@101: He is neither 12 nor retarded sadly. The Misanthrope just thinks that despite all testimony from actual women and evidence to the contrary, that he, as a man, knows best how we should behave. Right down to feeling that parents should teach their sons to harass women on the street is ok. Because to him "Nice tits" muttered at a stranger in passing is a compliment. And good girls are polite and say thank you when some one puts them in their place.
@105 The inherent contradiction in your statement is that you, as a woman, know how best to tell a man to behave.

Jesus fuck you're still a misandrist.
I've a younger friend that is a male-model. He is objectively very attractive. We have discussed sexual harassment at length. He claims that he gets yelled at & ogled on an almost daily basis, on the street, by women. He says it's a turn-on & he takes it as a compliment. He says that it does not feel like harassment to him in any way. So. my question: Is this just a difference in how genders respond to this type of thang or is his experience just unique to him?
@105 P.S. be glad that I now know to never tell you that you look amazing.
@98: no, chalk that up to 3 a.m. posting - I glossed over some important details. As I said, I was not threatened or offended by what he said. But to clarify, it wasn't a sincere compliment, it was a drunken, closing time, somewhat in my face remark which I just smiled at and moved on, and I don't think that was the wrong reaction, even if he probably said it to every other woman he passed on his way home that night, whether they're clearly with someone or not (which I was). My point was simply that it took my kid about .02 seconds into the story to recognize that the guy was a total douche behaving badly, which I think is a good sign in the larger scheme of things.

Telling him about the complete stranger who suggested to me in line at a bar recently that "I hear you can move to the front of the line if you show the bartender your tits" provably would have been far more educational for everyone.
@107: For him there is no risk of implied or potential violence. It is unlikely that if he ignores a woman when she yells something at him that the woman would chase him and hurt him for being insufficiently grateful for being yelled at by a stranger. For women, as has been testified here, that happens.
As I've said a more apt comparison would be if due to your friends good looks a man yelled faggot at him as he passed. Would your friend find that to be a turn on?
@110 Ah! So, it's totally acceptable for women to objectify men?
@ 111, as a gay man, how does your perspective inform your opinion?
@108: Considering your unwaveringly unpleasant personality, were you to do so I would in good conscience be forced to call 911, since it would be obvious to conclude that you had had a stroke.

Now if you were to say nice tits then I'd know you were still in possession of all your faculties and just being true to form.
@55 it's definitely prevalent in certain neighborhoods - especially the 60 and 45 bus routes - in Rome. We've been to Italy a number of times, mostly up north (we have friends in Volterra), and never had that sort of thing happen. Like never. This was our first time in Rome. So it was a huge shock.
@111: Oh no, I think cat calling is out of line when genders are reversed as well.
So, are they? Time for a slog poll!
@71 I generally hate anything that smacks of gender essentialism and/or evolutionary psychology, and yet, I have to say...

You nailed it.

I'd also add that a significant proportion of women who are street harassed have already been through a rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. For those women, a sexualized situation where they are not in control, especially against their will, can trigger panic, even flashbacks.
hey, misanthrope. it seems, from this this thread, the overwhelming majority of women don't appreciate it when told by strangers that their tits are nice, regardless of the stranger's intention, and that it makes them feel unsafe and uncomfortable. so, don't do it. that's all you need to know.
The hit-and-run nature of this particular assholery is especially irritating. Nothing ruins your day faster than having to go through instant replay over and over, imagining all the things you wish you had said. Sorry this happened to you, Cienna. I wish it didn't happen to every woman on earth on a ridiculously regular basis.
@112 As a gay man, who has been objectified by men I've been attracted to and not attracted to (and by women), I don't consider "nice ass" "nice basket" or "You look amazing" to be assault or the summation of my being. My reaction is more like Keekee's model

I've even had guys who were bigger and more aggro be handsy.

And, you know what? I certainly haven't felt compelled to write about the unfairness of it all. I've never said "You know! I bet these guys hate men." I've assessed every situation and taken it as is.

I'm sure these women have never been derogatorily called a faggot by a door man's straight 6'2 muscle bound friend entering a the only gay once-a-night nightclub in a 20 mile radius? I'm sure they think I've never experienced that. Did I let it get to me? No. You take it as they come. And say "thanks for noticing."


@118 It thinks I'm prone to cat calling women. How nice.
@118: But, but hydrozoa! The Misanthope already ready knows all that he needs to know: that all these women are wrong!
What @118 said.

Also, leaving aside the fact that "nice tits" is definitely not a compliment in this context, it's not always okay to randomly compliment strangers. There is a way to compliment someone on their appearance without being a creep. But it depends on:
--The nature of the compliment (e.g., how overtly sexual it is)
-- The tone/attitude/body language of the complimenter (I want to brighten a stranger's day vs. I'd like to try to strike up a casual conversation if you're open to it vs. I'm going to talk to you whether you like it or not vs. I am showing off for my buddies vs. I am demeaning/objectifying you)
-- The person being complimented (does this person look like they just want to be left alone to go about their day?)
-- The environment (are you at a bar/club? On deserted street?)

