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Decoding Guy Talk

I was talking to a guy friend of mine about how to make sure my male characters sound like real men, and our conversation turned into a discussion on coded speech—the stuff guys says to girls when they want to say something nice but don’t want to come across as a rude jerk who’s only interested in her body.

Here’s what he told me.

If a guy says:
that’s a pretty sweater

He means:
you have pretty breasts

If he says:
those are awesome boots/shoes

He means:
you have awesome legs

If he says:
those are great jeans

He means:
you have a great ass

Ok. That’s not the whole list. There were others including potential compliments including her jacket, blouse, skirt, turtleneck, tank top, khakis, gloves, hat, scarf—and others I’ve already forgotten because I wasn't really listening because he looked so cute when he was talking, and I was sort of thinking about something else.

I do remember though, when I asked him if there were any coded compliments about other things—other things being anything other than the woman’s body—and him drawing a complete blank. I prompted him with, you know, like maybe if they want to say something about her personality or intelligence.

Again another blank.

Thanks goodness women do not objectify men the same way. No, we always consider first their personality and good qualities, like social and environmental awareness.

We'd never do anything like ogle at pictures or stare at some random guy.


Ranae Rose said...

Ha ha ha! I have to admit, every time I see a seductive photo of a man, I feel a sense of vindication - like it's making up a little for ages of men constantly objectifying women. LOL :)

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Isabelle,

Like the photos, but... I have to say that not all men are like the guy you interviewed! Men do appreciate intelligence, a lively personality, and a sense of humor. Maybe that isn't what first gets their attention, of course...