Social Question

Carly's avatar

How do you deal with being sexual harassed in public by a passing stranger?

Asked by Carly (4555points) September 10th, 2014
267 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I’m talking about some dude – or a group of them – calling out to you that they “hate to see you leave, but love to watch you go.” I was just riding my bike wearing my typical bike pants that are not revealing, but definitely made of spandex material.

It just made me sick, and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I didn’t even think they were talking to me until I looked back and they made some pretty awful sexual gestures. :(

How have you realistically responded to situations like this? Do you just ignore them and try to repair your own ego?

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Answers

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I think all you can do in that circumstance is ignore it. Had you challenged them, and they were in a group, they’d quite likely have taken it as a come-on and an excuse to behave in an even more boorish way. They sound like young (I hope they were young), ignorant and disrespectful fools, who supported and egged on by being with their peers behaved like morons. I’d guess if you got one of them on their own, they wouldn’t behave like that or admit to behaving in that way. Perhaps you can film them on your phone if you come across them again and share on Facebook.

jca's avatar

Just ignore it and “keep it moving,” meaning don’t stop. Nothing you can do so let it go.

jca (36054points)“Great Answer” (2points)
Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Carly The people doing this are so insecure in their own identities, they’re trying to bring you down to their levels. The best response would be you’re not man enough for me. As long as you can get away in a hurry. :) Obviously, I have more balls than brains. :)

deni's avatar

I would not even look back. THen not only are you unsure if they were talking to you or not but then they don’t get the satisfaction of you acknowledging them, cause really all they want is attention.

CWOTUS's avatar

The very best way to deal with such insults is to consider them compliments, or at least to appear to do so. This confounds the speaker, who had expected you to be aggrieved, upset, angry or otherwise discombobulated. If you appear instead to be pleased, then it quite takes the wind out of his sails. (Do not under any circumstances make overtures to the person on this basis, though, because that puts the ball back in his court for another attempt. And if you really are upset – as you obviously are – then that fact will show soon enough if you attempt a long-playing charade, and then the stakes are higher, since it’s obvious that you’re upset, you’re giving him another chance at another move… and you’re now closer to him, psychically if not physically.)

Along the same lines, and nearly as good as that, is to pretend that the churl said something wonderfully witty, pleasant and complimentary, and with the best will in the world, and give an unmistakable acknowledgement that that was what you heard… all the while refusing to make eye contact or encourage him to clarify.

So if you can pull it off with aplomb, give a quick, cheerful smile and wave and “Thanks!” and be on your way. Don’t engage him, but don’t give him the reaction that he craves.

Alternatively, the next best method is to simply pretend. Pretend that you didn’t hear it, that it was meant for someone else, that it was another utterance entirely, and that it has absolutely nothing to do with you.

Unfortunately, you gave him two things that he wanted: Acknowledgement that you heard and understand; that you know who said what was said, and the knowledge that you were upset. This, to him, is a win.

I’m sorry that this was so. Creeps like him make it difficult for gentlemanly dirty old men like myself, who merely wish to admire beautiful women without upsetting, alarming or distressing them in any way.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Hey it also goes both ways. I was walking to the post office one day. Two teenage girls were behind me, discussing my ass. I turned around after a few seconds and said really? And they laughed.

gorillapaws's avatar

It was at my friend’s bachelor party a couple of years ago. He went to Virginia Tech a while back, so for his bachelor party we went to a VT game, and had some drinks. At the local bars we used to visit back in the day. There were a few dudes there that I hadn’t met before. One asshole we were with called out to a random student “nice ass.”

She turned right around and walked right up to him. “What did you say to me?!?! You don’t know me, how dare you speak to me like that!” It was amazing. This guy got really apologetic, and just looked as pathetic as he was. She called him out and it was awesome.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Here’s what one woman did. I admire her courage and her patience.

And always remember, this is what they’re really saying.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

“In public” does not have an HR department.

Therefore the event cannot constitute sexual harassment.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What awful sexual gestures did they make?

Don’t take this wrong, because I’m really interested in knowing. How does a girl differentiate between compliments, flirting, and actual harassment?

The statement “hate to see you leave, but love to watch you go” may actually be considered a compliment by some. I know many guys would just consider that to be flirting with a lady, no harm intended.

Did they talk vulgar and mean? Did they proposition you, or threaten your job? Would you have taken their comment differently if you found one of them attractive, or if you knew him a little bit?

I’m sorry they bothered you. Sorry you felt abused.

Aethelwine's avatar

A woman should be able to walk down a street and not hear what some strange man wants to do with her ass. It makes a woman feel uncomfortable. We are not toys for men.

trailsillustrated's avatar

You get really aggressive . You record it . You get loud , you call attention , even if you have to break window.

canidmajor's avatar

Interesting how some of the men answered. Do you guys regularly catcall with benevolent intent simply to compliment or flirt? Catcalling is not flirting or complimentary. If he would not say it in person in a social setting, he should not call it out on the street in public. A stranger calling out that he likes a sexually associated body part is not flattering. And @Adirondackwannabe, it does not go both ways. Did you feel even vaguely threatened by giggling teen-aged girls? Does it happen so often that you change your regular route to avoid it? @SecondHandStoke, “sexual harassment” is not exclusively a legal term. How ridiculous to assume so.
Catcalling often involves an in-your-face component, whether by following or approaching. It’s threatening.

Back in the day when I got catcalled I ignored it, but it always made me uncomfortable at best, and scared me, at worst. Confronting is usually safe, but why the hell should a woman have to take the time and make the effort to educate some cretin(s)? Especially when she doesn’t know him/them?

@Carly, it doesn’t matter how you were dressed, you should not have to tolerate this. It is unsettling, and you don’t need to justify to any of the men on this thread why you felt uncomfortable. They have no clue.

Aethelwine's avatar

Thank you for saying what you did @canidmajor. I was disturbed by some of the responses by men here on this thread, but too tired to put more effort into my answer.

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LuckyGuy's avatar

I like the response mentioned in @gorillapaws ‘s post above – calling the guy out. BUT, that only works if you are in a very public place with a lot of support around.
If you are alone, riding by a group of slugs on a side street, I’d recommend ignoring the comment, while secretly sliding the safety on your pepper spray to the “Fire” position, just in case.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I am male, not female, so obviously (at least according to @jonsblond ) my comments are suspect.

But I think there are a number of shades of gray between catcalling and sexual harassment. (or for that matter, assault – a word that was bandied about above).

Yes, it is rude. Yes, I imagine it is upsetting. Possibly even offensive. But harassment? Come on.

But more to the point, what of it? Supposing it were harassment by a bunch of guys in a truck or on the street. What would you do? Call the police and have them apprehend a bunch of people that are no longer there and said something that you interpreted as offensive? Would that stand up in court? Puhleez….

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@jonsblond:

So tell us. What are the criteria for a “strange” man? Also you say “Women are not toys for men.” If a woman desires to be a toy for another person, in this case a man, what is wrong with her? Should she be institutionalized?

Speaking of disturbed, you also said that you were affected by the responses of some men here. So you weren’t disturbed by the responses of the thread’s women. I’ll assume this is a coincidence. If it isn’t such would you explain to us why?

“Too tired to put more effort into (your) answer”? How is Fluther supposed to learn anything new regarding the OP’s subject?

@canidmajor:

”“Sexual harassment” is not exclusively a legal term. How ridiculous to assume so.”

I don’t assume so. My response was a sarcastic remark about the state of Human Resources today.

The petty tyrants filling HR departments have nearly no exposure to me in the workplace. Anything they “know” about me in an unofficial capacity is based on rumor plain and simple. They simply do not know me.

When I enter an HR department I can feel the culture of dismissiveness in the room. They have been conditioned to assume I’m stupid when nothing could be further from the truth. My casual ease in their lair is clearly annoying and confusing to them.

They are not around me nearly enough to observe the nuanced nature of my manner and speech. I am a complex and sophisticated living being. I cannot be described in any sort of useful way on a company form.

All this said, I do not make catcalls, at least not in any way that wouldn’t be understated, ironic or actually funny. Why not? Because that would be in poor taste. I don’t catcall for the same reason I would never wear a track suit to a mall.

I have a reputation as a gentleman IRL. Some here on Fluther know me to be such as well. Just as is the case with language, you cannot break the rules for effect if you don’t know the rules.

If I say “hey sexy” to the receptionist in passing it’s because I understand context: I didn’t say it on my first day. I took plenty of time to read the individual in question. I also gave her plenty of time to learn that I am in fact very well mannered so the friendly, deadpanned comment was a humorous juxtaposition from my usual mode. She’s also savvy enough to understand that if I didn’t like her as a person I would simply ignore her.

But hey, we live in a cookie cutter world where everyone should be punished for the bad deeds of the few. An individual’s freedom to express themselves takes a back seat to something new every day.

This isn’t to say that sexual harassment doesn’t exist. It certainly does. But blanket policies aren’t the answer. Instead, cases should be judged on their individual merits. But this won’t ever happen. Blanket policies are much less expensive for companies. If an innocent employee gets mowed down in the process, oh well. If the workforce’s confidence to speak their minds continues to shrink, oh well there too.

Aethelwine's avatar

As someone who has been raped (twice) and harassed many times, I don’t need to answer your interrogation. You have a habit of singling me out for some reason when others share the same opinion as mine. I skimmed your response and won’t waste any more of my time on you.

Aethelwine's avatar

*Too tired. I first answered this question after spending half of my day in the ER and heavily dosed with Ativan. Is that a good enough reason for you @SecondHandStoke. I didn’t know you wrote the rules for how we all answer here.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^I am sincerely sorry about your experiences.

If anyone “writes the rules” beyond what is outlined by Fluther standards it would be the OP.

ragingloli's avatar

Tell them my hourly rate, naturally.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I hope we can be sensitive to everyone here. This is an opportunity to discuss a human condition that has been with us since the beginning of humans. There are so many layers involved. On one hand, a very heavy hand, females should feel safe around the males in their community. This is non negotiable. Societies thrive by keeping that standard. They fail by not doing so. Ladies also risk a very awkward social stigma if their response to male propositioning is not handled appropriately for each individual circumstance, which as well has many layers to consider. There is honor to uphold for a lady. Society has deemed it beneficial. Women should be confident that their honor is well respected by honorable males in their immediate community, and beyond, so those communities can respect one another and create profitable economies between them. A stranger should feel safe in a strange land, even if she is found attractive.

No matter how lustful, or how eager to impress his friends, an intelligent respectful male would never “cat call” to a strange girl. Mafioso’s are established to punish such males with backwoods justice, because even they understand how that behavior can erode society right out from under their feet. Were I to find someone doing the same to my sister, mother, or daughter, I assure you there would be more than words between me and the cat caller. We might have to commemorate the event with a blood stain on the street where it occurred.

On the other hand… beyond tight spandex, I quote @Carly ”...it doesn’t matter how you were dressed, you should not have to tolerate this…” I have a question. Do you truly believe that a female has no accountability in this type of behavior? No “skin” in the game?