This sounds like over-thinking it, but really, I feel like it should be obvious/instinctual to any idiot with even a modest level of social intelligence.
@120, it does, because you're valiantly and tirelessly defending your right to. that's why it thinks that.
So, Cienna, you want us all to know that you've got nice tits, then?
@70, there's some good stuff in that video. I'm disappointed to see anyone arguing in support of cat calling. It's nothing other than an attempt to assert power over someone else. If someone is interested, they should try talking to this person as a human being.
@123: He's gay actually. So he's tirelessly defending the right of other straight misogynists to do so. Cuz the ladies need to be kept in line whether or not he personally wants to fuck them.
@123: continued- See 124 as the sort of person whose rights the Misanthrope supports.
#127, Cienna didn't have to personalize her column. I think she likes flashin' 'em, and then keepin' the dawg pantin' by prohibiting any mention of the obvious. Cienna, you wouldn't be raised a Catholic would ya?
Pinkiedick alert @128
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you exhibit A: Unbrainwashed.

Lets give him a big hand for serving as such a perfect example of his kind!
Thanks, #130. Now tell us about your tits.
@ 120, perfect.

Now, what's the difference between being a woman and being a man?
#132, the difference is that men are pigs.
@132 A man has enough sense of self not to get bent out of shape by that?
Also, the whole "can I get a smile?" line from weird dudes on the street totally enrages me. I'm REALLY into this "Stop Telling Women to Smile" project:…
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Stalin people this in not rocket science. No matter what you, your friends, or oblivious troll boy think, commenting on the body parts of random women makes you a douche. If you don’t have the empathy or intellectual bandwidth to grasp this concept on your own, the comments made by you know, actual women on this (and many other) treads should clue you in. If you behave like this you’re a douche. If your friend behaves like this, and you don’t smack him in the back of the head and tell him he’s being a douche, you’re a douche by proxy. You don’t belong in polite society. Maybe you should think of buying an Ed Hardy shirt and applying to be the new cast member on Jersey Shore.
@ 134, nope. The difference is that women don't like to be objectified, for the reasons listed @ 71.

We men don't have those particular problems. If anything, being objectified makes us feel good because it tells us that we can get laid. Sometimes you need that ego boost, since courtship is largely up to our initiation and we're going to get turned down sometimes.

The reason you either don't see it, or refuse to, is because of male privilege. (Ironic, since you felt that you could lecture me or anyone about privilege.) Men still dominate this world, despite 50-some years of feminism, and things haven't changed as much as it sometimes appears.
@132 for most of us being a pig is only a part time deal and only on special occasions.

But am I the only one who noticed that #71 item 11 part 1) has her (politely) saying nice tits to Cienna? Having never seen Cienna's breasts, in person or pictured, I have no opinion on them, but even if I did have an opinion on them I wouldn't be posting it or saying it to anyone with the probable exception of my girlfriend (yes I do have one). I would most certainly NOT post that opinion on SLOG like #71 did.
Boy TheMisanthrope is really the worst. The absolute be all, end all of drizzling shits. Like a skidmark on the boxer-briefs of the world. Dried up dog shit. I'd suggest you hang yourself but you don't deserve to come in your pants one final time. So instead maybe set yourself on fire. K? Thx. Bye.
"At 108:
"@105 P.S. be glad that I now know to never tell you that you look amazing".
yay! you get it! finally!
Have you ladies ever got the AWESOME pick-up line, "I am a lesbian in a man's body"? I was at a bar waiting for a friend, reading. I had been there all of 4 minutes. This guy came all the way across the bar and sat at my table and said this.
Somehow I came up with an awesome retort (Like most people, I usually think of something too late).
I said "Oh, wow! What a coincidence! I am a gay man in a woman's body and I'd like to fuck you in the ASS!" I said this really loud and leered at the guy while scooching closer to him. The look on his face was priceless. He shuddered and left the bar without finishing his drink.
The bartender laughed and I got my next drink for free...
@136: I heart you the heathen.
I think the guy told Ciena that she's got nice tits because he knows who she is and, being aware of her struggle with writer's block, wanted to do the right thing and give her a column idea. It was a selfless act, and I'm sure she appreciated it.
Get castrated unfuckable schlong has been a knee jerk response for years now. It tends to get the harrassers to stop in their tracks. If they touch me...well the last guy who did that found out I don't grow my fingernails for looks. Some call it undignified. Tough shit. Women don't owe it to others to be nice and dignified when others do nothing when such bigoted shit happens to us.
Oh and misanthrope don't comment on strangers body parts and expect a positive response. Other peoples body parts are none of your business. They are strangers and you don't get personal with strangers. If you hit up on someone you act in a polite manner and don't assume that they should take anything you say as a compliment. You are not special to that person. You see it's not about you. This should not be hard.
#144, something tells me that "nice tits" isn't something you have to worry about. More like, "Please don't chase me with them things!"
@137 Talking about male privilege is such a middle class wankfest. It exists, but your coming down as if its a thing that can't be conquered by both sexes acting together, rather than women telling you how to act and you obeying, is so middle class.

