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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » wolf-calls, leering, and obscene gestures-just another day

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Author Topic: wolf-calls, leering, and obscene gestures-just another day
echo
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Hi-I need a little advice girls, I don't want to seem like a cry-baby, but here goes:
I'm an older teen who recently joined the work force(whoo-ha)and I commute to work on the bus and light rail. Anyways, no matter how conservative I dress, I'm still the object of unwanted male attention. No, not the car-honking and whistling, it's the lewd comments(especially about my body)and...the well,I'll just say obscenegestures. It makes me so nervous when a guy shouts out I can suck his **** when I'm trying to make my way up the street. *Sigh*, that's a pretty mild comment, too. I know many young women deal with this on a daily basis like me, and I just want to know how you deal with it.

Posts: 14 | From: No.Cal | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
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Strange, but my recent experiences in SoCal involved men and women who, while friendly, were certainly not inappropriate with their attentions. I find that generally, unfortunate as it is, how much unwanted attention I get is related to what I wear, and how I carry myself, accept that, and when I get such attention, choose either to respond as I see fit, or ignore it, depending on how safe I feel.

Where are you located? Have you considered talking to local police departments about what's being done to make areas you feel unsafe in safer?

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Daydreamer24
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I was walking to the bathroom today during the middle of 8th period and like always, there were people in the halls and people walking and stuff.

So I had a hall pass behind my back (holding my hands on my butt with the pass) because I was afraid I might have a blood stain on my pants.

So these two guys walking a few yards behind me say "Hey beautiful!" and I keep walking. Again, they say "Hey beautiful, in the red shirt" ... again, I keep walking. "Hey beautiful with the hands behind her back." And finally I had reached the bathroom.

I was embarassed and afraid that they were going to follow me in there. I thin, even if you aren't kidding, it's an incredibly rude thing to say.


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Celtic Daisy
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I've only had one comment that i found really disturbing. I was downtown, which is where i work and some guy said 'nice tits'. It made me really uncomfortable and nervous and wanting to cry like. I chose to ignore it completely. I was afraid if i said something back i might just be in for a lot of trouble. I hate things like that, but i think you just have to choose to ignore them as best you can and hope they stop.

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mingo
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When I was in the Navy I saw a woman deal with a sexual harrasser in the most direct, effective manner I have ever seen. The guy was a self styled "Player" aways making sugestive comments, touching inapproprately and such. He did it to the woman I mentioned, arm around her shoulder and starting up with the sex talk. She took his arm off, looked him in the eye and said "Why do you do that? I'm not your girlfriend, I'm not ANYTHING to you." She did this loudly and publicly. He backed down, applogized and to my knowledge never bothered her again. This my not help in you case, but I thought it may be useful to see what worked in one case.

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Shadow Stalker
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The only thing I can really think of is how you carry yourself and what kind of message you project... No matter what you wear. It's like my younger brother who was always the target for bullies. He had really bad nervious and anxious ticks that SHOWED. His body language was extremely poor and he might as well have painted a target on himself saying "Please be an asshole to me" to any jerk out there. I really had to work on him to improve his style.
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confused333
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I can't stand that stuff at all. Yesterday I walk in the mall by myself and I get a whole lot of staring and little comments. It just makes me so angry and sometimes self consious. I guess there is really nothing you can do to completely stop it though...

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shining eyes
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Hmm... Well, if someone says something like "hey beautiful!", I feel complimented (if they didn't do anything weird--if they just kept walking or something they'd be fine). If someone says "nice butt" or something like that--I just wanna cry! It's so rude...you just don't walk up to a stranger and talk about how nice your body is.

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TXRebelGirl
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I have been saying for quite some time that I would be so pleasantly stunned if a man in a bar (or anywhere else) struck up a conversation by saying "Hey baby what did you get on your SATs?" as opposed to "Hey baby are you here alone? You like to party? How did you get so sexy?" blah blah blah. It infuriates me to be reduced to a body part (when thay say nice butt, tits, etc.) instead of being seen as entire human being that actually thinks. I am able to accept compliments, don't get me wrong - it's the WAY in which something is said. And while to a man, telling me "damn, you've got a hot Jennifer Lopez ass" may be a compliment, to me it's a little bit rude.

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Daydreamer24
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quote:
Originally posted by TXRebelGirl:
"Hey baby what did you get on your SATs?" as opposed to "Hey baby are you here alone? You like to party? How did you get so sexy?"

*LOL*

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badly_behaved_badger
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I get that a lot in a sarcastic sort of way (according to some, I am the least sexy thing to walk this earth). I find it quite amusing, when somebody shouts 'hello sexy' to wolf whistle back at them. It never fails to confuse the idiots who shout things like that As the girl with a wise-crack for every occasion, I could think of lots of come-backs to rude comments. If that's not your style though, just give them a mean look or ignore them, they're just being immature.
*Badger*

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alohamora
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First off, congrats echo for having joined the workforce, it must feel good taking that step to become (financially) independent!