Beyond this OP, a lady walks down the street in a bikini, out of context, shall she not expect such behavior from some men. Seriously here, when a woman wears tight fitting jeans and low cut top, does she not do so for the attraction? I would think so. But I’m asking because I want to know. Who is she dressing sexy for? She knows it is sexy to men. Some ladies wield that knowledge like a weapon, even against other females. Some women can be fucking crazy man. Some. And no one knows that better than an intelligent mentally sound woman. Us guys don’t find out about that shit until after the damage is done. We don’t think like women do. Don’t expect us to.

Trouble ahead for those who seek a certain type of attraction, but receive a different kind they didn’t want. Where is that line drawn? What responsibilities are expected from both sexes?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m so sorry this is confusing for you. Here is a handy chart that will guide you through this difficult decision process.

I mean, you’re right, it’s hard to keep track of what women should do to avoid harassment. It must be rough, man. I really sympathize.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I think my response was detailed enough to illustrate that I’m not confused. I see many layers in this. I hope others do as well, beyond sarcastic comedy.

So to simplify my previous post, I ask again just the last question.
“What responsibilities are expected from both sexes?”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Why do fathers and mothers argue with teen daughters claiming “You are NOT leaving this house dressed like THAT”… if not to specifically prevent this type of cat calling, which they fear to bring a bad name, and possible ill fate upon their family?

Aethelwine's avatar

Women should expect cat calls when they wear bicycle pants? Most women who wear bicycle pants when riding do it for comfort. Any woman trying to dress up for a man when riding a bike is not a cyclist. You are victim blaming @RealEyesRealizeRealLies.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Women should expect cat calls when they wear bicycle pants?”

No, I said “Beyond this OP, a lady walks down the street in a bikini, out of context…”

I said “beyond tight spandex, I quote @Carly ”...it doesn’t matter how you were dressed”

I am not victim blaming. But this needs to be discussed. Because feeling safe in society is expected for both female and male. Imagine your son being the cat caller. Perhaps in passion, or attention seeking, the girl exaggerates his actions, and intentions. Her father brings physical violence against your son. Who is the victim?

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was younger, I was often at the receiving end of catcalls. I did not like it, I didn’t not feel the least bit flattered. I felt like a piece of meat.

One time, in a crowded bar, some guy pinched my butt. I quickly reached back and twisted his thumb so it hurt. Another time I was slow dancing with a guy, when some other guy, dancing with a woman, pinched my butt as they went past me. He got his thumb twisted too.
Is that what I deserved for dressing up and going out? You know how conservative I am, so you can imagine that I did not wear revealing, tight clothing, but I did look nice.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No you don’t deserve that @Dutchess_III. It wasn’t in your plans for a nice evening. You can only teach him a lesson about yourself though. Let’s face it, the “pincher” has learned that for every rejection, there are also women who desire the attention, and reward him for it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have yet to hear one single woman on this thread say they like it. The ones that you think DO like it are either desperate, insecure, or hookers.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No argument there. But I’m glad you agree that some women do respond positively. Label them how you like. It doesn’t deny the reasoning why some males do it. It’s not hard to understand, I know. It’s just hard to accept the truth of the matter, and acknowledge that any one may be accountable.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “But I’m glad you agree that some women do respond positively.”

<facepalm>

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Did she just not agree?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies No, she didn’t. You are misintrepreting what @Dutchess_III said. “The ones that you think DO like it are either desperate, insecure, or hookers.” That is not the same as the ones who like it…

Do you see the difference?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have never seen a woman respond positively. I said that…... yeah. What @Pied_Pfeffer said.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Ok well then thanks for the information. Seriously, thank you. I thought differently. Now I know.

Would anyone like to answer my previous question?
“What responsibilities are expected from both sexes?”

ragingloli's avatar

What you did do however, was preemtively insulting any woman that might respond positively, by calling them whores, insecure and desperate.
Shame on you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Simply to treat each other with respect @RealEyesRealizeRealLies, until they’ve done something to deserve losing that respect, such as those men who pinched me. They hit rock bottom on my respecto-meter.

Women. Don’t. Like. It. @ragingloli. It’s disrespectful and insulting, even if they guys think it isn’t. Women know that it is. What kind of woman would view disrespect and insult in a positive light? One that is so desperate for attention that she’ll take what she can get.

ragingloli's avatar

Shame. On. You.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Whatever.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Dutchess_III I agree with @ragingloli. The response of “The ones that you think DO like it are either desperate, insecure, or hookers” is a ‘double-edged sword’ answer. Granted, there is always the chance that this is true.

Unless you have conducted or site an in-depth, unbiased, global study on this, it comes across as stereotyping women based upon how they might respond in a situation that you experienced, not them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s fair, @Pied_Pfeffer. It’s just that I can’t imagine why on earth any woman would react positively to such gross behavior. But that’s me. I can’t imagine.
Some people don’t understand why some kids do things that they know are going to elicit a negative reaction from their folks. Spanking or yelling or whatever. It’s been my experience that too often those kids don’t get enough positive attention so they’ll settle for the negative. That was what was on my mind when I wrote it.

I just asked a question, see what other fluther people’s experiences are.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “What responsibilities are expected from both sexes?” I’ll take a stab at this.

Part of it is geographical and culturally generated. There are certain areas where cat-calls by strangers might be accepted, and even appreciated, because they are considered complimentary and harmless. Try this in other areas, and you might find yourself in jail or being tortured or worse.

If you are from the USA, like me, the general cultural attitude is that cat-calling is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. This applies for all genders. Ask Fluther members if they like the cat-calls and why or why not, it might evoke some more insightful answers.

The most important takeaway from this thread should be not from a cultural aspect, but from a personal aspect. When cat-calling a stranger, that person has no idea what the receiver has experienced. I’ve seen photos of @jonsblond, and she is a beautiful woman. She also has a history of sexual abuse. Consider how she feels should a stranger call out a ‘flirtatious’ comment.

This is a case for The Platinum Rule: Treat others as they want to be treated. Unless you know what that is, avoid the cat-calling, bum-pinching and all other sexual innuendos that may be construed as inappropriate.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

This is a very sad thread. It’s not difficult. Be respectful. If you wouldn’t yell a comment at your mother or grandmother, don’t yell it at another woman – regardless of what she’s wearing. What she wears is her business and isn’t an invitation for you to forget your manners.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III The ones that you think DO like it are either desperate, insecure, or hookers.”
Wow, that was a bold generalization.

One that is so desperate for attention that she’ll take what she can get.
How exactly does that work?

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I say, “Shut up,” firmly and not politely, while looking the man straight in the eye. Usually, the perpetrator is dumbfounded and has no idea how to respond. Some guys stare at me in mute amazement.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer “The most important takeaway…”

Thanks for attempting an answer. The “takeaway” that I get from your reply is that women have absolutely no accountability in this matter. You didn’t mention any. And regardless of how a woman dresses, regardless of any desire to get sexual attention, the accountability for cat calling falls entirely upon the male. That was the question.

Therefor, as our sons are strung up on the gallows, literally beaten to death sometimes for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong man’s daughter, it is justified without considering some of the deeper nuances of the issue. That is my takeaway from your reply.

I tell you a story that happened yesterday. Driving past the grocery store, I see two young teen girls walking down the street. I thought they were dressed cute, but a little provocative for their age, which I believed to be around 13 or so. They were proud and happy to be out together, competing against one another with their immature fashion. It is my duty as a citizen to protect those girls, even as a stranger, for they are residents of my community. I would not stand for any cat calls towards them, for that could lead to darker things. But if the girls asked me why such things happen, I would not hesitate to let them know that’s what they should expect by dressing in such a manner at their age, in that place. The cat calling is not a good thing. But it is realistic. And I’d like to believe that parents teach their daughters to be realistic about the big bad world out there.

I want those young girls to feel safe and happy in my community. I will ensure they do. But my methods for ensuring that go beyond having a talk with my sons. I’ll also talk with my daughters about it, and what they should expect.

Aethelwine's avatar

*Note to self- Advise daughter to wear Burqa when she becomes a teen because it’s her responsibility, otherwise she’ll get what she’s asking for if she wears less.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No need for extremes. Just need for realistic expectations about the decisions we make.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Has anyone here ever seen the movie:
To kill a Mockingbird?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Notice the OP or anyone else has never addressed some of my original questions…

What awful sexual gestures did they make?

How does a girl differentiate between compliments, flirting, and actual harassment?

I’d really like to know. It’s good to discuss these things.

Aethelwine's avatar

The topic is about men hollering out to women they don’t know and telling these women what they think about their appearance. This makes many women feel uncomfortable. We are not talking about single men and women meeting in a public place for a chance to socialize.

A strange person yelling at me and telling me I’m hot or I’m fat is uncalled for. I’ve heard both and it’s unacceptable.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Good points. Is insulting a fat person equal to cat calling? Are they both rooted in the same premise?

Seems to me that one is designed as an insult. The other designed as an attention getter, be it that of the girl, or getting perceived kudos from other males standing in witness. Bad attention of course.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies If that is what was gleaned from my response, then I apologize for not being more clear, as it was not meant in the way that you interpreted it.

Why should any person, male or female, be held accountable for how they dress unless it is breaking a law or goes against the rules of where they work and were agreed upon at the point of hire?

Children, both male and female, should be taught that cat-calling is not acceptable. This includes explaining why it isn’t acceptable. This is covered in my previous post.

@All: Does anyone else remember the old Diet Coke ads? Here is one: Diet Coke Sexy Gardner They really ticked me off. Maybe the intent was to show equality, but the effect was stooping to low level.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Is calling out to a fat person equal to cat calling? Are they both rooted in the same premise? In my book, yes. It is public judgement that generates fear and humiliation.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Reload for my edit above.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Good points @Pied_Pfeffer. I teach my kids not to curse as well. But when they are with teen friends, I expect it should happen, out of youthful experimentation or peer pressure. Yes we teach our youth not to do it. But do we not expect it to happen regardless, to some degree?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer “It is public judgement that generates fear and humiliation.”

That may be the result. But it may not be the intention. Results matter. And though insulting a fat person is always an intended insult which generates fear and humiliation, or anger, I suppose cat calling is not intended to do the same. It may well do the same. But it is intended for something entirely different, on various levels.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Does anyone think “hate to see you leave, but love to watch you go.” is ever intended as an insult? It may be perceived that way. But what is the intention from the one who says it?

I think it may be simply an immature way of flirting, or getting attention from immature male friends. I also don’t believe that every female would consider it an insult, depending of course on the circumstance, mood of the moment, etc…

Insulting a fat person, friend or stranger, is always an insult. The intention never being good.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’ve never known an intelligent, respectful man who cat calls. A respectful man would never say “hate to see you leave, but love to watch you go” to a woman he doesn’t know.

A disrespectful man will insult and/or cat call. So even though the cat call may have been said with good intentions, it is still disrespectful. A respectful person will not yell to a person they don’t know and tell them what they think about their appearance.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Completely agreed @jonsblond.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’d be interested in knowing the age of the males who offended the OP.

