The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About

image: Shutterstock
image: Shutterstock

There’s this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women’s issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Aren’t there more important things to worry about? Is this really that big of a deal? Aren’t you being overly sensitive? Are you sure you’re being rational about this?

Every. Single. Time.

And every single time I get frustrated. Why don’t they get it?

I think I’ve figured out why.

They don’t know.

They don’t know about de-escalation. Minimizing. Quietly acquiescing.

Hell, even though women live it, we are not always aware of it. But we have all done it.

We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.

It doesn’t feel good. It feels icky. Dirty. But we do it because to not do it could put us in danger or get us fired or labeled a bitch. So we usually take the path of least precariousness.

It’s not something we talk about every day. We don’t tell our boyfriends and husbands and friends every time it happens. Because it is so frequent, so pervasive, that it has become something we just deal with.

So maybe they don’t know. Maybe they don’t know that at the tender age of 13 we had to brush off adult men staring at our breasts. Maybe they don’t know that men our dad’s ages actually came on to us while we were working the cash register. They probably don’t know that the guy in English class who asked us out sent angry messages just because we turned him down. They may not be aware that our supervisor regularly pats us on the ass. And they surely don’t know that most of the time we smile, with gritted teeth. That we look away or pretend not to notice. They likely have no idea how often these things happen. That these things have become routine. So expected that we hardly notice it anymore.

So routine that we go through the motions of ignoring it and minimizing. Not showing our suppressed anger and fear and frustration. A quick cursory smile or a clipped laugh will  allow us to continue with our day. We de-escalate. We minimize it. Both internally and externally, we minimize it. We have to. To not shrug it off would put is in confrontation mode more often than most of us feel like dealing with.

We learn at a young age how to do this. We didn’t put a name or label to it. We didn’t even consider that other girls were doing the same thing. But we were teaching ourselves, mastering the art of de-escalation. Learning by way of observation and quick risk assessment what our reactions should and shouldn’t be.

We go through a quick mental checklist. Does he seem volatile, angry? Are there other people around? Does he seem reasonable and is just trying to be funny, albeit clueless? Will saying something impact my school/job/reputation? In a matter of seconds we determine whether we will say something or let it slide. Whether we’ll call him out or turn the other way, smile politely or pretend that we didn’t hear/see/feel it.

It happens all the time. And it’s not always clear if the situation is dangerous or benign.

It is the boss who says or does something inappropriate. It is the customer who holds our tip out of reach until we lean over to hug him. It’s the male friend who has had too much to drink and tries to corner us for a “friends with benefits” moment even though we’ve made it clear we’re not interested. It’s the guy who gets angry if we turn him down for a date. Or a dance. Or a drink.

We see it happen to our friends. We see it happen in so many scenarios and instances that it becomes the norm. And we really don’t think anything of it. Until that one time that came close to being a dangerous situation. Until we hear that the “friend” who cornered us was accused of rape a day later. Until our boss makes good on his promise to kiss us on New Years Eve when he catches us alone in the kitchen. Those times stick out. They’re the ones we may tell your friends, our boyfriends, our husbands about.

But all the other times? All the times we felt uneasy or nervous but nothing more happened? Those times we just go about our business and don’t think twice about.

It’s the reality of being a woman in our world.

It’s laughing off sexism because we felt we had no other option.

It’s feeling sick to your stomach that we had to “play along” to get along.

It’s feeling shame and regret the we didn’t call that guy out, the one who seemed intimidating but in hindsight was probably harmless. Probably.

It’s taking our phone out, finger poised over the “Call” button when we’re walking alone at night.

It’s positioning our keys between our fingers in case we need a weapon when walking to our car.

It’s lying and saying we have a boyfriend just so a guy would take “No” for an answer.

It’s being at a crowded bar/concert/insert any crowded event, and having to turn around to look for the jerk who just grabbed our ass.

It’s knowing that even if we spot him, we might not say anything.

It’s walking through the parking lot of a big box store and politely saying Hello when a guy passing us says Hi. It’s pretending not to hear as he berates us for not stopping to talk further. What? You too good to talk to me? You got a problem? Pffft… bitch.

It’s not telling our friends or our parents or our husbands because it’s just a matter of fact, a part of our lives.

It’s the memory that haunts us of that time we were abused, assaulted or raped.

It’s the stories our friends tell us through heartbreaking tears of that time they were abused, assaulted or raped.

It’s realizing that the dangers we perceive every time we have to choose to confront these situations aren’t in our imagination. Because we know too many women who have been abused, assaulted or raped.

It occurred to me recently that a lot of guys may be unaware of this. They have heard of things that happened, they have probably at times seen it and stepped in to stop it. But they likely have no idea how often it happens. That it colors much of what we say or do and how we do it.

Maybe we need to explain it better. Maybe we need to stop ignoring it to ourselves, minimizing it in our own minds.

The guys that shrug off or tune out when a woman talks about sexism in our culture? They’re not bad guys. They just haven’t lived our reality. And we don’t really talk about the everyday stuff that we witness and experience. So how could they know?

So, maybe the good men in our lives have no idea that we deal with this stuff on regular basis.

Maybe it is so much our norm that it didn’t occur to us that we would have to tell them.

It occurred to me that they don’t know the scope of it and they don’t always understand that this is our reality. So, yeah, when I get fired up about a comment someone makes about a girl’s tight dress, they don’t always get it. When I get worked up over the every day sexism I’m seeing and witnessing and watching… when I’m hearing of the things my daughter and her friends are experiencing… they don’t realize it’s the tiny tip of a much bigger iceberg.

Maybe I’m realizing that men can’t be expected to understand how pervasive everyday sexism is if we don’t start telling them and pointing to it when it happens. Maybe I’m starting to realize that men have no idea that even walking into a store women have to be on guard. We have to be aware, subconsciously, of our surroundings and any perceived threats.

Maybe I’m starting to realize that just shrugging it off and not making a big deal about it is not going to help anyone.

We de-escalate.

We are acutely aware of our vulnerability. Aware that if he wanted to? That guy in the Home Depot parking lot could overpower us and do whatever he wants.

Guys, this is what it means to be a woman. We are sexualized before we even understand what that means. We develop into women while our minds are still innocent. We get stares and comments before we can even drive. From adult men. We feel uncomfortable but don’t know what to do, so we go about our lives. We learn at an early age, that to confront every situation that makes us squirm is to possibly put ourselves in danger. We are aware that we are the smaller, physically weaker sex. That boys and men are capable of overpowering us if they choose to. So we minimize and we de-escalate.

So, the next time a woman talks about being cat-called and how it makes her uncomfortable, don’t dismiss her. Listen.

The next time your wife complains about being called “Sweetheart” at work, don’t shrug in apathy. Listen.

The next time you read about or hear a woman call out sexist language, don’t belittle her for doing so. Listen.

The next time your girlfriend tells you that the way a guy talked to her made her feel uncomfortable, don’t shrug it off. Listen.

Listen because your reality is not the same as hers.

Listen because her concerns are valid and not exaggerated or inflated.

Listen because the reality is that she or someone she knows personally has at some point been abused, assaulted, or raped. And she knows that it’s always a danger of happening to her.

Listen because even a simple comment from a strange man can send ripples of fear through her.

Listen because she may be trying to make her experience not be the experience of her daughters.

Listen because nothing bad can ever come from listening.

Just. Listen.

 

1,970 Comments

  1. I discovered whilst pregnant that all that shit stops once you have a baby bump. Occasionally a guy would try something or yell something but then get embarrassed and apologetic when they saw I was pregnant. Only one revolting weasel seriously propositioned me. “I’ve never fucked a pregnant chick before ! He said expectantly, like because I was single (my partner left me when I became pregnant) I should help him tick that off his bucket list.

    Of course I did the right thing and exercised and worked off the ‘baby weight’ after my son was born, but then it all came back. I even had a guy come and sit across from me in a train, whilst I was feeding my son, with his eyes traned on my covered breast area, hoping for a glimpse when I changed sides !

    I started to miss being pregnant and I started to eat whatever the hell I liked. I’m overweight and its bad for my health but as a rape survivor and a woman who has felt like a vagina on 2 legs since I was 12 years old, I will take all the “pig’ and “lazy fat c**t” comments and shouts any day. I NEVER get groped by men I don’t know and I’m mostly ignored. Not a good solution, I know that, and I was once indecently assaulted by someone I knew (an ex-lover who thought he was entitled) as a fat woman, but I am addicted to being ignored.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you are hanging around with a lot of men who think having your ass grabbed or feeling unsafe are topics to be minimized, you are hanging with the wrong crowd. None of the men I hang with consider that frivolous.

    If I could say one thing: if you want men to listen, don’t be counted among those beating men over the head with the “war against women”–especially when that BS that includes changing “manhole covers” to “personnel access ports, etc”. It’s one really good way to get good men to stop listening to ANYTHING further. Ladies, when we tune you out, it’s not too selective. Too many out there diluting your well articulated message with low-priority whining. Don’t be that, and I will listen to you all day and night. Works both ways.

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      1. Honestly I’m not sure how productive your comments are? Well possibly productive if your trying to vent?? “Hint” global thinking vs practical thinking.

        After reading this article a couple of years ago, I’ve completely changed and I’ve been avoiding and ignoring all females (not Mum) and so I’m liturlly doing everything I can to do my bit. And thereford I’ve made myself the completely opposite of those males described in this article. Pretty sure responding to messages isn’t threatening to anyone??

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        1. So… what? The only options are treat women like meat, or ignore them? Ignoring them is literally everything we can do? I can’t help but feel like maybe there’s a middle ground there? Like, I don’t know, treat the women around us as human beings with opinions and hopes and such? Maybe I’m just being weird, thinking things like that are possible, but it makes a kind of sense to me.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I personally have never treated a female badly or done anything like what is described in this article, I am however very guilty of occasionally perving and although I never tried to make it obvious (due to the embassment of getting caught) I’m sure I was caught and now realize how my actions would of sent ripples of fear to through the victims I was looking at.

          Obviously treating females like meat has never been an option, not even sure how come up with the thought with what and how I wrote the previous comment. In a attempt to help clarify myself, yes a middle ground would be great but there is no middle ground currently (takes the whole population to make this happen). So in the mean time while every single female is litturly terrified of males, the only option I have as one man is to avoid and ignore so I’m not seeing to be a threat. The only way I can think of showing respect as just one man.

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        3. You idiot!!! We like been looked at, especially when we’ve dressed up in such a way to show off our assets.. The issues are if you’re old or ugly and you’re looking, that’s it!! Oh and just because we want to be noticed DOSE NOT MEAN WE WANT TO JUMP INTO BE WITH YOU.

          I PERSONALLY find it extremely offensive that you choose to ignore us just because some stupid author couldn’t give a proper explanation, that a silly guy like yourself can understand. On how to act if you’re a single guy.

          DO NOT READ ANYTHING MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR seems like she only knows how to explain this in a manor that only us lady’s can understand. Who knows what the world would come to if every guy read this?? I’D HAVE NO GUY TRYING TO GO OUT WITH ME, NO BOYFRIEND, NEVER GET MARRIED 😤

          It’s ok to look, it’s ok to talk. Not ok to put us into a situation or hit on someone 5 years or more younger than you. If you come across a lady whos scared of you ITS NOT YOU FAULT if you haven’t done anything wrong, it’s her problem and you should just ignore it, Don’t read into it.

          PS:

          WE LIKE BEING LOOKED AT, TALKED TO AND TAKEN SERIOUSLY. If respectful…

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    1. It happens in public when we are not hanging out with anyone! How many times as a 12/13 yr old did you get honked at or whistled at or had sexual comments shouted at you while just walking down the road to the train station. All this behaviour is normalised in our society and men do it thinking it is harmless, but it isn’t. The greatest tragedy is then women start to value ourselves based on how attractive we are to men.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Speak for yourself, I’ve always been worried about how good I look TO EVERYONE and it’s just really empowering having someone notice and appreciate the effort I put into making my self up. Its a FEMALE TRAIT stop passing the blame game.

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        1. Oh wow that is depressing Rosie, I am sorry to hear that if you are indeed really a female. You think by being sexually harassed someone is appreciating the effort you have put in to look attractive? You only have value if you are sexually desirable and get hooted or whooped at or grabbed by someone you don’t know? A man can’t find a way to approach a female he finds attractive in a more respectful and human way?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I think the writer of the article is right, perhaps most men actually aren’t aware of how often it happens, and it isn’t just when a woman is dressed up to the nines. Women need to start talking to men about it, rather than just amongst ourselves. I can’t even count on my hands the number of times I have been harassed, grabbed, hooted and whooped at in my lifetime and I am not a women who spends hours and hours getting ready, I don’t wear makeup, I don’t wear fancy clothes. I just wear simple clothes and leave the house clean. I dread to think what happens when a woman actually does dress up to the nines!

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Guess I shouldn’t pass judgment on comments. Old people like my mum who’s now nearly 40 said it was a thing back in her day. So guessing it’s maybe a generational thing the old women had to deal with? Or a cultural thing? I’m Aussie, which given the details must be better than your country and so I must live in what is the best country in the world. Either way I haven’t had any issues, seems strange to me. Reckon I might have to venture out of Logan qld and see what the story is?

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        4. I am from the UK and this kind of behaviour is still really common there. : (. You must ask your mum what the women of her generation did to turn things around. I am in my early 30’s but I don’t think much has changed in the UK… : (. Actually now I live in a Muslim country and I haven’t been harassed, hooted or grabbed since living here. So I do accept there must be places it doesn’t happen. In the end the behaviour is learned and so it is cultural… and culture can be changed ….

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        1. Interesting. We have the laws in the UK but nothing really happens when you report these kinds of things so most of the time women don’t report, unless it is something major like rape. There was an article on the BBC news not so long ago when a lady had been walking to work each day past a building site and they had been verbally harassing her. The harassment was so persistent in the end she did report it. The local news then picked it up and she was ridiculed. Everyone saying she was making a big deal over nothing etc etc. Thing is though it should be a big deal. Why should a woman have to put up with being spoken to and treated like she is a piece of meat when she is walking down the road on the way to work, minding her own business.

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  3. This is one of the best articles I’ve ever come across on this topic. You summed up everything I experience on a daily basis but can’t communicate properly to the men in my life without them telling me I’m overreacting. Thank you for this.

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  4. Thank you very much for writing this. I am continents away from you, living in a country where rape is pretty common, among everything else that puts me on my constant guard. I can relate to every word in this post. EVERY GODDAMN SINGLE WORD.

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  5. Thanks for writing this article and giving me and many more men like myself a insight to issues we normally wouldn’t realize exsisted. The other night it finally clicked, I know it’s not much but the other night at the pub, I went in to play the pokies where I noticed a girl following me in and selected her ideal machine which by coincidence was close to me (we were the only 2 there) she keeped looking at me. I then remembered this article you wrote and realized there was every chance she was feeling at very least uncomfortable being the only other person in the same room as me and so I chose to stop playing and walked away back to the bar. Now I realize what every female gos through I will definitely put more effort into little jestors like this one. I know it’s not much but I’m guessing I’m not the only male that’s read this article and hopefully not the only one that is making little jestors like this one. Thanks 😃

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Umm, obiously she was trying to get noticed??.Why else would she follow you in?? If she was afraid SHE WOULD NOT OF FOLLOWED!!! And you completely ignored her??? You IDIOT!!! Shame on you

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      1. He sounds intelligent enough to discern what kind of looks she was giving him. Following him in just means they were walking the same way but he was first through the entrance. If she was truly interested she would have caught up with him at the bar.

        Ffs please stop calling men idiots when they are actually trying to listen and understand. We need as many allies as we can get. You’re perpetuating a myth that fuels the kind of behaviour this article is about.

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        1. By a strange coincidence the obviously not so life experienced Rosie was right. This girl I was referring to is now my girlfriend, some weeks later she ended up getting her freind to ask me on a date in her behalf.

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  6. ♡ this article so much, I think I’ve read it about 5 times now and I keep going back to it, as well as sharing it with others

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  7. Much of what you say makes sense. At the same time, it sounds like your opinion of the majority of men is extremely low.
    I hear you though; as a guy, there have been many times that I’ve witnessed other guys give women the laser beam “checkout stare”, and I’ve always considered it inappropriate, unless they were actually trying to make EYE CONTACT, versus simply staring open-mouthed at a woman’s body. Obviously, people will notice one another. Women will encounter guys that they find attractive, and they might even STARE for a prolonged amount of time; that happens too.
    But I understand that many women have to put up with these situations day in and day out, and a predatory male with a degenerate attitude could easily be a potential rapist. Yet, guys who don’t have an inappropriate habit of lewd staring are getting screwed over by those that do. And that goes for any other AGGRESSIVE, threatening or rude or even criminal behaviors that you could possibly name: “getting up in a woman’s space”, clearly sexual types of inappropriate touching/ physical contact, “cat calls”, “wolf whistles”, “checking out” girls that are obviously VERY YOUNG, and on, and on, and on. And that’s to say nothing of the aggregious crimes like rape, pedophilia, abduction, and so on.
    I gotta say though, as someone who engages in NONE of those behaviors, I’ve about FREAKING HAD IT!!! On the one end, there’s the scores and scores and scores of guys that give all men a bad reputation, or even a terrible one. Then of course, there are the scores and scores and scores of women that don’t like men, distrust men, bash men, hate men, make a mockery of the male species, and otherwise attack or seek to destroy men. As someone who is not part of the “herd” of men that act in the ways that you listed in your article, (the lewd stares, “checking out” little girls or teens, aggressive conversation tactics, inappropriate touching, swearing at women because they won’t talk to/go out with you, etc.), I’m REALLY SICK AND TIRED of getting caught in the crossfire.

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    1. Ugh. Rick, you were almost there. And then you used the term “getting caught in the crossfire”. That felt like you placed legitimacy in the behaviors by creating “sides” to be watched like a football game. If there is anything this election has taught us is that we need men to step up and repudiate this behavior and evolve their way of thinking about it. That does not condemn you and wrap you into the arms of “being at fault”. But we need men (and women) to stop seeing these behaviors as mis-placed sexual advances and male entitlement and seen them instead as violence and micro-aggressions meant to intimidate and “keep women in their place.” You may not do any of these things but you are still part of a system that benefits from it; you are more likely to get the job, the promotion, the choice to walk alone, to be alone with someone in a room, office, elevator, etc etc; you are less like be sold into sex slavery; less likely to be raped or murdered by a partner, because men see women are as sexual accessories. I’m glad that you “have had it”. I have too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with you totally. This was such a powerful post, and you covered EVERYTHING. You write so well.

    For me… it’s a little different. If I tell you something: will you not judge me? I’ve never had my bum pinched. I’ve never been wolf whistled. No one’s ever asked me a drink or tried to talk to me in a bar. I’ve never have to lie and say I have a boyfriend (I don’t.) No one’s ever stared at my breasts. No supervisor has ever tapped me on the ass, no barista has held my change out so I have to reach over him. No one has ever offered to have ‘friends with benefits’ with me. I’ve never been cat-called, made uncomfortable. I’ve never even felt in danger.

    Now these all sounds like good things. What’s entirely ironic is the LACK of sexism toward me has made me feel unfeminine. Although this things are awful, I crave them. And I’m ashamed to say that because for so many people these are huge problems in their lives, yet I WANT them to happen. What’s wrong with me?

    I feel so little like a women that a little sexism would make me feel more female. Even if it was negative. How awful and backwards is that?

    Anyway, a very well written and engaging post. Thank you.

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  9. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. dealing w a sexual harassment case at work involving many women and I sent this to them. I was the whistler blower. It did not happen to me. It I couldn’t handle seeing more of my friends treated poorly.

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  10. So this is what feminism is about now, not about economic or political equality or revolution or anything of the sort. It’s just that women are small and weak and “vulnerable”(males of course are never vulnerable) and they’re all sweet and innocent and then terrible bad men come along and “sexualize” them. Yes indeed men often look at women in a sexual way, and guess what women look at men in a sexual way, and sometimes men look at men in a sexual way and women look at women in a sexual way and when boys grow up this can be rather awkward and uncomfortable for them too, and boys get sexually abused all the time. So cry me a river middle class white lady, maybe the naysayers have a point. If only we could all just stay little innocent asexual children forever, like the Teletubbies, is that what todays feminists want?

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  11. But the tendency to de-escalate and compromise is why women are SUPERIOR to men, the ability to apply compassion and sacrifice for the greater good is the lesson that women are supposed to teach men. The answer to the question “Is this that big of a deal is simply, “Yes”. It is correct, they don’t get it, that means it’s your evolutionary duty to educate them.

    The problem is that everyone is looking at the tree in front of them that nourishes them and they try to protect their tree, and since their tree is the most important to them and they don’t really care about anybody else’s tree. The issue to address is that their tree is in a forest where every tree is as important as the next to maintain the forest. If you allow one tree to be diseased, you place the entire forest at risk.

    Right now we live in a forest with multiple diseases and infestations, and everybody is trying to treat their tree whatever means they choose, and with it all mixed together is just making the situation more toxic.

    The only way to assure the survival of individual trees is when everyone cooperates to treat the entire forest.

    If you want to fix your problem, you have to be willing to fix everyone’s problem, and you start that by creating this:
    https://1drv.ms/p/s!AoXPlyjz_r8dgUyQUT1f5PUmwvTK

    Women have been fighting for the wrong thing for far too long, it’s all just a trap to make you ineffective.

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    Like

  13. Where do the people in your circles work? You describe things that just aren’t true in my circles with respect on at work experiences – yet, it is portrayed as though it is an experience common to all women. I’ve been a manager for over 15 years and if butt patting were to occur in any of my workplaces, I am pretty confident it would result in a trip to HR and disciplinary action. Even a false accusation against a long term employee with no history of such behavior an accusation would result in immediate disciplinary action, future monitoring, and a big hit to the accused’s reputation limiting their future options at the company at a minimum. I receive training at least once per year on these topics that should just be common sense of how to treat people. This isn’t limited to where I work, even McDonalds can and has been sued for sexual harassment and takes steps to avoid it. There are real repercussions that most employers/business owners fear. Moreover, false claims can easily cost thousands of dollars in legal costs just to defend. I think part of why you find people don’t identify with what you are saying is that it just isn’t consistent with their experiences or the experiences of those close to them.

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    1. Not every company has an HR dept. You’re going to have to take the word of millions of women on this, that these things happen. Check out #WhenIWas on Twitter. My waitressing job where my boss kissed me? It was owned by his best friend who was no better and had hit on other waitresses himself.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If you report stuff you are seen as a trouble maker and are sometimes then targetted by the other males. Either sexual harrassment or just bullying.
        Sometimes its the boss who is doing it, and that creates a whole culture of harrasment of women workers.

        There is definitely a trickle down effect so your attitude is very important, but if you’re not spending time making it very clear to your employees that bullying and sexual harrassment will not be tolerated, it will go on and women won’t report it.

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    2. And by the way, scores of women identified exactly with what I was saying in this post. It has been viewed here alone over 2 million times, published in 7 different languages that I’m aware of, on large sites (Huffington Post published it in 6 languages alone.) I have watched the comments, the reblogs, the tweets and FaceBook shares and comments from women who identify. I’ve received personal messages from many. A post doesn’t get that widespread when no one relates. I’m not saying this to be snarky, I just really want you to understand that I didn’t make this up, this is a very real every day thing that happens all over the world and it usually starts once we hit puberty. In fact, that’s when it’s most intense. I hope you open your mind to this because I’m sure there are women in your life, whether it’s relatives or friends or coworkers who have run up against this type of thing. Who’ve had to “de-escalate” for a number of reasons. The more we are aware of it, the easier it will be for us to stop it. Our daughters (I don’t know if you have any, but I have two) need to know that this is a thing and they need to have the tools to feel safe and/or speak up. Sometimes speaking up puts your safety in jeapardy. But this is something we all need to recognize if we truly want to change it. Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your perspective. I truly appreciate it and welcome it. And appreciate you doing it respectfully (I say that because some of the comments got pretty ugly and hateful)

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Ms. Gretchen,
    Thank you so much for what you have written here. It touched me deeply, and as a woman I’ve experienced virtually all of the scenarios you’ve listed above, as has virtually every woman I know. Beautifully and articulately written.

    thank you,
    Ariadny

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve never felt the need to “de-escalate” a situation with a man. This is pure anti-man psychosis. I know many women who have no fear of men and any woman who FEARS men (in general) needs to get psychiatric help! The so-called “Women’s Studies” movement that started in the 70s has done nothing to help women and has only worsened the anti-man feelings of the (antiquated and nonsensical) “women’s liberation movement” of the late 60s.
    Rape culture my butt!

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    1. “It doesn’t happen to me” doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Isn’t it the least bit meaningful that this is a regular part of so many women’s lives and that it’s (probably) not ok for any of them?

      Stop taking such a myopic view – it’s not JUST work places, it’s not JUST streets, it’s not JUST bars etc. And it’s ordinary men, from ordinary walks of life, who do it when they know they can get away with it.

      It just happened last week. I went out for a run along a pipeline trail – it is very wide and sits between residential neighborhoods whose backyards butt into it. It was after dinner and the weather was looking a little ominous (like it was going to rain), so no one was around. But as I approached one of the hills, a man was walking down on the other side. As I continued up, he crossed over onto “my” side of the path. My first thought was “god dammit why is he making me break my pace to avoid him?” Then my body went into flight mode; “will he say something?” “what should I say” “is he going to jeer at me?” “how far could my scream carry?” “can I slug him hard enough?” “what do I do if he grabs me?”
      Nothing happened but how would I know? He crossed over to get in my way. In the animal kingdom, that would be a predatory act, kind of like peeing on territory.

      “Society” would say, “why did you run by yourself?”; “why did you run during a time when no one else was around?”; “why didn’t you just keep running straight into him”; why didn’t you go a different direction?; “Nothing happened, what’s the big deal?”; “Just say hi to him”; “Well, did you saaayy anything to him?”; “I would have said something to him.” etc etc etc

      Very few would ask, “what the hell was a guy thinking to cross over into your path?” So I deescalated – I crossed over, didn’t make eye-contact with him and held my breath until I knew he wasn’t coming back behind me. Gee, what a great run. Glad the problem is all in my head.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And yes we do need at least psychological help, and those that can afford therapy generally get it. I’m genuinely glad that you haven’t experienced sexual violence, but please show some sensitivity and respect for your sisters that have.

        Like

    2. My friend was raped in the butt. I’ve been sexually harrased since the age of 10 and have survived rape more than once. I was born with big blue eyes and silver blonde hair. I never grew breasts until I had my first child but that never stopped boys or men grabbing at what I had or for my crotch or bottom instead. Other girls experience this kind of harrassment due to growing larger breasts that attract unwanted attention, but sometimes you’re victimised because of intellectual disability, like another young woman I know.

      I’m overweight and middle aged and one of my son’s friends recently tried to booty call me ! Sometimes the behaviour is just disappointing or annoying but sometimes its a precursor to much worse.

      Maybe you got married young and didn’t work much outside of the home, or put on weight younger than I did, so you only get called a pig like I do now. Maybe you never ventured out without a male escort, to nightclub distriicts late at night when men are drunk and so you haven’t experienced that either.

      Whatever the reason you haven’t experienced what so many of us have and are sharing here, it doesn’t give you the right to deny our experiences.