Also, I see that women don't like it. But to not get so bothered that they suffer writers block and their whole day is ruined by something so minor is completely within their grasp, and it has nothing to do with how men act. It may give Cienna a little thrill knowing she's getting page counts trolling about meaningless bullshit and wrapping it in feministic overtones to lather up the crowd here, but really that means she's no better than Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh if that's what she's doing.

Try reporting on real harassment instead of HIDING THE REAL HARASSNENT BEHIND A FUCKING CUT.
@145 I know many a man who likes being told "nice ass" by complete strangers. Nice try in speaking for everybody though.

Ah again, The Misanthrope is here to tell us all what is and is not "REAL HARRASSMENT" despite the fact that poster after poster, both male and female have taken the time to point out that he in fact is not the final arbiter on that topic. Indeed out of almost 150 comments his lone ally is the reliably vile Unbrainwashed. You'd think that that might give The Misanthrope a clue that perhaps he's in the wrong on this issue, but, alas, probably not.
#149, why am I so "vile?" Or is the truth also vile? Sure seems to me like it's Cienna who wants us all to comment on her tits. I had never thought of 'em until she made them a subject at play.
@150: As I said, you are reliable.
so, just after reading your charming sentiments, misanthrope, i was closing out my tab at the bar last night when a dude came up behind me and kinda punched my ass with his fist. like, fistbumped it.

i turned around and said, "did you just touch my ass?" and he was like "yeah, i did," and i was like "uh, do i know you? because i don't think i do, and that's super fucking inappropriate. you can't just walk up to women you don't know and help yourself." he just grinned at me, kinda laughed, and walked away. your and cienna's comments were ringing in my ears. so i went after him and yelled some more. he wanted me to think he still thought he was real cute, but he stopped making eye contact pretty quick.

the bartender was like "what just happened?" and i told him and he was like "fuck that. want me to throw him out?" i was like ". . . yeah, actually, that'd be great." so he did.

what, in your opinion, was the appropriate thing for me to do in that situation? because i would fucking love to know. moreover, was that "real harassment?" was that poor man martyred by a bitter feminazi and a socially pussywhipped bartender? like, where do you draw the line between what's merely roll-off-your-back rude and what's sexual harassment? and, more importantly, why do you get to be the one to draw it?
I like how she says "my breasts were still firmly tucked away under three layers of clothing." Sounds like an episode of Downton Abbey. I guess only Dan Savage gets to tell a gal, "Hey, nice tits," and that's only because we all know he doesn't mean it. Tell me, everyone, is it hard walking around Seattle with all four cheeks sucked in?
60/MK1: @55 She probably wasn't groped because you were with her. I've been to Rome several times and the street harassment is absurd.

You may be right. I believe I was with both girlfriends most, if not all, of the time we were there.

114/tkc: @55 it's definitely prevalent in certain neighborhoods - especially the 60 and 45 bus routes - in Rome. We've been to Italy a number of times, mostly up north (we have friends in Volterra), and never had that sort of thing happen. Like never. This was our first time in Rome. So it was a huge shock.

I didn't mean to imply it doesn't happen (or isn't prevalent.) It just never happened to either of the women I was with, but that may be for the reason MK1 mentioned. Anyway, sorry that happened to your wife and, aside from that, I hope you liked Rome. On my second trip, we went to Siena after Rome and then drove from there to Volterra. I loved Volterra, and that drive along the ridge to Volterra was gorgeous.
#148 well dear they are not the standard. You should have thought of not speaking for others awhile ago. Appropriate response your ass.
@152 Physical contact is off limits, especially the working people. Come on. I believe I've said as much. You should have kneed the asshole in the balls.

Continued verbal hits after clear indication it wasn't welcome. Harassment.

Single muttered comment? That's just, at worst, off the shoulder rudeness.

@149 You know what else is pretty popular? Are you saying I should worship Christian God too? Are you in fucking high school??
Yes times 1000, though I disagree slightly with the peanut gallery w/r/t when it's man-on-man harassment. Sure, the power imbalance is *less* likely to be there (size differences could be at play), but it's still not okay. We all deserve bodily autonomy when in public.

