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While I may very well be interested in sparing you from some street bum's lewd advances, I need to be prepared to beat the fuck out of that guy (and maybe others) if I get involved. That's a high threshold to meet for someone who is also just trying to get home.
In Seattle it seems these days every crazy nut on the street has a gun and you'll be shot and killed for no reason. It's complete insanity to me. I lived in Seattle 2002 to 2007 and felt way more unsafe than I ever did living in NYC because of the people on the streets who would harass you and touch you and freak out if you didn't take kindly to whatever it was they were subjecting you to.
If I witnessed someone being harassed I would speak up and say something and provide some solidarity. I know that I am the exception, not the rule. I also know I could be physically harmed for doing so. I would still do it - because, again, if it were me, I would want someone to do the same.
Seattle: tolerating bullshit and botching the basics since 1852.
But, then I’d be accused of chauvinistic sexism and enforcing the “bullshit patriarchal structures that control women's lives” for assuming she needed/wanted my help and I’d be written up in the pages of the stranger. (I learned my lesson about offering un-asked for help to women the last time I opened a door for a strange woman).
I think, in today’s world, it’s the woman’s responsibility to ask for help if she wants help from a stranger. So, if I’m there, I’ll probably stand and watch unless you make it very clear to me that you want help from me, and then I’ll do what comes naturally.
I’m sure that’s the wrong answer…
How about taking some smartphone videos when it happens and putting them on YouTube.
(A hidden camera would be best, if you can manage it.)
Mirrors can have a regulatory effect.
Ultimately fighting this stuff is going to take decades of raising awareness. Until then, women will face a lot of unappealing choices when it comes to dealing with this, all of which boil down to fight (including telling them off) or flight (including changing bus routes, never travel alone, etc). I would suggest that fighting might be more effective (it ought to let the dingleberry know that some women aren't going to stand for it and make him think twice next time), and if you do you have one thing going for you - men won't fight back or raise their hands to a woman (unless she is already in a relationship with him)*. That's why they resort to verbal abuse.
In the meantime, keep the awareness up. That's ultimately what will beat street harassment.
* Most men. Not all. I'd guess that the ones who would hit you are a tiny minority of men overall (less than 1%) but what portion of street harassers they make, I have no clue. So there's always going to be a risk.
Usually works, although I've been called a "faggot" more than a handful of times in these situations which in some cases might have turned the whole thing into a different kind of problem.
Just do whatever feels safe to you.
"I'm sorry to interrupt but I just love your shoes! Where'd you get them "(edging myself between you and him and walking a bit away with you while still talking.)
That's about all I as a small middle aged lady could do, but since there is strength in numbers, showing the perpetrator that you are not alone might discourage him.
Apparently I'm both braver and more civic minded than some.
Would I have done anything different had I been on the street instead of on the bus? I'd like to think yes. But I honestly don't know, because my 21-ish year old self just wanted to be as far away from that moment as possible.
First of all, it is quite unfortunate that you must endure that harassment. My only suggestion for you is to remain strong and continue exercising perseverance.
Clearly, there's no easy solution to your situation. Alas, all to many women (and some men) suffer it.
As for what "one" would/could/will do" to render assistance to you while you are being harassed? That alas, is a moral conundrum that @2 Sir Vic alludes to. Much of it depends on circumstances. Kris Kime comes to mind:
Yes, the example cited is extreme. A "heroic" action by a stranger may be necessary sometimes. But, I as a stranger walking up to the jerk harassing you would be a chance exercise as @2 mentions. Only once in my adult life have I gently intervened on behalf of two women (who happened to be my friends) to end some sort of harassment. It's rare. But to assess a situation and subsequently intervene with a stranger not knowing (& eavesdropping greatly) if the parties know one another is risky.
On the lighter side, an old roomate of mine actually met his wife hitting on/flirting with her at a bus stop! So, it genuinely depends.
Telling a woman that "you love her shoes" objectifies her as a sex object and enforces the patriarchal structure that controls her life....
Please try to keep up.
More than anything I just want to see how others might respond, and get ideas of what people could do in order to help in these situations. I haven't seen a lot of talk about what other people can do, when they see it happening.
It's frusting to hear, so many times, that yes street harassment is bad but also there's really nothing anyone can do.
I'm reminded about something my wife once said back when we were dating and she was in her 20s. She was complaining at work about men who "complimented" her on the "L" train. One of her older female colleagues said "I remember when that used to happen to me and it bothered me. Now I don't remember why." The older colleague was making a joke, but there's something there anyhow.