Whoo indeed

Secondly, it's not a cry-baby attitude to share what you've experienced, for as you can see, this happens to many of us and can be a bit frustrating and daunting, but we can't ALL be cry babies.

To answer your question, how to deal with the situation....well i'm with badger, you can either ignore it or confront it.

It always makes me flustered and upset whenever this happens (and strangely enough, I get a lot of this when I'm driving), but I take a deep breath and, depending on how comfortable I am, or rather, how my comfortability has been tested, I'll just maintain or talk back. LOUD.

It's always fun breaking the stereotype of being a quiet little asian girl

Another suggestion though, have you considered taking a self defense class? Not only is it great fun with your mom or sister and other female friends but you can learn quite a lot.



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Zanney
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quote:
Originally posted by echo:
I know many young women deal with this on a daily basis like me, and I just want to know how you deal with it.

Deal with it? I so don't. If it's honking or whistling, I let it slide. But if it's disgusting comments (like you said), then I absolutely lose it, and go ballistic at them. I remember one guy doing it to me every morning for a week on a bus trip I was on, until I honeslty lost it, and started telling him what an inconsiderate, abusive, lower form of life he was (some people even clapped when I had finally run out of breath ). After that he was SO polite.

Now I'm not recommending you run around going off your nut at everyone who says something degrading to you (even though they probably deserve), but that's just how I deal with it. Like others have said, you can just ignore it, or you could come up with a smart-ass comeback.

Either way, I hope it eventually DOES stop for you, because it's not a nice way to be treated.

RA


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PoetgirlNY
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Today I was walking down the street by myself in a well populated area. A group of men in their 20s approached me, and one guy stopped and blocked my way, and then said, "Ooh! Pretty Green hair!" and then reached out to touch it. I said loudly and firmly, "Don't touch me." He said, "And if I do, am I going to get slapped?" I said, "Much worse than that, and I don't suggest testing me." He left me alone. Harassers don't usually expect women to be firm and loud, and if you are, they often back off. However, if I were somewhere that I felt less safe (say alone at night), I might have been less confrontational and just ducked the hand and ignored it.

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Celtic Daisy
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You're much braver and much more of a quick thinker then me Poetgirl! I was just thinking yesterday of all the things i could've said but didn't. I'll have to keep stuff like that in mind if unfortunatly, ipeople say stuff like that to me again.

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celery
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Yeah, male comments like that are horrible, but I deal with it pretty much everyday, the car honking a few times a day, comments on a regular basis, whistling, MANY older men staring and gawking...
It makes me kind of uncomfortable, but I've gotten used to it because it's been going on for a LONG time now.
You can't stop the jerks who say that since it's always a different guy, so my best advice is to ignore it, or if the guy isn't ina car or something say "hey, how about you shut up, I'm not an object, I'm a person and I really don't appreciate the rude comments you're saying to me, I'm SICK of guys like you".

grr the horrors girls have to deal with!


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Daydreamer24
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quote:
Originally posted by celery:
It makes me kind of uncomfortable, but I've gotten used to it because it's been going on for a LONG time now.

Yes, celery, but the thing is you don't HAVE to get used to it. maybe if you told every single person off that harassed you the world would be a better place and it wouldn't happen so much. People aren't going to stop on their own so I learned to say something back.


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TifaStrife
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Yeah, I agree with what people are saying about being strong and firm. I had a similar experience only a week ago, but it wasn't guys leering, it was guys mocking me. I was just walking within about a half-mile of my college campus and these guys I didn't know and had never seen before kept following me, saying "Fat ass" and "I'm surprised you haven't dropped dead yet from cholesterol", and "maybe you should lay off the donuts and do some situps, pig"

At one point I just turned around and said, "Listen, a**holes, I don't have time for this today, so just f*ck off."
And they did. Without any parting shots or anything. They just left.

Okay, so maybe that wasn't the best idea, and I wouldn't suggest it, but it worked.


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BruinDan
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Today I went out to run an errand in the afternoon. Since my destination was only a half-mile away, I elected to walk despite the 110* heat. I set out on my mission at a few minutes past 3pm, and found that I was the only lunatic out for an afternoon stroll in the unpleasant weather.

As I strode down the hill, a car full of girls from the nearby high school drove past. "Heeeeeyyy cutie, nice ass!" one jeered from out the opened window of her friend's SUV. I smiled and blew her a kiss in return.

Funny though, such things almost never happen to me. And for some reason, I'm feeling far less offended than I probably should and much more amused by it than most people in this thread seem to have been. I guess at this age, I'll take what I can get.

