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To wonder why some men feel the need to insult women?

(85 Posts)
dontcallmehon Thu 25-Jul-13 17:16:11

I used to get a lot of male attention when I was younger - both 'positive' (if intimidating - catcalls etc and also negative, hostile reactions. Simply for existing, I think. I don't get it so much, now - I dress quite casually and have a few years experience of life, so don't come across as quite so vulnerable.

However, today I was walking past a group of lads who I could see were out to insult passers by. One of them laughed and said: 'pretty ugly' as I walked past. Now I am not ugly (not that it matters!) but I am an attractive, nicely dressed woman who clearly takes care of her appearance. Even if I didn't - what makes these men think that the way a woman looks has anything at all to do with them? hmm

AIBU to wonder why you would want to insult and intimidate someone who is simply going about their daily life? Luckily I have high self esteem and I am very confident about the way I look - but I could imagine some women being really upset by this kind of thing sad.

Spikeytree Thu 25-Jul-13 18:29:47

In one town close by to where I live, the standard 'chat up' line is 'Get your tits out' shouted across the street. When, for some unfathomable reason, the woman doesn't respond, the follow up is 'Ugly Lesbian'. It has happened so often to me and friends of mine in this town I think it must be taught in the schools.

I did actually ask a bloke recently why they do this after he shouted 'weyhey, you've got big tits' whilst I was crossing the road with my dd.

I even offered several possible explanations for his shouting - did he think I had not noticed this morning that I do indeed have large breasts? Did he get some kind of thrill from shouting sexual comments in front of 3 year olds? Or did he just have a really small penis and want to feel better about himself? He couldn't answer strangely enough and kept trying to walk away. As he was wearing a logo'd top for the company he worked for I called to ask them if they could find out for me.

Can you tell that after 15 years of this shit I'm finally getting pissed off with it?

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 25-Jul-13 19:16:11

I have responded to these comments with a high and mighty, snootily delivered ' dahling I have neither asked for nor need your approval on how I look or act so please do keep your opinions to yourself and I will do likewise' if that fails the mumsnet 'ODFOD' works a treat wink

<oh do fuck off dear... there's a love'>

SoleSource England Thu 25-Jul-13 19:34:15

YABU

Splitheadgirl Thu 25-Jul-13 19:37:04

A lot of men seem to like nothing more than to 'bond' over casual misogyny. My DH was driving through town one summer afternoon, and he saw a drunk, skinny (and pasty, revolting looking liitle man) leave where he was sitting with his 'mates' outside a pub, and chase after a beautiful girl. DH was sitting at lights and heard this guy mock the girl, laughing at her and making stupid gestures. Anyway, DH was so incensed he shouted like crazy outside the door window, then pulled up and got out. He went after the guy who acted like he thought MY Dh was the idiot!!!

I think men like that are useless, attention starved nobodies.

PoppettyPing Thu 25-Jul-13 19:57:34

Street harassment generally never has anything to do with attractiveness. It's an intimidation tactic used by misogynist men, to demonstrate their perceived entitlement to public space. It's an easy way to dominate and intimidate, and it's fucking disgusting. Not to mention it ties in with the expectation that women exist purely as objects to be appraised and found wanting.

Burmobasher Thu 25-Jul-13 20:16:20

Agreed, it's an intimidation tactic. I was on a night out with a mate once and a group of young lads actually barked in her face when we were just walking down the street.
Nasty.

TroublesomeEx Thu 25-Jul-13 20:20:17

When I was in my early twenties I walked past a group of younger teenage lads (probably around 14/15) and one of them shouted "my mate wants to show you his dick" or "my mate wants you to suck his dick" or something like that. Either way, it involved me becoming intimate by this boy's penis.

So I just shouted back that they should come and find me in a few years when he'd been through puberty and had something to show me.

They clearly thought that was a good comeback because they all fell about laughing!

grumpyoldbat Thu 25-Jul-13 20:28:23

Yanbu I am ugly but find it very depressing to be reminded of the fact. I guess they are too stupid to realise that avoiding being offended by my looks is not to look at me. I do try and help by being as unobtrusive as possible.

SoleSource England Thu 25-Jul-13 20:29:40

grumpy you're not ugly!

dontcallmehon Thu 25-Jul-13 20:31:45

Care to expand Sole Source? You're entitled to find me unreasonable - I'd be interested in your view on this.

Can't believe how many of us have had similar experiences with obnoxious idiots.

SoleSource England Thu 25-Jul-13 20:41:47

Oh don't be silly! grin

dontcallmehon Thu 25-Jul-13 20:43:36

grin I take everything too literally.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Thu 25-Jul-13 21:21:18

Ignorant, sad cowards. DP gets shit like this. Strangely enough not when we are together. If men got this low level harrassment on a regular basis, things would be very different.

StickEmUp Thu 25-Jul-13 21:24:28

I think most of this is a man's way of saying 'I'd like to put my penis inside you but im too shy to ask and I'm scared of being rejected so i'll insult you instead'.

ParsleyTheLioness Thu 25-Jul-13 21:26:52

This gets right on my tits. I am over 50 now, so a tad bored with it all. One explanation, mentioned before, is that this sort of comment comes from the Disposessed. I no longer care why, I'd just like it not to be an issue. I don't care what your problems are, it doesn't excuse you behaving like a twat.

Scarletohello Thu 25-Jul-13 21:29:16

Bloody hell! Some of you should post these comments on the Everyday Sexism Project website, they're appalling...

HeyIJustMetYou Thu 25-Jul-13 21:31:24

Is the 'banter' culture of the youth of today. You can seemingly insult anyone in the most vile way possible and then feign shock when the object of the insult is offended claiming 'is just for the bants love innit'. society has reached a nadir.

ParsleyTheLioness Thu 25-Jul-13 21:33:01

I don't think it is just of today. Lot of it about in the 70's onwards <voice of bitter experience>

stickingattwo Thu 25-Jul-13 21:33:28

You know where you should be putting your stories about this? Heard of the everyday sexism project? Empowering, sharing, liberating - go see and put your experiences there and get heard
www.everydaysexism.com
@everydaySexism if you're on Twitter - they named and shamed the horribles blokes taking a pop at the new Wimbledon champion for not being, well, whatever they thought she should be other than an amazing athlete...

HeyIJustMetYou Thu 25-Jul-13 21:35:11

I should add this is not a male only thing. a lot of the youth of both genders find this sort of inexplicable behaviour to be part of the wooing ritual.

HeyIJustMetYou Thu 25-Jul-13 21:35:14

I should add this is not a male only thing. a lot of the youth of both genders find this sort of inexplicable behaviour to be part of the wooing ritual.

EstelleGetty Thu 25-Jul-13 21:39:48

I hate overheating casual misogynistic remarks made by men who wouldn't holler at a woman in the street and present themselves as decent. It's so obvious that many of them do it because they feel challenged or threatened or the woman in question just doesn't conform to their notions of what a woman 'should' be.

They insult her looks because they reckon that's her most vulnerable point, what would hurt her most if said to her face. They're too dumb to realise we value ourselves on a lot more than looks. I've had both the pervy comments and the ugly comments over the years. It used to bother me but now I just pity them for making themselves look so stupid for saying these things.

EstelleGetty Thu 25-Jul-13 21:40:51

Overhearing, not overheating, sorry!

ParsleyTheLioness Thu 25-Jul-13 21:52:49

I used to wonder why, but now I don't much care. I think it takes energy away from the issue. Some things are just wrong. They know they are wrong on some level, they wouldn't want it done to their partners or family. So just stop it!

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