Street Harassment

Two Can Play at This Game!

Misogynists are a lot like trap-door spiders. You're familiar with trap-door spiders, right? They don't spin big, obvious webs like normal spiders; instead they specialize in sneak attacks on their prey. Which is how misogynists are like trap-door spiders: They may appear unassuming—they iron their clothes! They love their mothers!—but then a woman passes by and "asks for it" by making eye contact and BAM! She's hit with "Nice tits" or "I'd tap that ass" or, worse, a criminal groping.

We colloquially call this street harassment, but it happens everywhere: at work, in the park, at bars, on the bus, at the dentist, in school, even at funerals. No public space is off-limits, and no woman is immune.

As women, it's hard to convey the fear, shame, and inarticulate rage that these interactions provoke. It's hard to explain to men what it feels like to be harassed by a stranger who is invariably larger and stronger than us, and who has just demonstrated his eagerness to play out the beginning of every rape fantasy we've never had—in public. Worse yet, it's almost impossible to come up with a great response (or to dig out your cheese-turned-scrotal-grater) when you've just been sexually harassed. Not that women are encouraged to respond to street harassment—if anything, we're trained to wordlessly swallow abuse or risk escalating a demeaning situation into a dangerous one.

But the idea that a woman's self-respect is the secret ingredient that turns a run-of-the-mill misogynist into a rapist is horseshit. Horseshit piled so high you couldn't scale it all in a day—a Mount Rainier–sized pile of horseshit. Women aren't the problem here. We don't need any more advice on how to avoid or ignore street harassment. If anything, what we deserve are a few good revenge tactics.

Unless you're physically harassed—like let's say a stranger just up and grabs your boobs. That's a crime, and you should call 911 right away. It's no different than if someone walked up to you and slapped you in the face. Call 911 and say, "Some guy has just grabbed my boobs and I feel unsafe."

What men need is a wake-up call: You're the problem. If not you personally, then your best friend, a coworker, or that dude in your fantasy football league is. You're making us feel unsafe every day, in a thousand different ways. To help you better identify your harassing behavior, we've illustrated the most common types of misogynists below—along with the comebacks from us you might not get, given the trap-door spideriness of your attacks, but which you certainly deserve.

Illustrations by Brittany Kusa

In closing...

Ladies, as much as we all love scathing comebacks, chances are you're not always going to be prepared with the perfect response while being harassed. But here's something you can practice saying in front of a mirror: "Stop harassing me." It's simple, it's straightforward, and it signals everyone within earshot—including your harasser—that you're uncomfortable and you need help. And if the harassment doesn't stop or you feel like you're in any immediate danger, call 911 immediately.

And guys: We don't want to hear any horseshit victim-blaming about women these days not knowing a compliment when it jumps out at them from a dark alley. Here's a good litmus test for compliments: Would you say it to your mother or niece? No? Then don't scream it at the woman who's just trying to catch the number 8 bus. And if you find yourselves justifying any of the behaviors mentioned above, practice saying this in front of a mirror: "I'm a sad, delusional trap-door spider who repulses women with my words and actions." And then knock it the fuck off. recommended


Comments (301) RSS

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zivilisierter Wurm 1
Also: if you are being harassed by a crew of dudes on break, see if you can figure out who they work for and then call their corporate number. You don't have to ask - check hardhats/vests/public notices. Some supes may condone harassment as "boys being boys", but HR will get in their face about it.
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm http://peregrinari.tumblr.com/ on June 5, 2013 at 9:22 AM · Report this
I usually just pretend to be on my phone when encountering wolf packs - it might not stop the "Hey baby how you doin tonight" comments, but it does tend to help me not get called a bitch for ignoring them as I walk away.
Posted by westface on June 5, 2013 at 9:46 AM · Report this
It's like walking around with the equivalent of a million dollars in your pocket all day every day and everyone wants some. Why can't you just feel rich instead of shitting on every man on earth because you have what every man on earth wants? Oh right, it is only OK when the advances are from a suitor you deem appropriate.
Posted by six five on June 5, 2013 at 9:50 AM · Report this
thatsnotright 4
These responses are amusing and I get "esprit d'escalier, but these scenarios may well escalate a situation to further abuse, threat of physical harm or loss of a job. Unless you are in a place where others might help you out or you are capable of fighting back, be careful. Your boss isn't going to thank you for telling a customer you're going to castrate him. Your boss is required to keep your work-place free of sexcual harrassment so perhaps it's better to involve her when customers are out of line. Insulting back at a drunk might result in a shouting match or worse. @ 1, good suggestion.
Posted by thatsnotright on June 5, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Report this
@Six Five says we should feel lucky to be harassed, groped and menaced on the street by strangers because they are 'advances from a suitor'. Ha! Please read the end of the article and recite: "I'm a sad, delusional trap-door spider who repulses women with my words and actions."
Posted by Robin5050 on June 5, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
"What men need is a wake-up call: You're the problem." FUCK you. How about if I wrote an article about child abuse--most of which is committed by women--and included that statement: "What women need is a wake-up call about beating, humiliating, and neglecting their kids. You're the problem." How's that fucking feel?

Btw, do any black or hispanic guys ever harass women? Because from these cartoons it seems to be all white guys. Which is not exactly what I hear from my female friends when they are being candid.
Posted by Adversary on June 5, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
@3 I agree.

"It's no different than if someone walked up to you and slapped you in the face."

Actually IT IS different. In many of these situations, you can just ignore them and walk away. This isn't "harassment", which is defined as "characteristically repetitive". Most of these situations aren't repetitive.

Someone says "nice ass" on the street? I take it as a compliment even if it's from another guy. It's a true statement and it just needs to be repeated out loud.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Report this
I definitely use headphones to my advantage... but when the opportunity presents itself I usually alternate between laughing at the sad little dude or asking, "Did your daddy just not raise you right?!"
Posted by squirrely girl on June 5, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Report this
@Robin5050 No, that isn't what he was trying to convey. I hope you do actually understand that.

There aren't pictures of ripped guys making these taunts. Most of them are fat and balding. If they were hot guys, I don't think as much offense would be taken.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Delishuss 10
@7 Legally, it's actually not any different at all. If you ever touch someone who doesn't want to be touched, you are assaulting them.
Posted by Delishuss on June 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
And... cue the commenters that just don't get it and can't seem to get it even after reading multiple articles and their associated commentary (i.e., willfully retarded individuals).
Posted by squirrely girl on June 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
I think this article is missing a few points. If it's only about street harassment, then okay. But if you want to talk about misogynists, talk about them. They come in all shapes and sizes, and many of them do not do the dog whistles or lewd gestures. Many of them are local musicians, artists, and other "normal" guys who save their misogyny for the women they date. Some are more obvious and shameless than others, but some are downright deceptive. They talk about women's rights. And in reality, they treat women like an inferior species. Maybe doing an article on THAT type of misogynist would help clarify that not all of these dicks are going to stare you down at the bus stop or yell obscenities at you. Just a thought. It's just as damaging (if not more so) to find yourself in a relationship with one of these assholes (or, worse yet, become related to them by marriage). The nondescript types need to know that they are no higher in the ranks than the ones you've listed here.
Posted by horsefly on June 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM · Report this
As a guy who routinely stares into space, space that sometimes is or comes to be occupied by a person or people, I would rather be snapped from my reverie at mildly uncomfortable rather than searching for or found your cheese-turned-scrotal-grater.
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 5, 2013 at 10:21 AM · Report this
@10 You're right. I copied and pasted the wrong section.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 10:23 AM · Report this
@6 Most of the male population of the US, and to a greater proportion in Seattle, is white.

Seriously, get over your aggrieved ass.
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 5, 2013 at 10:25 AM · Report this
BlackSandpaper 16
Anything else you want to share with women about how we're doing it wrong when it comes to staying safe, sane, and alive out there? Cause you know, it's totally our jobs to make sure men know that being a creep is creepy.
Posted by BlackSandpaper on June 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
Robin @ 5 -- If you want, we can get into how it is a concrete social norm and expectation that the man makes the first move. These are men making first moves (classless, gross, whatever; I concede).

You only like to hear that you have nice tits from the upper tier of possible mates. Like a kid who wants to play with a toy. But not just ANY toy. The best toy, happy ever after toy! And it is offensive to you to be presented with any other toys unless it is a toy you like.

It is very difficult to construct this idea in any way that isn't offensive, but listen, women: IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU. You get all this damned attention and advances and harassment because the world revolves around your pussy. You only like this fact of life when you are able to wield this to your love life/benefit/gain, or ~~~empowerment~~~, and not for the burden that the power brings along with it.
Posted by six five on June 5, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Big Matt G 18
@17) Still single, huh?
Posted by Big Matt G on June 5, 2013 at 10:34 AM · Report this
"What men need is a wake-up call: You're the problem. If not you personally, then your best friend, a coworker, or that dude in your fantasy football league is. You're making us feel unsafe every day, in a thousand different ways."

See, this right here is where you lose me a little bit.

I don't make advances like that towards women. I couldn't even conceive of doing so. Fair enough, you respond: but your friends do, and you don't call them on it! That's your duty!

Okay. But I can honestly say that I've never seen friends or acquaintances do that either. No, I'm definitely not saying it doesn't happen. Part of that, I suspect, is I've worked hard in my life to maintain the kind of social circles that don't include the sort of guy who introduces himself to women he's never met by putting his fingers through his tongue.

Have I seen random men on the street do it? Yeah, now and then. So are you asking me to pick fights with random meth heads on the street when they holler at you? I ask half-seriously.
Posted by Morosoph on June 5, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
hannabrooks 20
Much as I agree that street harassment is the absolute worst -- and truly, it is. When it's a daily occurrence, it doesn't feel complimentary, it makes you feel entirely worthless and degraded -- this is still pretty blame-y. I play nicely with creepers on the bus/the street/the bar/wherever I am because it's a matter of safety. It's just easier to get through the situation without inflaming it.

Does that solve anything? No, but that's why I've written about the subject/talked to my male friends about it/participated in SlutWalk. If there's anything women are doing wrong re: street harassment, it's that we don't speak up about it in safe spaces frequently enough.

I appreciate this on its face, and the work that's being done on the Slog about the subject, but the illustration is pointing the finger in the wrong direction.
Posted by hannabrooks http://seattlish.com on June 5, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
@GabrielDiesel - I don't want to be harassed by anyone, it doesn't matter what they look like. If the person in question is engaging in any of the practices above, I'm not interested.
Posted by Robin5050 on June 5, 2013 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Check out Hollaback! -- an organization dedicated to ending street harassment that is powered by local leaders in 64 cities and 22 countries globally. We're at ihollaback.org -- and would love to work with the Stranger on a follow up episode! You can email us at holla@ihollaback.org.
Posted by hollagirl on June 5, 2013 at 10:39 AM · Report this
@six five

1. You don't need to be a millionaire to have people asking for your money.

2. If I were a millionaire, I would still expect people to leave me the fuck alone.

3. Anyone I would deem an "acceptable suitor" would not make their existence or interest known to me by any of the above tactics. Instead, they would TRY TO GET TO KNOW ME AS A PERSON. Weird concept, I know.

4. If you're using those tactics to be considered as a suitor, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.


Genuine compliments are direct, don't require an audience, and are given after considering if the compliment will be appreciated. Anything you might deem a compliment from the above examples are none of those things. It's not a compliment for someone to publicly evaluate you, especially when it's unwanted (which is basically always). It's just rude.
Posted by buchmensch on June 5, 2013 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Goddammit, someone needs to address the retards on here who insist on clinging to the notion that if it were some attractive, hot guy who said "Nice tits" or made a lewd gesture, or in any other way treated us like we were a burger instead of a person, we would somehow be receptive to the possibility of "mating" with that person.
If it were the hottest guy I could think of saying something like that, or acting that way, it would still be an instant "Whoa, WTF?? Gross" reaction from me. I would assume the guy was an asshole. So save your idiotic notions for the trash bin of stale leftovers from decades past, because they're NOT REALITY.
Posted by horsefly on June 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM · Report this

"Nice ass" evaluated by your "genuine compliment" test.

1: Direct. Yes.
2: Audience is not required. Just the complimenter and complimentee. You seem to believe that compliments should not be "public", but I disagree.
3: Unwanted? There's no way to evaluate what someone is thinking when they're walking away from you on the street.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
#3 Right on point one. That's what it feels like. Wouldn't you be afraid of someone stealing your million bucks if you were walking around with all that cash in your pocket??? As to the rest, if this is how you court a gal no wonder you've been shit on. I know no women who deem these types of suitors appropriate. But then, that's a straw man and you know it.
Posted by spexydevonz on June 5, 2013 at 10:46 AM · Report this
34x42 27
tbh, ~90% of the women i see while out in the world are not attractive.

so the point about all women walking around with a million dollars is bullshit. most have enough for rent and bills that month, and are maybe socking away a bit at a time for a vacation they'd like to take. kinda like most everyone else.

and the ten percent i do find to be attractive? i treat them like i treat any other person i come in contact with randomly, and that is with respect and tact. i don't participate in any of the depicted scenarios. i think men who do are shitheads.

really though, shouldn't this weak attempt at an article be on jezebel, as they kinda have the market cornered in regard to hyperbole fueled drivel.

i'm guessing this post will be written of as having been written by some mysoganisyic rape apologist, who hates women and thinks he's the shit while stumbling blindly through social discourse and doesn't have many smart and talented female friends who make many excellent points regarding this topic that i consider just as valid as any man's. but, youd be wrong. mostly i just have a low patince threshhold for bullshit.
Posted by 34x42 on June 5, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
@19 No, I think we're asking that you take a more active role in assuming that this is not a "women's issue", it's a social issue. So get out there and support the next Slut Walk.
Posted by horsefly on June 5, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
This was a daily hassle for me when I rode the bus, now I drive my own vehicle to work harassment free.
I was asked to get into a vehicle twice in one year, once in Greenwood and once downtown in front of Macy's. No thanks, perverts.
Posted by So Star Struck on June 5, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
I had my ass slapped by a random guy outside 5th and Jackson pretty recently and it is definitely the most surprising thing ever. The guy ran so I couldn't get a picture or a great description of him but he was definitely old enough to know better.

I've never seen so many misogyny apologists in one comment section in my life. What is wrong with you people to think behavior like this is OK?
Posted by tigntink on June 5, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Jesus. Here come the defenders of hateful trolls. Telling a woman "Nice ass" is not the opening gambit in a romantic exchange. It's not "making the first move," #17. (There's a lot of anger in that post--and to suggest that sexual harassment is just "the burden" that the power of our pussies brings along with it is just retarded.) NOBODY who yells "Nice tits!" expects the woman to happily begin a relationship with them. It's obviously a power play. Even a smoking hot guy, if he really wants to get to know me, should talk to me like a human being, not just a female piece of meat (later, when we know each other better, he can compliment the hell out of my body parts). Also, #3, how did an article bemoaning verbal sexual harassment become "shitting on every man on earth"? What kind of guy are you that you think EVERY man acts like this? I pity the women in your life.
Posted by S. Kelley on June 5, 2013 at 11:05 AM · Report this
As a man who likes to consider himself an ally to women and who is infuriated when I hear about things like this happening to women I know, I want to suggest that any man who feels similarly should also take some time to think about what they can do to intervene when they witness stuff like this happening. Around the time of Cienna's original post around this, I heard a few other stories from friends (and my sweetheart) about stuff that had recently happened to them. It got me fired up to start confronting other men when I saw them harassing women on the street.

But just two days ago, I was walking home and saw a woman walking towards me. A car was driving in the same direction she was walking, and the driver of the car (there were a few other men inside) called out, "Hey girl!" to her. She ignored them and kept walking. They did it again, and she ignored them again. I got really pissed off and thought about telling them to leave her alone and that she obviously didn't want to talk to some random guy shouting out of his car, but by the time I even formulated that response, she had stepped into a shop, and the car kept going.

I'm planning to think about this more, so that next time I see something like this happen, I'll be ready to say something. I'd encourage other men who want to fight street harassment to do the same.

I don't care if folks want to pick this or me apart for feeling this way. This shit is wrong and needs to stop.

Posted by bookworm on June 5, 2013 at 11:06 AM · Report this
sugar2s 33
@30, Actually for the internet, this is fairly light on the misogynists.

@six five, Women aren't allowed to have tastes and standards? I mean the idea that the world revolves around pussy is laughable -- although for the Republican party, things do seem to revolve around controlling our pussies -- but you seem genuinely aggrieved that a woman might prefer the attentions* of someone she is attracted to over the attentions of someone she isn't. Apparently merely having a pussy requires you to dole it out in some kind of democratic fashion, so that every penis-haver gets "his share."

*Not that the things described in the article count as "attentions." What they are is what they are intended to be, harassment and an attempt to put women in their place for existing in public.

Posted by sugar2s on June 5, 2013 at 11:11 AM · Report this
six five, get off the Mens Rights blogs or Reddit threads on "friend zoning" or whatevertheshit poison you are consuming, stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop pretending that guys have it SO ROUGH, and go out into the real world and treat everybody decently without presuming you know what it likes to walk in their shoes.

You'll be happier and you might even get laid.
Posted by Actionsquid on June 5, 2013 at 11:14 AM · Report this
bauhaus junkie 35
@3, comparing any woman to "walking around with a million dollars" in their pocket is exactly the type of thinking that perpetuates this behavior. reducing women to "what they have to offer" or "what they're worth" is the best way to come across as a piece of shit, whether it's actually a million bucks or "nice tits" or however you want to bill it. the idea that women have inherent "value" based on what they have to offer physically, or on "mating potential" is just dooming society to continue this amazingly stupid rape culture.

@25, unwanted, exactly. there IS no way to evaluate the response, nor is there one expected in a street interaction, therefore it's entirely for the benefit of the harrasser. if you hit someone with your car and then drive away, you don't have timet to evaluate their reaction, how do you know THAT'S not unwanted?

guys (yes, guys), this whole thread has really suprised and disgusted me. i thought slog readers were better than this.
Posted by bauhaus junkie on June 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
jnmend 36
@18 heyyoooooo.
Posted by jnmend on June 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
I think it's amusing to see so many men offended by having rude behavior called out and trying to justify it by saying women are just too sensitive. @9 even thinks we'd be less upset if we were being insulted by hot guys. I've been dealing with this type of behavior most of my life, and I honestly have never understood why guys do this. The result is a woman who is frightened and/or pissed off. Not exactly the way a suitor behaves @3.

