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To be fucking raging about sleazy horrible men

(116 Posts)
SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 19:50:54

I don't know what it is about me but I seem to attract the unwanted attention of fucking horrible sleazy men sad I am happily married (not really relevant) and dress quite conservatively but just seem to always be the subject of horrible men running their eyes over me and blowing kisses/dropping their business cards in my lap/hooting/making (very unsubtle) remarks to theirs friends and since even asking for shag in a train full of people. Today has been dress down at work, I am wearing skinny jeans, flats a floaty vest top and a baggy cardi ...to be honest, this morning I looked in the mirror and thought I had overdone the under-dressed look and yet I still get some fucking asshole asking me if I fancy a fuck! angry No I FUCKING DON'T, FUCK OFF! (Disclaimer: pmt and my mother may have put me in a bad mood today) angry

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 19:52:39

Hmm just reread and realised will get a flaming for stealth boast so thought I'd clarify - I am genuinely upset, this happened in a deserted train station and was intimidating sad I bloody hate it!

OHforDUCKScake Fri 28-Jun-13 19:53:59

Ergh it can be horrible cant it.

I get beeped at and "alright darlin!" Which is bad enough, but when Im with my kids? Really?

I just ignore unwanted idiot attention (its not like they are every even attractive ffs) most of the time but when my children are right there and old enough to notice it really really makes me rage.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 28-Jun-13 19:54:26

Its not a stealth boast. Its harassment.

RandomMess Fri 28-Jun-13 19:57:05

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Is it possible that you come across as lacking confidence? Just thinking of what you can do to deter these men harrasing you.

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 19:59:02

It just makes me so bloody cross (and sometimes want to cry when I feel pathetic)! How is this ever ok? Who do these men think they are? What is the rationale? Surely it never works? If my son or husband ever behaved in this way I would be devastated.

ZillionChocolate Fri 28-Jun-13 19:59:09

Horrible. Men like that are awful.

Wereonourway Fri 28-Jun-13 19:59:14

I was at traffic lights on a busy roundabout last week. Ds was in the car with me and I had my window down a bit.

Was aware of a van next to me and the male passenger wound down his window and shouted "nice tits".

He was drinking a can of lager too, at 10am. Btw I had a best top on, was very warm but suitably covered and I've not got massive norks.

He made me feel a bit sick, especially as he could see ds in car with me

mcmooncup Fri 28-Jun-13 19:59:20

Have you seen the @everydaysexism project?
We shouldn't have to laugh this shit off.

Wereonourway Fri 28-Jun-13 19:59:44

Vest top. Definitely not my best top

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 20:01:24

I'm not sure, I am secretly a little but insecure but everyone in rl says I come across as very confident (good actress, me)...I have recently bought an overlarge shapeless coat which seems to make me invisible to men and I feel so much happier wearing it, but the point is I shouldn't bloody need to!

mcmooncup Fri 28-Jun-13 20:01:47

And none of you need to justify what you were wearing.
They have no right WHATEVER you are wearing.
Fuckwits.

I actually had a married neighbour KNOCK ON MY FUCKING DOOR this week to tell me I'm beautiful and he loves me and watches me in the mornings.
Really?!?!?!? I mean who the fuck do you think you are doing that?!?
I'm still furious and that was Monday.

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 20:02:10

What a scumbag were! angry

Triumphoveradversity Fri 28-Jun-13 20:02:22

I had this a lot when I was young, it can be intimidating and upsetting.
I asked a male colleague once and he said I looked dirty, the sort of girl you wouldn't want to marry but would want as a notch on the bed post. At the time I was single and am actually a bit of a prude so was very upset.

I even got wolf whistled at while hugely pg.

I developed a stern look.

vjg13 Fri 28-Jun-13 20:04:13

Hideous for you, and really RandomMess it must be her fault because 'is it possible you come across as lacking confidence' hmm.

More likely just a really creepy man.

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 20:05:55

Yes, I have been practising my evil eye. Must have some practised phrases at hand so I can put across what a fucking twunt these people are instead of shrinking in embarrassment next time sad

Wereonourway Fri 28-Jun-13 20:08:15

The more I thought of it the more wound up I got so I totally agree op.

It's absolutely not ok but obviously fairly common. Yak

Wereonourway Fri 28-Jun-13 20:11:15

mcmooncup that's actually quite alarming!

Do you feel safe?

cogitosum Fri 28-Jun-13 20:13:59

I'm 38 weeks pregnant and had a car bin and driver shout 'milf at me yesterday.

Yanbu at all it's intimidating and unnecessary.

thebody Fri 28-Jun-13 20:14:30

This thread sounds very familiar to me actually.

Need to perhaps look at old threads.

Anyhoo yes vile op, my ds was accosted and sexually assaulted by a group of middle aged women recently, he is 22 and works in a local bar.

Very grim.

Men arnt the only perpetrators.

RiotsNotDiets Fri 28-Jun-13 20:18:02

I found this fantastic organisation after a complete stranger groped my breasts in public.

Therapeutic to share your story and to support others in sharing their's.

