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This Is What Happens When You Accept a Compliment From a Man

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Compliments can be tricky to navigate. It’s nice when a friend or relative gives you a well-meaning compliment. Congrats on your new job! That dinner you cooked was phenomenal! Way to hustle on the court! Then there are the “compliments” that come from outsiders—those not within your circle of trust. These range from getting hit on at bars or via dating apps, and of course, catcalls on the street. How do you react to these? Well, one popular feminist decided to put it to the test, and now she’s tweeting about what happens when you accept a compliment from a man.

Feminista Jones, a social worker, activist, and author of Push the Button, is also well-known feminist and Twitter user. And she recently tweeted out the following message:

Jones breaks it down further in the following tweets:

Jones points out a very real issue within patriarchal society. Should women have to be validated by men in order to validate their own worth? Why should our self-esteem be dependent upon the male gaze? And what exactly are men expecting when they tell you you’ve got a beautiful smile or a gorgeous body or a nice outfit? Is it like Jones says, that they are waiting for us to be thankful but in a more modest way? Do all men get upset once a woman shows off that she does, in fact, know she looks good?

Think about all the women we often tear down in popular culture. Women who have strong opinions and high self-esteem are frequently taken down with words like “slut” or “whore,” shaming them for thinking they’re “all that.” And while it might not be every man who does this or even thinks like this (I know plenty of decent guys who would probably just shrug and move along or smile and agree if a woman didn’t get bashful at or even shunned his compliment), it’s definitely an issue worth noting. Plenty of Jones’ followers agreed:

https://twitter.com/afrawlmiau/status/863031614372184064

https://twitter.com/feministafataIe/status/864588695264997377

So for all the guys (and hey, girls and non-binary folks, too) reading this, take note. If you give someone a compliment (especially someone you don’t know), be cool with whatever response they give you. And if they agree and show some confidence, don’t take that as a cue to suddenly try and tear down their self esteem.

(Image: Twitter / @FeministaJones)