      Like

  16. There’s so many comments, I can’t find if I’ve mentioned some of this before: I’ve been following the comments on this while I’ve been going through leaving an organization devoted to cultural transformation and a future of ‘just’ societies. There was a guy there who was a bit odd, and other people kind of shunned him, and being the underdog lover I am, I befriended him and was even flirtatious with him now and then. The organization met in person several times a year, so it wasn’t a daily thing, as we all traveled from different states.

    When I spoke to this guy about his ongoing wrist slaps about behaving inappropriately with women, especially given his stated hatred of women on numerous occasions with me (except for me, of course) he started threatening me. When I attempted to extricate myself, he wrote an email to both me and the head of the organization about his feelings of “murderous rage” and vivid, explicit fantasies of deadly physical harm towards me. The head of the organization and I discussed this over email for about six weeks in an increasingly bizarre exchange as he told me to go to therapy and apologize to the guy if I had said anything negative about him to anyone else.

    It was at that point we found out he hadn’t read the email, and he suddenly freaked out that he might be in danger of losing his license (he’s a licensed psychologist.) Things went from bad to worse as the head of the organization insisted on labeling it my personal problem, and ordered me to ‘work it out’ with the guy, who told me he wouldn’t threaten me anymore as long as I never said anything that he might interpret as criticism, because of the shame/rage cycles associated with his disorganized attachment disorder and masochist depressive narcissism, so if I said anything that he interpreted as criticism, it was actually my violence, not his, that came out as his rage, because he is nothing but gentle, kind and caring and I am cruel. He seemed rather benevolent about explaining this to me.

    I’m not hating on him for being a broken person. What continually blows my mind is that there is awareness among people that he has some kind of mental health issue, and he has gotten numerous wrist slaps about his behavior. I’m a 61 year old mother of two grown sons, who has no wrist slaps in her history with this organization. Yet, when that initial email happened, the head of the organization dismissed my concerns until he found out he was implicated — and I had done nothing to earn that lack of trust (except being a woman and being flirtatiously friendly with this guy on occasion.) I’m profoundly saddened that even within an organization whose mission statement contains all kinds of rah-rah about a just future, there’s a marked resistance to examining unconscious perping of this kind of injustice. I wrote to the board about two months ago and more recently an exit letter to the community, and have gotten some private words of support, I have heard nothing from leadership.

    So, thanks to all of you who are discussing this, as following this has been a friend to me while I navigate something that feels like a personal twilight zone, even though it’s real, insidious and part of our culture. I’d hardly be able to believe it if it hadn’t happened to me, and as I’ve gone through this experience, the threats are much less painful in my mind — I always knew the guy was unstable — than the responses about the threats. I made my choices based on some kind of bubble that at 61 I had left the harrassments of my 20s far behind, and that in an organization of shared values it was safe to reach out to someone who had personality problems.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Everything that I have read in this article as well as the comments has been cogent and enlightening. But i feel that what Bhowardthinks said earlier has been minimized. Thinking that all men are rapists and a threat is EXTREMELY PROBLEMATIC. As a black man such thinking is what gets me stopped by police while walking, held at gun point in back of my own house without explanation or apology. I’m not trying to minimize or compare threats but at some point you have to chose whether you’ll acquiesce to fear or rise above it. And this is completely separate from acknowledging and addressing the very real problems of misogyny and sexual violence perpetrated towards women. …. As black man the ability for non-black people, yes including women, to see me as something other than a threat is a matter of life and death. … A catcall is inappropriate and should be condemned but let’s not forget that many black men were lynched … most famously Emmett Till, for the alleged threat they posed to women, white women specifically. You could literally be castrated for making eye contact. This perception of black (and many other non-white) men persists to this day. Perpetuating the thinking that any one group is to be uniformly considered a threat will and has led society down a very dark and dangerous road. — So while I understand and appreciate the alarm reflexive fear based decision making rare solves social problems, it generally makes it worse. So yes all men need to step up and confront misogyny, harassment, etc. and believe and appreciate the experiences of our female family, friends, and even strangers … But the other side of that coin is we can’t walk around being afraid of entire groups from the jump …That’s bigotry and a whole host of other “isms” even when it’s for an ostensibly useful purpose. I’m not asking to feel comfortable with the terms of the feminist struggle … But i do ask that you realize that this shit doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Your reflexive fear could very easily get me killed or imprisoned. Just as any indifference and complicity on my part could result in similarly sever consequences for any number of women.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to be very, very clear. I do not look at all men as threats of any kind. I rarely look at any man as a threat. And perhaps I was too nuanced and didn’t make it clear in my writing. When the man passed by me in the Home Depot parking lot, he said “Hi.” I said “Hello.” I was not one bit concerned and I smiled as I said it. I did not view him as a threat until I heard him call me a bitch and berate me for not stopping to talk further. THOSE are the kinds of incidences I’m referring to. I can be out, by myself, and speak to a stranger. I can have nice conversations and this happens frequently, with men I don’t know. I am not threatened or worried. Am I on guard if I’m leaving a restaurant at night by myself and it’s dark in the parking lot and no one’s around? Yes. I hold my keys with my knuckles and I am vigilant. But the thought that you took this to mean that I am generally afraid of men or look at all men as threats is extremely upsetting to me, both as a woman and a writer. I love men. And I don’t want that to sound silly, but I have always had great friendships with boys and men throughout my life. I have men who have been my closest confidants. I make friends with men (and women) very easily. Your comment makes me feel like I failed in making my point clearly.

      The whole point of the post was to point out how pervasive it is over a woman’s life time. The little comments that come from creepy guys- NOT a nice guy giving a compliment. The two are very different, believe me. A compliment from a man is something I always appreciate. But those creepy comments, the kind not meant to brighten a woman’s day or make her feel nice, the ones that are overtly sexual and imply a kind of ownership and control over a woman’s body, those comments happen enough times and some times we call them out and some times (if we don’t feel safe) we walk by and ignore it. And all the times we are groped. Pursued after we said NO very clearly. These things can happen over a lifetime and become “normal” and it still doesn’t make us look at all men as threats. Sigh… I’m worried I’m still not coming across clearly. And I’ve considered writing a follow up to clear up this misconception that some have taken from my post. I have a son. I don’t want him to grow up in a world where men are demonized or made out to be dangerous. I have written many posts advocating for men. I’m truly concerned with how our society and the cultural norms we operate within affect men, women, people of all races and religions. I’m concerned with social injustice to ANYONE. I hope this clears that up. If not, please respond and let me know.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. No, you DO NOT need to write a follow up. The issue is that people are trying to tuck this very uncomfortable reality into a nice, neat category of nice guys versus creepy guys. But lets face it – nice guys can very often turn into creepy guys. I recently requested help from an ATT technician who was sitting in his truck in the neighborhood. It was a random request because we were having so much trouble with getting Internet access. We exchanged information and he then went the extra mile to assist me by escalating the problem to people beyond “customer service”. A week later, he texted me (at 7:50pm) to ask if I had gotten resolution. I was surprised with the follow up but wanted to be nice so I texted him back – and when I said “yes”, I also shared with him when the service was going to be installed – in a way to show/prove that his help resolved our problem. Well, a day before installation, he texted me and said “hey, go figure, I am going to be the installing technician.” I felt that he had purposely requested the install and it made me feel very uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable enough to go to our neighbor and ask him to casually drop by during the install time. Why? Because the technician had been nice, he had done me a favor, and when guys go out of their way for a woman, very often, they feel owed. I could be totally wrong, but guess what, how do you know the difference and still remain safe? Many women don’t live to tell this kind of story. And THIS is the dynamic, the nuance that directs our actions, our responses, our thoughts, our opinions and our fears. But guess what? People will blame me for responding nicely to a text; for telling him the install date; for “leading him on” so that he would do the install; for being by myself in a house with a complete stranger; for having even asked him to help at all. They won’t look at HIS actions or tell him to redirect his intentions.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, you’ll get blamed for being too nice, should something happen to you. And you’ll get blamed for being paranoid or bitter or thinking all men are rapists if you react as you did.

          You can’t really win, can you? That’s the double bind that women are almost always in.

          All you can do is be as cautious as YOU feel you need to be, and hopefully stay alive and unvictimized.

          Thank you so much for your comments about how the “nice guy” often turns out not so nice. Important.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. I have to agree with MAC67 & bossnotbossy; the problem here isn’t you, you’re not failing to be clear enough… there’s just something about this kind of topic where people*, even careful thinkers who pride themselves on being sure that they understand what’s presented before responding, just don’t bother to actually read what’s written. Sure, their eyes might track back and forth across the words, but all they seem to be able to take from it is, “all men are evil, and I’m afraid,” even though that’s neither in the text nor the subtext. Laurie Penny dedicated a chapter in one of her books to expressing so much compassion to those of us who’re stifled by the expectations of masculinity that it brought me to tears, but she’s still called out for misandry on a regular basis.
        I’m sure Statamind is fully aware of this on the matter of racism. Everyone who has called you out for man-hating is likely aware of it in at least one area: the socialists whose criticisms of our modern economic systems are misrepresented as mere jealousy and laziness; the secularists whose criticisms of religious sectarianism in governments are misrepresented as their trying to ban religion… etc. They may be adept in spotting it in their own pet topic(s), but it never seems to occur to them that they might also be susceptible to it for some reason, so they never bother to develop defences against the exact same failures of reason in themselves, and there’s really very little that you can do to get through to them until they do. (No, person about to angrily reply to this, I’m not claiming that feminists are in any way perfect or immune to that flaw – there’s a reason that terms like “white feminism” exist, and I’m pretty sure this is it. I’m also not claiming to be immune to it myself.)

        Err, so anyway, the point is that I don’t think you need to write a follow up either. That doesn’t mean I think you shouldn’t because, hey, you never know, a differently worded article might not trigger the same “oh no, misandry!” vision filter for all of the same people that this one does, and it’s always worth approaching the same topic from different angles at different times, but you didn’t fail to be clear enough in your original post.

        *#notallpeople(butmostpeople(okactuallyprobablyallpeople))

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Instead of replacing “all men” with “black men” or “Muslims”, try replacing the word woman/women with black men or “Muslims”.

      Like

  18. Well I haven’t read all the comments but the usual response when we DO tell them is.

    * That doesn’t happen.
    * It doesn’t happen that often/isn’t that bad.
    * You’re overreacting.
    * It’s your fault because of how you dress/act/respond.
    * It doesn’t matter if you just brush it off.
    * You just need to learn to stand up for yourself (or ignore it)
    * It must be really bad for men to think you are hot.
    * But you really secretly like it don’t you?
    * You just want attention/to play the victim.
    * First world problems. You think you got it bad? Look at how women are treated in Afghanistan.
    * I wish I could be objectified.
    * Not All Men are like that!

    Etc.

    Letting them know if not the answer. They don’t listen. They don’t hear.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. This texts resonates on so many levels. I am Italian, sexism is something very “subtle” and most people don’t admit there is any. I was 10,5 years old when a man put his hand on my crotch the first time. He was my guitar teacher. I was 13 and then 14 when it happened again. I was travelling in the subway with my classmates during a journey to Milan. I don’t recall doing anything special to attract attention. I don’t know how it works for men but women learn very early they are potentially in danger all the time.
    If you never mentioned it in your blog I would like to mention the Brazilian hashtag #PrimeiroAssedio https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PrimeiroAssedio You may read the original story here
    http://www.brasilpost.com.br/carol-patrocinio/quando-uma-menina-de-12-a_b_8348388.html

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I was routed here by Google under the search, women don’t know what men go through. Interesting it took me to the other gender, but I dove. After all I’m here to grow. I’m here actually, online to find sanity and peace of mind primarily in the moment right now just from numerous minor chronic relational frustrations. It seems that’s something we share. So though I’ve trolled before, I didn’t come here to troll but to take away value. I didn’t come here to empathise either btw or be a Mr. Rogers hero. I came here to take away value for myself in relating to people and understanding why they are that way, and take comfort in the fact that everyone faces obstacles.

    Alright, it was a good reminder of things I broadly understand about what women go through. I recognize more than ever that most American women take these things very serious, and are easily offended by any minimization. In communicating with such women, and I mean no disrespect, it is generally wise to keep ones mouth shut if one doesn’t have anything positive to say if you want her to like you. One could call this an uptight personality, and I prefer them who are not so uptight, but if they indeed face these fears and hassels every day I could see how it could add up.

    I don’t think thats the main problem though. When s girl has high interest in a man, she will walk over hot coals to get to him. I thought long ago an open gender dialogue would be the way to go but now I’m not so sure. We do have a crisis I think in our generation.

    Am I mansplaining? I’m only trying to give my perspective.

    I consider myself a man with goodwill to women, a protector of noble, kind honest women actually, but also a giver of sensual pleasures when consensual. Harassment or whatnot is the last thing on my mind, but I am certain numerous times women have taken things the wrong way. Yes I was born and grew up in the US and have travelled to many parts of the world and the sadfact is I struggle here more than anywhere feeling comfortable to be open and honest around women without them taking it wrong. If I can’t be at least somewhat open, what do I want with a person. Now I see this originates in their accumulated stress and fear, but I love women and want to protect those I consider if character. Every woman is eligible to be such a one. It starts with honesty, and if you’re a slut, be a discrete, and self funding slut ;). Anyway that said, I, and I think men in general have an image problem here in the US.

    There are things women don’t understand about what men go through daily, but I don’t think they care. I didn’t come here to change the subject though or even make points but to take value.

    My purpose investing time in this piece is to grow as a man, for the sake of such things as peace and pleasure in my life and the world. Note I did not day for the sake of being a better nice guy who is always there for her when she needs a tissue. Lol.

    Maybe it’s sick for us to focus on what’s bad I’m the world, and we should give more thought to how we can have pleasure. Healthy sustainable pleasure, but pleasure nonetheless. Women are strong. I know some women who don’t go through this type of thing, even in America, but like a duck through water. Maybe it’s something in their personality that can rebuff such advances from men, or put down or zingers, but they exist, and it might be good to model them.

    Not here to lecture, here to learn. Here to adapt, to the current culture of things, to have some kind of road map, to be able to avoid unnecessary pain of doing or saying the wrong thing. Thanks for your piece.

    Like

    1. “I am only trying to give my perspective.”

      Am I mansplaining? Yes.

      Stop trying to give your perspective. You ARE effectively saying, “women you are looking at this ask wrong.”

      “Not to lecture but to learn.”

      You contradict yourself at every turn.

      “I know women who don’t experience this, they just sail through it like a duck through water. ”

      This sentence tells me every thing in this around went over your head.

      Also, great job listing your good fit credentials. I’m sure you are “not like other men” but you have done every single thing we women expect a man to do.

      You are, in every way attempting to minimize our situation, while claiming to want to understand.

      You are talking out of both sides of your mouth!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Bossnotbossyblog nailed it but I will add that the fact that you only think women whose behaviour you approve of deserve protection speaks volumes. All human beings (and animals) deserve to not be abused and be protected or aided when experiencing abuse, regardless of whether we agree with their life choices.

      Here’s lesson number 1, don’t refer to ANY woman as a “slut’ ! The fact that you do shows you have a long way to go. The fact thst other women use this term too shows how much women can get caught up in seeking men’s approval.

      We shouldn’t need your approval to get your support when we’re being harrassed or attacked. If you truly want to change your relationship with women, start there.

      Like

    1. Hey, after reading loads of replies you made. I’m assuming that you nearly hate men? I’m not asking but I’m also going to assume you do have a very valid and just reason and I accept That your 100% correct in your decision.

      I personally USE to hate females, so much so I’ve had myself castrated (long story). I was never violent against them or even abusive, was always to scared to be or do any of that. Now after my castration, I’m not as worried and have no need for a female in any way shape or form and just find females attitudes annoying. So I’m definitely not of any harm, not interested in any contact what so ever and most importantly I have a idea what it’s like to hate the opposite sex just like you do.

      Up to you to view this however you wish, I’m not sure venting your anger on a website is constructive,especially when you write stuff in such a manor that will make a male get offended and possibly give them more “fuel” to carry on doing exactly what you don’t think they should be doing. Possibly professional help could be beneficial for you?

      Like

        1. Why? He choose to do what he did as an adult and isn’t harming anyone. Is it because you personally disagree? Even though you hate all men

          Like

  21. The only sentences that made sense to me are the last two:

    “Listen because nothing bad can ever come from listening. ….Just. Listen.”

    Because it sounds to me like God was guiding you right there. Why aren’t you listening to HIM? Coz 1400 years ago, He revealed in his guidance to mankind, how any woman can take ownership of her modesty without being subject to “play along” to get along.

    If you are interested, look for this spell-binding answer to all of your questions. It solves them. Honestly, nothing bad can ever come from listening.

    If you need help to point you in the right direction, I will.

    Like

    1. The book you refer to is about patriarchy which pretty much sums up what the author of the article is talking about. And “modesty” is about men deciding how women are supposed to dress and act; the exact opposite of what she is talking about. The bible or any other so-called holy book is the last place I would look for any advice let alone about how to respect women.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. IMy understanding is that Allah has no gender, so I’m not 100% sure what you are talking about, though “1400 years ago” points to the Quran, so I’m going with that.

      When I was in Iran I found out that “hijab” or “modest dress” refers to modest dress for both men and women as a way of keeping public space de-sexualized for all concerned. Though it’s true that I wouldn’t want to be ordered around in terms of what I wear, and Iran isn’t an example of the kind of society I’d like to live in (in part due to U.S. geopolitical games there in the past), I enjoyed being free of the subtle and not-so-subtle pressure to sexualize appearance in the name of Western ‘freedom.’ When in Iran, I played chess with a stranger in a hotel lobby and I don’t think I would have felt that relaxed about playing chess with a male stranger in the U.S. A big difference between that and the U.S. was he and I were both respecting the rules of Islamic public space. Something very different can happen when I’m playing by those rules in America and men are not.

      It might also be of interest to consider that the Ka’aba that Muslims face during prayer, was supposedly built by Adam and Eve when they realized the masculine principle was lost without the feminine principle and vice versa, So much tragic loss in the whole tradition of the people of the Book, and it pains me that the Bible and the Quran can be used to perp agendas that cause harm and suffering to women.

      Like

  22. This is amazing. I had to share it with my sister because just the other day we were talking about how difficult life is for women in Kenya. Every day I walk out of my house and I feel like I am in an episode of Mad Men because of how men treat us here. I didn’t know that women in other parts of the world are going through the same things we go through. And this is the 21st Century?? Thanks very very much for this article.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. And if she moves away in an elevator when you get on, and you notice she has her keys between her fingers, don’t feel bad that she thinks you might assault her. Recognize that she has no way of knowing if you’re one of the good guys or one of the others.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. This idea has some validity and we do need a societal change, a lot of them actually. But long-term how is this mindset helping? How is this mindset different from thinking “all Muslims are terrorists” and being afraid of them too? Are all white men uni-bombers? We could go on forever. I guess my point is, reaching out, when possible and as often as possible is a better strategy. One might find their fears reduced and some allies to boot.

      Like

      1. Your argument is a non sequitur. Men use their power and access to resources to intimidate and control women (and other men according to many replies) at all levels. It’s called patriarchy and it is safe to say ALL men benefit from this system.
        And “reaching out” has traditionally been about women changing themselves – the way they dress, the way they walk, where they walk, where they live, what they drink, how they talk, etc etc etc. The point the author is making is to stop putting the burden on women.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Whoa, you assumed a lot there. First off, I never even mentioned women changing anything, you said that. Secondly, I was referring directly to my own experience with women, as mentioned in my previous post. There is no “burden” being placed on anyone group more than another. I’m suggesting we could all benefit from reaching out, by which I mean we could at least stop assuming that the “other” is out to harm you. While we’re at it, lets be real, the “bad actors” are a minority, so to assume that every man presents a danger is unrealistic and not very helpful.

          Like

        2. The last time a woman could assume that “the other” wasn’t out to harm her was like never. And this isn’t just about physical harm. There is financial, social, reproductive, and even religious harm at play. You are not getting the social conditioning that happens; the messages that women confront every single day; the workplace innuendos from colleagues and superiors; the uncomfortable glances or comments from complete strangers. For a lot of women (I won’t put a % on it so it doesn’t cause myopia when you read this), confronting a guy does not fix the situation, it escalates it. And it’s not necessarily physical escalation. Sometimes it’s punishment – like not getting a well-deserved promotion, or getting a bad deal for a car or house repair, or even being treated like a child and dismissed; or being told “she asked for it”. If nearly 50% of women have faced some sort of sexual assault, there’s either a lot of bad actors out there or too many men being complicit and not denouncing this sick statistic.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. “The last time a woman could assume that “the other” wasn’t out to harm her was like never” – Your opinion, ill just agree to disagree.
          As far as the rest of it, I don’t deny any of what you said, I don’t even want to minimize it. What I am saying, is that other people have their own struggles as well. I do know that I am not a part of your problems, so to assume that I am alienates me, and frankly leaves me less caring than before. I’m not pretending to understand all that women go through, but the writer and yourself are asking me to care about it. In return I’m asking you to reach out. (once again, by “reach out,” i simply mean don’t assume I’m a criminal/rapist/whatever. Is that really asking too much from anyone, regardless of what ever oppression they are facing? I personally don’t think so…

          Liked by 1 person

        4. I pretty much make contact whenever I can, with anybody, and it has been a good thing for me. I pretty much walk anywhere, day or night, in any neighborhood, in various countries, and people tend to treat me as one of ‘us.’ I fully agree that reaching out is the best thing we can do as humans.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. I can only assume you have never been “oppressed”. You are conditioning your “caring” on whether they alienate you or not, which shows the patriarchy from which you benefit. Why do you have a choice? Because you never have to prove that you actually aren’t part of the problem. Radical thought.
          And the problem with me not assuming you’re a “bad guy” is the consequences I pay when I am wrong. Did you know that more than 1/3 of men in college would rape a woman if they could get away with it? So if 1/3 would do that, imagine how many more would do insidious shit that perpetuates my feelings I am expressing to you. And to reach out would mean all that social conditioning to which I was exposed is gone – I was taught not to walk alone, not to leave my place of work at night without an escort, to never get rowdy in a public place, to sit like a lady, to be demur and benevolent, to defer to the male colleague who interrupted me, to wear clothing that “doesn’t send the wrong message”, to not “put out” (like sexuality is only a guy’s thing). And the issue is if I break with this conditioning, if I break the mold, it starts the escalation cycle to which I referred in my previous response to you.
          Essentially you are asking “me” to trust you when really men haven’t done anything to show they are trustworthy.

          Liked by 1 person

        6. If being black in america doesn’t count for anything, then i guess your right. I know nothing of oppression, not in the slightest. Aside from that, I think there are many women, who don’t agree with the practice of painting all of a group with a broad brush, even while admitting there is a problem. Even in this post you are making assumptions, that may apply to any number of interactions between women and men, but certainly not all. You are also mentioning things that, I have never even hinted at.
          Further more, these consequences you talk about, I dont get. (Its clear you never read my previous post – I mentioned getting a weird look or reaction for just saying good morning in passing – at work!) Its not as if, by giving me the benefit of the doubt (and saying hello or good morning), you place yourself in danger. You dont get magically teleported to a dark alley with me. You dont end up in a bar with me force feeding you drinks.
          At any rate, I wont argue anymore, if you can’t offer enough civility to not assume an automatic threat, then good luck with life. For those women who can see me as human and not a serial rapist, I support you wholeheartedly.

          Liked by 1 person

        7. I see you as human, and I appreciate your comments to this post. Let none of us forget that dehumanizing is considered one of the eight steps of genocide. I don’t think any of us can afford to dehumanize each other, and given the current state of police killings of black people, I think you have shown great compassion and restraint in your comments.

          Liked by 1 person

        8. If I think about it, I have never felt threatened by a black man like I have by a white or Hispanic guy. I have never ever felt any threat from Asian men. This says something about the power structure.
          I also think being a black man and being a white woman in this society is very possibly similar (I wonder what perspective black women have).
          And while not all white people are racists, I believe I have a responsibility to call it out when I see it, to demand equality for everyone, to help create a system that does not benefit or control one group over the other. I do that because I know that the system is rigged, not because a black person gave me their benefit of the doubt. For decades, black people have been subjected to police brutality. We should have been outraged when ANY citizen died in custody of a public servant. Sadly, it is ONLY because these incidences can be caught on video that white people actually believe the reality – otherwise the (white) system works in favor the police. So (here come A LOT of assumptions) you can’t tell me that when you get stopped by a cop, you give him the benefit of the doubt of being a good cop. I am certain “you” have learned to adhere to a strict code of behavior in order not to escalate the situation. It is very similar for women. Like I said, so often when a woman sticks up for herself (breaks the mold), things escalate because women are seen as objects to be controlled, not be in control. It’s about the power structure. Again, the escalation may not be rape, but getting called a bitch, cunt, slut, whore, or followed, or turned down for a promotion or paying more for a car, or whatever the outcome simply for being powerful is something that hits deep. It affects your being, your spirit. It makes you feel like an object, powerless. And just like the cop who gives a black guy an unwarranted ticket, that’s the intent, whether conscience or not…

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        9. You are making this about YOU. “I’m not like that.”

          “All men are not the same. Don’t generalize. ”

          It invalidates a woman’s experiences.

          Maybe “not all men” but YES ALL WOMEN experience this.

          Your solution of “reaching out.” Just makes me feel like you missed a HUGE chunk of what was said.

          Like, it just sailed right over your head.

          Liked by 1 person

        10. It sure does sound like you are saying, “if women would just not assume the worst of men and reach out and extend trust that will fix the gender realations and then women will be safe from these aggressions.

          That is just not so, and if the opposite of what the author is trying to show you.

          You DO seem to be suggesting that women change the way they interact, suggesting that somehow we are the ones responsible for the sexism towards us.

          Also, you mentioned in your first post that you thought some of the things mentioned were minor.

          I read NOTHING that seemed minor or blown out of proportion. Your attempt to minimize it shows that you still don’t get it.

          You seem more sincere than most, but you are doing the things that most men do. Defend themselves, fail to believe that we are actually describing our experiences, etc.

          Ask yourself- WHY is it so difficult for you to just believe that what a woman describes as her experience is accurate? What makes you assume that she must be exaggerating?

          As A black man I believe you have experienced the share of oppression. But often times people can understand the oppression that they experience and not the oppression they don’t experience personally.

          Just as many white women can see make privelege and still fail to see white privelege. I feel like you may be aware of white privelege but blind to make privelege.

          What do you think might be an exaggeration? Holding your keys between your knuckles at night? I was taught this as a young woman in my early 20s, by an older friend. If we manage to escape fear for a while, society in some way will teach it to us. This is not made up or exaggerated. Ironically, I always felt LESS SAFE walking home alone at night AFTER I learned this technique than I did before!

          If you think there are ANY exaggerations in the author’s account, you need to back up and examine why you don’t believe her- 1. You’ve been taught not to believe women’s own accounts of their experiences. And 2. It doesn’t seem real it frightening or whatever because it’s just not your experience.

          I assure you, these things are true. Keep working until you believe them. Fully and completely. Then work some more until you *feel* them.

          Women don’t feel unsafe because they unfairly stereotype men. We feel unsafe because we live in a world that is unsafe for us, and men constitute a huge part of that danger. It doesn’t matter if ask men rape. It matters that all women are evenly vulnerable to being raped (usually by a man). It doesn’t take “all men” it takes a system that makes it pretty easy for *any man* to do it and get away with it.