I don't necessarily agree with the advised responses, though can infer that they are intended to be somewhat humorous. But for any guy who thinks any of the inciting behavior is appropriate under any circumstance - maybe you can tell me why you think it's okay and what you are trying to achieve?
Posted by K8F on June 5, 2013 at 11:18 AM · Report this
@35 I think it could very easily be assumed that no one wants to be hit with a car. However, when I'm on the streets in Capitol Hill, I don't mind the "public compliments". I work hard at the gym, and wear tight jeans on the street when I'm out to have fun. It makes me feel good to know that people out there find my ass attractive and that they say so. But I'm a guy and I know it won't go any further unless I want it to. I imagine if I were weak, I would be afraid of the complimenters.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
I am not going to fear escalating these situations as much as I've been told to. I have my wits about me at all times. As a woman, I am told to be afraid, that I'm smaller. I carry mace and I have committed to myself to first threaten it and then, in the time it takes to unlatch it from my purse and point it with precision, I WILL MACE ANYONE THAT TOUCHES ME UNWANTED. What if there were more accounts in the media reporting on women macing misogynists ? I'd be ok with that.
Posted by crybaby studios on June 5, 2013 at 11:30 AM · Report this
I live in Belltown and make the walk down 3rd to catch the bus to Capitol Hill on an almost daily basis to get to School & Work. Although I don't take it as feeling degraded or demeaned, because I don't have the time or capacity to give a fuck, in most situations these advances are completely inappropriate. I've dealt with freaks on the 358, i've called out guys preying on other girls on the bus, i've nearly gotten in fights with shit-hammered bros at bars after I told them to fuck off, and i've had to pretend friends were my husbands just to get guys to leave me alone (i'm sure plenty of ladies have played that game..) It gets annoying but I don't let anyone have power over me to let myself be overly bothered with someone's blatant idiocy. If they're going to be dumb, then immediately excuse their existence. Know that they're fucking degenerates, and treat them as so - if you do it the right way, they'll feel like crap about themselves two minutes after you've even walked away, and it only takes a few words and is more damaging then a gross attempt that gets a rise out of you. If someone is blatantly groping you - CALL THE FUCKING COPS and pepper spray that asshole in the face until they get there. That is never okay.

Obviously, there can often be some serious danger behind street harassment because these situations can lead to sexual assault. I'm almost 25 and have always lived in and around the city, which has led me to be without a license without much need for one so I mostly walk and take the bus everywhere. I deal with this shit all the time, but the ONLY TIME I believe it is truly okay to make a huge scene and follow through with one of these scenarios is when you're in a TRULY SAFE place or if you know the situation is dangerous or you know there is something very wrong happening or about to happen. Just because a guy says some stupid comment, does not mean you should hit them or call them out and try to "threaten" them. Unless you are safe or know something serious is about to happen, in attempt to scare them off. Don't get overly personal just say "HEY. DUDE. LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE NOW AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE" in a serious, intense tone and they'll back down (if not, say 911 or Police in any context). I get hit on by a lot of gross people, and some guys at bus stops or on particular buses and avenues are seriously dangerous, mentally ill people that could seriously hurt you or put you in a dangerous situation. Don't fuck around, and don't get hurt or get yourself in worse situation - choose your battles, don't get personal, don't stop, listen to your fucking instincts and know when to call the police if something escalates.
Posted by tea.time on June 5, 2013 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Indighost 41
@37: Behavior like these is always inappropriate. But since you say you don't understand why, I will explain it: Men do it because we experience strong desires based upon visual sights. The difference between creeps and normal people is only self-discipline and self-control, just like any other crime.
Posted by Indighost on June 5, 2013 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Cracker Jack 42
@17: You're a broken toy and no one wants to play with those.
Posted by Cracker Jack on June 5, 2013 at 11:34 AM · Report this
@41 - Women experience strong desires on sight too but we have, usually, enough self respect and respect for others to keep it quiet.

Want to go out on a date with someone? Ask them out for coffee or a beer like a civilized human being - don't cat call, grab, whistle, or what ever other idiotic idea pops in your head.
Posted by tigntink on June 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
JF 44
Is the peanut gallery thing that much of a gender issue? I mean, it's in the article so it must be, but isn't that something everybody in the history of humanity does? Even suggested response is an act of judgement and if I had to guess those two illustrated women probably had that exact conversation prior to hearing the comments but just had the decency to keep their voices down.
Posted by JF on June 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
T 45
@25 So rather than assume that this brand of negative, belittling attention is unwanted, you take the "she's asking for it" approach? Fuck you. As for it your assertion of it not being "repetitive," you may not be repeatedly harrassing the same random woman on the street, but she absolutely IS being repeatedly harrassed. And you're contributing to it. You're part of the problem.

@32 Agreed. I was recently walking home with my girlfriend after a night out and some meathead said "you have really nice tits" to her. No shame. It caught me so off guard, it wasn't until 2 blocks later that I realized I should have said "right back at ya" to the fuck. Thankfully, my much more articulate lady screamed at him "that's fucking harrassment, you asshole!" She said if I wasn't with her, she wouldn't have said anything and would have walked much faster. This shit happens to her all the time. It's also happened to both of her daughters, ages 18 and 14. Gross.

Bottom line, if all you sad little boys out there want women to not assume you're a rapist, then stop acting like one. The attention isn't unwanted because you're not attractive enough. Your looks have nothing to do with it, so get over yourself. It's your behavior that makes you unattractive. You're not complimenting a woman on her looks, you're telling her that you're prone to random hormone-driven outbursts, you can't control yourself in public, and you objectify women and inherently have zero respect for them. It's these characteristics that make you unsuitable as a mate. No "happily ever after" has ever started with "nice ass." Next time, maybe open with "hi." Or better yet, just leave her alone.
Posted by T on June 5, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Sandiai 46
@13, Don't worry about it. That's not the kind of staring that's threatening. If I see a man daydreaming on the subway and looking in my general direction, I wouldn't view that as a threat at all.
Posted by Sandiai on June 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM · Report this
@17 very simple way to construct your ideas in a much less offensive manner: stop referring to our "tits" and "pussies", for one.

Also, the larger point of this article is that there is a serious problem with this institutionalized belief that not only are men entitled to lewd comments on strangers' bodies, but women should be thankful for these comments as if we are to derive our worth from being found attractive. And if we don't respond positively (or worse yet, think you're harassing us), then we must be bitches, feminazis, and out to emasculate the oh-so-aggrieved male population. The fact that men are generally taught to believe things like this or that some men think they deserve a trophy for NOT treating women like an entitlement to is the problem here.
Posted by Riiight on June 5, 2013 at 11:56 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 48
@six-five (and any other guys here to whom this may apply): Don't you have a sister, a mother, a niece, a daughter...some female person in your life that you have no interest in fucking and for whom you can muster some basic fucking empathy?

(Note that I didn't include "girlfriend" or "wife", because it is very clear to me that you are an angry dude who thinks he's entitled to the attentions and affections of women.)

Despite every impulse I have to say truly horrible things to you, I'm going to allow for the possibility that you are just a dumb fucking young guy (late teens, early 20s) whose brain is polluted by too much porn, too much pop culture garbage, and too much time on echo-chamber websites filled with other pissed off sexually frustrated dudes. Failing that, you are an older guy who has failed to progress beyond that developmental stage. In either case, you still have time.

As best I can tell, virtually all straight guys go through a period where their expectations of sex and relationships collide with the complex realities of interacting with actual women. I certainly did. Believe me, I get how frustrating it is. But that is no excuse for being an entitled asshole.

It's time to grow up. You still have time to pull your head out of your ass, to stop thinking that "the world revolves around pussy", and to stop making your world revolve around your dick.

You don't have to enroll in womens' studies or anything, but you really should do a couple of things.

1. Make friends with women. Like, actual friends, not just talking to them as part of your campaign to fuck them.

2. Be more interesting. "But I'm plenty interesting!" you say. No, you aren't. If you were, you wouldn't be trolling this blog. Put down Reddit, and read a book or two. Learn an instrument. Take a foreign language. Learn how to build stuff. SOMETHING. Learn how to interact with people (including female people!) in contexts that don't have anything to do with getting your dick wet.

There is a big world out there where people are doing things besides fucking. But if you learn to treat women (all of them) like human beings instead of your own personal fuck dolls, and manage to be a more appealing partner yourself, you might eventually find it a bit less frustrating.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on June 5, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
@45 ha ha. Fuck you too. :) Glad we got that out of the way.

I'm just saying that you don't know if the person doesn't want it. I do. I like compliments screamed at me from passing cars or tables or wherever. I could assume that if I want it, everyone does, but that probably wouldn't be accurate. I'm a single straight guy, so your mileage may vary from mine.

As should be obvious, there is a HUGE difference between verbal shouts of "hey nice ass!" and touching someone, or rape. I don't know why this isn't apparent and I'm sick of all the "rape culture" or rapist comparisons.

Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 12:12 PM · Report this
*sigh* I don't think street harassment will ever go away when so many people, even here in educated, liberal Seattle, are eager to defend the practice.

Those folk should go listen to Dan's podcast this week. Guys, the misogyny and harassment in our culture makes it harder for you to get laid. It's in your interest to make the culture more respectful of women.
Posted by wxPDX on June 5, 2013 at 12:12 PM · Report this
Thank you for this article. I agree. However, I believe your rhetoric might have the consequence of estranging some persons from your point, and no additional benefit. Specifically, your specific target of all men--and if not an individual specifically--his friend, is a little hostile. Look, I'm not upset or up in arms over it. But I also don't see why it was necessary. The vast majority of men do not do these things, and a solid subset of men hold nothing but malice for other men who do make women feel unsafe or disrespected. I don't have any friends who do these acts.

The issue is that you're "shooting the messenger" in this post. Ostensibly, you wrote this article not only to vent, but also to try and play a part in the small but steady social change. For that I applaud you. But if you come across as rude or angry to those of us who would rather empathize with you, you only harm our cause. Because yes, I do have a mother, and I've been with her when she's been catcalled before when I was a child. It made me feel unsafe and scared, and I haven't forgotten. So I have to admit, to even be casually grouped in the same categories as others who have done that comes across as hurtful to me.

I hope having read my comment you don't think about a strong argument about why I'm wrong. I don't doubt you could write one. But as some other people in these comments not so eloquently argued themselves, your usage of 'men' generally did insult some people. I respect your need to vent at times without fear of offending, as you certainly have that right. But perhaps when in a public forum a little decorum in some areas could solidify your argument.

Thank you for your post.
Posted by jjbrosephelis on June 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM · Report this
Just remember, if you go around bothering strangers on the street, they have the right to be bothered by it.

Personally, I have the superpower of always being able to think of the perfect comeback in most any confrontation. The key is knowing what situations are deserving of the true gold. Street Harassment = Fair Game.

Him: Nice tits!
Me: *looks at his chest* You have an awfully high opinion of yourself. *points at the ever-present friend(s) and walks away* As long as you and your boyfriend(s) are happy with 'em.

Everyone's always like "oh but that could escalate the situation..." and I'm like "Then he'll wind up in jail..." (For the record, it very rarely escalates things. The few times it has, they were arrested).

Not too long ago, while I was waiting for the light to change in a crowd of about 15 or so complete strangers (a mix of male and female, ranging from 20's-50's), some guy who was hanging out in front of the store on the corner said something to me. Without even looking at the guy, I turned to one of the other random strangers in the crowd - also male - and said very LOUDLY "Do YOU want to F*uck this guy? He's so desperate he's begging for it on the street like it's change."

When the guy I spoke to looked disgusted and emphatically went "NO!" I then looked around, one-by-one, at everyone else in the crowd and everyone looked horrified, embarrassed, and offended and they all shook their heads 'no.' Finally, I turned to the harasser, who at this point looked mortified, and said, "Sorry, dude, I tried to help. I guess random strangers on the street don't want to f*ck you. Next time you could try busking for it, at least...." At that moment the crossing signal I was waiting for changed, and I walked away while all of his buddies laughed at him.
Posted by don't want unsolicited opinions about my physical appearance on June 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM · Report this
@49 "As should be obvious, there is a HUGE difference between verbal shouts of "hey nice ass!" and touching someone, or rape. I don't know why this isn't apparent and I'm sick of all the "rape culture" or rapist comparisons."

Yes, one is assault and the other is harassment. Both are unacceptable.

If you're here trolling waiting for some woman to come along and be all like, "OMG I LUVS THAT!!!!!" you're an idiot.

Take a fucking hint already.
Posted by squirrely girl on June 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Somewhat okay compliment:
"Those shoes look fabulous."
Walks on.

Giant pile of shit attempt at forcing unwanted intimacy:
"Sweet ass!"
Feels entitled to ANY sort of interaction afterwards.

What some of you assholes don't understand and what has been stated repeatedly is that:

A: Injecting yourself uninvited into some strangers life on the street entitles you to NOTHING in response.

B: Injecting yourself uninvited into a smaller and weaker strangers life on the street can be seen as threatening to that person. You don't know their life experience or situation.

C: If you injecting yourself uninvited into a strangers life on the street that stranger has every right to tell you to fuck off. That person may have been an assault victim or perhaps something as ordinary as considering the cancer diagnosis of their mother or maybe thinking about having to fire a co-worker. You don't know shit about them.

D: Learn to read the body language and signals other people give off before you open your mouth to strangers. Get off the fucking internet and learn basic civility and manners. Unless you are 100% certain you are seen as a friend, then fuck off.

E: Understand you may make mistakes and misinterpret other peoples signals and assume it's YOU that made the mistake if somebody tells you to fuck off.

F: Don't be an asshole.
Posted by tkc on June 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
@52 That sounds awesome. :)You have a rare talent.
Want to meet up for a beer or coffee?
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
1970> ...when you strip off all the packaging, you must finally realize that the essence of being a "woman" is to get fucked by men.
Posted by michellee on June 5, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Report this
sasha 57
Ya know some of these might also work against people who harass cyclists as well.
Posted by sasha on June 5, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Report this
Human beings, regardless of sex should not be subjected to any type of harassment. Period.

That said, the word misogyny is used inappropriately in this case as well as others. It is a hatred towards women in general. From the oed online:

Posted by busknuckle on June 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM · Report this
@57 That's true. Many cyclists I know have nice asses as well. :)
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM · Report this

Here is something you may have never considered before:

-The world is not a huge extension of you.

-The "you" you know stops a nano-meter outside the cohesive layers of your cell walls.

- Every other being analogous to you that you see walking around out there is an entirely different sentient being. With entirely different opinions. lives and experiences.

- Assume your biases only for yourself and not the other entities that lay outside yourself.

-Shutting your stupid fucking noise hole every now and again and instead opening those apparently atrophied sensors on the side of your soft as shit skull will do you a world of good.
Posted by tkc on June 5, 2013 at 12:46 PM · Report this
GabrielDiesel: As a straight guy, your view of unsolicited sexual comments is much like a person who is thirsty asking whether drowning people might "enjoy the water".
Posted by pranagraphic on June 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 62
@49: "I'm a single straight guy, so your mileage may vary from mine"

So why don't you shut the fuck up and listen to someone for once in your idiot life?
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM · Report this

Hmm. Do you like to make posts that repeat the sentiment expressed originally?

"I could assume that if I want it, everyone does, but that probably wouldn't be accurate."

Of course I know that others don't like to be treated the same way as like to be treated.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
@62 Huh. Who should I listen to?
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
God, those illustrations in particular are so good. So so good.
Posted by sloopy on June 5, 2013 at 1:19 PM · Report this
At the bottom of this article in my browser, there is an advertisement for ModCloth with the words "Escape in Style." How ironic.
Posted by Arlocat on June 5, 2013 at 1:22 PM · Report this
@61 Well, people drowning in brackish or salt water may be thirsty as they cannot drink the surrounding water without getting sick. So, yes I would offer these individuals water.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM · Report this
For all the idiots who keep saying that if the dude was hot, we'd cream in our panties instead of being disgusted and wanting to punch a motherfucker. NOPE. I've been on dates with men I've found incredibly attractive. The following are things good looking dudes have said to me that resulted in them NOT getting another date:
"You seem like you'd be really good in bed"
"36 is the next milestone birthday, 'cause then I can legally fuck chicks half my age."
The point we're making here is RESPECT.
Good looking or not, NO woman wants to be disrespected. You IGNORANT ASSHOLES.
Posted by killary on June 5, 2013 at 1:24 PM · Report this
W. Kamau Bell and "Totally Biased" had a great piece on this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH7b4QCPuXc
And, like some of the sloggers, some of the men featured stubbornly clung to the idea that this kind of unwanted attention is a compliment. An aggressive, aggressive compliment. Sigh.
Posted by meganc on June 5, 2013 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Well it's nice to know that as a man, this is all my fault. I had always had this childish ideal that people should only be blamed for their own actions, but now I understand that as a man I am entirely responsible for the actions of my gender. I've always wondered why society aims to make me feel guilty in certain pointless situations, but it all makes sense now. The last seat on the bus is next to a woman? I had better stand, I'd hate for her to think I'm a rapist. Now I know not to bother asking a pretty girl for a dance or a drink, I'd hate to be confused for a misogyny apologist.

If you had issues dissecting the sarcasm, I'm saying your article is pointlessly and illogically divisive and inflammatory toward men, and I'm not surprised men are responding the way they are. In fact I'm guessing you planned it that way, you crafty devil. Next time, be honest, what your really fighting against is assholes acting like assholes, that's the crux of it. Assholes have been acting like assholes since the dawn of time, and feelings have been hurt, or worse. But that's not my fault. Do yourself a favor and rebrand your argument, your clearly passionate about making the world a better place for everyone, but turning every feminist agenda in to a battle of the sexes isn't gonna get anything done except maybe pissing people off on both sides of the divide.

No I will not check my privilege.
Posted by North by Northwest on June 5, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
T 71
@49 The sad thing is, I can't tell if you're trolling or you really are just clueless. Try to get this through your skull: The privilege you experience as a single (shocker!) straight male does not translate to everyone else. You can take cat-calling as a compliment without fearing for your safety or feeling reduced to little more than a cum dumpster.

The vast majority of women are not afforded this privilege, and indeed you may be harrassing a woman who was sexually assaulted in the past, which can be triggering. You're choosing to double down on the "she wants it" mindset rather than consider even the possibility that your harrassment is unwanted, like a rapist but with words. Yes, they're two very different things, harrassment and assault. No matter how you cut it they're both unwanted, even if you choose to believe otherwise. You're contributing to a culture that makes women feel unsafe and that condones harrassment against women.
Posted by T on June 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM · Report this
@68 Since you brought up the date situation, I will share why I (and potentially others) have this opinion. I'VE SEEN IT IN ACTION. Handsome guy makes crude and racy comments to the girl about her body, what he wants to do to her. There is NO body language or verbal language indicating that she does not like it.