It does happen a lot, and it is unpleasant and unacceptable.
Something to bear in mind is that men who do this are not, actually, overcome with desire because you are irresistibly beautiful (OP I have no idea what you actually look like and am not making any comments about it), but because they want to humiliate you. What they are after is your fear, your anger, your embarrassment, not for you to actually stop in your tracks, drop your knickers and go 'Well come on then, sexy!'

A genuine compliment from a passing stranger is different. It doesn't feel creepy and upsetting because it's not meant to.

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 20:29:10

angry at all the stories (though sort of glad it's probably not anything I'm doings it happens to lots if people) What can we do about it though? What is the appropriate response?

FreudiansSlipper Fri 28-Jun-13 20:32:02

I have noticed when I feel vulnerable I get or got more attention. Even though I could look confident I would not always feel it. Also as I have got older I get less of this type of attention because these creeps know they are less likely to get away with it

I think a few times of saying something back you will feel different and maybe give a different vibe off

Not to put the blame on you at all but I think men like this can sense who theyi can say somethng too and who they can't and it is time women were more confrontational to this behaviour. it is hard when we have been bought up to just accept men will be men crap and also we are not meant to be aggressive in anyway

I got a lot of attention when I was pregnant, I felt very alone (I was) and it made me feel even more vulnerable

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 20:36:59

You are totally right solid, it is not about looks, it certainly cannot be about the way I am dressed and I have had genuine comments before which have been lovely and it is hard to put my finger on exactly what makes them different. I think a genuine compliment which is specific, given in a non threatening environment and in a non threatening way with nothing except a 'thankyou' expected back can be nice...the awful ones are those that use foul/derogatory language (tits, arse etc) which from a stranger can be intimidating, or are coupled with leering, invasion of personal space etc. Is this difficulty for men to understand (genuine question)? Or are these people just arseholes? And of course it works with the genders reversed (or two of the same) as well...I am nothing if not inclusive grin

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 20:38:27

I agree slipper * must practice disparaging remarks *

honestpointofview Fri 28-Jun-13 20:39:15

Good Evening SweetHoney

As a man can I say I am sorry for the offence caused. I know it does not help my lady but I also find it inappropriate and I don't know why men do it.

So you to my lady and all the other ladies I am sorry and please be assured not all men are like that.

Kind Regards

James

RiotsNotDiets Fri 28-Jun-13 20:45:30

Sweet

You could carry a couple of these catcaller forms with you when out and hand them to any harassers. They get the point across very well I think. I would recommend you have a look at Hollaback.org (I posted a link to it above) it has lots of great info and is a good place to share your story.

It really sucks the big one this sort of thing. I haven't had it too much in public but in nightclubs I've had it loads and it's really horrible. I've always been in a relationship and never actually been "on the pull" so it confuses the fuck out of me!

Once in Stratford one of the BOUNCERS grabbed me and said "so we going for a fuck then??"

shock

RandomMess Fri 28-Jun-13 20:50:52

vjg13 - where did I say it was her fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was only trying to think of ways to reduce the amount of unwanted vile and sleazy attention the op is being subjected to.

These blokes are not necessarily the same level of sleaziness to all woman.

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 20:55:12

Hey Random I know its not my fault grin and I know you didn't mean it that way...pretty standard advice on avoiding harassment/attack is to look confident so you are right...I think it rubs people up the wrong way though as it just shouldn't happen, regardless.. but this is life and that is unfortunately unit realistic at the moment, so good advice and well meant - thanks grin .

I think I will carry some catcall cards -great idea

londone17 Fri 28-Jun-13 20:57:57

I stopped going swimming because men kept bothering me. I complained to management who said they have no harrassment policy so I wrote a letter of complaint to their head office to say why I cancelled my membership. They didnt reply.

MrsLouisTheroux Fri 28-Jun-13 21:00:11

There are so many sleezy men out there and not all of them fit the 'sleezy male stereotype' either which makes it worse because they are harder to spot.
When I was young and slim I came across everything you are talking about. Some men just can't seem to help themselves and they are revolting. Not so much these days, do I miss the attention? God no!

TwllBach Fri 28-Jun-13 21:01:08

I started a similar thread a little while ago after watching some awful men catcall and leer at three teenaged girls walking down the street.

I could list of a million and one instances where I have been intimidated by men thinking its ok and that it's just a part of life and it fucking well shouldn't be.

RandomMess Fri 28-Jun-13 21:02:13

SweetHoney just how bad is that shapeless coat?

I cycle to work think I'm going too fast to hear the comments...

specialsubject Fri 28-Jun-13 21:03:34

it's nothing to do with you. It is them.

the only bonus is it identifies men (and women) that no-one should ever breed with.

VelvetSpoon Fri 28-Jun-13 21:05:38

It's really nothing to do with confidence, if anything I think men do this stuff more often to confident, attractive women.

I have posted before about this, but I was harassed constantly at secondary school, all through my teens. I have had many men say I look 'up for it', or that they think I'd be a good fuck, or an easy lay - dating sites are a particular joy for that sort of misogynistic woman hating bullshit, but I've had it said in RL as well.

It's disgusting and frankly it's only getting worse, there is a scary sense of entitlement among men of all ages, and the fact many women still adhere to the view that you can prevent this by dressing in a certain way, being confident, whatever, really doesn't help.