Aethelwine's avatar

I can’t answer for the OP, but I’ve had all ages yell out to me. I’ve had twelve year old boys yell at me and tell me I was fat. I’ve had men from the age of 20–60 yell out to me and tell me how hot I was and ask where I was going, insisting I stop to talk to them.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m not a parent, but I was a child and have eight nieces and nephews in a family that is close. What I have learned is that instilling manners is important in a child’s upbringing. There are two factors that help. One is to set the example by walking the talk. The other is to explain why it is important. This is where the intent vs. effect comes into play.

JLeslie's avatar

I just keep moving along. I don’t understand why it hurts your ego.

Often I say hi before the person can even say something obnoxious if I am walking by him. If he is driving by in a car or at a distance then I don’t have the opportunity. Saying hello I think reduces the chance they will say something obnoxious. You might still get some sort of comment about how you look, but hopefully not so off-putting. I think sometimes it stops them from commenting on your body altogther, although often just in their tone and facial expressions if they say hi back you know they are still perverted in their mind.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know that it hurts any woman’s ego, @JLeslie. Well, unless they yell at you that you’re fat. That’s just mean. For me, the cat calls and comments just make me uncomfortable. No one likes being under a microscope without their permission. Makes me uncomfortable from head to toe.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “Is calling out to a fat person equal to cat calling? Are they both rooted in the same premise?” I agree with @Pied_Pfeffer. They’re both rooted in obnoxious sexual suggestion. The suggestion is, “I want to fuck you,” or “I don’t want to fuck you.” Like we should care if some random guy does or does not want to have sex with us?

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Uncomfortable yes, I would go as far to say that it can make me feel afraid.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It can do that too. I’ve been followed in my car before. Really scary stuff.

Haleth's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Does anyone think “hate to see you leave, but love to watch you go.” is ever intended as an insult? It may be perceived that way. But what is the intention from the one who says it?

By catcalling, a guy is saying “I want to fuck you!” to a strange woman, before she has even agreed to have a conversation with him. That’s not flirting, it’s disrespectful and demeaning. When a man does that, he ignores everything about a woman that makes her a person, and immediately goes for sex appeal. It says, “I don’t want to talk to you, but I’d fuck you.”

I doubt the men who do this actually believe they’re going to be successful. It’s just a symptom of a society where men can do whatever they want in public, and women can’t. Because men can feel safe in public, and women don’t.

The intent is to make the catcaller feel like a big guy on campus for a couple minutes. By yelling unwanted sexual comments at women, these guys are basically treating the general public as their own personal bikini girls. It’s not okay.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Haleth -
I agree – it is disrespectful and demeaning.

Is it illegal?

JLeslie's avatar

@Haleth That’s part of the reason it can be scary. It implies the guy wants to just take you without permission, because most men know a catcall is unwanted I would think and they don’t care that their calls are unwanted so what else do they not care about? Do they care if I don’t want to be touched?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie Agreed – that is exactly why it is scary. The catcaller shows that he refuses to respect a woman’s boundaries. It is an aggressive display of power.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves That’s why I look at people as I pass them by and say hello. They lose their power I think if I am willing to acknowledge them and be friendly. Maybe even they have a harder time being obnoxious to someone who was just nice to them or spent the time to acknowledge them. Plus, I looked at them, I can now identify them. LOL.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie No thanks. I’m not interested in initiating conversations with oglers.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah. Never know when they might act on their obvious thoughts.

@Haleth “hate to see you leave, but love to watch you go.” is ever intended as an insult? I’m sure the men see it as a compliment. Men think that woman are supposed to swoon over the fact the fact that they (men) want to bless them with their penis. Only the really dense ones never get it.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Dutchess_III Just reading this thread shows that some men see it as a compliment. What they don’t understand is that a woman does not see it as a compliment. Women see it as a potential threat.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves Not a conversation. Just acknowledging their presence before they start. Once they start their shit I just ignore them and keep moving.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie I’m not so sure that most men know that a catcall is unwanted. I can also see how saying “Hi” first in passing might be considered a free pass to a catcall.

@elbanditoroso Sexual harassment laws vary from place to place. For example, in Ottawa, Canada, sexual harassment is considered sexual assault. It might be worth your time to check the laws for where you reside. In the meantime, consider this: Women don’t like it. If I am wrong, then prove it, and I will stand corrected.

@All Here is an interesting article. Catcalling Comic Illustrates Street Harassment From The Very Beginning It explains how the accumulation of these catcalls over one’s lifetime can create fear and resentment.

Here is another one: Calling Out the Catcallers, This one is written by a man and should be read. There are several links included. The one that shows pictures of women holding up signs quoting what catcalls they have heard is just sad.

Here is an article where the roles are reversed. The video is worth watching.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“hate to see you leave, but love to watch you go.”

@Haleth ”..a guy is saying “I want to fuck you!” to a strange woman…It says, “I don’t want to talk to you, but I’d fuck you.”—

You may be correct. I understand why most feel the same. Do you think there is room for any other possible explanation? Is it always that simple? Guys says one thing, but it’s immediately interpreted as something else. Is it really that simple to decipher a man’s true intentions? Big bad wolf bias is something every child learned… Knock knock, who’s there? It’s me, grammy… Bullshit! We learned that lesson for very good reasons. Good to be cautious. But being immediately bias is something different.

There may be two other possibilities.

The “guy” might be young and stupid, and has never been with a girl in his life. He heard some clever phrase and couldn’t wait to use it to impress his friends when the opportunity arose. I assure you, when a group of boys get together without parental supervision, there will be those seeking validation through bold acts. It doesn’t mean the kid wants to fuck anyone. It might mean he’s just following his natural teen yearnings to bump up a notch or two within the pecking order of peer males. I’m not saying it’s a good thing. But it is the natural way that boys are. No harm is intended to anyone, though it may be received unintentionally, no doubt.

The “guy” might also just like what he sees, and is verbal about expressing his appreciation for it. Believe it or not, men have been appreciating the female form since the beginning of men. We’ve been quite vocal about it and “erect” gargantuan monuments to demonstrate our appreciation for it, stripping your female form to bare nakedness across the entire planet for all world to witness your fantastic feminine glorious-ness. That doesn’t mean we always want to fuck. It just means that we are moved to speech about it. It’s not always dirty. We’re not always dirty. But some men definitely have less classy ways of showing their appreciation, no doubt.

Things aren’t always so black and white.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Here’s one I heard from a guy a while back. He was speaking about my wife. We were all walking to a job location together. My wife was in front of us. He didn’t know we were married. He said “Boy you look like a cool drink of water”. She turned and smiled at him, then chuckled to me. I chuckled back. No offense was taken. We never told him we were married. We never saw him again after that job.

How would the ladies here translate that phrase, beyond what he really said?

Aethelwine's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I really hope the men here looked at your links, especially the catcalling comic. It’s sad, but so true and brought back a lot of bad memories for me. It illustrates what young girls and women hear all the time. I’m so thankful that I live in a rural community now and I haven’t heard a catcall in a long time.

”‘I have a boyfriend’ is the easiest way to get a man to leave you alone. Because he respects another man more than you.

ain’t that the truth

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I haven’t catcalled to a woman since I was a drunk 16 year old showing off to my friends. Boy, was I an ass.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I should clarify innvery public areas where there is little likelihood they might actually approach you. If I am actually afriad of a man I turn around, cross the street, go into a store, whatever necessary to get away. I have been followed right into a hotel. It was the Peabody actually. I was coming from the Redbirds stadium walking back up to Main in broad daylight and this man started to what felt like follow me, so I crossed the street, and then finally walked into the Peabody and then once in the Peabody walked into one of their clothing and he followed me all the way into the store. He eventually left. Then I waited quite a while until I finally left again.

My sister and I were followed uncomfortably once in NYC many years ago, but that Memphis incident felt the most threatening.

They didnt feel like catcallers, they felt like muggers or rapists or some other type of freak.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Hey I’ve got an idea. How about women starting a FB page, or blog called “Catcalling Jerks” or something similar and post videos of jackasses doing it. From what I read above it shouldn’t be so hard to get plenty of examples. Make sure to include the guy’s face. He is in public and is directing the comment to you therefore has no expectation of privacy. Do it with a friend. One of you can walk with your forward facing smart phone camera running, recording while pretending to text. Never alter the video nor encourage the perp in any way. Have your friend be a witness. Tell the absolute truth, and never embellish. Facts are facts.
Then post it – everywhere! Spread the word. Show it to your friends. If a coworker does it, link the video to his FB page.
Make catcalling a very poor mating strategy. Never date/mate with a jackass. Let him die with his wick undipped.

And while we’re on the subject, maybe women can help with a pet peeve of mine: those loud cars pounding rap music from 1000 watt speakers. Never get in a car so equipped. Ever! Supposedly guys do it because it works. “Women like to ride along and feel the beat.” Really?!
If women never got in loud cars, guys would eventually learn and tone it down. It might take a generation but it would work.
Women, make the world a better place. Don’t mate with a jackass! Please!

Aethelwine's avatar

^Someone had the idea but it didn’t catch on. Look what I found. There’s one member in this group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2200586261/

Then some genius thought it would be cool to have a facebook feature similar to a poke, but this would be called a catcall. sigh https://www.facebook.com/groups/2261196915/

Haleth's avatar

@LuckyGuy Something like that already exists, and it’s huge. The Everyday Sexism Project.

Also check out #thatswhathesaid on twitter.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I don’t understand why you’re going to such great lengths to defend this. It’s clearly unacceptable behavior. We know the difference between agressive catcalling and well-meaning flirting. Women have a lifetime of experience in dealing with both.

Catcalling is nearly always accompanied by rude and aggressive body language, tone of voice, and hand gestures. Men (everyday men who don’t catcall) don’t see it in person, because other men don’t do it when you’re around. They do it when we are walking alone or in a group of women. A common scenario is walking alone and being catcalled by a group of men.

That alone creates a scenario where we are likely to be unsafe.

There’s a big difference between innocent, clueless flirting and vulgar catcalls. If a man is honestly trying to flirt, it can be kind of nice, as long as it’s not rude, crude, or sexual.

Here’s an example from my personal life. For most of last year, my hair was bright firetruck red. I got a lot of compliments on it as I went about my daily life.

One rude guy on the street said, “Hey baby, does the carpet match the drapes?” In a loud and sneery tone of voice. Another guy said “Hey, little red!” then made a V with his fingers and stuck his tongue out between them.

Guys of all ages have been saying stuff like this to me since I was 13. It happens with everyone from groups of teenagers, to guys older than my dad. One time I was wolf whistled while wearing, I shit you not, a sweat suit.

Another time I was walking to get lunch. A passerby gave me a nice, genuine smile and said, “I like your hair color, young lady!” That one actually brightened my day. There’s a world of difference!

We understand the difference. I think maybe you don’t. If you have any women in your life at all, it’s almost certain that they have dealt with this at some time. That’s the part I don’t get- you mention that men have been doing this since the dawn of time. It’s probably happened to all of your female relatives. Why jump to defend men that you have never met, when it has happened to women you care about?

Here’s another thought. Men, maybe we would be more receptive to men’s advances if we were safer in public. If I didn’t have to be on guard while taking the train or walking down the street, it might be nice to have a friendly conversation with a cute stranger. So in a roundabout way, taking a stand against street harassment actuallys help men get laid! But you should also just do it, because it’s the right thing to do.