Guess what? EVERYONE is different. Everyone likes something different, even a day, week or year down the road. The authors created a series of visually ugly characters for this story. We each have snapshots of these people in our minds. We make assumptions to fill in the missing pieces.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this
T 73
@70 You're the one making it into a battle of the sexes and taking it as an affront to your manhood. I read the article and had no problem whatsoever separating myself from the types of "men" who willingly harrass random women. If there's any division being created by this article, it's between feminists and those who refuse to see this kind of harrassment as problematic. Based on your butthurt attitude, I think I know which side of the debate you're on.
Posted by T on June 5, 2013 at 1:38 PM · Report this
The article makes me feel a little cautious about being a man; the comments make me ashamed.
Posted by LeadWhiteLung on June 5, 2013 at 1:39 PM · Report this
@71 Lol. You make me laugh, T. We should hang out for a beer or coffee and really get to know each other. Would you like that? Oh I'm sorry, my privilege made me assume you would.

Have you ever heard of the "Treat others as you would like to be treated?" No? Imagine my shock, and indeed sadness, when I learned that it doesn't extend to this particular area. I've said in previous posts that *I* like being yelled at saucily on the street, by either gender. You say I'm "doubling down" on the "she wants it". No, I want it and I don't make assumptions about what others want. I wouldn't want my privilege to cloud my judgement.

Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 1:48 PM · Report this

"There is NO body language or verbal language indicating that she does not like it."

There is also NO body language or verbal language indicating that she does. Maybe she's not the confrontational type and feels self-conscious about making a scene in public? Maybe she's feeling too intimidated by the aggression of the "handsome guy" that's making shockingly lewd comments about her body to speak out against it?

Your main point in your poorly-put-together arguments is that everyone is different and reacts to situations differently. Granted. However, like others have said, I have yet to run into a woman who would feel pleased and complimented by getting thrown into any of these situations against her will.

By and large, being reduced to the sum of your (body) parts isn't very empowering.
Posted by KTK on June 5, 2013 at 1:49 PM · Report this
@76 Lol. I'm sorry my passive observations weren't able to be turned into a good argument. I had a feeling that if I stopped them to ask a question, they may think that I was "like a rapist but with words" probing deeply into their business.

No, this girl definitely appeared to be enjoying the interaction to me. She was touching him, laughing at his stupid jokes, playing with her hair. Sure, she may have been faking it. I didn't follow them. Like others who have posted here before me, I was taught to respect women. Not all women want to be respected all of the time. You can disagree with me, and I am sure you will.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 1:58 PM · Report this
Ah. I get it, GabrielDiesel. It's all so simple now.

Applying Occams Razor: You're an idiot.

Whew. We can return to ignoring you.
Posted by tkc on June 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM · Report this
@46 Thanks for your vote of confidence. (RE: #13)

That said, I've either caught the wrong people on the wrong day a couple times or when it comes to staring off into space, I am doing it wrong.

The guy announced my confusion was an apology and that he'd therefore refrain from beating my ass, but the woman was apparently unconvinced.

There's that customer service adage that for every complain, nine people just seethe...

Again, while I agree no stranger owes me this, I'd rather be asked early on in the process, than cussed out later.
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM · Report this
It boggles the mind that any dudes still think it's appropriate to not only allow but to defend this kind of behavior.
Posted by standardheart on June 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Sometimes people take articles like this two ways.
Despite feeling slighted by being compared to street harassers, you become enlightened and come a way with a sense how common and constant women receive unsolicited harassment on the street and to continue doing the good deed of... not doing it personally.
You can whine about how your feelings are hurt, and therefore completely negate her advice.

People don't like being compared to the boogey-man. BUT even men with good intentions have the capability of making off color and offensive remarks to a woman on the street - perhaps by picking it up from TV or the movies or other men do the same thing. The author is making a good point that it's ok to let men know it's inappropriate. In my opinion, it's also ok to brush it aside or ensure my safety first and foremost.

In any case, I'm sure you're mommy's proud of how she raised you but that whole pity-fest for how you're being compared to the boogeyman is an insult to women who get sexually harassed on a daily basis.
Posted by eelscat on June 5, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
T is winning this thread. for anyone that's keeping track.
Posted by standardheart on June 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
@78 Huh. Wow. Talk about rude.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Although you seem to be the pinata of this thread, here's something to ponder...
Perhaps your date likes that kind of talk.
Perhaps your date was being really polite and putting up with it.

I am saying this for your own good, since your ego seems a little fragile and the statements you make reflect that - you're going to run into someone who doesn't like that, and doesn't put up with it, and will punch you square in the balls... which you seem to value so highly. And not a normal person would blame her.
So, there's some advice!
Posted by eelscat on June 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
This boggles my mind; I simply cannot comprehend doing any of these things, nor can I think of a single friend or colleague who might (at least certainly not around the rest of us; it would _not_ go unremarked).

I know that some commenters who feel similarly are unhappy to be told that we (men) are uniformly part of the problem; I would likewise have to contest that assertion. But I'm not going to get my nose out of joint about it—I just hope that some of you can be reassured that there really are lots of men who consider such behaviour to be just as unaceptable as you do.
Posted by TheEponymousBob on June 5, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
When I was in high school my best friend and I drove by a construction site and had the idea to turn the tables. We hooted and hollered and called suggestive things to the men working. I'll never forget the looks of violation on their faces. It felt good to see that men can feel the same way about such abuse. But I felt so awful about being the perpetrator that I stopped abruptly. There are days I would gladly do it again, though, just to feel that release of revenge.
Posted by MizWhy on June 5, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
@77 "No, this girl definitely appeared to be enjoying the interaction to me."

With more than the amount of respect due, so what?

Some dudes totally get off on CBT, but that doesn't make the person going around assaulting guys looking for such a dude less of a problem.
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 5, 2013 at 3:07 PM · Report this
bauhaus junkie 88
@83, nothing in your body language was indicating you didn't want to be called an idiot.
Posted by bauhaus junkie on June 5, 2013 at 3:08 PM · Report this
@88 LOL. Is this your normal method of assessing body language? Through a text-based interface?
Posted by GabrielDiesel on June 5, 2013 at 3:11 PM · Report this
@87 Well there was me wondering who gets off on cognitive behavioural therapy. Turns out you learn something new every day.
Posted by TheEponymousBob on June 5, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
I have been flabbergasted by how many women have excused men for harassing me by saying "can you blame them, you are just so beautiful" Our culture is one where women get most of their validation from how they look, I understand how it is confusing for men.
I read an article recently in which they compared the awards given to elementary school girls vs. the awards they give the boys. You can probably guess most of the girls awards are "best dressed" "nicest hair"
Posted by crybaby studios on June 5, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
@73 "What men need is a wake-up call: You're the problem. If not you personally, then your best friend, a coworker, or that dude in your fantasy football league is. You're making us feel unsafe every day, in a thousand different ways."

Excuse me, maybe I was confused by how the article directly states that, "I am the problem".

And if you can't see how sneaking this completely off-topic sentence into the article changed the dynamic of what was being said, you have reading comprehension issues. I'm a heterosexual male, I haven't adopted a demeaning attitude toward women in recent memory, I don't cat-call, nor do I have friends or co-workers that do. Am I to blame for not putting a stop to behavior that I haven't influenced or condoned?

Trying to put people in a box is exactly what rape-apologists do when they make blanket statements about women 'asking for it".

You want to talk about rape-culture? this article is rape-culture, any attitude you adopt toward the problem that is more then the singular denouncement of a person's actions in rape-culture. Anytime you step out of the box and blame Miller Beer and Chris Brown for the things a rapist has done, your taking blame away from the perpetrator and trying to shoulder it off on every single person that ever laughed at a Rodney Dangerfield act, which is only trivializing and marginalizing your argument to anyone that's allergic to bullshit.

I'm not defending sexism (or trashy behavior, which is a more accurate description of what we're talking about) I'm trying to stand up for the idea that people should predicate their opinion on logic.

I am not schrodinger's rapist

By the way; Imply more.
Posted by North by Northwest on June 5, 2013 at 3:26 PM · Report this
All you crazy angry people. Here is what you seem to not understand:

If my boyfriend says I have nice boobs, it's cool. We know each other, and are not solely dating because he thinks I have nice tits. Okay, great! This is what is not cool: Someone starting a conversation with you based on a crude assessment of your body. Sure, we sexualize people all the time as human beings--it just happens naturally. The need vocalize it, however is completely different.

Yelling "nice tits!" is flat-out demeaning and devaluing. I don't walk around thinking about how my breasts are like little orbs of hundred dollar bills nor do I walk around waiting to see the perfect package on some guy at the bus stop. THAT is the problem. The problem is with the communication and lack of ability to see outside of physical features. Telling someone they have a nice smile can be great and totally brighten up your day. Conversely, telling someone that if they smiled they'd be prettier is demeaning. Maybe I'm not trying to be pretty and, you know what, that's not your issue. That's not even an issue in the first place!

I don't leave my apartment thinking about how to keep track of all the compliments I'll receive today and it's unfair to assume that it's all women think about. On that same note, I don't think it's all men think about either. There is a middle ground here, men (and that goes for women too).
Posted by incogneato on June 5, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
@92 "I am not schrodinger's rapist"

So not only are you a non-rapist, but every woman you encounter knows you well enough to know you're not?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this
T 95
@75 Ugh, this is like talking to a wall. A stupid, inconsiderate, narcissistic, self-centered wall. The world does not start and stop at your convenience. You might enjoy being reduced to a body part (you are quite the ass, after all), but you're a sociopath if you think that others desire that kind of attention simply because you do.
Posted by T on June 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM · Report this
@95 Forge it, Jake. It's Chinatown.
Posted by tkc on June 5, 2013 at 4:31 PM · Report this
I'm all for maintaining your dignity in the face of harassment but I think this article is irresponsible. As a martial artist, I can tell you that elevating a situation that you are not prepared to handle is just plain stupid. There are certainly instances in the life where men are harassed or threatened with violence and in those situations meeting that violence head on and with no preparation would just be dumb. My teacher and all of the women in my school will tell you the same thing. The snarky come back makes for an entertaining article and a lively on-line debate but for the Stranger to honestly advocate this behavior is indicative of just how clueless and reliant on the patriarchy they actually are. Evaluate the situation. In a crowd of people tell an old pervert he's fat. But when push comes to shove there is absolutely no shame in simply walking on.
Posted by realtalk on June 5, 2013 at 4:53 PM · Report this
As a lesbian, I'm curious how some guys think a woman picks up women. "Nice tits, babe", an ass grab, or whistling like the woman you're going for is a dog is some middle school stuff anyone should hopefully have grown out of (or been sent to detention enough) to have grown out of by college. I mean, let's think about it, what do you suspect yield you better odds of landing a date: hey nice tits vs excuse me, I don't mean to seem forward, but would you mind if I bought you a drink/sat with you (bar, cafe, etc)? I mean, not every single advance is offensive, just the offensive advances.

Think of it this way, if you'd punch a man for doing/saying that to your mother, the woman is probably offended. Even if "yo moms gotta sweet ass"... AAAAYE.
Posted by McDall on June 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM · Report this
What men need is a wake-up call: You're the problem.

Well it's a cute idea, that men are some sort of collective entity. it might make your world view a little easier to muster, and your journalistic endeavor the same. but it's also infantile, tired, and points more to your own problem.

I'm all for calling bullshit, so I do agree with you on that OP.
Posted by bakatya on June 5, 2013 at 6:44 PM · Report this
@99 If you're not a part of the solution, you ARE a part of the problem. Apathy is a problem, and your apathy (along with many who have expressed similar opinions) is just as damaging as the behavior you're shrugging off as the OP's "own problem". If every straight person were apathetic about gay rights and marriage equality, and every white person was apathetic about discrimination, we would still have segregated seating areas for black and white people, and no gay person would be able to get married anywhere. This is a social issue that is EVERYONE'S responsibility. So suck it up, or look in the mirror and recite the whole "sad trap door spider" thing.
Posted by horsefly on June 5, 2013 at 7:19 PM · Report this
#100 I didn't shrug off her problem, I agreed with her that she'all should call out bullshit. Did you not read that part? That was nearly the complete gist of the article. I questioned whether men were the problem, I contend that assholes are the problem. They run amok. Men have nothing to do with it.
Posted by bakatya on June 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM · Report this
..and sometimes I'm that asshole, but thankfully the women in my life are the women in my life. And that influence far outshines any nugget among the tripe I may fine here.
Posted by bakatya on June 5, 2013 at 7:46 PM · Report this
mtnlion 103
I'm mostly with 93. My near-husband and I met and became friends. We had a lot of fun together and he talked to me like a person first. I was the one who told him I liked him. I was the one who instructed him to remove his pants when we were making out the first time we had sex.

Now we're engaged, he regularly objectifies me during sex and checks me out while I'm getting dressed and I put my tits in his face sometimes just for fun, when we're just sitting around. And it is awesome.

Except for maybe a drunken one-night stand: YOU CANNOT SKIP AHEAD. To get to the primordial lizard brain pleasure, one must first engage their frontal lobe with a desired mate (and not just do it in order to get to the sex because it is so goddamn obvious and such a turn off). Women like this, and SO DO MEN, but a lot of them don't know it because they are so often preoccupied with the end result. It is pathetic.

Also, what do these jerks get out of it, when they harass a woman? Just the thrill of knowing they've pissed off a woman they don't have respect for? Consistently reminding us that our bodies and beauty are super important and worth bringing up out of nowhere when we just want to be walking around, breathing, living, getting shit done?

What do women want? Unless you're old-fashioned, and do the whole wining/dining/3rd date = sex thing, they mostly want to be treated like a friend. You know, like someone you care for? And if they like you, they'll fuck you, and it might turn into something awesome (it might not), and yelling at any hot woman is just a waste of everyone's time and energy. It also makes them look like entitled pricks, even though most of them do not understand how, which makes them even more clueless and entitled, which is so not sexy.
Posted by mtnlion http://radicalish.wordpress.com on June 5, 2013 at 7:48 PM · Report this
mtnlion 104
And it isn't helpful to say "men are the problem," because that is overreaching and, as illustrated, causes a lot of unpleasant reactions.

It's a general problem that we all have; women are often all too happy to play the cute accessory that a worthy man obtains. They are unaware of the damage they're doing to the rest of us women, who want real lives with work and accomplishment and shit.

We people make me sick!
Posted by mtnlion http://radicalish.wordpress.com on June 5, 2013 at 7:53 PM · Report this
Men are usually larger than women. When someone larger and stronger than you yells things that might be construed as his willingness to rape you, its scary. Not all men do this and not all men have friends that do. So, dude out there that doesn't do it and neither do your friends, you are in the clear.

Guys don't understand why women dress the way that they do. Women dress to impress each other. Sometimes it's to get reactions from men, but the average girl walking down the street wants the approval of the girls that she likes. So when some guy yells something about her ass, she thinks, "Who asked you? I didn't want your opinion." Because she didn't.

The gripe that I have is that the guys that I work with talk about the women that they see. They think that it's perfectly ok to talk about the women's bodies as if the woman can't hear them. And maybe sometimes they can't hear what the guys are saying, but if they did, would they say anything? No, definitely not.

This situation is less threatening than say... encountering someone in the street. But all women still think about the outside possibility that she could still get raped walking back to her car.
Posted by Colonel Angus on June 5, 2013 at 8:09 PM · Report this
Mtnlion: I wanted to ask, what does a women who is all too happy to play the cute accessory for a worthy man have to do with sexual harassment? Do you know anyone that fits the cute accessory type?
Posted by Colonel Angus on June 5, 2013 at 8:17 PM · Report this
As a fifty year old woman who has done her share of verbal sparring with guys who may or may not have evil intentions, guys who in their own pea-brains may be just flirting or posturing for his testosterone laden buddies, I resent the assumption that I can't deal with some Neanderthal making cat-calls at me. Heck, I've even been known to take a swing with a pool cue at guys who got a little too smart with their mouths. I haven't lost any jobs for calling out dudes who don't know when to shut up, which I don't hesitate to do. So, am I misinterpreting this, or are these cute little etchings asking the men in our lives to protect our weak widdle selves? At the risk of sounding like a bitch, I can take care of myself, thank you. God, I need to have a talk with my daughter about this.
Posted by Yuppie Mom on June 5, 2013 at 8:23 PM · Report this
Sea Otter 108
Okay, I'm on board with stopping street harassment, and I don't mind that it's the feminist cause du jour. But it's starting to get to me that the recent rash of articles about street harassment focuses on unsolicited "compliments", wolf-whistling, etc., whereas the type of street harassment I experience usually takes the form of people pointing out to me or implying that I am ugly. Yes, yes, I understand that the "positive" kind of harassment is actually demeaning and objectifying. But really, am I the only woman who gets unsolicited negative comments from strangers? To hear the internet talk about it, I would think so.
Posted by Sea Otter on June 5, 2013 at 8:32 PM · Report this
mtnlion 109
@106, I do. Not very many, because I tend to not engage with very many of those women because frankly they're usually a little boring.

Those women get a lot of attention, and they enjoy it. They also tend to be a bit dumb, because they funnel most energy into their looks because it is easier and because they've been socialized to believe their hotness is the most important thing a woman can offer. What is the use of being smart and interesting if being hot is going to get you the best man anyway? They then go on to socialize their daughters, and other girls around them, that hotness is the #1 most important thing for a woman to have.

This perpetuates the myth that all women enjoy sexual attention.
As long as you have women who act like they love being objectified, you will have men who find it acceptable to vocally objectify women. It's like the asshole who keeps calling women "bitches." It hurts the reputation of men in general, even though an intelligent person knows that all people are individuals regardless of gender. But most people are not that intelligent.

I mean, the entire thing is about sexism, and women who embrace sexist ideals for the ease of conformity really do make it worse for us all(same with men). That's the problem with everything.
Posted by mtnlion http://radicalish.wordpress.com on June 5, 2013 at 8:32 PM · Report this
mtnlion 110
@108, good point! And that sucks. Fuck 'em all.

Can we just agree that no person wants any goddamn comments on their looks at random, positive or negative? Approach them about something else, like the dumb weather or traffic or some book they're reading or some shit. Really.
Posted by mtnlion http://radicalish.wordpress.com on June 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM · Report this
Guys who holler at the ladies are uncouth to say the least. I'm an asshole in ten different ways - but not that way.

