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To think I shouldn't have to expect this?

(20 Posts)
Screenburn Sun 23-Oct-16 00:37:55

Background: have some issues with anxiety (so going out is a big deal for me) and have lost a lot of weight recently (think 3-4 stone) through medical issues.

Went out tonight for the first time in ages to meet some friends. Felt quite good about how I looked (rare!) and wore clothes I feel comfortable in (jeans, sweatshirt, scarf because it's cold). I live in London, so it's about a 45 min journey across town.

None of my friends live in my area, so I went home alone. On that 45 min journey home I was approached by 6 different men who insisted on having a conversation with me/trying to chat me up in some way. I tried to rebuff all of them but to no avail. Finally got home and have burst into tears - it just makes me not want to go out again and just hide at home with DP and even though my strident feminist side is telling me I'm being silly, I feel like maybe next time I shouldn't wear makeup etc so I don't encourage it. AIBU to think that I shouldn't have to put up with this?

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Oct-16 00:44:01

I'm not sure because you haven't really said what they did wrong.

Were they rude/crude/threatening?

If you're a strident feminist, I'm not sure why you're linking clothes and make up with some people trying to have a conversation with you/chatting you up?

More context needed really.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 23-Oct-16 00:49:07

No, yanbu. You should be able to dress up and wear make up without having to fend off men.
I'm guessing Worra that OP hasn't had this experience weighing 4 stone more and this has surprised her.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 23-Oct-16 00:51:35

I also think that anxiety is heightened by being alone, travelling later and that made OP feel more vulnerable.

LilQueenie Sun 23-Oct-16 00:54:43

No don't stop wearing make up it wont make a difference. What did they do when you told them about your DP? If they kept on then they have no respect. The real problem is your anxiety and the fact you don't like a lot of attention perhaps.

FabFiveFreddie Sun 23-Oct-16 00:55:45

Are you sure they were trying to chat you up? Saturday night, cross town, bound to be some merriment. 6 people striking up a conversation I can imagine. 6 actual, full on, proper chat ups, not so easily.

Not all interactions between men and women necessarily have sexual undertones.

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Oct-16 00:57:18

Why is the OP making a connection between weight, make up, clothes and some people trying to make conversation/chatting her up on her journey though?

That's what I'm trying to get to the bottom of.

Public transport on a Saturday night is jammed full of loud/obnoxious/drunken males and females who want to make random, loud conversations with Joe/Josephine Public.

That's why I'm trying to get to the bottom of whether there was something else that upset the OP.

AbernathysFringe Sun 23-Oct-16 01:09:51

I generally find that acting blokey and polite but vague is a good way to rebuff drunken men. Exchange meaningless pleasantries without getting drawn into conversation ' yeah mate, have a good night' etc. Works better than them getting any proper reaction out of you. Maybe come up with one or two lines to use if this happens to you again?
I love the way on any thread where a woman mentions she's been hit on there are always replies saying 'are you sure?'. As if they're implying the op has a super ego and is delusional. I know when someone is hitting on me and suspect most people do.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sun 23-Oct-16 01:11:37

I think this works here:
(not mine, so while not responsible for the disablist insult contained within, I apologise for it)

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sun 23-Oct-16 01:12:51


GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 23-Oct-16 01:16:03

There was a goady thread in Feminism last weekend where some bloke was saying that he talks to groups of women on nights put and gets rebuffed. He was complaining that they weren't welcoming of his attention. And his arse was handed to him.
I think the acid test is were they striking up conversation with people about stuff or were they trying to chat to a lone woman who wasn't engaging. As an old chubby woman it's quite striking to see how younger, attractive women are 'worthy' and it is about sex.

JellyBelli Sun 23-Oct-16 01:18:57

YANBU, its obvious when someone isnt interested.
Invest in an MP3 player and headphones,. You dont actually have to listen to anything on it of you want to remain aware of your surroundings.

LouisvilleLlama Sun 23-Oct-16 01:28:17

Thumbwitch it's weird I agree and disagree with your image I mean sure often they are hitting on you but sometimes not but have been conditioned to think that's what you say on some of the not so horrid examples. And i think it's wrong because people talk differently to different people, brother and sister, mum and dad, boss/ colleague at work, friends who are girls and friends that are boys, like I say I disagree/ think it's wrong but in a way right confused for some reason it's semi headfucking me (but in case it's stated it's not because I think men and women can go round saying whatever they want at random people)

jayisforjessica Sun 23-Oct-16 01:29:49

If all you want's a chat, Mr. Man, there's a lovely chatty bloke down the way who I'm sure would only too happy to yarn about the football scores with you.

Oh... you don't want to talk to men?

Then I suspect it isn't actually a "chat" you're after at all, is it?

And THIS scenario is exactly why OP is NBU. Not to mention the fact that it can be downright dangerous for a woman in this situation.

"Just tell him you're not interested!" But there are hundreds of stories of women who said they weren't interested, and got assaulted/stabbed/raped/shot/murdered for their trouble.

"Just play along and be nice!" But there are just as many stories about women who tried this, then were accused of leading him on, or who were forced into something because the man thought that the prior conversation (that the woman didn't want and had only engaged in "to be polite" or avoid the situation in the previous paragraph) entitled them to sex.

OP, I'm sorry you had to go through that. YADNBU.

kali110 Sun 23-Oct-16 02:22:51

I agree with worra.
So if it was women would it have been ok?
I suffer with anxiety too so i get tjat part.
I have random people chat too me sometimes when i have to take public transport.
If these men were trying to chat you up fair enough but what were they saying? If it was just random chitchat then i don't see the problem.
On a Saturday night some people have probably had a drink ( or not) and get chatty on the bus home.
My dh has also had some rather amusing conversations with random people.

AnotherTimeMaybe Sun 23-Oct-16 02:24:32


HaveNoSocks Sun 23-Oct-16 08:01:39

Why is the OP making a connection between weight, make up, clothes and some people trying to make conversation/chatting her up on her journey though?

Because she's probably getting more attention having lost weight, you're also more likely to get hit on if you're dressed up than hanging around in a baggy tracksuit, but I'm sure you know this.

OP YANBU. Public transport isn't the place to hit on women, especially persisting when it's obvious they're not interested in chatting to you.

PotteringAlong Sun 23-Oct-16 08:05:43

I struck up a conversation with 3 random strangers yesterday. I was just making conversation; I wasn't trying to chat anyone up. Why read ulteriour motives into every casual exchange? confused

tofutti Sun 23-Oct-16 08:41:46

I was just making conversation; I wasn't trying to chat anyone up. Why read ulteriour motives into every casual exchange? confused

Pottering - the key words in the OP are:

insisted on having a conversation/chatting me up

I tried to rebuff them but to no avail

You are not the OP. If she doesn't to talk to someone she shouldn't be forced to do so. It's so depressing that people can't see the difference. A simple NO should be ENOUGH.

jayisforjessica Sun 23-Oct-16 10:31:29

Too many people in this world think that their right to free speech trumps other peoples' right to be left alone when they want to be. "I was just making conversation" sounds innocuous enough until you're made aware that the other person in the equation did not want to have a conversation with you.

Why read ulterior motives into every casual exchange?
Because, particularly as women, we learn pretty damn young to always be parsing for subtext and danger. If we let our guard down, we're accused of making ourselves easy targets. If we keep our guard up, we get called b*tches or crazy. We can't win.

I don't know your gender, PotteringAlong, but I know OP's gender and the gender of the people "just striking up conversation" with her. I know exactly why she was so uncomfortable.

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