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 21:07:06

It's pretty bad, bad enough the dh, dsis and best friend have all commented on it being awful and making me look old but

1. I get zero male attention in it, and
2. I feel since wearing it I am taken a bit more seriously at work (am the youngest by about 10 years in a pretty senior team of professionals)

These are very disappointing reasons for liking the coat...but I do sad

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 28-Jun-13 21:09:11

Agree with solidgoldbrass. This usually has very little to go with what you are wearing/ what you look like. I used to get it a lot, when I was less confident,( and from age 12 on) but not ever now. I can objectively say I am still quite attractive-nice figure, long hair; I wear make up and heels, but I think , after years of practice, I exude an air of " dont even think about it" .
Men who stare/ make comments etc do it to make you uncomfortable. If I am sitting on a train , for example, and a man starts staring at me, I used to look away and feel flustered. Then he may make a comment or try something worse. Now I stare back, agressively, until he looks away.
This is not to say its your fault, its just that sleazy, inadequate arseholes are also cowards,( because they are bullies) and so will target those they feel are more vulnerable.
Nobody should have to put up with this crap, ever.

cogitosum I'm not trying to be an arse or nuffin but there's a very prolific poster called cogitoergosometimes and your name is quite easy to mix up with hers. Usual Mnetiquette I think when this arises is for the newer/not prolific poster to tweak their name so it's more varied...not saying you have to, but it could get confusing.

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 21:12:40

Wow ifnotnow...love your confidence...I was habit of an ugly duckling /tom boy/no boy was ever interested type in my childhood/university days and have been told that I have blossomed in recent years...maybe I need an attitude readjustment grin

MrsDeVere Fri 28-Jun-13 21:13:01

I used to get this a lot. It was a constant stream of vile crap from the age of about 13.

It was a sort of background noise to my teens and twenties. I still got it in my 30s but now I am happily invisible.

I went to a pub a few weeks back full of men my age. It was horribly weird to be the subject of male attention again.

I do think its getting worse overall though. It seemed to be less acceptable in the 90s but now its back with a vengeance.

I have never considered myself a stunner. I doubt the men who cat called me could really see what I looked like anyway. I was just an object to be humiliated and taunted.
It was worse when I had lots of blonde dreadlocks all piled up on my head. That made me fair game apparently hmm

It is utter crap and few things make me more angry than women saying 'awww its only a bit of fun innit. I like it, it makes me feel good about myself'.
Yeah mate, they really, really like you, thats why they are shouting for you to get your tits out.

SweetHoneyBeeeeee Fri 28-Jun-13 21:13:07

*a bit, not habit...bloody phone!

SacreBlue Fri 28-Jun-13 21:14:21

Horrendous so angry at this type of behaviour - confident, shy, dressed in whatever way, it's disgusting.

I am tolerant, even like, a bit of banter, but it is very nearly always obvious who is 'bantering' and who is sleazy I have had supposedly 'respectable' people make the most appalling comments to/about me and now I am older (and more confident) I feel no compunction in telling them to fuck off.

Btw in my work I have had only 2 people behave this way and the first time I worked with them was also the last and I made it very clear to them and others as to why. sickos

MrsDeVere Fri 28-Jun-13 21:15:08

I agree with ifnot.
I don't take any crap these days. I used to look down when I passed men. Now I look straight ahead and if I do feel intimidated I will look up rather than down.

But I am very rarely intimidated. If someone is being that shite I will get angry rather than flustered.

HighInterestRat Fri 28-Jun-13 21:15:14

Yep, I get this all the time. In work, pushing a pram down the street (you'd think that might put them off but no), nights out, everywhere. What's worse is that my son is almost four and is starting to notice and ask what is happening. sad

HighInterestRat Fri 28-Jun-13 21:16:12

Has anyone seen this:

www.ihollaback.org/

wigglybeezer Fri 28-Jun-13 21:17:11

I suggest glasses, I am not bad looking, slim figure etc. but glasses seem to render you invisible to a certain type of man.

Joking aside, it's hideous, as is the opposite when you get called a dog or a minger if you have dared to dress for practicality rather than frivolity.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 28-Jun-13 21:20:19

re public transport pests, I have also found it can help to stare very hard at the perpetrators crotch, and then laugh quietly to yourself.gives them a taste of their own medicine ( they dont like it!)
I dont know about confident Op. Possibly just scary :D To be serious though, I suffered more than one sexual assault as a teenager, so my attitude is born of that really.

HighInterestRat Fri 28-Jun-13 21:20:38

Xposts - must read links correctly! blush

Sheshelob Fri 28-Jun-13 21:20:38

I fucking hate the fact there are creepy men who think this is ok.

I looked older as a child so this shit started at 11 and carried on well into my 20s.

No-one ever says shit to me anymore, mainly because I'm probably the wrong side of 30 and because I give out a healthy dose of "fuck you".

It is a sad fact that you have to front up to pervs, as they thrive off the nerves. They are like flashers. Laugh/ get aggressive and they lose interest.