But are you serious, telling people to call the non-emergency police number to report catcalls? I'm sure SPD loves that one, especially considering there isn't a damn thing they could do about it. Free speech might not always be nice, but it is certainly not a crime.
Posted by David in Shoreline on June 5, 2013 at 9:13 PM · Report this
BRAVO, Cienna (WHY aren't you also David's full-time on-call sub for Last Days, yet??), Anna, Mary, Emily, and Brittany--GREAT illustrations!! Where can I get prints?
This is so spot on!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 5, 2013 at 9:22 PM · Report this
inquiastador 113
As a guy, i have never understood why others of us need to cat call ladies walking by. It makes no sense. It isn't like some woman is suddenly going to say "hey, that sweaty neanderthal just told me in public what a fine ass I have. I got to know this dude!" I worked construction in my early teens. I think maybe they do it to show off to their pals that they are "manly men" by saying crap that makes them feel less like wastes of life.
Posted by inquiastador on June 5, 2013 at 9:53 PM · Report this
inquiastador 114
I meant early twenties. DOH!
Posted by inquiastador on June 5, 2013 at 9:54 PM · Report this
sugar2s 115
You've been linked on Reddit; expect all reasonable discourse to cease now.


Posted by sugar2s on June 5, 2013 at 10:09 PM · Report this
I got to admit as a guy my first reaction to "it's all men's fault" its to throw up my hands and shout "NO IT'S NOT!!! I'M A GOOD GUY, DON'T JUDGE US ALL TOGETHER". Then I ask my wife about street harassment and she tells me how she's getting a lot of random guys talking to her now that's it's warm outside and getting some rude comments. And I remember the times in University where I'd be in the bar with female friends and random guys would think it's ok to slap them on the ass. I've had homeless/drug addicts scream at me in Seattle and had a couple of scary situations. I can't imagine how it must be for women to have be harassed day in and day out by men. So all the guys on here who's claiming it's no big deal, go talk to your gf/sister/close female friends about it and maybe it will change your mind. Anyways sorry guys are such creeps.

(Although the piece of advice about lying to cops isn't good, they'll charge you for that).
Posted by j2patter on June 5, 2013 at 11:23 PM · Report this
When I first moved to Seattle in 1990, I rode a bus from downtown Seattle up to Everett. Some fat ass-clown kept staring and staring at me and then leaned over and said, "You sure would be cute if you'd just smile!" I ignored him but he wouldn't shut up. His next brilliant comment? "Sweetie, you look so sad! I bet if you'd just give me a smile, you'd feel so much better!" I had just come from a therapy session in Fremont dealing with my abusive girlfriend and was in no mood for this fat prick. The bus driver wouldn't do anything (typical of Seattle bus drivers) and so I finally yelled at the a-hole, "Shut yer stupid trap, you fat, fucking asshole! I don't exist for your pleasure!" and for that I got kicked off the bus.
Posted by DrummerGrrl on June 5, 2013 at 11:48 PM · Report this
This piece, right here, is why I love the Stranger. Fellow dudes: If we want to act like everything is "all about the women and their vajajays", then let's just listen to them, hmmm? Radical idea.
Posted by Anonymous Coward Who Forgot Password on June 6, 2013 at 12:46 AM · Report this
Sandiai 119
@79 "Again, while I agree no stranger owes me this, I'd rather be asked early on in the process, than cussed out later."

Hey, that makes perfect sense based on the experiences you've described.
Posted by Sandiai on June 6, 2013 at 5:09 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 120
Great, this morning at 6:00 my partner got harassed and humiliated by a fucking badge-out MICROSOFT EMPLOYEE on the bus. I'm used to drifters who have zero interest in their character being maligned, but this guy was a total shitheel with something to lose, he just didn't give a fuck, talking about his dick and fucking on a crowded bus with nowhere else to go.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 9:26 AM · Report this
...and the ad at the bottom of the article is for athenix body sculpting...reinforcing society's obsession with looks, which a major part of the problem...
good job on reinforcing your lack of credibility media.

...and the preview screen offers an ad from deja vu of a woman seductively caressing her breasts...just keeps getting better.....

and the captcha is "unbone"
Posted by notsurprised on June 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 122
@121: Yawn. Looks have very little to do with the problem of street harassment. Conventionally "ugly" people or ladies who dress down get hollabacked daily.

Harassment is about power, but nice of you to blame someone for looking nice while you're trying to "protect" persons.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
It's actually really easy to "explain to men what it feels like to be harassed by a stranger who is invariably larger and stronger than us", since most boys have been victimized by bullies many times.
Posted by fetish on June 6, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 124
@123: It's really not.

Bullied become bullies with a regularity. If they could see that versus taking glee in becoming the "empowered" and using it to hurt others, we wouldn't need to explain this in the first goddamned place.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
I'm not dismissive of the Street Harrassment issue - but it's galling that (Cienna in particular) seem to believe that men live in some universe where they are free from the threat of constant violence, of being belittled/humiliated, and all the other negative consequences. Everyone shares in this, unless you live a middle-class american (or higher) lifestyle, you're under the threat of violence every single day.
Posted by fetish on June 6, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this
@124 engles, por favor.

er, it's not easy to explain to a man what it's like to harassed by someone bigger and stronger because.... why now? why is it not easy to explain? Because the bullied become bullies? That doesn't follow.
Posted by fetish on June 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 127
@125: Men are not with the same frequency and context sexually harassed every day, and it's still primarily men who are harassing men AND women, so your analogy demanding/suggesting some sort of innate male sympathy is horribly broken and nonsensical.

I'm sure someone was mean to a guy who harasses women in public once. People perpetuate cycles of violence and abuse with a regularity. They have to actually give a shit about people around them (and themselves) to opt-out.

Pointing any of this out to them is not going to suddenly make how much of an asshole they are click in their head.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 128
@126: Because they don't care. They're in charge. They're the big boy. Fuck you, nerd! Fuck you, bitch who won't talk to me on the bus!
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 129
@111, First, I actually talked to SPD about this, and second, that's why we advocate calling the nonemergency hotline. It won't clog up 911 but it your call still gets broadcast to all available units in the area.

It's a practice I started when I was growing up in Idaho. At first, I only called to report suspected drunk drivers (because there are a TON) but it expanded into people who drive their cars up onto sidewalks to get my attention when I'm running, for example.

And yeah, it makes me feel better, regardless or whether or not those assholes get stopped.
Posted by Cienna Madrid on June 6, 2013 at 1:16 PM · Report this
There is an American Apparel advertisement adjacent to this article. Do you guys really need to do that to stay afloat? Not advertising them would further cement your arguments in this theater. Think about it.
Posted by sumofsea on June 6, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
@129, nobody likes a tattletale--especially bullies.
Posted by Ricky Barcelona on June 6, 2013 at 1:28 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 132
@130: Because they're scantily clad therefore discussing hollabacks is somehow "hypocritical" or because the owner is a douchecanoe?
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Ok guys, I’m going to out and say it.

Seattle has lugged itself out of the lugubrious rut and summer’s bloom is putting weird shit on an aggressive upward swing. I wrote the below in reaction to the “The Work Lurker” example of harassment in the above article:

“You’ve done it again. Good job, ‘The Stranger’. The shotgun approach prevails again. Aim wherever you want because everything is WEIRD and you’re going to talk about it because you’re CONSCIOUS individuals and others need to be made AWARE! I must remember that investing hope in institutions I have no hand in is a useless venture.

First off, this is a terrible article. Your trap-door spider analogy is cheap at best and only serves to indicate your uncreative and desperate approach to analyzing and raising awareness of street harassment. As for the rest, it’s based on your initial idea, so it’s fucked. I don’t want to cheapen your experiences, but come on! The Stranger is much better than this, especially on collaborative articles! This one is inarticulate, defensive, and loud. Brings to mind the behaviors of many horrible ideologues. You’ve really scrounged for a pedestal on which to mount your women-selves in the light of entrenched male stereotypes and patriarchal assumptions. Gah, I just don’t want to go into it, but I have to now! You say “What men need is a wake-up call: You’re the problem. If not you personally, then [someone else who is male].”
You make a grand-generalization about a single gender and narrow it down with dimensionless language. It isn’t men, it isn’t women, it’s people relying on their assumptions and their fears as they’ve been shaped by history, society, yada yada that thing. What the fuck guys. You’re inciting reactionary responses instead of talking about conduits and being a player in unfucking the messes at hand.”

When I wrote the above I realized that I over-reacted and was defending my own experiences, because I have been accused of violations in some of the flavors in that article by just being male (and probably because I do throw around some salacious insouciance). “She was asking for it, he was trying to give it" argument rears its well-fed head (remember, the “asking” party must have an “answering” one for the analogy to work). So it’s too bad, this battle of the sexes that is maintained with casual stricture and fear mechanisms continually sullied by, of course, hegemony.

I wish you guys wouldn’t use such strong, reactionary language; it typically serves to incite a defensive ego-laden response in the form of reinforced behavior. That being said, I’m sorry so many women have such terrifying and demeaning experiences in this smart progressive city. Fuck those shitheads who ruin it for everyone else, everyone else being those who want to tell others that they appreciate their beauty but don’t out of fear of explosive conflict and confused intentions.

Anyway, I’ve written myself dry and I need to fill my well. Seattle women, you're beautiful!
Posted by sumofsea on June 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM · Report this
@undead well, it's a lovely selection of straw man arguments you've constructed there.
Posted by fetish on June 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM · Report this
Nice ass!
Posted by OMGMAIP! (oh my gawd my ass is perfect!) on June 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM · Report this
The fact that anyone could even believe that these are "compliments" is terrifying. No one deserves to be sexually harassed while walking down the street. No one deserves to have it publicly announced that a complete stranger would enjoy using their body for sexual satisfaction if given the chance. No one should be touched without permission. No one should be instantly objectified by a stranger upon first ever laying eyes on them. No one should be objectified, period, unless it is pleasing to them and they feel safe.

People who think otherwise have obviously never been in these situations. They've never felt the embarrassment, anger, and fear of being asked "hey, wanna fuck later?" By a guy outside of a coffee shop, or being grabbed on your way home from a light night at work because a man wanted to see if you were drunk enough to rape. These people have probably never experienced the rage that comes from being openly violated as if your rights don't matter. They've probably never understood the shame that comes along with being called a "bitch" because you asked a person to leave you alone. You know, exercising your right to set and maintain boundaries for yourself.

This article has some helpful tips hidden it it... The non-emergency number is great to have. So is information on organizations that are here to help. The idea of calmly saying "please stop harassing me" is awesome. But I don't think urging women to use passive aggressive remarks as a way to defend themselves against violation is helpful at all. We shouldn't have to be sneaky about how street harassment is wrong. We should be empowered to stare a person in the face and let them know that what they are doing is hurtful, and ask them to stop.

You are a bitter and hateful person. I fear for how you treat the women in your life.
Posted by 2534 on June 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM · Report this
watchout5 137
I have colored hair. The other day walking to lunch someone looked up from their stolen bottle of liquor and yelled in my face, "what a fucking faggot look" so I yelled back "sit on a fucking tack" and he "dared me" to say it to his face while he was falling over. I'm not sure what to have done about the situation, but something tells me I should have let safeway security know and called the non-emergency line, that would have been justice.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on June 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 138
Here's something you can say in all situations. As loudly as you need to be for others around to hear, say "your girlfriend said you gave her syphilis! You really are disgusting!" Then walk away.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on June 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM · Report this
The folks complaining that it isn't attractive guys shown as the harassers seem to forget the fact that even the most objectively attractive person becomes less interesting than horse shit the instant they feel that it is somehow their right to advance upon others who are just trying to go about their days.
Posted by treehugger on June 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM · Report this
I think one major thing that is getting overlooked in this article and the subsequent 'discussion' is that what most of the meatheads that engage in these sort of activities like best is to get some sort of reaction out of their targets. Hence even barking and growling (or threatening castration even) would most likely have the opposite to the desired effect and probably the very best route to diminishing street harassment is to perfect the ability to completely ignore it.

Maybe I'm wrong but it seems likely that even the most indefatigable knuckledragger would eventually get bored after the 5th or 6th 'complement' that he bestowed got no response whatsoever.
Posted by Rhizome on June 6, 2013 at 2:26 PM · Report this
@38: I'm not weak, and you acting like a jackass on the street toward other people compliments no one.
Posted by treehugger on June 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
McJulie 142
Obviously street harrassment is a huge problem, because you can't complain about it without a bunch of trolls coming out to try to make weird excuses for it.

Addressing the most common excuses --

1. Unless you have Tourette's Syndrome or something, you can stop yourself from talking about the body parts of strangers. Seriously. And if you literally cannot stop yourself from shouting out things like "nice ass!" at people you don't know, maybe you should go the doctor and get yourself checked out for some kind of neurological disorder.

2. Even if you, personally, wouldn't hate the experience of walking down the street and being told by a stranger that you have a "nice ass," and because of that you are genuinely surprised to discover that other people hate it, you have been duly informed that most people, including 99.9% of all women, do hate it. The appropriate response is to make note and move on, hopefully as a better informed individual. Maybe you were in the habit of telling strangers they had nice asses, out of ignorance that it is usually considered rude. Now you know. If you still find yourself unable to avoid it, see #1.

3. But #2 is bullshit anyway, because I'm pretty sure that 99.9% of all street harrassers know full well their attention is unwelcome and they're doing it to shame, belittle, and intimidate the women they're doing it to. They are not doing it to get a date. They are not doing it to strike up a conversation. They are not doing it because they are trying to be nice, but confused about what acting nice would look like. They are doing it to prove who has the power.
Posted by McJulie on June 6, 2013 at 2:31 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 143
@124: Bullied become bullies with a regularity. If they could see that versus taking glee in becoming the "empowered" and using it to hurt others

Severe irony alert! Showers of condescension and backpedaling expected.
Posted by kitschnsync on June 6, 2013 at 2:36 PM · Report this
biffp 144
The litmus test really should be enough. Treat people with respect, and try to improve the dialogue. Until I saw how my wife was treated though, I was a little clueless about how creepy guys can act.

On the other hand, the staring happens to everyone - male and female. I get stared at, and I drift off and stare into the distance. You might ask the guy if he's staring before gouging his eyes out. Excessive staring is not going to be a defense in court.
Posted by biffp on June 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
@70: If you are upset at being lumped in with assholes, then you need to do better to differentiate yourself from the assholes by doing something other than attacking the people calling assholes out for what they are. Except you're not going to do that, because you're not upset that there are asshole men out there who treat women like dirt; you're upset that they're getting called out on it.

No tiny violin for you.
Posted by treehugger on June 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
@92: Wow, less than 100 posts before a mansplaination about what rape-culture is and isn't.
Posted by treehugger on June 6, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
very bad homo 147
Hey, straight men. Imagine that any time you go out, gangs of drunken, obnoxious gay men are hooting and hollering about your tight ass, following you down the street, and telling you to smile with your pretty little mouth. Every day. Wherever you go.

If a gay man reaches over and pinches your nipple when he walks by, that's just a validation of how sexy you are. You should enjoy it!

You'll quickly realize that it's not a compliment, and it's not welcomed. So stop doing it and stop acting like it's not a big deal. It's NEVER okay.
Posted by very bad homo on June 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
It's cool that this place has basically become Jezebel Northwest
Posted by Reader01 on June 6, 2013 at 3:20 PM · Report this
149 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
undead ayn rand 150
@134: I'm glad you've solved the problem, then.

Except for your idea being completely divorced from reality and any possible attempt to treat the symptoms let along cure the societal illness.

To entertain the thought, say that sexual harassers and people who shout "NICE TITS" on the street were bullied.

1) What would you say to them?
2) How do you expect them to take it?
3) How do you expect what you say to be digested and applied as right-action by the perps, changing their behavior for the better?
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 3:38 PM · Report this
JF 151
@147 Weirdly enough that gay nipple pinch thing happened to me outside of Linda's one night. I'll never forget that humiliating feeling. Not that I cat called or whatever before, but that pretty much will stick with me forever.
Posted by JF on June 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 152
@143: What the fuck are you babbling about? Sexual harassers are bullies. Telling them they're bad people and should feel bad is not bullying, because they hurt and threaten people.

If you think calling out sexual harassers is bullying you are also likely a shitty person.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
@142, I never thought about the possibility that a lout yelling "nice ass!" might have Tourette's. Now I might yell back, "I'm so sorry you have Tourette's". It's less likely to get me thrown off a bus than yelling, "Sorry about your micro penis".
Posted by originalcinner on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 154
That would definitely be a nice oblique response.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 4:13 PM · Report this
@145 so I'm supposed to put myself out for the same people willing to write me off without a second thought? According to the article the only way I could remain blameless is to have been born a woman. I would understand if you don't recognize the inherent double standard, seeing as your post employs a similar catch 22 regarding the status of my conscience ( which remains clear, nice try)

If my friend came to me and asked me to "speak to someone" who harassed her, I'd do it in a heart beat. If you really care so much about the whole of the human race perhaps take the time you'll spend responding to this post and volunteer at a battered women's shelter? No body has any need for another piece meal bleeding heart, unless she can put her money where her mouth is.
Posted by North by Northwest on June 6, 2013 at 4:19 PM · Report this
Lissa 156
@153: Oh I love that!
So many good comments here from both men an women. It does my heart good to see it. I get so tired sometimes fighting these fights on Slog, (which reminds me-where is The Misanthrope? He loves street harassment) and it's cheering to see the good out weight the bad here and on the two Lindy/Rape joke threads on Slog.
Ya'll rock.
Posted by Lissa on June 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 157
@155: "According to the article the only way I could remain blameless is to have been born a woman."

You could simply not be an asshole.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 4:40 PM · Report this
158 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Lissa 159
@155: why don't you put your money where your mouth is and support a battered women's shelter? If you live in the Seattle area Slog commenter Fnarf can hook you up. If you are a decent human being then you have no need to be offended by this post, because it isn't about you.

Sooooooo why so hopped up to defend the douche canoe's who are the topic at hand?
Posted by Lissa on June 6, 2013 at 4:46 PM · Report this
Lissa 160
@157: Honest to god I heart you Undead Ayn Rand.
Posted by Lissa on June 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
Yeah, I agree, what Numbers 1 through 160 said. You got it right. Fuck 'em if they can't handle the truth!!!
Posted by pupuguru http://www.godsweed.org on June 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
My favorite way to respond to dudes yelling something at me on the street is to stop what I'm doing and engage the harasser in conversation for several minutes. I like to ask a series of insane questions and declare that we are BEST FRIENDS and that I'm having SO MUCH FUN TALKING TO YOU I'm glad we'll spend a LOT OF TIME TOGETHER all while frowning profusely. I keep it up until he seems uncomfortable or until I make myself laugh.

This obviously doesn't work with dudes who drive off, but it so far seems effective at turning the tables on a man who thinks he can intimidate me.
Posted by TIPS on June 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 163
@160: My heart to yours!
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM · Report this
Firemonkey 164
hehehehee. I love to do the insane act on them too!

What a lot of these idiots don't understand is, from the time many of us women were about 12 we have been having to hear this crap all the time, multiple times a day every single day, that we are outside and do not have a parent, brother, boyfriend or husband right by our side.