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Dark_Wolf
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With regards to this whole thing..I'd just like to say..
I find that the best way to deal with this, as badger earlier said, is to confront it or ignore it. It doesn't matter what you wear...that isn't what the people who do this are after..they are after your reaction. If you confront them, which I find is the best way to deal with it, then it usually, like 9 times out of 10, stops the losers from doing it. They don't want a public surprise from you..they want you to slink away embarrassed and with your dignity in shreds...so look them straight in the eyes, come back with a remark or if you aren't that kinda person, just try and stare them down..It works for me. Ignoring them does stop them as they are not getting the kind of reaction that they want...but it can have less effect than responding to them in the way I mentioned.
This really isn't related but it is the only example I can think of...
My mother was walking alone in a park at night..(NOT advised but she did it anyway) and a man jumped out from the bushes and flashed her. Rather than give him the surprised reaction he was after she just belittled him. 'Is that all you have?' my mother asked in a patronising tone. 'I have much more waiting for me at home...' He soon got the message and BAM! the tables were turned..he slunk off feeling rater stupid.
So don't let them bring you down...Ignore or confront...come on say it with me...ignore or confront...ignore or confront....=)

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Milke
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Uh, Danny, wasn't your arse grabbed by boys and girls alike in San Francisco?

Not all sexual attention is ill-intended, I think it's important to keep that in mind. It most certainly can be unwanted, and if that's the case then it's always appropriate to say so (unless doing so would put you in danger), but it doesn't mean the person responsibl wishes you ill. Some people are very open with saying whatever's on their mind, some don't communicate very well, and others don't relise that what they're doing isn't really appropriate.

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Daydreamer24
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One thing I feel unfomfortable with is being able to tell if they're being sarcastic or not. Especially if boys compliment me.

I don't usually have trouble accepting compliments, but some make me feel really uncomfortable and I don't know what to say. Any advice to this?

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witch_baby
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Over the summer I was an intern at a not-for-profit, and I rode the bus to and from work. Although what I encountered was not as bad as what you're describing, there was enough of it that I had to learn how to deal with it.

If it is someone who is just passing by, I just ignore them and keep walking, maybe roll my eyes if I'm not feeling tolerant.

Someone else mentioned posture - the is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!! So head up, shoulders BACK! You are a kick-butt chica and NO ONE can change that!

If there is room for a retort, let em have it. But keep you cool. Just keep in mind, no matter HOW un-politically correct it is, you're better than they are. I mean, what kind of slime gets pleasure form life from being a jerk?

SO yea... take care! I hope all these replies help you deal!

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'rin
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grar. this type of behavior really makes me angry as well. i'm not sure i care wheter the speaker means well or not...it reduces the woman in question to an object and is not cool in my mind.
if someone tells me i'm beautiful, or pretty, or that i dress well, or something general like that - i take it as a complement and smile and if i'm in a safe feeling place/he's a safe looking guy i may talk to him.
if someone comments on a particular part of my anatomy i'm apt to remind him that there's an entire person, including a fist, attached to that body part, and if he does not want an introduction to that fist he better back off.
not that i'm advocating violence per say, but the threat of violence is usually enough to get this kind of guy to back down. the only time i'd actually recommend violence is in the case of unwanted touching - it may not be politically correct to say so but if someone touches me in a way that i do not want to be touched, i consider that liscence to touch them in a way they do not want to be touched i.e. touch his jaw with my fist. but that's just my tempermental way of dealing with it.
i'd say that the polite but firm and loud advise above is probably a better idea.

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alohamora
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Just wanted to update what I posted before with a VERY inspirational retort taken from the book Kiss My Tiara:

Suffer, baby.


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B-Assault.com
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quote:
Originally posted by shining eyes:
Hmm... Well, if someone says something like "hey beautiful!", I feel complimented (if they didn't do anything weird--if they just kept walking or something they'd be fine). If someone says "nice butt" or something like that--I just wanna cry! It's so rude...you just don't walk up to a stranger and talk about how nice your body is.

Someone once told me I had decent hair, and I just said "Thanks" and kept on walking... some strangers are just nice


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southern belle
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I had one real uncomfortable moment--when I was 13 I was in NY for vacation and this guy shouted outta his car,"Hey fattie...[wanna do a degrading act that involoves my reproductive organ]?" (that was censored for obvious reaons)It felt so embarassing and hurtful that it had me in the victim stance (hunched shoulders, no eye contact) with guys for nearly a year.
But I finally realized this about the slimy guys that do this--I think it's a pathetic shout for help. They're so inadequate in being real men that they've resorted to treating women like second class citizens. Jerks/vermin men they're a part of life, but so are good ones, even though unfortunately they seem to be a smaller part. So keep your shoulders up, your head cool, and your snappy retorts ready. The weak minded creatures that jeer won't be able to handle your backbone.

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