(Side note- whenever I meet a guy who genuinely understands women’s issues, it makes me more likely to bang him. Male feminists are rare, like unicorns. Sexy unicorns.)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Male feminists are rare, like unicorns.
And need to stay that way.

Haleth's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “The “guy” might also just like what he sees, and is verbal about expressing his appreciation for it. Believe it or not, men have been appreciating the female form since the beginning of men. We’ve been quite vocal about it and “erect” gargantuan monuments to demonstrate our appreciation for it, stripping your female form to bare nakedness across the entire planet for all world to witness your fantastic feminine glorious-ness”

Our ancestors also pooped in the woods and believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Just because things have always been done that way doesn’t mean it should continue. ~Appreciating the female form~ and being respectful aren’t mutually exclusive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We know the difference between a genuine compliment and a cat call.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

^^^ Yes, we most certainly do. Eye contact, a smile, and a nod is a compliment. “Hey, pussy!” isn’t a compliment.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“You have beautiful eyes!”
“Thank you!”
*********************************
“Nice ass!”
“Fuck off.”

Men…seriously now…would you view the second example as an actual compliment?

elbanditoroso's avatar

So which body parts are OK to comment on? We have established that eyes are.

Cheeks? Lips? Fingernails? Biceps? Forehead? Elbows?

Who makes the rules? How do we know if the rest of the world agrees with you?

Haleth's avatar

@elbanditoroso That’s a strawman argument. There’s a pretty universal consensus among women that it’s unwelcome to comment on sexual body parts, unless you know us.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso Are men really that ignorant or obtuse that they don’t know what might make women uncomfortable or afraid? Think of it this way, if you had a 15 year old daughter what would be ok for a man, no wait, a stranger on the street, to say to her and you would not worry he might want to get in her pants?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JLeslie – neither, in my opinion.

The problem is that there is a rather amorphous definition of “what might women uncomfortable or afraid”.

Your (and most of the above responses) make a couple of rather amorphous assumptions:

a) that all women think and act alike
and
b) there is / can be / should be one single standard for how men speak and act to women.

My reaction to

A) women think alike – is that it is naively inaccurate. Despite @Dutchess_III ‘s attempt to ask loaded questions to shape the debate, women are not all alike. To suggest that they are is demeaning to women. side note : there is a lot of homogeneity in the women in Fluther, but I don’t think for a moment that Fluther women are representative of the world at large

My reaction to B) is that if require all men to follow some woman’s standard for speech (whose? that was my question 2 questions above) – then we basically dumb down all male speech to the level of the most sensitive female person. That’s ridiculous for a whole host of reasons. I don’t need to list them, they are so obvious.

Now again, don’t get me wrong – catcalling is rude and offensive – I have never done it and I’m not going to start now.

What is off-putting to me is anyone saying what “all women” feel. And that goes right along with the problem of an inability to define what is offensive. I refuse to believe that there is one rule – because people are all different.

@JLeslie – as for my daughters – when they were in their teens (they are now in their 30s), when they were catcalled at – they confronted and shouted back. No shrinking violets.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso I would never say “all” ever about any group. I would say, why not err on the side of caution and if something seems borderline or if a man is unsure, better to not say it.

Shrinking violet has nothing to do with it, right now we are discussing if the catcalling or comments on our body are actually welcomed by some women. I think if we feel safe we can take the catcall with a grain of salt, maybe even get a little internal smile as long as it isn’t obnoxious. I’m not going to feel safe like that with some stranger man or men if I am walking alone on a street with no ne else around. I’m already aware that I am alone and there is a man or men around me. If the streets are crowded and he is just a jerk, I don’t feel afraid most likely.

I think men don’t understand that women are taught to beware, or we learned the hard way. It might be unlikely we will get attacked, but if it happens it is devastating. Forget that something like one in three females have had unwanted “sexual” things happen to them, and so the fear is very real. Anywhere from molested in some way to raped. I doubt catcalling men are usually the ones doing the molesting and raping, but it can trigger that feeling of discomfort for us that our body is vulnerable.

Haleth's avatar

@elbanditoroso “then we basically dumb down all male speech to the level of the most sensitive female person.”

You’re right, it’s waaaaay too difficult to treat women with respect. Let’s just abandon all our efforts there, because the standards are so subjective and confusing. How could any guy possibly be expected to understand?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Haleth “I don’t understand why you’re going to such great lengths to defend this. It’s clearly unacceptable behavior.”

How many times must I say it isn’t right? Does anyone here read?

I’m not defending it. I’m analyzing it, to determine the reasons why it happens. But if you, or anyone wants to keep putting words in my mouth, and insist that guys only want to “fuck” then go ahead. Your minds are made up. Confirmation bias with no room to actually understand the problem. Complaining won’t help the issue. Understanding it might.

But I’ll leave it to the women here to rearrange what I just said and then tell me what I really meant. Ya’ll obviously have us fellas figured out beyond any beneficial discussion. Just keep telling me what guys really think and boil it all down to we just want to fuck. There couldn’t possibly be more to it than that. You’ve all convinced me. Much obliged.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I understand being moved to words when someone is beautiful. I have told more than one woman how beautiful she is. It’s almost always about her face or hair when I do it. Once in a while a woman’s body is so beautiful I might say something out loud to the person I am with, but not likely I am going to say it to her if she is a stranger. Certainly not going to call it out for everyone around to hear. Plus, catcalling doesn’t always name a body part, it can be a whistle or just babble about looking good, hey honey, etc.

I think the women here, and I can’t speak for everyone, are trying to explain that for the most part it doesn’t matter the intention.

Also, let’s not confuse catcalling with having a conversation with a woman and then telling her something about her is beautiful like her eyes or hair. If you are talking or flirting with a woman would you be moved to say, “looking good from behind” or, “I like that tshirt.” I doubt it. Young men do it. They tell a girl her sweater looks great or her jeans look great and that is code for tits and ass. Teen girls sometimes don’t even know the code until someone advises them. I didn’t know. I didn’t know those compliments were about those boys being all testosteroned up.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@elbanditoroso “...basically dumb down all male speech to the level of the most sensitive female person.”

@Haleth “You’re right, it’s waaaaay too difficult to treat women with respect.”

That’s not what he said. I’m dumbfounded how comments can be ignored and then twisted to mean something else. I’m dumbfounded that lurve is awarded for doing so. That’s some neat trick.

@JLeslie “I didn’t know those compliments were about those boys being all testosteroned up.”

I didn’t either. But it may be one of many reasons.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “I’m not defending it. I’m analyzing it, to determine the reasons why it happens.”

That is a noble effort. But why is your investigation focusing on things women do? If you want to explain the men’s behaviour, that starts and ends with them. They have control over their own actions. Women have no control over their actions. Clearly, or it would stop.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@dappled_leaves “why is your investigation focusing on things women do?”

Please read my comments again, perhaps count how many times I speak of what men do vs how many times I speak of what women do… then refer to the question I asked numerous times about what we can all do.

BTW… the “investigation” was focused on the possible reasons why men cat call, beyond the simple accusation of wanting sex.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@dappled_leaves “Women have no control over their actions.”

Men’s actions? Are you freaking kidding me? I propose that “some” women’s actions are often a mission to influence men’s actions, sometimes with the hope of controlling us like puppets on a very thin string.

Were it not so, then what’s up with the tribal ritualistic behavior of lipstick, perfume, slinky dress and such? Why not baggy gray sweatpants instead of colorful tight spandex? Because one is considered to look “dumpy”, and the other considered as “cute”. I’m not saying everyone shouldn’t be able to control themselves. But let’s face it, the adornment that both men and women choose is primarily based around the hope that others think we be lookin’ goooooood… and attractive.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Also, if the same man or men are catcalling all day long, they aren’t moved by one beautiful woman, they are just hounds barking at everything that walks by their path. That does turn us into meat so to speak. It’s all in how it’s done, and what words are used. It’s not like a man can never give a compliment.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie ” if the same man or men are catcalling all day long, they aren’t moved by one beautiful woman…”

Agreed. Though if they do it so often, they may have enough success stories to justify them continuing it. They’ve possibly learned that it works enough to be continued, and frightfully, refined.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie “It’s all in how it’s done, and what words are used.”

Meh… well sure. It may also be the situation. If a gal hasn’t offered her personal space, then the slightest comment can be taken the wrong way, and even accelerated to the degree of getting someone’s ass kicked, or worse. Not what I would hope for anyone’s stupid young son. But if she has offered her personal space, then the most vulgar proposition may be exciting to her.

I don’t think it’s as simple as “what’s said” as much as when.

I actually like what someone suggested earlier. The men that catcall may not be nearly as much of genuine threat as the ones who are silent waiting for darker opportunities. There are many potential reasons why men catcall. But there is only one reason that a man would actually molest a woman. I don’t think those men advertise their intentions.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Heh right… clapping is the new molestation. Real pro.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow…the…obtuseness. A person can’t tell the difference between making leering comments about a woman’s boobs or butt, and giving her a compliment on her eyes or smile? REALLY??

Dutchess_III's avatar

Look at it this way: If you’re at the mall with your 15 year old daughter, and a a woman said, “She has beautiful eyes,” that would be fine, wouldn’t it? Because it’s a simple, sincere compliment.
On the other hand, If a woman says, about your daughter, “Nice ass!” or “Nice set of titties!” you would think…what? Honestly. What would you think?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Dutchess_III – you’re repeating your same arguments.

What you say boils down to:

“If @Dutchess_III finds it offensive, it’s offensive for all. But if you ask @Dutchess_III
to define what it is that is offensive, she can’t.”

Aethelwine's avatar

I think all the women here have been pretty clear about what is and isn’t offensive. It’s the men who are not listening. I am shaking my head in disbelief.

I would love to know if any of the men here have ever walked down a street and felt threatened by a woman. I don’t think you realize at all what life is like for us.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

The Compiment, it would seem, is a lost art.

No one appears to know how to give or receive them anymore.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III On the other hand, If a woman says, about your daughter, “Nice ass!” or “Nice set of titties!” you would think…what? Honestly. What would you think?
Would it be better or worse if the woman says ”Gawd! I would die to have a tight bum like you”, or ”You rock those shorts, you have silky legs made for them”; would that be a complement, or something else? If I had a 15 year old daughter that was proud of her physique would that cause her to see the aforementioned comments in a different light?

@jonsblond _I think all the women here have been pretty clear about what is and isn’t offensive. _
From observing this brouhaha it seems how one receives a comment, is how or what context they place it in. For instance, nerdy guy with a snake in his pants and a comment by two women 7–10 who say one a street corner, ”Is the diner that sausage you have open? I am hungry for a snack”, could be seen as a complement. Handsome guy receiving a comment from some woman he finds unattractive where she says, ”Those strong arms can pin me to the mattress any night”, will be seen as offensive. Neither of the guys I doubt would feel threatened by a rude comment from a woman.