As far as being followed, I have a fantastic story along the lines of being "bat"shit, except that I was serious. I was walking home from a softball game when a dude decided to follow me, asking about "my man" and other various items. I wasn't far from home, and since I didn't want him to find out where I lived, I turned around and asked him "do you like your teeth?" He seemed confused and sputtered, and I said "because if you don't leave me alone, I will pull this bat out of my backpack and demonstrate my .750 batting average on your face...if you're lucky, I'll call an ambulance for you as I walk away." I got called a bitch and lots of other things, but he stopped. Seriously, dudes? Following a woman who is armed with a blunt object? I'm not nice enough for you to pull that shit, but it really does speak to male entitlement. Even if I am OBVIOUSLY equipped to fuck you up, some of you still try to pull shit on me.
@99 So where exactly is that line? Because if it's up to me, the line was way back when the stranger thought it was okay to comment on my tits when I was going about my business in public. So it's right and responsible for me to let him know that he's crossed the line in no uncertain terms. To the guy in my story, there is no line that he cares about (and he might not be every guy who says 'nice tits', but he's some of them, and how dies a woman know?). To you, apparently, there's a line somewhere in my story, but I'm not sure where it is. Where did the guy 'get pushy' exactly? Wasn't he just conversing, making his interest known? And she was responding in a friendly manner, right? Wasn't she encouraging him in some way by doing that?

Make no mistake, if she pulled out the pepper spray at any point after smiling and conversing back, or if she doesn't pull out the pepper spray and the worst happens and he rapes her, cops, lawyers and half of her friends and family are all going to ask those questions and make those assumptions.

You don't understand women's reactions on this because you think the situation is the same for you as a gay man and it's not. The likelihood of you being sexually assaulted, raped, and physically assaulted is lower. Because statistically the size and strength diifferentials between you and other men work in your favour the likely outcomes of any physical attack are less scary. And you don't have the mental baggage of rape fear that is generated by both the statistics and the cultural conversation. Lucky you. That's a privilege, not a virtue. And people who tout their privileges like they are virtues come off as prize dicks. Just so you know.
@156: Really. Popular? You think that is what the problem is with your position? That it isn't "popular"? Now that is some high school level thinking! Street harassment is popular and you are certainly down with that. As who you choose to worship judging by your dismal rhetorical skills one would venture that your god is The One True Strawman.
Misanthrope clearly needs to get a life. Jesus H Christ. Shut the fuck up, mister.
@ 147, LOL. I guess it's a "wankfest" only if it's you who's at fault, but not someone else, amirite? And what have your 30 or so comments been if not a wankfest?

You'd be better off admitting your role in perpetuating sexism, as that would be the first step toward becoming someone who can help solve it. You sound like you want to be that. Can you do it?
I'm with @59. I'm on the earbud/cans train all the time now. I'm not looking to date and I don't need anymore friends, so honestly I don't even see the point of talking to a man on the street anymore. No offense to the nice men, really. Nice men never stop me and want to discuss French Impressionist art or ask me if I liked Iron Man 3. There's no point.

However that doesn't stop me from having tiny twinges of jealousy of people who are part of a privileged class, who are so sure of themselves that they can't believe there's a problem for the disempowered population even if like, 100 of those people come into a comment thread and tell them there is.
@162: Oh but Superjivus, don't you know yours is, according to The M, the "popular" view and thus without merit.
I wish I wasn't a feminist. I wish I could just be a humanist, which is primarily what I consider myself..someone who wants everyone to be treated fairly & equally.

Unfortunately, I'm still a feminist. For many reasons, but tonight's is - because we're now having a conversation in which pretty much all of the women (I think there was 2 exceptions) are trying to explain to one (or one-&-a-half, if you count Seattlebl- I mean, Stranger's Worst Nightmare - I mean UnBrainwashed) men what harassment is. (The explaining has also been helped by folks whose gender isn't clear from their handle, & Matt from Denver & a couple other guy types. Thx, dudes.) Sorry for the points I'm repeating, that others have made...

I was the first in my class to get breasts. & just about the moment it happened, in 5th grade, guys (usually much older back then) started saying creepy, creepy shit to me. I lived in a urban-edged suburban environment, & walked to & from school. This whole new way of thinking evolved - how to look angry enough & not respond to creeps who would pull up alongside in their car; how to lie just enough to adults who made lewd suggestions, to get away from them; at what point when walking home alone did I have to shift to the other side of the street, when some guy was approaching me on the other side of the street.

As someone who loved running off to NYC to see bands/dance in my teens & early 20's, I've had tons of exposure to street people. It's always men who started random encounters on the street. There's a difference between someone saying "you look amazing" at a club, or initiating a conversation at a coffeehouse, & some person you DK saying "nice tits" or "nice ass" muttering to a stranger. One's brain immediately goes into a kind of fight or flight overdrive. There's an immediate assessment of the environment for escape options.

The "smile" guy is a particular type. They can be benign, but I've never seen a random man, on the street, say to another random man, on the street - hey, smile, handsome. I'm not talking about Pride parades, or where guys are cruising other guys - all bets are kinda off there (I've observed). But in a city, two strange men passing each other on the sidewalk- never seen it happen. The last Smile Guy I encountered followed me for almost a whole block. Scary. I finally yelled super loud at him & he called me a crazy bitch as he scuttled away.

The man who says to a random woman, hey there, smile! is ordering her to change her face to please him. The reason it's so freaking hard for a man to understand what that feels like (not that I'd expect anyone who helpfully labels themselves a misanthrope to really do anything but troll) is because - as many others have said before me - the power dynamic between two men isn't the same as that between an average man & an average woman.