Be at one with your badass self and they get the message.

cogitosum Fri 28-Jun-13 21:23:16

ehric you're probably right I'm aware of the poster and have thought about it. The reason I haven't is I've had this nn since joining in 2010 and although I'm not prolific on the main boards I've posted a lot in miscarriage particularly within one long running thread and kind of made friends there do didn't want to change. Happily haven't posted there for some time now though and using mumsnet for other topics so may change it smile

Liara Fri 28-Jun-13 21:23:22

I used to get this a lot when I was young (was also living in a very sexist country, which didn't help).

I agree with staring right back at anyone who is staring at you. Very often arses like this have to work themselves up to it, so if you stare at them they often don't manage to muster up the courage.

I used to think to myself as I looked at them 'not if you were the last man left on earth, loser'. In the beginning I had to make myself think it (I was painfully shy, this helped me to meet their eye). Over time, it became so automatic that friends used to comment on my 'ice queen sneer' as I looked at men who approached me up and down (just as they had me).

RandomMess Fri 28-Jun-13 21:25:01

Hmm I wear sunglasses 95% of the time, perhaps they work as well as a shapeless coat?

VelvetSpoon Fri 28-Jun-13 21:28:02

It really doesn't matter how confident or not you are.

I am more confident than all my friends. In a group, I will be the ONLY one who is singled out.

I used to give as good as I got verbally, stand up for myself, blahblah. Since being told by one bloke he'd punch me in the face for a comment I made (and had to be held back by a friend from doing so) I am more circumspect now, for the sake of my own personal safety.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 28-Jun-13 21:34:32

That might be in your case Velvet

but I know myself I have always been confident with my looks or ok with them but not in myself and the times I have felt vulnerable, alone I have got more of this type of harassment

Since having more inner confidence that is nothing to do with my looks that I have gained since my 30's I have got less of this hassel and my friends have had similar experiences

Sadly many of these men seem to be able to pick up on that. we as women can learn to be more confrontational it is hard when you have not been bought up that way I am glad young women are more confident on the whole about challanging this sort of behaviour but I agree with Mrs DV we seem to have taken a step backwards

NutsinMay Fri 28-Jun-13 21:42:02

This has never happened to me when out and about in normal clothes (as opposed to dressed up to the nines out clubbing etc). Can't think I'm the only one. What vibe do we give off I wonder?
I'm a very shy quite stand offish person so I'm wondering if it happens more to people whose body language is more open and welcoming.(Just trying to understand really why you are being targeted or are you all very beautiful?).

For example my mum always gets asked for directions etc by strangers and I almost never do.

lookoveryourshouldernow Fri 28-Jun-13 21:43:21

...Shit isn't it..

I'm invisible and men just walk right through me !!!

Sheshelob Fri 28-Jun-13 21:43:57

I think there is a vibe you can give out that nips a lot of the sleazy shit in the bud (all but the most psychopathic creep). I have had to learn to do it for work and I subsequently have no hassle. Ever. Even when dolly-birded up to the nines.

But I am also very tall, which I think helps no end. Difficult for someone to successfully intimidate you when they can't see past your shoulder.

<stealth boast>

<allow it>

Earthymama Fri 28-Jun-13 21:52:34

Here is everyday sexism
Become part of this movement to address this attitude towards woman of all ages.
It is part of the spectrum of abuse that allows men to perpetrate acts like the grooming of young girls in Oxford.

idlevice Fri 28-Jun-13 21:55:51

Sigh....I know this harassment has always gone on but I wonder if any increase in it could be yet another side effect of internet porn being so widely accessed & the fact a lot of it seems to have a humiliating, power over the women type theme? There also seems to be a type of porn where the men just approach women they don't know in the street or invite them into their car & just get on with it, which is what made me think of a possible link.

EleanorFarjeon Fri 28-Jun-13 21:58:39

I bought a man's top from a men's clothes shop.

When I got home the guy that served me had put in a slip of card with his name and number in the bag.

Un. Believable.

Women's Hour Modern Feminism. Worth a listen.

Sheshelob Fri 28-Jun-13 22:06:26

Ugh. I think that must be right, idle.

God, men were creepy enough when I was younger - 90s - and there was no widespread Internet. Porn was still the domain of "private shops". Now anyone can get it on their phone.

Things can only get worse.

hmm

FreudiansSlipper Fri 28-Jun-13 22:08:33

I agree I think it is to do with the influence of porn and that women are up for it all the time

I once had a man follow me down the road slowly in his car. wtf was he thinking. And a few men who have delivered things or worked in my home have then contacted me to ask me out. One I reported to the police for harassment. Now I have the ex's clothes hanging about when I have workmen in sad

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 28-Jun-13 22:15:15

But.. I actually dont know if a man asking you out counts as sleazy! I mean, yeah, if a plumber comes to fix something, and stands too close, and asks about your personal life, and then asks you out that could be intimidating. But a man putting his card in your bag? I dont think that is so terrible. Am i missing something? please explain it to me- i have an open mind.

nicecupofteaandbiscuit Fri 28-Jun-13 22:19:35

I was walking down the street recently and an older man (60s) was walking towards me. He slowed down as if he wanted to ask for directions or something, so I stopped. He said "Well Miss, I've just been watching you walk down the street, and I have to say very nice, very nice" and proceeded to look directly down my top. I wasn't wearing a revealing top btw, just a normal plain v neck (not low) from H&M.

