In a perfect world, the guy trying to corner you at the bar would just listen when you tell him you aren’t interested. Sadly, we don’t live in that world, and sometimes it’s easier—and safer—to just pretend to give him your phone number and be done with it. But what if you could also teach him about the wonders of feminism via noted author and social activist bell hooks? There is now a service that allows you to do just that.
When someone calls or texts the official Feminist Phone Intervention Hotline number at (669) 221-6251, they are treated to an automatically generated quote from bell hooks about the importance of female agency and power. Example:
While we have yet to receive a text back from the number, we did immediately get a quote when we called. We’re not quite sure if the texting service is just backed up from the amount of people who are also currently testing it, or if there’s a deliberate delay on the part of the hotline just in case the person you’re trying to avoid texts the number while they’re still talking to you. Either way, it is a working number, which is what’s really important.
The short post on the Feminist Phone Intervention tumblr explains their reasoning for creating the hotline:
because we’re raised to know it’s safer to give a fake phone number than to directly reject an aggressive guy.
because we’re raised to know that evasion or rejection can be met with violence.
because women are still threatened and punished for rejecting advances.
because (669) UGH-ASIF, WTF-DUDE, and MAJR-SHADE were taken.
because why give any old fake number, when you can have bell hooks screen your calls?
so next time, just give out this number: (669) 221-6251
tech to protect.
The website also notes that is is accepting Paypal donations to help maintain the service, and that any money they make that exceeds the cost of upkeep will be given to the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
So, the next time some creep is all in your face insisting that you really want to give him your phone number, give him this one instead. Who knows? Maybe the creep’ll learn something.