Every.goddamned.day! Several.times.a.day! From strangers! And I was not ever drop dead gorgeous, merely cute. I did not have big ta-tas. I have rarely worn make up as I can't stand it, I have never worn lowcut tops, tight pants skirts or short shorts, short anything, just not my thing. I was slender, tall, and a tomboy.

And no man, who I does not even know me, no matter how handsome, rich, or whatevah, gets anywhere with me with that kind of talk. I like what was said somewhere in the commments (or the aritcle?) If you would not say it to your Mom, niece, or daughter, then it is rude, crude, and unwanted by any girl or woman with any self respect.

I am now 56 years old, and THANK Heavens do not get that crap so often. I get ignored by strange men, YAY!
Posted by Firemonkey on June 6, 2013 at 8:02 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 165
@152, I'm not saying calling out street harassment is bullying. Street harassment is awful. Too many women have to deal with it, including the women in my life, and I really hate that.

I would never do it. Nobody I know would ever do it, and if they did, I would call them out. Because I don't like bullies.

But there is a little bit of bullying going on here. Saying to all men: "You're the problem. If not you personally, then your best friend, a coworker, or that dude in your fantasy football league is" is bullshit. It's using the bully pulpit of "Seattle's Only Newspaper" to paint all men as sexual harassers. That's like saying all Muslims are responsible for the actions of some Muslims, or all black people are responsible for the actions of some black people.

But it's clear that you don't care about fairness when it's not your tribe being painted with a broad brush. You are angry and you want to hurt somebody. Bully behavior.

Unfortunately, the people with whom you are angry don't read Slog and/or the Stranger, by and large. They probably don't read much at all. So the heterosexual male readership is faced with these choices: Accept all men are responsible for street harassment, remain silent, or speak up for all of the good men out there. Do you think any of those exist?

I'm sorry your partner got harassed. Not on behalf of all men ( I was never elected spokesman), but because I am a compassionate person who doesn't like people being treated unfairly.
Posted by kitschnsync on June 6, 2013 at 8:07 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 166
We women should all just learn to fart, loudly, on cue.

That way we can disgust our harassers and bust the myth that women don't function biologically as humans, all at the same time!

Fuckin' hell this shit is tiring.
Posted by femwanderluster on June 6, 2013 at 8:14 PM · Report this
Big Sven 167
Honest to god, I've never heard anyone say "nice tits" to anyone else on the street. Or anything like that. But I promise that if I ever hear that or something like it, I will say "shut your fucking mouth!" immediately. Guys, as horny little bags of testosterone, have a responsibility to be EXTRA polite and respectful to make up for the fact that we're basically walking around always aroused.

But I am a former offensive linesman, so the personal danger for me to stick my neck out is basically nil.
Posted by Big Sven http://onedatapoint.blogspot.com/ on June 6, 2013 at 8:48 PM · Report this
Lissa 168
@166: Indeed, indeed....
Posted by Lissa on June 6, 2013 at 9:04 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 169
@165: If nobody you know does this, then why are you having a pity party for yourself?

The guilt that's eating you up isn't coming from outside.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 9:12 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 170
Seriously, lashing out at women because they're mad about a real, tangible problem makes you look like human garbage whether you yourself are a harasser or not.

Look within. There is something very wrong with you.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 9:14 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 171
@170, I'm not "lashing out" at anybody, unless you think a reasonable call for fair language is "lashing out". Or is it a "pity party"? You have more hateful putdowns to lob my way, no doubt.

I'm quite happy with my identity, thanks. If I was burdened by a lot of guilt for being born with a penis, I'd probably just accept the abuse.

Judging from the tone of your posts in this forum, you are not a very happy person. Good luck with overcoming that.
Posted by kitschnsync on June 6, 2013 at 9:34 PM · Report this
Super Angry Black Bitch 172
Unfortunately, I “know” one of the authors of this article (Mary Traverse).

Nothing personal, but the only person who would harass Mary’s deceitful, slovenly, egocentric, and unattractive ass would be BLIND!

Moreover, people who “know” Mary would find this article more credible if her name was not attached to it…

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Posted by Super Angry Black Bitch on June 6, 2013 at 9:57 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 173
@171: Whining because women make you feel bad when they get mad that guys are assholes indicates that you really have no clue why the women are mad.


1) You're sexually harassing women and this targets you

2) You need to shut up more because this doesn't concern you and being mad at women is a sign that there's something else broken in your head.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 6, 2013 at 10:06 PM · Report this

Helpful contribution to the conversation. Really.
Posted by KTK on June 6, 2013 at 10:06 PM · Report this
@172 I don't "know" you, but judging from that comment, you are a terrible person.
Posted by ridia on June 6, 2013 at 11:11 PM · Report this
Lissa 176
@172: Sure. You know Mary the same way you know Churchill. Do they talk to you through the hum of the air conditioner or is by secret signal at the stoplight ? But hey! Thanks for joining Slog! You should be a lot of fun.

@171: There have been a number of men on this thread who have, like you, identified as good men who are horrified by this sort of thing. But unlike you they realize that because they are good men that this post is not aimed at them personally. It's not about you, and if you would like women to stop being angry then help to stop other men, and there are so many, from making your gender look bad.
Don't yell at us. Yell at them.
Posted by Lissa on June 6, 2013 at 11:27 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 177
@173, Now you're accusing me of sexually harassing women. Awesome.

I'm not "whining." Not really my nature. It obvious that you can read what I'm typing, but it's not clear that you have the ability to comprehend it.

I'm a man. This article says all men are complicit in street harassment, and that concerns me. As an article about gender relations, it should concern everybody, really.

Look, it's as simple as this: If you demand fair treatment, you must supply it. It's not a difficult concept for people who aren't blinded by hatred.
Posted by kitschnsync on June 6, 2013 at 11:40 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 178
Oh Lissa, I know that street harassment isn't about me personally, or any man I know personally.

That's what I have been saying. And who is yelling?
Posted by kitschnsync on June 7, 2013 at 12:04 AM · Report this
kitschnsync 179
Anyway, the illustrations are clever and cathartic. It's nice to make fun of the dimwits who actually do this.

I just don't think that it is fair to lay the responsibility with all men. Good morning.
Posted by kitschnsync on June 7, 2013 at 12:51 AM · Report this
I'm not registered or much of a commentator but here goes:

I have four daughters. The oldest just turned 12 and started getting uh... chesty ... last year. She is already having to put up with this kind of shit. Personally, being a guy, I advised her if someone grabs your brests to let them. It will not kill you and gives you the opportunity to attack them in a seriously damaging way. After she beat the crap (as in missed a few days of school, extensivbe bruising and swollen testicles) out of two different high schoolers on the bus, the harassment has let off. The school administration or private bus company did not comment.

Let's face it, the responses in this article are mild and kind. Assault is assault. Any straight man who got gropped or sexually harrased by another man would feel entitled to hit first and then ask questions and guess what! If it were an 11 year old boy being treated this way by 14 or 16 year old boys the ll year old would be praised and applauded for bashing his abusers. It is high time women are finally given the same respect that men take for granted.
Posted by basic bassist on June 7, 2013 at 1:47 AM · Report this
What's really too bad about all of this is the fact that this discussion exists only as a binary: you're with us or you're with the rapists. Agree completely or you're an apologist.

How's this for one: I'm a man. I don't and never have made comments like this. My girlfriend has been aggressively groped on several occassions (including once when someone pushed their finger into her vagina in a nightclub), and when she told me about it each time I wept for her violation and my own powerlessness I felt to do anything about it. My mother is a rape survivor. I also spent a lot of time talking with my female cousin about how to deal with verbal harassment at her work. I was also raped as a child, by an adult man who was much bigger and stronger than me, and he did it many times.

Here's a reflection for all of you on the discussion that is going down here: there's no room for my voice, as a man and a survivor and a supporter - but one who doesn't necessarily agree with the majority here - amidst all the self-righteous shouting. There's no room for it in the discussion. And there wasn't much room for it in the article.

The voices of many others trying to raise some middle ground point - like kitchnsync, sumofsea, and northbynorthwest, to name a few - are shut down here. And maybe it's just. They are men. They are the big and strong. Maybe it's time they get taken down a notch. But it's a shame the only way any of you can think of to make it happen is a bunch of name calling.

The irony is that what the article nearly succeeds in doing is in being almost as crass and vulgar as the catcalls themselves. I'm sure that's how the authors want to come off - to prove a point, hold a mirror, make a noise, and all of that. They succeeded.

But they could have done a lot more.
Posted by 11323 on June 7, 2013 at 2:03 AM · Report this
I am a man. I do not harass women - or anyone else. Neither do any of my friends or co-workers. At least not intentionally. I strive to be respectful and considerate in all my interactions with others. Of course I'm not always successful; I'm not always my best self. But I get lots of opportunities because I have a lot of interactions with others.

It is an effort. It is an effort to be considerate. It's usually not a big effort, but it is more than zero.

I do engage strangers I meet on the street, on the public transit, and in a variety of public accommodations. Because I do so in a respectful way and I pay attention to the feedback I get, it generally goes well. I recognize that, as a man, any effort to have contact with women who don't know me is suspect. That's part of the deal. I know that my very presence is threatening to some women and I try to be considerate of that.

Sometimes I will cross the street so that I'm not walking directly behind a woman walking alone. Sometimes I don't because it isn't warranted. Sometimes I will take that seat on the bus next to a woman, sometimes I won't. It depends on a number of non-verbal communications.

That's what kitschnsync doesn't see. Yes, YOU are a harasser. This is about you personally. Because you are a man you are suspect and your very presence is threatening to some women - at least until you can indicate to them that you are non-threatening. And, despite all of your efforts, you may not be able to do that.

That doesn't BLAME you. It doesn't mean that you've done anything wrong or should feel any guilt. It's just the way it is. It's not about you. You may well be perfectly innocent of the egregious behaviors depicted here. Does this make you the victim of sexism or unfairness? Go ahead and see it that way if you want to. Whatever. That wouldn't make you special. Whether it makes you a victim or not, so long as you acknowledge that you are suspect and that you take that fact into consideration in your interactions with women, you'll have advanced a step. If you feel aggrieved by this that's fine. Later you will learn not to blame the women for that, and later still you may even learn not to feel aggrieved.

I don't feel aggrieved by it. I don't accept any guilt for the actions of others. I do, however, recognize the reality The reality is that I look a lot like the people who have done these things to these women. It's understandable that they are suspicious of me - they haven't accused me or found me guilty but they are wary. That's the reality - I don't blame them for it and I'm not to blame for it, but there it is. Given that reality a considerate man would take steps to signal that he is non-threatening and would acknowledge that he remains a threat until he does.

You don't want to hear this, but YOU, yes you personally, are a harasser because as a man you are suspect (thanks to a long history of actual behavior by a large number of other men) and your very presence is threatening and creates pressure until you either go away or demonstrate that you are not a threat. No need to feel one way or another about it, just acknowledge it and act responsibly and with consideration. If you refuse, then you are either refusing to acknowledge a truth or refusing to be considerate, which you are free to do, but don't pretend otherwise. Don't pretend that aren't denying a truth. Don't pretend that you aren't being inconsiderate or threatening. And quit whining about it.
Posted by Charlie Mas on June 7, 2013 at 3:37 AM · Report this
an alternate headline: The white middle class is complete garbage.

try any of that crap on a girl from the hood and find out what happens.
Posted by fetish on June 7, 2013 at 5:33 AM · Report this
Lissa 184
@181: I think 182 breaks it down pretty well.
For you and others, let me put it to you this way. You are like NALT Christians. Remember what Dan said to them when they wrote that he was unfairly tarring them with the same brush when he took bigoted Christians to task for their homophobia and ill treatment of gays? Same sort of thing. Other men are making you look bad. You need to do something about that, rather than complain to women that you are being treated unfairly when women get angry about it.
When you see a douche comment on line, don't just roll your eyes. Say something. Like to that guy up thread going on and on about how he loves it when some one yells nice ass at him so why don't the ladies? Tell guys like that they are out of line. Don't let them take you silence for support.

There are other good men on this thread and in real life who get it. Be active rather than passive and remember that while women know that men are Not All Like That (NALT) that enough of you are that it's a problem and a problem you need to address if you want to stop being lumped in with the assholes.
Posted by Lissa on June 7, 2013 at 6:06 AM · Report this
So does this mean the socialist utopia is cancelled? Or is it arriving sooner than expected? I'm nearing 60 and like all men everywhere I sought the approbation of women when I was younger. Now everyone looks weird, men and women alike, and sex isn't isn't the imperative it once was when you actually consider who your partners will be. Last week, when the sun was shining and it seemed like summer was here, I did just feel like shouting "hey there!" and "watch out!" as I was driving around and it was mostly women that triggered these reactions. Hormones or something. Those feelings will (hopefully) always be a part of the human experience. It's class divisions, materialism and the status scramble that pervert our animus and turn us against each other, male and female. When will people change? See the first two sentences of this screed and wonder at the human condition.
Posted by James Early on June 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 186
@181: "Here's a reflection for all of you on the discussion that is going down here: there's no room for my voice, as a man and a survivor and a supporter - but one who doesn't necessarily agree with the majority here - amidst all the self-righteous shouting. There's no room for it in the discussion. And there wasn't much room for it in the article."

You're here to support women you know and don't know, not try to make an original claim based on your lack of direct experience.

Do you have something unique to offer and somehow contradict womens' experience, or are you just trying desperately to receive negative attention for your dudepinions (ala kitschnsync) ?
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 7, 2013 at 9:08 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 187
And seriously, try to not be so self-righteous when you're decrying the self-righteousness of others. You don't wear it well with your badge of persecution.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM · Report this
Firemonkey 188
dear undead ayn rand, YAY!
Posted by Firemonkey on June 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
I think what is creating a bit of a divide here is that I'm guessing most male SLOG readers (aside from the occasional troll) are probably not the sorts of dudes who do this, and likely don't hang w/ these dudes either. So they may feel the brush is overly broad.

Like others, I've never done this, have no friends who have ever done this in my presence, and would not tolerate it if they did. I have however had the experience of being with women while it is done, and it creates some real weird feelings and expectations. I've had my ass kicked by 3 rednecks because the girl I was with decided she needed to 'hollerback'. But i always feel like I ought to beat the shit out of dudes who yell at women around me, to be protective...which is both ridiculous and kinda sexist in it's own way. I guess the big question is (seriously), what can we do to help that doesn't make the situation worse, escalate into physical violence, or read as paternalistic or sexist?
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on June 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Report this
"Men" are not the problem; rude, assaultive, loutish and crude men are the problem.

and isn't there an exception for staring at sofia vergara when she's posing in front of the cameras at her wax museum debut???? can't we say some staring is invited, or maybe welcomed?
Posted by tar brush much? on June 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 191
@189: "So they may feel the brush is overly broad."

Then they should post in a different topic that caters better to them being the true victims in this matter.

"what can we do to help that doesn't make the situation worse, escalate into physical violence, or read as paternalistic or sexist"

In my case, I'm having my partner take note of the guy's badge id and snap a picture of him so I can call my LCA buds and tell them what he's doing to their image when he talks about his penis and her tits on a standing-only bus where he knows the girl can't get away easily.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM · Report this
hotmomma 192
When I was younger working at Safeway in Capitol Hill, I had my boob grabbed by an older male customer. He had visited the store many times and always smiled at me, and I smiled back. Then on the 4-5 time, he grabbed me. It hurt so bad for days, and I felt a fear and shame... all I could do was run in the back. When I finally told my (male) supervisor, he blew it off. The guy kept coming back and I had to hide in the back to avoid him. Finally a more senior supervisor figured out what was going on and told him he was banned from the store. Now being older, I wished I had immediately called the police. Or I should have filed a complaint against my supervisor. But when I was young, I felt instead shame and a sense that I had provoked him. Now I tell my daughter that no person has a right to touch her ever if she doesn't give them permission. No one should ever have to feel ashamed of another persons illegal behavior. And that was just one incident. Things like that happened to me all the time. It was one reason I stopped using public transportation as soon as I could afford a car. Women should not have to just "deal" with harassment in any form. I am sad and anger at some of the defensive posts on this thread. Some of you men might be "better than this", but unfortunately many are not. Even if a man would never engage in this behavior, he may still allow it, like my supervisor, which is just as bad. Moms and dads out there, it is our job to teach our sons better.
Posted by hotmomma on June 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Geni 193
To those who think ordinary or unattractive women don't get harassed, too, you're full of shit. I'm 53. I'm nothing special to look at. I usually am wearing khakis and a polo shirt. I don't have mega boobs or a nice ass (I don't have ANY ass to speak of, actually). Yet I've been catcalled, harassed, had crude comments made about my appearance, been told to smile, followed, stalked, etc., all my fucking life. I don't get it as much as when I was younger, but I think what always made me a target is simply being small and thus, to the eye of the predatory harasser, prey.

Harassment is fucking scary. Unsolicited and unwanted compliments are fucking scary. Just ... don't. Stop it. You're past age 2, you should have some control over whether every thought that comes into your head comes out of your mouth. Guys screaming curses at you and following you on the street because you wouldn't talk to them on the bus are fucking SCARY. And it happens ALL THE TIME. It's enough to make me buy a goddamned Taser.

@108, there was one particular street screamer that I never figured out whether he was trying to compliment me or insult me. He was looking at my hair, and screeched, "RED on the HEAD like the DICK on my DAWG!" It was frightening - loud, random, and unsolicited - but I still busted out laughing about a block later, once he quit following me. WTF?!
Posted by Geni on June 7, 2013 at 11:24 AM · Report this
I've come to a realization that one of the few times heterosexual men ever truly understand the experience of street harassment and the fear it can induce... is if they end up in prison.
Posted by squirrely girl on June 7, 2013 at 12:13 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 195
Oh Lissa, I know that street harassment isn't about me personally, or any man I know personally.

That's what I have been saying. And who is yelling?
Posted by kitschnsync on June 7, 2013 at 12:26 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 196
Huh. That's weird. ICYMI, I suppose.
Posted by kitschnsync on June 7, 2013 at 12:56 PM · Report this
While we're waiting patiently (or not) for men to step up and DO something about this, other than throw tantrums, maybe it's time to listen to the second-wave feminists again, with fresh ears:

“We define pornography as the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures or words that also includes women dehumanized as sexual objects, things, or commodities; enjoying pain or humiliation or rape; being tied up, cut up, mutilated, bruised, or physically hurt; in postures of sexual submission or servility or display; reduced to body parts, penetrated by objects or animals, or presented in scenarios of degradation, injury, torture, shown as filthy or inferior; bleeding, bruised, or hurt in a context that makes these conditions sexual. Erotica, defined by distinction as not this, might be sexually explicit materials premised on equality. We also provide that the use of men, children, or transsexuals in place of women is pornography. The definition is substantive in that it is sex-specific, but it covers everyone in a sex-specific way, so is gender neutral in overall design.” (Feminism Unmodified, by Catharine Mackinnon, p.176)

If you're trying to put out a fire, then at some point, you've got to do something about that stream of gasoline pouring in from the other side...

