It's Spring! Who's Ready for Street Harassment?

Comments

1
That is so shitty. I am really sorry. I wish you milkshakes galore while you try to finish your work.
2
A person could be charged with assault for grabbing your arm like that, right?

That would be a good start. Wear google glasses everywhere and if some guy grabs your arm take a picture and get them charged with assault.
3
I suggest firearms training.
http://www.westcoastarmory.com/the-range…
4
"Of course, all women have stories of being harassed. All of them. This isn't even a particularly heinous example—my friends and coworkers have stories of having their boobs grabbed on the street, having their asses grabbed, even being followed onto buses and then home."

Yes, all of the above, multiple times. Can I add to the street harassment list the thing where a man walking toward you waits until he is just alongside you and says "hi" or "hey" or "hello," so by the time the word is out of his mouth and it registers in your ear as being spoken to you, he's already a few steps behind you? Because that bugs the fuck out of me. It's a passive-aggressive bullshit trick to give that guy a reason to think "see, that chick is so stuck up she won't even say hi."

Next time, I'm going to turn around and follow that guy asking "have you met my friend Jesus? He wants to say hi to you too."
5
Sun streaking cold
an old man wandering lonely.
Taking time
the only way he knows.
6
I don't get the harassment of saying "Nice tits." A proper response might have been "thank you!"

Guys have said "nice ass" or whatever to me in the past. I always took it as a compliment instead of harassment.

Now, maybe he was being a creeper. Possibly you thought he was ugly? I dunno. But, in my mind there is, or ought to be, a line between a simple "nice [insert body part here]" and hooting and hollering, and making a fucking u-turn to continue to hoot and holler, nevertheless the pure and simple assault of grabbing your arm.

But, I'm a guy.
7
Any time you're out on your own, repeat the phrase in your head "small prick". It'll become automatic.
8
@4 'Can I add to the street harassment list the thing where a man walking toward you waits until he is just alongside you and says "hi" or "hey" or "hello," so by the time the word is out of his mouth and it registers in your ear as being spoken to you, he's already a few steps behind you?'

I am not going to stop you.

Although, by the time I've determined that she's not cringing away from eye-contact and a smile, my "hello" often ends up approximately alongside of her.

I usually walk away feeling pretty good at that point, better if she looks back.
9
@4 no, I think that's something else
10
I was relatively unbothered during the winter time, but I started getting street harassment once the weather warmed up:

1) Young guys following me down the street making comments about my ass until I ran the rest of the way to work.

2) Older man following me in his car and beckoning me inside because I looked "all alone and in need of a friend."

Fuck you if you do this.
11
"Don't be unattractive."
12
@6 "But, I'm a guy." Exactly. Chances are, you don't get told that you have nice tits, or that you should smile, or get asked if your married, or groped, or have someone go ballistic on you because you won't engage in small talk. Nor do you get to look forward to this at any time, in any place.

13
@6 - "I don't get the harassment of saying "Nice tits."... But I'm a guy."

And you're a mysoginistic asshole, as evidenced by the fact that you don't get it. You're part of the problem.

Sorry this happened to you, Cienna.
14
@6 - saying "nice tits" to a complete stranger on the street is very different than, say, "nice hat". If you don't know the difference, ask a female friend to explain it to you.
15
If someone said "nice (anything)" to me on the street, it'd make my day.

As for that other awful shit, those assholes deserve pepper spray and knees to the crotch.
16
Well it didn't take long to identify the the outermost paramters of potential responses. Hopefully you can find middle ground between taking it as a compliment and shooting people.
17
We put up stickers and tell people not to harass us...bro. Check it out: http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/2013…
http://dontharassmebro.tumblr.com/
PS. We love your article.
18
Maybe he wasn't talking to you. Maybe he was talking to himself. Maybe he likes nice tits. Who gives a shit.
19
@6 It's a very different feeling being complimented from being harassed. It's delivery, it's demeanor... But trust me, all women know that sick feeling in the pit of their stomach when someone "compliments" them in a way that's demeaning. It's gross, it's depressing, and it makes you punch them or wish you'd punched them.

Look, dudes: (and I feel like I'm explaining this too often lately) I don't expect you to know from experience what we're talking about, but believe us and support us when we tell you IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

Now I need a nap.

20
If I see a pretty lady I can't help but do a double take (ok triple... ok maybe quadruple). But it's practically involuntary. I like the ladies. BUT you gotta be pretty fucked up to tell a complete stranger "nice tits." That might be what I'm thinking, yes, among other filthy, sordid, craven and downright shameful things. But I keep all that dialog internalized like a NORMAL FUCKING PERSON.
21
I'm male and have been harassed on Capitol Hill a couple times. The worst was this skanky guy that said something like "hey honey" to me. I smiled and kept going. He then proceeded to yell insults back at me for an entire block about how I was a faggot who thought I was too good to talk to him, but I'd find out I wasn't all that. Lots of profanity. It was embarrassing. And this was Harvard Street during full daylight.

