Captain Awkward on social skills
Approaching women sexually or romantically
Obviously this isn't something all men want, but it's a frequent source of difficulties for some geek men. The basic principles are:
- you're trying to do something mutually pleasurable, something that both (all) people will want. You cannot make someone want you or find your company pleasurable, so looking for sex or romance ethically means accepting that you will not be able to unilaterally create it with someone.
- women might, can, and do say no. Listen to no and for signs of discomfort and when you see/hear them stop doing whatever it was.
- try to avoid fixating on a particular woman (friend, colleague, celebrity) exclusively prior to having a mutual relationship with her, see Nice guy syndrome
- make approaches suitable to the situation: a bite to eat together with a friend or after work drinks with a colleague are usually more suitable than, for example, red roses or skywriting for somebody who you aren't even sure is interested
- watch how people around you get together with each other: fictional romances are highly unrealistic and often portray behaviour that is overbearing, strange, creepy or simply unlikely to work
- approaching women who are strangers, especially in environments where they are trapped or not expecting approaches, is high stakes for both of you, and best attempted very casually if at all, with a strong awareness that any approach may be unwelcome.
- Paging Dr Nerdlove — an advice blog
- Captain Awkward, another advice blog, especially:
- Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced
- How to not be creepy by Cliff Pervocracy, a genderqueer person who used to be creepy.
- An incomplete guide to not creeping by John Scalzi, including a lot of basic non-verbal cues.
- Ethical Pick-Up Artistry: begins with a long section of critique of the pick-up artist community, has some links to pick-up advice that the author considers (somewhat) ethical at the end