Street harassment is not a compliment.
This happens all the time. Every car horn, every whistle, every cat call and lewd exclamation, strengthens the lesson I’ve been taught over and over and over again throughout my entire life: as a lady, my body is on public display and open for judgment—from anyone.
Most men who will see this are decent, rational guys who will sympathize with my feelings. A small, vocal handful of dudes will send me private messages about how women like me can’t “take a fucking compliment.” This is not for either of you. This is for the guys who don’t know yet that attracting unwanted attention doesn’t make women feel good, no matter how nice their intentions are. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that I personally get embarrassed, often scared, and always—ALWAYS—ashamed, in some way, in how I look.
So… now that you know, cut it out. Tell all the girls how nice they are and how amazing they are at their jobs instead.
(Male) straight privilege is heterosexual men being concerned that all gay men will make unsolicited sexual advances, whilst they themselves do so all the time towards women and never think anything of it.
Why Women Don’t Like “Compliments” From Men
Print, paste, pass along!
I was at walmart the other day, and I was sitting on a bench waiting for my mom to pay, and I was braiding my hair because that’s something I do when I’m bored, and this dude walks by and says, “hey baby, what else can you do with your hands?” I gave him my most polite smile and said in the sweetest way possible, “strangle you.”
And I think I actually scared him because his eyes got kind of wide and he just walked away.
Now put it into the wider context – zoom out one step more. Because when those men in the street become so publically aggressive and threatening, maybe she’s reminded of the 80,000 or more women who are raped every year in the UK, or that on average two women per week die as a result of domestic violence. When she’s overlooked at work, perhaps she remembers that women hold less than a third of top jobs in the UK, and earn around 10% less for equivalent positions, or that they’re not expected to achieve wage parity for another 97 years. When she hopes for legal advances to support her when she is harassed in the street, she might remind herself that men outnumber women by four to one in the UK Parliament, or that only 13.2% of our most senior judges are women.
And that’s why it matters. Because these ‘tiny’ incidents don’t only build to a numbing, oppressive, overwhelming statement of how society views and values you as a woman. They are also a daily reminder of the inequality women around the world face and will continue to face on a daily basis, until we begin to tackle the large issues and the small. And that is why it’s such a big deal."
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: CUTE, FLUFFY ORANGE KITTEN LOOKING FORWARD. OVERLAYING TEXT READS, “I KNOW I’M BEAUTIFUL. I DON’T NEED YOU TO TELL ME. CATCALLING IS A FORM OF HARASSMENT.”]
“What’s your best pick up line?”
Ugh, dating can be so nerve-wracking! All those emotions, & expectations, & rules can really make you feel under pressure to get it right.
Just so we’re clear, “pick-up line” usually refers to any casual little line which is aimed at telling someone you’re interested in them sexually, & or getting a date with someone.
In our experience, pick up lines don’t really work. Most people would much rather have a genuine conversation with you than hear some cheesy line that you’ve been agonising over for hours.
However, if you’re looking for a way to spark up a conversation & make someone aware that you’e interested in them here are some tips:
- Before we get started, let’s be clear, you need to respect people’s boundaries. Don’t sit down with someone uninvited. Don’t touch someone without their permission. If the person you’re trying to talk to is ignoring you or seems like they’re trying to brush you off, move on. You also need to be aware that some people - particularly women & people who present in a feminine way - get harassed by strangers on a daily basis, so if someone rejects you in what seems like a rude way, & you’re sure that you approached them respectfully, then just remember that you could be the sixth person to have interrupted them while they were just trying to have a quiet coffee, it’s not necessarily personal.
- If you’re nervous about approaching people, try building up your confidence by simply smiling or making friendly eye contact (please don’t stare, it’s creepy) with someone. This doesn’t have to lead to anything, but even if the person just returns your smile, it can be a big confidence boost, & even if they don’t, you haven’t lost anything. A good sign that someone’s interested in you is if they hold eye contact with you for longer than usual.
- If your not definitely looking for a date, but want to introduce yourself to someone who looks fun, you can try just making a little comment or asking a question - about the weather, about the book they’re reading, about the song they’re listening to, where they got their jumper. Keep it relaxed - making a joke can be a great ice-breaker - & if it’s going well then don’t be afraid to move the conversation on to another topic or widen it out. We’re not guaranteeing this’ll get you a date but you could make a new friend.
