In reading a comment on Thinking Girl’s blog about the difference between women’s and men’s acceptable approaches to turning interested parties down, I was reminded of a story my parents told me about when they were dating in college (ca. 1970) that perfectly illustrates the point:
M was being harassed by Some Unwelcome Guy (SUG), and she’d tried numerous times to get SUG to Leave Her the Hell Alone. D said to her: “Well, why don’t you just tell him to fuck off?”
To which M’s reply: “What???!!!! I can’t tell him that!!!!”
This story is usually used to illustrate my mom’s relative innocence in college; I think it displays the patriarchy-approved gender-appropriate methods of Turning Someone Down quite effectively.