Posted by It's all one fight, you know on June 7, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 198
@197: I agree with some of this and my close associates are directly employed to disempower/defund the more harmful elements mentioned therein) but not all is as unhealthy as the other.

That's a complicated enough topic that it's best for another thread, though.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 7, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
I get that a woman might fell intimidated and threatened by unwanted sexual attention. However, suggestiong that it is ok to accidentally hit someone in the face with your elbow or threatening to stab them with a box cutter is no more acceptable behavior than groping you or making you feel uncomfortable.

Suggesting that is otherwise is irresponsable journalisim, ladies. Two wrongs dont make a right.
Posted by Fooo on June 7, 2013 at 4:11 PM · Report this
I have a gay friend who used to come over and hit on my husband "jokingly." At first my husband laughed it off, but then he started seeming visibly uncomfortable, so I told my friend bluntly to knock it off and later had a private conversation with him about it, and he stopped.

My husband has a friend who occasionally comes over and makes sexual comments directed at me. My husband (who would never say that shit to women himself) has never said a thing to him about it. Though this guy is merely an annoyance, I do wish my husband would tell him to knock it off.

And when I'm on the bus obviously being sexually harassed by some guy I wish that all these liberal, so-called progressive dudes like the kind #189 describes would fucking stop looking down uncomfortably at their hands and instead help back me up. Most of the time it's just me yelling back at someone who felt I was unintimidating to begin with, so nothing changes and shit just escalates.

I got my nose broken trying to break up someone else's bus fight a few year ago, so I do that stuff for other people. I don't know why guys don't seem to want to help when they see this kind of thing going on. But I think that was more Cienna's point then "All men are horrible" which is what many of the commenters seem to want to take away from it.
Posted by virginia mason on June 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM · Report this
I wish guys still whistled at me, but I'm past that age. Sigh.
Posted by nisnimnin on June 7, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
Some ANGRY dudes up in this piece.
Posted by Amanda on June 7, 2013 at 10:13 PM · Report this
Hey guys, here's an idea: just give up on women entirely. See? Problem solved. ;-)
Posted by montex on June 7, 2013 at 11:16 PM · Report this
"But even those men aren’t afraid of letting a woman know they’re interested. They have no problem requesting phone numbers or purchasing beverages or, when the time calls for it, throwing fisticuffs if it means gaining the attention of that one woman who caught their eye. While some of it may be unnecessary, no one can honestly call them bashful."

- from an article by a woman about men in Seattle - decrying their lack of aggressiveness.
Posted by fetish on June 8, 2013 at 3:31 AM · Report this
The article decried their passivity in announcing, asserting, approaching and talking to and asking dates of women the males here may be interested in.

Hey women, what forms of approaching/asking are okay since most here agree that the assaults, rude comments, hostile or weird staring in public when there's no social context (i.e. if you're chatting with someone you just met at a pal's BBQ, some amount of "seeing" their face/body is normal...I hope!) are all off limits.

Another question. What really do you expect other men to do when on the bus we see some asshole staring or commenting rudely? Tell him to stop it? pull out our gun? What if he attacks us? Are we obligated to help women in this situation because ....men should assist the fairer sex and assume the obligation to police/control/punish/reprimand the bad men?

How does this not reinforce older stereotypes btw??

Posted by questionsforall on June 8, 2013 at 8:39 AM · Report this
"i don't know why guys don't seem to want to help when they see this kind of thing going on. But I think that was more Cienna's point then "All men are horrible" which is what many of the commenters seem to want to take away from it."

actually, to get all linear and logical, Cienna did say all men are the problem and referred to "your" bad acts referring to all men:
"What men need is a wake-up call: You're the problem. . . . You're making us feel unsafe every day, in a thousand different ways. To help you better identify your harassing behavior" -- this is simply wrong, as not all of us (a) harass, or even (b) stand by while others do, assuming we have some kind of knightly honor obligation to help the poor, weak wymen.

The reason we don't want to help is likely that in today's world you can get hurt if you help, we let everyone have guns, and it's not our job to police wrongdoers just like it's not my job to "help" a storekeeper who's getting ripped off. And every point made about the reality of the physical threat posed by verbal harassment would support this. The notion I as a man have an obligation to confront some violent asshole because he is lewdly commenting on a bus -- so if I say hey cut it out dude, and he says what you gotta problem and pulls out his knife or gun -- well you see where there can be a downside to intervening.

I was taught if mugged to just hand over the wallet. While sometimes I would help, particularly if seeing actual physical violence on someone, anyone, not just a woman, really, most of us won't help because we might get shot and frankly it's a bit sexist to demand that men in general help. Why is that, because in general we're all big and strong? seems like there's double standards creeping about.
Posted by zeta male on June 8, 2013 at 9:21 AM · Report this
great piece! reminiscent of classic stranger stuff prior to the current takeover of the young, male, confused, hipster. the womenfolk are gaining control again! right on. highlight of this great party wagon? the illustrations of course! i have experienced the disrespect second hand several times: wife got: groped at a show, at hempfest, compliments in stores "oh your so cute!" kind of wack shit. sadly, this situation will never change until we develop the ability to engineer human "essence". in laymen's term: kill the asshole gene. of course all the assholes say then, "how we gonna kill meat without the asshole gene?". corkscrew type debate to be sure. highlights tho: Gabriel? loved the stand up. you one funny, truth telling m-f er. but...You ain't gay?!!!! tight asses on bikes (yuck!...well kind of), tight ass in tight jeans walking down capitol hill?? come on austen, santino is calling for you...it may just be me!
Posted by rayray on June 8, 2013 at 9:39 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 208

Yup. But WE'RE the overly sensitive ones.

Posted by femwanderluster on June 8, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
How common is "aggressive staring" and where do you draw the line?
Posted by STD on June 8, 2013 at 2:24 PM · Report this
@191 - I think your response is part of the problem. Lots of dudes here 100% behind the not-harrassing thing, always have been, always will be. taking swings at everyone is a pretty good way to lose rather than gain allies.
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on June 8, 2013 at 4:45 PM · Report this
I don't care if a man is over 6 feet tall with ripped abs, nice eyes and a face like those guys in the mens razor commercials. If I don't know him and he comes on too strong, I am NOT going to be attracted to him. (In my case, I'm rarely attracted to men I don't already know anyway.) This idea that women like being harassed by good looking men is completely wrong. There are some approaches that just will never work no matter how good looking you are.
Posted by Diagoras on June 8, 2013 at 5:29 PM · Report this
Texas10R 212
If many (okay, the VAST MAJORITY) of these aggressive males were willing and able to comprehend what it feels like to live in a world of 10-foot-tall people, many of whom have little or no regard for the intimidation they emanate at will, essentially as an uncorrected, aggressive habits they accumulated as young males in a male-dominated world, they might easily see the problem –– but they can't or won't.

It should also be noted that many of these same damaged males for whom this behavior is still a problem, actually WERE, as kids, subjected to a similar (although not necessarily always sexual) harassment, and are now projecting their unresolved experiences upon vulnerable persons, i.e., women.

Still other males early in life acquired the validated "permission" by example set by older males: "This behavior is how we assert our social dominance over women and we will be rewarded by our male peers, and possibly, the most easily-manipulated of the women."

This could go on...but are there no psychology pros to whom to the Stranger can refer? It is clear this discussion needs more than crudely-drawn cartoons alone can provide in these scant few pages of the Stranger.
Posted by Texas10R on June 8, 2013 at 6:11 PM · Report this
Texas10R 213
Oh, Jesus!
And on a sadly similar topic with chilling similarities, see...

"Bugs in Your Bed
Seattle's Imminent Bedbug Crisis"
by Brendan Kiley

...with the apropos reference: "sexually antagonistic coevolution"

Posted by Texas10R on June 8, 2013 at 6:36 PM · Report this
lol there are some crazy guys out there but ladies you can be full of it too sucking up to the boss or to somebody who can do something for you at work.and too many times if you are the hot guy you can do anything to women but if you the wrong guy it is time for you call HR.but women will never stop men from hitting on them, sounds like to me the folks who wrote this are angry not just at the rude guys but want control over which men step to them.
Posted by satch on June 9, 2013 at 1:56 AM · Report this

You actually don't have to be super attractive to suffer street harassment, I say from experience as an average looking woman whom some might describe as cute on a good day. All you have to be is there withyour vagina in tow.

Here's a list of what I, an average sometimes cute, woman, have endured:
Ass smacking, commands to smile, being offered money for sex while I sat reading in a cafe, a man whispering the following in my ear as I sat in my bus seat: "I'm going to rip your clothes off," a bus driver joking about how he was going to kidnap and imprison me while I stood near the front door waiting for my stop, a man walking next to me down the ave in broad daylight saying sexual stuff (he finally left when I walked into the Varsity lobby, pointed to him and loudly announced that he was following me), chased me on my bike demanding to perform oral sex on me, stared at me through the skylight of my apt., called me a bitch, called me a cunt, when I was 12 an adult man whispered to me that I had nice breasts when my grandmother turned her back, taunted me with sexual comments and questions about my body as I walked to Planned Parenthood, asked me if I'd ever had an abortion, whistled at me as I stood in my apt. doorway then pushed in the door and cornered me in the stairwell after I rolled my eyes and went inside--Thank God for neighbors, threw a beer bottle at me after I yelled: Fuck you! in response to his sexual comments, sat downin the booth next to me and blocked my way out after I told him I was not interested in having sex with him--I ended up climbing out of the booth, picked me up off the floor after I moved away from in front of him to get a better view of the band, picked me up off the floor while I was dancing, picked me up off the ground while I stood talking to friends outside an art gallery, masturbated while staring at me as I sat in a trolley seat opposite him, pulled out his penis and started jumping up and down as I approached the entrance to Cowen Park--I changed direction, told me he had a monkey in his van--I was 6?--unzipped his jumpsuit and started tugging on his penis--fortunately my friends were close by and my mother was mere feet away in our basement, came up behind me to to ask my name and tell me I was sexy and told me I needed to change my attitude, followed me closely on his bike while I was running and stopped when I stopped modified his speed to keep pace with me and laughed when I gave him the stink eye and told him to stop, came up behind me and grabbed my crotch--fortunately was convinced to run away when I pulled my umbrella on him......

Okay, I could go on but it's too depressing. I will say that you can add to the above countless comments and leering.

Again, I am average looking.

Posted by know-it-all on June 9, 2013 at 7:50 AM · Report this
In Feminist/Women's Studies programs across the USA boorish actions like the ones pictured are taught as RAPE leading the oft quoted false statistic that 40% of US women have been raped. This "statistic" is a factoid that has taken on a life of its own and appears to be the source of much gender anger.
Posted by dworkin on June 9, 2013 at 7:54 AM · Report this
@200 "I got my nose broken trying to break up someone else's bus fight a few year ago, so I do that stuff for other people. I don't know why guys don't seem to want to help when they see this kind of thing going on."

You might want to read this over again.
Posted by Adversary on June 9, 2013 at 8:17 AM · Report this
Keep in mind that men are raised by women; home, day care, school, media etc. Positive male presence is rare and certainly not on MTV or television in general or the internet. We have created the society that is the source of the complaint.
Posted by dworkin on June 9, 2013 at 8:20 AM · Report this
This subject should be a weekly regular!

I loved the story from comment 52 (at the bottom)!

But, there's another scenario you missed that happened to me all the time when I was younger (now, I dress like total shit, and have a pinched-up, bitter, evil look permanently stamped on my face so I hardly ever get harassed like I used to -OH GOD, the RELIEF of not being verbally harassed anymore!!!):

I hate guys that comes up and ask "what's your name" and then call you "rude" if you don't answer. It took me years to finally come up this effective response: I just look at them like they're fucking weirdest and rudest person I've ever seen, and ask them, "Are you a cop?"

...and if they even try to get me with that "you're being rude" shit, then I get really angry and say in a louder voice, "I'm just sitting here, minding my own business, not bothering anyone, and you come at me with 20 questions and call ME rude?!! Get the FUCK out of my face! (or a monotone "leave me alone" repeated over and over like a broken record, is sometimes safer -depending).

Another scenario that would happen to me (& believe me, once is enough!), and I've never seen done or talked about or portrayed in any movie, because women are always goddamned nice to these people, always!:

Let's say an ugly old man comes up to you (say, someone as ugly and old as Jack Nicholson -like the way he looks now -yikes!) and hits on you, giving you unwanted attention. First thing I ask them is "when you were my age were you ever interested in someone who was older or same age as you are now?" If they say no, then I ask, "then why the fuck would you think I'd be interested in you?!" GOD, I FUCKING H A T E OLD MEN!!!!

...and I have so much more to offer to this discussion...

When I was younger I used to fantasize about beating the living shit out of bullies who got pleasure out of picking me out and harassing me, sexually or otherwise, but I'm still too small in real life to attempt it, so I have to be creative in other ways but sometimes I feel so worn out from it all... And I do not subscribe to that bullshit that all women are on the same team because some of the worst harassment and bullying I've ever undergone has been through elitist "normal" women who are evil shit -so much more so than men, that I could almost be categorized as a misogynist myself (regardless of my being a female!!), were it not for the fact that I've also met some cool "regular people" humans who happened to be female (as well as old men too). I use the word "normal" to describe creepy people who make it their top priority to give others shit for not fitting in with the "norm" as they see it... Okay, now I'm really starting to blab...

But, seriously, this should be a regular weekly subject! AND!! you should have thumbs up or down options for every comment too, and a 'reply' option too. Why don't you?

...and to the guy at comment 3, as comment 147 came closest to explaining, maybe all you need is a little bout of prison time to understand the true meaning of "unwanted attention"? How very sad if that's what it takes for you to understand the basic concept (which, unfortunately for most Americans, police have also been gaining a wider reputation for not understanding either) that you should not treat random people in ways that you wouldn't want people, more powerful and bigger than yourself, to treat you.
Posted by katm http://www.Ihatefascism.com on June 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Oh, and that creepy "smile" one, happened to me so much. It's a trick for them to use as an excuse to further harass you for being "rude" to them, when they're "only trying to be nice to you" as they say.

The only response I feel comfortably using on invasive people in a scenario like that is "leave me alone, I'm not bothering you, leave me alone" repeated in a monotone voice if they keep at me. Any other reaction, like burping -as suggested in the article, seems to invite them in more and that is the last thing I want.

And if they keep bothering me I move to another seat, or inform the bus driver. So far, I've been lucky that the bus drivers I've dealt with have always been really good about helping me out in these kinds of situations. Still, so awkward I know...
Posted by katm http://www.Ihatefascism.com on June 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
good gawd katm, u sound like a 70 year old catholic nun snapping rulers on perverted teen age penis...
Posted by rayray on June 9, 2013 at 3:27 PM · Report this
Space Sausage 222
Pfff, one of the major reasons I'm glad I moved away from Seattle. This is some straight up hard-core emasculating misandrist bullshit. American woman stay away from me? That is very true of Seattle women. This type of superiority feminism is a very Seattle / hipster bratty thing. Thank Zeus for real wonderful, sweet, warm, intelligent, think-for-yourself women that. The Seattle hipster thing is just anti-male, anti-masculine hate.
Posted by Space Sausage on June 9, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
223 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Public space belongs to men. Men enjoy making sexually degrading comments to women we see on the street. We have done it since the beginning of time and will do it for as long as there is matter on this earth. There is nothing you can do to stop, or even reduce, street harassment.

Don't like it? Find a new planet.
Posted by Otis the Sweaty on June 9, 2013 at 9:28 PM · Report this
the whole " what men need is a wake-up call: you are the problem " is kinda sexist sorry but it just is . if you don't believe me change the word men with some other demographic .... " what jews need is a wake-up call: you are the problem" see now it sounds like Hitler or "what black people need is a wake-up call: you are the problem" now its just racist. i think they should have just edited that line out. otherwise it was a fine attempt at bringing to light a form harassment that is unwanted, upsetting and is just generally annoying for everyone .
Posted by johnjohn on June 9, 2013 at 10:49 PM · Report this
smajor82 226
To all the guys who are writing in about how this is the fault of women who sit around waiting for "male suitors": no they don't. Women will hit on men they find attractive. I spent my youth as one of those straight "shy around girls" guys and I got plenty of dates. So it's all about you - and how generally repulsive you are. Feel free to read some books and get some exercise.
Posted by smajor82 on June 10, 2013 at 7:11 AM · Report this
227 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
undead ayn rand 228
@204/@205: And? There's a wide berth between the two polarities. You can talk to a woman without being a creepizoid, your "point" that it's somehow difficult to distinguish between the two can't really be that you think that the only way to approach a woman is by honking her tits until she screams for the police.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 10, 2013 at 7:52 AM · Report this
smajor82 229
@225 - No, nothing like Hitler. Also, you're not sorry, so why say it?

It's not sexist, just like it isn't racist to blame slavery in the United States on white people.

Fun fact: Men are the problem. Men in the United States are socialized (often) to be assholes to Women. We are the rapists in this culture. Men who are walking alone at night and see a drunk group of women don't fear for their lives.
Posted by smajor82 on June 10, 2013 at 9:19 AM · Report this
Posted by TK421 on June 10, 2013 at 11:33 AM · Report this

So here is my problem with this article. It seems to put forth the idea that any advance by a man is a bad thing. Let us take the awkward advance, the "You'd be a lot prettier if you smiled." Sure it's not the best compliment, could do better to break the ice but it certainly isn't on par with the other advances listed in this article.

Saying, "You'd be a lot prettier if you smiled" is the same as the drive by, or the grope? I mean, look at the name of the arch-type. "The Complimenter." It seems this is saying that any compliment, or any attempt to start a conversation with a woman on a bus ride, or in a public place, is unwanted, unintelligent, and step 1 of rape. I have seen in the comment section of this thread some people who want to add the creepy smile archetype, as if any action by men is by default, creepy! Look if we make eye contact on a bus and I smile at you, I'm not being creepy, I'm just being nice.

If I try to start a conversation with a woman, or really anyone in a public place and they don't respond, or they answer negatively, I move on.

Does it make me a creep for offering a compliment or making eye contact or smiling? No. Listen ladies, THIS DOES NOT MAKE ME A CREEP. Got that? Cool. What makes anyone a creep is if after they get a negative response, they continue to pursue it. Men and women alike. If you try to start a conversation with a man on a bus and he either says no thanks or ignores you, and you try to continue to pursue it, that makes you a creep too.

