Random men speaking to you

(768 Posts)
enimmead Sun 02-Dec-12 09:38:04

I'm sure men don't randomly speak to other men in the street. Strangers. So why the hell do they feel they have to speak to random women. I don't think it's got anything to do with chatting up.

Yesterday, I saw a 20 something bloke with his mates slip in front of me on the ice. As I got out, he said "Hi love, did you see that!!!" I'm -- could be his mum-- bit older than him. Why speak to me? I just smiled but I bet he wouldn't' have said anything if I'd been male.

Just walking down the street, other side of the road bloke smiles and says "Hi love". No idea who he was.

Do blokes do this to other random blokes?

FromEsme Sun 02-Dec-12 09:43:14

Oh, God yes, this annoys the life out of me.

I think it mainly pisses me off because I think it would be LOVELY if we DID live in a society where people randomly struck up conversations with other people - men, women, whoever.

Whether it's to do with chatting up, I don't know. It could just be a power thing, or a safety thing - like a man randomly chatting to another man could end up in a fight.

But I actually dread standing at bus stops etc alone, because men so often strike up conversations that seem innocent enough and then end up with them asking for my phone number. I wouldn't mind if it wasn't so blatant and so obviously random - they'd do it to ANY woman standing there, it's not because they're particularly interested in me.

Back2Two Sun 02-Dec-12 09:47:16

Should we ban men fom talking to women they don't know?

FromEsme Sun 02-Dec-12 09:51:08

I don't think that's what the OP was saying Back2Two .

Good example of a straw man, though.

CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Sun 02-Dec-12 09:51:32

I make a point of answering people who speak to me in the street.

I have just been to the corner shop with DS. As we came out there was an old boy outside and he said "alriiigghht darling?"
So I said, "good morning, how are you today?" In my best Mary Poppins voice. He said "err fine thanks." And then shuffled off looking at me like I was bonkers!! grin

IfYouSeeMeSayHello Sun 02-Dec-12 09:57:21

How very dare they. The audacity of a man - a man! - daring to speak to me just because I am a woman!

Really, I would be delighted. These minor interactions with other human beings are all part of the tapestry of life.

enimmead Sun 02-Dec-12 09:57:34

See - I don't randomly talk to strangers who I just happen to see. Not an "Alright" to a bloke I see. I might if I'm out walking in the country but that's just what you do on a country walk.

I wouldn't see another woman and just say something at random. I don't think blokes randomly just say something to other blokes. That does not mean I don't start up conversations but that depends on where I am.

But I just want to walk down the street without some bloke feeling they have the right to suddenly say something to me when they see me.

FromEsme Sun 02-Dec-12 09:58:43

Not what the OP is saying IfYouSeeMeSayHello .

There's a lot of deliberate misunderstanders out today.

enimmead Sun 02-Dec-12 09:59:10

if But it seems very one sided IYSWIM. Do you randomly make comments to men as you pass them in the street?

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Sun 02-Dec-12 10:01:42

It annoys me too.

Recently I was waiting for a train and drunk bloke latched on to me. Then insisted on giving me a hug goodbye. Bleugh.

digerd Sun 02-Dec-12 10:07:34

I do miss all that attention. Now at the "invisable" age. < down in the mouth face>

FromEsme Sun 02-Dec-12 10:08:29

Do you really miss the attention digerd ? I hate it. I just want to be able to walk down the street and not feel like anyone has a right to my time.

superstarheartbreaker Sun 02-Dec-12 10:11:49

I love it when random strangers say things to me. I think a man saying a silly/nice/pleasant thing is the last bastion of chivalry. If it is grumpy or sexual that is annoying.

superstarheartbreaker Sun 02-Dec-12 10:12:59

I find the elderly are most prone to random comments; it's sweet. It's hardly a huge waste of time is it?

Leithlurker Sun 02-Dec-12 10:13:58

If anything is a straw man, and surely thats a sexist saying. It is the idea that women should be able to walk freely unhindered by random people talking to them. If however the op is objecting to the use of words like "love" or "Darling" that is different as the issue is with possible sexist language.