(Anti-troll disclaimer bit: yes, men get harassed too; yes, men also suffer from partner abuse, etc. This isn't about them. I'm acknowledging it before someone else says it, again. The majority of street harassment is by men, to women.)

From the moment that comment leaves a man's mouth & hits the woman's ears, the threat level is instigated. Giving back some sass is unwise when someone is sometimes half again to double or more your size. Yeah, I've done it - told someone would he talk like that to his mama, etc - but the point is, *I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO*. Nor should any of the many women who've patiently explained above why this is a problem. We shouldn't *HAVE TO THINK THIS WAY*, but we do. Because women never know how short the time is between "nice tits" & someone trying to grab them, or hurt them, etc.

Guys, almost every single woman you know has had to think this way at some point in their lives. Some women have to deal with being groped & such on their commute everyday, adding a higher percentage of fear & anxiety to their everyday lives. Is that okay by you? Or d'ya maybe not want to acknowledge it's a problem because you want to keep that dynamic just the way it is..?

The basic attitude of - women should just "nut up" & take it - disgusting. How about people on the street should "nut up" & learn some freaking manners & respect for their fellow humans?

Was really hopeful that this wouldn't devolve into the usual camps that happened the last time Ms. Cienna posted about the Smile Guy. Alas.

As someone who's a LGBT activist, lemme just end this by saying how disappointing it is, seeing someone whose rights I have championed, though IDK them, being so freaking blind to the rights of others.
Thank you Eva. That was lovely.
So much sympathy for you, Cienna. When this happens to me, I feel so frightened and depressed that I get a sort of brain freeze. I can't usually respond to the bully for that reason, but not responding probably saves me from further, often more virulent, abuse (based on past experience). And, truthfully, I'm not much of a fighter anyway. Not sure why my feelings and experience are somehow less valid than the aggressor's or the aggressor's apologists, but there it is.

Personally, I don't harass, bully, frighten, accost or threaten strangers because I respect their autonomy and I don't place my needs above theirs. That's sort of a philosophy of mine, in fact.

It's jarring to me to "meet" people who have such different values that they would think that such behavior is "A OK," or who completely lack empathy and can't listen, besides.
This is one of the things I like about small town life: when a young man (19) said something like this to one of my daughters on the street in our little town (pop >5000) she started yelling and whopped him upside the head with her gym bag, and within about 30 seconds everybody within the sound of her voice had joined in to shame the guy. There are a lot of things I don't like about small town life, but when everybody knows you and can tell your mother what you said, guys think twice about shit like this.
Lissa, you were the one who brought up mob rule.

" Indeed out of almost 150 comments his lone ally is the reliably vile Unbrainwashed."

If that's not "We're all right, you're not" popularity speak, I don't know what is. God damn, you're such a moron you don't even know what you write.
@161 This has loooonnngg been a wankfest in this thread.

@164 Actually, with the smile guy, that was just gross.

And, actually, I like to think I'm a realistic feminist. Not one of the modern radical feminists where men should behave as women dictate, but one in which women are treated as men are. And, I've also said if women want to be treated as equals they have to behave as if they are equals.

And, in this case, I'm saying women should act like they aren't being victimized by words such as Nice Tits. It takes feminism back by decades. But, I know that playing the victim card makes for more sympathetic reactions so whatever.
@ 169, do you realize that you can't partake in something you dismiss? Not if you ever want to be taken seriously? That's because it demonstrates that you painted yourself into an intellectual corner.

Anyway, don't ignore the rest of it. Admit your role in perpetuating sexism first, and grow as a person afterward.
#166, so you have nice tits too?
Ah so the M is not only the final arbiter as to what constitutes "real harassment" but now feminism as well. How does he manage to get anything done burdened as he is with so much responsibility ?
He's like John the Baptist, crying out in the wilderness, "Niiiiiiiice Tiiiiiiits!"
@168: Mob rule? Hardly. But true to form, you continue to insist that your experience and perspective, and yours alone, should supersede that of every individual woman who has posted here, and Cienna's as well. It's not a mob telling you what to think. It's you telling the rest of us what to think, and the rest of us telling you no, you don't get to decide for us what we should feel.
If only you weren't so wedded to the idea that the right of assholes to be assholes was sacrosanct above all others, but alas, that wouldn't be in your interest would it?
Yesterday I'm talking on the phone to my ex MIL about some serious, heavy shit. Next thing I know a guy calls out, "Hey sweetheart!" I turn around and it's clear he's talking to me. "I"m not your fucking sweetheart," I snarl. It feels good.
Without evidence it is hard to prosecute these crimes or street harassment and assault.

Other than street cams and drones, which SLOG virulently opposes, what can the system do to catch them?
@171 Snoooooze.

I've not painted myself into any corner.

And I can easily dismiss anything I participate in. I do so on a daily basis. It's called work.