          You really need to stop telling women that we need to reach out and stop generalizing, because that is not the cause is the problem. You are, purposely or not, flipping the blame for us being victimized onto us, and suggesting in actuality that we make ourselves MORE vulnerable.

          It would be like a white person saying that if black people would just reach out and trust the cops and not assume they are all the same, that they would stop getting harassed and shot by them.

          Liked by 1 person

        11. bhowardthinks, please ignore that woman. She clearly has not dealt with her own difficulties in life with as much grace as yourself, and is simply too angry to hear anyone else out. It’s women like herself that give feminism a bad name, and scare off many well-meaning men like yourself.

          I spent two hours trying to figure out how to make an account with wordpress simply so I could say that to you. – Turns out it was my own adblocker getting in the way. Go figure.

          Anyway, I hope that you continue to try and listen and communicate with the women in your life about their struggles as women, and your own struggles as a black man. Neither of them are easy.

          Liked by 1 person

        12. I really feel like I have to jump in here. bhowardthinks, you might say that ““The last time a woman could assume that “the other” wasn’t out to harm her was like never” – Your opinion, ill just agree to disagree.”. The thing is, as a man you have the privilege to assume that women do not have the collective experience that has been written about in this blog post. I do not know you or your experience but unless you are transgendered and have lived at least some of your life as a woman you cannot understand in a deep visceral way the gut wrenching fear that most if not all women live on a daily basis. I have personally experienced EVERYTHING in this blog post as have most of the women I know including my 23-year-old daughter. In fact, I just yesterday got a phone call from her because some guy came into her work and wanted to go out with her for a drink and would not take no for an answer. She told him she had a boyfriend. She told him that she wasn’t interested and still he persisted. She snuck out of work 15 minutes early and risked the ire of her boss and her job security just to avoid having to deal with this man. She phoned me on her way home to ask what she should have said. My daughter is not a “wilting flower” – she is a fierce, powerful young woman and still she didn’t know what to say. As for me, I was molested by my uncle when I was very little. I had a father who, even though he loved me, talked continually how women were not as good, not as logical, not as smart as men. My first boyfriend used to compare me negatively to all the women we saw on the street. My first husband raped me over and over for 6 years. On top of that I had all the experiences other women talk about – men cornering me, grabbing at me, forcing their attention on me even though I tried all kinds of ways to say “I don’t want to talk to you” nicely because that was what was taught. Over and over I had men rub up on me on crowded commuter trains. I’ve had men call me cow, slut, bitch, f’ng c*nt, when I have not done what they wanted. You might say, well, this is just your experience. But the thing is, it’s not. It is the experience of most women. I would say that all women have experienced some of it. And I consider that I live a life of privilege – I’m a white, well-educated women, middle-class, just retired from a professional career with a good pension living in the Global North. I know that I have a gifted life. I also know that women who do not have the same privileges that I do live what I have listed here and a lot worse. Do you know anything about female genital mutilation? Do you know about the systematic rape of women by the Jangaweed in the Sudan. Do you know anything about they way young women in south and southeast Asia are sold into sexual slavery? Have you read anything about the hundreds of young women in Nigeria who were kidnapped, how their schools were burned and their teachers were run off? Please, before dismissing a woman’s opinion by saying “I’ll agree to disagree”, try – really try – to think of how her life might be and why she might feel that she needs to be distrustful of men. She probably has some very good reasons. I know I do.

          Liked by 3 people

        13. Although I agree with blowhard’s comment that the “bad actors” are a minority, the author of this piece was talking about the prevailing treatment of women over the years. Men have always been in charge, based in large part on the assumption that it’s just supposed to be that way. The author’s intent was not to paint all men as serial rapists. Blowhard’s replies truly show a lack of understanding or empathy for what men have put women through over many decades.

          I would like to add, however, that a new survey of college students, one of the largest ever focusing on sexual assault and sexual misconduct, has reignited the debate over just how big a problem sexual assault on campus really is. Among female college students, 23% said they experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact — ranging from kissing to touching to rape, carried out by force or threat of force, or while they were incapacitated because of alcohol and drugs, according to the new survey by the Association of American Universities (AAU). Nearly 11% said the unwanted contact included penetration or oral sex.

          The Huffington Post recently published a study indicating that nearly one in five college women were victims of rape or attempted rape during their freshmen year, with the most falling prey during their first three months on campus. The article refers to a study published May 20, 2015 in the Journal of Adolescent Health, and included results of a survey of 480 female freshmen at a university in upstate New York in 2010. The results confirm other research that has found about 20 percent of women are victimized by sexual assault in college. A Centers for Disease Control report last year showed 19.3 percent of women are victims of rape or attempted rape during their lifetimes.

          How can women not be concerned about this issue? The statistics are alarming. Things are getting worse, not better.

          Liked by 2 people

        14. Let me clarify, since I kind of left it in a bad way before. If I don’t make any sense here I give up. I don’t mean to say that the author referred to anyone as a rapist. That comment was in response to one writer. Secondly, I think there is a difference between the birds eye statistics you offer and interactions with an individual. Despite our difference’s we should be able to talk to each other.
          Responsibility – I get that men at large have perpetuated crimes against women. However, treating the individual man as if he’s responsible for the crimes of the “group” doesn’t add up for me. It’s similar to me holding all white people responsible for slavery, or assuming they are all KKK members until they have proven otherwise.
          At best, this is a bad starting point for dialogue. In reference to my own experience; whats the harm in a simple good morning as you pass? At least it serves to build some civility between us.
          Lastly, whats the take away for me? Give me three things I can/should do to make any difference at all.

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        15. you sound like the kind of guy we want to be around, but there is no way for us to know if your cheerful “Good Morning” is going to either be A: just “Good Morning” or B: “Good Morning” , then “Why don’t you talk to me?”, then getting punched in the face or shot in the chest. Because the men who do this look just like the men who don’t, they smile, they may be well dressed or not, they act cheerful and friendly like they have an interest in me. but as soon as I don’t return the same level of interest, either because I didn’t notice, am in a hurry and can’t converse, don’t have an interest in talking to this person, or don’t want to date or give my phone number to this guy, I become a target of violence, and it happens in a flash. Some of these guys already have it in their mind what they are going to do to the next girl that rejects or fails to respond appropriately to them, and there is no warning or way to know that THIS guy is a psycho instead of being You. What can you do to make a difference? Be the man you are and want us to want to be around. Stop another guy if you see one bothering a girl and she seems uncomfortable, Confront a guy if he is catcalling a girl. Call the police if you see it happening. It may seem “silly” but it won’t be silly to the girl who doesn’t die that day, because you were a man and the other guy was a predator that you could stop. Don’t let your guy friends cat call someone. Be a Good Example for them. Teach your sons that girls don’t want to be catcalled but like to be appreciated as a person. Teach them to give a compliment without expecting something in return. That’s what a compliment is, in fact, a gift given freely without expectation of reciprocity. Teach them to compliment real things, not the girls body. “Excuse me Ma’am? I wanted to say that I like the dress you are wearing, It’s pretty” or ” Hey, that’s a cool hat you’ve got!” Not “Hey baby, Nice legs!” or “Hey, I’d like to get in bed with YOU!” We would appreciate that, and we will still say “Good Morning” to you as well.

          Liked by 2 people

        16. While I love the idea of being able to reach out and get to know anyone I feel you’re missing something essential in this instance. It may not be safe.
          I had a friend for seven years who I loved, trusted, and respected. I would have trusted him with my life and after seven years of knowing him he raped two of my friends within three months of each other.
          If I cannot know my then friend well enough after seven years to see his violation of my friends coming how can I really make the judgement call about a stranger I walk past on the street?
          I get your wish that women not assume the worst in every man they encounter but it is dangerous not to do so and until that reality is changed it’s not practical to make another choice.
          The threats of violence inherent in many of the encounters I face on a daily basis are my reality and I have to do my best to protect myself through preparedness and de-escalation and yes that probably shuts down many productive encounters but I’m just doing my best to stay safe.
          All of that being said if a man in in front of me in line at the grocery store strikes up a pleasant conversation I’m not going to be unkind or assume nefarious intent but if, afterwards, he follows me into the parking lot you better believe I’m going to call my mom and talk to her on my way to the car so that there’s a witness of things escalate.

          Liked by 1 person

        17. We would love to do that… But, in most cases, it is better to be safe than sorry, and that’s just one sad part of the whole picture. ;/

          Liked by 1 person

  24. This is a truly remarkable piece. I, as a man, do not typically objectify women. I’m not one of those “conquerors” that have slept with dozens of women. At 56 years old, I have only slept with six women. Two of them were my wives. One was my fiance. The other three were women I was in a long-standing relationship with. A lot of my friends are women. I worked with mostly women during my career as a paralegal. Also, I believe being a writer gives me a “default setting” of being kind and gentle and respectful. I think writer’s (true writers) don’t look down on others, abuse others, or objectify anyone because of their sexuality. What pisses me off most about this issue you’ve adeptly written about is the number of rapes in the military and on our college campuses. I am including a link to my post in April of last year regarding campus rape. I would love to hear your feedback.

    http://theaccidentalpoet.net/2015/04/22/dark-clouds-on-the-horizon-campus-rape/

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I have to say, I like this article. I agree with the arguments made even if not the absolute tone (minor issue, I get that you are making a point). I like that you provide a different perspective and some insight into what other women may be thinking.

    It makes me wonder, “Is this what women think when I say ‘good morning’ in passing?” I don’t understand all that women go through (don’t know if I ever could), but I’m not “that guy.” I’m married with my own family, don’t want anything from them. In fact, if stopped for a conversation after a “good morning” I’d be slightly surprised.

    I mention this because I get the “what do you want from me” look from women often enough to take note. It’s a bit irksome, to be honest. Some days, I won’t even bother to speak to women I don’t know (which occasionally makes women more nervous, when I pass without a word). I’ll pause here to mention that I am a 6’3” African American male. I have my own struggles, I’ll leave it at that.

    Intellectually, I feel like I should be more sensitive to this issue (and regarding my wife or female family members; I am quite concerned). Generally though, I don’t find myself as concerned as I might be. I’d like to have a free exchange with everyone I meet and hear their stories; given a chance I’ll do just that. However, when I feel I haven’t gotten a fair shake; it’s hard to be civil let alone reach out.

    I see the words, I don’t yet understand the story. I’d like to at some point. I can’t help feeling that the solution is a more common denominator; something more central to the human condition. Hopefully there is something that transcends gender/ethnicity/etc. If not that leaves us fighting our own private wars, in our own little bubbles.

    Hopefully this is not interpreted as dismissive, just another perspective.
    Either way, good read, you have me thinking.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’ve been meaning to respond to your comment and I’m sorry for the delay. What you said here really stuck with me. First, I didn’t find your comment dismissive at all. I think it was thoughtful and comments like yours are one of the reasons I write about these issues. I want to have discussions with people who are genuinely interested in understanding each other.

      As for stopping to speak to women you encounter… I just had a discussion on Facebook with some friends regarding this. It’s all about intention and tone (for most of us.) A man saying “Hi” or “How are you” or even “You look really nice today” in a friendly tone is (in my opinion) a nice gesture. Who doesn’t want a friendly greeting or a nice compliment? When this happens to me, I smile and respond or say “thank you.” I don’t look at men as the enemy and I have been incredibly lucky to have wonderful relationships and friendships with men throughout my life. But here’s where things get tricky. Sometimes a seemingly friendly “Hello” turns into aggression (like my incident in the Home Depot parking lot that I mention in the post.) I said “Hi” in return and really didn’t think anything of it until I realized that he (and his friend) had turned to watch me continue walking and he started saying angry things, calling me a stuck up bitch for not stopping to chat further. Even though I smiled and said “Hello.” So, you see, there have been numerous times (for most women) where an initially friendly comment is followed by aggression or anger. I personally choose to assume that most guys are nice and hope for the best. But I completely understand and relate to why some women are on guard from the start.

      None of this is meant to divide us or separate us. I want to understand what men go through as they navigate the world and socializing as a man and dating and loving as a man. The same way I want men to have a better understanding of what women experience. I think understanding where each other is coming from is the first step to having a productive dialogue and subsequent action. On that note, one of the things that stuck with me about your comment was “I’m a 6’3″ African American male.” I don’t for one second assume that it’s easy to walk in your shoes. (Or any man’s shoes, for that matter.) A few years ago Quest Love wrote a beautiful post for The Huffington Post after Trayvon Martin’s death. He discussed the daily difficulties of walking around as a large, imposing black man. How he goes out of his way to look non-threatening. I cried when I read it and it pissed me off. You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to look less imposing or less threatening. YOu shouldn’t have to feel like a friendly “Hello” is received as a threat. THAT is part of the problem. These things I write about affect women, but they indirectly affect men in a negative way too. (with both sexism and racism) And I’m sorry that you’ve seen some of that in your own life. But I’m grateful that you are sensitive enough to read this, comment and engage in a way that is trying to make things better.

      Lastly, as to what you can do? Be understanding when your wife or daughters or friends experience these “small” aggressions. Be patient and don’t take it personally when women don’t want to receive your friendly gesture. And most importantly, call out men when you see bull shit happen. Hold them accountable. I don’t know if you read about Killer Mike breaking ties with his friend and publicist after he was accused of sexually harassing a female singer. This is the most recent example of a prominent and successful man doing so publicly that I can think of. And I thought it was powerful. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rapper-killer-mike-calls-on-men-to-fight-sexual-harassment-in-the-music-industry_us_56a0ea90e4b0404eb8f05b68

      I hope this clears some things up or answers some of your questions? If not, please let me know. I intend to write about this aspect of it, how men are affected by all of this, and if I’m not coming through clearly I’d really like to know.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Well first off, I do appreciate you responding. Your thoughts are clear to me, and thanks for ideas on what I can do to be better. The only thing I can’t stress enough is that both men and women want to be treated as a person first and foremost. Once that happens, solutions follow naturally. I’m looking forward to your next post.

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      2. Yes! I just wanted to chime in and agree that it’s a tone, an intention. Plenty of men of all sizes and races say hello to me on a daily basis and I feel no threat, only friendliness. But you can sense when there’s something more there (making a wild guess, I’m gonna say 20% of the time) and that’s when it makes you fearful. You sound like a friendly man with whom any of us would enjoy a nice chat. I love your concern.
        And I LOVE this article! Great job.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. OK, one man can be a sexist, but why other women didn’t help us to clear the situation.
      I believe every woman is been in situation when shared that she is feel uncomfortable and her friends just rolling eyes.
      I was on good job, but almost full year I wore a fake ring and photoshopped pic with an actor for boyfriend in my wallet, just because most ladies into the office do not want to stand on the side of the work ethic, and to stop our supervisor sexist humor, they just waving a hand and said: “he speak this way only because she is single”, “is not big deal they both are single”, “you are free people, so what”. It’s so humiliating and makes you feel helpless.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Pingback: Impulse || Home
  27. Well I’m a South African who worked and lived in several countries of the world ( so called Muslim countries and Christian countries).

    I totally agree with your article in many ways. Women everywhere I went struggle with what you are pointing out in this article.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thanks for your post.

    I recently left an organization devoted to cultural transformation. I’m 60 years old, and though I haven’t had any bad experiences for some decades now, I certainly retained my street smarts.

    Oops. I assumed that being in an organization devoted to cultural transformation meant that everyone had a certain maturity. I didn’t know about personality disorders then.

    Over time, I minimized the escalating threats because I didn’t want to lose my relationship with this organization because of the fucked up behavior of one man. I finally reached the end of my capacity and convinced myself I was being paranoid to think that the white man in charge would respond in that ‘old school’ way, and spoke up.

    Despite the fact that over time women avoided working with this guy, and that he came right out and said he had been honing his ‘parasite’ and ‘con artist’ skills at the organization, when he gave a vivid description of the ways he’d like to murder me with his bare hands (in response to my expressing concern about some of his behavior), this was seen by the man in charge as my personal problem, and it was suggested I go to therapy. I was also told that in order to continue being part of the organization, I had to ‘work it out’ with him.

    Out of curiosity, I did have some conversation with this man. He said he wanted to make reparations for those threats, and then started explaining how he couldn’t handle anything that he interpreted as criticism, and if I said anything he interpreted as criticism, well, then, I was responsible for unleashing ‘the monster’ in him, and that it was my violence, not his, that caused it, because he was nothing but generous, kind, and giving. (I’m not making this up.)

    I confess that I had been living in kind of a bubble and thinking that issues of white male privilege and violence against women were exaggerated – surely we had made progress on this score? (I had spent a lot of the last two decades raising two sons and being involved in the horrendous mess called “public education.” ) This was a jarring awakening to the insidiousness of the issues, both outside, and inside. I was truly aghast at the kind of permission this man was receiving, and shocked when I became aware of how I had played along by minimizing, overaccommodating, acquiescing when I was afraid of this man’s rage, etc.

    When I write this down, I still have trouble believing that it’s true, and I know there are still people around who would ask what’s wrong with me, what did I do to deserve this, how did I ‘ask for it’, etc. But the truth is, it’s business as usual. This situation reminds me of a job I had in my 20s at a kite factory, when a man working there was arrested for domestic violence, and the owner of the business bailed him out, invited him to live at his house, and promoted him to manager of the three women who worked in the factory. In part because my station was right next to his, I seemed to be his preferred target, and he started threatening to put cigarettes out in my face, made fists and got up real close to me, etc. We finally had a meeting about it, and the owner told me if I apologized to the manager, I could keep my job. Needless to say, I walked out that day. I still have trouble believing that’s true, even though I lived it.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. For me…what I find really sad..i love women and femininity..and it is the males who don’t know how to treat a women, that often spoil it for those of us that do. I find it sad, that because of this situation, often when i walk past a women..she will not smile..make no eye contact..look angry or unnerved. I just want to apologise for the behavior of others that has made so many women defensive, fearful and distressed…It is such a delight when a girl/women has the confidence to look me in the eye and simply smile ..as I smile.. and we make a brief contact as human beings.. acknowledging each other’s being…

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  30. There is great truth in the article regarding the everyday reality of women, not only in Western culture but also worldwide. I enjoyed reading it and, although I can agree to an extent that there might be hints of glittering generalities present or hyperbolism in some of the phrasing, with respect to all the particulars it is a truthful article with honest insight into the struggles of women in “a man’s world”. To the females reading the article and commenting that you have not had the experiences detailed in it, I congratulate you and hope that your life continues in this manner. It would be wonderful if we could all line in such a world as yours. However, given that I can relate directly to most of the situations outlined here – moreover, I will attest to the general knowledge that most women can share regarding feelings of minimization and what we call the “common sense” of being a woman – I feel that the author has done a good job summarizing the struggles. Any woman I know well enough to be privy to her personal experiences, has a story relating to undesired advances or attention that is more than ‘uncomfortable’ but, in fact, dangerous. It was my husband that made me realize how little a man knows of these things. Just as I can never put myself into the place of my husband, he cannot put himself into mine. I will not know the struggles of a man in our culture, I can sympathize and listen with interest, console, or offer solutions. My husband’s world and my own are very different, but even as a couple he did not fully understand. No man can. And those men who comment with what you feel to be insightful remarks of how what women feel, say or think is irrelevant because you know better what life is like for them, you are mistaken. I do not presume to understand life as a man, therefore I ask that you not do the same towards women. My husband understands better since we became parents to a daughter. Situations that once did not disturb my husband if I had entered into them alone (or, if they did disturb him, he did not let on to me unless he felt I was in imminent or immediate danger), suddenly these situations made him as uncomfortable as they did me if they pertained to our daughter. One day, he suddenly began mentioning that she should not be allowed to go to someone’s home, especially overnight, that we do not know exceptionally well. She should not drive alone at night without a cell phone, walk alone to her car at night, go to a deserted or dangerous area alone. Although I would say that no one should do these things and of course, I agreed with him in all these cases. When I asked him why he suddenly became concerned about this, it was not because these are bad ideas in general. It was because he worried she could be attacked, raped, or overpowered by a man. But it took forty years from him to make these connections. Connections that I, and most women I know, understand by the time we are teenagers – if not sooner. Of course men get into fights as well. Of course men understand what danger is and how to handle it. What we woman have to fear is so different from men, I see how it can be difficult to perceive. And beyond just the dangers of being a woman, why is it seen as being a prude if we do not welcome the advances of a man? Is it uncomfortable? In many cases it is. Is it appropriate? Usually not. Is it dangerous? Who knows. Should I endure a man’s harassment with silence, or respond with a smile? A nod, reply, chuckle, or frown? Should I keep walking, working, or moving past him as though it did not happen? If I say “no”, will he hear “yes”? If I leave, will he follow? If he follows, will he harm me? Rape me? Kill me? Do I have a weapon and if I do, what if he is harmless? What if I get blamed for this? Did I pay any attention to how low my top is, how short by bottoms are, how much skin I am showing? These are just a few of the questions that run through women’s brains. Does a man worry with such things? Does a man have to consider if his shorts are too short to claim self-defense, or prove he did not want to be attacked? Does a man have to worry about being told he wanted it to happen because he went outdoors wearing his favorite outfit? All men are not devils. All women are not angels. It requires understanding from both sexes/genders to make this issue one that is more universally understood and, hopefully, corrected. But blaming, shaming, finger-pointing, name-calling, anger-provoking, feeling-nullifying dismissal of either side is not helping.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Thank you for a provoking and well written article! Even though I subtly agree with a part of the critique (not all women go through all of those experiences, but a vast majority go through at least a couple of the experiences) I think there’s one important thing to your tone and possible lack of nuance: this shit has been going on for ages and equality isn’t given when asked for in a nice and obedient manner. Just look at the responses here… The more intense the inequality, the more legitimized the bluntness of the response. I’d just be very sensitive to differences in experiences between womxn, so not to alienate some womxn or construct a too inclusive category (2nd wave vs. 3d wave debate).

    Frankly this is what I, as a white privileged bisexual cismale, miss: you sum all that shit up and your request is only that we listen? I mean that’s the very least we can do. We need to reclaim what it means to be a good man, and man the fuck up. Speak out against sexism amongst male-friends and in a respectful manner engage in meaningful discussion with (wo)men about the topic. At the same time we can’t’claim’ the topic, nor fight this fight for womxn. We can fight alongside, but that’s about as far as we can go without reproducing the problem of stereotypes of womxn not being able to fend for themselves.

    Which brings me to the following point of critique: your article also implies that many womxn are allowing men to remain the problem. I’ve seen girls get harassed -groped, being kissed against will, danced with against will, etc.- at the dance floor (eventually we told the drunk dude to go home) but only after awaiting her response. Which should be a slap in the face and a proud shout to get lost. Instead she smiled and politely declined (a couple of times because he clearly didn’t accept no for an answer). You sketched out the depth of the fear and shame but I’m afraid that there is more action required for this nonsense to come to a full stop. The shame and fear need to go and I would like to engage in a discussion on what the role of men should be there.

    A lot of the problems you address, like womxn being less strong, also reproduce that as a reality. It’s not feminine to engage in martial arts, practice diligently, and fight back. I’ve also noticed many womxn severely underestimating their own strength when it comes to sports, moving and carrying things around, playfully fighting, etc. There are physical differences but it’s averages only. In many situations the womxn can be stronger than the men. I would love to say: it shouldn’t be like this and womxn should be able to walk the street without fear of rape and cat calling, but that’s not the reality right now. So while we’re working on stopping sexists and sexism I think it’s important for womxn to break through that shame and fear and own it. And us men should back you up in any stand of, against bosses, friends and disco-harassers.

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    1. She’s referring to men in the streets. Unless you live in a bubble and never commute to work or wherever you spend your daily activities, then there’s always going to exist strange men in the streets, in the public transportation, etc.

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  32. actually frank, this is dead fucking on….i just started transitioning male to female, im 30 and grew up male…i never even noticed any of this shit and didnt until i wasnt part of the tribe so to speak…now i notice that it doesnt even matter if i look nice, i think i smell different and i get shit…guys trying to shout me down, hit on me, grab me, pet my fucking hair, i dont feel safe walking alone at night anymore….this is fairly eloquently put….its not that u dont care or are wrong, im not saying that, im just saying u dont get it, like i never got it…..until it HAPPENED to me….if u knew how accurate this was you would constantly be angry about the way your female friends and loved ones are treated, but it rolls off their backs because its always, and it doesnt do any good to get you all pissed off….then they just have to9 minimize it and calm you down…which is 20 or so minutes you will never get back you could have spent doing ANYTHING else…..just chiming in….

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you for articulating this so clearly for me. As a privileged white male etc etc I have no idea how pervasive this behaviour is and am deeply saddened by it.

    But yeah, speaking up about it would help us understand it. And try not to worry about the opinions of the naysayers.

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  34. This is absolute reality, stated with clarity. Before anyone criticized this or the author, I challenge you to spend a day listening and observing, and ask yourself if you would be fine with watching your sister or your mother or your daughter or your wife/girlfriend experiencing these moments in your presence. If it wouldn’t, then ask yourself if you would be fine being treated that way. Challenge your own expectations of how a girl or woman should be treated.

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    1. You should have made it gender neutral otherwise you are ignoring the real problem. The real problem is with how we treat people in general because treatment like this happens to all genders.

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  35. I wrote a long script re this article but somehow clicked and deleted it !
    so this is gonna be short…lol…

    brilliant article Gretchen Kelly never thought I would ever read something regarding this…and I have been about for quite a few years…so I commend you.

    For all those of you here either trivialising or going on about victims I can only assume you have obviously not experienced this unwanted behaviour… because if you had you would see it differently.

    …and in my opinion..i do think it is a serious number of women that have suffered such unwanted attention…..

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  36. I am in my “older” years…..and for all those women here who have never experienced what Gretchen Kelly has written you don’t know how lucky you are……From the age of 12 being groped by an Uncle to unsolicitated comments and unwanted touching on crowded trains etc. etc., was all part of my growing up experience….and on into womanhood.
    One time while chatting away to female friends…the matter of unwelcomed male attention came up and the number of those friends who had experienced similar occurrences was practically two thirds of them….and all expressed how cautious it made them with regards to the opposite sex….
    Unfortunately it is easy to trivialise this behaviour or make remarks about victimhood…obviously made by people who have never experienced it…. but I regard this article as quite unique in stating it as it is for quite a serious lot of women(in my opinion)…and how it has been …its not a new thing after all…but it needs to change….

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  37. Im sure if leo decaprio called you sweetheart at work or smacked your ass it wouldnt be “sexual harassment” you would post that all over facebook.

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    1. I’m only sure of things that are certain, not possible or even probable. Our baselines for certainty aside, what exactly is that supposed to prove?

      What I infer is this: If a lady is ok with one persons advances she must be ok with every persons advances.

      However I’m sure I must be wrong so please enlighten me.

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      1. ” If a lady is ok with one persons advances she must be ok with every persons advances.”

        That’s not what they said and you are just trying to make them a victim again with what you are inferring. And why not make it gender neutral? You made a choice to make it about a “lady”.

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  38. I’ve followed this blog on and off since November. What strikes me the most is the tone of those who comment and want to deny, reflect, or project onto the nature of this topic. If they disagree, why do they become emotionally abusive? It’s like they hate the fact that they can’t control a woman – a woman speaking her truth, or truth on behalf of many many many women. There’s an irony to that.

    Another thing that surprised me is the childish response of the men who say, “well it’s just not a problem for women.” Isn’t that a point of this article? Pointing to the fact that it is men (many, some, a lot, not all) who create this state of reality for so many of us? Isn’t that a terrible tragedy? We have one life on this earth and there are men who choose to prey on others, to misuse power and our culture accepts it?

