As I mentioned, there is a decidedly liberal slant to most people attending Convergence. This is especially true of the outspoken people there, like the people hosting panels. I mention this because I again heard a ridiculous statement that I would like to respond to.
"'I have a boyfriend' is the easiest way to get a man to leave you alone. Because he respects another man more than you."
This seems to be a complete failure of imagination on the part of the people who believe this. The man is obviously respecting the choice you already committed to vs a choice he sees as pending. Having chosen from among the candidates is completely different than having eliminated a candidate from a pending choice.
Is it wrong for him to persist? Should he respect her initial rejection? Both of these questions are irreverent when determining the difference between these two situations. This statement claims the difference is gender, and it just isn't.
To illustrate this point, I'd like you to imagine two scenarios.
In the first, person A is sitting at a small table in a cafe. Person B approaches person A, and says, "May I sit in this empty seat? There are no open tables." For some reason person A does not want person B sharing the table, and says, "No." Person B persists, "Are you sure? I'd really like to sit here."
Now how big of jerk is person B? It may have been more polite to take "No" for an answer, but it's not so unreasonable to ask a second time about a seat that seems to be available.
Now imagine person A said, "No, I came a with another person, and that person will be back any minute. That seat is taken." Person B persists.
Now how big of a jerk is B? B is asking for a seat that is not available, and B knows it. Can everyone see the difference?