Whoah! Who said anything about the L-word? Also, I'm more of a "sub."

Here's a handy tool for any woman who prefers giving fake phone numbers over spending the evening being harangued and irritated by over-zealous suitors. Rather than hand over a random collection of digits that will probably just make the guy bother a perfect stranger when he's drunk and horny at 3 AM, someone set up The bell hooks Hotline, a phone number that responds to calls and texts with quotes from the feminist writer and activist, bell hooks. 

["BUT WHY CAN'T WOMEN JUST BE HONEST AND TELL GUYS THEY AREN'T INTERESTED?!!!" Because you, that's why. Now quiet down.]

I tried the number out, (669) 221-6251, and my first text didn't get anything, perhaps because their website says they've been getting inundated with thousands of texts and calls, most of them probably from bloggers like me to see if the thing works. On my second text I got the above response, then another text was met with the one below pretty quickly. 

Since the texts never clearly state that this is an automated response, it's fun to imagine dudes spending their night sending text after text, getting increasingly irritated that the girl they met at the bar earlier only ever responds with quotations from feminist theory.

A phone call to the number is more forthcoming, letting you hear one of the quotes read in a robotic voice before being automatically disconnected.

Fake phone numbers are part of the game and complaining about honesty is irrelevant. In dating, there is no honesty on either side until somewhere around the 10th to 150th date. Nor should there be. Humans need to be tricked into intimacy with other humans because all of us are mostly horrible. 

The creator of the hotline explained to The Hairpin that this was mostly about dealing with that scary guy who seems like he might get overly hostile at a straight-up rejection. Speaking for fragile men, even if I'm not scary-seeming, I'd prefer a fake number over direct rejection any day. A fake number lets me enjoy the rest of my evening feeling good about myself, protecting me from the sting of rejection until I'm someplace safe and quiet, alone with just me and my phone. (Married now, but the sense-memory of public rejection still lingers.)

Though if a woman gives you this number, she probably thought you were creepy and/or dangerous and decided it was important to throw in something from a women's studies 101 syllabus with her brush-off. Look within.

(by Bob Powers)

Sources: h/t The Hairpin | Feminist Phone Intervention