Now here is the difference between men and women, I think. If a man doesn't want to have a conversation with you, he'll tell you, at least if you're a woman. I've had moment while riding the bus or a train when I feared for my safety and I thought it was better to just demure and answer politely and not let the situation escalate. I wondered, if this man started raping me (and I'm a man) would anyone do anything about it? They'd probably laugh, I'm sure. Would anyone step up to help me out? Probably not.

So while I certainly understand the reaction from women who fear for their safety, I think believing all men who make eye contact, compliment you, or smile at you are creeps is irrational. Some of us guys just want to talk, and if you're broadcasting nerdy, maybe we could get a good conversation about sci-fi or board games going.
Posted by TK421 on June 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM · Report this
This article is useless in reality. Most of these suggestions are idiotic and not helpful. If it is meant to be funny or witty, it has failed at both. How about saying, "I'm a woman. Like your mother." I always like that one. Sure yelling back, or barking like a dog can be somewhat useful sometimes, but not in the long run. Any reaction is a good reaction to these creeps. Holding up a proverbial mirror of shame also seems to work sometimes. I will answer to a cat call, "oh yeah, I definitely want to sleep with you now! Wow, please cat call me again, I love sleezy ass holes, I'm sure you get so many women!" and so on.... anyway.... that's about it.
Posted by kikananda on June 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM · Report this
@231 Your argument would be a lot more cogent with my dick in your mouth.
Posted by Not Creepy, Only Awkward By TK421's Logic on June 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM · Report this
I don't know about that, I think it would mostly sound like "arghbmargh margarghmar blegh."

Then I wouldn't make any sense at all.
Posted by TK421 on June 10, 2013 at 2:09 PM · Report this
oh for FUCK'S SAKE get OVER yourself!!!! men are men and are always going to express themselves if they see something they like. i've got news for you, feminazi...so do WOMEN. remember the diet coke commercial from the 90s? oh wait, you're probably too YOUNG to remember it when all these office women take a 'diet coke break' at the same time only it's not them taking it but it's to ogle out the office window at the hot construction worker with his shirt off drinking a diet coke. i am so fucking SICK of how women collectively have RUINED men to the point where all they do is sit around on their pussified new-agey asses and refuse to be REAL MEN because they're scared of women. if i get wolf called on the street, i take it as a compliment as do many of MY generation and beliefs. goddamm hippies.
Posted by cupcake broad on June 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM · Report this
@234 That only makes sense if you're dictating or overrating your posts.
Posted by Not Creepy, Only Awkward By TK421's Logic on June 10, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
and if you're so afraid of men, do what a lot of us do and carry a fucking gun.
Posted by cupcake broad on June 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM · Report this
Thats alot of stuff to put out there HYPOTHETICALLY, and GRANDMAS still protected, the anger and absurdity of having past choices represent THE wear and tear plus used up exploitation gathered by current or Past friendships that may become RECREATED in the N.E, S.E, wherever your HEART desires as well as simple FACT that pigs feet and pennies make the average man with a GED chuckle and the NARCISSICT that entertains EVERY emotion a woman has REGARDLESS of the Current or LAST boyfriend she has, has had and will use to EMPOWER her evry movement-regardless of the PRO or COn aspect of ASS sex and other neat funny things she and he can do to BE the contemporary and ultimate authority for whicher WARD or Evangelists list of been ther and did that equality THEY, she and he share...with categorized FILTH, sun dried tomato blahzayness...mannequin pubic bone with hummus butt wetness or WALNUT BUTTER shortbread irritation and crowned KAYAKS, panties,barstools and A.m radio segregation she or he can think of.
Posted by misterdanton http://yahoo.com on June 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you for writing this article!
It is why, yours truly and his cohorts,
have vacated the bar counter for the
exclusive habitat of a gaggle of gals.
While, we have migrated to the
safer pastures of our man-caves;
free of feminine clutter,
(in form of thoughts or thangs!)
Again: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I assure you, the Gang of Brothers,
will be broadcasting this noble set of admissions,
across the webscape,
for the quick and sure edification,
of those men, who haven't received
the memo yet from the Stranger!
God bless ... and enjoy the mojito!
Posted by Calvin Adams on June 10, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
pinksoda 240
@238 - Dad, go home - you're drunk.
Posted by pinksoda on June 10, 2013 at 3:44 PM · Report this
( hi, mom! )

Posted by Kelly O on June 10, 2013 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Men, if you can't tell the difference between flirting with and harrassing a woman, you shouldn't be dating. The excuse that you just don't even KNOW what to do is pathetic.

Here's some basic tips:
If you say something complimentary to a woman (not about her boobs, dumbass) and she smiles and responds appreciatively, you can keep talking to her until she doesn't anymore.

If you say something to a woman and she smirks uncomfortably and doesn't make eye contact or respond, abort. Just stop fucking talking and leave her alone. If you continue to try to engage her when she doesn't want to be engaged, you are now harrassing her. If she was by some teensy weensy chance interested and is just shy and oddly awkward, she knows the ball is in her court.

If you stare at a woman pointedly for a minute and she doesn't stare back, or she appears to be frowning, stop staring.

Seriously. Get the hint - it's not that hard.
Posted by Yes, condscending, but ugh these comments on June 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM · Report this
I hate guys that do this shit. I try to be a good human and not do these things. Maybe that's why I'm married? But let me tell you ladies! The starring thing! I was on the bus headed home after a long day, I'm standing and I was tired so I'm blankly starring off into NOTHING! This girl screams at me, "stop starring at me!" The whole back of the bus is looking at each other, "who did it?" "WTF?" "is she crazy?" then sjhe gets up and points at me and screams out, "YOU! You've not stopped starring at me since I got on the bus!" I don't even know where she was standing and I've got to say that was one of the most embarrassing things to ever happen to me. You're on a crowded bus with a lot of tired people, don't think you're so special that everyone can't keep their eyes off of you! I was just trying to stand and wait for my bus stop, you psycho bitch! Oh! And when I tried to explain myself she just sticks her hand in my face, "just shut up you creep!" So, don't let your ego and vanity get the better of you, it shows exactly how ugly you really are!
Posted by charliebat on June 10, 2013 at 5:13 PM · Report this
Posted by ct on June 10, 2013 at 6:39 PM · Report this
@125 I'm glad you bring this up. It's actually great to the cause that we recognize that men, on occasion, do know what it feels like to be threatened and scared by strangers. I know a few guy friends who have that story about "that one time" a belligerent drunk threatened or physically hurt him.

Whenever I'm talking to men about street harassment, I ask them to think about the times they've been legit frightened, threatened, creeped out, or harmed by a larger stranger. And then I ask them to imagine living in a world where that happened to them ONCE A WEEK at minimum, and where, whenever they wanted to talk about how horrible that is, everyone pats them on the head and tells them that they should be flattered that so many men want to beat the shit out of them, or that they should take the higher ground and not let it bother them, or that they should stop wearing popped collars or whatever it is that makes other men want to beat them, or that they should stop going to their favorite places after dark.

No. The strangers need to stop their bullshit. A compliment is a compliment, and harassment is NOT a compliment. It's not hard to figure out the difference, and if you're the kind of guy who genuinely offers strange women compliments and then walks on if they don't respond, then you have no need to worry. But if you're the guy who literally SNEERS in my face in passing and says something ABOUT my body or what you'd like to do with it, that's harassment. It's not a compliment, and you know it. You don't think it's going to make me feel good. You don't think it's going to make me like you. You think that *I* think that I'm better than you, because you've got your own problems with yourself, and you say something to take me down a peg. You say something hoping it will make me feel shitty or scared or beholden. Period. You know better. You know the difference. FUCKING STOP IT.
Posted by Tomahawk on June 10, 2013 at 6:53 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 246
@231: "It seems to put forth the idea that any advance by a man is a bad thing"

If you're an imbecile with no reading comprehension.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM · Report this

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Posted by jonson on June 10, 2013 at 11:35 PM · Report this
Dear creep apologists,

If you want to chat up a lady and ask her out, make a comment about the weather or something else innocuous. Don't comment on her body or stare. If you wouldn't say it to a strange man or boy, don't say it to a strange woman or girl.


Your Dad
Posted by OhMyDog on June 11, 2013 at 6:49 AM · Report this
@243 Cool Story, Bro.

I especially like the part where you never show any empathy for the girl you maybe, inadvertently, of course, creeped out by staring in, possibly, her direction for the whole trip.

Unfortunately for you, the rest of us don't live in a magical world where crowded buses have unobstructed sight lines and screeching, teleporting girls.

Still, we all liked the part where you told women how ugly and not special they really are.

No wonder you're, as you made perfectly clear, off the market.
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 11, 2013 at 8:53 AM · Report this
What do you do when it's a perv cop who says no one will ever believe you?
Posted by Grossed Out on June 11, 2013 at 8:56 AM · Report this
@ 246

Is it any wonder why men are always offended by this type of rhetoric? Try to share my point of view and I'm not approached with charity or a chance of congenial argument, I'm attacked with hostility and condescension.

Might want to look into that. If you think hostility and condescension are going to win the day, then props to you, good luck!
Posted by TK421 on June 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM · Report this
@251 "Is it any wonder why men are always offended by this type of rhetoric?"

The subset of men that are always offended by such rhetoric is small and primarily comprised of the types of assholes engaged in the behaviors discussed.

It's strange that you think you're entitled to a congenial argument but ignore "Here's a good litmus test for compliments: Would you say it to your mother or niece?" and instead flail away at some straw-bitch you've constructed.

Perhaps your problem here is you?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
my question for the mouth-breathers who do this sort of approaching of women: Does it ever work?

I'm trying to imagine a scenario where this would result in anything other than an annoyed or insulted woman wanting nothing to do with you. putting aside this whole respect/dignity/personal space argument, it seems like a waste of time and energy.

Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on June 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
@225 is hilarious when you consider the two posts before it. Yes, the sexism lies in women fearing for their safety and comfort, not in the posters explaining that all public space is male (not a particularly rare view-- just see how men sit on the subway) and the one who advocates leaving the city because god forbid women not want to get groped or chatted up.

And telling people to smile is just as awful. Like 'accidentally' brushing or pushing up against someone, it leaves the harasser an 'out' and forces the girl or woman to doubt herself, which is golden if you want to continue to harass women and not have them talk back or tell anyone. You're telling someone what to do with their mouth. And how to be prettier. It's laughably offensive. And if you don't believe me, walk up to a table of businessmen having lunch and try it with one of them. Let's see if they appreciate it!
Posted by TySharona on June 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM · Report this

"The subset of men that are always offended by such rhetoric is small and primarily comprised of the types of assholes engaged in the behaviors discussed."

You've come to this conclusion based on what?

You know nothing about me, zero, and yet you call me "the type of asshole engaged in the behavior discussed."

Oh arguing on the internet, where everyone has the moral high-ground and no one needs to make friends, only smite enemies. I'm sure you're a perfectly social person in real life but this is generally not how you win people to your cause, this is how you make enemies. No faster way to alienate someone than calling them a rapist, or equating them with a racist (because we both know that's what comes next).
Posted by TK421 on June 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM · Report this
@255 'You know nothing about me, zero, and yet you call me "the type of asshole engaged in the behavior discussed."'

You self selected into a group I described; it's been said (in #252) 'Perhaps your problem here is you?'

Of course, it's also been said (in #246) 'If you're an imbecile with no reading comprehension.'

@255 'You've come to this conclusion based on what?'

Well, you had said (#251) "men" and "always", so based on the fact that "men" are a large and varied group, and the fact that "always" is almost always included in statements that grossly overstate the occurrence of something, I congenially offered a different theory regarding those offended.

Strange that you took offense, and continued (#231, #251) lamenting how you're being attacked rather than discussing points on their merits.
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 11, 2013 at 1:31 PM · Report this

Stop trolling.

If you don't want to have a real conversation and just want to play games then I'm done.
Posted by TK421 on June 11, 2013 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Can I get pervy mime on a t-shirt?
Posted by Hybrid Vigor on June 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
what the assholes are trying to say is that on some level women attractt this type of abuse and then complain instead of fixing the bait within or accept wildlife while being in the concret jungle.
Having said that, these perverted animals need to get their face busted and balls torn off BY LAW and see how polite they will get. Yeah that's right, open the f***ing door for me and if you even look down at my body for a second it's pepper spray in the eyes for you- MANDATORY!!!
Posted by beentheir on June 11, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Something many women don't realize is that its a harrowing experience to get rejected. Plenty of women feel rejected, yes. There are many women who don't get male attention at all- Hell, I'm sure a handful would welcome the occasional leer or catcall- but its important to understand that women by and large don't GET rejected.

When you get rejected day in and day out, and you feel pressure internally and externally to get laid, you start to build up anger and defenses that can pretty easily manifest themselves in the form of harassment and cat calling. I sincerely believe that most men cat call and harass to steel themselves for rejection and build up an ego to better handle it, whether or not they realize this.

Its not an excuse, obviously, but I think its a useful perspective for women understand. The problem here is rooted in a lack of empathy, and I believe that most women, however much the victims in these situations, are equally lacking of empathy in understanding how absurdly painful it is to get rejected. You need to be assured of yourself to cope with rejection, and the easiest mode to do this in asshole mode.

Asshole men are indeed the symptom, but they are not the root of the problem. the root is the system that puts men in the role to be rejected. Its the system that determines that women are to paint themselves as billboards and men are to pursue them. Fix the balance of pursuit and you'll have a chance to fix the problem.
Posted by bro? on June 11, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
I was actually just harassed like that today. I was walking out of Walmart when these guys driving buy make a comment about "wanting to pound that" and hooting at me. When I told my dad about it he was just like "Well you have to expect that when you go out dressed skimpy." From my own father. I'm sorry, but I will wear shorts and a tank top outside when it is 90 degrees out, and I shouldn't have to worry about being harassed like that for it. There are a million other ways a guy could compliment you when he thinks you look good. "Hey, you look nice in those shorts." "That outfit suits you really well." "You're really pretty." All those are acceptable, but don't treat me like a piece of meat just because of what I'm wearing.
Posted by WaitingForTheDoctor on June 11, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
@231 What would it take to convince you that "You'd be a lot prettier if you smiled" is not just an inept compliment?

Suppose it implies that (a) the target isn't pretty enough on her own merits, (b) the target's value is only based on how attractive "The Complimenter" finds her, (c) that the target now owes "The Complimenter" something, (d) that any provided response indicates interest on the part of the target or a character defect in the target, etc.
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM · Report this

All of your terminology is geared towards a predator preying on their target. You're defining the narrative completely as "this guy is hunting this woman, he is trapping her by his comment."

What if the guy simply meant, "Cheer up!" Do most women perceive in that way? No. Most perceive it as a man hitting on them.

You're automatically applying a certain narrative, a predatory narrative to "The Complimenter." Would it be different if he said anything else? When does "inept compliment" turn into "Predatory, Rape step #1" What if The Complimenter said "Hey, smile, life can't be that bad."

I would say "You'd be a lot prettier if you smiled" depends on the intent of the one speaking it, and who it is being spoken to. If a father says it to his daughter, or son to his mom still make it a Predatory Compliment?

Really, put yourself in the head of the guy, or hell look at that XKCD comic. One of the worst things you can call a guy is creepy, and most nice guys have this fear of, "How can I approach that nerdy girl, what is a good icebreaker?" Is it an appropriate response if he says "Cute netbook" for her to freak out and call him a creep, then declare to the rest of the onlookers that he is a creep, then post his picture all over her Facebook publicizing that he is a creep?

It become an environment so hostile that some women would have be believe that approaching a woman at all in public is a huge no-no. All women don't want to be approached in public, especially not for a possible romantic relationship, that one must first know them through friends and family before one could possibly date them. Yes, a lot of men do get that impression, but through personal experience I know that is not the case and there are many different types of women out there, some who don't mind being approached in public at all, and would enjoy either a new friend or a new romance.

I won't try to explain this to you as if I was a predatory, we're not going to go into that narrative and I feel no obligation to defend myself on that front (unless of course you believe that every man should have to provide evidence he's not a predator beforehand).

All I'm saying is I do not believe that the first archetype belongs with the rest. That guy clearly looks like a shy nerd who is awkward around women, and I guess he is missing a hand, poor bastard. All men who say this do not have predatory intentions, and it is clearly an inept compliment, one could simply say "Cheer up" or "Smile, life can't be that bad."
Posted by TK421 on June 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM · Report this
@231 What would it take to convince you that "You'd be a lot prettier if you smiled" is not just an inept compliment?

What if four women went to the trouble of writing and illustrating an article that says that phrase itself and others like it are creepy? What if instead of demanding people see it from your point of view, you tried out theirs?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
Ever since I started going through puberty I started getting harassment. Every single time I wait for the bus in front of my house, I get harassment. It makes me feel sick. It makes me want to throw up. I wish I could so that I could aim my puke at their heads. I don't even dress provocatively! It's totally disgusting to have to be hooted and whistled at. I don't care if the person is Brad f*cking Pitt--it's still scary as hell and makes me feel sick and little. STOP HARASSING ME PEOPLE!!
Posted by Smashy on June 11, 2013 at 5:09 PM · Report this
@6...um...go ahead and write an article blaming the perpetrators of child abuse. I don't think anyone would have a problem with "listen here, people who beat, berate, or otherwise abuse children, YOU are the problem. That kid did nothing to deserve your shitty treatment." That is, after all, the truth, and it does not matter for a second who the major perpetrators of the abuse are. If a woman abuses her child (even emotionally), the child can be removed from her care, she can be charged criminally, and she can be ordered to do all kinds of things like participate in therapy or stay away from ALL children - even if that costs her her job or any convenience she could conceive.

And no one who makes a harassing move is "an appropriate suitor." Pick-up lines don't really work, either, now do they? These guys aren't yelling "hey, how was your day?" or "would you like to get a cup of coffee and discuss the politics of Obama's approach to Syria?" SMDH that people still don't get this. MAKING AN APPROACH TO SOMEONE WHO YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN DATING THAT ACKNOWLEDGES THEM AS A WHOLE, INTELLIGENT HUMAN BEING IS NOTHING LIKE HARASSMENT. They look totally different. Of course, if you're constantly getting shot down while trying to interest someone in dating you, well...you probably don't know the difference.
Posted by Ms. D on June 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 267
@251: You could again try not being an idiot with no reading comprehension for once in your life.

Shake things up! Have some fun!
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 268
@260: Some people are so rotten inside they literally deserve to die alone and unloved.

Abusing women pushes you further towards that deserved path.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 11, 2013 at 8:17 PM · Report this
Recently, I was biking up 12th and just before Jackson this driver said through his passenger's rolled down window(they were both men) "that ass is just about perfect". I felt angry and not very threatened, so I said really loudly, "I've been hearing about my ass since the age of 12 and I'm fucking sick of it."