@1, Not only do you clearly not understand what the grown-ups are talking about here, you didn't even call out the right staffer, you subliterate pinhead.
Megan, do you carry mace? If the serious snark/obnoxiousness doesn't work and it get physical, use mace.
It is tricky to intervene and you do indeed need to take into account your own safety though.
I used to carry pepper spray, and thankfully never had to use it, but it would always have to be thrown away when I'd go to a show and they'd searched my purse. So I just stopped replacing it.
Thanks for your call for action about this issue. About a year ago I had a guy I didn't know scream at me at the stop in front of the Uptown because I wouldn't let him pull the "how you doin'" shit and tried to give me a hug several times. I said several times in a loud, firm, clear voice, "Stop. Don't touch me. Back off." I think it was pretty clear I had no idea who the fuck he was, and regardless of that I was loud and clear that I didn't want him touching me. A bus stop full of people acted like it was all invisible. The interaction ended with me getting on the bus and him calling me a prostitute. I would like some social pressure to help with these situations and I would like to help provide it to other women. I'm not allowed to tell a stranger on the street I don't want to be touched or hug him without being called a bitch and a ho.
I don't really talk to men I don't know anymore on the street. I just ignore them. The past couple of years after 20 years of dealing with this have been the last straw. People I do know have to practically jump in front of me to break through my tunnel of no eye contact and headphones.
You know why the women you tried to help probably got mad? Because they had literally just had their personal space and bodily autonomy invaded by a stranger. No matter how many times I've had that happen and no matter how calm I stay, I've never gotten used to it and it always upsets me. So if a woman has had two strange men interposing themselves in her space and her business, and she's upset because one of them was making her feel unsafe and she snaps, who's she going to snap on? Probably the one she's not worried about grabbing her tits, following her home, or assaulting her.
Does that make you feel bad? Themz the brakes, sugar. You know what makes me feel bad? Knowing that my personal safety isn't dictated by me, but the whims of the men around me. If you use a woman's admittedly crappy reaction to you trying to help her as an excuse not to step in when you see other women being harassed, not only are you missing the point, but you're a fucking pussy.
The point isn't for you to step in and be a knight in shining armor. The point is to let the harasser know that his behavior is unacceptable. Street harassment won't stop until enough men stand up and say, "We don't want women to be wary and frightened around us when they're going about their personal business in public."
Personally, I would probably end up just carrying mace with me everywhere. As soon as the asshole started his routine, I would simply hold up the mace and ask if he wanted to say anything else. But I'm kind of an asshole myself, so there is that.
I'm glad I haven't read the other articles like this, makes me ashamed to be female. Men are going to pursue women--like it or not that's their role in our culture. First response--silence and icy glare. Man keeps it up, second response--"I'm not looking," accompanied with icy glare. Man keeps it up, third response--"Fuck off." Hopefully not too many will reach that stage. Then they insult you and leave. What do you care about them insulting you? If they don't leave, take out your cellphone and call someone, for multiple reasons.
Second suggestion is to call out "Leave Me Alone!" in a very loud voice. This gets the perpetrator's attention, and also lets all the bystanders know there's a problem.
This was about two years ago. Here's what I saw:
I'm required to carry a gun for my work and was on my way home at the bus stop at 3rd and Pike around 9 pm. when a Caucasian man was clumsily trying to ride a bicycle on the very crowded sidewalk. Among the crowd were six African-American youths and one of them waited for the cyclist to almost pass by before kicking the cyclists rear wheel, knocking him to the ground.
The cyclist got up off the ground and confronted the youth who kicked him to the ground and the youth denied that it was him, while he and his buddies escalated the confrontation by surrounding the cyclist and using aggressive language.
Personally, I thought it was a chickenshit move to blindside the cyclist and then deny the attack. Even though the cyclist was being an idiot for trying to ride through the crowded sidewalk, the aggressive youth should've manned up and admitted what he did instead of claiming he didn't do anything.
I thought about telling him this, but because I was carrying a gun I bit my tongue and walked away. The other youths were pretty tough-looking and sounding and I could envision the situation going south in a hurry and wanted no part of a bloodbath.
I am a firm believer in firearms legal education and ethics for those who choose to carry a weapon. It's a hell of a responsibility and one needs to learn to turn the other cheek and stay the hell out of harm's way, because the ramifications of your actions will change your life and the lives of others forever.
Now I would too afraid to do anything because of all the people carrying guns.
