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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:35 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
an alleyway (admittedly, not the smartest)


ah ah! don't "admit" anything! even dirty streets are public :P ...and YES those crassholes wanted you to feel bad! you are totally right! Besides: to yell IS a usefull solution -basically, anything they don't expect surprise them and 9/10 times they leave!!!!!! (booooo! cowards!)

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:40 pm 
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So true, Emilie. I, and any woman, should be able to be in any public space without being harassed. :)
I used to fear yelling, I was afraid of making a scene...but I didn't make the situation, so THEY should be embarassed. And you're totally right on the coward thing, they always are.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:56 pm 
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Honking and yelling is already terrible but the instances when they become more risky and personal, freak me out. I was walking to meet my friend at the store once and this guy driving a van pulled up in front of me, got out and ran over to me. I took off my headphones because I assumed he was asking for directions. He began by telling me how beautiful and sexy I am, then tried to get me in his van and said that he wanted to take me to dinner. I said no repeatedly and kept backing up. He wouldn't let up so I walked forward and passed him. He got back into his truck, drove forward and pulled into a driveway and cut me off from the other side of the sidewalk. He kept trying to get me into the truck and tried to guilt me by saying that he was new to the area and that I should go with him so that he would have a good time and no longer be lonely. I told him no, to get away from me, and I walked forward again. He did it a third time which I then told him that someone was waiting for me and I started running. I called my friend and talked to her until I got there. This was in broad daylight on a main road.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:32 pm 
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I just think its crazy that anyone could think that something like that is acceptable and maybe even romantic. And yes, I'm with Emilie.

I've posted about this before but when I lived in NYC, I had a guy follow me from the subway, and it freaked me out. I lived in a non-doorman building, so I went past my house to the nearest bldg with a doorman and yelled at the guy, and his excuse was that I was pretty and he was trying to ask me out. Like that makes following someone okay? And like someone who intended to hurt me is going to say anything different.

We are so socialized to avoid "unsafe" places because you get blamed if something bad happens to you, and that sucks. I don't ever feel safe in parking garages or dark places. I would rather walk an extra block or 2 to avoid being anywhere that even feels iffy.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:57 pm 
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There are definitely shady areas, but the truth is it happens anywhere and everywhere. I used to live in what was considered a sketchy neighbourhood and moved to a better part of town last year, and assumed that would stop. Nope, especially if I'm walking or at the bus stop, guys feel perfectly comfortable exposing themselves to me or making faces or cat calls. Its getting to the point where if it happens once, my entire day is ruined because I'm mad at that instance and I'm mad that its the x number of instances I've had to put up with :/ I spend the rest of the day mad and possibly having revenge fantasies or trying to come up with something devastatingly witty to say next time that would put them in their place.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:03 pm 
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Most of the time I end up feeling embarrassed, even though I know I don't have any reason to.

But it is embarrassing to not be able to walk anywhere without people feeling like they have the right to ogle you.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:13 pm 
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I once heard an interview where the person being interviewed (a man) said "Any man who has sisters, female friends or a mom, will understand being yelled at because of a misunderstanding. We know that the world is a tough place to be a woman." And so I feel better yelling at people who invade my space etc. Sad that I felt the need for "permission" though.

And people don't ogle me at this point, which is really, really nice. But I wanted to get stabby on someone whom I saw ogle a friend's kid the other day. Seriously, she is way too young to have to learn that you always have to dress for a male gaze and that how you dress is going to determine how people treat you. I wish my kid could grow up in a world where that wasn't the case and women could be as free as men are in their daily lives.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:43 pm 
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It is so nice to not be ogled. Just being in the world has become so much easier for me in that way since becoming a mother.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:08 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
It is so nice to not be ogled. Just being in the world has become so much easier for me in that way since becoming a mother.


Quoted for truth.

Whenever people say that women are "jealous" of the attention another woman is getting, its almost always men. There is so much freedom in not having to negotiate the world being constantly harassed.

