To the man who shouted to me today...

(13 Posts)
NotMyRealName2015 Fri 02-Sep-16 22:00:56

“You’ve nothing to cry about with legs like that darling”

Why? Why did you do that?

It’s been several hours but I’m still thinking about it. You’ve probably forgotten about it already, so I’ll remind you:

I was walking to the train station. I’d had a stressful day at work, as well as worrying about other family issues going on in my life; things just got a bit on top of me and I somehow ended up with tear streaming down my face. I probably looked a mess but I tried to carry on walking, hoping no-one would notice.

Just as I walked into the entrance to the busy concourse, I passed you waiting by the cash machine. I felt you staring at me as I walked past and turned my head as I just knew you were going to say something.

That;;s when you shouted the above. Loud enough so that plenty of people heard and turned round to look at who you were talking about.

Why did you shout like that? What did you think would happen? How did you expect me to react?

Did you really believe I’d think to myself “he’s so right- I may be struggling with things in my life, but a random man thinks an arbitrary part of my body is attractive, so everything will be ok!”

And then presumably I’d spend the rest of the day beaming?

I doubt that’s what you really thought, but just in case you are that arrogant: you’re wrong.

I felt like shit. I felt humiliated and patronised.

I’m sure you’d say you didn’t mean to upset me. I’m overreacting. You didn’t attack me or say anything critical. You were just trying to give me a compliment.

But, did you not stop to think that maybe I didn’t want everyone in earshot to know that I was crying in the middle of the train station? To have people turn and stare? To feel exposed?

Did you not think I might have my own valid reasons for being upset? Did you really think that those reasons could be overridden by you implying that a part of my body was attractive?

News flash: Women don’t generally walk about in tears because they’re waiting for a man to pass comment on their body and make it all better.

Of course, I didn’t say anything to you at the time. Instead I put my head down and scuttled away. (I could still hear you sniggering though)

I think you knew I’d do that. I think you knew I was in no fit state to answer back to you. You only had to look at my face to see I was feeling vulnerable, and yet you chose to do what you did.

I don’t know why. Maybe to feel superior, maybe to get a laugh, maybe to get attention.

I’ll never know, just like you’ll never know what I should have said to you, but I need to get it out, so here it is anyway:

FUCK OFF!!!
You don’t get to decide whether I’ve ‘need to cry’ or not.
I don’t need (or want) you to make comments on my body.
Your opinion of me is not more important than my own feelings.
What you said was not a compliment. It was humiliating and unnecessary.
Please, please don’t do this to another woman. I’m sure you must have some degree of self control, so maybe in the future just take a moment to think before you shout comments at a stranger (or better yet make it a rule not to do it at all).

Today wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I’ll get over it. Women put up with these comments (and much, much worse) all the time and they manage to carry on.

But that doesn’t make it ok. Next time I’ll say that to your face.

NotMyRealName2015 Fri 02-Sep-16 22:02:35

I’m not really expecting anyone to responses to this btw, I know this post probably comes across a bit wanky and self-indulgent (and yes I’ve started on the wine).
I’m just feeling sorry for myself and needed to get that out somewhere (hopefully) safe and anonymous.

wineflowers

Tell it to the police/transport police, as well. Doesn't matter if it's "just verbal", this is still harassment, and they're finally starting to crack down on it, some forces more than others, of course. I'm sure he didn't mean it as a compliment, and he does this sort of thing often.

What so frequently gives ne courage to report is the thought: "this could be the final but of evidence they need...'

Hope you're feeling better today. smile brew

FreshwaterSelkie Sat 03-Sep-16 08:23:37

you're very eloquent brew. Hope the wine helped and you have a nicer weekend ahead to look forward to.

NormaStanleyFletcher Sat 03-Sep-16 09:26:02

I hope your weekend is better than your Friday.

He was a tosser.

NotMyRealName2015 Sat 03-Sep-16 17:49:15

Thank you. smile

I was feeling a bit silly when i woke up this morning. Like i'd overeacted by feeling so upset, so it's nice to see your kind words and know that other people agree he was a prick!

flowers

scallopsrgreat Sat 03-Sep-16 17:54:19

God no you haven't overreacted.

I suspect many of us have experienced something similar. I know I have.

Hope you are feeling a bit better flowers.

FreshwaterSelkie Sat 03-Sep-16 17:57:50

Totally not an over-reaction! A completely sane reaction. He's a sad, inadequate individual.

MrsBertMacklin Sat 03-Sep-16 17:59:48

How thick and lacking in emotional intelligence he must be, you could have just been told about a bereavement for all he knew.

Seriously, how stupid is his brain to compute 'crying woman' with 'phwoar'. And I thought the 'cheer up, love' brigade were bad!

Please cheer yourself with the knowledge that he is probably either pitied or detested by everyone who knows him.

user1472515172 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:01:46

You weren't overreacting. The reality is that this happens to an awful lot of women in the UK in 2016: men shout at us for being out in public. It happened to me on Wednesday and it made me feel physically sick with anger for hours afterwards. I was walking home from work. I was wearing jeans and a loose fitting t shirt. Three young men drove past me in a van and one of them rolled down his window and shouted something at me. I am 40 years old. I had not done anything - nothing - to indicate that I wanted to engage with them. They shouted at me because I am female and I was in their line of sight and they are male. That's literally all it comes down to: they genuinely, hand on heart believe that they have the right to do this to us, and it truly makes me want to kill myself sometimes.
If someone had put a gun in my hand in that split second I would have shot and killed them - how's that for an overreaction? ;)

paddypants13 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:08:15

Doesn't sound like an overreaction to me. You were already feeling vulnerable so having everyone turning to stare at you must have made it worse. The man was a complete arse.

JacquettaWoodville Sat 03-Sep-16 20:30:32

Absolutely not an overreaction. What a bellend.

Hope the family situation gets better soon x

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