Aethelwine's avatar

Catcalling and compliments are two different things. That seems to be the problem here. Some people don’t get it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Catcalling is treating her like a piece of meat, to be used to satisfy my lusts. Complements are honoring her as a fellow human being.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@jonsblond

“I think all the women here have been pretty clear about what is and isn’t offensive. It’s the men who are not listening. I am shaking my head in disbelief.”

Your difference in impressions fall precisely along gender lines again.

If this is not a coincidence could you please explain how this has happened?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@jonsblond

What makes women, or men for that matter, the exclusive authorities on what is or is not offensive?

“I think all the women here have been pretty clear about what is and isn’t offensive. It’s the men who are not listening. I am shaking my head in disbelief.”

Your difference in impressions fall precisely along gender lines again. If this is not a coincidence could you please explain how this has happened? I would seriously ask that you provide a statement to eliminate my suspicion that you are a chauvinist.

Sure, It’s possible that some language between genders could be easily seen as insulting or offensive but what about the rest? I seriously assert that you are expecting us to form our opinions based on yours that obviously are derived from your own feelings and experiences. How are any of us supposed to do that? We are not mind readers. We simply cannot use every detail of your thoughts on the matter to form collective, universal law.

Regarding language between sexes you expect everyone to follow your particular, personal code. You expect every detail of your feelings on the matter to be self evident.

The following statement is a bold one. Please bear with me:

I believe your Zero Tolerance policy regarding speech ITT is tantamount to bullying:

Anyone that does anything but make statements that fall lockstep with your opinion is dismissed or ignored outright, even accused of singling you out. You have above, in so many words, stated that you would not consider any concepts that do not agree with yours. I’m asking you to kindly ponder that for just a moment.

You are relying on those who seem to be in complete agreement with you and categorically ignoring everyone else.

I respectfully submit that is not the mentality of anyone interested in legitimate debate.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree @jonsblond. Some of the men just don’t seem to get it. @Adirondackwannabe does. Thanks.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe “Catcalling is treating her like a piece of meat, to be used to satisfy my lusts.”

Perhaps that’s always the reason for you. Do you think there might be other reasons why other men might catcall? Do you think sometimes it’s not to satisfy lust, but instead an attempt to impress peers? And, do you think it’s possible that sometimes an intended compliment is perceived as a catcall, though it was never intended to be?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies How many women on this thread have tried to explain it to you, and you still don’t get it?

I’m 1.

Aethelwine's avatar

This bullying chauvinist makes 3.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Did I ever say catcalling was good?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Why don’t you guys answer my questions instead of telling me how I don’t get it?

Do you think there might be other reasons why other men might catcall?

Do you think sometimes it’s not to satisfy lust, but instead an attempt to impress peers?

Do you think it’s possible that sometimes an intended compliment is perceived as a catcall, though it was never intended to be?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Do you think catcalling is ALWAYS because a man wants to molest a woman?

Dutchess_III's avatar

It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Does. Not. Matter.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Then someone please.

Just explain exactly what I’m not getting.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Dutchess_III “It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Does. Not. Matter.”

Do the reasons for cancer matter? Do the reasons for child abuse matter? How can anyone expect to cure an illness or solve a problem without knowing the reasons for it?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Maybe we should just complain our problems away.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Reasons are a component of context.

They therefore matter.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Oh, and anyone who wants to discuss the reasons for the problems should be automatically considered enemy, because they don’t just complain with us. Good plan.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Ow my leg hurts. Do you think there is a reason for that? Doesn’t matter, my leg hurts.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. The reasons for cancer do not matter. The cause does because if you know the cause you can address that. But if you have cancer, you have cancer. Knowing the reason isn’t going to make a person be OK with it, or feel better.

No, the reasons for child abuse do not matter. I don’t care if the person doing the abusing feels it was justified because the kid was a brat. It doesn’t matter.

Since you took it there, should the reasons for rape matter? What if the guy really believed the woman wanted it and he was doing her a favor? What if the guy really believed she was asking for it because of what she was wearing? No, the reasons do not matter.

So now that you know every woman on Fluther views catcalls as degrading and insulting, whether they were meant to be or not, it isn’t going to change your opinion that’s it’s really OK?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Ok, fine… forget the reasons. We’ll use your word, “causes”.

Let me ask again…
Do you think catcalling is ALWAYS because a man wants to molest a woman?

Sorry, I didn’t use the word reason, or cause. But I did say be-cause. Kinda close.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Do you think there might be other “causes” why men might catcall?

Do you think sometimes it’s not to satisfy lust, but instead an attempt to impress peers?

Do you think it’s possible that sometimes an intended compliment is perceived as a catcall, though it was never intended to be?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Why does anyone think I’m disagreeing with them? Way up there I clearly stated the level of backwoods justice to be enforced upon catcallers. Why am I the enemy because I want to discuss possible “causes” beyond men just wanting to molest “fuck” women?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Seriously. You are like a broken record, asking the same questions over and over and over and over and over again.

These questions have been answered, here in this thread. Why would we repeat the answers for you, when you’ve shown that you will not internalize them? It is, after all, a mark of insanity to repeat the same action and expect a different response.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Can you answer this @dappled_leaves?

Why am I the enemy because I want to discuss possible “causes” beyond men just wanting to molest “fuck” women?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I agree with you on possible reasons for catcalling. The three that you mention probably cover the bulk of catcalls.

No, I don’t think that the reason behind catcalls is because a male wants to molest a female. I’d be willing to say that the vast majority aren’t. The problem is, the receiver doesn’t know what the intent is. They have to assume the worst in order to play it safe. When women feel that they need to walk with a dog, or mace, or a gun, just in case…then it strips them of a sense of freedom. Are you familiar with Ted Bundy? He was quite the charmer. And he murdered at least 30 women. There are plenty of other stories about men like these.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I never called you an enemy. Why would you think that?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Oh, I actually get it.

The following is at the core of the matter:

Women, men, my pet dog.

Don’t you think all these souls would prefer to live in a world where they only experienced what they wish and never experienced that which they do not like?

The world just doesn’t work like that.

I believe many in this thread just don’t understand this.

Some here are so extreme they would have the first amendment repealed in in hope of never experiencing what they consider to be unpleasantness.

Women. Men. Grow the hell up.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I just checked, and I can’t find anyone attempting to answer my questions except @Pied_Pfeffer and @JLeslie. I’ve had other questions since. No attempts to answer, but I’ve been told they have been answered. Can’t find any. I’ve even changed the wording to accommodate those who still avoid the question.

Others have misrepresented my comments, reinterpreted them for me, and claim that I only concentrate on women’s behavior and accuse me of defending catcalling.

So anyone who hasn’t answered, please chime in.

Do you think there might be other “causes” why men might catcall, beyond lust?
Do you think sometimes it’s not to satisfy lust, but instead an attempt to impress peers?
Do you think it’s possible that sometimes an intended compliment is perceived as a catcall, though it was never intended to be?

Aethelwine's avatar

From the OP: It just made me sick, and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I didn’t even think they were talking to me until I looked back and they made some pretty awful sexual gestures. :(

OP receives responses from other women who have experienced unpleasant catcalls from strange men, then we are told to grow the hell up. Nice. Who is being the bully here?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@jonsblond “I would love to know if any of the men here have ever walked down a street and felt threatened by a woman.”

Not threatened. But definitely the target of seduction, butt pinches, hands sliding into crotch under table, while my girlfriend was sitting next to me.

But I have felt threatened numerous times by homosexual men. I don’t know why so many guys think I’m gay. But boy some sure can be aggressive, following me home, propositioning me on the street… a cop! One guy broke into my apartment and beat the fuck out of me with a baseball bat, and tried to rape me. I fought him off, and in the end, discovered he was the local police chief’s son… therefor no investigation. Chief was up for retirement and nobody in the community wanted to taint his name before pension was secured. I had to move away from that neighborhood, and couldn’t get to sleep for years without a pistol at my side. Really freaked me out. The guy was busted later for taking a shit on church front steps then lighting it on fire. Freaky bastard.

At the time, I didn’t care what the reasons “causes” were. I just wanted to get away safely. But now, and with years of hindsight, I’m very interested in the causes of such behaviors.

Aethelwine's avatar

I would like to add that both @SecondHandStoke and @RealEyesRealizeRealLies have not answered the OP. What these two have done is gone way off topic, even though this is in social, and badgered anyone who has disagreed with them. I would not blame the OP if she has quit following her own thread. She’s received no help from these two.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

The question was How do you deal with “it”. My post above answers that. And previously I said…

“Mafioso’s are established to punish such males with backwoods justice, because even they understand how that behavior can erode society right out from under their feet. Were I to find someone doing the same to my sister, mother, or daughter, I assure you there would be more than words between me and the cat caller. We might have to commemorate the event with a blood stain on the street where it occurred.”

dappled_leaves's avatar

@jonsblond Absolutely right.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Ohh.

The tried and true Off Topic attempt at censorship.

Why are some of the things stated here feared?

jonsblond. Please explain how my sincere questions constitute badgering.

Mods, please continue to employ your good judgement.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I’ve officially lost count of the straw men presented in this thread.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@jonsblond “What these two have done is gone way off topic, even though this is in social, and badgered anyone who has disagreed with them.”

Since when is asking questions going way off topic? Since when is discussing the “causes” of the topic, going off topic? Since when is investigation considered a straw man argument?

@dappled_leaves Absolutely wrong. I just satisfied @jonsblond‘s accusation against me with my two previous posts above.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@dappled_leaves What “straw men” were presented? Point one out please. Just one.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m accused of censorship, bullying and chauvinism. Unbelievable.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ You are begged for proof I am wrong about these things.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Do ANYONE HERE think catcalling is ALWAYS because a man wants to molest a woman?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ No.

Of course not.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

So… there might be other reasons… “causes”. If true, then I wonder what those might be, and how men and women could come to addressing them to the degree that it doesn’t happen.

Aethelwine's avatar

I don’t need to prove anything to you @SecondHandStoke. Are you my daddy? I think my almost 6 year membership at this site is proof enough if you need it. Look through my questions and answers. There are plenty.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you think there might be other “causes” why men might catcall, beyond lust? Well, next time I’ll just stop and ask them why they did it. I imagine the answer would be “Because you’re so HOT!” What other possible answer could there be?

Do you think sometimes it’s not to satisfy lust, but instead an attempt to impress peers? So? Maybe they aren’t lustful, but are impressing their playground friends by pretending they are? How is that supposed to make us feel OK with it? If we asked, would they really admit to doing it to impress their friends?

Do you think it’s possible that sometimes an intended compliment is perceived as a catcall, though it was never intended to be? Now you know. It may be meant by some dumbshit as a compliment, but women don’t take it as one.

Have you ever been out, alone, at night, walking home, and having a car full of cat-calling guys slow down as if they were going to stop? And the only thing that made them move on was because a German Shepherd dog happened to follow you home from a party, and would come when you called? Happened to me. If the dog hadn’t escorted me, should I have just waited to see whether or not their intentions were honorable, or should I have run like hell?

Have you ever been followed by a group of guys, at night, whistling and cat calling, and gotten nervous enough to cross the street, then heard one of them say, “Well, I guess nothing is gonna happen now!”?