Anyway, harassment sucks.
22
Eat that cheese lady! Pluck that banjo!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TVGzv276…
23
@12-14: Oh The Misanthrope has a big old blind spot when it comes to this topic, or misogyny in general really. I've whiled away many an hour trying to explain things to him, but he is sadly recalcitrant.
@3: As a woman and a gun owner I believe I have pointed out on past threads that your one size fits all solution is a poor one. For example the young woman in question would not have been able to carry a gun since she was on her way to a bar, and ya can't have a gun in a bar in Washington state.

Soooo thanks for playing!
24
Maybe you shouldn't think about milkshakes, I hear they bring all the boys to the yard.
25
@23 - Since he'll never stop suggesting shooting your problems away, has anyone tried just shooting him to shut him up? I realize he's armed and likely to defend himself, but I see no other solution to the problem.
26
@12 I have been asked "Do you have a boyfriend"?

I have been told "nice ass" randomly.

I believe I explained that latter point in the post. Good reading comprehension, though.

@13 2/10

@14 I believe my example was "nice ass." Not "nice hat." I don't wear hats. Thanks for changing my point to make a counter point though.
27
@23 Did Lissa finally make a substantial post?

Half of one. About guns.

Ah well.

Thanks for playing.
28
In the past I've walked around with a snappy retort on my lips, but... why should I have to be that person? Ain't nobody got time for that. I've got beach trips, birthdays, and math problems to keep in that brain-space. Now I'm just leaning toward bear mace. Life is too short to let some scumbag ruin your day.
29
A high proportion of American men are assholes. Saying "Nice tits" is asshole behavior.

My girls don't complain. They carry knives.
31
"Acting batshit" is just a variation on "escalate and win! (if they're not crazier than you)." Classic tactic where the weak defeat the strong (when the strong are sane).

Big guy intimidates a small guy? Act crazy. Small guy wins (f they big guy isn't crazy). Somebody cuts you off in traffic? Escalate and you'll win (if the other driver isn't crazier). Works every time (unless they're even crazier).

But what if they're crazier? Well, then you lose. Oops. Should have backed down and gotten off with your life.

Didn't the city council try to pass some laws to actually punish street harassment? As opposed to these pitiful "act batshit" antics? Where'd The Stranger stand on that?
32
@6, "nice tits" is not a compliment. "nice tits" is "i am exerting power over you and trying to make you feel uncomfortable." if you don't believe me, well, you're fucking wrong.
33
I didn't get the insult of being asked to smile. I still don't. But this one I get. Unless the person has Tourette's (and I had a good friend in college who did) that is just unacceptable.
34
"smile!" = "i don't like the way your face looks right now. it's not giving me a boner. you don't have the right to feel anything but happiness 24/7, because women only look pretty to me when they're smiling."
35
I divorced the asshole who told me he thinks it's unreasonable that a man can't just tell a woman at the bus stop that she has nice tits.
36
Look guys, here's how it works: you're bigger than we are. That means when you make a crude sexual remark - which indicates you are already willing to violate the normal rules of human interaction - there is the implicit threat that you might act on that.

Why is this so hard to understand? If you're a man and you're harassed by a man, the balance of power is different and so is the experience. Duh.
37
"...stories of having their boobs grabbed on the street, having their asses grabbed, even being followed onto buses and then home."

Experienced all of this. I'll add getting chased to (middle) school by a middle-aged guy in a truck that just whipped out his dick to me; called a dumb bitch/other mean things for not acknowledging everyone who hits on me...
a big drunk Somoan guy sat right next to me on the 255 (plenty of empty seats everywhere) on my way home from work and grabbed my thigh. The people sitting facing us (all dudes) didn't say ANYTHING. I yelled at him not to touch me, and dude just looks around at all the other dudes and started saying some shit like, "See what I mean? Women are fuckin' uppity bitches." He then proceeded to tell me that he could afford me, but I couldn't afford him.
Another night I was headed to a show at the Lo-Fi and was walking near REI, and some random guy behind me seems like he might be following me. So I cross the street, in the middle of the street. Take a right. Cross the street again. Take a left. All at a power walk pace. I get to the door of the Lo-Fi and the dude is running to catch up with me. Luckily he didn't have cover and couldn't get in.

Though one day I was walking home and some dude in a group of guys told me to smile or something else that pisses me off, and some random old white-haired black dude told all of them to fuck off and leave me alone. I gave him a high five and skipped home.