As for perpetuating sexism...Ha! Sorry. I'm saying exactly what I would tell a man who had the same experience. If a guy came in and said "I'm having a shitty day. Some bitch on the street passed by and muttered nice tits, and it just fucked with my head" I would laugh and tell him to stop being such a emo wuss and to get over himself.

But, that's equal treatment, isn't it? The women here have a problem with that.
Lissa, do you have nice tits? Just askin'
It's not analogous, Misanthrope. Compare to Jim Crow era racist treatment of minorities. They were harassed randomly and without punishment. Furthermore, they were routinely used as outlets for violence, as objects to vent a distorted white man's stress upon. When blacks lived in this cloud of harassing violence, every remark was an occasion to weigh further upon them how much they were just objects and not people.

This is what MLK systematically dismantled through collective communication, and an analogous thing is what is happening now against sexism. You as a man are not subject to this cloud of background objectification and threat of random violence, so for you, you don't feel completely disempowered from brushing it off. Once you brush it off, your default experience is not defined by this. Women are still harassed and objectified at a continuous and unpredictable level, so for them, they are triggered to expect the implicit threat of sexual violence.

The analogy also implies control of behavior as a class, both for racism and sexism, which I will not delve into here. I just want to state publically (for the audience, not for commenters here who I do not care to convince) as a straight man that I can see this clearly and will do what I can.
@ 177, you say "snoooooze" but still comment. No, those don't go together either. That's just trying to be clever but revealing that you aren't bored at all. Fail.

By your "logic," it's equal treatment to keep trans women in the men's room, too. Or to keep marriage between a man and a woman.

Starting to see the problem yet?
And like Old Faithful, Unbrainwashed favors us with an another...........eruption.
Perhaps the Parks Department should erect an enclosure around him and hire a docent for the edification of tour groups.
@ 173, LOL.
@180 Oh god. That logic was so terrible it doesn't even deserve a response.
@ 183, and yet it generated one.

It's the "equal treatment" bit. See if you can follow this. Right now, you get equal treatment as a gay man - you can marry a woman and have it recognized in all 50 states. A trans woman gets the same thing - to be told to use the men's room like anyone else with a dick.

Unless "terrible" is your catchword for "airtight," you didn't even think it through.
@80 Well, glad at least part of it got through to you. Knowing how to communicate in a "guy" way is one of the many benefits of having gone to high school with a ratio of 3-1 male-to-female...

To answer you, yes, there are plenty of ways a woman can take back her "agency". You've seen a ton of them in this thread, as a matter of fact! Pretending to be super Christian, or just plain insane, yelling "what would your mother say!", having the bouncer throw the guy out of the bar, taking an escort wherever they go, etc...

But that's not really taking back *sexual* agency - it's squarely in the camp of self-protection. For the woman who has been called out that way, it is in no way about sex - in any format that would be anything other than a traumatic violation - and it never was. Would you blame a man for not "taking his sexual agency back" during an attempted mugging?

I think what you're being contrarian about is more along the lines of, "Why do women get so bent out of shape about what falls under the umbrella of regular interaction among guys? Why do they get to be special? Why are all the people on this thread going on and on, endlessly *whining* about it? I'm going to call them out on their BS!"

I personally would call myself more of an equalist than a feminist on most days of the week. And even so, I think that people are completely justified in their complaints here. Logic runs this way: Cat-calling, etc., is a rape threat, as I made clear in my previous post. Intentions among the catcallers *may* not be to do so, but nevertheless it is universally taken that way in our culture, perhaps even for biological reasons. Even if not, would you consider making a targeted joke to a black friend about "getting my friends together and lynching you, ha ha" to be appropriate, in any way, for any reason? Rape is not something our society should choose to support, in my opinion (and hopefully yours?!). The more social shame that can be heaped upon those that choose to do this, the better. As it is, it bleeds into a culture that takes rape a lot less seriously than the female members of this society would prefer. Assholes are everywhere, yes, but if they were made proper social pariahs for pulling this, they would probably express their asshole-ness in different ways.

Secondly, I do think that there are some things about the lived female experience that just don't translate to the male experience (and vice versa). It would take more than a little bit of imagination and empathy for you to try to understand what might be going through the mind of, say, a woman having her period, or considering an abortion. Same thing goes for me trying to understand why dudes are so *into* the cult of macho, or why they find those bleached actresses with fake boobs found in most porn online attractive (straight ones anyway). Men and women are both members of the human race, and deserve the same rights and responsibilities... but can't we come to a deal here? You push to end rape, and I'll push back against our culture shipping off low-status males to die in foreign wars like so much useless detritus, okay?

Lastly, not that this matters as much no doubt, but I am a self-confident woman who loves men, has enjoyed many sexual interactions and never been a victim of rape (knock on wood), but I have certainly been catcalled. I don't react - I never give them any encouragement. But I always, *always*, scan my surroundings quickly to make sure I know who to scream to for help if necessary, and where to run. No woman escapes this shit, and I'd be more than happy to give away this "privilege."
How about if we call them "milkers" instead?
"Misandrist", lol.
@185: See now you tipped your hand. The M knows your a woman. And you are in fundamental disagreement with him. He won't be taking anything you say seriously now. Which is sad because that was an awesome, well thought out comment. Thank you.
@118: Homosexual misanthropes are the best source of information on how women "should" behave. Everyone knows that.
"You're" a woman. Sorry!
@185 Actually, what you haven't realized, and what idiots like Lissa intentionally fail to mention, is that I am against rape and assault. I have fought against sexual assault and meaningful harassment.