A male driver on Jackson started laughing really hard at what I'd yelled(I think, he seemed shocked that I was that honest) and the driver who commented on my ass followed me sickeningly slowly to the stoplight and then asked me if I didn't like what he said and that it was a compliment.

I was too surprised to stop being honest so I said, "haven't you ever heard of patriarchy or sexism?"

He surprised me again by saying, "yes, I have heard of those."

"Well, those are why I don't find that a compliment", I said.

He said 'would it be better if I said that you have a beautiful soul and a good heart?'

the light changed. Upon reflection, I don't think that he is qualified to say anything about my soul or my heart, not knowing me at all. I'm not sure who is qualified to speak about these matters, but i think it would have to be someone who had seen my humanity in a variety of contexts, not just someone who wanted to mollify me after abusing the power that society unwittingly granted him at birth through its irritating hierarchy.

i'm not saying he should say nothing, but fuck all, why should the burden be on me or anyone in a group that is regularly attacked, to show their attacker how to better treat them? Like I said, I'm sick of trying to think of witty, clever, helpful or life saving responses. Not that being sick of it gets me out of the crappy situation of being stuck within this and many other types of oppression--nothing but death will do that.

He totally understood what upset me when I used the words patriarchy and sexism and I guess this is my main point...the people in the fucking street are offering their power analysis, why not offer your own? The interaction may not get any better, but why does their interpretation of reality have to be the only one that is voiced in the public sphere? I don't feel like anyone in that interaction other than myself, truly understood how irritating it was to have my ass commented on in this way after so many years of hearing that shit, but I am really past the point of caring if anyone else understands.

It is like when you are in a nightmare and all you want to do is scream and in your dream there is only silence until the satisfaction of waking up to the sound of your own voice making a mark in the world of the living.
Posted by lilysotoo on June 12, 2013 at 1:06 AM · Report this

I want to thank you so extremely much
for creating public dialogue around these issues.

I really appreciate that you are asking questions about oppressive structures and practices, all of you who are doing that, original authors and people who've posted thoughtfully to this thread about power and privilege.

I am glad to share a world with you and may I never scream unconsciously in your ear.
Posted by lilysotoo on June 12, 2013 at 1:18 AM · Report this
If you have a gun and know how to use it, you don't have to live in fear of these creeps.

Let them exercise their first amendment rights by being creeps, but if they decide to go into an attack dog mode (escalation) you have a right to defend yourself.

All this "living in fear" is tiring. Too many people do it. From the suburban conservative living behind double locked doors watching FOX and fearing brown people to the urban snarker living behind double locked doors watching CNN and fearing libertarians, it's all one big fat kettle of control.

When you are able to defend yourself, "their" world of fear becomes a harmless ghost and fades away.
Posted by Doktor Jeep on June 12, 2013 at 8:25 AM · Report this
@263 I think you really need to get that IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU'RE OBJECTIVELY CREEPY OR NOT, and your intentions mean fuckall.

Unless, it ends up in court or something, but at that point you've already lost.

Seriously, if "One of the worst things you can call a guy is creepy", then shouldn't you listen when women tell you something comes across as creepy?

Here's the thing you seem to keep missing, any opening that implies that you think that you, a man she does not know, gets to tell her what to do, is already problematic and has a huge probability of coming across as creepy.

Sure, "have a nice day" is a long way from "it rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again", but if you're not getting positive reactions from the women you talk to, why would you make it any harder on yourself?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 12, 2013 at 9:41 AM · Report this
If a man speaks this

Have a nice day
Smile, life can't be that bad
Cheer up

It is seen as a command from the authority of the patriarchy?

I guess where I'm coming from that's a tad bit insane. Who is responsible for your security? If I say any of those things (Cheer up, Have a nice day) I'm coming at it from the perspective that that woman is an equal. I assume she looks at me and either doesn't see a threat or she sees a threat she has an avenue to deal with. I look at her the same way.

There are assholes throughout life. Would you have them restrict the first amendment so that sexual harassment is illegal, under the law? What, for some perceived security? What is the penalty here, life imprisonment, forced castration? I'm being serious, what is your solution, what is the end game?

What is your other solution here; hand the power to protect oneself over to the police? Sorry, that's not an option. In the best case scenario the police aren't everywhere, also they're not a homogeneous group. Some would protect me and in the worst case others would just watch, or they themselves might be the predators.

Even if we lived in a perfectly equal society, you would still have assholes. Straight up, there will always be assholes, and more than that there will always be rapists, killers, thieves, and child abusers. These predators tend to pick on people who they perceive to be weak, and it is one of the responsibilities of a sovereign being to defend itself from attack. Take your own security as a responsibility. When you start assessing situations based on their objective threat level instead of living in a state of fear, it all changes.

Your safety is your responsibility in the face of it all. No matter what law or cultural norm you create, there will always be people who seek out the vulnerable and try to exploit them, try to hurt them, try to rape them, try to kill them. Both men and women are victims. If you don't want to face the prospect of hurting someone, then have a friend who does, find someone that will protect you. Travel in groups if that isn't enough, don't give predators a chance to attack, do not be easy prey.

Then a "Cheer up" no longer becomes threatening, then a "Have a nice day" is no longer a threat. You think men don't have to take responsibility for their safety? You think I don't live in fear? I look at most strangers, men or women, as potential threats. Personally I'm a pacifist, I've always been a bit more feminine than most men, and I can't even conceptualize taking another life. I only use violence to stop violence. I think taking a life would irreparably scar me, but what is the alternative? Being helpless? Being subject to someone who is physically stronger/martially adept that I am? As a human being, not as-a-man, I have to take responsibility for my own safety.

So assess these situations for what they are, objectively. Is some socially awkward nerd who says "You'd look prettier if you smiled" going to assault you? Probably not, and that changes the whole social dynamic.

Once you take responsibility for your own safety, and adequately preparing for these situations, things start looking a bit differently. What is the alternative, living in a world of fear?
Posted by TK421 on June 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
*sexual harassment on the street (Not in the work place)
Posted by TK421 on June 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM · Report this
@273 Have you read Phaedra Starling's "Schrödinger’s Rapist"? Do you think you understand it?

Saying "You'd look prettier if you smiled" increases your threat level score.

You claim you're a socially awkward nerd; why doesn't it follow that your opinion on how these social interactions work is flawed? Doesn't that mean that you could improve your interactions by listening to almost anyone else in the whole wide world?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 12, 2013 at 5:11 PM · Report this
That's your response to all of that?

Well then, farewell.
Posted by TK421 on June 12, 2013 at 5:29 PM · Report this
So much commentary when there is such an easy solution. Spray bottle with some bleach. Works like a charm, escalation, spray in the eyes.
Posted by Lisa808 on June 12, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
@276 You keep saying that you're bad at this, but don't seem to accept any point anyone else has made in this entire thread.

Why would I write pages and pages for you to ignore?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 12, 2013 at 5:36 PM · Report this

The fact that you think I said I was a "socially awkward nerd" proves to me that #1 you didn't read my post, and #2 if you did you didn't even attempt to understand it.

One of the most powerful tools in rhetoric is defining the narrative. I refuse to let you do so, I refuse to let the subjective view of certain people supplant the reality of the situation. If you want to follow "Schrödinger’s Rapist" then how could we possibly agree on any middle ground? If you want to say the only thing that matters is the subjective realities of certain people, instead of the objective truth, what could we possibly have to talk about?

You're intentionally being dishonest, and I thought for a second there we could have an actual conversation instead of the usual, "I've cherry picked data and now I set forth to 'prove' my hypothesis." Sure, I guess that works for some people, but people with sufficient intellectual dignity want to weigh all of the evidence, and see the consequences of conclusions.

You want to live in fear of all men? That's your choice. How could I possibly argue you out of it?

And you seem to be fond of false attribution, I've never said I was bad at this, I simply don't want to waste time discussing gender roles with an ideologue.
Posted by TK421 on June 12, 2013 at 6:16 PM · Report this
@279 Perhaps it's #3, you're not a clear writer and you jump from point to point without much in the way of transitions?

If you want I can walk you through your posts to show you all the places that seem to say exactly that you see yourself as a "socially awkward nerd" but I don't think you'd appreciate that. Still, I will accept your assertion that you never said you were a "socially awkward nerd", apologize for my apparent mis-attribution, amend my statement to say that you come off as a socially awkward nerd, and that you seem to need help improving your interactions with women.

From there, if you had read the subtitle of "Schrödinger’s Rapist", you'd know that it's actually about how guys could be a little more socially aware and therefore have more positive interactions with women on the street. I don't see how suggesting you consider the women you interact with could preclude any middle ground.

So what do you get out of "winning" the reality of the situation, if she still walks away thinking your a creep?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 12, 2013 at 9:13 PM · Report this
You know what they say about assumptions.
Posted by TK421 on June 12, 2013 at 10:41 PM · Report this
I really want you to see what happens when a person with a different point of view comes to an internet article about not being an asshole:

"@231 Your argument would be a lot more cogent with my dick in your mouth.
Posted by Not Creepy, Only Awkward By TK421's Logic on June 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM"

"@231: 'It seems to put forth the idea that any advance by a man is a bad thing'

If you're an imbecile with no reading comprehension.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM"

"@251 'Is it any wonder why men are always offended by this type of rhetoric?'

The subset of men that are always offended by such rhetoric is small and primarily comprised of the types of assholes engaged in the behaviors discussed.

Perhaps your problem here is you?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line"

"You self selected into a group I described; it's been said (in #252) 'Perhaps your problem here is you?'

Of course, it's also been said (in #246) 'If you're an imbecile with no reading comprehension.'"

"You could again try not being an idiot with no reading comprehension for once in your life.

Shake things up! Have some fun!"

"You claim you're a socially awkward nerd; why doesn't it follow that your opinion on how these social interactions work is flawed? Doesn't that mean that you could improve your interactions by listening to almost anyone else in the whole wide world?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line"

"If you want I can walk you through your posts to show you all the places that seem to say exactly that you see yourself as a "socially awkward nerd" but I don't think you'd appreciate that."

Really, how can you speak of public civility with posts like this? What ground do you stand on? Am I not deserving of civility? From both you and undead Ayn Rand?

At the very least if you're going to talk to me like that please, please, don't implore me to be civil to anyone, you have no right to.

I think you want to hurt me by insulting my masculinity. Is this how you talk to people in real life? You're just like the men committing these acts, aren't you?
Posted by TK421 on June 12, 2013 at 11:33 PM · Report this
Dear menfolk: I'm a trained killer. I'm also PTSD from Military Sexual Assault. Your call
Posted by strandgeist on June 13, 2013 at 12:53 AM · Report this
Wow, i'm amazed that men still think they have the right to embarrass and humiliate women in public because they seem to think they would like it. What bit of "WE DON'T LIKE IT" don't you quite get?
Posted by SBeee on June 13, 2013 at 7:29 AM · Report this
@279 'One of the most powerful tools in rhetoric is defining the narrative.'

Interesting. How would that play out in a conversation?

@282 'I really want you to see what happens when a person with a different point of view comes to an internet article about not being an asshole:'


Still, I was there and don't think what happened means what your poorly and inconstantly formated post seems to imply.

That said, I am glad you didn't highlight all the times you were compelled to disregard everyone else's points to rail against your poor treatment, because that would probably make me look really foolish.

@282 'At the very least if you're going to talk to me like that please, please, don't implore me to be civil to anyone, you have no right to.'

You realize that this seems to imply that you blame Undead Ayn Rand and I (but apparently not "Not Creepy, Only Awkward By TK421's Logic") for your behavior.

I believe that threatening to storm off comes after the accusations of poor treatment, right?

@282 'You're just like the men committing these acts, aren't you?'

I am a lot more like those men than you seem to understand, but different in ways you seem unwilling to consider.

@281 'You know what they say about assumptions.'

What do they say about assumptions?
Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 13, 2013 at 8:50 AM · Report this
What I had trouble grasping was the aggressive starer segment

"The guy who stares at you like you're a hamburger in slut’s clothing"

How unerringly can one measure a gaze?
Was that lecherous ogling or a pronounced astigmatism?
Perhaps this is a real issue but is it tangible?

The article seems a little tongue-in-cheek to me. Maybe I'm just an apologist for eyefucking, but I consider that removing your headphones and blindingly threatening to assault someone over a perception of how they were employing their eyeballs is a subjective escalation.
Posted by Hokum on June 13, 2013 at 11:49 AM · Report this
I dont get it, according to the TImes men in Seattle are too timid for this and women want a man who will start a fight in a bar to get her attention.
Posted by Bagsy on June 13, 2013 at 3:51 PM · Report this
Where were all these women in the comments section of Danielle Campoamor's Times article? All seattle men are too timid to do this. They are to shy to even talk to a woman, she prefers the type that starts bar fights.
Posted by Seattle in Alaska on June 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Regarding GabrielDiesel's suggestion that you can't tell if a stranger wants you to say 'Nice ass!' to them...

Here's a rule of thumb. If the average man wouldn't say it to her in front of his mother, you shouldn't say it to a stranger who has expressed no interest in your opinions about the placement of her fatty tissues. So, regardless of whether she isn't terribly offended by it, it's just inappropriate unless you're a bonobo. So perhaps some women like it, but it's still disrespectful, and it's safe to assume most strangers don't wish to be disrespected. There are tons of women saying "please stop doing that shit," and not very many women saying "I wish more strangers would comment on my tits!"...just listen.

And one has to be either a trolling or a complete moron to not understand such basics of how to behave in public.
Posted by AJUR on June 15, 2013 at 6:38 AM · Report this
Why are all the men white?
Posted by Wha happen? on June 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM · Report this
@290 "Why are all the men white?"

...because overwhelmingly, they _are_ white.


So that's 70.1% in Seattle, 75.8% in King County and 84.5% in Washington State, based on 2010 numbers.

Posted by Probably Ruined Someone's Day Along The Line on June 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM · Report this
Oh hey, let's make gross generalisations about an entire gender.

You're just as bad as the people who say all men are potential rapists.
Posted by Daron on June 24, 2013 at 5:40 AM · Report this
White Knights don't get laid, and Seattle women, if they think of themselves as a "Seattle Women", only want attention from six-figure techies or Sub Pop poseurs. When they're not complaining about us being too timid, they're complaining about the working class slob who stares at their ass too long when the sun comes out.

The word has been out for a long time that women here have turned dating into some kind of needlessly difficult problem. It isn't even an interesting topic, except to the kidults who need something to scream about because daddy pays for their condo.

Real harassment is a problem, but ladies, the guys living in section 8 housing or the hanging out in bus stops don't care about furthering the cause. I'm sorry.

Posted by AbsurdSquared on June 27, 2013 at 7:27 PM · Report this
294 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
When I was in college, I worked late at the library one night and then needed to catch the last bus home. A space invader sat down next to me and began alternately making comments and inching closer and closer to me. At first I just edged away uncomfortably, but that can only go so far on a bench! I thought about going back inside the student union, but I would have had to stay all night; there was nobody to call and come get me if I missed that bus. So instead I turned to face the man. I let my lower lip begin to tremble, and then said in a high, childish voice, "Are you a ... STWANGER?" As I continued, I kept escalating my voice until I was shouting. "My momma told me NEVER to talk to STWANGERS! If you're a stwanger and I'm talking to you I am gonna get in so much twouble, and my momma's gonna be mad, and you're a STWANGER ... " By this time, of course, the man was off the bench and backing up fast, sputtering, "Lady, I never touched you ... hey, lay off, calm down .... " I just kept on, now "blubbering" a bit (actually, trying hard not to laugh), and he turned tail and ran off.
Posted by Aelie on September 18, 2013 at 8:54 AM · Report this
You're advocating physical assault and filing false police reports in response to verbal harassment, and you're telling me that I'm the problem just because I'm male?

Listen, get over yourself. Sometimes women do these catcalls and stalkerish things too, and that doesn't make you the problem just for being female.
Posted by Not your harasser on November 13, 2013 at 6:58 PM · Report this
I like the Jesus one. Heh heh. Some of these seem undignified, but anything that tosses the "just ignore it" BS into the bin tends to please me.
Posted by DRF on November 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM · Report this
All you guys feeling that this issue is overly manhating or such, I just want you to think about this.

Most of you have never or would never done any of these things. I get that. I know that. Most guys, beyond middle school, don't.

You feel unfairly blamed for the behaviors of a few, and perhaps feel that many of the women complaining about this issue are inflating it.

But, on the other side, while most of you don't do this - I would bet my next paycheck that absolutely EVERY woman posting here has had it done to them. Recently.

For example, I am pretty sure that almost all women in America, with the possible exception of the ladies living in Amish country or something, has had that disgusting V finger tongue thing mimed by someone at least once in their life.

We all have had to duck our heads and avoid eye contact when we are alone & someone is aggressively imposing on our psychological or physical space, sometimes in the guise of being 'friendly'.

We've all been groped by someone in a crowded bus, subway, dance floor, school, or even grocery store.

Not whining. It is just the way it is. But a public discussion of this issue is not a blanket hate and blame on all men.

But statistically speaking? It's crap almost all women, no matter the age or attractiveness, has to deal with from puberty on. You may not do this crap, but regardless, we all still have to deal with it our entire lives.

Think of it this way, like almost everything else, the few bad apples ruin it for everyone else.
Posted by Jinxie on November 19, 2013 at 1:08 AM · Report this
"Woman is the dominant sex. Men have to do all sorts of stuff to prove that they are worthy of woman's attention."

"Men know they are sexual exiles. They wander the earth seeking satisfaction, craving and despising, never content. There is nothing in that anguished motion for women to envy."

-Camille Paglia
Posted by undead on December 5, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this

You are missing one really important point. When you can take an action and you don't know whether the recipient of the action would like it, it's best NOT to take it. You like being catcalled? Okay. Many people don't. Most women don't. Just because one woman apparently did does NOT make it okay for you to assume that any given woman wants it. Just because you like it does not make it okay for you to assume that a woman you see on the street likes it. And in this case, she's not going to suffer any harm from you just keeping your mouth shut and erring on the side of caution. If you're not sure - just don't do it.
Posted by Raichu on June 29, 2014 at 5:11 PM · Report this
What would it be considered.. if you are dancing with your group of friends (guys) in a crowded dance-floor, when suddenly you feel somebody's body (back and butt) rubbing against you. You ignore it at first, but then you feel a push against your back. When you turn around to see who is pushing against you, you notice it is a lady dancing in a circle of friends together. You then keep dancing in your circle but start to dance along with the person behind you, back to back. Then eventually you turn around and proceed to or try to touch, grab initiate contact with the lady, when she quickly turns her head slightly and says: "don't touch me"...this is a real scenario I experienced.

How would you all interpret this situation??
Posted by alexthe3rd on July 23, 2014 at 1:23 PM · Report this

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