I walked off in a huff, but wished I had said something.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 28-Jun-13 22:30:04

I do not think it is appropriate for a man to use his job as a way to ask women out but many unfortunately do

Sheshelob Fri 28-Jun-13 22:36:28

Nice - you should have said,

"Funny, I was watching you walk and I thought, 'Very old. Very old."

And then rocked out your best patro-smile.

smile

Fakebook Fri 28-Jun-13 22:42:18

Eurgh. I've had 2 cars beep at me this week. Two different men, one put down his sunglasses and winked [shivers] and the other had a passenger give the once over as they drove away. Both times I was with a pushchair and am quite visibly pregnant and never dress inappropriately. Disgusting people.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 28-Jun-13 23:03:48

Well, I guess it depends how it happens. I once hit it off with a guy who came to lay my lino, and he asked me out. It wasn't done in a creepy way- we were chatting- i wasn't offended. If he had acted creepy, or touched me in any way that would have been different.
I went out with him, we had nothing in common,and it ended there,but as far as i was concerned we were both single and he was respectful so no harm done.
I mean, you meet people at work sometimes. When i was a waitress i dated customers once or twice too, because that's where i met people.
There is a really big difference between a man shouting comments about your body in the street , and a man giving you his number on the offchance.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 28-Jun-13 23:26:15

Hope my last post doesn't come across like I am trying to excuse the sleazebags- just feel its important to make the distinction between male interest and harassment.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 28-Jun-13 23:35:25

It is different if you have been chatting and there is some sort of interest from both sides. sadly some choose to ignore politeness and choose to see it as flirting

But to just put a card in a bag or text someone because you like the look of them and you have sussed out they are single is just not on and the only reason they have your number is work related

Darkesteyes Fri 28-Jun-13 23:36:35

And here is another site

everydayvictimblaming.com/view-most-recent-submissions/

Saying that its down to the way you conduct yourself whether you get harassed or not IS victim blaming.
Its like saying that its a womans fault that shes raped if shes wearing revealing clothes. That IS victim blaming.
If a not very confident and quiet guy walked past would most womens reaction be to yell a derogatory comment like "Hey needle dick" And IF that happened do you really think that guy would be thinking "oh my God it must be my fault for not exuding confidence JESUS I cant believe we are STILL having to point all this out in 2013.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 28-Jun-13 23:46:14

It is not victim blaming ffs

predatory men often sense women who they can pick as victims, it may not even be a conscious thought but what they choose to say or do is. that is not blaming the women in anyway they are to blame

I know from personal experience i have received more harassment when I have felt vulnable I do not blame myself I blame the men that wanted to make me feel even more so and glad I recognise that there are men like this about

Sheshelob Sat 29-Jun-13 06:31:32

I don't think it is victim blaming, actually. And you don't have to explain what it is as I'm fully versed, thanks.

If we are in agreement that this behaviour is endemic and intimidating, how is advising women to face up to it victim blaming? Of course men shouldn't be doing it in the first place - that is a given - but why should women who encounter it not face it down, and call these fuckers on their shit?

What should they do instead? Wait for society to change? And how might it do that if there aren't people confronting sleazy behaviour? Shall we get anti-sexist squads to hit the streets, or some nice men to tell the nasty ones off for us?

I'd be really careful about accusing people of victim blaming in this context. It is unhelpful and inaccurate.

LessMissAbs Sat 29-Jun-13 10:42:52

In the city I live in, the mist common sleazy approach is to say to women 'how much?'. Not even any sleazy, pervy preamble, it even comes from young professional looking guys as well as bloated old goats. My friend even gets it in the health food shop she works in.

Its so bad, that when I went to Turkey on holiday, it was actually far more peaceful than the daily sleaze back in Scotland.

I once got stuck in a traffic jam next to a van with sliding doors at the side. Of course they opened and one of the three men sitting inside proceeded to stroke himself by putting his hand down his jeans and staring at me and shouting.

I was fuming. I took photos and phoned his work number on the side of the van to complain. Their HR dept phoned be back to say they were sent to a disciplinary hearing. They were disgusted and fortunately took it really seriously.

MardyPants Sat 29-Jun-13 11:08:38

I had my car worked on in Kwik Fit once and they take your name, address, phne number etc and put it in their system when you pay your bill (or they used to, it was a few years ago). Anyway then I started getting all these texts 'when can I take you out' 'you're really sexy' etc, asked who it was and they said 'guess'. I was only about 18 and it made me really uncomfortable, I wanted to make a complaint but didn't feel I could as this person had my name, car reg, address etc!!! It felt really invasive / inappropriate / sleazy. That was about 12 years ago and I never have, and never will, step foot inside a Kwik Fit ever again. Rancid little person he was.