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  39. During my youth my interaction with opposite sex was mostly positive. I have met some male fools but they shamed themself with their words and behaviour not me.
    Now in my company almost all employee are women so on daily basis I don’t see and hear such shameful words and behaviour. My country is relative safe so I never felt insecured when I walked alone at night. I cannot imagine going through those experiences on daily bases. But I know that this is a reality of many women.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.”

        That quote is from this article. Read it and think about your comment.

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    1. Thank you so much David! And I’m grateful that there have been so many men (like yourself) who read this and appreciated it. Thankfully, the positive responses have far outweighed the negative.

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    2. You do realize that a few females actually responded and agree’d with Frank. Not to mention how you painted and entire gender with the same brush with your remark.

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  40. This is simply one of the best articles I have ever read you have a completely describe my life thank you for having the bravery to write this piece I wouldn’t have realised and have just done exactly what you have said all my life I won’t any more thank you

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    1. Thank you so much Alexsandra. Any time you, or any of the others who read this, say something like you said it really means so much to me. It makes it *that* much easier to deal with some of the trolls who have been frequenting this comment thread. Thank you. ❤

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  41. Amazing text. The other day my husband and I were talking about a quote we saw online that said “when a man goes to prison, his biggest fear is being raped. Little does he know this is a woman’s biggest fear every day”. I told my husband that when I walk alone at night and get scared of something happening, I’m glad that I take the pill, so if I get raped, at least I won’t get pregnant. I said it like it was nothing, like it was a completely natural thought that didn’t mean much. But it was when I saw the shock and sadness in his face that I noticed how crazy it is that we women don’t even realise we’re taking precautions like it was our duty, like it’s naturally our responsibility to keep ourselves safe from men.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Nicole. That is a powerful story. And THAT is exactly it. We just go about our business not really thinking about these things and are mostly nonchalant about it. I think having a teen age daughter and son are part of the reason I started to realize how often I shrug these things off. I don’t want my daughter to shrug these things off or to have to think (albeit subconsciously) this way. Thank you so much for your comment. Your point about men fearing rape in prison is a powerful way to illustrate the underlying fear. I wish I’d thought of that and used it in this post! And absolutely would help to clarify things with some of the people who keep telling me that men experience every thing I wrote about. Sigh…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand how you feel, trying to make these people see the truth can be really frustrating at times. But still I like to think that society is evolving into something better. It may seem like we’re only taking baby steps, but the fact that these matters are being discussed at all is promising. 🙂

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  42. “It’s the reality of being a woman in our world.” If you change woman to person and you’d be closer to the truth. Actually this Frank guy said it well so I have to repeat it: (… Every. Single. Time) “is something almost everyone of every gender does in their head all the time.”

    “We are aware that we are the smaller, physically weaker sex.” Well most men have the same experience. Most men are not the strongest or biggest and most men will have women that are stronger than them (fewer but still some) and no excuses to turn to like: oh, I’m just part of the weaker sex.

    go read this – it should help: https://psy.fsu.edu/~baumeisterticelab/goodaboutmen.htm

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    1. A 1985 US Army study found out that women have 63% of isometric strengh of men. If you want to extrapolate that with the fear of other men, you are saying that you are a 63kg guy in a world of 100kg men (that’s 138lb vs 220lb for the metric impaired.)

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  43. “I get the comments … Every. Single. Time.”

    Looks like you need them again, because they are true more then ever with this piece. Most of these fears are fears you have created yourself so you can live in your own little whiny paralyzed victim-hood existence and demand special attention and sympathy. Most of the listed analyses you do in your head about all these situations … is something almost everyone of every gender does in their head all the time. No one things its special (besides you) because it isn’t.

    There ARE more important things and real issues, but dealing with them would require you to wake up and face reality. This would take away your special victim credit and attention which you have worked so hard to cultivate. Thus you must keep that from happening. Hence this piece you have written here to try and wave away the important questions you get asked “every single time” while still pretending to be magnanimous instead of a just a common place narcissist with a victim complex you have enslaved yourself to.

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    1. No. I’m in no way saying that men don’t have their struggles. Hell, I’ve written about it. I am appalled at the pressures and expectations placed on men in our society. None of what I’m saying here is intended to negate or diminish what men go through. That is just as valid and important and I can only write about that on a limited basis because I don’t fully understand it as I HAVEN’T LIVED IT.

      What I’m trying to point out is that women go through this so often it’s become normal. The threat of sexual assault is always in the back of our minds. I have polled most of the females I know and have had input from many who have commented or Tweeted or messaged me after this article. Every single one I have spoken to or heard from experienced something (usually at a young age, at least by the teen years, younger for some) that sexualized them or made them feel unsafe (even if only for a moment) with a man. Sorry if that makes you feel uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable too. AND I’M NOT SAYING THAT MEN HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED IT EITHER. But the frequency and the ever presence of it with women is probably something a lot of men are unaware of. BECAUSE MOST MEN ARE GOOD GUYS WHO DON’T TREAT WOMEN THIS WAY. AND THE SLEAZY GUYS WHO DO, DON’T DO IT WHEN OUR BOYFRIENDS/HUSBANDS/BROTHERS/FRIENDS ARE AROUND. (and I firmly believe those sleazy guys are the minority. I have always had a lot of great guys in my life- friends, boyfriends, co-workers and acquaintances)

      I don’t live in fear. I don’t walk around in fear. I’m an independent woman living a magnificent life, I live with joy and an optimistic outlook. I travel alone, I am strong of mind and body. I lift weights, I run, I investigate and learn and always try to evolve further and be better.There is no victimhood in what I wrote. No, there is recognition of something that acknowledging and being aware of makes me stronger. And from the words of an astonishing number of women who’ve read this, empowered them. Do you know why this went viral? Was published in over six languages and featured on big sites (Huffington Post and Upworthy) and had almost 3 million views on this blog alone? Because it struck a nerve with so many women. If this was a narcissistic piece about a shallow and self absorbed writer I highly doubt it would have spread far and wide like it did.

      As for “real issues” just so you know this is a common deflecting/side-tracking comment that makes me LOL. I write and talk about “real issues.” Lots of them. Education, racism, poverty.

      I wrote this to have a dialogue, a good discussion. And I’ve had so many great discussions about this. With men and women. I’ve had discussions with men who didn’t agree with everything I wrote. And they were great discussions that were enlightening to me and I think to them as well. It’s sad that people step in here and have no desire to engage in productive and mature conversations and dialogues. They throw around words like “narcissist” and “victim” and I guess that makes them feel better about themselves? I don’t know. I’ve never walked into someone’s house or entered their blog or page or article and just spewed venom. If I take issue with something I say so in a productive way. I truly believe that there are so many sides to any issue. That if we listen to each other and hear what the other has to say we can learn and understand each other better. Your comment leads me to think you have no interest in that at all.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Gretchen, Frank didn’t even mention negating or diminishing or ‘what about the men’ – you automatically tried to justify yourself with that! The females you’ve polled are likely to be of the same mindset as you, but I can assure you I don’t fear sexual assault every time I go out. It’s not in the back of my mind all the time. I have what’s known as ‘a life beyond my own self’. When you say there is no victimhood in what you wrote, that is completely untrue. Your piece here oozes victimhood. If in fact you don’t experience it, then why do you claim to even know it? You don’t know, because what you have written is not fact. It is nothing more than the politically correct opinion to have, and you’ve likely been as brainwashed as the rest of the braindeads from the women and gender studies classes! You haven’t left room for discussion. You didn’t call for discussion. You made a series of assertions and claimed they were facts. They aren’t.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Very well said!

          Gretchen Kelly, You made a terrible blunder when you generalized the feelings of so many women, and the actions of so many men… Starting with the title “ALL WOMEN”, which really makes it ‘clickbait’, and has been proven false enough times here..
          I’ll gladly give you the benefit of the doubt and say perhaps it’s true WHERE YOU LIVE, but I know it doesn’t hold true where I live. Where you live this may need to be addressed, and good on you for that, just don’t use a sledgehammer to drive a tack.

          Furthermore, how does ‘victimhood’ of getting catcalled come into being? I’m quite sure it starts early.. Lets say a young boy likes and stares at a young girl… She doesn’t care much, until someone else says one of 2 things.. “Oohh.. he likes you”, or “Shame on him, that’s terrible”. Someone else has made up her mind how she should react from then on!
          Same is true on the flip side evidently, if the boy is told (or notices) that catcalling or lewd behavior is an effective way to get the girl’s attention, he’ll probably do it.. In some places it works, and in others it doesn’t.

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        2. Terrible blunder? Hahahaha. Sure. This was a terrible blunder. Too bad most people didn’t agree with you and this is one of the top blog posts of THE YEAR (that according to Huffington Post and WordPress << which powers 25% of the internet by the way) And FYI, not once in this post did I claim to be a victim. Nope.

          *leans in and whispers* and at no point did this blog post mention being cat-called by young peers or classmates. Sigh…

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        3. I don’t care where you live Bob, it happens there too. Who are you to declare that it doesn’t? Why don’t you ask some of the women you know about their experiences?

          The shame and fear women feel from being catcalled isn’t the result of some third person saying “that’s terrible”. It’s the result of feeling like an object that can be used and abused on the whim of the catcaller.

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        4. @Gretchen Kelly. The terrible blunder is to say “ALL” women.. There’s been enough women posting here to prove that, as well as many other gross generalizations you have made. I understand the point of the article, and know there is lots of room for improvement in mens’ behavior.. no doubt about that.

          Clair Drake, Because of this article I have done exactly that.. I asked many of the girls I know, some more attractive than others, and it was a small minority that felt this way.. 2 out of 11.

          We are all conditioned about how to react to things. To be oversimplistic, depending on the culture receiving a gift can be taken kindly, as an act of friendship and generosity, or as an offense to the person’s ability to buy it for themselves.

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        5. The very fact you are referring to grown women as “girls” is a great point of departure to debunk your arguments. Unless, of course, you asked “females” under the age of, say, 16 about their experiences. If not, before you argue that referring to women as girls is “no big deal”, language is very powerful and purposeful. There is a reason you see your friends as girls and not your equal….or are you a boy?

          I may also add that this issue is so conditioned in women, that many not even think about it, even if they have experienced it.

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        6. Like most people, I refer to people younger than me as ‘boys and girls’ and those older as ‘men and women’.. I guess it’s a fault. I did refer to any females I didn’t know the age of here as “women”

          Heaven forbid I ever overestimate the age of a woman.

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        7. Um. Perhaps your reading comprehension is lacking. You seem to have difficulty not only understanding this post but Frank’s comment as well. Frank said (in his first paragraph, right before he gave me a good chuckle by trying to diagnose narcissism via the internet) that what I wrote about is common to both genders. Which is why I addressed his point.

          And the things I wrote? They are real life things that did in fact happen to me. Just a handful that I picked to share. You can dwell in your antiquated notions that speaking about something makes you a victim. If that’s working for you, go for it. But to put your real name and face (D. Guinness) and write about these things is the furthest thing from victimhood. I have an amazingly wonderful life with an incredible husband and family and friends. I’m one of those “ridiculously happy” people. I can write about things that need to be discussed and still be happy in my life. I can speak about things and it doesn’t mean that I’m hiding under the covers. Like I said, my name, my face. Right there. I’m not hiding, D. Guinness. It’s mighty easy for you and some others to hide behind the keyboard and anonymity and say ugly things. (We tend to call that trolling, FYI) Some of us choose to do things with integrity and out in the open.

          As for the discussion? Do you realize that most bloggers block commenters that troll or pop in to say ugly things and then disappear? Many bloggers moderate every comment on their blog. I don’t. I allowed anyone and everyone to comment on this. I probably should have blocked a few who got ugly with other commenters but frankly I couldn’t keep up with the volume of comments between here and all of the other places this post was published. So to accuse me of not inviting discussion? That’s laughable. There has been discussion far and wide on this post. Perhaps not in your little bubble, but trust me. And I don’t block commenters who call me narcissist or a victim. I’m a big girl. I can take a few words being hurled at me from people who hide behind a computer screen. 🙂

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        8. Good work Gretchen! You have ventured where most fear to tread! I honestly wouldn’t bother with the posts from these guys that have no idea what you’re talking about because they haven’t lived it. I wrote a post last year about one of the things you referred to in your post: https://nemiboyo.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/the-perverted-stranger/ when men respond as they have to your post it prevents women from wanting to speak out about anything.

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        9. I don’t agree with you. I think that her piece was as an opinion, and a experience she was sharing. It is not untrue, and just because it hasn’t happened to you DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT WONT! I have had a lot of female coworkers have this problem, and I myself have had this problem as well. And its true, it is a awkward feeling to say something or to not say something. And people with that type of attitude are the ones who make it awkward and frightening for females to come forth and want to address the issue.

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      2. I am a man and agree with most of what you have communicated. Women have been treated in disrespectful ways for thousands of years and we are finally seeing with clearer eyes however we are also seeing that our whole culture has deminished all of us around our sexuality, making our sexuality something separate from who we are, something negative, something to be hidden and treated as a problem rather than a natural aspect of our being and of our relationships with one another so we don’t know how to relate to one another in a natural sexual way when that is the energy that is stimulated between us so it comes out in some abberated form rather than as an expression of our sexual passion for one another. Love, natual attraction and sex have been so suppressed, so hidden, so inhibited, so denied, we no longer know how to express this vital human response in a natural and healthy way so it comes out in some twisted way that isn’t respectful of men or women. Our society is fundamentally dishonest about almost everything that makes us human, our feelings and our sexualtiy and we are finally facing what it is to be human, what it is to be real and how to express ourselves in an honest, open, authentic way.

        I appreciate you in having the courage to express your real feelings and responses to how you and other women are treated. We have to get honest with one another if we are to get real and actually learn how to relate to one another in an open, honest way. We are a world of people living in so many illusions because of the false socially fabricated beliefs into which we have all been born and reared.

        Getting honest about our sexuality is the only way we can resolve these issues and that begins with accepting what it is to being a human being, including our natural sexuality.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. My partner and I discussed this and you are very wrong when I walk to the car at night I worry about getting raped I don’t care about getting mugged I’d happily handover everything I have my partner may walk to the car but he worries about getting mugged not about getting raped and therein lies the difference

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    3. Frank, you are friggin’ awesome! Well said. Hear hear. Cheers. I raise a toast to you. I am a woman, and I am sick and tired of this ‘perpetual victim’ label that feminists keep putting on me without my permission. It’s frustrating, and it’s bullsh1t. I’m absolutely done with feminism because of it. Thank you Frank.

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      1. Victim:
        :a person who has been attacked, injured, robbed, or killed by someone else
        : a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else
        : someone or something that is harmed by an unpleasant event (such as an illness or accident)

        I’ll agree that the article generalizes. Not every woman experiences fear when catcalled, walking to the car, or in the grocery store. Some women would not consider themselves “harmed” by these acts of– what some would consider– just ordinary rudeness. Some women have taken martial arts, or are natural fighters, and don’t feel like they would be overpowered.

        BUT, that said? Even though I’ve lived in safe parts of cities, and myself/ the people around me have been in reasonably safe environments (not poverty stricken crime zones for example), I know at least 5 women who’ve been sexually assaulted, two who’ve been raped, and five or six who have been followed. I’ve been followed and groped by a stranger, had some guy try to lure me into a van in a parking lot while waiting at a bus stop, had another old man circle the block multiple times to try and convince me to go home with him– while on a main street, and underage. I don’t live my life in constant fear, because I don’t see the situations I’m typically in as terribly dangerous. We know everyone, and I’m never far from help.

        But I DO feel a heightened sense of awareness if I’m walking alone at night in a city, and a man starts walking behind me, even a ways down the street. Or now, even if I’m walking with a friend. I DO feel concern for the women around me at a bar, and have an eye out for “creepy” men (precisely because there’s a danger of sexual assault, not theft). I don’t fear the unknown women around me. I have a fighting chance if they attacked me, and the worst that’s likely to happen is I get my wallet stolen. It’s the men that need watching– because they might not want my stuff. They might want my body too. And chances are, I’m not as strong as they are. And life has proved that there are plenty of creeps out in the sea that given the chance, would feel entitled, particularly if drunk. There’s some truth in this article– and some statements might be more true for some women than others, but it’s more likely a majority, than a minority.

        You don’t have to walk around whining about the state of things all the time, or spend your life in total and utter fear of men– that’s not practical or worthwhile. But there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that some of the dumb shit we accept as normal behaviour (catcalls–particularly if followed by aggressive language, unasked for groping, being followed, asking what victims of assault were wearing, etc) actually CONTRIBUTES to the incidence of rape/sexual assault. Certainly contributes to women’s awareness of the potential for men to want to try something, that’s for sure.

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        1. I don’t think that she was saying that women walk around worried about this all of the time. In fact I think she was saying the opposite, because she is explaining how women have this feeling and feel ashamed and over-dramatic because of how society makes women seem like their crying victim. Its the truth that people don’t like to bring up, that a lot of women, not all, but a lot do experience some situation like the ones spoken in this blog. Some women might not even realize that their being harassed. Everybody react differently to different situations. Just because some people reading this do not agree or feel differently doesn’t mean that she was false, it just means that you don’t feel that way.

          Liked by 1 person

    4. You’re in denial. You would love to believe that your little world is safe and sound and true and good. I’m sad for you. You are the problem you are the big part of the problem and will never help to solve an issue because your mind is closed. I do not want you on my team when we have to solve a problem and gain a new idea and write a new law or change the world. Because you have the state of mind dad nothing is wrong so why change it or look at a resolution especially if you are part of the problem

      Like

      1. Previous comment to d Guinness space space my previous comment was Mark from anonymous I wanted to make clear it was based on what d Guinness commented I did not want to be anonymous and I wanted to be clear on that

        Like

  44. Pingback: Impulse || Home
  45. Gretchen Kelly

    Many of the attorneys here (mostly men but some women) read your blog about your son. Everyone here agrees, Gretchen, you are a wonderful mother to your son.

    On a side note: (my own thought) Not all men want to be fathers. Your son might be the next Vanderbilt or J.P. Morgan and care less about children. Please don’t just see him as a future “father”, but as a man entitled to go after his education and his dreams. I assume, just like you would your daughter?

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  46. As a man, I refuse to validate paranoia. There are real problems in the world, real threats. Much of the stuff listed in this post, though, falls under the category of nonsense and seems intended to foster an us vs. them mentality and promote an identity of victimhood. Women are adults. They are strong, capable and independent and do not need to be infantilized in this way.

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    1. Here’s some food for thought, James. 80% of men would rape a woman if they knew they wouldn’t get caught. But the problem isn’t the high proportion of men thinking this, but rather the fact they probably don’t think rape is illegal because it’s wrong, but instead, it’s wrong because it’s illegal. THAT is patriarchy. THAT is misogyny. THAT is a power structure that benefits those who put it into place. THAT is a reality your daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt etc., live with. Doesn’t that disgust you? or are you part of the 80%?

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      1. Can you supply a link, or some kind of documented evidence preferably something non bias please Mac? Just so we all know you’re not sprouting nonsense 🙂 cheers big ears.

        Like

    2. Sit back and read between the lines James Risdon. The Author of this article has pointed out things that are of concern to females. I’ve since written replys baiting for descriptions in detail which was surprisingly easy and effective, read through my previous replys. You will learn and should be able to extract what my college mates and I call “the root system”, basically the author and followers have given us a step by step guide on how to fool girls into opening legs (best xmass present eva). Remember all the things this author has written when next in the “market” , pretend to agree with them, don’t be physically forceful, don’t chase and pretend to not be looking instead be observant of when a girl is trying to get noticed then make contact and make them think there’s a “spiritual” connection by manipulating conversation and acting interested (this will make them believe there they’re in control). Works EVERY TIME, I’ve had a new girl every couple of days. Oh yeah to get rid of em just act creepy and then remind them that they “chose” you. Works especially well on feminist who seem to like being dominant in the bedroom, 🙂 just lay back and enjoy :D.

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  47. “So maybe they don’t know. Maybe they don’t know that at the tender age of 13 we had to brush off adult men staring at our breasts.”

    Ofcourse they do!
    They probably felt compelled to do it themselves, because thats how the male brain is wired.
    Part of the difficulty of being a man, is learning to control, or restrain your own needs.

    Your assumption is really a strange one.
    “Males probably dont know about typical male behaviour”.

    Old men are still attracted to young women, the only big change is their self-discipline and their knowledge on how to cope with it.
    If you were a straight male it would also be in your nature to stare at young fertile women, you would have a hard time not to, and your sex drive would be a lot stronger too!

    Id much rather have been born without a male sex-drive that a) Makes me susceptible to manipulation via sex b) Drives me to seek sex c) Is economically costly, can feel humiliating when rejected, frustrating, and causes conflict with womens interests.

    So the least you could do is just suck it up. If you dont wanna date an old horny geezer, dont. If you dont want people to oogle your junk, cover it up a bit.

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  48. I agree with you on almost all the things you speak about. But there was one sentence which struck a small nerve. You wondered how it would be to be a man for a day, totally free of stares.. I think you may have considered it as a general wistful thinking, but it implies that men have it easy. Like they have nothing to worry about. Freedom from sexism as a whole would be a better ideal in my opinion.

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  49. Just seems easier, especially after reading most of these comments to disengage form the opposite sex. Lets just make a her side of town and a his side of town with a series of land mines marking center to keep the 2 sides separated. Think about it, as crazy as it might seem it’s a definite solution. Procreation is artificially achievable now. One gender doesn’t need the other and vise versa.

    Like

  50. Thank you for the post you have reminded that the only people who experience this are of a single and that it is the majority of the other gender that behave this way towards them.
    Experience has brought me into contact with hundreds of victims of the abuse you refer to and what can’t be obvious to feminists is most is gender isn’t the critical factor – it is the perpetrators power, once they have that power they use it to exploit the insecurity of the majority.
    Sadly the social commentary you articulate applies to both genders.
    This behaviour is unacceptable in all society without looking at the gender – all victims require the support and the strength you describe.
    Enjoyed the read although I found the content extremely sexist and extraordinarily sweeping in its use of generalizations.

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  51. Men, just stop approaching women altogether. Let them do the work for a chance. Let them come to you. It’s clear that any form of communication is considered “harassment” nowadays. MGTOW is here. You can thank Feminism for that one.

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    1. “Men’s rights Canada”? You do realize that that is the equivalent of “white power Canada” right? The people who already have the rights and have never had to fight for the rights (you know where the phrase “rule of thumb” came from?) don’t actually have a stance in a “rights” movement?
      Actually, I love the idea of a “men’s rights strike” during which men refrain from making lewd comments to women that they’ll never meet from cars and grinding their elections against women at bars/clubs/while dancing in general, among other things.
      So please, men, take the advice of this person. Just stop. Don’t make the first move. Don’t whistle or make loud comments. Don’t do anything suggestive or anything that could be considered suggestive for one week. Then realize that women have to think about everything they do, every day, because if, God forbid, she is assaulted, everything she said, drank, wore, everything she did would be considered “provocative”.
      So you do that. Don’t approach women. Try not to wear clothes that would attract women. Try not to walk in a way that would attract women. Try not to speak in a way that may suggest that you find a woman attractive. Try to go to a bar and *avoid* getting hit on.
      That’s what women do every day. Try it for a week and see how you do.

      Like

      1. I’m not understanding you’re point. I literally don’t have anything to do with women I don’t know. I don’t initiate conversation, look anywhere I shouldn’t, don’t dress, walk, dance, anything to attract a female. I literally dont have a need for any interaction with females what such ever and am very happy being independent. However some of my mates wifes have pointed out that I don’t respect women. Not sure why not wanting to engage or having a need to engage in the social interaction with females can be seen and not respecting females. If every man who disengages from females like you suggested, would that then mean women everywhere will have a feeling of being disrespected?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Perhaps your mates wives are expressing that they feel that you don’t pay attention to them as people. There’s a difference between not giving any sexual attention and not giving any attention at all. Do you listen when they speak? Do you engage them in conversation when they attempt to engage you in conversation? Perhaps your social skills are…lacking. Or perhaps you don’t see how a simple conversation with a woman can be just that: a simple conversation. Maybe you could try not seeing them as women, but just as people. In my experience (as a woman), I have much more respect for someone who treats me like a person (disregarding the breasts and the vagina) than for someone who ignores me because of my gender. It’s simple: TREAT PEOPLE LIKE PEOPLE. Take queues from how they act. You know…general social skills. It’s not rocket science. Or brain surgery. Just…don’t look at gender as a factor unless you are genuinely interested in someone. And if you are, don’t use lines, don’t be aggressive, just…talk to her. Like she’s a person. No successful relationship is built on physical appearance. I don’t have empirical evidence of this, but I do know that people age, gain weight, lose weight…appearance changes. So if you’re looking for a one night stand, then find some chick who’s looking for a one night stand. Just don’t try to do it by using terrible pick up lines or by slipping her a roofie. Be yourself. Or be someone else for a night. Be James Bond for a night, chicks eat that up. Or at least the right chicks appreciate the effort. Or batman. Or superman. Wear a superman costume under your clothes in a random night, go to a bar, have a drink or two, figure out which single girl has been eying you, go to the bathroom and come out as superman. Just for fun. This works best when you have a wing woman who will do the same thing as superwoman. A choreographed dance would probably help.
          The point is: women expect you to be a creep who just wants to get laid. Prove them wrong by doing something unexpected.
          You don’t have to be a creep or a douche to get girls. Not the good ones, anyway.

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        2. Of course I speak with my mates wifes, (i never initiate a conversation with either gender) and no matter how uninterested I am on the mates wifes topic of choice I do talk to them (would be rude not to) and as annoying as it is a few of them are constantly trying to set me up with someone. Some jargon about being good with kids which is apparently a prerequisite to fatherhood or something. Amongst them, don’t know why you might be on to something they’ve decided I can’t respect women as I don’t notice when someone is trying to get my attention as if I have to 1 notice when someone is trying to get my attention and 2 do something about it just because a girl is trying to get noticed. Stange concept, anyway Im well happy being independent.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. So try harder to be more interested in my mate’s wives topic of conversation will make them feel more appreciated? I’m still missing something I think.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Yes, you are. There are many asexual people who aren’t seen as being disrespectful towards women.
          Try being friends with your friends wives. Or if you want to keep people from trying to set someone up with you, be open about your asexuality. Or just say you’re quite happy being on your own. If they insist, ask them to drop the subject. If they don’t, ask them again. If they still insist, then stop associating with them. Same goes for girls having trouble with guys. Only difference is that guys have the physical strength and stature (statistically) to overpower a woman and to force her to do something that she doesn’t want to do, no matter her sexual preference.

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        5. Yes good point. I shouldn’t be associating with people who make me uncomfortable, only reason I have something to do with them is due to wanting to see my mates. Think I’ll limit contact to events. Still not sure how the whole disrespectfull thing comes around but geuss
          if I limit contact that wont be a issue. One said undervalued rather than disrespect. No way known I’m being open about anything in our small little county. Thank random person you’ve been grand aye

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        6. There’s nothing wrong with you William. Don’t feel pressured to do or act any way you don’t want to. The most common saying is “just be yourself” when meeting people, right? You’re not disrespecting anyone at all, you’re a likeable person.