Have you ever had a woman follow you home when you were driving, and scared you to the point you drove to the police station instead of home?

Have you had a woman stalk you, write you psycho notes about how you were meant to be together and shit?

I’m betting none of you men have.

Catcalling is ALWAYS perceived as an act of lust by women. Always. Don’t give a shit what the actual motive is. It’s lewd and low class.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You are wrong, @SecondHandStoke.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I already told you way up there “No you don’t deserve that @Dutchess_III.”

And though our experiences are not the same, I have actually been attacked, beaten bloody out of my sleep, for the sexual aggression of a homosexual man against me.

@Dutchess_III “What other possible answer could there be?”

I’ve suggested a few possibilities. Never have I claimed those possibilities as justification. There is no justification for disrespecting anyone. I’ve made that clear.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

So what is it that everyone is telling me that I don’t get?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Meaningless statement if you don’t specify about what.

I won’t hold my breath for a breakdown as to why.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Could you be a little more specific @SecondHandStoke? Which of the 8 statements I made is meaningless if I don’t specify about what?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@jonsblond

Don’t prove it to me.

Prove it to Fluther.

If you have submitted proof that you are not a chauvinist, for example, how hard would it be to repeat your policy here?

In all seriousness, do you have a psychotic aversion to directly answering a question.

Please, can we get this thread on track and turn it into a credible debate?

Dutchess_III's avatar

What we’re telling you, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies, is that no matter what your intentions, no matter what you wish things were, it is always insulting and demeaning, even if it isn’t meant to be.

So say I was raised in the south in the 30’s. Grew up calling black people “Nigger,” as a matter of course. No insult intended. Does that mean it’s not insulting?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Is WHAT Dutchess?

Where exactly is the line drawn? What is your DEFINITION of a catcall???

Dutchess_III's avatar

She does not @SecondHandStoke. You guys are the ones getting all evasive, trying to justify disgusting behavior. What is “chauvinistic” about being disgusted and bothered by being yelled at in a sexually aggressive manner? And don’t tell me that screaming “Nice ass!” in front of the your friends, and the whole world isn’t sexually aggressive.

@SecondHandStoke: Do what @RealEyesRealizeRealLies did. Post your specific questions in a list so we can copy and paste them and answer them.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Way up there… I said…

“That may be the result. But it may not be the intention. Results matter.”

So what is it that I don’t get?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Catcall, @SecondHandStoke: “Nice tits!”
“Nice ass!”
“Oh baby! Give me 5 minutes with you! You’ll never be the same!”
Grading women on a scale of 1 – 10.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, if the intention is to give a compliment, someone is really, really stupid and self defeating.

Aethelwine's avatar

You are accusing me of things and asking for proof @SecondHandStoke. I answered this question. I do not need to answer anything you ask of me. I don’t need to prove anything to Fluther. You have taken this off track. You are showing your true colors here.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Ohh.

I NEVER said a particular behavior was justified. Never once.

You are assuming that I consider some behaviors justified simply because I don’t take the impossible to enforce Zero Tolerance stance I believe @jonsblond does.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Dutchess_III “You guys are the ones getting all evasive, trying to justify disgusting behavior.”

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “I’ve suggested a few possibilities. Never have I claimed those possibilities as justification. There is no justification for disrespecting anyone. I’ve made that clear.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok. Then this thread is done. I hope you males have learned something.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^The attitude problem RIGHT there.

I posted above, long ago that I do not catcall.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Learned a lot.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

“You males.”

Imagine the shitstorm if I said, “you blacks.”

Aethelwine's avatar

I answered with this: A woman should be able to walk down a street and not hear what some strange man wants to do with her ass. It makes a woman feel uncomfortable. We are not toys for men.

Then this: Thank you for saying what you did @canidmajor. I was disturbed by some of the responses by men here on this thread, but too tired to put more effort into my answer.

Because of these answers I have an impossible to enforce Zero Tolerance stance according to @SecondHandStoke. Just what are you smoking Stoke?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What do you ladies think needs to happen in order for catcalling to stop?

Please don’t say, men shouldn’t do that.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Okay, so we’re back at the beginning.

Give me an intellectually honest answer as to what you mean by “strange man”?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

<<< sTaRANG MaN

Aethelwine's avatar

A man who doesn’t know me. I didn’t know that was something so easily misunderstood.

Strange = Stranger

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Okayy, Now we’re starting to get somewhere.

“Strange” to you does not mean a man not to your taste.

Aethelwine's avatar

I don’t care if a man is hot or ugly, if he hollers at me and I don’t know him I’m going to feel uncomfortable. I can’t believe this is so difficult for you to understand.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^It’s not that it’s difficult for me to understand. I was simply requesting a clarification.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@jonsblond “A man who doesn’t know me. I didn’t know that was something so easily misunderstood.”

Actually it is. Men/women brains different. Say things differently.

“A man who doesn’t know me”, makes me the stranger to him.

“A man that I don’t know”, is a stranger to me.

Aethelwine's avatar

And seriously, this is such a fucking waste of my time. I answered this question. Like I said, I don’t need to answer to anyone else but the OP. I have bigger real world problems to deal with. And please quit accusing me of things. It’s rude @SecondHandStoke.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

You are accusing me of being obtuse.

You’re just not saying it directly.

Note I’m not whining about it. Hell, I didn’t even mention it till now.

Aethelwine's avatar

You win, Stoke. You win.

I’m out.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

No.

We all lost.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Lady tells a cop… “It just made me sick, and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I didn’t even think they were talking to me until I looked back and they made some pretty awful sexual gestures. :(”—_

Cop’s gonna ask…

“What awful sexual gestures did they make?... Did they talk vulgar and mean? Did they proposition you, or threaten your job?”

Better have answers for those questions ladies. They will be asked. Nobody answered them here, when I asked in my very first reply.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Catcall, @SecondHandStoke: “Nice tits!”
“Nice ass!”
“Oh baby! Give me 5 minutes with you! You’ll never be the same!”
Grading women on a scale of 1 – 10.

Okay, those things. Anything else? What if the things above are worded differently?

Are you beginning to see my point about the non forcible nature of your wishes?

Here2_4's avatar

Wow, this is the biggest display of thin skin I have seen since viewing a burn unit. I am speaking in regards to women and men, both.
I am a woman, blonde, a little over 5’7”. Over the years I have heard many catcalls. I never thought of it as an attack. My word! Next a burp is an attack. I am not followed or touched by any of these men. I simply see them as socially under developed, and continue along my way. Some people have poor communication skills, and rely on what they have.
The only physical advances I have suffered were from quiet men, who did not want to draw attention to themselves.
I think there are men who have expressed their disgust here about the behavior, who are feeling rather beat up simply for being men, and unappreciated for being fairly decent men, or even very nice men.
I think to walk past socially disadvantaged men, a woman must simply check whether her vertibrae can support her, and keep her walking tall.
Unbelievable. Just because it is not complimentary does not make it an attack. I for one, know that any man who eats a mile of “that” is not going to feel up to biting my anything, so I keep quiet, and walk on by, with all my dignity, and parts, intact.
I won’t be involved in a riot, so that is all I plan to say on this subject.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It isn’t anything you can sue them for @RealEyesRealizeRealLies. I mean, who has thousands to waste trying to prosecute some guy for yelling “Nice ass!” Why are you even taking it to that level? So, it isn’t illegal. But still, it is an insult. not a compliment. We are not thrilled that you have a penis that you, obviously, would like to use on us. I don’t care how enamored with your own personal penis you are.

There was a time a man couldn’t be arrested for beating the shit out of his own property wife.

The fact that you’re still advocating that cat calling is OK, makes you obtuse @SecondHandStoke? What other examples are you looking for? Every cat call is some version of that.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Welcome to fluther @Here2_4.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Here2_4 Well, apparently you haven’t encountered men that seemed to be willing to take it to the next level if given half a chance. I have, and it’s scarier than shit.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
“What do you ladies think needs to happen in order for catcalling to stop?”
Please don’t say, men shouldn’t do that.

Still waiting on an answer for that.

Shall we complain it away?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I am enamored with my penis.

I don’t express my fondness for it verbally in public.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Actually, @Here2_4, I’m assuming you’re female and new to this discusson so you would be a good one to ask: Do you view it as a compliment when some guy yells out some sexually charged comment at you?

Dutchess_III's avatar

IDK, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies. What do YOU think needs to happen so men will stop making fools of themselves?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I think, as I’ve said, we need to discuss the reasons causes why it happens.

But you know that already. Good night.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

‘Night Sexpot.

Haleth's avatar

@Dutchess_III “Wow…the…obtuseness.”

You’re not kidding. Those members are purposely being obtuse after answers to their “questions” are explained again and again, clearly, genuinely, and in detail. We’re talking about real experiences from our lives, not some bullshit hypothetical position.

I’m exhausted. Congratulations, guys, you win. I’ve lost a little of my faith in humanity. I’m out.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Do ANYONE HERE think catcalling is ALWAYS because a man wants to molest a woman?
I do not think it has hardly anything with the desire to sexually assault, rape, or molest women. When I was a very young man, I was in SF for some training thing with the business I was working at, and we were out on the street during break. We saw this this older woman (she was to us at the time but maybe in reality mid 30s) walk by in a skirt above the knee but not a mini, and heels, she definitely looked like a business woman, and one of the guys standing in our group let out a loud wolf whistle. She broke stride as if startled. Then when she realized where it came from she said ”Thank you!”, and strutted off with a large grin on her face. None of us had the thought that we had to stalk her, know her name, get a number, figure out where she lived, or even some sort of way to get under her skirt. The guy who wolf whistled did so to declare to any observer he thought she was hot, for lack of a better way to say it.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Agree with my take on an issue point for point or else be branded with the worst label.

Bullying. Pure and simple.

Disgusting.

canidmajor's avatar

This reads like a rape trial from the 80s. Very sad. Many of the guys arguing convoluted semantics and obfuscating the basic premise of the OP, and being outraged that the women don’t analyze the possible motives of every one of the catcallers, every time.
The worst part? Not even surprising.

Aethelwine's avatar

@SecondHandStoke You came at me with the labels when all I did was answer the OP. I’m a soft target, I get it. Give it up already. You are not the victim here.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ I am not so concerned about any personal “victimhood.”

Who is among the victims here?

Proper perception of men in general.

And intelligent, intellectually honest discourse.

Aethelwine's avatar

A person who wants intelligent, intellectually honest discourse would not throw absurd labels at a person who did not want to be a part of their discussion. I can answer a question and answer the OP, but I will not stand for some random person throwing absurd accusations at me.

Kind of reminds me of being catcalled by a stranger person I don’t know.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I am among the victims here. One time I was shooting pool. Some creep-ass bastard came up behind me as I was lining up the cue ball and pretended to have sex with me from behind. I could hear the snickering so I knew what he was doing. It wasn’t the first time it had happened. I pretended like I didn’t know he was there and “accidentally” racked him when I backed the cue up hard, for a hard shot at the ball, which was a throw away shot. To have actually made it would have required feathering and finesse.