I think its the amalgamation of guac, hummus and baby poo on my clothing combined with an air of befrazzled frustration... I recommend it to anyone. Its a great "fork you" to the male gaze.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:20 pm 
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One of the reasons I really like being fat is the only men who look my way are super hot, respectful dudes who just give me the eye-twinkle and then that's it. It seems like a lot of sleazy dudes don't like fat girls with tattoos, I think, because it challenges their idea that all women are aiming to please them. It's alright by me...more than alright, preferred!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:25 pm 
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I find that so interesting. You're so beautiful (sorry to make personal comments) that I would expect that you'd get tons of comments, but its a good reminder that the comments aren't about beauty its about... something else...

I've always wondered why you get so much attention for long hair too, even if you look way better with short. I remember getting my very long hair cut - walked down the street to the hair salon - tons of comments and cat calls. Walked out having left more than a foot of hair on the floor, silence.

I wonder what it means.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:29 pm 
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This Onion article couldn't be more timely to the discussion: Weird, Area Woman Wasn't Harassed Today.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:36 pm 
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Thanks, t'lish, you're beautiful too.

It's definitely not about beauty. It's about victimizing women. And perhaps, something about being fat and fabulous, or tattooed, or having short hair...shakes them up a bit. Maybe it says to them that this person refuses to be victimized by the pathological, limiting, horrible societal standards of beauty...and so would be harder to victimize on the street. I really don't know, but it's definitely a real thing that I have experienced in my own life. It's an interesting thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:42 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
This Onion article couldn't be more timely to the discussion: Weird, Area Woman Wasn't Harassed Today.

This was kind of perfect and brought up another issue. Guys who tell you to smile. They go out of their way to instruct you to smile for them. I was walking to the bus one time and the sun was in my eyes- so there I am trying to dodge traffic on the main street, not be late to my bus and try to be able to see in front of me. As I'm crossing through a parking lot, a guy comes off the main road and drives through the parking lot and stops next to me, which started freaking me out. Then he tells me that I need to smile and that I don't have to look so miserable. EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:42 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
One of the reasons I really like being fat is the only men who look my way are super hot, respectful dudes who just give me the eye-twinkle and then that's it. It seems like a lot of sleazy dudes don't like fat girls with tattoos, I think, because it challenges their idea that all women are aiming to please them. It's alright by me...more than alright, preferred!


I've never fit the standard ideal of beauty: short, fat, glasses, and I've always gotten less harassment on the street than my more classically attractive friends, for which I'm grateful. When I have been harassed, it's generally about my breasts, and I've even had them grabbed by strangers on the street, and once by a colleague (who thought he was being funny :S).

I have been called "fatass" on the street, (because apparently I wasn't crossing at the crosswalk fast enough). And I've been approached by someone who exposed himself and jerked off at me when I was looking possibly my most "unfeminine". I was dressed for a dig I was working on: work boots, grubby overalls over a baggy grey t-shirt, hair up and under a baseball cap. It was 6:30 in the morning outside of a suburban train station, and I though the guy walking up to me wanted directions or something. When I saw what was up, I just said "fork off!" and he walked away. So I guess they don't always target the most conventionally attractive women, or women dressed a certain way. I don't know what I'm saying, exactly. I know harassment is not about attractiveness and is about power differentials, but I do know I haven't experienced it to the same extent as other women and I do chalk that up to my "look" (maybe incorrectly).

Now that I'm in my 40s, I feel even less visible to the male gaze in both positive and negative ways.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:56 pm 
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It's not just about being ogled at, too. It's about people judging you and feeling entitled to tell you that you are something. I don't know if I'm explaining it correctly but for all of the ogling I've received, I've received just as much negative harassment. People who feel the need to tell me I don't dress the way they want me to, am not the size they find attractive, or that I would just be pretty if I didn't wear/do X, Y, Z, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:11 pm 
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Reading this, I find myself mentally preparing for the day someone exposes themself to me. Just how close do these people get? Close enough to kick?
I ride my bike all over the college town I live in, and I walk around the parks by myself on nice days. I haven't ever been verbally harassed in this town. I used to think it was because I look pretty young, but I think this is just a smaller town. My sister lives in Portland and has to deal with street harassment. She's much tougher than me. I am not very loud but I'm trying to prepare myself to be if I need to.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Oh, yes, so true, Mr. Shankly. Fortunately, I haven't received any comments like that, but I know women who have. It's totally disgusting.

