What do you do, ladies, when a man asks for your number and you're just not into him? How do you deal with the situation when he keeps pushing? How about when “asking” becomes “insisting?"

We all have our methods for deflecting this stuff because it happens all the time. But the next time it does, I’m going to smile and type (669) 221-6251 right into the dude’s cellphone. That way, when my would-be amour decides to get in touch later, instead of my response, he'll be treated to a quote from activist-writer bell hooks. That’s because the number belongs to the Feminist Phone Intervention hotline, a new service that simultaneously gets you out of shitty situations and schools pushy dudes on some basic feminist tenets.

I can’t even express how much I love this idea. Like most women, I’ve found myself in situations with men who were aggressively not respecting my privacy and personal space. These encounters usually end with me feeling pissed: both at the guy who made me lie about my name and at myself for not finding the reserve to tell him to fuck off. The truth of the matter is, I’ve just been called an ugly bitch/slut/cunt too many times to not go for this fake number option.

The hotline’s website explains why it was started, in bell hooks-style lowercase letters:

“because we’re raised to know it’s safer to give a fake phone number than to directly reject an aggressive guy. because we’re raised to know that evasion or rejection can be met with violence. because women are still threatened and punished for rejecting advances. because (669) UGH-ASIF, WTF-DUDE, and MAJR SHADE were taken. because why give any old fake number, when you can have bell hooks screen your calls? tech to protect.”

Now with the Feminist Phone Intervention hotline safe in hand, we can all walk away from those nasty scenes feeling upset only at the aggressive assholes who deserve it. I’m more than fine with letting bell hooks do the explaining for me.

Photo by Sierra Hartman

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