I've felt there is not much you can do about street harassment. I used to get mad and scream at the guys at the top of my lungs, but all they'd do is laugh at me. There are a few safeguards: I used to wear headphones a lot (unplugged), then they think you're listening to something. Or pretend you don't speak English. Or drool or pick your nose; something gross.
One thing will fix it; time. When you get past 35, they'll stop making comments. Well, that's what happened w/me.
So ... you're asking men to take on all the physical risk here, because women are apparently too soft and delicate to handle it?
I mean, I suppose you might make an argument for it. But it seems to me that feminists shouldn't like the implications of that argument so much. Much as they probably shouldn't like your use of "pussy" as an insult.
@16: What a stupid comment. It adds nothing to the conversation and just makes you look like you can't read, in attempt score points against some imaginary feminist strawman.
There are legit concerns to consider when thinking about intervening in this sort of situation. Try discussing those.
1. The concern Vic brings up @2 is not trivial. Something I'm not sure (most) women tend to fully understand is how real and unpredictable the threat of violence is in direct confrontations between men, and especially young (<25 years) men. (Not all young men are violent assholes, but most violent assholes are young men.) That doesn't excuse us from doing the right thing, but Vic is right: to confront is to accept the very real possibility of violence. We should be clear about that.
2. I have intervened in a situation once in my adult life, and it definitely escalated, fortunately not to the point of actual violence (though it got *very* close). That said, it was more of domestic violence situation that happened to be taking place in a park, rather than a case of street harassment. Which brings me to...
3. We shouldn't conflate these kinds of situations. As Megan points out, harassment always happens when she is alone. That suggests to me that the *typical* street harasser is probably a fucking coward at heart who will back off if he is credibly told to do so.
4. Despite walking and taking the bus in the city daily for the last three years, I honestly do not recall a time when I personally observed the kind of situation Megan is describing happening. And by that I do NOT mean that I doubt what Megan is saying, because I hear the same kind of stories from my wife and my female friends, far too fucking often.
I would suggest, however, that maybe the reason I don't see this happening is because I am there. Because I am a guy of decent size, who is not constantly zoned out on his phone, who is constantly aware of what is going on around him, who looks at people and notices what they are doing. And--emphatically--who is not doing the kind of creepy fucked up shit that Megan and my wife and my friends have to put up with. Who moves over on the bus, and minds his personal space, holds the door open, says "please", "thank you", and "excuse me"...you know, basic fundamental good person shit.
(I'm not saying any of this to brag, because this is just the stuff we are all supposed to be doing.)
So, what are we "good guys" to do? Should we say something when we see someone being harassed? Probably yes. But maybe if we make an effort to be present and be decent when we are out in public, we won't have to very often.
@12, it's a good point. In these situations, bystanders should (imho) be careful to make sure their actions work to take pressure off the person being harassed, not aggressively escalate the situation. Personally, it would be my nightmare to have someone rush to my rescue and end up in a fistfight with the harasser or something. Nobody needs to put themselves into physical danger in these situations.
Personally, I usually ask the target of harassment if he or she is ok, and offer to stand with them till the bus comes, call them a cab, go grab a cup of coffee, etc. I like to have my phone out because it will sometimes remind harassers that the police could easily be called. In any case I don't normally confront the harasser directly unless their target is already confronting them and I can support in that. When harassed, I normally yell, "Get away from me! I don't know you and I don't want to talk to you!" and I know it definitely helps when other people chime in, "Yeah, leave her alone" or something like that.
Domestic violence in public places is harder to deal with - up until now, I've usually informed the police when there seems to be an escalating physical situation going on. I know that's not a perfect solution, but nobody deserves to be assaulted on the street and have that assault ignored.
I had a scary street harassment moment last week and wrote about it on my FB hoping to open a discussion like this to explore what we could all do to make things better and within 10 comments I was getting advice about tasers and pepper spray. It's fucking infuriating.
Every single day and at all times I am a fucking fat bitch. I am also over 60. When I observe bad situations (and by bad I mean an obvious stranger approaching a woman and opening his mouth) I watch for a few seconds to check on reality (I always imagine the worst) and then approach the woman and ask "Everything all right?" No matter what she says, and it is often a reluctant "yeah" I have interrupted and ignored the harasser and altered the flow a little bit. I do this in the US and in Mexico where street harassment is of a somewhat different flavor. Still I look at the woman and catch her eye and either say aloud or mouth "Are you OK?" "Todo bien?" I've never felt particularly afraid to do this. But I've never witnessed, that I know of, an obviously violent scene. Not sure what I would do in that case. I really really really hate that bus stop.
