Rejection sucks for anyone on the receiving end of it—whether you’re a guy or a girl. And with men still largely doing the pursuing versus the other way around, naturally, men get slapped with more no’s than women do. But that doesn’t give you license to call a girl who ghosted you a filthy whore just because you spotted her with some random folks in a group photo on Instagram.
Many women who have read "Cat Person," the short story by Kristen Roupenian published in The New Yorker that has gone viral for its all-too-real depiction of a girl facing the uncomfortable consequences of sleeping with a guy, recognize in it the gender-based struggles they, too, navigate in dating yet so rarely speak up about: the objectification of their bodies, the issue of consent, the overwhelming need to still be nice even as you feel repulsion, or worse, fear. That last one is the very reason women fumble with rejecting men, and why, when men clap back after they’ve been rejected, women feel scared.
With the world now listening as #MeToo becomes women’s collective battlecry, it is time for men to acknowledge the role they play in the struggles women have long kept secret. Here, we got five Pinays to illustrate how common it is for men to react in insensitive, ridiculous, and downright aggressive ways when rejected for sex, for a relationship, and for anything in between.
From refusal to take a hint to disturbing emotional abuse, their stories prove that there’s nothing like the sting of rejection to lay a man’s misogyny bare.
1) He wouldn’t take no for an answer
“I had this Facebook contact from abroad who asked to meet me when he was in town for a trip. I had never met him in person before, but I wasn’t worried; we had a lot of common friends and seemed to have similar interests, so I agreed to meet him.
"We had a good time, I think. I took him to some of my favorite places and introduced him to my friends. We went home separately that night.
"The next morning, he started texting me to invite me to his hotel. I wouldn’t have minded meeting him for lunch or coffee since I thought we got along, but when I suggested that, he insisted I visit him at his hotel instead. I didn’t want to be rude by rejecting him outright, so I politely declined by saying I wasn’t feeling well. He still kept pushing me and making sleazy sexual innuendos while at it, so I tried a more direct approach: I told him that I wouldn’t because I had just met him. Still, he persisted.
"Night came and he was STILL pushing, but by this time it was more whiny than sexy. I just stopped replying to him altogether. I haven’t spoken to him since.” – Elizabeth, 29
2) He guilt-tripped her to make her feel bad
“I dated this guy for a month, and from the start, he was way more into me than I in him. I had told him that I was still getting over this other guy I dated for seven months and was in a vulnerable place. He tried to be understanding, but was immediately pushing for something more on my end.
"On a day we were supposed to go on a date, I wasn’t feeling well. I tried to cancel but he was adamant that we meet up. So I met up with him but obviously wasn’t as peppy as I usually was. He took offense, saying that if I hadn’t wanted to be there, I should have just said something. Then he walked out.
"He texted me a few hours later and said that he felt like I wasn’t in the same place as he was and that if I couldn’t make time for him, we should just end it. I agreed and left it at that.
"The following morning, I woke up to 10 messages from him. They started off angry, saying I had led him on, to apologizing for walking out, to pleading with me to work things out. I was at work and could not reply so he kept bombarding me with messages that whole day.
"That night, I texted him and reminded him that I was still getting over the guy I had previously dated. I told him that I just needed some time alone and that I was sorry if he thought I had led him on. He got mad again but immediately apologized and said he understood.
"But he still kept texting me like we were dating. I just stopped replying.” – Kathryn, 30
3) He shamed her publicly to get back at her
“I broke up with my ex because he was toxic AF to be around.
"He would always chat with me online while I was at work and demand I answer every message and phone call. He would get jealous of my work and the new people I met, to the point that I couldn’t concentrate on my career. To top it off, I was the one paying for all our dates because I had graduated from college ahead of him—I even paid for his tuition for one sem! I put up with his behavior for three years until finally, natauhan ako.
"Right after the breakup, he posted a status on Facebook that said, ‘My ex sucks.’ All his contacts saw it, including me. I was humiliated. I would never have done the same to him even after all the times he drained me emotionally and financially. I cried a lot when I saw it, but I just told myself he was not worth keeping anyway.
"After posting that, he blocked me. Then he added me again. Ungas nga!” – Happy, 22
4) He piled on the verbal abuse
“I had broken up with this guy, but we were still in contact because our families had become friends through the time we were together. He moved on quickly with another girl; meanwhile, I hadn’t begun dating yet.
"He would keep tabs on me even though he already had a girlfriend. He was absolutely paranoid that I was dating already, and would send me messages accusing me of fucking guys from work and guy friends I was in pictures with. He would call me a ‘fucking slut,’ ‘dirty whore,’ ‘horny bitch’—basically every bad word you can throw at a girl. At the same time, he would insult me and say I wasn’t pretty enough, I would never amount to anything, who did I think I was?
"I’m glad I managed to finally get him out of my life. I feel sorry for his girlfriend though.” – Carmela, 27
5) He turned batshit-crazy on her.
“I met this guy on Tinder whom I dated for two months. On our second month of dating, which happened to be my birth month, he treated me to a trip abroad.
"At the hotel room on the first day of our trip, he went through the notifications in my phone while I was in the bathroom. When I came out, he blew up at me because there were a lot of guys wishing me a happy birthday—some of whom were guys on Tinder I had become friends with. He called me a whore and accused me of cheating, all the while getting madder and madder. I had to go to a friend’s place in the same city because I didn’t want to stay with him anymore. We broke up after that.
"When I got back from the trip, he was still messaging me, calling me a bitch, and threatening me. I would block him, and he’d buy prepaid numbers to keep trying to talk to me. At first he would be all calm and sorry, and then when I agreed to talk, he would start yelling again.
"He would have sex with other girls and take secret photos of them in the act and send them to me, just because he wanted to hurt me. Then he’d say, ‘I hope you have fun with your dildo.’
"When I refused to react to his taunting, he somehow found my mom’s and sisters’ emails and wrote them weepy emails about what had happened between us.
"A lot more shit went down with that guy post-breakup, but I don’t think I need to share any more for you to see that what he did was clearly out of line.” – Rose, 26