And of course, most of the time I get too pissed off to respond. I think the only things I've thrown back are "staring's rude," and "go fuck yourself." Wondering if I'm too old to use "jailbait." I also have a rape whistle. Still need to buy pepper spray.
38
@19, I (a man with no experience in these matters) am on board with that explanation. I'm having difficulty envisioning @4's scenario, though--someone timing their "hi" for the sole reason of being able to then *think* some nonsense about the woman being stuck-up two steps later???
39
@35: Which means you married him?!
40
@29: A large portion of people of both genders worldwide are assholes.

But I'd say with a pretty high level of confidence that American men are significantly above average for respecting women, worldwide. It says more about the global average than it does about American men, though.
41
Toss it back...I'd have probably gone w/ "Nice manners a-hole". If he was hot, "want a better look?"Calm, down...I'm kidding.
But seriously, toss it back. Construction dude..."you call THAT a jack hammering". Random rude guy "Show me your dick".etc.
It always works BC they are shocked that a "nice girl" like you could be so crass. Haha. And it shifts them into the victim role.
42
"My girls don't complain. They carry knives."

...so do I. But I tend to find that 5'4 100 lbs < average adult male. If you don't want girls to share their feelings, maybe you could start by keeping yours to yourself :)
43
You'd probably get in huge trouble for pushing him into traffic. It would be incredibly unethical to do so and I'd never advocate it. But he probably does deserve to be run over by a car.
44
The (possibly affected) resistance from some commenters to the notion that this behavior has unacceptable harassment is distressing. I choose to believe that the people claiming not to understand are just being dicks in the comments, but are probably polite, decent people in real life.

I suppose it's progress that this fnck harassed Cienna with a furtive whisper and then ducked away, that unlike a generation ago he didn't feel entitled and empowered by society to proudly and openly harass her. But hardly enough progress: he still got the job done, the job being to demean someone so he felt better. Sad.
45
@6

Nice ass is different than nice tits. Being told you have a nice ass on occasion doesn't make you an expert on whether or not a woman should feel offended/threatened/harassed when she is told by a stranger on the street that she has nice tits.

Sometimes, being a woman means being scared by a phrase as simple as nice tits. Sometimes, when a woman is walking down the street alone and a man decides to comment on her breasts, it makes her heart jump into her throat and her stomach churn.

And sometimes, being a man means you should believe women when they tell you that things are scary and we wish they would stop happening. As a man, taking our word for it is a great first step to helping us combat the problem having harassment be an integral part of being a woman.
46
@6 - you're an idiot.

"A high proportion of American men are assholes. Saying "Nice tits" is asshole behavior."

And ladies, that's it in a nutshell. If they're not saying it,they are definitely thinking it.

Hey, I'm married and I have sons. I love men but understand that this stuff happening in the military is very much about men tolerating the asshole behavior of other men.

See, there really aren't that many assholes, rapists, perverts in the whole (per the entire male population) BUT there are a lot of men who say NOTHING when OTHER men say horrible, derogatory things about women. They shrug or take a swig of their beer and maybe, internally, think "Asshole."

But this behavior will NEVER change until men decide that maybe their wives, their sisters, their daughters, their mothers, their granddaughter and their female friends don't deserve this day in and day out.

Guys, change your behavior and you could change the world. Look the other way and it will just go on.
48
These images have begun appearing in Oakland in response to crap like this. Perhaps folks who believe in countering this can print out some copies on sticker paper, and get to work making these messages more visible (PDF at bottom of article)...

http://designaction.org/2013/05/stop-str…

P.S. Sorry for what happened to you, Cienna.
49
@19 I can see that there might be a difference. Hence why I put "Maybe he's being a creeper."

But, then I never saw "nice ass" as a demeaning phrase. Or "nice tits." I've also never had it wielded at me. Or at a friend. I saw a female friend go crazy once when a guy complimented her (I believe he said something to the effect of "You've got a nice rack", which she does) out of the blue because she wasn't comfortable with her body. But, I knew that before the incident.

Telling somebody to smile is just assholish. I've been told that too. By a woman. I wanted to smack her, but instead not-so-politely told her I was having a shitty day and she should just fuck off. But, I didn't see her as being misandristic. Just a well-intentioned asshole.

Maybe this guy was a creep. Maybe he was just shy. He wasn't exerting power by saying that and then walking away. I know if I were to try to ruin somebody's day, I wouldn't use "nice tits" unless its to a fat man.

But, maybe I'm just being an asshole trying to focus on real harassment, like people being followed, or screamed at for not responding, or other power tripping that I do see every day, rather than "nice tits."
51
My parents were religious conservatives and I disagreed with them on a lot of things, but one thing I really appreciate about them is that they taught good manners to my siblings and me. Never in my life, even when I was a teenager, have I said something like "nice tits" to a female who I passed on the street.

and wishing that I had the perfect response for that anonymous fuck.