TwllBach Sat 29-Jun-13 11:09:23

I've been thinking about this thread sice last night and getting increasingly wound up. I can recall at least three incidences of similar behaviour and I was telling my friend last night and he was horrified:

In 2011 I was driving back from an interview, along a motorway. I (legitimately) over took a van and kept going. This van proceeded to chase me and come up alongside me, so I slowed down and let him in, he slowed down so I had to over take and then he would speed up to stay alongside me. I tried dropping my speed down to 50 but he kept trying to stay alongside me and I couldn't go any slower because it would be dangerous. In te end, I looked directly at him to see what was going on and he leered at me and shouted "you're gorgeous, nice tits love" and then sped off.

I was really angry because I had, for those twenty minutes, actually been quite scared.

When I was 16 I used to hang around with my friends in a different town and then get the last bus home at midnight. It was normally pretty empty but one night I got on, a bit tipsy, and a man got on at the next stop. Even though there was an entire bus to choose from, he sat next to me and proceeded to grope me and try and kiss me. I was horrified but not too sure what to do, and could see the bus driver watching in the mirror, so I just sort of tried talking to him to keep him occupied. I got off at my stop and so did he, asking if he could come back to mine with me, even after I had said no and that my parents were in and could he leave me alone.

That's without even mentioning the actual attack a few months later by a cab driver, and a few months earlier being approached by a different cab driver, saying he had been watching me since I was 11 and had known I'd grow up to be a sexy girl, did I want to go for a ride?

TwllBach Sat 29-Jun-13 11:10:36

Oh and I've just remembered giving my cv in to a restaurant when I was 16, and then receiving 'suggestive' texts for a good few weeks from someone who claimed to be a waiter there.

Sallyingforth Sat 29-Jun-13 11:28:02

OP if these approaches happen at work I I hope you make a formal complaint to HR or senior management.
On a bus once I gave a guy a hard slap after he tried a grope.

HighInterestRat Sat 29-Jun-13 11:33:32

Thinking carefully on the poster who mentioned the Oxford thing, it might be a vulnerability thing. I look young for my age and am polite and non-confrontational to a fault which comes across in my body language I think. I don't get nearly as much hassle when my husband is with me or if a dragon of a colleague is sat beside me in client interviews or when I'm driving my quite expensive car around.

If I'm walking/interviewing alone, I'm vulnerable. If I'm with friends in a bar, I'm just a silly drunken girl. A young mother with a pram is vulnerable. When it looks like I have someone to protect me or I'm somebody important/respectable (badly worded, you know what I mean), it happens less.

VelvetSpoon Sat 29-Jun-13 11:33:50

I'm uncomfortable with saying to women that if you're confident it won't happen. Because I'm confident and it still DOES happen. If anything it happens more.

At school, I used to get boys trying to grope me constantly, in my early teens older teens, sometimes in cars would follow me home, despite the fact I was dressed in school uniform and was clearly a child. I was confident, would face them down, tell them they were pathetic, and to get lost.

And they did it all the more, because they liked getting a reaction. The girls who didn't react got a tiny proportion of the grief I did.

There are a lot of men who still behave in this unpleasant, entitled way. They will give grief to anyone (I've seen men shouting disgusting abuse at policewomen for example). Confidence doesn't matter to them. Your reaction doesn't matter indeed if you do react, they often do it all the more. And of course as I mentioned upthread, you run the risk of being physically attacked and/or threatened with violence, because these men see women as nothing more than pieces of meat, as nothing. So they'd be quite happy to punch you in the face if you get too gobby with them.

If this abuse happens, it is no-ones fault bar the mans. If you are confident and assertive, it might mean you get less hassle. But it might not.

The responsiblity for stopping this shit lies with the men who do it. We should not have to tailor our lives, our personalities to in some way make ourselves less vulnerable to attack. We should be able to dress as we want, be as we want. Men don't have to modify or change their appearance or behaviour, why should we?

HighInterestRat Sat 29-Jun-13 11:36:15

Yeah me too. I nodded along to the victim - blaming post upthread so was hesitant to post what I did.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 29-Jun-13 11:48:10

Gosh, I can't believe you felt you had to apologise for your first post in case it came across as 'stealth boasting' - anyone who'd think being perved on was complimentary needs their head read. Probably the same sort of people who actually enjoy being wolf-whistled. hmm

I'm so pleased that this thread has gone the way it has, and that you've had sympathetic responses.

Totally feel your pain.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 29-Jun-13 11:49:28

Hear hear, VelvetSpoon.

FreudiansSlipper Sat 29-Jun-13 11:53:46

i do not think anyone is saying if you are confident it will not happen, and it is not about looks or how you are dressed

it is not either trying to be someone you are not it is accepting that sadly there are men like this around and it is wrong the blame lies there no where else

for some women confronting a man who has made suggestive remarks to her is unthinkable and they would rather just walk away (this is how i feel) there is nothing wrong with that, but her believing that it is what men do is. society is not going to change over night and by helping women believe that they do not have to accept this or this is just what some men do is a step forward

Latara Sat 29-Jun-13 11:55:45

These kind of things don't happen to me at present, maybe because i look worried or a bit miserable without meaning to? (I'm crap at hiding my emotions).

I feel quite invisible where men are concerned really.