- We’d suggest you avoid making a comments about people’s appearance particularly if you’re looking for a date rather than casual sex. While receiving a comment like, “You look really beautiful.” or “I love your hair.” can be flattering, they can also be really creepy & come across as insincere, especially from strangers. Many people will associate these comments with street harassment rather than genuine & friendly interactions. Oh, & no stranger want to know that you think they have “nice tits”, so keep that kind of comment to yourself.
- If you’re in a club or bar, striking up a conversation can be difficult but there are some other options. If the bar has a quieter area then you can ask if they’d like to join you there (although, some people may not feel comfortable leaving their group to join you, especially if the area is out of sight of their friends) or simply ask for some kind of contact information (this is a great option if you’re feeling a bit worse for wear as it prevents any embarrassing “You look like my pet gecko… No, in a good way!” comments & gives you a better chance of making a good impression). We’d advise against offering to buy someone a drink. Firstly, if you’re considering engaging in sexual contact with the person later that night then by getting them drunk you’ll be compromising their ability to consent. Secondly, we’d advise anyone against taking a drink off a stranger, particularly if you haven’t watched the bartender open or make it, but even if you have, there’s still a possibility that it could put you in danger. Finally, “buying a drink” has a lot of negative connotations, particularly around expectations of sex & that the idea that it means you owe someone sex. For this reason, a lot of people will refuse an offered drink, or presume that you have bad intentions if you offer one, & even if they take it, they may feel pressure to do something they’re not comfortable with.
- If all else fails, get straight to the point. It can take a lot of confidence to walk up to a stranger & declare your feelings but in reality it’s the only sure fire way to make sure someone knows how you feel. A simple, “Would you like to go on a date with me?” or “You seem really nice, can I have your number?” should give you a fairly definitive answer as to whether or not your interest is reciprocated.
Basically, stay relaxed, be respectful, be aware of how your advances might be perceived as well as what your intentions are, & don’t take it too personally if you get a rejection.
A BELGIAN woman who made a film about being harassed on the streets of Brussels has been accused of racism because the men she secretly recorded pestering her are of immigrant origin.
Sofie Peeters, a graduate film student, used a hidden camera to record a barrage of verbal abuse from men of all ages as she walked around a district of Brussels in a summer dress and boots.
Extracts of the film, posted on the internet, show the 24-year-old being approached by men asking for sex. Polite refusals are greeted with shouts of “whore” and “bitch”. Critics accused Ms Peeters, a Fleming, of racism, pointing out that the men in the film were of North African origin. The footage was shot in the immigrant Anneessens district.
Ms Peeters said one of her “biggest fears” had been “how to tackle this subject without making the film racist”, but added: “This is the reality - when you’re walking around Brussels, in nine cases out of 10 these insults come from a foreigner.”
The film provoked discussion about whether laws should be passed to deter men from pestering women in public. However, a radical Islamic organisation, Sharia4Belgium, said that Ms Peeters had brought the abuse on herself. Her face, it said, was “painted like a clown” and she looked like a “cheap prostitute”.
It went on: “Why do you think women are scantily dressed and paint their faces? For the attention of the men, of course.”
In the film, a man is seen approaching Ms Peeters and saying: “We could have a drink together.” She refuses, but he insists: “Of course, not in a bar, but in my home. In a hotel, in bed.”
Ms Peeters said in an interview that the “men stared at me as if I was an alien” and added: “I have nothing against flirting or a conversation with an unknown person, but it must happen in a respectful way.” Her research, she said, showed sexual harassment on the street was a taboo subject among women in Belgium, who were reluctant to be interviewed for fear of seeming weak or oversensitive. “I wanted to show with my film that harassment is a real problem and that something needs to be done about it.”
According to one study, only 52 per cen tof women in Belgium say they feel safe walking home at night.
Belgian Interior Minister Joelle Milquet has promised to introduce laws to stop abuse on the street, including fines of E250 ($295) for sexist comments.
I am keen to hear my followers’ opinions on this, because on the one hand I despise racism, but this…doesn’t really seem like racism to me, unless she purposefully cut out of the video white male harassment and only showed that done by immigrant men. But if this is a completely honest video, depicting fairly what happened, I don’t see it as targeting men of color if this is the reality. :/ And FUCK Sharia4Belgium’s opinions on this. Thoughts?