Not sure it's perfect, but "small cock" comes to mind.

50
I'm sorry this happens. I used to not believe it did. I've certainly never harassed a stranger like that. So it was hard to wrap my head around when I heard about it.

Then years back walking downtown past a construction site with my wife who was wearing a skirt — she was ahead of us about half a block - suddenly all these contractor guys kept cat calling her and shit. I was astonished at the cliché of it all. And enraged. Throwing down my bags I called one of those guys out, ready to beat the shit out him. My wife quietly said "look, if you do that your gonna have to get in fist fights EVERY WEEK, because that's how often this happens."

Man. That was a depressing powerless realization.

Anyway. I just got back from Rome with my family.

Holy shit. In certain sections of that city if my wife got more than fifty feet from me she was constantly having her ass grabbed or getting that "Bella bella bella..." bullshit. America is like elevated in comparison.

She's a very tough woman. And can handle herself. Regardless it only relented the second I stood next to her—those assholes would suddenly vanish like it only mattered if they might get their ass kicked by a guy my size. Other Italian women kept apologizing to us after it would happen with this look of exhaustion.

I swear I would go on a fucking murder spree if I was a woman and had to endure this kind of bullshit all the time. It's a miracle you all don't.
52
@46: Clearly the solution is lumping everyone into "asshole" and "non-asshole" groups, using gender alone.

I don't see how that might turn people off of this cause.
53
In the words of the old joke: men need to learn to treat women as if they were equal human beings.
54
This sucks, sorry it happened to you. But women are not the only ones who get harassed. In the last couple years I've been: chased in a car by a guy who thought I cut him off and wanted to fight; overheard a couple of guys planning to attack me when I got off the bus because one of them thought I bumped him; and on two occasions had young women on the subway say they wanted to kick my ass, one for making her move her bag so I could sit, the other for squeezing by her on the escalator. Oh, and a gay guy on the bus who kept trying to hook me up with his female friend.

Not saying that I get as many hassles as women do. But what I am saying is, that when a man gets hassled, we see it as just him getting hassled. When a woman gets hassled, it's because she's a woman.

I'd be interested to hear other men's experiences.
55
Anyway. I just got back from Rome with my family.

Holy shit. In certain sections of that city if my wife got more than fifty feet from me she was constantly having her ass grabbed or getting that "Bella bella bella..." bullshit. America is like elevated in comparison.


That's interesting tkc. I love Rome and hope you had a great time there (except for what you mentioned...sorry to hear about that.) My experience was different. I've been to Rome twice, with two different girlfriends, one of whom was very attractive. The very attractive one certainly got a lot of attention from Roman men -- and men in other Italian cities we visited -- but neither of them were ever groped or grabbed by a guy.

56
The signs @48 links to seem like a good way to address the issue for the oblivious. 'Nice tits' is just completely inappropriate though, and any guy who overheard that should really confront that guy. I wouldn't accept a guy saying that to a woman on the street.
57
Sometimes women just want to fucking be. Just exist. Be ignored, the way you would an average looking, slightly overweight man. But every woman is always judged on her size, clothes, beauty, boobs, ass, whatever. And you can always feel it. And it's tolerable, usually. But sometimes you just want to walk around and enjoy life, not feeling like you're getting looked at.

Sorry, Cienna, I wish I could punch him in the scrote just for you.
58
@57 Everybody gets looked at in public by everybody every day. Male, or female. Personal experience taught me that.
59
Having experienced this many times, my favorite comeback is "Nice face," because it sounds like a compliment at first, but half a tick later they realize it's a sarcastic insult. Usually by this time, you're out of range for another round. But you gotta know when to use it. On big scary guys: non.

My favorite defense is to just walk around wearing my earbuds (without music playing, I don't want people sneaking up on me). They don't bother saying anything to you if they think you can't hear it (that's the whole point of the comments, right?). There are a few scummy bus stops I have to use occasionally, but since I started the earbud trick scumbags leave me alone.
60
@55 She probably wasn't groped because you were with her. I've been to Rome several times and the street harassment is absurd. A friend and I were once followed for blocks by a creepy man who, despite our evasive tactics, finally caught up to us to share his desire to lick our feet. This creeptastic level of harassment happens in many other European countries and Latin America, where I currently live, as well. Let me tell you, the first time I was aggressively hit on by a military man holding an AK-47 my heart skipped a couple beats. Street harassment is definitely about power but it's not usually that literal.

Basically, the prevailing opinion is that an unescorted woman is free game. When I'm with my husband no one says shit.
61
I'm sure it's pointless to engage with you, Misanthrope, but try stretching your brain to imagine that you lived in a society where the average woman was stronger than the average man and more likely to have been socialized to be aggressive or even violent. Imagine that even though this didn't exactly freak you out, it was always in the back of your mind when you were out walking alone, especially at night or somewhere relatively empty, that women might approach you, maybe in groups, and try to hit on you or otherwise abuse you. Imagine that it wasn't completely uncommon that some women weren't happy to take no for an answer.