(Except one of my elderly patients with dementia says he ''loves me'' and says ''marry me'' ALL the time because he keeps forgetting he's said it bless! He says it to anyone female though.)

edam Sat 29-Jun-13 12:02:02

urgh, men like this are disgusting. I used to get it a lot in my 20s and 30s - thankfully has dropped off now I'm in my 40s. Dunno whether it's because I'm less attractive or because I am old enough for them not to try it on. Whatever, it is NOT OK and it is nothing to do with how you are dressed or how you behave. It's misogyny and entitlement.

Startail Sat 29-Jun-13 12:02:52

Perhaps glasses are a protection, I have never got any of this rubbish in my whole life.

I worry slightly that my DDs might, but DD1 has such an air of being in another world blocks will probably instinctively realise they'll get no reaction.

It will bother DD2, she wears glasses too, but will be way prettier than me.

Latara Sat 29-Jun-13 12:02:56

Forgot, i did get a lad grope my bottom in a club 2 weeks ago; i turned round and it could have been one of two lads - i wasn't sure so i raised my arm threateningly as if i wanted to hit them and they got the message; i didn't get groped again.

I honestly hadn't expected that to happen because i hadn't been clubbing in a while, forgot that we often get groped in clubs just for being women.
I was going to ignore it but remembered past Mumsnet threads and threatened them instead; hopefully they'll think twice before bothering another woman in a club.

Startail Sat 29-Jun-13 12:04:06

Posted to soon.

Threads like this make me wonder if I should say something to them, but what.

As I say I just don't get this stuff.

ExcuseTypos Sat 29-Jun-13 12:16:05

I'd also like a few suggestions for good 'come back' phrases.

I was paying for petrol the other day and a sleaze bag behind me said 'it must be lovely wearing a skirt on a hot day, it means you get some air to all areas" Tbh I was gob smacked and didn't say anything. I wished I had.

I've got 2 DDs and want to arm them with some good advice.

limitedperiodonly Sat 29-Jun-13 12:27:32

I don't think you should bother trying to think of something witty.

'What did you just say to me?' said loudly enough for other people to hear, works.

It happens whether you look confident or not. One of the worst things said to me was when I was smartly dressed and a man hissed as he passed me: 'You think you look like a fucking film star, don't you?'

I say worst because he made no pretence of complimenting me, like creeps often do. It was clear that he hated women.

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 29-Jun-13 12:28:19

Ifnot I think the point was that if she was buying a man's top, she probably wasn't single, so innapropriate.

HighInterestRat Sat 29-Jun-13 12:33:15

Ooh yes I've had "stuck up bitch" when I am out and about and once a man bumped into me in town on purpose and then mimicked my voice in a put-on upper class accent when I apologised (I know, conditioning. sad) I don't even speak like that, just don't have the regional accent here and he obviously thought I was a bit above myself and wanted to take me down a peg or two. I laughed at him because it was completely unexpected and that was the best reaction I've ever given to something like that. The scowl I received in return made me laugh even harder. grin

limitedperiodonly Sat 29-Jun-13 12:40:39

And I understand what you're saying about stealth boasting OP.

I'm impressed that no one's accused you of that or said it puts a spring in their step every time a stranger shouts 'nice jugs' at them.

I wonder how long that will last?

edam Sat 29-Jun-13 12:45:02

Startail, I got lots of it despite wearing glasses!

SofaCanary Sat 29-Jun-13 13:16:04

This never happens to me and to be honest I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that confused

yamsareyammy Sat 29-Jun-13 13:26:01

Do you wear a lot of pink or red?
Are you in certain areas?

Not at all saying that this excuses anyone's behaviour.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 29-Jun-13 14:18:36

Oh, for some reason I thought she was buying the mans top for herself! ( I have clearly been single too long!)
I agree with Freudian re victim blaming. If you say that a sleazebag picks on a particular type of person, that is not to say that the perp is not to blame. Its just saying that the man is on the lookout for someone he reckons he can humiliate and get away with it.
In the same way that you are far, far more likely to be assaulted under the age of 19, because you seem more vulnerable.
That is not to say that it is teenage girls fault for being young, just that certain men will be more likely to percieve you as a target when you are young.
My BFF used to get loads of awful stuff from sleazebags. Followed home, flashed at, awful comments. She is very slim and small boned,and probably seemed very young.
The fact that actually she us confident ( and has always had the voice of a chain smoking 45 year old!) didn't matter too much- although she could see them off quite effectively, it was how she was perceived.
So, not remotely her fault- nothing she could do about being teeny.
The fact is though, that we do need to learn to stand up for ourselves. Just to say " oh well it shouldn't happen" is not going to stop it. We should be vocal and pissed off about it, as a woman, and on behalf of other women, and girls when it happens to them.
culture can change- most building sites now have strict policies about this kind of behaviour, so it happens a lot less with construction workers. If women call these sleazebags on it, every time, and realise it doesn't have to just be part of life, then the tossers might think twice.

bellasuewow Sat 29-Jun-13 14:45:57

Solid is dead right, when I was young and hot I used to get it a lot and to be honest it is not a compliment it is a misogynistic put down by men who feel insulted by you because they see you and fancy you but realise they will never get near you so have to make themselves feel a bit better with some casual abuse, pathetic and illegal. I agree with you be safe and dress down on public transport and perfecting a looks could kill expression helps.