That said, what I specifically said to him, and how I interacted with him, worked in a way that probably wouldn't have worked in other situations. In my opinion, in each situation there are ways to intervene that will escalate matters, and there are ways to intervene that will de-escalate them. Most of us, including myself, are not trained or experienced in how to de-escalate situations. Many of us tend to go for the most aggressive language possible--insulting the person rather than addressing their behavior.
Confrontation that depends on insulting, shaming, or intimidating the perpetrator is likely to feel cathartic for whoever is intervening, but I don't think it leads to long-term solutions or mass behavioral changes.
As much as I'd love to say I would intervene each and every time I saw some mouth breather harrassing a woman, it's more likely to be a case-by-case basis. But if I see even the slightest bit of unwanted physical contact, I'm calling the cops.
I've intervened before, but, like others, I approach the victim, not the person acting like an asshole. Sometimes "Do you know this person?" "You OK?" or something like that lets the asswipe know that 1) other people are paying attention and 2) other people find their behavior inappropriate, and they'll back off.
I don't think people ignore harassment because they think its OK (although I'm sure some do)...I think its more likely they just don't know ~how~ to intervene
Maybe your reading comprehension is poor. I said I am willing to assist, but in today’s world, I don’t just assume that women want my help and force it upon them. I extend women the respect of assuming that if they want help they are capable of asking for it.
I suggest that people who feel threatened or unsafe when they are alone, simply ask for help. Even if that just means asking the reasonably sane and bathed person also standing at the bus stop to act like they are with them so the drooling lunatic coming down the block won’t offer them a mustache ride.
You know… if we, as a practice, engaged the reasonably sane and bathed strangers around us in polite conversation when we’re standing three feet away from them waiting at the same bus stop (instead of gazing into iPhones with our ear buds crammed into our heads), it might end the kind of street harassment you’re highlighting in this post... It sounds like women seen to be in the company of other people (especially men) are less likely to be harassed. (But, I think that, in this day and age, women would have to instigate that change for all sorts of reasons).
How about a “Feel alone and threatened? Say “Hi” to a respectable stranger and ask about their day!” campaign?...
@32 - No, it's just that those assholes listen to men first. If men flat out say it's unacceptable behaviour and say so, not just think so, it's more likely to stop. Those guys are often performing for a (male) audience, so if the audience says BOOOOOOOO GET OFF THE STAGE they will.
as for @47, yes, we feel sorry for you, but don't berate us. seems like you're demanding manly men to act all manly and gentlemanly and take on the role of protecting you. what?
we should do stuff that protects everyone from all the bad folks. first step is getting rid of guns. till you do that, no, sane people will not step in, they might get shot, duh.......
I personally stopped getting into conversations with respectable-seeming, well-groomed strangers at bus stops, the day a man who looked and dressed pretty much like my dad decided that because I'd smiled back at him, he should sidle up to me and ask me if I was wearing panties, if I'd ever had sex for money, how much I would charge, and that he had a big penis. When I backed off and walked away swiftly down the street, he yelled "Crazy bitch!" after me.
I was 14 and I looked it.
I'm a total sucker for anyone who complements my anything!
(I mean, if you're huge and intimidating and you don't think anyone's going to pick a fight with you, go ahead and be confrontational, I guess, but some of us are always going to be short no matter how fit we get, and when you're under 5'10" every guy on earth thinks he can take you.)
@26, your point is well taken, but I think it's unfair to lump the folks who have legitimate concerns about a confrontation escalating to violence in with that moron YGBKM, who's not even participating in the same discussion as the rest of us. He's just having a contemporaneous, tangential argument with straw feminists in his head about things that never actually happened.
And speaking of you, @45, the fact that you relentlessly talk down to the female Slog staffers and simultaneously insist that only "drooling lunatics" harass women means that you're really not qualified to be participating in this discussion anyway. Most victimizers are "normal" guys with day jobs who've let anger and/or alcohol run away with them because by and large there are no consequences for failing to keep their ugly bullshit to themselves. Maybe that sounds familiar?
WHY isn't there SPD posted on EVERY corner in the area and at the bus stops during evening rush hour? Don't tell me it's a cost issue; that's BS. Post them from 3pm to 7pm at least, Monday-Friday.