The issue here is people moan about lack of community or feeling safer in the streets, but then refuse to engage even in small talk with other humans. People have been socalised in to isolation, it is normal not to talk, make eye contact, take no notice of children and adults showing signs of distress in the streets. If you are geing asked for your phone number all the time that is unwelcome and would give you the feeling that perhaps you are not being valued. Why not at least take the positive of having spoken to another person and when it happens refuse politely but say you were pleased he felt you were worth talking to.

shadylane Sun 02-Dec-12 10:14:45

I love it. I find it more weird to sit opposite someone on a tube and not smile or similar. Also women talk to me all the time, probably more than men do.

Leithlurker Sun 02-Dec-12 10:16:36

Esme said "not feel like anyone has a right to my time", this is not the same as being spoken to just you are female.

Lottapianos Sun 02-Dec-12 10:16:50

Chivalry? On the feminist boards? Wowza......

FromEsme Sun 02-Dec-12 10:17:03

How on EARTH is a straw man a sexist thing to say?

I don't WANT people to judge my "worth" before they talk to me. Isn't it telling that a poster up there ^ said that she doesn't get any attention now that she's older? Men speak to young, attractive women. It's fuck all to do with a feeling of community.

BillyBollyBallum Sun 02-Dec-12 10:17:09

Everyone talks to me, men and women. Only thing is common is that generally they are 60+.

Doesn't bother me particularly, they make an innocent remark, I reply in the time honoured fashion. Everyone's happy.

What does irritate me is young blokes doing the "smile love, it'll never happen". Not so much older blokes though when they do it. Maybe I trust their intentions more <ponders>

itsthequietones Sun 02-Dec-12 10:17:56

I think it mainly pisses me off because I think it would be LOVELY if we DID live in a society where people randomly struck up conversations with other people - men, women, whoever.

I find this so sad, I feel as though I do live in a society where I can talk to just about anyone - men, women, children, old and young. Strangers talk to me if we're in a queue, at a bar, out shopping. I'll speak to anyone. Yes occasionally I've been chatted up, but hardly ever really. Obviously I weigh up the situation first, but I find people are generally friendly.

To the OP, maybe with the incident with his friend slipping on the ice, he just found it funny and wanted to share, maybe you reminded him of someone he liked, there are many reasons why he chose to speak to you, it doesn't have to be negative or threatening.

But yes, I have also made random comments to men in passing.

I really don't understand the issue.

enimmead Sun 02-Dec-12 10:18:20

What I'm trying to say is - why does it seem to be men doing it to women? I don't seem to notice men doing it at random to other men, or women doing it to women or men. And it's not small talk - it's just a random comment as you pass them, or suddenly out of no where.

Small talk is to me what people do in a queue for example. Nothing wrong with that. I often do it myself. But that's in a particular situation. Not as I just get out of the car. Or as I walk down the street.

LynetteScavo Sun 02-Dec-12 10:20:41

No one speaks to me.

I used to attract the elderly when I was young. My friends used to say, "Oh, I met this great person at a bus stop in Dussledorf and we all went camping." This has never happens to me.

I think it's the permanent look of distaste on my face.

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Sun 02-Dec-12 10:21:45

I have no problem with it (I often do it myself) unless something about the situation makes me feel uncomfortable.

Normally, that means that a bloke will say something while surrounded by mates whereas I will be on my own.

Usually all that will be said will be "alright love" or something along those lines, but it makes me feel like he wouldn't say it if a) he wasn't surrounded by mates or b)if I wasn't alone. Which in turn makes me feel like he wanted to intimidate me or make me uncomfortable.

However I did spend a lot of time in high school being bullied so I may be oversensitive to these sort of things, but the situation I've just described definitely puts me on alert as it were.

Haggisfish Sun 02-Dec-12 10:21:49

Women do talk to women, well I do anyway, and I talk to men as well. And actually, my OH talks to other men, too, all at random - I think you are only seeing what you are looking for.

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