Darkesteyes Sat 29-Jun-13 15:00:06

I think ppl have misunderstood my post Of course you should face it down. I always do. What i object to is ppl saying that "if you appear
confident when you are out it will reduce the risk of you being harassed"

A. if you are not a confident person naturally it involves changing your behaviour to avoid harassment and abuse.
b. Like i said upthread if the genders were reversed on this and women were harassing quiet men do you really think they would be wringing their hands and getting on a forum to discuss whether the amount of confidence they were showing out in public contributed to their harassment?!!

Being expected to change yr demeanour and "appear confident" to avoid it IS victim blaming.

Darkesteyes Sat 29-Jun-13 15:12:03

Velvet i agree Thats exactly what i meant.

learnasyougo Sat 29-Jun-13 15:29:31

I'm sure some men do it just to shock a woman and watch the woman's face change in response. A kinda pathetic cry for attention. Being the one to make someone else go shock or blush gives some people a sense of power. I suspect it's about that.

GeekLove Sat 29-Jun-13 15:39:36

londone17
Might be worth naming and shaming them particulary if they are a chain. At the very least we would know who to avoid.

Sheshelob Sat 29-Jun-13 20:12:26

So how do you see this changing, darkesteyes and velvet? What are your practical solutions for the daily harassment of women, that don't require women to change their behaviour?

Darkesteyes Sat 29-Jun-13 21:01:21

How about a campaign telling males not to harass not to rape not to assault.

Darkesteyes Sat 29-Jun-13 21:05:56

If we bring our daughters up to change their behaviour and the way they dress to avoid harassment and abuse then they will also carry that message into their relationships as well.
According to Womens Aid if you have to change the way you dress or yr demeanour in a relationship to placate an abuser then that is abuse.
Saying that young women should change their demeanour or way they dress to avoid public harassment and abuse is then in direct contradiction to that. It is giving out mixed messages.

Rowanred Sat 29-Jun-13 21:11:53

You need to perfect "a look" of pure distain for men like this. I get it a lot but normally get rid of them in under 30 seconds now. You just have to be really harsh. It works for charity muggers too! ( the "look" , that is!)

FreudiansSlipper Sat 29-Jun-13 21:35:47

Agree if your partner is insisting that you change your behaviour or dress that is controlling behaviour

but programmes that help women get out of abusive relationships while placing the blame on their parnter will also work on building their self confidence so they are able to leave their relationship safely and confidently with less chance on them returning

I think people are confusing confidence as in social confidence or how you look with inner confidence how you feel about yourself in relation to others

Sheshelob Sat 29-Jun-13 22:06:31

A campaign alone will achieve little. Direct action is important. Why should we need to rely on an official voice telling people right from wrong when we can be directly confronting these issues as and when they come up? Things only change when you confront them head on.

This is not victim blaming. This is choosing not to stand by and let creepy men control how we are in the world. I have been on the receiving end of all measure of harassment. It didn't make me change anything about how I dressed (having a baby and being left with a crepey apron did that). But it made me fucking angry. So I wear that anger like a "don't fuck with me" armour. I'm not scared. I'm furious.

A campaign, no matter how effective, will never capture that.

LessMissAbs Sun 30-Jun-13 03:38:00

So the question has to be asked, should sexually aggravated harasment be criminalised, as with racially agravated offences recently?

LessMissAbs Sun 30-Jun-13 03:49:01

And men seem to try it on more when a woman looks vulnerable that could be anything from looking young to being unaccompanied. And it seems worse in spring/summer than other times of the year.

Trouble is, if you complain too much about it, people think you're uptight.

I get it a lot. I'm both small and young looking, but im also possessed of a fearsome temper when it happens. My favourite retort at the moment is 'This isn't Afghanistan, and you aren't the fucking Taliban'.

As well as the above incidents, a few weeks ago I had a lorry driver keep flashing his lights at me in slow moving traffic whenever I pulled ahead of him.

He followed me into the petrol station I went into to fill up with diesel. I gave him it full barrels. He literally ran away, muttering that I was a nutter. What do these men think you're going to do? enact some scene from a porn film?

Its also been silly season for men I've never or barely spoken to tracking me down and pming me on Facebook. 3 so far this year, and for some reason often very early in the morning. All the type you wouldn't dream of dating even if you were desperate. I hate bloody Facebook pms from all but my closest friends with a passion.

kickassangel Sun 30-Jun-13 04:57:22
limitedperiodonly Sun 30-Jun-13 08:24:30

So the question has to be asked, should sexually aggravated harassment be criminalised, as with racially aggravated offences recently?

Yes, I think if you're going to have the concept of hate crimes, they should, along with rape.

It's not going happen though, while women as well as men, persist in the belief that cat-calling, groping and rape aren't crimes, and crimes motivated by hatred at that, but just things that happen because of misunderstandings and misread signals.

I'm still amazed this thread hasn't attracted any apologists yet. It must have been the sunny weather - they were probably all out harassing or being harassed.

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