To The Times
In your report “Ex-director goes on sex offender register for making pass at friend”, you write that the judge told the defendant: “You do not make advances towards women who don’t want you to.” In other words, a woman must first indicate that an advance is welcome before a man can make one. But the act of indicating to a man that an advance is welcome is in itself an advance, and what if he finds it unwelcome?
Richard Hayes, Oxford
(The Week, April 20,2018)
What he should say to the (rare) lady making the advance is, “Thank you, I am flattered. I have to say you are very attractive and charming, but I am happily married, thank you.” Cue for a big, friendly smile.
As for the man making a pass at a woman: Epicurus, were he alive today, might well comment that all too many men fail to employ subtlety, humour, relaxedness, and charm. A perceptive, sensitive man should be able to assess the attitude of the lady, her behaviour, her demeanor. And behave accordingly. Just wading in without interpreting the body language, the look in the eyes, the smile, or lack of a smile is boorish. He deserves her opprobrium if he does so. A man should have learned the finer points of courting by the time he is an adult. (Yes, I know………!)