“Oh, I’m so sorry! I didn’t know you were there!”

I can not believe some of you men are defending people like him. Maybe he meant it as a compliment to my nice ass? Aw shucks. He was just playin’! Oh. OK. Then it’s all good.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Male behaviour is not the responsibility of females. Males are responsible for how they behave in public.

If people want to understand and analyse why men behave badly, they need to speak to men and include some men who behave badly.

Certainly, women should not have to moderate their dress to protect themselves from men they may encounter who cannot moderate their actions. The problem is with the minority of men who cannot behave themselves.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dutchess_III Nice! I’ll bet he thinks twice about doing that in the future.

Dutchess_III's avatar

:D. If I’d thought it out I might not have done it. He was probably drunk, you know?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dutchess_III Screw it, if I’m drunk I know what I’m doing. I might push it a bit more, but I’d still deserve the stick in the nads.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III One time I was shooting pool. Some creep-ass bastard came up behind me as I was lining up the cue ball and pretended to have sex with me from behind. I could hear the snickering so I knew what he was doing.
IMO there is a huge difference in that and a guy passing a woman and saying something like ”Damn, those headlights are blinding me in a good way”. Here is why, the aforementioned example is the guy actually using the woman, even if invading her personal space and not pinching, groping, or fondling her, the second is a statement which can be taken as a less than eloquent complement or a rude comment depending on the woman; it was between him and her, not for observers.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Dutchess_III “I can not believe some of you men are defending people like him.”

What makes you think I, or anyone is defending people like him? How many times must we say it’s wrong for you to accept that investigation is NOT defense?

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

FACT: We know that some women have been sexually harassed.

FACT: We know that some women have suffered emotional, and perhaps physical trauma because of it.

FACT: We know that some men can be real jerks.

FACT: No one here believes that catcalling or sexual harassment is good for society.

All that established about 150 posts ago. Anyone thinking we don’t “get it” is wrong. We get it. Repeating the same does nothing to make society better. And isn’t that what we all want, to make society a better and safer place for everyone?

Complaining solves nothing. Investigation does. But I have a feeling that investigation is not welcome because everyone knows there-in-lies the darkest discussion. You all think this has been ugly so far? The ugly is just getting started folks. I’m moving this discussion forward to an area that nobody, including myself, wants to go. But it must be discussed, because peoples lives have been sacrificed for these types of events.

To Kill a Mockingbird… Watch it, based on a true story.
“Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell… Atticus establishes that the accusers—Mayella and her father, Bob Ewell, the town drunk—are lying. It also becomes clear that the friendless Mayella made sexual advances toward Tom, and that her father caught her and beat her. Despite significant evidence of Tom’s innocence, the jury convicts him.”

Who has a son here? Does anyone have a son here? I have two sons. And I will not allow my sons to endure this type of accusation without an investigation. Anyone got a problem with making society better and safer for everyone?

As I proposed previously, how can both men and women come together to make society better and safer for everyone?

I suggested earlier that telling a cop would start an investigation. Cop will ask questions. That’s their job, to investigate. I was told by @Dutchess_III “It isn’t anything you can sue them for…”. Well, sorry, there is more to it than that. I really don’t want any one of our sons to get his ass kicked or worse because some ladies don’t feel an investigation is necessary. And believe it or not, there are those who will take justice into their own hands far beyond proportional justice because they feel like their sister was disrespected.

Would be nice if the OP, @Carly, would return and participate in her own thread, to put some perspective on this.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, please, do tell how I should have “investigated” the assholes at the bar to find their “real” motivation? Or the assholes that pinched my ass? Or the assholes who screamed “Nice ass!” Exactly how should I “investigate” the men who did that to me?

A cop wouldn’t do shit. A cop would be pissed because they were on their way to a robbery, and they got some stupid 911 call because some guy pinched some girl’s ass? Ya. Right.

@Carly is scared to death at this point!

Dutchess_III's avatar

“To Kill a Mockingbird” highlights a serious social issue, where abuse is falsely reported. Has nothing to do with this discussion.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Are you vouching for all claims here @Dutchess_III?

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK. Give me a comment above that “To Kill A Mockingbird” addresses. We all know of false sexual charges that have been filed by women. It’s a man’s greatest danger today.
To the best of my knowledge, we were discussing actual Fluther Women’s experiences. No DA involved.

OMG. I’m a Fluther Woman.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Dutchess_III ”...a serious social issue, where abuse is falsely reported. Has nothing to do with this discussion.”

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “Are you vouching for all claims here @Dutchess_III?”

First answer that question. I’m not going down the rabbit hole of aversion again.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Dutchess_III “Oh, please, do tell how I should have “investigated” the assholes at the bar to find their “real” motivation?”

You don’t. That’s not how it works. Investigation is only legitimate if done by a neutral party. The Bar owner. The Bouncer. A formal complaint. Perhaps even another person in the bar. Bring forth your accusation and support it with as much evidence and witness as possible. You may suggest a motive. But the goal is to address a crime, an assault, or a perceived threat.

“Or the assholes that pinched my ass?”

That’s assault. Report it to authority.

“Or the assholes who screamed “Nice ass!”

That could be considered a verbal threat. Report to authority that you’ve been threatened.

“Exactly how should I “investigate” the men who did that to me?”

See above.

“A cop wouldn’t do shit.”

Report the cop to superiors. File a complaint. Make an example of them so that other cops would do the “shit” they’re being paid to do.

“A cop would be pissed because they were on their way to a robbery, and they got some stupid 911 call because some guy pinched some girl’s ass?”

Not one who’s sister/mother/wife suffered similar. Not a female cop. And not a cop that didn’t have a robbery to investigate.

”@Carly is scared to death at this point!”

The only way to establish that is to speak with her. Have you spoken with her? Are you vouching for all claims here @Dutchess_III?
_________

Please consider I’ve attempted to answer every question and trying to provide solutions. Public awareness is also a powerful ally to change peoples minds. A couple of ladies and mencoming together to picket outside the bar with signs saying “STOP sexual harassment”, with a threat to call news agencies, to make that bar owner consider banning those who commit such offenses. Society has provided mechanisms to address this issue. Complaining about it isn’t a solution. In fact, it prevents real solutions from manifesting.

jca's avatar

This sounds like a good Fluther question. What would the cops do, in your opinion, in this case?

I may ask it later – don’t have time now.

jca (36054points)“Great Answer” (1points)
RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Undercover female police have been installed into the Bogota mass transit system in Columbia. I heard the report on NPR last weekend. This video by the Miami Herald. Or read the story here.

That’s a very proactive bunch of ladies, coming together with men, to address the real problem of sexual harassment. Perhaps the same type of solution could be implemented elsewhere. It doesn’t address the occasional harassment in less public environments. But it does at least raise public awareness, and as the video suggests, instills a sense of paranoia into men who commit such offenses.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You brought up “To Kil A Mockingbird,” and you can’t even tell me how it’s relevant to this discussion.

I will vouch for all the claims of humiliation that any woman makes here of humiliation and embarrassment at the hands of men who somehow seem to think it’s OK .

Dutchess_III's avatar

(Sorry. I just turned my computer on. A bunch of other comments loaded after I made mine so it’s kind of bumpy there.)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Dutchess_III “You brought up “To Kil A Mockingbird,”...tell me how it’s relevant to this discussion.”

This discussion is bigger than fluther. Claims of harassment are no more or less valid simply upon the merit of being described on fluther. Just because someone shared their story here doesn’t make it any more valid than a story told elsewhere, or not told at all. If you confine the phenomenon to fluther, then you don’t grasp the magnitude of the issue. Certainly your stories didn’t become valid just because you shared them here.

@Dutchess_III “I will vouch for all the claims of humiliation that any woman makes here of humiliation and embarrassment at the hands of men who somehow seem to think it’s OK .”

On what authority do you vouch for these, or any claims? Were you witness? Do you think people sometimes do things that they know are not ok, but they do them anyway, regretting it later?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Thank you so much for your diligence in staying around to address this topic. It is admirable. And thank you for sharing this article. While it still doesn’t provide a solution in stopping the cat-calling, as the article says, it is a step in the right direction for bringing about awareness. It’s unfortunate that tax-payers’ money needs to be spent on dealing this, but it’s a start.

Another problem is that there are women who reinforce cat-calling with positive feedback. Both you and @Hypocrisy_Central gave examples. In your case, or that of your wife’s, I wonder how she would have felt (or reacted) had you not been there. Would you mind asking her? In @Hypocrisy_Central‘s example, it probably wouldn’t have scared or offended me, but I wouldn’t reinforce it by saying, “Thank you!” It only encourages the guys to continue. It may freak out the next female they wolf-whistle at.

I think what it boils down to is that I don’t understand why anyone would cat-call in the first place. What is the intent?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer “In your case, or that of your wife’s, I wonder how she would have felt (or reacted) had you not been there. Would you mind asking her?”

We had discussed the potential long in advance. I’m a fashion, photographer. She’s a model, very beautiful. We both understood that it was going to happen, and it did, many times. Our agreement was that I was not to confront any harassment unless there was actual hands on or invasion of close space. She had it under control enough that I never had to step in, except once to move a drunk out of the way. This was a long time ago when we were young and beautiful. We’re divorced twelve years now. All good.

But that time was very educational to me about what to look for, in advance, to see how situations can develop, and to distinguish real threats from passing trash talk. If I sense potential harassment approaching now, I’ll just get close to my lady and make it obvious that it will be answered accordingly. That always diffuses the potential event before it ever occurs.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer “I think what it boils down to is that I don’t understand why anyone would cat-call in the first place. What is the intent?”

Some here suggest that the intent is always to be interpreted as “I want to fuck you”. I don’t see it as always that simple. As noted before, I think there are many many potential intents, ranging from immature experimentation to elevate pecking order in a peer group, or lack of respect handed down by parents, or an ill phrased compliment that is misunderstood as a threat. So many dynamics at play, including the potential for psychological disorders.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, you don’t get the harassment if you’re with a man. It always happens when you’re with other women, and can get dangerous if you’re alone.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I read your answer above. Do those reasons make any of it OK, in your opinion?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No. Harassment of any kind, is never (edit rarely) OK.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No, I take that back. The friends of one who harasses, should harass the fuck out of him to stop it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

But let’s also admit, that for various reasons, parents often harass their teens (of both sexes) about the clothing they wear in public.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you don’t think it’s OK, why are you fighting so hard to defend it?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies It’s impressive that the two of you talked through this type of scenario on the front end. It doesn’t answer my question though. How might she have felt or responded if you hadn’t been there?

As for the intent: Yes, you are correct. And yes, it has been addressed by you more than once on this thread. Please forgive me for bringing it up once again. Then again, maybe it isn’t bad to have it re-posted. The responses are many and have come swiftly.

@Dutchess_III “Well, you don’t get the harassment if you’re with a man. It always happens when you’re with other women, and can get dangerous if you’re alone.” I don’t think this is true. While less common, cat-calls are still made when in the company of a man. It doesn’t always happen when we are with other women. It can lead to a dangerous situation, whether one is alone, with another group of females, or with a male.