I've said before, as much as everybody would like, we're never EVER going to get to a world free from the inanities of assholes. When I've been called faggot on the streets of Seattle, I too have looked for open exits, even as I'm taking the wind out of their sails. Or, toghtened my grip on whatever I'm carrying.

But, regardless of the ignored universality of threats and flight/fight reactions, I disagree that a muttering of nice tits by a single guy is a rape threat. At least not one of significance. And, certainly not akin to utterances of lynching to a black dude. At worst, it'd be akin to "fat ass" or "anorexic bitch" both of which have been turned around. It's at most a shitty thing to say.

I think what's a problem between men and women, especially in arguments like this, is that some women refuse to believe that some men are or have been regularly harassed. They try to believe their experience is unique to the female experience. And, while there are most definitely some experiences that are exclusive to women, I don't necessarily believe that mild verbal harassment is one of those.
Again you miss the point. You don't get to tell women what is or is not harassment. That's it. Full stop. You have gotten almost 200 posts of push back not because we don't know and care that men are harassed, not because we think you've never been attacked as a gay man, not even because we think the way you've handled those occurrences in you own life incorrectly. Good for you that have a way that works for you!

With one exception all these people, men and women, are telling you one thing and one thing only.

You do not get to tell me, or Cienna, or Eva, orTVDinner, another long winded nerd, sandiai, superjivus, or any other woman that has posted about street harassment here that our experience doesn't count.

You. Are. Wrong.

Street harassment of women is real. It is a tool used to keep women in their place through random implicit threat of violence. You don't think "nice tits" count. You don't get to decide that.

We do.
Lissa, aren't you a feisty one. I like that!
@191 If those sorts of comments stress you out to the point of looking for the exit, why should you have to put up with them? Why are you defending the right of people to say them?

And if 99 people who say them are not threatening rape for every one who is, wouldn't it be polite of the 99 to learn that it's not cool? Especially if it's irritating or stressing out 950 of the 1000 people it's said to?
@192 It's nice of you to unironically(?) determine that I'm wrong and to discount my experiences as well.
@194 You take the good, you take the bad...they both make up the world we live in. It's a fact of life.

I'll defend the right of people to say whatever the fuck they want, even if I don't like it. Hell, I was leaning on the side of the florist and the bakers who don't want to do weddings (until the counter-suit proved they were idiots) on the basis that I would love to reserve the right to refuse service to Christian groups. I defend people who offend even me from because I don't want to be curtailed.

I believe in equality. I think it's mildly amusing when women catcall men. I think it's mildly boorish when men catcall women. I think it's amazing when men catcall men and when women catcall women. But to create a double standard where men can't catcall women but women can catcall men (Lissa just barely, and almost begrudgingly, admitted that she doesn't care for women catcalling men) is unequal and wrong.

Or where women can't be called bitch but men can freely be called dicks or assholes? That's a double standard. And it's wrong.

Or where women can mutter nice tits but a man cannot? See above.
@196 What the language police seek is sterility.
@195: I'm assuming you must have glaucoma since you manage to miss entire sections of what people write, so in answer to your accusation that I discounted you experience I'll just post what I actually wrote here again. In bold so you can see it despite your handicap.

You have gotten almost 200 posts of push back not because we don't know and care that men are harassed, not because we think you've never been attacked as a gay man, not even because we think the way you've handled those occurrences in you own life incorrectly. Good for you that have a way that works for you!

See? Not discounting your experience. You're not wrong about your're experience and you are not wrong in how you chose to handle those incidents in which you were threatened or harassed.

You are wrong in insisting that your experience and perspective is the one true experience and perspective.


And I did not "barely or begrudgingly admit" that I disapprove of men getting cat called. That's you spinning what I said to fit your fantasy that I'm a misandrist. Again, in bold so you don't miss it, And I'll be super clear and use small words to cut down on the chance you might misinterpret what I'm about to say:

Cat calling is wrong no matter which gender is doing the cat calling and which gender is on the the receiving end.

I also personally believe, as you well know from another very long argument that you and I have had, that gendered slurs are wrong against men as well as women.

I don't think asshole is a gendered slur because it is not gender specific.

@196: I think this thread has had a major breakdown of communication.

From what I understand, Misanthrope, you think that "nice tits" is a dickish thing for a guy to say to a random woman, but we are never going to eliminate assholes so women should work on practical solutions for what they do when random men tell them they have nice tits. Because you personally haven't really dealt with this particular dynamic, you haven't had the fun of finding out that when a random guy comes up and compliments a girl on anything appearance based (even if it's as innocuous as "I like your earrings"), accepting the compliment with a 'thanks' is taken as encouragement to keep talking to her.