Now, hear "nice ass" again, from one of those women. Does it make you feel good? Grateful? Complimented?
62
@61 The fact that you equated "hit on you" with "abuse" is telling.

Quite telling.
63
I was right! It was a waste of time. Ah well.
64
I heard crap like this in Phoenix all the time walking home from high school. I usually flipped them off or ignored them. One time a friend walked home with me, and when the usual litany of "nice tits, come fuck me baby" kind of crap started up, she turned right around and told them how only little boys with pinky dicks would talk like that, and that real men knew how to respectfully treat a woman, etc. It was an awesome pushback, and shut most of them right up. Since then I've followed her lead and always responded back with something to indicate how pathetic I think that person is and what they must be making up for. And I always have my pepper spray as a back up in case that male can't stand having his genitalia – or lack thereof - commented on.
66
Ahhh this sort of struck a chord with me. Doubt you'll ever see this, Misanthrope, but let me try to explain in a way where even you'll see the logic:
(testing to see if comment system works)
67
@32, 45, 46 and 61: It won't do you any good. The Misanthrope is not interested in understanding the lived experience of women. Woman after woman can tell him stories of harassment but because it wouldn't bother him........well then. It obviously shouldn't bother us should it? "Nice tits" doesn't meet his finely calibrated definition of "real harassment" you see. You'll have no luck, because in his mind at least ( as in the case of so many men) he knows better than we do what we go through every day. Bless their hearts.
68
Yeah, this shit is already happening to my girlfriend when she's out running, though primarily in the form of car honking. Here's a tip, guys: if you ever think maybe honking your horn at a girl on the sidewalk you find attractive might be a good move, kill yourself, because you contribute only misery and stupidity to this world.

@3, what, are you going to brandish your piece at every guy who stares at your tits? Are you psychotic or just fucking dumb? How are you going to explain to the cops that you threatened a guy with a deadly weapon because he made a pass at you? I don't think the introduction of weapons into polite society is any kind of fucking substitute for guys not being harassing shitbags.

@6, the problem here is that muttering "Nice tits" at someone is a hit-and-run. It's a judgement, a statement of intent (to fuck you), and an advance, all in one, and it's delivered succinctly and without fear of retribution because it's over before you can really be held to account for it. It's not anywhere near the same as any reasonable conversation opener because it's declaring from word one that your interest in the person is to have sex with them, and if they didn't want the conversation to go there, too fucking bad.

Then again, based on your response @62, you really don't seem honestly engaged in this conversation. You're not completely fucking stupid, and I'm sure you can pick out the difference between a compliment and a demand if you try real hard - and make no mistake, this kind of public pass is definitely the latter.
69
Cienna: Your blockquote appears unclosed when rendered on the mobile site.
70
Being way behind the curve, I only saw this a couple of days ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH7b4QCPu…

I'll just leave it here.
71
Okay, it does, here goes:

1) Man sees woman with nice tits. Man says, stating the obvious, "Nice tits."
2) Tits are, in our culture, a sexualized body part. We almost never refer to them or show them except as directly relates to a sexual act. (Breast feeding activists are trying to change this, but it's slow going.)
3) Going by this, when a man makes a comment on a woman's tits he is more accurately saying "I see your sexual display there and I like it."
4) This is, and will be taken as, a completely brazen and direct sexual solicitation.
5) Now, you may still be assuming that if the woman is into the man, this may be okay. But it isn't, because...
6) Women in every culture, when considering the act of mating with any sort of agency, require some sort of introductory/courtship ritual.
7) Not that it has to be roses and candlelight - even a 5-minute conversation at a bar before a hook-up can result in great casual sex. But -- take notes, this is important -- there *must* be some sort of way for the woman to take stock of the mating option in front of her for her to have any agency in the process.
8) Biologically this is because of the potential great risks involved in mating. An eyeblink ago in evolutionary time, every act of intercourse had a good chance of resulting in pregnancy, and every pregnancy had a decent chance of resulting in death. Biologically, no woman wants to risk her life - literally! - on a man that isn't a good genetic bet, and as a result, the need for a courtship/introduction for her to observe what is on offer is very important, down at least to the mammalian brain if not the reptilian one.
9) "Nice tits" while breezing by on the street is not in any way, shape or form a courtship/introduction ritual. In fact in most cases the woman was not paying any sort of attention to the man whatsoever when he threw a direct, brazen sexual solicitation directly in her face. The freeze/shock/terror reaction may not even be cultural, but genetic, because...
10) There is another mating option - where the female has no agency in the mate selection process whatsoever. This is known, in common terms, as rape.
11) I'm going to go over this again - the true awfulness of what this shithead did to Cienna is not because he commented on her rockin' body part of note, which no doubt deserves the kudos. It's because he short-circuited the possibly-biologically-ordained courtship/introduction process that women would universally prefer to employ when entering into a mating situation, which immediately - on a reptilian-brain level - put it into the other category of sexual interaction, in which the woman has no control over her mating choices and her very life may even be at risk as a result.
11) To summarize: When this man told Cienna "Nice tits", that may have been what her ears heard, but it isn't what the emotional/survival functions of her brain and 200,000+ fucking years of evolution heard. What they heard was the following: "I am going to rape you. I am going to drag you into the nearest alleyway and cover your mouth with my hand so nobody hears you scream, and then I'm going to pump my seed in you and put a child, *my* child, straight in your belly and then *you* will walk the tightrope of death giving birth, and then *you* will spend the next 18 years of your life raising it, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it - think you can run, bitch?" And then while her body was realizing the threat, possibly keeping her still in order to maximize her survival potential in the face of incoming violent rape (a depressing number of biological reactions in the reproductive system seem to be geared for this), the dickface walks away.
12: And it took me like 20 minutes to type this thing out, but I guarantee you all of that happened in a split second within Cienna's brain, and within the brain of EVERY woman some dipshit has ever thought to do this to. A response of terror, followed by reactive fear/depression/anger after the danger has passed, is the *most logical reaction possible.*