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        7. William

          I too have experienced the same perplexing thing i.e. “I don’t initiate conversation, look anywhere I shouldn’t…. However some of my mates wifes have pointed out that I don’t respect women.”

          My wife’s female friends said that about me. I disrespected my wife’s female friend because I wasn’t interested in sleeping with her. Women want men’s attention. But I give my attention to only my wife because their are more important things in life (business) than women.

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      2. about ‘Mens rights’.. How about the many wars that MEN have fought and died for.. in many cases for the sake of EVERYONE’S rights.

        I’m an egalitarian… I do my darnedest to treat everyone equally and with respect, but the whole of society is getting so uptight and offended by *everything* that I’m not afraid of stepping on a few toes anymore.

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  52. Yes. It irritates me to be constantly on my guard . Catcalling,eve-teasing and groping in public places becomes a striking possibility if I do not watch out. Even inside the alleged safety of my home I cannot be safe because I know first hand that child sexual abuse begins right there. So even after twenty odd years, I am wary. Too wary to enjoy what life brings to me. And I know women who have gone through much more. I have never seen a man swerve because he was afraid the person walking beside him will poke him with his elbows. But to me, it is a dire possibility. I shift uneasily in my chair when a customer has ventured to stand too near. But if I point it out I shall be taken to be a silly woman. He was just being nice they’ll say.
    And what is worse is this subconscious understanding, that it isnt just one day. I do not have the stamina to go through a gruelling confrontation with improper men every day. I cannot make myself so miserable and pathetic. I never want people to put me to questions like:
    It happens a lot with you, doesnt it?
    I never heard someone whine so much.

    Yes it does happen a lot. We do not make an issue every single time. We silently resign to the fact that this is our reality.

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  53. Your article is very telling of the treatment most women will, or have experienced by some men, but I don’t like it and I’ll tell you why: if women desire true equality with men, they need to abandon the idea that men “need to change” in order to (as one poster called) “level the playing field”. No man in his right mind would expect other men to be simpathetic, or understanding, or attentive to his vulnerabilities or his daily struggles, and think that these other men would truly respect him or treat him as an equal. Good or bad, most men are taught to associate strength and assertiveness with equality, so when I read this post imploring for men to understand a woman’s plight, it doesn’t inspire in me notions of a woman truly fighting for her equality. It makes me want to protect you, to be your savior. It comes from a place of paternal, or fraternal love but not from a place of true equality. In my humble opinion, women should stop asking men to change in order to gain equality. If you have to ask somebody else for permission to be equal, then by definition, you’re not really equals, are you? Yes, men need to change, but mostly because it is part of our evolution as human beings, but women need to stop believing that their equality rests in men’s hands. Don’t wait for it, take what’s yours!

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  54. Great blog, I have just written an article on subject of Violence against Women. please visit the blog and read the article https://dilipbhatt.wordpress.com/

    Sadly the awful treatment of women is global and getting worse each day. As well as listening, people need to challenge, men in particular need to speck up and confront their male counterparts. Do not accept behaviours which are demeaning to women. Respect for women starts in the home with fathers, brothers and sons. Male gender has a lot to answer to in this context, machismo and masculinity is not a sign of strength, real character comes from values and morals based on upholding someones dignity and we ALL have a duty to uphold that.

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  55. Or when men who find ways to walk up to a nursing mother, like grabbing a magazine in a coffee shop that’s on the table in front of her, just to look at her stuff. Very disappointing that men … Or i should say men feel they have some sort of ownership over woman’s personal space.

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  56. As a guy, this article describes unwanted attention and comments directed to women in ways that may not be obvious to us, their negative cumulative toll, and a request to listen instead of dismiss. It seems straightforward.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. WOW. Bravo. Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Real. Thank you.

    I’m posting a second comment because my opinions have changed thanks to the commenters here. My first response was, “YOU NEED TO STOP DE-ESCALATING AND START ESCALATING FURTHER…. MEN WILL NEVER CHANGE.”

    I’m happy to say I don’t feel that way any more.

    MEN NEED TO CHANGE.

    Reading the comments by both men and women here really blew my mind. Men, in general, are SO CLOSED MINDED and very AFRAID of the feminine power. Men are very quick to feel offended and attacked by this post and they miss the whole point. They are too busy feeling their own “problems” and fears that they are unable to connect with the writer on any level. The men here are reacting and not feeling. I think that’s representative of the state of the culture presently, but it needs to change. Men need to start feeling more deeply and then they will be able to connect with women in a place where they want connection.

    Here’s the average men’s response here: “No, that’s not fair because one time I felt violated and women wear provocative clothes and one time a woman disrespected me so I don’t respect them.”

    Like for real? Men… this is how your experience of women is because you refuse to feel your own emotions and use that level of inner connection to connect with other people on that same level. Women want to be seen, heard, listened to, felt, found, trusted… and until you can do that you will eternally feel rejected, disrespected and lost. It’s up to US REAL MEN to FEEL women deeply and truly and let go of our own pain and step up and CONNECT. Be open. Be honest. Be real. It’s only a struggle if you let it be.

    Let’s be better. Let’s change. Let’s connect.

    Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Adam…thank you for taking this to heart and for transcending the noise.
      It really starts with men and even how we raise our boys. Most of this behavior toward women isn’t fear, it’s hate-based; the thinking/belief that women are lesser than or even a broken version of a guy. For example, if you want to hurl an insult at a 12 year old boy, what do you do? You call him a girl. Imagine what we are teaching boys with this language??!!! Imagine what a girl FEELS to hear this???!!! Even in these comments, men have used the term “pussy” as a way to degrade a guy who doesn’t subscribe to uber masculinity. It’s not referring to a cat, but the female body, the giver of LIFE! And there’s the all-encompassing word “bitch” everyone uses in every day language, but it’s still rooted in the degradation of women. We need to stop teaching girls that they “can be just like boys” or “do anything the boys do” but rather teach boys that they can respect and put value on things like feelings, talking, hearing, benevolence, caring, crying.
      thanks so much for your cool post.

      Like

      1. Adam Croce and MAC67

        Right on brothers! I agree. We men need to teach….feelings, talking, hearing, benevolence, caring, crying. I’m going to go cry now.

        You have a point about teaching everyone, men and women alike. That is until you re-read many of the men’s comments regarding their “feelings”, and they did it by “talking” (albeit, the written word), they “listened”, and they are “caring”. (I think its a bit too much to ask men to “cry” for you two idiots.) Did the female commenters do the same thing for the men? Did they in turn “listen”? NO. They rebuked many valid comments (that were not offensive, in my opinion) unless it was “we are just pathetic males and you women are so superior”.

        When was the last time you heard a man catcall a woman? Its been years since I’ve even heard a guy do that. Literally years.

        Again, men are not stupid. Their comments herein are basically saying that women take the position with men that women want men to “Do what I say do but not what I do” concerning the issue of “…feelings, talking, hearing, benevolence, caring…”

        Why don’t you just simply say, ‘OK females, we’ll try better’ and let it go at that? Women complain. That is the nature of women. That’s how it became known as “bitching”.

        It amazes me that so many women commenting claim that this article that basically tells MEN that we are not “listening”, nor “caring”, not “talking”, not “feeling”, is somehow NOT ABOUT MEN. The hell it isn’t about men. Who do you think they are bitching about?

        You two (2) little boys need to grow up.

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  58. Yeah, like all women are saints. I have dealt with the manipulation, and lies to get me to do what they want.

    Women dressed inappropriately, where I have to stare away from them while talking to them. I don’t run around with my sexuality “hanging out”, so I don’t see why women do so.

    Especially the women servers at restaurant, bending over repeatedly showing me their breasts, even though I’m trying to let them know I won’t look there by staring away, and they still do it when they come back to the table, and unbelievably, do it even with my wife right there!

    I’m sure the very same women, who complain that men are harassing them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s a thought, Edge. DON’T go to the restaurant where servers make you feel uncomfortable. Cross the street if you see a women “dressed inappropriately”. Take a class on how to defend yourself against all those lies and methods of manipulation women use against you. You are pathetic. How did you ever get married???????

      Like

      1. Funny, what do you think I said to my wife. I said to her about the last place that I ate where they don’t dress appropriately, “I’m not going back there anymore”. Happy?

        Take a class? I don’t tolerate those lies and manipulation. What makes you think that I do? Just because I observe it, does not mean I tolerate it.

        And about “crossing the street”. So I should do that, when I have to deal with a woman in my business dealings? Get real. It’s not always easy to avoid these women.

        I find your response interesting. So you have that advice to the blogger here, and her complaints?

        If a guy complains about women, he’s pathetic, but if a women complains, lets show our sympathy. See, this is the crap that men have to put up with. I’m not man enough for my wife, because I’m calling women out!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Basically you shared your experience with us as though, in some petty way, it equals that which women suffer (violence and intimidation at the hands of men) but the only difference is, women ask for it because they “dress inappropriately.”
          Hmmm, maybe you “asked” to have breasts hanging in front of you because you’re a guy? or the server thought you wanted her advances because you didn’t say “no” or “stop”.
          See how STUPID that kind of logic is? Maybe the server has a frickin boss who makes her wear revealing clothing to keep her job, to get more male customers in, to get better tips? And guess what? Maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t have the options of “just finding another job.”
          And yes, you are pathetic because you and your thinking perpetuate the problem that the blogger describes.

          Like

        2. I said as much to my wife, that I’m sure her boss is telling her to dress that way, only thing is, another server was not dressed that way, so I might be wrong on that.

          I never once said, that women ask for it, because of dressing inappropriately. As matter of fact, I would go out of my way to defend any women from sexual harassment regardless to how she is dressed.

          It’s one assumption after another with you about me, and it makes you look like an ass.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Ass or not, what exactly do you think you mean when you write, “Women dressed inappropriately, where I have to stare away from them while talking to them.”
          Because using the term “dressed inappropriately” is so loaded and charged with sexual innuendo AND blame.
          As in she was dressed in a way that made it hard for me to control myself.
          As in she was dressed in a way that she was asking for it but I could control myself.
          As in she was dressed “inappropriately” but I controlled myself.
          Or did you mean she was wearing a parka at the beach?

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        4. > “is so loaded and charged with sexual innuendo AND blame.”

          Woman can dress however they want, and no one can criticize them for it?!?! You can’t criticize them, as if they are some kind of supreme beings? Give me a break.

          Of course, any objections to how a women dresses, brings up counter positions that I support extreme opposite positions (burka, parka, etc), or endorsing bad behavior against them. There is no middle ground.

          I find ironic, that most of the derogatory comments directed against women for how they behave/dress, is coming from other women, but it’s a trend to only point out the “sins” of men.

          Yup, the men who are police, who come to women’s assistance, the men judges who prosecute men, who have committed crimes against women, and the men prison guards, that watch over these men. They never get credit. I have yet to see one blog post praising the men who protect women.

          I wonder, if it’s about a woman’s insecurities being projected as if real upon all men, as if we are all meant to feel guilty?

          You should go to a restaurant, and tip the woman exposing herself to you, in solidarity with her freedom to dress however she pleases. I hope you’re there, when the sexual predator follows her home. Of course, you will only see this as me endorsing the predator, because I refuse to accept any limits to how a woman should dress, but the law itself, and cultural norms already have limits. But let’s just ignore that, and live in our fantasy world.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. I just want to go on the record telling you that you are very closed minded. You don’t trust women. You don’t have a strong connection to your emotional side. You have the ability to see the issue from a woman’s perspective, but you refuse to try.

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        6. Wow, you fell off the tracks with your post. This whole “dressing inappropriately” comment is a metaphor for the issue described in the blog. The difference between women “dressing inappropriately” and men “dressing inappropriately” is that NO woman (as in the overwhelming majority, so lets not split hairs on the numbers) will attack, subvert, rape, catcall, abuse, threaten, overpower, take advantage of, say lurid things, buy him a drink, touch, or even think he is coming on to her just because he’s walking down the street (or whatever) “dressed inappropriately”. Do you not understand that this article is about FEAR and that your response sounds like women just shouldn’t let their tits hang out and it will be just fine.

          I invite you to do one thing: take a walk down the street wearing mirrored sunglasses and observe the women passing you or other men by…lets us know what you saw.

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        7. Cause and effect. Woman have to contribute to their own safety. If means asking for their husband to meet them at the bus stop at night coming home, then do so. Dressing appropriately also applies.

          I don’t go to areas, where I fear men may assault me for whatever reason, and behave in a way to attract their attention. So yes, dressing appropriately is a factor whether you like it not. And yes, men are by far more likely to be assaulted by other man than any women being assaulted by a man. So they are not only ones that live in fear of such things.

          Like women have a monopoly on fear of assault from men!

          Liked by 1 person

        8. This comes off as a rant by abused women trying to rally other abused women to bash men. Don’t want to draw a guys glance? Too bad, people look at other people all the time. I look at guys and women for many reasons. Maybe I like the fabric of a guy’s suit. Maybe I find a women beautiful. Perhaps I see someone that looks friendly or unusual. There are a host of reasons why I might check out another person that don’t revolve around women as sex objects. And yes, there are times when I see a woman that for whatever reason makes my pulse quicken and I feel a clear sexual attraction – that’s not a choice, it’s what happens when someone that’s beautiful to me shows up. You can’t tell me you’ve never seen another person that makes you inhale sharply when you first see them. This doesn’t mean someone deserves to abused though.
          The song “You’re so Vain” keeps coming up as read these comments by women who feel so put upon by evil men. It’s not all about you all the time.
          For those women raped, assaulted, groped, hassled and otherwise treated as slabs of meat, I’m sorry that you suffered such abuse at the hands of assholes. That type of behavior is abhorrent and nothing excuses it. No matter how you dress, how you speak or otherwise present yourself, nothing merits abuse of any sort and I am sorry that you suffered and continue to suffer from such events. I know I can not even comprehend what it is like.
          Not all guys belittle women, not all guys rape, grope, beat, catcall or otherwise act in ways unbecoming a gentlemen, so focus your tirade to the assailants and don’t paint all men with the same brush, it weakens your argument.

          Liked by 1 person

        9. The article doesn’t paint all men with one brush. It just highlights the issues that many women face every day. Don’t take it personally. If you’re not one of those guys, then there’s no problem. However, if you keep talking about waitresses continually “bending over” while attending to you….it’s impossible to wait tables and not bend over, especially when empty dishes are on the other side of the table. Even when they’re not on the other side of the table. And it’s a testament to how sexist many people are that female waitresses actually do get bigger tips when they wear lower cut tops and tighter skirts, and male waiters just wear the uniform and (in my experience) get promoted to manager without doing nearly as much work (and without showing any skin) as their female counterparts.
          If a guy’s ass gets grabbed, and he makes a complaint, it’s a big deal. If a girl’s ass gets grabbed and she makes a complaint, the questions are “how short was he skirt?” “How tight were her pants?” “How much cleavage was she showing?” “What’s her sexual history?”….as if any of that matters when someone is harassed. When I was 14 years old and finally told people that I was molested at 7 years old, the overwhelming response was “what did you do to make him want you like that?”. People assumed that when I was seven years old, I did something to “tempt” a 20-something year old man into molesting me.
          This is a sick world. And I’m sick of it:

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  59. Wow – I don’t know where you live, but you should move! I showed this to a number of my women friends and they were pretty clear that the reality you describe was/is not their reality. Some recalled wearing pushup bras to try and draw the attention of guys (yes it worked), but no rape, no walking with keys ready to stab, no come on’s by dad’s friends. They actually laughed about how they made men tiptoe around them. Withholding sex to make a point, their husband’s/boyfriend’s mortification at pissing them off and ways they exercise their power.
    Guys get looked up and down like meat by women, comments get made and asses get grabbed in nightclubs. I’m sure it’s more prevalent for women though and that’s not ok. In the words of my wife “Dress like a whore and you’re going to be treated like one.” You can thank base men and the prostitutes for that.
    There will always be jerks, male and female, but this article seems like a rant by an abused feminazi and saying in your title that ALL women do this is ludicrous. This is undoubtedly some women’s reality, and that sucks, it shouldn’t be that way, but it is not the across the boards situation for all women that you are trying too portray it as.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. I’m amazed you think that these are things *women* do instead of things people do. Yes, women are overwhelmingly the majority of victims of sexual assault. But feeling unsafe? Being nervous when people make comments? You must be joking.

    Men are twice as likely to be attacked with a weapon, 3 times as likely to be victims of aggravated assault, and 3 times more likely to be victims of homicide than women. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85f0033m/2010024/part-partie1-eng.htm#h2_6
    Not only that, our culture actively encourages us to get into the kind of situation where we get killed. You complain that you constantly have to “de-escalate”? We’re not even given the option. If we back down we’re pussies. Hell, if we complain that it happened we’re pussies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So what are you doing to oppose male violence, Apathyboy? How are you working to ensure that the violent men who require you to respond to them with violence, do not have the freedom to inflict their modus vivendi onto everyone else in society?

      Like

      1. The same thing the author is doing in this post, whinging on the internet. And predictably, I get an aggressive response putting the onus on me to change things. Where was that kind of response to the original article? Sorry, but your hypocrisy is showing. Might want to cover that up.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Apathy boy, you’re not doing the same thing the author did by writing this article. You’re being a troll. If you want to do the same thing, write your own article on the perils of being a man. I’m sure it will be eye opening.

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        2. And when I imply that women don’t have any problems with violence by saying “they don’t know about it” and someone calls me out on it will they be a troll too?

          Liked by 1 person

        3. No matter how afraid you are when you walk the street at night, it’s still male violence that you are afraid of, caused by a culture that positions men as violent animals and women as passive victims. No matter what you do, you still benefit from that positioning of power in a significant way, even while you fear for your safety at the hands of other men. You may experience violent men, but you also experience significantly less risk of sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse, sexual harassment, and gendered bias in the workplace or at school.

          So yeah, the onus is on you to start talking to other men, especially boys and young men, about what masculinity means and how to change it.

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        4. Bex vanKoot Your comment: “…gendered bias in the workplace or at school.”

          No one is in favor of sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse,…” No one.
          But what about a company that only hires MEN? Is that “gendered bias in the workplace…”? My first impression was ‘Hell Yes’. But did you know that a female justice (Ginsburg) on the U.S. Supreme Court wrote the majority opinion in United States v Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996) upholding “separate but equal”. In other words, corporations that do not seek any federal or state funding can hire only men. Schools that don’t seek any federal or state funding can admit only men.

          My point: While no one supports sexual assault or violence of any form against women, you have women justices on the Supreme Court declaring discriminating against gender is perfectly legal. Remember when Sonya Sotomayor (then Chief Judge of the 2nd Circuit) claimed that “women make better judges than men” (a very sexist remark that is totally false) yet she was confirmed to the United States Supreme Court?

          If you don’t like our current situation of ‘gender bias in the workplace or at school’, then work to change the law. It was female judges and not males that said we could discriminate in not hiring women at work or not admitting women in college as long as the corporation or school doesn’t seek any state or federal funding.

          Kinda makes us re-think ‘ole Sonya’s statement ‘women make better judges’ doesn’t it?

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        5. How on earth can you say “No one is in favor of sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse,…” No one.”

          At least 1 in 4 women are raped. More than 1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted. Nearly all the women I know have experienced some kind of assault. Clearly SOMEONE IS IN FAVOR OF IT. Or it wouldn’t happen.

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        6. Bex vanKoot

          Correction: No rational human being.

          I once had a client accused of sexual assaulting his daughter. He and his daughter were given lie detector tests (not that they are admissible BEFORE A JURY) but this was a trial to a judge. The man passed. The daughter did not pass.

          From that experience as the trial lawyer, was she sexual assaulted?

          My sister, who I love dearly, once claimed that she was raped at 16. I offered to take her to the hospital for a rape kit. She refused. Twenty years later when she had a son she told my entire family that she had not been raped and that she had said that to get the attention of a particular boy that lived on our street.

          What are we to believe in your statement that 1 in 4 and 1 in 3? Too many times women lie. That is exactly why lawyers go over articles like this. We have a room of lawyers. We study what you type in comments. The reason: Because the majority of juries in this country (US) are made up of 7 or more female jurors. And women have a very very low opinion of men. Therefore by gathering information from blogs provided (knowingly or unknowingly) by Gretchen Kelly regarding the collective females’ views and poor opinion of men, we are successful in challenging for cause the sitting of women on a jury where a man is facing the death penalty for killing another man.

          Already, some three hundred (300) MEN have been exonerated. You know why they were convicted in the first place? Because women believe like one female 60 year old comment in one of Ms Kelly’s blogs, as follows:

          “Every time she saw a man walking alone in the park, she taught to herself, ‘he is here to murder someone’.” (Thank you Ms Kelly and the internet).

          Oh and by the way, the judge in our case above dismissed the sexual assault charges against the father based on the lie detector tests of both the father and daughter because the tests were administered by the STATE. And before you say it, yes, lie detector tests are admissible before a judge if the judge agrees to accept the reliability of the lie detector test (ie. it all depends on who is the administering agency for the lie detector test).

          But Bex vanKoot thank you for your poor opinion of men. It just might save an innocent man from spending the rest of his life in prison.

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        7. So you’re saying that your “advice” to women in this thread to “abort all male children” is…..research? You don’t think that make jurors are less biased? You are doing what many people in this thread are accusing the blogger of doing: painting an entire gender with the same brush. I’m not whiney or cowed and I don’t blame men for all of my problems. You, however, by your own admission discriminate freely against women. You exclusively represent men. And I bet they’re all amazing people who are falsely accused. And all women are whiney conniving bitches (except the ones you approve of personally) by default. It’s so sad that you passed the bar. Really. So very sad.

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        8. Anonymous

          Your comment: “You don’t think that make [male] jurors are less biased?” (insert added). From reading comments on multiple blogs concerning gender issues, my opinion is that men are not as bias towards other men. Since I don’t represent women, I don’t study the aspect of whether men are as bias against women as women are against men. So, in all fairness, I don’t know if men are biased against women. I will take your word on that one.

          Maybe you are right though. Maybe I am “painting an entire gender with the same brush.” I don’t want to. I don’t like dumping all women into the same group of “men haters” but the cost of being wrong is too great for my male clients when facing the death penalty. And, this is especially true because I only represent men accused of killing another male. But I do love women. I love the way my wife’s hair smells, even when she hasn’t taken a bath today. I love the softness of her skin. I love her opinions on things and the way she sees things differently than a man. I love everything about her.

          I would certainly like to think that all women of the age to be on a jury don’t automatically hate men. My wife certainly doesn’t hate men. In fact, she loves men too much for my liking, but I guess that is one reason I love her. She is harder on the females in our family and yet lets the boys slide on the same infractions. I, on the other hand, would do anything for the females in our family but not for the males until they earn it themselves.

          In addition, your comment: “You, however, by your own admission discriminate freely against women. You exclusively represent men.” Seriously?!?!? If you don’t like it, change the law. Overturn United States v Virginia and progeny which held you can discriminate based on gender but not race, as long as you are not seeking state or federal financial assistance, which I don’t need. Plus, it would be a conflict of interest for me to represent women because I believe women often times are too subjective.

          And finally, your comment: “And I bet they’re all amazing people who are falsely accused”. Richard Glossip is falsely accused and yes, I believe that he is an amazing man to have survived eighteen (18) years on death row! You couldn’t do it. I know I couldn’t do it.

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        9. Wow, you have a very exclusive client base. Men accused of killing other men….if men are as blameless as you seem to think, you must either charge an arm and a leg for your services or you are a starving lawyer. Your personal views on women are skewed. I don’t want to change US law. I don’t live in the US anymore. I also believe that it is your constitutional right to represent only men. That doesn’t mean that you’re not discriminatory towards women. It just means that you are legally able to discriminate against women in your private law practice. You’re still sexist in the extreme.

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        10. Again, the root cause of your issue and the author’s issue are the same but rather than use your issues to undermine hers, advocate for them. It’s like people who take exception to a fundraiser for one type of cancer when they feel another is more important. What’s more effective?

          Undermining someone else’s cause or actively advocating for your own?

          There’s room for both discussions. They aren’t in competition with each other. As with cancer research, they may even overlap and support each other.

          Like

    2. I actually agree with you, although statistics are difficult to prove because so much of what we all experience goes unreported, undocumented (both men and women feel humiliated by violence directed toward us). I will admit that domestic violence against men by women could very well surpass male on female domestic violence. I certainly don’t want to negate that in any way. But that can’t be used as an argument against what women are saying here. One thing at a time. All I can speak of is my own experience – of frequent harassment, to varying degrees. I’m a pretty open friendly person by nature. I’m polite – If people speak to me in a kind way I try to give them some conversation or attention, and that is often. But I have come to take for granted that when I go out in public, about 50% of the time I will either be followed through a store, hollered at from a passing car, or followed through a parking lot, perhaps menacingly. I have been sexually assaulted more than once. This has been happening since childhood: unwelcome touching, sexual coercion (not accepting no for an answer), stalking, slandering, lashing out at rejections of intimacy – all sitting on top of the proliferation of messages of being nearly worthless as a human being in relation to males.
      I have empathy for men who also find themselves fearful of assault. None of us should have to live that way. But the sexual courtship component, the social power differential, the behavioral expectations – takes it to a whole different psychological level that you probably wouldn’t understand unless you were a woman, or similarly groomed to be passive, compliant or less-than.

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      1. Voltairine Aspasia

        I liked your comment and thought it very insightful.

        May I respectfully ask without offending you or anyone else, is it an insult to you then if men simply do not talk to you when passing? Do not look at you in a store? When passing on the sidewalk, for a man to look the other way, as if you weren’t even there? I adopted this approach.

        I speak to women only when spoken to because of the way women take things. A man never really knows how a woman will take anything he says and turn it into sexual harassment, etc… I remember when I was single in college getting viciously screamed at and hit in the face by a woman because I refused to have sex but she had just disclosed to me that she had herpes. Later she told a friend that my refusal was some sort of sexual harassment since she had gone the extra step of informing me before the act rather than after.

        That is not however the way I am. I say hello to other men on the street.

        Like

        1. Your personal anecdotes don’t negate the fact that men are predators, takers, users and that it is systematically instilled in all of us to fear them. Our culture and entire financial system values strength, power, force. Maybe you don’t consider yourself one of these kinds of men, but look across media, politics, churches, corporations and even our language, it reflects this reality. “Boys will be boys” is the point of departure; it gives men a free ticket to remain in a primitive state, unable to control their “urges”, not needing to be self-aware of their “man spread” (figuratively and literally).
          And your list of cases where women didn’t get the death penalty? I wouldn’t be surprised that in most of the cases you site, there was a long history of abuse and trauma. Women are taught at very young ages to just deal with it; to not be sassy; to respect; to be quiet; to give; to be benevolent; to wait and be patient. These women stay in bad relationships. Sometimes they break.
          And these cases are the exception. Men are the overwhelming majority of violent offenders. Did you know that the number one cause of death among pregnant women is murder by their partner? A pretty sick statistic in light of your “these women didn’t get the death penalty” whinging.
          As for who makes a good Justice or not? You just proved that Sotomayor was correct. Ginsberg interpreted the case on employment practices and gender based on the CONSTITUTION, not her gender, self interest, or the political milieu of the day (Bush v Gore, for example). See, women actually vote, think, decide, assess, and analyze without regard to their anatomy.
          PS And it was two women who fought to prove Richard’s innocence…

          Like

        2. I think a revision should be made…
          “Some men make you scared of all men”… and once again, you’re saying “all men” can’t control their primitive urges…

          I can agree on the rest though

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        3. MAC

          You are full of shit if you think it was two (2) women lawyers (Susan Sarandan and Sister Helen Prajean are not lawyers) who fought for Richard’s innocence.
          Don Knight is a male lawyer. Mark Hendricksen is a male lawyer. I am a male lawyer. The only female lawyer is Kathleen Lord and she sat on his ass the entire time never filing one (1) pleading.