The rest of the posters in this thread have basically been exasperated with you for saying what the women should do when asshole men do this, because you believe the men are not going to stop. They have characterized this as "defending" the assholes' right to say these things, which I don't personally believe is your goal.

I do, however, think you have missed a point that has been implied in some of these posts, although not particularly emphasized. While not all asshole-ish behavior can be entirely eliminated, there's no reason it can't be significantly reduced. There was a time in this country when people openly told racist jokes in front of minorities in a way that was clearly designed to demean them. Now there are very few people who do that- there are still assholes, but their assholery has gotten quieter and more tentative because most people will heap social fury upon them.

I believe that bringing up these instances and making non-asshole men understand how unfortunate it is to go through this on a regular basis is the point here. I mean, the advice to a black person who hears a racist tell a racist joke is for them to try to not let it get to them. But meanwhile, the rest of us should be trying to create a society in which this is an incredibly rare incident. That's the point of this post. Women want help from all the non-asshole men in heaping social shame on guys who say creepy things to us. Racists were never going to stop telling racist jokes in public because black people told them not to- it took the negative judgment of their fellow whites to get them to withdraw.
It's mildly amusing and simultaneously overwhelmingly disturbing that some people can't wrap their brain around the difference between a nice compliment and harassment.

I was sitting on the Metro next to a young, punk-ish looking guy (I'd guess 18-20, AA, lots of facial piercings & tattoos - though I'm probably less put off by this than most because, while my tattoos can be covered, I looked approximately like him at his age with all the holes poked in my face and my blue hair). He tapped me on the shoulder and told me "you smell really nice." I said thank you, we both put our earbuds back in and went on with our day. Made my night, really. But not because of the compliment, because of what he did afterwards. If a compliment (and "nice tits" does not count) were just that, then the world would be a million times better than it is. I wouldn't cringe if a man complimented my hair or clothes or smell or shoes or whatever if I didn't know what normally comes next...

For the men who spare enough dignity to address a random woman on the street with a nice compliment at first, what comes next is almost always "you got a man?" And yes (whether true or not) is generally not a good enough answer. The guy who followed me (in broad daylight through a busy shopping center) while I was armed with a bat was informed that I had a man the first time he asked. If he were the only dude who couldn't take no for an answer that I'd ever encountered, or a small minority, I would chalk it up to "people be crazy." But I could relate dozens of similar stories. As well as hundreds of guys who can't even be decent enough to start with a compliment. I once told a tourist dude who I had given directions to that I worked for the FBI to get him to leave me alone, because he saw my having the decency to give him directions as an invitation to FERVENTLY AND PERSISTENTLY insist that I "come by his hotel that night." Why do I need the force of federal law enforcement to be left alone in public?

My body is not public property. Here's an analogy that might make more sense. My house has really nice roses on the fence line. People passing by compliment us on them all the time. If the roses were my tits, the follow up to "wow, your roses are beautiful" would be "give me your house, and I don't want to hear any excuses as to why I'm not entitled to it."
And, I just have to ask, is that how a large minority of men would treat another man, if we're really going with the equality excuse? Would you persistently follow a man armed with a bat when they've made their disinterest known, and then call them names when they threaten to use the bat? Would you corner a man on the subway who gave you directions and insist that they come back to your hotel just because they gave you directions? Of course's only done to women because we're supposed to be nice AND are at a physical disadvantage most of the time. Even if you've been harassed as a man, when was the last time you consciously calculated your escape route from a subway car or where you would run if someone approached you on the street? For me, I decided on my escape route while walking through a parking lot about 2 hours ago, and figured out the two quickest ways out of the subway car about 15 hours ago. Have you ever dialed 911 into your cell phone before leaving the house/store/bus/train and then locked the screen, so that you know you can call the police in 2 seconds flat? I do that every time after dark. Do you carry self-defense tools? I've owned pepper spray since I was 15. Tell me again how the fact that I have to be ready to physically harm someone JUST to walk down the street is "equality?"
The rude comment was dickish behavior to be certain. NO excuse for it -- excusing it enables it.

Some comments here generalize this type bad behavior to "most men," which is as bad as men who generalize cunty behavior to all women. Most men are far better than this.

We live in a big city though and there are plenty of people with antisocial personality disorder walking the streets at any given time. Do you think they give a fuck if you say something cutting back to them? Of course not - they don't have normal emotional structure or they wouldn't say something offensive to begin with. Try to be amused as long as there's not an imminent physical threat (then ventilate the asshat or go krav maga on his crotch.
And didn't you have a Quaker education? To me it seems that most people who went to Quaker colleges have a pretty thick coating of psychic teflon when it comes to this sort of thing ... maybe be a little more Pennsylvania zen about it?
@203: I love those girls! It was so much fun seeing them live. They were very sweet and let me get a picture with them, I was so twitterpated!

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