And fair enough, this isn't a biological process you were born with so you don't know it on a gut level... but did I spell it out right? WAS I LOGICAL ENOUGH FOR YOU??
72
http://www.ihollaback.org/
Hollaback is a movement to end street harassment powered by a network of local activists around the world. We work together to better understand street harassment, to ignite public conversations, and to develop innovative strategies to ensure equal access to public spaces.
73
Firstly: HOLLABACK sistas! http://www.ihollaback.org/

"A non-profit and movement to end street harassment powered by local activists in 64 cities and 22 countries." Put those smart phones to good use: document your harasser and then post his picture along with the story of your experience. Don't engage, document! No clever retorts necessary.

Here, fellas, if you refuse to listen to women, maybe you'll get it from a man:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCR…

This is the link to Jackson Katz's TEDxTalk on why we think of rape and domestic violence as 'women's issues' when they're actually men's issues.

Any guys care to answer this question: why are men committing mass shootings and violence and sexual violence against women, children and other men on such an overwhelming scale?

But yeah, let me smile for you, what was I thinking? Walking around wearing my face, ahem, wait, my bitchface *hack*cough*sputter* oh, silly me, I meant to say my CUNTFACE. You'll have to excuse me, I am but a lowly member of the sex class, I mean, obviously my face and my body are not my own to control. However can I put your desires and needs above any and all of my own?

Puke.

Pathetic leaky fuckin' cocks.

74
Now that I'm home and not typing on a mobile phone anymore... I should have said "hit on you against your will," which is what I meant. This comment is directed towards any reasonable, sane folks who might have objected to my wording in 61.
75
@72 fistbump!
76
"I am going to rape you. I am going to drag you into the nearest alleyway and cover your mouth with my hand so nobody hears you scream, and then I'm going to pump my seed in you and put a child, *my* child, straight in your belly and then *you* will walk the tightrope of death giving birth, and then *you* will spend the next 18 years of your life raising it, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it - think you can run, bitch?"

If you hear voices like that in your head often, a shrink might be your best option.
77
"Any guys care to answer this question: why are men committing mass shootings and violence and sexual violence against women, children and other men on such an overwhelming scale? "

Why are blacks committing most of the murders in this country?
78
Most middle-class women in America are taught by our culture to tolerate bad behavior by men, by authority, by power and by wealth.

Stop that shit.

When confronted by an asshole stop trying to be the good little girl, the nice little lady.

When an cowardly asshole says "nice tits," you say "your's too.".Alternatively, you could also grab whatever's closest and beat the hell out of him.

Nice, polite ladies never did put the fear of a strong woman into a sorry excuse for a man.
79
Many good comments on this thread and really only one troll. Misanthrope should put out the bat signal for seandr et al.
I too have been harassed and groped in Rome (sounds like a band name), never actually touched in the U.S. Worst here was probably a guy whipping out a hard-on on the train, that was pretty scary.
@71 gave me goose bumps. Scary stuff.
80
@71 This is absolutely the first post of any substance in this thread. Kudos. Everybody else on here seems to be obsessed with name calling, or equating being hit on with abuse.

Now, my question is, is there any way a woman could take her own sexual agency away from the guy in a situation like this. Saying, "Thanks!" and being proud of whatever sort of takes the agency out if the aggressor's mouthes, doesn't it? Being strong in your own personality and sexuality could deflate any power drain that guy tried to take, couldn't it?

