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Advice for talking to women wearing headphones ignores why women wear headphones.

An article struck a nerve with some, sparking an important conversation.

Advice for talking to women wearing headphones ignores why women wear headphones.

There's an article making the rounds on social media called, "How to Talk to a Woman Who is Wearing Headphones."

It's written by self-described dating and relationship expert Dan Bacon, and it's equal parts funny, sad, and scary. The truth is that if a woman is wearing headphones, she probably (OK, pretty much definitely) doesn't want to be interrupted for a chat with a stranger.

Leaving someone wearing headphones alone is just one of those unwritten rules of polite society. Headphones are basically a universal sign meaning "Leave me the eff alone."


Twitter users came out in force to respond, letting the author know exactly what they thought of his advice:

Now, reader, if you're wondering to yourself: "Sure, but if I can't (or shouldn't) try to strike up conversation with strangers, how am I supposed to meet new people? What about the future of courtship?" it's worth examining where that concern comes from.

Lindsey M., a board member at Stop Street Harassment, offered some helpful answers to common questions about why this type of interaction isn't welcome.

"This concern presumes, as a default, that it is acceptable to gamble a woman's discomfort or sense of safety against the odds that there's a shot of success," Lindsey wrote in a Twitter direct message. "That willingness to gamble is male privilege: It centers the desire to pick up a woman over the possibility that she wants to be left alone."

Photo by iStock.

Why don't disinterested women just politely say no? For one, in trying to ignore you, she already has said no. Additionally, it's not nearly that simple, as saying "no" has been known to lead to even more aggressive harassment and even physical violence.

"There are plenty of consensual ways to meet and connect with women, and intentionally choosing cold approaches of women whose only act of participation was walking in your line of sight is the ultimate expression of male entitlement," Lindsey added.

Studies have shown that street harassment has a very real, very negative effect on various aspects of its victims' lives.

"The threat of harassment leads women to adjust their schedule, how and when they commute, where they choose to live, what they wear, what social or work functions they attend, how or where they work out, etc.," Lindsey wrote.

It's also important to remember that it's not any single interaction that leads to this feeling, but rather the fact that women are bombarded with unwanted male attention from an early age. It all adds up over time.

GIF from "Watchmen."

There's also the scourge of "pick-up culture," which spawns many of these "how-to" guides to dating that encourage men to use tactics of emotional manipulation and physical intimidation to trick women into engaging with them.

"Street harassment and 'pick up culture' perpetuate the objectification and gamification of women, which carries its own set of costs on women and girls' mental health, self esteem, and social standing," Lindsey explained.

Approaching strangers wearing headphones is different from most other public interactions because, for many, avoiding social interaction is exactly why the headphones are there in the first place.

Martha Mills breaks it down at The Guardian:

"The very reason I and many other women wear headphones isn’t as a trivial obstacle to some throbbing hormone mountain, nor as a challenge for those blessed with an abundance of ego. It’s a defence. ... We fill our ear holes to stop you from getting in."

Earbuds in? Stay away. Photo by iStock.

True story. She continues:

"If you’re in a bar or party, her flirtatious smile may be the come-on you’re looking for, but be prepared to accept that you read it wrong, politely wish her a good evening and toddle back off. ... If you’re looking for a horde of single, eligible women all looking for friendship-maybe-more in one convenient place, try a dating site."

The point isn't that you can never spark up a conversation with a stranger. Rather, it's that men need to respect social cues — not find ways around them.

To review: Remember that you're not entitled to anybody else's time, attention, or space. If someone is wearing headphones, they're probably not up for conversation, and you should respect that.

As artist and author Kate Leth illustrates:

And if you feel like you absolutely must be able to chat up women in headphones, try this first:

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

A teacher's message has gone viral after he let his student sleep in class — for the kindest reason.

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

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The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

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