Fortunately, the situations that result in bodily harm from cat-calling are minimal. The problem is that they exist. Females either experience them first-hand or learn about them and constantly worry about what might happen to them. This is why we are overly sensitive about cat-calls. It shatters our sense of general security.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok, in MY experience it doesn’t happen if I am with a man.

Ladies…how many of you have grabbed a man and said, “Pretend to be my boyfriend, ‘cause this jerk over here won’t leave me alone!”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer “How might she have felt or responded if you hadn’t been there?”

She would be proportionally amused to terrified relevant to each individual situation. Teens on the corner shouting “nice ass” would probably have made her laugh. One man amongst peers, at a bar, could provoke any number of responses from reporting to bouncer, owner, to have them thrown out, or even telling his immediate friends that his behavior is unacceptable, and prompting them to shut him down. A single man walking toward her alone on the street would terrify her even if nothing was said… even if he was on the phone talking to someone else completely oblivious of her. She’s very suspicious of lone wolves.

We talked about all of that, how she would feel, and how she could handle it best if alone.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

She’s a black woman. I’m a white guy. When in the company of other black men, the biggest threats were cast at me.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Teens on the corner shouting “nice ass” would probably have made her laugh.”

But if they called her a hooker, or propositioned her, depending on her mood, she would dress them down with a harsh tongue lashing that would make a sailor blush. I’ve seen it happen.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

One night, we were parked in car, and some kid (older teen, early twenties )rode up on his bicycle and said, “Hey when you’re done with her, send her over to me”.

I chased that punk down and shared some tough love with him. My wife was very careful to prevent me from doing that again. She became more proactive in her own defense.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Dutchess_III I have never asked a stranger to pretend to be my boyfriend. The closest example is from a couple of months ago. At the local park, I confronted a half dozen teens who were destroying park property. They denied it. There was a group of biker guys camped out across the street where I had been reading a book. I called out to them, “You got my back?” One responded, “We already called the police.”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Dutchess_III “Ladies…how many of you have grabbed a man and said, “Pretend to be my boyfriend, ‘cause this jerk over here won’t leave me alone!”

I’ve been asked. But I don’t pretend anything. I don’t play games like that. Better to approach the fellas directly and let them know what’s up right away. “You’re making the lady uncomfortable and giving men a bad name. Stop it now, and consider apologizing to her”. It always ends well with an apology from a very sad man shamed in public. Every time.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I asked this question about whether men are ever afraid of being harmed by a woman and it is obvious that men have no idea what it is like for women on a daily basis. We have to think about men harming us all the time. Men are potentially scary people for women; while for men, women can be annoying, but men feel confident they can fend them off.

Getting into an elevator, walking down the street, on a first date, going to the bathroom, walking to our car alone, we are constantly aware. We don’t walk around paranoid, but when we realize we are alone with a stranger man we know something can go wrong. Men in groups can be scary too, I know two women who were gang raped. One is the daughter of a close friend and the other I didn’t know very well, I just knew what happened to her. My aunt was attacked when a guy got into an elevator with her and got out with her on her floor. Luckily, he was not successful in raping her, but he tried. The daughter of an employee of mine was raped at gun point. The friend of another woman I worked with was raped in her apartment. The sister of a girl I went to high school with was brutally raped and killed. Another girl I worked with was robbed at knife point in a parking lot. I could name more. Men don’t realize how many women have had bad things happen, because they don’t talk about it with men.

Yesterday one of the subs working on my house complimented me and it was fine, I didn’t feel afraid. He kept a good distance from me and was courteous and also joked around a little. There are ways to compliment a woman wothout being obnoxious or scary.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies It’s not a game, really. If, for some reason, a woman feels threatened or harassed, it will stop if she has a man with her. You could look at it as a passive form of protection.

Like you said, @JLeslie we are wary and afraid constantly.

canidmajor's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies: way way way up thread I was nastily chastised (comments since removed) for pointing out to another user that it doesn’t go both ways, because of the threat factor for women. That user has since declared on @JLeslie‘s question that he has never been afraid of a woman.
That’s why catcalling bothers us. It carries a threat. We don’t quake in our shoes whenever we leave the house, but we have learned to always be mindful.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It doesn’t always’ stop’ (or more more accurately, ‘happen’) when a woman has a man with her. There are cases when both the female and male are verbally harassed (or worse.)

I am neither wary or afraid constantly. If I was, I probably would never leave my house and/or have any interaction with males.

It’s one thing to compliment someone of the opposite sex in a sincere manner when you know the person to a certain degree. Cat-calling just shouldn’t happen. The receiver may act that it is acceptable because they do perceive it as a compliment. It may also be due to the fact that the receiver feels it is the only way to walk away from it safely without letting the aggressor know how they really feel.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, OK. It lessens.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@JLeslie We have to think about men harming us all the time. Men are potentially scary people for women; while for men, women can be annoying, but men feel confident they can fend them off.
That is very curious, some time back I posed the question about if women used situational awareness, or if they were responsible in part if they didn’t use it, the same as you speak, and the napalm hurled by the women could have baked a T-Rex. I was left with the impression women felt indignant because they could not leave a party at 11pm in the evening in heels and a mini stretch dress with a low neckline and walk 2 blocks down dark streets to their car and not have to worry about being accosted. Any woman (or man for that matter) should always exercise situational awareness. Not everyone is going to respect the fact you have the right to sit at a biker bar in a spaghetti top and Daisy Dukes, or leave your expensive laptop visible on the passenger seat of your car, or your carbon fiber bike locked overnight in a bike rack on campus. I am a man and if I am out late I assess who is around me, how many there are, if there are other people around as witnesses or help if something jumps off. I take note if they pass me and turn around headed back in my direction as if to sneak up on me, or they pass me and disappear into a blind stairway or side corridor as if maybe to ambush me. I am not paranoid of people but I do assess what motive they may have or what attack they may fashion if they decided to.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Situational awareness is a good term. It won’t necessarily keep us safe, but it keeps us aware.

I don’t really appreciate being compared to a lap top that could be stolen if you’re stupid enough to leave in your car unlocked. I have a bit more value than that.

When I left that party that I told you about, when I was in college and the dog followed me and may have saved my life, I was not in heels or a mini skirt, and I did not have a plunging neck line. I had on jeans and a workshirt that was almost fully buttoned. I never felt comfortable with too much showing. At a party once I had a girlfriend who huffed and came over and unbuttoned one of my top buttons so I wouldn’t look so…whatever. Stuffy or standoffish. I buttoned it back up. Didn’t stop those men from slowing down…

Much later I read somewhere that the higher a person buttons their shirt, the more intelligent they are.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I was left with the impression women felt indignant because they could not leave a party at 11 pm in the evening in heels and a mini stretch dress with a low neckline and walk 2 blocks down dark streets to their car and not have to worry about being accosted. Any woman (or man for that matter) should always exercise situational awareness.

@Hypocrisy_Central why should we not feel indignant about this? Why shouldn’t we be able to leave a party at 11 pm dressed in any way we like and know we’ll be safe from attack (verbal or physical)? Is a man or men or woman or women going to attack us?

If you’re saying a man/men might see our attire as provocative, then shouldn’t society’s response be to find a way to educate or condition men who act this way to not act in this way? And who’s likely to have more success at educating these males to change their behaviour? Women or men or both?

Yes I feel indignant that I can’t go to a party and then walk home without fear of attack. I also feel indignant that if I am attacked, some people will say ‘but she wasn’t wearing her burka (or whatever they deem appropriate attire)! It’s her own fault’. Yes I do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s another of those “She was just asking for it” arguments.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit […why should we not feel indignant about this?
It is part of the landscape, the same as you put the alarm on your car and your house when you leave, YOU KNOW there are people who are not going to respect your personal items or dignity.

Why shouldn’t we be able to leave a party at 11 pm dressed in any way we like and know we’ll be safe from attack (verbal or physical)?
YOU SHOULD BE, the same as you should be able to walk out of your house, go to the market to get some eggs to finish dinner and not have to set the alarm and lock the place up airtight. Truth of the matter, it is not gonna happen, there will always be someone who feel their need outstrips yours.

If you’re saying a man/men might see our attire as provocative, then shouldn’t society’s response be to find a way to educate or condition men who act this way to not act in this way?
Maybe society could change the way the next generation of men see women, or women in a mini or bikini but again ain’t gonna happen. Society and media does more to teach boys that women are eye candy then not. Sex is used to sell just about everything and the ads run on Sat morning during cartoons even if not as much as primetime. But if the kid gets on the Net, it is a wash.

And who’s likely to have more success at educating these males to change their behaviour? Women or men or both?
Should be both, but you have agents on both side working against it, so it ain’t gonna happen.

I also feel indignant that if I am attacked, some people will say ‘but she wasn’t wearing her burka (or whatever they deem appropriate attire)! It’s her own fault’.
And there always will be people who will talk. You never should have left your laptop in the front seat in that neighborhood at night for three hours; you were begging to be robbed. You never should have left to visit your uncle for 4 days with your Christmas presents under the tree and your drapes open for all who passed to see. People will always talk, what can you do about it…..I guess you can let it get you upset even when you know what they are going to say.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@canidmajor ”...we have learned to always be mindful”

As should everyone. @Hypocrisy_Central is trying to be fair and compare that to the mindfulness of not leaving a laptop lying around. Why shouldn’t I be able to do that? Well, I should. But mindfulness allows me to weigh the hope of life against the reality of life.

Ladies are mindful to put on perfume and dress to look great, perhaps even to attract men. That mindfulness also makes them aware of the potential realities of doing so.

I’m not saying it’s ok to be harassed for doing so any more than I’m saying it’s ok to steal a laptop.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central, thanks for your thoughtful response. If you look at the comments and recent threads from @Dutchess_III and @JLeslie, you’ll know women are acutely aware of the fact that they have to moderate their behaviour to avoid the possibility of attack (verbal or physical), but to just say ‘well that’s how it is’ isn’t good enough.

I also agree that change will come from both male and female efforts, but until we all get on the same page and agree it’s not acceptable and it needs to change, and commit to doing something about it, it won’t happen. The same with domestic violence. As long as it’s accepted as being just part of life, nothing will change.

I know it’s reality but it isn’t an acceptable reality and women have the right to feel indignant about the lack of real freedom they experience because of the behaviour of a very small minority of men. I think most men are fabulous and wouldn’t ever hurt a women in this way. However, the small minority who behave this way also tarnish the way women look at men they don’t know. We should all feel indignant about this and work to make it change.

We have to challenge the attitude that questions what a woman was wearing/doing and excuses the behaviour of men who behave badly.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is that typo in the question driving anyone besides me crazy?!

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies You don’t even have to be dressed up, or have make up on, to be harassed or attacked.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Probably not. One doesn’t have to leave their laptop lying around to get it stolen either.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit “We have to challenge the attitude that questions what a woman was wearing/doing and excuses the behaviour of men who behave badly.”

Absolutely. I don’t think anyone here is suggesting it as excuse. It’s not. We don’t want excuses. We want it to stop. But we know it never will stop. The best we can promote is mindfulness of raising or lowering the odds.

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