The thing is, there are assholes everywhere. There will always be assholes. Sorry about that. And, if this was an asshole move, why not take the power back from him? Why let something small get to you? Even if it wasn't meant as a compliment, why not take it as such and move on? Is feminism not about strength in sexuality?

@74 What would consitute "not against your will"? If the dude is hot? If he was invited by the woman to hit on her? I'm serious. You went from bad to bad. You make it sound as if ANY sexual advance no matter how mild by any male is bad. Fucking douchebaggery.

@79 snoooooooooooze.
81
Or! Or! You could reply, "Thank you! I'm getting the rest of my sex-change surgery in a couple of weeks. I hope it's as successful! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go home and shave my back." [No offense intended to transsexuals. It's just fun to contemplate the mind-fuck it would inflict on most of the apes who engage in this crude behavior. I'm guessing only a very small minority of them are into chicks with dicks.]

I'd like to second earlier comments about southern Europe. A much higher percentage of men over there glom onto unescorted women like flies on shit and are reluctant to take no for an answer. I had female friends over there who couldn't stand going out alone -- and they grew up with it and knew how to tell harassers to piss off, without hesitation or remorse. Just because you know how to swat mosquitoes before they bite doesn't mean you enjoy being surrounded by them. (And on the flip side of that, you have French women like former prime minister Édith Cresson who publicly said that English men are gay -- apparently because they didn't all try to hump her leg the moment she entered the room at a state function. Incessant harassment, it would seem, has raised the aggressiveness bar for what constitutes welcome expressions of appreciation and interest.)

Final remark: Cienna's story reminded me of a Sarah Silverman monologue I saw a while back, which went something like this: I went to the liquor store the other day, and there was this homeless guy next to the door, and as I was going inside, he said, "I want some pussy!" At first I was shocked -- and furious! -- but then I stopped and thought to myself, "Wait a minute. Maybe when this guy was growing up, his parents didn't give him ... any pussy." Well, maybe you had to hear her tell it. It was a funny joke, but it's not very funny when it happens in real life.
82
I used to work at a video store at Pike and Boren - we were open until Midnight on week-ends, and I was on the closing shift. I was harassed almost every night on my way home. I had guys in cars follow me for blocks, I had homeless dudes telling me to "smile", I had drunk guys try to grab me - and call me names when I pulled away. If it happened to me, a not-particularly attactive, dumpy chick in her early 40's it can (and does) happen to anyone. It isn't about men thinking you are attractive, it is about men sizing you up as a potential victim - it isn't a compliment, it is a threat, and it fucking SUCKS.

If you are guy who harasses women please STOP. If you are a guy who witnesses a woman being harassed and you just stand around and watch it happen, then you are part of the problem.
83
Ugh sorry that happened to you. Some people are real assholes.
84
@80 Ok, let's play this out:

"Nice tits!" (Does she want to fuck me?)

"Thanks!" *smile* (I wonder if he's planning to assault me? Hey, I should get over myself and take it as a compliment!)

"So, you want to come back to my place?" (She said thanks! She smiled! Maybe she wants to fuck me! It's worth a try!)

"No, but thanks for the compliment, you have a nice day now!" (Fuck, was that too nice? Am I sending the wrong signals? What if he keeps going? If I get mad or forthright is he going to get aggressive?)

"Oh come on now, you have such a pretty smile! And you liked what I said about your tits, didn't you...?" (She wouldn't have smiled if she wasn't at least interested! Is she sending me mixed messages? I fucking hate that! and I'm really horny! Is she leading me on? That would really piss me off...)

Misanthrope - any clues yet about what might be problematic for women about playing it your way?
85
@80 I'm glad stories of my harassment and fear of rape are soothing to you, as your willful obtuseness and casual misogyny have the same effect on me. So much of both from you that I'm going to have to lie down for the evening and snoooooze! Night all.
86
I was harassed on the street in Morocco- turning around and yelling, 'what would your mother think of you?!", had them moving away as fast as they could without actually running.
87
Join me at this new tumblr, ladies! I call it "I was asking for it", and I post pictures of the frumpy shit I happen to be wearing when assholes come a'calling.

iwasaskingforit.tumblr.com
Submissions quite welcome!

