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Is there something about me that suggests I'm 'Fair Game'?

(4 Posts)
agentnully Sun 29-Sep-19 15:17:07

I no longer attract this kind of man/attention but I did when I was younger.

I've been physically assaulted by strange men, flashed at and encountered men dressed as women using the ladies to perve (can't think how else to describe hanging around in front of mirrors stroking themselves or standing in front of dryers refusing to move while staring in the mirror).

I've often thought it must be just me, my personal history of sex abuse and bad luck but these men are definitely getting bolder. I live rurally but hear of things like this happening in the nearest large-ish town.

I'm tall and not dainty, attractive (I was told) but not pretty. I wore jeans mostly with flat boots. I walked with confidence as I'd learned it put people off from experience and it still happened on a fairly regular basis.

I started sitting closer to people rather than finding a space away from them and never sat on a sofa if a chair was available.My back was always against a wall. I became very aware of my surroundings and my body language clearly should have told people to stay away.

I don't worry so much now as public transport is non-existant where I live and I use either crutches or a chair - thankfully not your average perve's target!

I think being aware of your surroundings is probably the most important thing these days. I also have had success with a personal alarm. It's amazing how quickly you can pull these people up with a blast on a reusable alarm. I couldn't care less if I attract attention in a busy place. The more people see this happening in places you wouldn't expect it (busy, during the day) the better.

As women, I don't think walking alone down a street (even in broad daylight) will ever be completely safe, sadly. But drawing attention to these men might start making them think twice.

skybluee Thu 27-Jun-19 12:04:01

Sorry that this is happening. You should be left alone. I seem to attract this too.

The only things I can think of are:

- I look a lot younger than I am.
- I'm often going to places on my own where there are other people - e.g. shops, parks, streets.
- I feel on edge so may look visibly nervous possibly, and I hold my bag tightly when I walk (it's a shoulder bag)... so I'm holding the strap in a fist and maybe that gives off a vibe.
- I have very long hair (but I don't want to cut it).

I've given this topic a lot of thought because I've been involved in so many incidents and I couldn't work it out.

But then when I compared it to my mum for example, she is never out and about on her own, and the type of shops and streets she goes to are very different.

At the end of the day, it's other peoples disgusting behaviour and they are to blame for it obviously.

I don't know what the answer is.

I've even consider going out without my bag in case that's what's doing it. I know it sounds obscure but it's the only thing I could come up with.

This is what I mean by how I hold it:

I don't know why I attract it either.

Last year on the bank holiday I was in a queue of traffic in the town centre and a man came up to me and headbutted the front of my car. I asked him "why" and he sneered and said "why not". It frightened the shit out of me as I was trapped in the queue and couldn't move, there was no room to manuevre. I had to hold my hand on the horn. I know it sounds silly but it was truly frightening and I was shaken up for a long while after that. I felt trapped and I didn't know what they were going to do.

Another time I was just walking by a canal by a shopping centre and had to go past a group of men sitting outside a pub on the canal front and one of them looked up at me and made a grunt and went "dahslfh I'd fuck 'that'" I carried on walking past. I wanted to say something horrible back but I was worried it would kick something off. It ruined my walk.

Is it about giving off an air of confidence? Would that help?

I dress plainly so I can't see it's that.

I'd love to just be able to walk down the street without being worried and on edge about someone's stupid comments. It feels threatening and I'm just tired.

InTheHeatofLisbon Thu 09-May-19 15:29:32

I'm furious that those things happened to you OP. Good on you for kicking the prick on the bus!!!

In answer to your question, no I don't believe you are doing anything to invite this horrendous and aggressively invasive behaviour. That would imply you're somehow at fault, and the only person at fault for doing those disgusting things are the men who do them.

CloudsCloudsClouds Thu 09-May-19 15:21:52

Just need to have a rant.

A month or so ago, I was aggressively groped by a stranger in the street, who then went on to shout abuse at me and threaten me. I had been standing in a busy area waiting for a friend and hadn't even noticed him until he slammed himself into me. It was dark but not especially late, about 7:45.

This afternoon I was sitting on the top deck of a bus. There were only two other passengers up there, i.e. about two dozen seats vacant. Suddenly a man came and seated himself next to me very heavily. He then began to stare intently at me and lean his body against mine. As soon as the bus stopped, I stood up so I could sit downstairs. He didn't stand to let me past. By this point I was so angry I shoved myself past him as forcefully as I could, kicking him in the process.

I went downstairs and sat at the back of the bus with other people. After 10 minutes or so he came down, presumably for his stop. He spotted me and stared at me so I gave him a hard stare back. Then he got off, looking at me through the window as he walked away.

What the fuck is wrong with these men? Today's incident was in the middle of the afternoon, I was dressed normally with a long coat, very little makeup (not that any of that should matter) and was on my way back from a hospital appointment.

I don't know if it's me - some vibe I give off - or if my city is becoming more dangerous in general.

I'm so, so sick of it.

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