          As far as U.S. v Virginia, you simply can’t read.

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        4. MAC

          And regarding your excusing women for killing…what about Cassie Anthony? What about the woman in Seattle that killed 6 newborn children. I guess they deserve it? They asked for it?

          You are only feeding fuel to getting more and more women challenged for cause in sitting on a jury where a man is on trial for killing another man. Thank you for that.

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        5. It’s evident that you are not a very good lawyer. But then again, I respect lawyers about the same amount as I respect the criminals they represent.

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        6. MAC67

          And its obvious you don’t know how to read court cases and interpret them, do you?

          That is fine that you don’t respect lawyers. I neither want nor need your respect to be happy with what I do for a living.

          But one day, someone you love, maybe even yourself, will be charged with a heinous crime that you/they didn’t commit. Then you will pray to God that you have a lawyer that will fight for you and take your case to trial instead of doing like so many public defenders which is to plead their client out. “Bleed ’em and Plead ’em Lawyers”, is what they are called. I don’t do pleas.

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  61. Gretchen, your narration of unwanted experiences, and their immediate and cumulative effect, was superb. Yeah, I’ve received unwanted, sexually charged comments from colleagues and superiors. These were isolated events, and probably atypical for a male yet commonplace for all too many women. And therein lies the fundamental difference: Rare experience versus bombardment.

    I also admire your courage for posting this. Some comments are encouraging, of men being honest yet open and receptive. Others are predictable. The cultivation of empathy, of being able to put oneself in the shoes (or heels) of another, could help. Unfortunately, this seems beyond reach for many. Anyway, thanks for the really nice job on this.
    –Mark

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  62. Hello hello again !!

    I know this is an English speaking blog but I have just stumbled over this article in the well-known French online newspaper “Le Monde” about harassment at University.
    Title says:
    “Sexual harassment at University is not a marginal (exceptional) phenomenon”

    http://www.lemonde.fr/vie-etudiante/article/2015/12/03/le-harcelement-sexuel-a-l-universite-n-est-pas-un-phenomene-marginal_4823821_4468406.html

    It is highlighted that most victims feel guilty of being harassed…

    I will repeat it again and again. Why ?
    Because our society doesn’t like victims. It’s bad to be a victim. It means you are weak, you can’t defend yourself…therefore (because we have archaic reactions) the victim is useless for society…

    I’m sorry to post this in French…but it’s just to show that this issue is international !
    ;o)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just a little translation for the guys who don’t believe us (again !) :
      “Les harceleurs sont presque toujours des hommes, qu’ils soient enseignants, personnels administratifs ou étudiants.”
      = ” Harassers are almost always men, whether they are teachers, administrations or students.”

      Like

  63. Fitness columnist James Fell said it very well in a recent Facebook post:

    “Guys, if you can’t fathom why women hate being catcalled just think about those obnoxious salesmen at mall kiosks. You know how awkward and annoyed you feel trying to get past them as they desperately push their shitty product on you? Imagine if that happened EVERYWHERE, and if – instead of shoe cleaner – their product was DICK. That’s a woman’s reality: a never-ending, thinly veiled penis infomercial.”

    Like

    1. That’s hilarious (The mall kiosk salesman selling dick) – but not really accurate to me. Catcallers and aggressive grabbers, pinchers, stalkers etc. are not selling dick as a service to you. They take it beyond that. What they are communicating is the desire to lock you into a short-term non-negotiable contract (with subtle or overt threats of force and dominance) whereby you will passively allow them to use your body to satisfy themselves by degrading your humanity to that of a pay-toilet.

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      1. Yes, exactly! They are more like aggressive bad debt collectors who call and text incessantly, who threaten you and maybe even stalk you, who purposefully make your life a living hell, even though they know full well that you aren’t the person who racked up the bad debt in the first place, because they know they can get away with it and they hope they can harass you into paying money you have no reason to pay. That bad debt? It’s called patriarchy. And it can fuck right off.

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        1. Changing one group, trying to change the way men go about stuff has got to be near impossible. Males thought process and primitive instincts are just that, males instinctively behave in a manor because it’s hard wiered deep in there brains, this can not be changed and there brains just aren’t complexed enough to be altered. The majority of males are brought up by there parents, it’s up to there parents to teach them the way of the world with mum being the first and most important female to teach what is and isn’t acceptable, possibly the start of male female etiquette should be pointed out to mothers. How can females change to fit in without feeling intimidated? Don’t know, self defense classes? If females weren’t fair full of violence could they then stand up for them selfs? Stronger willed/more argessive females and everything should just fall into place.

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        2. Not due men initiating anything. It’s up to the superior complex minds to work out how to be in control of any and all situations which affect them.

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        3. Did you just say that men don’t have complex minds? Do you really think so little of yourself? “Whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, it is the truth.”

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        4. Women have more complex minds, according to studies. With some exemptions of course (google it). I’m not ashamed to admit to the fact that is a proven fact, it just is what it is nothing more and nothing less. Also proven is the primal instincts in males which I forgot to add is apparently more prominent in those with a lower IQ and nearly non existent in the higher range. For those who don’t have high IQ (not there fault) instinct rules judgment, which can not be changed easily and obviously some chose not to change. The problem (in this case men) cause the issue (inequality etc) that effects the oppressed (female) now there’s one of multiple solutions 1. In my mind is to teach the oppressed how to claim dominants in the issue (self defense) 2. Again in my mind The way young males are educated on the matteres of female/male etiquette with the most important female in any males life (mum) teaching (yes some exemptions). A bit of backround, Over here males are terrified with the implications of physically harming a female normally the IRA delivers a instant death sentence in the form of a hit man, although this is effective I wouldn’t wish living in this society. Now I don’t intend this information to be offensive, look it over and if you wish take some of it on board as a complimentary supplement in addition to this article (which I’m 100% with).

          By the way, cheers for not trying to bully me about my gramer skills 🙂 like some others.

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        5. How can anyone take you seriously when you have such poor grammar?

          Speak for yourself about what is ‘hardwired’ into your brain, but don’t make assumptions about others.

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        6. when you use “there” instead of “their” EVERY time, that’s not the phone’s fault.. “manor” instead of “manner” is the same…

          “The majority of males are brought up by there (their) parents”
          Yeah… your point? Majority of all kids are brought up by their parents

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        7. Lol bob the mechanic…I may disagree with you on some points, but on this one I agree. I believe William may have been trying to blame the mothers here. Which is just blaming women again. I also suspect that English is not william’s first language, and…well, I’ll keep the rest of my suspicions to myself. I sincerely hope that English is this…person’s second language (or 3rd or whatever), because otherwise this person’s posts are just a glaring example of the inadequecies of whatever English speaking school system in which he/she was er…..”educated”.

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        8. ye sounding like oppressing someone? And Blaming Woman? Yeah well righto then, if you want to take everything ya read and then put the worst possible, most negative spin on it, that your right. You can’t claim to be open minded enought to think of the world in clear view.

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        9. Ok, this is out of pure curiosity, William, but I have to ask…what’s your first language? I ask this because I am hoping that there is just a misinterpretation here….

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        10. And in Canada we learn both French and English. It doesn’t effect my grammar. Nor does my smart phone and it’s autocorrect. Your “logic” and “arguments” are as poor as your grammar.

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        11. Nope, no miss understandings. Your playing semantics on Grammer in order to try and belittle someone. Superiority complex Much! A well Privileged person picking on someone who obviously wasn’t privileged enough to get a good education. Your uncanny ability to cherry pick words, jumble them up and extract the worse possible outcome in order to come up with a world view, will forever cloud your opinions and inject negatively to all you talk to. Do find yourself help for the sack of everyone who has the misfortune to cross paths with you. Oh and these “””” only go one way :P, no provisions for one thats upside down on a true English keyboard.

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        12. Question If your not clever enough to work out what this person is saying you should be picking on his grammer something like those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones we will now see how badly you pick on me for not using gramner we will also see just how petty you are if you choose to reply 😛

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        13. Original point was, there’s lots of different reasons why these issues in is article exist, the article covered some with handy suggestion on how to ease things. And I was pointing out my thoughts with explanation that Mum can assist son, and that there’s multiple ways of dealing with the lacking confidence of females this article was referring to one may be self defense classes (if harm is a issue). If you can’t change one issue (in this case men) change the one (females) in a way that they can be victorious. I do believe males don’t have to mental capacity to change enough. My self, well im for lack of a better description A sexual, I literally have no need or desire to “court” any gender

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        14. That’s just bull and an insult to every man that rises above his baser animal instincts. The way I see it, we have two choices. Either behave in a way that justifies our belief in our superiority to other animals or drop all pretense of being anything but, up to and including social order and all the modern conveniences it affords.

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        15. Thank you… I think William needs to speak only for himself when it comes to is irresistible urges and instincts, and the inability to control any of them.

          I am going out on a limb and assuming William is a male.. whether I’m right or wrong about that, it’s a very sexist comment

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        16. Women have more complex minds, according to studies. With some exemptions of course (google it). I’m not ashamed to admit to the fact that is a proven fact, it just is what it is nothing more and nothing less. Also proven is the primal instincts in males which I forgot to add is apparently more prominent in those with a lower IQ and nearly non existent in the higher range. For those who don’t have high IQ (not there fault) instinct rules judgment, which can not be changed easily and obviously some chose not to change. The problem (in this case men) cause the issue (inequality etc) that effects the oppressed (female) now there’s one of multiple solutions 1. In my mind is to teach the oppressed how to claim dominants in the issue (self defense) 2. Again in my mind The way young males are educated on the matteres of female/male etiquette with the most important female in any males lives being at the teacher. Just remember Susan, the way you see things, the way I see things and the way everyone else sees thing may or may not be the correct. BTW I’m 100% with this article

          Like

  64. It always seemed simple to me how I should interact with women. Just treat them like people. I have no explanation for why men can behave so terribly. Maybe it’s because I was raised in a family with a strong maternal figure that I seem to have more respect for women. I can see where men go astray trying to hit on women. Usually I just try to make an innocuous compliment. Something they can choose to continue the dialog about if they wish or that might just make them feel good about themselves. Now that I think about it, that’s the same way I make new friends. Remove sexuality from the situation and the whole process becomes very unmuddled. I say we should look for friends first and embrace what may come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaron
      Your comment: “Usually I just try to make an innocuous compliment.”
      I though your comment above very insightful. But from reading other female comments, I am concluding females in general don’t want men to even ‘make an innocuous compliment’. Is that what the females herein are trying to say?

      Like you, I personally have never whistled at a woman. Further, (and perhaps, not like you) I don’t speak to women on the street unless I know them (and then only when they speak to me first), and I never compliment a woman (with the exception of my wife, mother and sister, who are all wonderful women).

      I opened a door once to the law school for a person coming in when I was coming in to the building at that same time. She had her hands full and I would have opened the door for anyone who needed help if their hands were full regardless of their gender. She ‘chewed me out’ for opening the door.

      Just saying, I liked your comment so I thought I would ask: Are they trying to say they simply don’t want to talk to men or see men or hear any of the men’s opinions? Your thoughts are invited, Aaron. Thanks.

      Like

  65. I am truly blessed or live on another planet. I have never run into much if anything in sexual fear, although when i worked 3-11 (evening shift) in hospitals i walked out in a group or with security gurad, to well lit parking area. just common sense for anyone, not necessarily sexual.

    Like

  66. I like the article and would not deny a single line of it
    Yet I have two point I always struggle upon when reading such article
    – why is sexism always applied from men to women .?
    The exact opposite of this article will never be nor published nor considered yet it is my believe it is as much destructive as the damaging effects describe in this article.

    One last point which I ultimately do not get.
    Yes women are being discriminated against yet still today who is mainly providing the education to the children.

    Nations of macho man are raised by women complaining precisely about this.
    How can this be explained ????
    I you do have an explanation please let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The children are raised in this culture :

        Ok ….in the last century I would tend to agree.
        However today more and more women share the same view as you do.
        These women are mother themselves how one then could explain the society is not moving faster the direction of a better awareness ?

        How can boys raised by women sharing the same vision or the same line of thinking you present in your article, can become the men you portrayed in the article. ?

        Like

        1. I can’t speak for the other women, but my boys are still small children. give them time (assuming their peers whose parents may or may not share the views of my husband and myself don’t undermine our efforts to raise them with self confidence.)

          Also, this isn’t a male vs. female issue. There’s many men who share the same feelings. Conversely, there’s still a lot of women on the other side of the issue. I know my peers never took kindly to me rocking the boat.

          Additionally, I was raised by both my parents. My sons are being raised by my husband and I, not just me. Just the assumption that only women raise children is problematic and indicative of social norms that hold society back. Even in single parent households, some of which consist of a father rather than a mother, the absent parent still factors into the child’s development, to say nothing of other families who may or may not pick up the slack.

          Families are pretty diverse, especially in this day and age, and my point isn’t to elevate one kind of family over another, just illustrating the oversimplification of the argument that mothers are the ones raising these men.

          That said, society has gotten better but there’s always room for improvement. However, many people think that we’re done growing or that things are fine so long as we aren’t like a third world country with sanctioned rape and the stoning of victims. Greatness isn’t born of complacency.

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    1. It’s the same reason racism is always applied to white people.

      Are men disadvantaged by sexism? They are not. They enjoy significant advantages in every society on this planet relative to women. Until we are closer to equality sexism won’t apply the other way.

      Like

  67. Thank you for this well written and heartfelt article.

    I am a woman raised in a sheltered enviornment for most of my life, from a boy-ish figure to heartfelt parents who listened to and encouraged me. But even I have lived through the fear and pain of modern sexism.

    My coping came in the power of a tom-boy exterior. I acted like a boy, talked like a boy, I even emulated WALKING like a boy to let other boys know I wasn’t to be messed with. I went out of my way to get into guys faces during recess or gym class if they dissed my friends or didn’t let me play an organized sport because I was “a girl.” I had to literally flatten those boys in soccer, steal the ball from my own teammates in football, and yank the lacrosse stick of a man who played “keep-away” during a game to laugh at my short frame. I bluffed and yelled, creating a reputation that demanded respect from every man. When I started recieving that respect (from the majority of my classmates) I told myself those men had learned, had understood I was another human, not a “girl” who was soft and yielding. But, looking back, I’m not so sure. They treated me like another guy, but that didn’t change their actions to my friends or other girls. What happened?

    I am now dealing with the duality of my anger-response in my marital relationship. At times when I feel insecure I lash out with the same tom-boy mask from high school when, instead, I should talk calmly and explain. My husband is a wonderful man, but even he does not realize why I refuse to watch/play/allow certain material in the house due to its portrayel of women. To him it’s just entertainment, fake, it does no harm. With this article maybe he can catch a glimpse of the world women live in.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  68. wow just wow..im really blown away by your ability to lie about your own role in all these situations..birds of a feather flock together…when you hang around thieves you will have some of your property stolen from you eventually..You are the captain of your own ship in life..you choose where to hang out, with whom and what type of establishment to frequent..when men go to the shitty side of town and end up in a situation, they dont blame someone else the next day..they just own it..its time women like yourself quit complaining and start owning it..you choose everything in life and some shit is random but not realyy if you trace your thoughts and footsteps back far enough..grow up please.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I obviously can’t respond to every comment, since there are well over a thousand here and on the multiple Huffington Post pages (published in 6 languages so far) and over 2 million views here on my personal blog. In other words? This struck a nerve. Rang true for so many women. Struck a chord with so many men who were touched by this. But your comment caught me at a moment when I have a few minutes to respond.

      What you so elegantly call “complaining” I call speaking. Yep. Speaking about something most of us experience. Alas, some people will consider anyone saying anything that makes them the *tiniest* bit uncomfortable or anything that isn’t all sunshine and rainbows as “complaining.” You may want to examine why a woman speaking and writing about something that is a part of their life is so threatening to you? You may want to examine why you feel the need to react with such venom and disdain? Just a thought. Sometimes self examination leads us to understand ourselves better.

      I am in no way a victim. I have been through some shit in my life. But you know what? I’m happy. I have a great life. I’m incredibly lucky. These things I write about? They are just things that happen. They are things I shrug off half the time. But do they make me feel uncomfortable? Yes. Do they make me feel a little scared at times? Yes. Do I want my daughters to experience this? Nope. Do I want them to walk through the world oblivious to the dangers? Nope. Especially when bad things happen to women who are alone. Just last week there was an attempted abduction of a woman across the street from where I live. In a quiet suburban “safe” neighborhood. She was taking a walk. Hmmm… maybe she should examine her actions and “be the captain of her own ship?” How dare she take a walk in the middle of the day???

      As for my ownership in all this? I am happily married for 16 years. I have enjoyed wonderful friendships in my life with wonderful men. I have been blessed that all of the men I’ve been in relationships with in my past were great guys who treated me with love and respect. My relationship with men is and always has been very good. I don’t surround myself with assholes or misogynists or angry people. I am careful with who I spend time with and associate with.

      I’m not sure how walking through a parking lot at noon on a Wednesday is putting myself in a bad place? Or waitressing at the fine dining restaurant, or any of the other restaurants I worked at, is putting myself in a bad place? Or working with corporate clients from Fortune 500 companies is putting myself in a bad place? Or walking through the airport on a Sunday afternoon is putting myself in a bad place? All of these are just a smattering of instances in which I experience what I wrote about in this article. Maybe next time, read a little more closely, maybe next time try to shrug off the haze of anger you seem to be viewing things through.

      Or, I don’t know… maybe sit down and listen? You just might learn something.

      Cheers.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. davidshelmerdine and Gretchen Kelly

        David, I agree with you. However, you cannot rationalize with irrational people. If you don’t agree with the women they say “you don’t get it”. They do not want to accept that ‘you get it’ but simply don’t agree with their conclusions because they are flawed. Like you, I too have been approached by women (including pinched in the front more than I care to admit). My wife even reported one woman for it. Women are becoming more and more sexually aggressive. The only answer I can give to my wife and to you (not that either of you or my wife needed advice) is to ignore women.

        I have even hired a female “expert” witness (CPA) once to testify in trial only to find when she got to the courtroom “[she] cannot testify because the assistant prosecutor (female) was a sorority sister”. And then she refused to refund the $2000. ‘Never hire a woman’ was the lesson other attorneys told me.

        Actually, I wish women would simply abort male children. I don’t really believe in abortion but I hate the idea of an innocent little boy being abused by women like Gretchen Kelly. Can you imagine a little boy telling Mommy Gretchen:

        “Mom, something happened to me at school today and I think we need to talk about it”.

        Only to have Gretchen respond: “Shut up. This isn’t about you, its about women! YOUR LIFE DOESN’T MATTER”.

        Like

        1. I really, truly hope you aren’t actually a lawyer. If you are, I hope your female clients realize that you have a chip on your shoulder and leave. Gretchen isn’t minimizing the trouble that men encounter, she’s simply pointing out the fact that most women, at some point in their lives (and in many cases, frequently) have experienced/will experience unwelcome and/or threatening advances which we minimize and let go because it happens so often that it would be a huge undertaking and massively draining to respond to all advances. And we have the disadvantage; most men are bigger and stronger than most women. So they are more likely to pose a threat.
          I guess my point is that it’s NOT A COMPETITION. Get over it.

          Like

        2. Anonymous above.
          I am a lawyer. Call the Oklahoma Bar and the Federal Bar of the Western District of Oklahoma. Gina Hendryx (General Counsel of the OK Bar) is a friend of mine, but that is because as a woman she doesn’t whine, isn’t needy and is not neurotic.

          You talk about what women have to face daily. Consider what a male faces daily. Richard Glossip sits on death row in McAlester OK. Yet Richard Glossip didn’t kill anyone. Mary Winkler killed her husband in Tennessee and receive two (2) months in jail. Susan Wright Taylor stabbed her husband over 200 times and received 12 years in jail. Cassie Anthony killed her daughter and then went partying. Betty Broderick killed her ex-husband and his gf because her ex dared to divorce from her and only received 20 years. A female dentist runs over her husband in Houston TX…no death penalty sought. An ex-wife shoots her professor husband in Arlington TX because he divorced her…no jail time …no death penalty sought. A woman in San Francisco kills six (6) newborns…receives five (5) years probation. NOT ONE OF THESE WOMEN FACED THE DEATH PENALTY. NOT ONE!

          And you say women face danger on a daily basis? Try walking in Richard Glossip’s shoes. He didn’t kill anyone yet has been on death row for eighteen (18) years.

          In the criminal justice system, men face a 200% greater chance of receiving the death penalty than women for the SAME CHARGE OF 1ST DEGREE MURDER! They are 100 times more likely to be raped in prison than a woman.

          Anonymous, you are one of those whiny, needy, neurotic women. Grow up.

          Like

        3. PS. I don’t represent women like you (i.e. whiny, needy, neurotic). I do however represent my wife (when she tells me to). I represent men.

          Like

    2. Explain to me how a ‘woman’ is to ‘own it’ – when say, she is a 12 year old girl molested by her father or a 6 year old girl raped by her uncle, or a business woman at a business conference with record breaking company results getting an award and the president of the company hugs her and grabs a feel at the same time. Each of those people are supposed to “own it”, the way a guy like you does that goes into the wrong part of town? You are missing the entire point. How do the little girls I described, and which Gretchen is pointing out happens every single day, suppose to take ownership for who they hang around with. How does one avoid their father at 12? or their uncle at 6, as you say – ‘ you don’t put yourself in a bad place.’ – just own it….or a business woman just doing her job – earning a respectable living – and doing it well – still has a man ‘in a position of authority’ take advantage. She is supposed to own his inability to control himself? why because we have a vagina and men don’t know how to control themselves? Perhaps it is the men that need to own it – own that they are out of line. Perhaps you should face the fact – davidshelmerdine – you are part of the problem and EXACTLY who Gretchen is calling out. Listen. And maybe don’t be such a jerk. Your entire post is filled with ignorance. Why? Because you don’t get it. You have never lived having men taking the most vulnerable part of your being at a time when you are too young to even realize things like this exist in the world – and that is the reason that most women – if they are honest – ask themselves those exact questions that Gretchen described in her post – whenever they are anywhere. A bookstore, the country club, the office, in her yard – everywhere. When a man approaches, we ask ourselves those questions.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Dear David,

      I’m in the same line as Gretchen. Just mentioning what we have to live everyday doesn’t make us everyday/ universal victims.
      As a matter of fact I know a lot of women who aren’t even aware that it is not normal to be sexually harassed in the metro, it’s juts normal…So here is the problem and when the problem is tackled we get reactions like ours.

      Why ?

      Because society despises victims. We don’t like them.
      It’s bad to be weak, to be in that position even for occasional situations.

      I don’t consider myself as a victim, but occasional victim of harassment yes !
      And it started at a young age, around 12, when I started getting sleazy attention from older guys, (older meant over 20 at that age for me til 70 maybe )
      So how could I possibly “own it ” at that age ???
      How could my 15 year-old sister own it when she visited me in Paris and we got sexual unwanted attention every 10 minutes because she was blondine.
      How can I own it when I get threatened by a guy as big as a wardrobe just because I ignore him or answer to him (that I stopped , too dangerous to do in Paris…)

      If you are so clever, then please give us a solution.
      But you can’t, because you’re a geezer and you don’t know. You just don’t get it.

      Watch the film “Deliverance”, come back and tell us what you feel when you see a man get raped.
      And then do the maths…how many films there are where men get raped…how many films where women get ?

      Just answer these 2 questions…
      I’m curious.

      Like

      1. As a mother of sons and a grandmother I resent it that all men are stereotyped and demonised. Some women will relate to this post, but it doesn’t speak for everyone, certainly nott me or the women I know.

        Like

        1. At no point in time did the article say that all men are guilty of certain behaviors, only that all women have experienced those behaviors. And women are certainly responsible for their contribution to those behaviors, such as you and your own willful ignorance. Some of us want to raise confident upstanding young men that aren’t plagued with feelings of entitlement for their sake as much as anyone else’s. That won’t happen by ignoring certain societal problems and hoping they will magically go away on their own.

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        2. Susan, What a coincidence. I’ve raised confident, upstanding men. They are loving husbands and fathers and sons. How you raise your children is your business. Mine aren’t plagued by feelings of entitlement unless it’s the expectation that they are equally entitled to the sort of respect they show to their partners and colleagues.

          Whatever you’re aiming for, it’s never going to be a perfect world. We should all work towards improving it. Saying that not all men behave badly but ‘all women experience such behaviours’ doesn’t help and is surely mathematically improbable.

          Pretending that it’s only the one gender that’s behaving badly isn’t helpful either. In Canada a woman who wasn’t allowed to take her sons out of the country and away from their father, drowned them in their bath. If she couldn’t have them, neither could their father.

          A French court jailed a woman for nine years for killing eight of her newborn babies. She tried getting out of it by lying about having had an incestuous relationship with her father. Prosecutors asked for eighteen years but her lawyers wanted the jury to consider ‘the “distress” of a fragile woman plagued by neuroses.’ That’s entitlement if you like. Let me repeat, it’s not a perfect world. Pretending that it’s only one gender that’s contributing to it isn’t helpful.

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        3. “Confident, upstanding men” display these behaviors as well, at least at times. I’m sure they’re smart enough not to do it in front of their MOTHERS, marymtf, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. Granted, it also doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re personally committing such behaviors, but don’t be that naive. If your son gave into the urge to make a sexist comment, reach out and pinch a woman at the office, etc., it’s not as though he’s going to run home and tell mommy about it.

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        4. Excuse me if I’m wrong, Katie, but you sound as if you aren’t as far from your teens as I am. My memories are faded, but I do remember that teenagers, girls and boys, sometimes get up to things they’d rather their parents didn’t find out about. Perhaps your response is based on your own personal experiences. Most teens will grow out of it. Those that don’t, haven’t been raised properly or have had bad role models. I have always believed that parenting shouldn’t be a right but a privilege.

          I think that once children are adults and have children of their own, their parents will have seen them in almost every family or social situation possible. It’s impossible to hide the sort of nature you accuse all.men of from their mothers or anyone else for very long. Flaws and all, men and women belong to the one species. Accusing all men of bad behaviour is as ridiculous and wrong as implying that all women are perfect.

          I doubt that anything I’ve said will convince you, but it’s your blog so I very much appreciate the chance you’ve given me to debate the issue.

          Like

    4. I’m sorry, did you say we need to own it?

      Did you read the article? It is about rape culture. If a woman is harassed in a good part of town – it’s not her fault. If a woman is harassed in a bad part of town – it’s also not her fault. The definition of rape culture is placing blame on a victim for somehow playing a part in the sexual harassment they have endured.

      It’s time for you – general you – men like you – to listen.

      You know when I had my first taste of this? I remember walking to the corner store at 8 and having men whistle at me. 8 fucking years old.

      At 8 I also had a man try and attack me in a bathroom stall at my elementary school.

      At 9, a man fondled my leg on a bus.

      At 13 a man masterbated in front of me on a bus.

      I had to work at 14 and in order to keep my job I had to deal with constant sexual harassment from my employer. Around the same time one of my employers friends offered me money to attend a party for his friends. I got in trouble when I spoke back and told him “I am not for sale.” Again. 14.