And don't you LOVE IT when there's a discussion about this, and a handful of choice men jump at the chance to say "but it happens to us, too! I have, like, three personal anecdotes!" Yes it can happen to you, and that's awful, but imagine that sort of thing happening to you once a month or more in a city like this. Sorry. Different level. So let's talk about THAT. And you don't have to tell us "but I don't do that!" You really don't. We're happy enough that you're on our side. And we're glad as fuck that you don't harass women, we really are, but we also don't care right now. It still HAPPENS CONSTANTLY, because all kinds of guys who are NOT YOU keep doing it. So let's talk about THEM, and what we can do about THEM, and let's stop talking about YOU. Because this isn't about you. Handle that, and let's get back to combatting the assholes.
88
Hey dude. Nice balls.
89
i've had a lot of stupid shit happen to me along these lines, and always wished i'd said something back. (or punched a motherfucker when there were actual hands involved). but even now i still just smile and nod and move away, only to kick myself repeatedly after the fact. i'm still so fucking programmed, and i hate it.

my daughter is 13 now and all smiles and curves and looks older than she is, and i know exactly what she's in for, which breaks my heart. i hope i'm doing enough to teach her, in spite of myself, and i'd like to think that if anything ever happened to me in front of her that i'd be able to unleash on the guy to set the example, but so far i've not been tested.

but on a bright note: one night, coming out of some club, random guy on the street says to me, "oh my god, you look AMAZING." which, truthfully, after a few drinks and knowing that i was safe and all, just made me smile, because hey, who doesn't like that kind of feedback, right? high five, cute self. well, somehow or other this came up in conversation with my son (14) the next day, and his first question was, "did dad punch him out?" yeah, yeah, he still thinks i need a big strong man to fight my battles for me, which is not awesome, but i was encouraged by his first reaction being "THAT IS SO NOT OK."

so the herrimans have a way to go yet, but we're getting there.
90
Jeez, it's hard to read through the comments thread here. For a lot of different reasons.

I wish I could empathize, but given my sex and my size, as well as the relative tameness in the few stories that I could offer as similar experience, I really doubt it's truly possible. But some of us do intervene in situations like yours when confronted by them, and do what we can to keep them from occurring in the first place. Sadly, the people who behave this sort of way apparently do it when they know they're likely to get away with it, so I can imagine how little that must be worth.
91
@80 "ls feminism not about strength in sexuality?"

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!! Feminism is about EQUALITY!
93
Weird how the only post of any substance in this thread according to TheMisanthrope is based in evo-psych.
94
REMIND HULK OF OLD JELLO BIAFRA STORY! SOMETHING ABOUT BEING HOLED UP IN A PORTLAND PHONE BOOTH!
95
I've got to say, I love watching straight dudes attempt to explain feminism to women. "JUST TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT, THAT'LL SHOW HIM YOU'RE STRONG" is the dumbest shit I've ever heard.
96
@91: you are correct. Feminism is about equality. Thank you. It's such a simple concept, but apparently for some, difficult to grasp.
@80: Muttering "Nice tits" as you pass by a woman is no more a compliment than muttering "nigger" or "faggot" as you pass. In each cas it is designed to diminish your target. To let them know that no matter how high faulting they may think they are,( all boldly walking down the street like they think they're somebody!) all they really are is a nigger or a faggot or a pair of tits.
Thank you is not the correct response to that. Pretending harrassment is a compliment is pointless. It is not.
97
@96 Hey, if somebody calls me a faggot, I've always, turned and smiled and said "Thanks for noticing!" If somebody calls me a bitch, I'm like "Cheers to that!"

It takes the wind out of their sails.

And, you know what? Some rando calling me a name or observing something doesn't make me any more singularly a faggot, or a bitch or a nice ass than I was before the rando tried putting me in the place he wanted to put me into.

It's called a sense of self. Do women lack that? I hope not.
98
@89 Your post makes me saddest of all. Is "Oh my god you look amazing" really a weapon? Did you just teach your son not to randomly compliment women? REALLY?!
99
@84 Yeah, when the guy got pushy, the pepper spray wasn't broken out. As I said, there has to be a line between a guy saying Nice Tits and then pushy aggressive behavior.
100
I've picked up so many new tools from this thread, and i think I can actually use almost every suggestion offered (aside from gun play). Next time some wanker tells me to smile, I'm going to tell him I'll wear my own face in any way I like, and he can fuck off. Next time someone says "nice tits", I'll say "Thanks. Sorry about your dick." And I WILL smile, and dear god, I WILL enjoy it!
101
Or the guy with his grip still on your arm as you pushed him into the street would have pulled you down with him.

And yes, I've had pervy old wankers ask me pointed questions about the nylons I was wearing that day.

@80: I am not going to THANK somebody for harassing me on the street. What are you, 12 and retarded? I'm going to stab him in the eyes with my keys. And you're going to have to deal with that.
102
@80: If I am walking on the street, and you decide to take that opportunity to, ahem "compliment" me, that is unwanted. I am not on the streets as a toy for you. I don't leave my apartment hoping to meet mr. right or have exciting conversations with absolute strangers.

I have places I need to be. Leave me alone, thanks.
103
@99: Nevermind. You just plain sound like you have no idea how to interact with women you don't know. Cheers!