1. In front of McDonalds on 3rd.
2. In front of the bus stop at Macy's on 3rd.
3. Between Walgreens and Aaron Brothers on 3rd.
4. Directly across the street from there.
5. At the bus stop in front of Benaroya.
It seems like every single story of criminal or obnoxious stuff always stems from one of theses five locations in the area during those time periods.
What part of "help when asked" is so controversial to you?
If you actually believe this, you are _dangerously_ misguided. Seriously? I can't believe that you actually think these guys are going to give a shit that I am not impressed by their remarks about your ass.
No, guys catcalling you are not looking for my approval. But if I challenge them, some of them will be looking for a fight. You're asking me to take that risk on for you when you say "Men need to call other men on this." And maybe you can make an argument that men should be doing that. But please acknowledge that it _is_ asking men to take on personal risk on your behalf.
You sell me short... I relentlessly talk down to the male Slog staffers too...
I cannot count the number of times a woman has turned on me in situations like the one Megan describes, or the more 'domestic' type situations as above. I have found the 'start an innocuous conversation' tactic described by others to be particularly poorly received. Here is my 'code':
1-don't harass, don't tolerate harassment from those you know, project disapproval towards others when safe
2-assist when asked
3-assist without being asked only when it is reasonable to assume PHYSICAL harm is imminent or very likely. I'm sorry but your hurt feelings do not trump another broken nose or dislocated jaw on my part.
4-leave the situation as soon as everything is cooled out- sticking around is when angry people do stupid things...don't be there.
Hollabacknyc has published it as guest post, I hope it can help you in dealing with street harassment, too.
By the way, for all you cowards out there, I have told harassers to leave younger women alone, having been in their place, myself.
Men will see other men as a direct challenge, ego battle, and threat. Half the time a fight is exactly what a street harassed wants. Confronting them nearly always escalate unless you know what you are doing and/or are lucky.
It's not fair to ask your average untrained guy to do that. Certainly not alone. My advice to dudes is stand a good ten feet away and just yell "Hey is everything all right over there." But nothing much more than that.
I'm decent sized and know what I'm doing. And yet when I've confronted shit heads it has backfired almost every single time.
It's a serous fucking drag, not to mention a legal and health risk, to be a grown-ass fifty year old man tussling on the street.
In fact I found myself in exactly that situation few weeks back outside of Pettirosso where I stood up for some shop girl. I ended up getting in short fistfight with a drunk asshole with my wife standing right there holding our lunch. It was embarrassing.
It only works if you can outnumber the assholes before they get the gumption to be physical. But good luck with that in Seattle. And still better hope they don't have a gun.
Support legislation to deal with aggressive street behavior.... oh wait, liberals think it's acceptable to harass people on the street.
Also, ingopixel is asking how we change society. Legalizing prostitution might help. I have been on the receiving end of some genuine confusion whether I was a streetwalker, just because I was walking alone late at night in a bad part of town. I don't agree that other strangers should get involved in this sort of thing, because then it's a surefire way to escalate the situation into a test of machismo. The exception would be if some guy already in a group does this to a woman, but the odds are if the creep is with a group of friends, they are also creepy.
"I think maybe just making a friendly, obviously nonconfrontational friendly overture to the victim while just straight-up ignoring the offender is the optimal strategy here."
I've thought about this a lot, and I'm very tempted to try it whenever I witness street harassment, but I've I always decided against it. The problem is that if you're also a man, how is the victim supposed to determine that you're actually trying to help her? How is the victim supposed to know what side you're on? How is the victim supposed to know that this other unknown man who is intervening isn't just another asshole trying to White Knight his way her pants?
Someone else's example of using this technique started with walking over to the victim and saying "I'm sorry for interrupting but I really love your shoes..." That's not as rude as street harassment usually is, but a man walking over to a woman he doesn't know, in public, and saying that is also going to be treated possibly as street harassment or at least as objectification, a power-play, etc. I've think that, as a man, if you want to interrupt street harassment by striking up a conversation with the victim, whatever you start with has to be exhaustively platonic and non-complementary: the weather, news, the most base small talk only. Any compliment could be considered a come-on from a stranger and then you're not helping. And even if you bring up the weather to interrupt the harasser, you're still giving assistance that wasn't asked for, which also belittles the victim. You can be considered a White Knight or Nice Guy for intervening at all.
Women have to deal with so much awful shit and assholes are so good at being assholes that at this point male feminists are ALWAYS suspicious to female feminists, for good reason. As a man, if you intervene in street harassment, or bring up a feminist article you liked, your intentions are going to be called into question, and the more you try to prove you're being genuine the more suspicious you look.