      At 15, I was raped. To this day, I’ve never told anyone until now. For the longest time, I thought it was my fault.

      At 16 a man pulled up next to me when I was walking to work and offered me a ride. He was masterbating. The police didn’t believe me. They chose to believe his story that his penis fell out of his pants.

      For years I put up with leering, jeering, comments from strangers, employers, teachers, coworkers….and society makes you feel like somehow it’s your fault. Society also certainly makes you feel like it’s your responsibility to diffuse the situation.

      Walk a mile in our shoes before you make comments that support a mans right to treat us as if we are property.

      BTW, despite all of the above, I don’t feel like a victim. I’ll never let any man make me feel like a victim. I want to change the environment that my kids grow up in. Enough is enough.

      Like

    5. Well, maybe you think we women should invest in burqas or teleportation devices so that we never have to venture out, as ourselves, into the world of men (which they have dominion over and rightly so)… Because behind those words of yours lies the hidden assertion that men are in control of all shared space. If a man is in the room, on the street, in the workplace, in the elevator, the parking lot – it is our duty to either be completely invisible, or receptive – or shut the fuck up and take full responsibility for his behavior. I think instead, that you should grow up, little boy – and lose the profound sense of entitlement that has been instilled in you. I would like instead (of women hiding, deferring, cowering, writing essays to try to appeal to your reason) for it to be assumed that every woman will call out threatening behavior openly directly and without fear, and that every woman is carrying a gun, and that we will, logically, defend our persons against violence with lethal force if pushed to the extreme.

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    6. By extension of your logic, we can’t leave the house because any part of town becomes the wrong part of town when you’re female. When I was 10, I had some random 12 year old boy come behind me and school and grab me inappropriately. Mind telling me how I was in the wrong place at the wrong time in my own school in my own town?

      Like

  69. Hi Gretchen,

    Thank you !
    This is so real to me too. I’m Parisian. I’m desperate to explain to my buddies how it is to be a woman in a alleged modern society.
    They just don’t get it.
    Worse, some of them think we like to get unwanted attention.
    But they don’t realize that we don’t want RUDE unwanted attention. And that’s 99% of the case.
    They don’t understand the violence of some behaviour even if it seems tiny to most of people.
    We are then accused to overreact.
    I have been accused to overreact. To be too sensitive.

    I sometimes wish I would be a man for a day to understand what it is to walk around free, to not worry in the evening, to not feel the stress of being stared at in the subway etc…

    My ex said he had been hit on quite explicitly once in his life by a woman in the metro…made him super uncomfortable.
    But I’m not sure he makes the connection with what we endure on a regular basis.

    I have chosen to leave Paris, even though I love my city.
    I left not only for that but now that I love in the Netherlands I feel the pressure is gone.

    I can wear feminine clothes again without fearing harassment.
    I had to wait to be 40 for that… Great !

    We should publish a list of all the things we do they are not aware of…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Men do not go around as worry-free as you think. Women come across a kind of violence, men come across another one.
      We most definitely need to be careful in the evening. We may not get sexually harassed, but the number of men who just snap out at other men for no reason at all may surprise you. I already had to defend myself from some of such situations. We come across violent harassement very often. So we do our best to avoid it: act tough, put a badass face on etc. and you may get away with it. But if a man looks weak, be sure he will be an easy and frequent target for such kinds of violence. I train hard at the gym and learnt martial arts precisely to have a chance at defending myself when the time comes.

      And yes, your boyfriend may have been superuncomfortable when a woman hit on him, but that is because usually it’s men that go after a girl. Which also explains why so many more women have a partner with respect to men. As a man, it’s INCREDIBLY hard to get a girlfriend if you’re not a walking god who can get anyone he wants. I have female friends who had 8 partner in the only 4 years. That is insane for a man. But of course, having it easier than men (and women do have it easier, on average <= key word "average", not always) also has its bad sides: unwanted attention. Men, on the other hand, do not get as much unwanted attention, but "on average" have it MUCH harder to find someone. And this is not a small problem, because what kind of life is a life with no love/affection? I may have a job that pays well, a nice house and a nice car, but if I don't have a partner I feel like I failed at life. I'd much rather have a partner and work as a cashier, than be rich but lonely.

      I do not want to get into a superlong comment, I highlighted only one side of being a man. We do not have the same problems as women, but we have other ones that very often do not get talked about. This is one of the reasons for which over 80% of the suicides have a man as a victim (which relates to the previously mentioned feeling of loneliness most men experience), and more than 85% of the homeless people are men, for instance, just to mention two problems derived from how society wants us to act.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi sorry, maybe it’s cultural, I do not know what you are talking about.
        In Paris, the % of singles is higher with women than men at least at a younger age (til 30-40) then it tends to invert… So we’re on equal grounds (I just checked the numbers to confirm this)

        And I don’t understand why you talk about the “problem” of being lonely following a comment and an article speaking about general harassment women have to go through.

        None of my buddies feel unsafe when they go out. Some have been in fights but at least they were equal to the other guys…which I will never be, being petite.
        Learning Jujitsu and Aikido was not very fruitful for me either…

        So let’s remain practical. It is a fact that women get (on top of all the things you’ve mentioned) sexual harassment on a regular basis (even my mum who’s 66) that we get raped more than men (numbers in France for last year were something like : 93 or 94 % of sexual victims were female/ 96 or 97 % of perps were males)

        So what are you trying to say ?

        That guys have their problems too ?
        As if in “we weren’t aware of it” ?
        Guys get harassment ?
        Yes, and fyi we sympathize…which is not the case of your gender counterparts (I’ve heard from guys about this subject that guys who get abused are sissies, are pussies, weak, faggots etc…) so who is unfair here ?

        + It is proven that women get lower salaries for the same job (at least in France, the rate is almost 20% less)

        As I said before, I have many buddies, I love men, I get on with them, but honestly for some things they are ignorant, this is how it is.

        But please be aware that coming up with a post mentioning loneliness as a guy in response to my (our) everyday harassment experience in Paris makes me think that maybe the reason I get harassed is that guys are lonely…
        Is this your message??
        I hope not.

        I think your post is missing the point.
        Did you understand what we are even talking about ?

        I think you are talking about yourself (most my buddies had much more girlfriends that I had boyfriends…but indeed some had less…that’s life, that’s personal)

        Sorry, I don’t mean to be harsh but I don’t know what you are talking about.

        Take care.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. “As a man, it’s INCREDIBLY hard to get a girlfriend if you’re not a walking god who can get anyone he wants.”

        Now that made me laugh because the same complaint is made by women – if you don’t conform to the current “standard” of beauty, it’s impossible to find a good boyfriend. I think both sides should be more open in the choices for dating. In any case that’s not relevant to the writers discussion.

        On the rest, in a big city everyone has to be watchful because muggings happen, violence happens, but it is worse for women because women are assumed to be easy targets. When given a choice between a random male and female target, the criminal is going to most likely go for the woman. Even though we both have the threat of violence, we as women also have to worry about everything the author mentions as part of our “typical” life as a woman, things I also have experienced: being touched in the subway, being manhandled by a date the first time meeting, sexual harassment on the street, professors making inappropriate comments about women’s bodies, not taken as seriously as a professional as men in the same field, having to lie about having a boyfriend, and more but I’ll stop here.

        I get what you’re saying that men have their issues but if you take all that I have mentioned and say it happened to a man, people will be shocked and appalled; if you say it happened to a woman, everyone will nod that it’s expected as a woman at some point to have these experiences. That’s what needs to change, none of these things should be a “typical” part of someone’s experiences. You have to have respect for and treat others with respect no matter what is going on with you personally. Period.

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        1. Well this is straight up false.
          http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv14.pdf
          Go to page 6.
          Men are more likely to be victims of violence than women. That’s a very large sample of data collected by the federal government of the United States of America. It’s not a one-off, either.
          So there’s the “easy target” myth.

          Everything else is about comfort and status, not actual safety.
          Yet for some reason, I always, always see those two absurdly conflated.
          If you want to be empowered, stop feeling threatened by things that don’t actually threaten you.
          I’m not saying those things are justified or appropriate; I am saying that you will be better off learning to shrug them off rather than being engaged in a community and ideology that promotes hypersensitivity.
          This discussion, this original blog post, was about women constantly trying to be safe. Not comfortable, safe.
          One problem:
          I think the author is overly fearful. I think most of her behaviors are completely unnecessary. I think being overly fearful is an extremely common neurosis, among both men and women*, and that fixating on it in this fashion can exacerbate it.
          I also appreciate that these neuroses are difficult patterns to identify and fix; and that it’s very common and very easy to externalize blame instead of developing the insight to ask how much of one’s fear is rational, and how best to be safe while minimizing fear.

          Oh, and people have catcalled me and said lewd things to me, as a man. Men and women have been sleazy and inappropriate to me. I was weirded out the first time or two, coming out of my sheltered youth; then I took it in stride. People have been nuisances to me, and I learn to negotiate those circumstances with some balance of tact and self-interest.
          You can do that too.

          *Though as a man, my greatest fears are of social rejection; the kind of rejection that often finds a valid basis in reality due to others’ irrational fears.

          Liked by 1 person

      3. The problems men and women face are different but the root cause is the same. Society sets forth a certain set of expectations for men around dominance and male entitlement. Those who do not thrive in such an environment may take it out on women, and those who do thrive still act out aggressively toward anyone, male or female, simply because they can.

        Humans like to fancy ourselves as better than other animals, and rather than confront our baser animal instincts so that we can truly rise above them, we rationalize and make excuses for them instead.

        Now plenty of people can and do rise above it, but only because they are open to discussion, even uncomfortable ones.

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  70. Wow, just the dialogue here gives insight to each person’s own observation of our world. “Ignorance is Bliss” as the saying goes.
    There is the evil of omission and commission…one is committing the wrong, while the other turns a blind eye and allows it to continue. If ignorance is anyone’s choice in a world of full access to information on the World Wide Web, then we must question the intent of such a close minded individual. Then again, ethics and equality is not a subject distributed to all schools of thought.

    Just a suggestion to anyone that is interested “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft is very informative.

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  71. How do we expect to allow increasing numbers of unsocial men (internet age) become better at interacting with women WITHOUT there being some tension. Maybe in many cases; the reason men behave in a way that is uncomfortable could be because they are socially awkward even behaving aggressively as a front to break out of their dis-ability with meeting women? I am biased but as a man in college trying to sort through this myself i can say that over the last 2 years of me actively approaching i have probably disturbed and made many women uncomfortable. I have made it through this phase and can now relate to women in a comfortable friendly, sexual if warranted way and can gauge (better than before) such that I am now able to have girlfriend etc. I fear that a kind of closed mindset common here does not allow space for men to develop and learn how to interact. I believe social openness is needed in both sexes; the men making people uncomfortable spawns from social leading to sexual inhibition; the rapist being the extreme case? although the social climate plays a role i feel its more important or at least not talked enough to deal with it on a personal level IE self development and personal responsibility. Perspective from the other side possibly under represented ..?..

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    1. The reality here is that you can not expect women like myself who have been raped and assaulted to “Be patient” and baby men into some level of understanding when we are the ones in danger because of the men’s actions. If men are going to understand where we are coming from, they are going to have to hear some things that make them uncomfortable without claiming that the women should be more lenient with them. They are going to have to just hear some things that make them feel uncomfortable and acknowledge that they themselves are the ones who need to make some changes to level the playing field. It is not up to us to continue de-escalating for men’s comfort, it should in fact be the other way around since mostly, men are not in danger from us, and are not made to feel on edge every second of their existence because of women’s treatment.

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      1. If we want men to de-excelate women need to learn to excelate and approach, everytime a women leaves this up to the man (common in western macho bs culture) it insites the very over aggressiveness we see. We cannot expect men to simply de-escelate/approaching less as unless women make up the difference, we will end up like japan where relationships just dont happen! This is horrible! Romance is beautiful right? Go ahead and level the playing field right?…

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      2. Agree. But if the man in question is consistently defensive to the point of anger and yelling, dominating the conversation in order to deny it, what woman wants to put herself through repeated shouting matches with an uninsightful, entitled clod? For his benefit OR hers?

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        1. I’m on board with all this. I hope this bit is helpful for all. If not, I’m sorry and I’ll read the replies and try to adjust.
          There was a time if a woman unexpectedly pointed something out to me about how my behavior might have come across, it sometimes seemed to a younger me to be coming from just over a threshold beyond which polite denial must become deep frustration, even disgust: that I should have known better and therefore was being intentionally insensitive or mean or cruel or entitled or reckless as the case may be.
          As a guy who has never been warmly embraced by the macho community, I felt (felt) so starkly condemned at some of those call-outs that I did sometimes react in panic with vehement defensiveness, which only made things worse. I felt like I was being cast out and condemned, sometimes by people I loved, so I felt that defending myself was utterly urgent, and listening just felt like having my sentence read. I know. I haven’t had an experience like that in a long time but if I do, I hope I respond with quiet compassion and listen rather than argue regardless of how I saw myself in the situation.
          Almost everybody wants to be forgiven, enlightened, and worthy of trust. I’ve always really wanted to be fair, honest, open-minded and kind, and since I already had ptsd from some of the kinds of things in macho culture this article talks about, I was often surprised the times I was called-out, but always willing to listen and change and always super grateful to be given the explanation and opportunity to become a better person instead of condemnation (and in those cases I may’ve been the 14th man that week to do something stupid, or it may’ve been the 14th time that week that I’d done something stupid and I needed to be brought around immediately, for which I’m grateful for the lack of politeness).
          There were times when it may’ve helped being told “stop defending yourself, it’s okay but what you said/did is not ok and here’s why, big picture: Listen to me, you said what you said it’s my turn to talk.” It may’ve made me feel like I’m back in 4th grade being misunderstood and ostracized by mean teachers again, or whatever trap it springs. But I’m listening. There were times I was simply sent away to go figure it out myself, and I didn’t always succeed and repeated the mistake until someone finally explained it to me, no matter how obvious it may be once you know.
          I think communication is a lot better now than it was 10 or 15 years ago. The message might get spread even to the most intransigent from those who are listening. I hope so. We deserve better.

          Liked by 2 people

      3. important interaction….wow..we need lots of this. I m going to suggest that we start to understand by going to the source..looking inward to the masculine and feminine principals within each of us. and to the virtues of each . since we are polar opposites we could first sort out the complimentary gifts of each. and how each has the key to help the other. e.g…fem. principal creates all..masc. structures all. because our world views all through the male lens..both genders are very confused and distort everything so to untangle..go to source!

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        1. Agree, go to the source then, we are all conscious and aware, gender comes and goes yet awareness we all share, identify as a male or female, good-luck you damn fucking fools!, your testicles will shrink your vagina will dry up, gay, straight, estrogen, testosterone, genes are a swarm, these things are all in flux, impermanence and unsubstantial life with reference point, no ground no ceiling, underneath superficial appearances there is no person – have a look why dont you! the whole thing is just so damn stupid; stop identifying yourself you are selling yourself way to short

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    2. So basically men should be able to make women feel uncomfortable whenever they want, in the spirit of learning, but women need to stop making men uncomfortable by trying to actually help them learn? If you want to get better at interacting with women, try some empathy on for size. Learning is uncomfortable. You should be the one to bear the burden of that discomfort, not the women you use to improve your social skills.

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      1. Please, abort any male children you will have. Women tell little boys 2 and 3 years old that “their feelings don’t matter”, or “man up” or worse, that “their goals are not important” as if only little girls dreams and goals are important.

        A lot of the women commenting in this blog should not give birth to male children because they will only abuse them with the concept that ‘a male’s life doesn’t matter.’

        Please abort all male children. At least until you women grow up.

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        1. Actually, you don’t have to abort boys. Just tell the little boy he’s “acting like a girl” and your problem will be solved. If I could punch your face, I would.

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        2. You have serious issues. Seriously, I don’t know what your mother did to you, but I’m sorry that she was apparently so dismissive. And if she wasn’t, then where are you getting these ideas that mothers are the parents who tell their little boys to “man up” etc? For the most part, that’s the dads. Get professional help.

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    3. This is so sad but so true, at 12 an exhibitionist showed himself to me on my way back home from school, at 14 a stranger touched my butt going up the stairs to a Red Cross CPR training, at 15 a guy I did not know but I turned down for a dance blew up on me calling me all short of things, at 19 a band I auditioned for asked me to lift my skirt to see my legs because I was going to have to dress a certain way if I was going to be the front woman, at 23 another stranger touched my butt walking down 5th Ave in New York, it was 2 pm. At 40 a coworker asked me to have sex with him out of the blue, just because he knew that we would be so good together. There have been others but I yelled at them and althought I have been called crazy and femenist as an insult they don’t weight on me because I did something. The ones I listed avove I deescalated. I hope this article unite tespextful people to speak up when tgos kind of abuse happens to you or you see it happening to someone.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. There’s a distinction between feeling uncomfortable and feeling unsafe, and worrying about being embarrassed versus harmed.

      In my personal experience, whenever people try to avoid an uncomfortable situation, it always results in a bigger hurt later on. It’s also possible I’m very different from most women and most men. I’m the kind of person who wants people to be open and honest with me, even if I don’t like what they have to say. It’s still better than the uncertainty of not knowing and the pain of finding out the truth later on.

      In terms of dating, there’s a big difference between being afraid to ask someone out because they might say no and being afraid of saying no because you don’t know how poorly the person will take it, up to the point of physical aggression. Asking someone out wouldn’t be as big an ordeal for all parties involved if people coped with rejection better in the first place. We need to accept that liking someone does not obligate them to return the feelings. It’s okay to ask, but it’s also okay to say ‘no’ and be told ‘no.’

      Also, people don’t become rapists as an extreme reaction to the complexities of dating. They become rapists because they don’t respect personal autonomy and they choose to impose their will on others. It’s irresponsible to imply that rape is ever a consequence of someone else’s actions or the subtle nuances of dating.

      Personally this article was interesting for me because I never de-escalated when I was a girl, except in conflicts with other girls. It didn’t happen when men until I was a young adult, and I think it was because of too many years of people (male and female) marginalizing me for daring to advocate for myself. After so many years of being bullied, I bought into it and no longer felt that I deserved better. In that sense, the onus is on everyone, male and female, not to discourage people from rocking the boat when need be.

      As a mother of boys, I don’t take lightly my responsibility to raise them with self confidence and the ability to take ‘no’ graciously.

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  72. whether it’s written with a broad brush or not, religion perpetuates it, language perpetuates it, and misguided expectations perpetuate it. And the fact of the matter is, ALL men own this. Men, sitting in their privileged chairs, benefiting from the rules they wrote, using the resources they pretty much raped from everyone else, they own it. You can’t have 70% of the political power in the hands of less than 50% of the population and think there isn’t a problem. You can’t have 95% of the private power in the hands of 30% of the population and think there isn’t an imbalance. We can blame biology, argue men are at the mercy of their uncontrolable sex drive, but let’s face it, we stopped being Neanderthals a long time ago.

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    1. OK… for one.. lets accept that there are regional differences in the prevalence of the issues at hand.
      For starters.. I have only witnessed catcalling and lewdness (in person) less than a handful of times.. and most of them were by my roommate at the time, who was a complete and utter asshole.. manipulative, narcissistic, and an egomaniac… surprisingly, he had GREAT success with women.

      Now how about where I DO notice lewd behavior, unwanted sexual advances, sexual objectification on a DAILY basis??
      THE MEDIA
      So until we stop promoting (by watching) shows and movies with this behavior, we’re never going to get anywhere trying to change anything.. Young, influenceable minds will gladly accept this as being acceptable behavior, and take it a step further as REQUIRED behavior in order to get attention from the opposite sex…Guess what.. for the most part, they’re correct, because that sort of behavior DOES work.

      So for the women.. try and be conscientious of this behavior.. don’t fall for it if you’re against it..
      And for everyone, stop supporting the media where it doesn’t agree with your views

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      1. Ah, ok, so it’s been the media’s fault that men have thought that they have more rights than women since before the media existed? This is the same argument as “the media made those kids shoot other kids”, “the media made those guys rape those girls”, “music made those kids kill themselves”….etc. THE MEDIA isn’t at fault here. The CULTURE and the propagation of that culture from generation to generation is to blame. Individuals are to blame. The media reflects the culture, not the other way around.

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        1. The media certainly can’t be blamed for starting it, because you’re right… the issue has been around far long than the media has.. but they seem to be perfectly happy to keep it going… why? because sex sells… and so does violence. It’s on all of us collectively to recognize this and at least support media which reinforces positive behavior if we can’t eliminate the bad.

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  73. Wow! The comments to this article really show how embedded this sexist mentality is in our culture and how hard (and subconsciously) we work to disown and deny it!

    Disappointing and distressing.

    The article itself — lucid, real, and more pertinent than most of its readers seem to understand.

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  74. I’ve never thought of myself as a feminist, in fact I used to hear about feminism even as a woman myself and think who cares? However moving to the Middle East has really opened my eyes into century’s old habits that men make and the way women are seen literally as second class citizens that not I even notice that not all of these ways have disappeared from the western world. So much that all of the things you wrote about really struck a chord with me. This post isn’t an attack on men, feminism needs to be held by everyone until we make enough difference, it’s certainly not something to ever be brushed aside by anyone. All of the things you have written are true for most women! Loved this X

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  75. Sorry, love, started reading and then stopped when you said that we don’t react because we’re afraid to be called a bitch. Let me tell you a story. I was raped by a classmate when I was 14. My mother told me “so, what” when I told her, some years after. It made me be like the women you describe: scared, fearful, weak, subservient. But then I had to deal with it, or die, and it wasn’t much of a choice. So I dealt with it. I dealt with him, and I dealt with feeling lesser. End of story. So, deal with it. No, really, deal with it. Stop being afraid, and small and meek and subservient as if something’s bad’s gonna happen to you if you don’t. Nothing WORSE is gonna happen to you than you already do to yourself by perpetuating this mentality. Oh, and when you start being labeled a bitch, that’s the indication that you’re doing things RIGHT. Not wrong. Good luck to you.

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    1. I am sorry for you, BUT, Your mother was wrong, and SICK., , and at age 14 my daughters, unless he was a much larger male, would have been hut and at least would have had one eye gouged with their thumbs . BECAUSE WHEN YOU PLUCK A GUYS EYE OUT, THEY USUALLY RECOIL RAPIDLY. EVERY WOMAN SHOULD BE TRAINED TO DO THIS….IT SHOULD BE A CLASS IN SCHOOL. I can tell you that when you GOUGE OUT A MANS EYE, OR RIP OFF HIS EAR, HIS FOCUS IS IMMEDIATELY CHANGED. Most people think that a fight is to guys hitting each other, I live in the Ozarks, Springfield Missouri and I am a man of God and a peaceful man, I also am a professional, but I so trained in martial arts, and boxing, but I have been in two flights in the last 5 years and as I work with ex-cons and drug addicts and alcoholics, and attacked twice, and I fight as if my life depends on it because it does. I will first punch someone in the throat, which can cause death, and at least will make it extremely difficult to breathe, if I am taken to the ground I will gouge out an eye, bite off an ear, THAT IS WHAT A FIGHT IS. AND EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO KNOW THIS.

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  76. As a bloke, it was interesting to read your article, and to be honest you’re right! I really had no idea it may have been this frequently, and this bad. I mean i suppose i can relate in a way, as a cyclist there isn’t the infrastructure on the roads to ride in Britain additionally on a cyclist path pedestrians don’t recognise the pathing or speed of a cyclist who can easily reach 20 mph. It’s interesting because we are very vulnerable on the road and get shunned on the pavement, I suppose it’s a less extreme version.
    If i were to draw a few comparisons like wearing that extra fluorescence jacket in order to get noticed and as a result cooking because of the exercise. Must be similar to not wearing tight dresses to feel like a piece of meat.
    But the elephant in the room is that as humans we shouldn’t have to do extra things just to protect us on the road/ or be scrutinised.
    What do you think would actually help this situation?
    I can think of an issue which may influence behaviour, like the sexualisation of women on tv in order to promote perfume. If an advert treats a woman as lustful, or as an object for sex, maybe this has an impact on social behaviour?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely right there Bloke, when half the women in the world dress to look like hookers and seek attention by flaunting their breast, etc,. just look at any magazine cover showing the Hollywood ” red carpet” crowd where it seems to be a contest to see who can wear the least clothing, they degrade all women. It is just like the “waif look” where anorexia seems to be the desired standard, dangerously warping the minds of young women. As a psychologist with 2 daughters of a teen and preteen age, I am glad my daughters have developed a realistic “body image” concept, helped by being involved in athletics, soccer, baseball, softball and sports where, you can be feminine, but also want to have muscles and strength to compete.And my 13 year old girl could kick the average 13 year old boys butt in any sport and also in an actual fight, as we have trained, and usually men don’t become actually become physically stronger until just about at their current age.

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  77. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is so very true!
    For me the ogling started at 10 years old. I still remember at that age walking into a store near a construction site and 3 men nearby turned to stare at the child who had developed early. I learned early to make situational awareness an important part of how I walked through life.

    For those saying, “It’s not that hard to tell them to leave you alone”…that’s not the point. The point is that you should not have to be constantly putting up walls, wearing your armor, fending off men, living on the alert similar to a soldier in a war zone.

    Sexual abuse as a young teen, walking down the aisle at the grocery store and a couple of fun arm wrestling matches with my male friends taught me pretty quickly that a man was something to be feared and that is something I have never forgotten. I have chosen to not live my life in fear, but instead to take measures to keep myself safe. I carry concealed, I am always aware of my surroundings, people nearby, etc. I am not afraid because I know I can handle a situation were it to become actually dangerous, but I am still always on my guard…at home, at work, in a coffee shop. The only time I ever relax is while in the company of a man I trust and there are not many of them.

    One experience that still infuriates me to this day was once when I was 20 years old when I went with a group of friends to tour a city, one of those friends was my almost boyfriend. While walking through a park, 2 rough looking men walked past, saw me and grinned. I was not on my guard at that moment, I was with several strong guys and perfectly safe. I didn’t think much of it until later that evening when we discovered those same men following us and make gestures at me. Again, didn’t think much of it, it was normal life for me. But my boyfriend did not see it that way. He was angry, broke up with me because he decided I was a flirt, had wanted the attention from those gross men and was not the kind of woman he wanted to be with.

    My teenage brothers think I carry a firearm because it makes me feel tough or maybe because I think I might get robbed of the $5 in my purse. They don’t understand that my reality is that since I started carrying, I don’t feel afraid anymore. I no longer clutch my keys between my fingers or keep my thumb on the switch of my pepper spray knowing that neither of those will be that effective if a man really wants me. My heart no longer jumps into my chest in quite the same way any time a rough looking man walks too close.

    I think if women are going to change these things, the answer is to take back the power for ourselves. Don’t put yourself in a position of being forced to always depend on a man to help you, a good man will not always be there, but a bad man will be. Get yourself a firearm and learn how to use it. Learn to walk, talk and carry yourself with confidence. Don’t be a victim. If enough of us do this and teach our daughters to do this, we will command the respect of weak and strong men alike.