I, too, have had someone expose themselves to me. Again, I was much younger, and I wish that I had done more than exit the premises. It was on a cafe patio, and the man just pulled up his shorts to show me. I was WITH MY HUSBAND at the time, but T.'s back was to the guy, so only I could see. I just packed up and left. If it happened to me now, I'd yell and embarass the fork out of the person who tried to make me a victim.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:48 pm 
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sisterlegume wrote:
Reading this, I find myself mentally preparing for the day someone exposes themself to me. Just how close do these people get? Close enough to kick?

It's actually better to ignore them because they get off getting a rise out of the people they're exposing themselves to and it encourages them to continue doing it because they're getting the reaction they wanted.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:47 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
Thanks, t'lish, you're beautiful too.

It's definitely not about beauty. It's about victimizing women. And perhaps, something about being fat and fabulous, or tattooed, or having short hair...shakes them up a bit. Maybe it says to them that this person refuses to be victimized by the pathological, limiting, horrible societal standards of beauty...and so would be harder to victimize on the street. I really don't know, but it's definitely a real thing that I have experienced in my own life. It's an interesting thing.


SO TRUE!!!!!!!
...Harrassment, "beauty" standard, instructions to smile or on how to dress (whatever the dresscode!)... It's all ONLY about DOMINATION... and by refusing to obey and conform to your assigned role of victim it you're just threatening patriarchy even more!!!!!!! :D
(how exciting!!!!)

oh and this dresscode issue reminds me of a slutwalk that took place here last year. I totally agree with the concept but what I felt the need to wear was old baggy clothes. Just to assess my right NOT to please... For sometimes I feel sort of an awkward pressure rather in that way ("be sexy! Tanz für mich!") ...

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Last edited by Emilie on Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:50 pm 
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(so I worn some old jeans. ...But actually I had not choice anyway, since I hadn't shaved my horribly hairy leggggs!) :D

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:55 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
I've learned to be tough as hell, and I will forking yell at people now. I don't keep silent. I get angry. I look them in the eye. I refuse to let them feel like they've successfully victimized me. fork them.


I take this approach as well. I'm not afraid to cause a scene, because I've long since been pushed past the breaking point with harassment and assault. Often it doesn't work, but sometimes it does. At the very least, it draws attention to what's going on, and the fact that there are more people watching makes me feel safer.


Another thing that has helped a bit is a ring. My partner is a jeweler, and made me a band to use as a faux wedding ring, in hopes that it will help quell some of the harassment. It has to some degree, though some men will still harass me even if lie and tell them that I'm married. I've also started carrying mace, and found myself using it on one occasion.

It kills me that I have to do this in order to feel comfortable just going about my daily business. Why can't I wait for the bus, or walk to the store, or go to the library without fear of harassment?


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
lepelaar wrote:
This Onion article couldn't be more timely to the discussion: Weird, Area Woman Wasn't Harassed Today.

This was kind of perfect and brought up another issue. Guys who tell you to smile. They go out of their way to instruct you to smile for them. I was walking to the bus one time and the sun was in my eyes- so there I am trying to dodge traffic on the main street, not be late to my bus and try to be able to see in front of me. As I'm crossing through a parking lot, a guy comes off the main road and drives through the parking lot and stops next to me, which started freaking me out. Then he tells me that I need to smile and that I don't have to look so miserable. EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?

Ugh, so much hate for men who do this. No one tells a strange man what emotion he should be expressing at any given point. I just tell them, "my puppy just died." I mean, I know they know I'm not serious but maybe someday one of them might clue in that they don't know what is going on in someone else's life so they should probably butt out.

I have been flashed five times in four countries... not one of them was close enough to kick.

Thankfully as I get older I get less of this shiitake.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:20 pm 
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DreamerSpirit wrote:
Another thing that has helped a bit is a ring. My partner is a jeweler, and made me a band to use as a faux wedding ring, in hopes that it will help quell some of the harassment.

I tried doing that. I even flat out told the guy that I was engaged and he said, "So, who cares? It's just sex."

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:22 pm 
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I'm utterly horrified at all your stories. I'm lucky to have lived in places where this sort of thing isn't a huge problem, I have no idea how I'd react- I'd probably just melt into a puddle of scared panic. It's just so forking awful. Sometimes (most of the time) I really don't get people. What goes through these people's minds?! Ergh.


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