People don't believe street harassment happens. But it gets worse the more you stick up for yourself. And the security officer probably didn't realize that I had gotten harassed walking the three blocks to and from the store. And pretty much every day. Monday was a good day: I only got harassed one time. It would make a big difference to me if someone would stick up sometime.
I've stood up for other people and I've seen men stick up for other people. Since I'm a woman it's not so effective when I do it, but I've never seen anyone get physically attacked. Not to say it doesn't happen, but strength in numbers is the whole point.
I'm a woman, and I have to say that unless it looks like I'm in imminent physical danger (or I ask for help), I wouldn't want anyone nearby to intervene. In these situations, I'm always assessing for myself how I want to respond to de-escalate things. Intervention is likely to either escalate matters or de-escalate them in a way that makes me feel less able to stand up for myself. What I (and I can only speak for me) appreciate most is people steadily looking at the harasser, making it obvious he (or she!) is being observed. If need be, they could step closer to make it even clearer that other people are watching and assessing.
I realize that this response might not be what other people being harassed would appreciate most, which is why it's so hard to figure out what to do to be a Good Person.
I've done the watching and assessing role myself, too. It has the benefit of putting you in position to directly intervene if it becomes necessary.
I also rarely go to bars and other places where drunks tend to be assholes towards women (and everyone else..)
If I did see something like that I'd stay out of it unless explicitly asked for help or there was physical violence.
Or, maybe my female friends have thicker skin.
it doesn't usually get the dude to fuck off immediately, but he's a LOT more likely to go away if someone speaks up. tons and tons more likely.
it was worse when i lived in new york, to be fair, but yeah, seattleites would sooner die than get involved in someone else's biz. and i say that as a native.
that said, i force myself to intervene when i see women getting harassed. i'm 5'11" and kind of a brick shithouse, though, and i boxed for a long time. not saying everyone should or could intervene, but i sure wish they would.
i resent the implication that my being upset after getting followed for three blocks in WALLINGFORD by a carful of dudebros is a result of me being thin-skinned. fuck you. try being a woman for five minutes and then say that shit to the face of any woman who lives in a city.
Walk up to the woman and ask "Sorry, have we met? Are you Kate's friend? Did we meet at her party?"
If she says no, apologize and walk away. Or maybe she says yes and you start a fictional conversation.
But respect that for many women it's real and it's every day. The problem is not that we are thin skinned or look a certain way or take it a certain way: the problem is that people think it's acceptable to disrespect us and treat us like we're animals while we walk down the street.
Blip: Thanks for that laugh.
P.S. I was just given a come-on by an unappealing and dirty guy while I took a walk in the park on this beautiful afternoon. What was weird about this is that he was so out of it that he obviously thought he just might have a chance. What can you do? He was high, or drunk, or not connected to reality, or all three. I don't think a lecture on feminism and my human rights was going to change this man's behavior.
Why do you care if the street harasser suddenly finds you unattractive? Tell him to fuck off and when he calls you a fat bitch, smile, and say "Damn straight asshole."
Honestly though, what would you have me do? If I come to help you, will you mace me? I guess in Seattle, I'd tentatively give you a look of support, and if you passively suggested that you could use some help, I'd stand next to you, with my eyes on him, so he'd know someone was listening. If he was really harassing you, I think he'd stop. If he continued and you just stood there, doe-eyed, I guess I'd tell him it was time to move on, and I'd stand between you, knight-in-shining-armor-like, hazarding your inevitable blog post about how wonderful I was (right? That's what you'd write?).
But I'll only hold doors for men. I think I've got it.
Did I get any of it right, though, through all the snark? (Is snark allowed, or is that mace-worthy?)
Not that there's any easy solution here, but telling (all) men that they must confront harassers or (all) women will think of them as harassers is not the right answer.
So I'm supposed to differentiate myself by enduring a fight with some random skidmark at a bus stop (who, for all I know, is ready to pull a weapon) because he made you uncomfortable, and then felt his manhood was challenged when I called him out in front of a woman?
Look, I'm actually not averse to calling people out on this. Seriously. In practice I don't often see serious harassment on the street, but I'd hope I'd do something if and when I did. But I want you to acknowledge that what you're asking for, even if it's the right thing, is not "simple". In fact, it's actually pretty obnoxious for you to dismiss it as such when it involves a nontrivial risk on our part.