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    1. My girlfriend often said “CHIVALRY” was dead. And as a woman with her masters degree in Psychology and employed as a school counselor I have heard more than my share of authenticate cases of sexual harassment, sexual molestation and she was a childhood victim herself. I am also a counselor and very much aware of the plight women face. However, I am also a gentleman, and normal civil behavior such as holding a door open for a woman, just like I do for an elderly man or woman for can be mistaken for being “overly friendly” or flirtatious depending on the woman and her level of awareness and confidence, or her over estimation of her “desirability”, and often at school I encounter college age women that have an unrealistic,over inflated EGO, delusional, in thinking that men are attracted to them or staring at them in class, when actually, they are looking at the clock that hangs right above where they sit. But because so many women overestimated their desirability and they are so self centered, self absorbed, they think they are being checked out, when actually the guys are just repeatedly “looking at the clock” waiting for time to pass. . Most civilized, educated men do not engage in the behavior described, and I have personally engaged and fought these animals because I am trained to do so. My father was a Marine and I was raised to respect women, I could talk back to my dad, but if I spoke disrespectfully towards my mother I was going to get a severe lecture on what it means to be a real man . Many women think they are being hit on, when they are just being treated as equals. My girlfriend, who is at a near genius level of intelligence declares that one of the worst things that ever happened to Women was in this society was the feminist movement, If women want to be treated respectfully, then “so many women have to start, acting respectful towards “womanhood’. When women carry on the double standard of flaunting their breast, being overly revealing and not practicing a certain level of decorum they bring disrespect to all women, The subconscious minds of all people, men and women absorb almost everything they see and hear without intending to do so. This “subconscious; behavior is often exhibited unintentionally, inadvertently without even intending to be offensive. Now when you have 3 construction workers ogling a 10 year old girl, the first thing I would do is ask them if they have children at home, or sisters, cousins, etc. and how would they feel about a family member being treated as such. Shaming a man is very effective, especially when in a group as at least one of those 3 guys is going to have a child or someone that he can relate to, being in this situation. Then again, sometimes you have total jerks, more so in big cities, where they have the sense of anonymity, or the “Pack Mentality” of wolves. In that case, castrate them all, not physically but verbally. But as long as you have a large populations of women, dressing like hookers or the Hollywood plastic people ( And I mean Literally plastic) on the red carpets, with breast, intentionally exposed, flaunting their bodies, they are going to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

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  78. “There’s this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about Young Earth Creationism. Things like God creating the Earth in six days, the Earth being only 5000 years old and miracles. I get the comments: Aren’t there more important things to worry about? Is this really that big of a deal? Aren’t you being overly sensitive? Are you sure you’re being rational about this?

    Every. Single. Time.

    And every single time I get frustrated. Why don’t they get it?

    I think I’ve figured out why.

    They don’t know.”

    I stopped reading after this piece of sappy emotional rhetoric.

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  79. Men have forgotten their role in life. We nurture, nourish and bring life into the world. THEY PROVIDE AND PROTECT! They’ve forgotten to protect!

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  80. This is so true! I got cat-called by 3 guys on the train during rush hour this summer and tried to ignore it. However, then they continued to have a very loud, graphic and demeaning conversation about why they deserved sexual favors from women. It was clear that everyone within earshot was VERY uncomfortable. I wanted to call them out because that kind of behavior is simply unacceptable! But that felt instinctively unsafe (even though I was in a crowd of other like-minded people) and I didn’t know what I should say that wouldn’t just result in these guys being defensively dismissive – something that would make them think again instead of shrug it off. So I didn’t say anything.

    It felt so wrong to just leave it and that still bothers me today. I don’t feel guilty, but it was clear these guys did not understand that their behavior was unacceptable, demeaning to both women and men. If none of us ever communicate that sentiment, then I know behaviors like that will not change. I know exactly how scary and intimidating it is to stand up to this alone, so I’m asking for your help to stand beside me.

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  81. Brilliant. I love what you wrote. More please!

    And the result of this effects everyone. I as a man have less authentic relationships with everyone in my life because of the impact of sexism. My women friends withhold and my men friends also have impoverished relationships and as less skilled at relating. My boys are unable to experience the fullness of life and neither are my daughters. I am still learning the extent sexism effects my marriage and how arrested the development of my lovers has been.

    What you’ve said is beautiful and true. More please.

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  82. Listen, I don’t want to be a minimalist but F. off. Come on the amount of boo hooing about this is really getting annoying. It is the same as the bullying phenomenon. Suck it up! this kind of shit is what is making the next generation of kids a bunch of pussies. (pardon the expression). feel free to comment or debate….

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  83. What the article expressed to me is an unnamed social dynamic that occurs with women because of society’s over-arching acceptance of a facade-type masculinity that allows for men to be superior to women. If this kind of social dynamic is in place, then women must act according to a male-dominated society. This is not a “battle of the sexes.” The phrase battle of the sexes is very male centered and chauvinistic itself. What this is, to me, is a call for humanity–for people to be aware of what kind of social, sexual, and gendered world they live in. The society (neoliberal Westernized modern) has created a space where men have an advantage in nearly every element. To ignore this element is to ignore everything one views on the television, movie theater screen, hears on the radio, and listens to in songs. This society is corrupt, and this is one example of it. If this situation were abstracted and thought of as being “a being” and “another being,” why should these two beings act in this fashion? It is because society plasters each being with a meaning, constructs, behavioral patterns, and expectations, making the beings almost beyond recognition. Human beings have souls (I am an atheist and I believe this), souls that are inclined toward joy and sorrow and love and despair. Without the trappings of conventional society, we are creatures that are exceedingly simple. We want love.

    This article is trying to express something deeply problematic and does a good job. It is a foray into the broader social constructs that dominate our world. Think: if a woman must deal with this more than a man, what of people with different skin, culture, heritage, background, social standing, social class, social skills, sociability, or otherwise muted, concealed advantages in this world?

    You must question and you must think and you must not balk, because true power comes from ideas, and ideas will unchain you. Meanwhile at this moment another woman goes through profiling and the society chugs on without recognition. Yet, never think that talking is not power. Words are our greatest power. Use them and use them well, and continue to think, because without thought there is no soul.

    – E

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  84. Ok: I really don’t care about catcalls. I don’t care about men glancing at my breasts (I do that myself to other women and I’m a heterosexual woman) or hitting on me in bars or making comments, giving compliments in the street. I also don’t care about people in general making comments, good or bad, or looking at me, whether they’re male or female. I don’t think this piece is about that.
    I was molested when I was 7 years old. A 20 something year old man lay down on top of me, ground his crotch into me, slid his fingers up my skirt and under my panties and asked me if it felt good. I held my breath and said yes. Because he was bigger than me. Because he was on top of me. And because I was afraid of what else would happen if I said no. If I cried, if I screamed, if I tried to push him off of me. And I didn’t tell anyone about it until nearly a decade later. And when I did, the people I told minimalized it. I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid of him and I was afraid of what other people would do. I was afraid that they would do exactly what they did. Even after I moved across the country, he contacted me. Sent me a pair of earrings from Hawaii. Whenever I looked at them, I was reminded of his smell. Of the feeling of him pressed against me, wriggling, worming, invading inside me. And I blamed myself. For years, I blamed myself and I let it go and eventually it was just this thing that happened. I let other men take advantage of me and I blamed myself for that, too. I de-escalated. I minimalized.
    I think that is what this piece is about. There are things that happen to women every day, things that make them feel powerless, things that make them feel guilty for no reason, things that make them feel actually, really threatened, and they-we-brush it off, let it go, think it’s our fault. We minimalize because we’re afraid that if we say something, there will be consequences.
    I’m well aware that not all men are like that. I know that there are good men, that they’re not all predators. But when you’re 5’5″ and 110 lbs, everyone bigger and stronger than you is a potential threat. So no, I don’t trust complete strangers. I barely trust people I know well. Because I’ve experienced what can happen. Even with someone you know, love, trust and have lived with for 3 years.
    It’s not really men. It’s people. Women minimalize with other women as well. We learn that you can’t trust anybody. That everybody has the potential to hurt you beyond measure.
    It’s not a blame game. It’s not a war between genders. It’s people. People suck. Every once in a while you find one who doesn’t suck.
    But don’t minimalize. Don’t think it’s your fault. Honestly, there are times when de-escalation is the appropriate choice. And there are times when it isn’t.
    This piece is just saying that a lot of men don’t actually know what women do to make thieir lives livable. What we write off, what we put up with, what we dismiss without even thinking about it because that’s what we have to do. We analyze, assess, and react appropriately. If the appropriate response is to be offended, then maybe that’s what we do. If the situation warrants caution, then we proceed with caution.
    Everybody does it. Male, female, attractive, unattractive….
    I’m out. I’m done.

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  85. This article, while true in many cases, I have now determined was “clickbait”… and yeah, guilty as charged here, it worked on me.
    Who wouldn’t want to know the absolute truth about “all” of one gender or another… this has been well proven as false, and had I thought for more than an instant I’d have realized there is no absolute truth to be had.

    So by throwing “all” women into the same boat, there’s bound to be lots of confict.. again, it’s clickbait.

    Just don’t take what I say here to mean that men shouldn’t listen, or that I condone the conduct that’s offensive

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  86. I hear you, and some of the commenters too. Possibly, the answer is to admit vulnerability and find a way to use it as a tool. We are all vulnerable, and we don’t always lash out as a protective mechanism.
    Karen, the era of victimhood has been around for the last 1000 years, but saying that something hurts is frequently the first step in making it stop hurting. Yes, we know that this person or that one overcame all the obstacles in their life, but guess what, I’m not them, and you aren’t either. Lay off your judgmental BS, and try to improve the world.

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  87. This is unfortunately the world we live in. The “Walgreens” perfect world doesn’t nor will never exist. I am now a near 30 yr old male. 1/4 costa rican, 3/4 white. The dark features came through very strong. I can’t imagine what a real immigrant experiences. I experienced horrendous racism growing up as a child. So much so that at the age of 10 I sat in a corner and plucked every hair from my body. Eyebrows, head, everything. I then took a bath with bleach water to try and “whiten” myself so I would fit in and stop getting beaten up. I would get Taco Bell burritos smashed in my face on the school bus, and adults would talk really slow to me like I had a disability so I could understand their English. As an adult, the white has definitely come through more than the dark features, but I now wish the opposite. My point? The world is a crappy place, the only way to get through is to look at the glass as full as possible and not dwell on the empty portion.

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  88. I’m struck that so many of these kinds of discussions try to delineate the differences between men and women, but what they are really highlighting is the differences between the violent and everyone else. I won’t say that it’s a small minority of men who take visual notice a woman’s body….that’s obviously not true, nor do I think it should be. But I do think it’s a fairly small number that would sit there and ogle someone, consciously, a significantly smaller number who would make some sort of gross comment, and a much, much, much smaller portion who would physically assault someone.

    My point isn’t that enduring these kinds of interactions is no big deal….my point is that this kind of behavior is not normal to the overwhelming majority of men.

    The people in those final three categories are: creepy, offensive, and violent, respectively. All three could make you feel threatened. But here’s the thing: there are creepy, offensive, and violent women, too. When I was 16 working a cash register at the local grocery store, I ROUTINELY had women in their 40’s and 50’s say things like “I’d like to take you home with the rest of my groceries” and stuff like that. I also had to laugh it off and ignored it….it was deeply uncomfortable.

    And violence? The figures on violence in the home against children are overwhelming….women lead the pack.

    By making this about gender or sex, the author is removing the universality of these experiences. I’ve felt and experienced almost everything she has….and when you’re a very young boy that same vulnerability comes with the acute awareness that you should be able to handle yourself and if you can’t, too bad. A very close family member of mine was raped when he was less than ten by someone he met on an AOL chat room…..we didn’t learn about it until very recently, because he felt guilty….he thought he should have been able to defend himself.

    This is about violent people against everyone else. When female authors misidentify these issues as uniquely female, they alienate a lot of potential allies. My involuntary emotional response to being unjustly looped in with shitty males is to almost feel a kinship with them….we’re both being attacked by feminists….maybe those guys aren’t so bad? Maybe the claims are as exaggerated about them as I feel they are about me? This isn’t rational, but this is the emotional response to people who start talking about men do this and women do that.

    I have no kinship with those men, as I hope most females have no kinship with violent women. This is about those of us who reject violence in our personal lives (the vast majority of people) versus the small minority who employ it. Those are the sides of the dichotomy…not male and female. Most of us are on the same team. My kinship is with the non-violent. Can we communicate as if that were the case?

    No one is saying that the nature of enduring aggression from others isn’t slightly different as a female, or more vulnerable. Of course it is. But what’s the solution?

    It’s for the non-violent people to be prepared to encounter those violent, aggressive types they inevitably will encounter. To confront these sociopaths verbally (which will stop 99% of situations and discourage that person from similar future behavior) and be prepared to defend yourself physically, if need be. Embracing that there is an ugly minority of people who will use violence and being prepared to face them frees us to enjoy our interactions with the vast majority of people who are not like that.

    The other side of the coin is to have empathy for EVERYONE who has suffered from violence, intimidation, abuse, etc. Male and female. Let’s love each other and learn how to defend ourselves from the predators among us.

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  89. definitely can understand all of them. i am sick of the old granpas looking at my breasts. i am sick of people checking out my ass. we are not idiots and we notice. i want to live in a society where noone looks one another in a bad way, where one can walk freely without stares. thank you so much for this great post!

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  90. Dear Sisters,
    And the strength of women is not just a concept, it is real and powerful.
    Your feelings and reactions are valid, so don’t shrink from your experiences, good and bad! Write down every encounter when you are made to feel less than who you are and then write down the times you achieved something with excellence. Work on turning the humiliations and the fears into dignity and courage.Whatever techniques used to preserve and build your arsenal are fair play and they will one day become your strengths, the things that get you across the finish line. You are all winners don’t let the fears you have when being minimized become who you are…those fears put you into survival mode. Remember only the strong survive, only the smart sister knows when she is in danger. Don’t expect anyone, male or female to understand, unless they have walked in your shoes. You deserve, can and should expect comfort and support when you emerge in tact from a threatening experience. If the one you turn to shrugs it off, remember their indifference and remember it is they who own that attitude, not you.If you have been victimized, acknowledge your feelings, get help if you are stuck, but do not become a victim. Women have enough challenges to overcome and we can and we have, and so will you. I know you’ve heard this until you want to scream, but the reality is…life is not fair, so we women, carve out a strategy that positions us in the world where we are respected because of what we have achieved as a human being. When someone treats you disrespectfully, stay focused on who is mistreating you and that your only objective is to escape in tact and into a safe place. Don’t bury the feelings, the shaking, the vomiting…find the antonym that will turn the scenario into a success, one you survived and can write about, share and one day help another sister.

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  91. I’ll probably be slammed for for this opinion (yes I am a male) but here goes…

    Men care. Men listen. Not all men are rapists. I feel like you are stereotyping all men. Yes sexism exists but it’s unfair to paint all men with the same brush (just as it would be for women). I’m not saying that these aren’t things that we need to work on but remember this works both ways and men have just as many difficulties of their own. Men are more likely to be killed in combat. Men have higher suicide rates. Nothing was ever ‘handed’ to be because I was a male. Nobody gave me A SINGLE THING EVER because I have a certain genitalia and to act otherwise I feel minimizes my achievements in life.

    If you truly, honestly feel this way it sounds like you need to meet some new people because where I’m from the vast majority of men are respectful and the furthest thing from the sexist raping pigs that you make them out to be.

    Anyway just my 2c – better get back to my daily rape session!

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    1. If you were as respectful as you think you are, you wouldn’t have derailed the authors points about women’s shared experiences by making this about your ego. It’s also disrespectful to assume we are all too stupid to realize not all men are rapists without your input.

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      1. wow, I’ve just read this whole thing and your comment has been the most dismissive and pointless so far.

        He didn’t “derail” anything, he just gave his opinion on the article, which is more than you have done. I think some of his points were valid and although they are not the ones that I want to talk about, ( I’ll be doing that on a different post) they were never disrespectful. And he also never brought his ego into it. He just stated some facts about men. Seems by your law it’s only women who are able to voice their opinion.

        “if you were as respectful as you think you are”

        That’s just plain bitterness, questioning his respect like he doesn’t know what it is. Only women know what respect is and that’s the problem right?

        I think you have been disrespectful and have totally missed the point.

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    2. It’s frustrating to clearly see and understand the problem on such a deeply personal level because you have lived it and watched those around you live it too and yet, always get shut down by the guys who refuse to get it because they think we’re attacking THEM, when we clearly are NOT. If you are not a rapist, pig, harasser or anything in the like, than this article isn’t about you. So stop saying that by sharing our shared systemic experiences openly and challenging the kinds of men who have been known to and DO harass women because they have messed up ideas of their sense of entitlement towards our gender, that we’re attacking ALL men unjustly and we’re just paranoid little girls seeking out attention, just for fun. Because guess what guys… It happens to women more systemically and often than most of us care to admit with pop culture and the whole historical context of patriarchy to back up the bad behaviors that are perpetuated towards women. Which is WHY feminism exists in the first place!!!! We are well aware of the fact that NOT ALL MEN do bad things. We’re not dumb. We get it. We grew up around men and we understand that most humans are pretty decent. Again, articles like this are aimed at a commonly shared experience between women that are perpetuated by enough men, probably the ones that you don’t care to associate yourselves with personally, which might be why you can’t relate but trust us. It does happen. And a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  92. Good grief! This writer was very clear and specific and immediately we have a parade of men sobbing, more or less….”Male Feelings Matter” and a female weighing in with “head butt him” — an option that not even most guys can pull off! … Yes, guys can get beat up too… but they have a much wider range of motion in this world, especially at night and in bars and they certainly don’t have to deal with so much static on the street. GK’s point, and her request to -listen- and learn is golden. Build on it, don’t tear it down.

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    1. This was a very long-winded article to make the overall point – to listen. It could have been accomplished in a couple of paragraphs and come across MUCH stronger. In this case all it carries on for so long that all I can see is a woman who has become weak and fearful over the years to the point where she can’t help herself. It’s sad. The title “things all women do” is a huge generalization. I’m a woman and I do not do the things she’s talking about, but I’ve been fortunate to grow up within a family that encompasses honesty and respect.

      We can’t change the world – we have to just keep working on ourselves.

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    2. I’ll probably be slammed for for this opinion (yes I am a male) but here goes…

      Men care. Men listen. Not all men are rapists. I feel like you are stereotyping all men. Yes sexism exists but it’s unfair to paint all men with the same brush (just as it would be for women). I’m not saying that these aren’t things that we need to work on but remember this works both ways and men have just as many difficulties of their own. Men are more likely to be killed in combat. Men have higher suicide rates. Nothing was ever ‘handed’ to be because I was a male. Nobody gave me A SINGLE THING EVER because I have a certain genitalia and to act otherwise I feel minimizes my achievements in life.

      If you truly, honestly feel this way it sounds like you need to meet some new people because where I’m from the vast majority of men are respectful and the furthest thing from the sexist raping pigs that you make them out to be.

      Anyway just my 2c – better get back to my daily rape session!

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      1. The author clearly didn’t meen to attack you and all other good men, I say that as a woman reading another womans words!
        She as all of us who have had these encounters would need you to speak up, tell the yerks of and show them you and most men do not agree with their behaviour.
        If a woman feels support you allways will get it ten times back!
        We want you to listen but not solve the problem, we need your input to find a solution by ourselves.

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  93. It makes me sad to read that you have encountered enough discomfort and negativity over the years to fear pushing back and standing up for yourself in some of these situations. These are the words of a wounded and fearful woman and I am sorry life has brought you all the crap that causes this. Living in fear sucks. My heart really does go out to you and other women in this state, some of whom have commented here.

    Gather your strength – don’t listen to the fear. Stand up and let yourself be heard, because you are the most important person in your life. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? Life throws us shit all the time. Strength and assertiveness doesn’t come easy. Living life on your own terms takes practice and determination. Confidence takes practice. Keep at it. Don’t swallow your words. Say it like you mean it – to a person’s face. Practice in the mirror. If you can’t defend yourself with words because it’s dangerous to, then let it go. You have to let it go or it will eat away at you until you’re nothing more than a soft pile of absorbent goo, sinking into blackness.

    If you can’t face your fears and start standing up for yourself – get help. It doesn’t have to be a solo journey. Talk to someone. Hash it out. Hell, take self-defense classes, learn a martial art, get strong and fit and confident about your ability to defend yourself if shit goes pear, so you don’t have to hold those keys in your hand, wondering if you’ll even be able to stab someone with them if they attack you from behind.

    There was a time when I had more trouble saying no to ‘little things’ like being asked to dance by someone who I wasn’t attracted to, because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings, but really that was a learning experience that helped me get better at saying no. The things we all have to go through as humans interacting with each other… it’s part of what makes us who we are, woman or man.

    This is much more than a feminist issue- it’s a human issue.

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  94. The people belittling this post are privileged to never have had to deal with any of this and apparently have no survival instinct that would help them in a situation where there are less predictable surroundings. I know so many women that can relate to this and I myself could relate to many of this.

    There are exceptions, always. That’s not the point of this post. As usual, no one’s listening.

    Liked by 3 people

  95. I think I get the whole sexism thing. Sure, I don’t understand what it feels like, but I understand the concept of it, and I really do now realize how much of an issue it really is for women after reading this post.

    But, if sexism is SUCH a huge deal and women are being sexualized before they’re even adults, which is very true I may add, then what the fuck is this whole free trade nip bullshit? I am a guy, and I know for a fact, that this sexism equality shit will sole nothing, other than driving to escalate the problem itself. Instead of imagining, we would be able to see. Does anyone REALLY think that’s going to stop a pervert from grabbing your tits, simply because you’re “equal” to a man now?

    No. Not at all.

    I can understand the sexism. Yes, society is sexualized with male centric oppression. And yes, you’re right. I don’t understand how you feel when someone grabs your ass, or cat calls you. I never will, because I am a male, and I need you to explain it to me.

    But if there’s one thing I do know, it’s that there will be no equality or any type of de-sexualization society of until we realize that men and women are different for a reason, and instead of complaining that you can’t flip your tits out whenever you like, why don’t you be grateful for the things you experience that men will never understand, like carrying a child? Or in a plain sense, your mere perspective and point of view? We’re all unique, and we should be proud of it.

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  96. It’s these kind of things that (almost) make me glad I’m on the heavier side. Yes, I do get fat shaming from time to time, but I get fewer cat calls and don’t get harassed as often. Keywords: as often. It still happens, and there are guys who think that just because I’m heavier that I’m lonely, desperate and easy. You’re damned no matter how you look, unfortunately, and some guys just take rejection so badly that saying something actually can be dangerous.

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  97. These fears exist in me, despite that most of them have never happened to me. I hold my keys between my fingers — have never needed them, but the fear is there. I can’t open my window at night to let cool air in without being afraid that a man is going to see the open window and break into my ground floor apartment and attack me. I’ve lived here 2.5 years. It’s never happened. But the fear is there.

    I was abused. I was raped everyday by multiple people for over a decade. These things were traumatic, left me with several trauma-based mental illnesses, and scarred me for the rest of my life.

    When I was 12, an adult co-worker of my father’s (who was probably around 60), hit on me when my dad went to office for a minute. No, I didn’t like him. No, I wasn’t flattered. Yes, it scared me. Yes, it was creepy. Yes, it was dehumanizing.

    The men (and boys) in my childhood taught me to be terrified of men. It taught me men cannot control their anger or their lust. It taught me that men are dangerous.

    Despite the logical, rational conclusion that my later experiences with GOOD men that the dangerous men represent a small minority of men — and that that small minority is just as violent with other men as they are with women — I still have the fear.

    I would fully agree that all women live in fear, but I would also agree with that fear is not as rational as the author of this article insists it is. Fear is not rational. Fear is not logical. Fear is a primal, basic, self-protection instinct in all animals.

    But fear is a feeling, and feelings aren’t facts.

    These things happen, yes. One or more of these things happen to most women, but that is not to say that men do not experience the same feelings of fear. After all, according to the FBI, most violent crime victims are men.

    I agree men are largely unaware of these things. The reason is that the bad guys don’t do this shit when a woman is with another man. If a woman is with a man, other men assume she is his (whether she is or not) and usually will not challenge that man for possession of the woman.

    So, good guys don’t know because their very presences means it’s not likely to happen in front of them.

    Talking about this is important — because good guys are scared of bad guys, too. Maybe we can bond together in our common fear and learn to support each other instead of assuming that ALL men are evil, dangerous, violent offenders.

    Blaming all men for the actions of the few is as bad as when men discount what women experience.

    To stop sexism, we need the help of good men. We need their support. We nee3d their input. We need good men on our side.

    That won’t happen if we accuse them of being sexist as a whole because individually they don’t realize the experiences of women and girls. You can’t angrily tell them listen when you are insisting wholeheartedly that none of them do.

    A lot of men DO listen to girlfriends, wives, sisters, friends. But as these things happen when they are not around, they rarely know how to help.

    Listening isn’t the problem. The problem is that no one wants to stand up to bad guys cos they’re aggression is scary.

    The problem is that we let articles like this divide us. The problem is that we fight against all men instead of working with the good guys to brainstorm solutions to the behavior of bad guys.

    Instead of chastising men for not listening, we should ask for their help, their suggestions, their input, their assistance, their support.

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  98. “They don’t know” -that goes both ways, you also don’t understand what it’s like to be male if you thinking walking around as a male is just ‘happy carefree fun time’ in comparison. I agree that females have special considerations, with rapists and scumbags out there, but we’ll never be able to control criminals and assholes, if we could, we wouldn’t have criminals and assholes. Males also get mugged, raped, and murdered in dark areas and if we don’t look concerned maybe it’s because we’re conditioned to be masculine and not show weakness.

    Consider this quote from your article:

    “We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.”

    I’m just going to modify it a bit:

    We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a someone that may strike us knowing that we won’t hit them back. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment, derogatory remark, or wide sweeping gender stereotype. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on or an unwarranted reaction for trying to approach someone in a social setting. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to (no modification needed there).

    Problems sound pretty universal? They did to me as well.

    I don’t think anyone thinks that females don’t have special things to consider, I think what you don’t realize is that males do as well and as far as rights and how females are considered compared to males we’re definitely equal, maybe with different social considerations, but equal. You may be belittled by douchebag males but guess what?

    Douchebag females exist too.

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    1. You put what I intended to carry across perhaps more eloquently. Yes that is probably the thing which incites such a negative response from many males is that fact, that a lot of their problems, are not just their problems.. we all face them in varying degrees. Ultimately it is a matter of the weak wishing for people to stand up for them instinctively, without realising that more people than they realise are every bit as weak (at least emotionally) as they are, even if they come across as otherwise.

      She doesn’t speak out because she is afraid of the comeback, but somehow expects others not to be afraid of any comeback or directed hostility, and therefore is bitter about it because She feels less than those around her in some way. Having voiced these issues I feel she should be aware that she has a moral/personal responsibility to stand up for all those women smaller or more vulnerable than her if she is ever to bear witness to such events happening in her presence. If she still thinks it shoudl fall on someone elses shoulders then she is every bit a part of the problem.

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      1. I’d just modify your statement away from the idea that we all have a responsibility to stand up to violence to saying that we all have an interest in doing so. Again, we are all victims, and it is not our fault. But there are things we can do to change the situation. Doing those things is not our responsibility, we are not guilty if we don;t do them, it is not our fault if we are intimidated away from them, but doing them is our hope for salvation, which we all want. No blaming or shaming necessary, just a sober assessment of what is real and what is possible. It’s possible not to be intimidated. But being intimidated is real and not our fault.

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