Do you know this situation? That one point in every office-community where you get a little too comfortable with each other and suddenly find yourself stuck in a conversation with a colleague you would normally just have with your closest friends.

Combine this with the famous “after work drinks” and you will probably also find yourself talking to your 45-year old, male colleagues about their “tinder-techniques”, just like me a few months ago.

The hot topic of the evening was: “how do you approach somebody on Tinder?” also known as the “pick-up-line”, your first move to get the attention and interest from your person of desire.

The round of people was very diverse; many different nationalities, men and women, all expats living in the Netherlands, and between us a few “Dutchies” (Dutch people). As diverse as the people were their answers:

José from Spain, also known as the office-charmer, says: “I always try to start with a compliment, something I like about their pictures or their description”.
Anna from Bulgaria says she always tries to be straightforward and honest with like: “Hey, your profile sounds interesting, would be great to learn more about you!”.
And then Lukas from Germany with the worst possible pick-up-line: “Hey, I’m Covid19-negative, are you too?” (Wow, there is that famous German humour).

We are sexy “things”
“I normally just text “Hee lekkerding””, goes Piet from the Netherlands. The sound of an agreeing “mhhh aaahh” goes through the room. The only one not too excited about his very simple technique seemed to be me. “Lekkerding” basically means “sexy thing” (in German: “heißes/geiles Teil”). To me being called a “thing” seemed like a rather offensive and hurtful way of getting somebody’s attention.
“Ugh, why would you do that?” I ask.
“What? Why? It’s a compliment!”
And there it was; he is confusing the sexual objectification of a woman with giving a compliment.

Our bodies: pieces measured till perfection
This made me think; am I really objectifying myself? At first it seemed “overdramatic” to believe that, but then I thought: don’t we all grow up believing it is normal that our boobs are measured in cups just like a cake-recipe and that our waists are being measured just like pieces of furniture? 90x60x90 might as well be the measurements of my new drawer. And don’t we all grow up believing that it is normal for men to say we have a “hot piece of ass” or that we are “as sweet as a pie”, a “sexy thing” or ”lekkerding”.

It is therefore no surprise that I myself don’t see my body as a whole, I see it in different “bits” and “pieces”; a thing consisting out of numerous things.

Standing in front of the mirror I don’t look at myself to reflect: do I look healthy and happy? No, I wonder if my boobs are “one cup” too small, if my legs are too short, my belly too big and my nose too long? I look at all the different “objects” of my body, basically objectifying myself.
Don’t you also do that? Without even realising it anymore?

The rest of the evening turned into a big discussion about objectification and inappropriate compliments. Sorry for ruining the evening, but we need to talk about this!

The argument I heard a lot is that “men nowadays don’t even dare to say “hi” anymore”. This is not what it is about! It’s not that we have become irrational, negative-Nancy’s that don’t enjoy receiving a compliment or attention.

It’s easy; we simply don’t enjoy being objectified, belittled or sexually harassed. If you wouldn’t say it to James, don’t say it to Jamie!

Because even if it is just a word. Words can turn into actions and that is where gender-inequality starts. So let’s go out there and ruin our office parties with conversation about inappropriate pick-up lines and the next time you receive a “compliment”, try and reflect: is this actually a compliment that makes me feel valued as a person or am I being objectified (and think it is normal because I have started to objectify myself?)

How about you? Do you remember “compliments” or pick-up-lines that now actually seem like an objectification or an insult? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments!

📸: Pinterest

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert