Why do some men think it's appropriate to beep at women and chat them up in the street?

(71 Posts)
Queenbean Fri 17-Jun-16 18:36:29

It sounds made up but this evening on my way home from work I have been:

- beeped at twice
- hollered at by a man in a van waiting at the lights - told him to fuck off
- then a guy came up up to me and followed me up the street saying how pretty I was, did I have a boyfriend etc. I asked him why he thought it appropriate to harass random women in the street and to leave me alone. Then I told him to fuck off too.

Why do certain men think this is acceptable?

NB, I am wearing jeans, trainers and a cami. Even if I was wearing a crotchless playsuit this wouldn't be appropriate

scallopsrgreat Fri 17-Jun-16 19:29:34

Because they don't value you or what ever you are doing. Your time isn't worth as much as theirs and unless your attention is on them then it is clearly unimportant. You are in a public space and therefore receptive to anything men might want to say/do with you because really you are in their space.

Sense of entitlement.

Curviest Fri 17-Jun-16 20:31:41

Scallops has nailed it.

Particularly the penultimate point - you are in THEIR space. All public space is male space, and you get what you deserve for entering it.

PalmerViolet Fri 17-Jun-16 20:37:39

Why do some men think it's appropriate to beep at women and chat them up in the street?

Because they have dicks, and dicks out-important chicks in every single way, apparently.

DetestableHerytike Fri 17-Jun-16 20:40:17

Because they don't care about your consent, interest or personhood. Just themselves.

See also the thread on dick pics.

DetestableHerytike Fri 17-Jun-16 20:41:09

In fact, I'm going to nick scallops post for the dick pics thread

LurcioAgain Fri 17-Jun-16 20:47:22

It's not just that you're in their space - they know you don't want the attention and they get off on the idea that they've just made you uncomfortable.

0phelia Sun 19-Jun-16 15:52:38

Men's voices are to be heared, nodded to in earnest, and agreed with at all times. Their opinion is to be accepted with a gracious smile and fluttering eyes.

A woman's presence is a body to critique, comment upon and ideally, touch.

God forbid you're in your own bubble, thinking about your late mum or what's happened in The Archers or whatever and not smiling while you're at it. Bitch.

VestalVirgin Sun 19-Jun-16 16:53:02

They know it is not appropriate. They just don't care. Also, what everyone else said.

EveryCloudhasl Sun 19-Jun-16 16:58:21

Tbh I don't understand why this is so offensive?! Though clearly blossoming marriages have never been instigated through a man in a van beeping at you but does it really do any harm..

70sDinnerPartyClassic Sun 19-Jun-16 17:06:57

Why shouldn't women be allowed to walk around without being hassled by men?

Read the OP again - she's just trying to get from A to B and all that happened, all of which she had to then deal with, including talking to a man who was following her.

Additionally, she's lucky that none of the men got arsey when she told them to fuck off - as we all know when you do tell these men to fuck off they can become aggressive verbally and sometimes physically.

Plus, it starts when you're young. One might beep, another might shout "show us your tits" or "gissa blow job". When you're 14.

Does it do harm? Yes of course it does. It has a drip drip drip effect that makes women and girls feel unsafe / unsettled / angry. If it was one car horn in a lifetime, that would be one thing. If it's one car horn coming a week after a man following you and 2 weeks after a man shouting obscene things at you and 3 weeks after a man wanking at you then yes, it does harm. People who say women should smile and put up with this stuff, I don't know what their game is actually. A belief that women should be compliant and smile until it gets to the point where something is definitely a criminal matter? Or something... Don't know.

Smiling and saying nothing is not what I will be teaching my girls to do thanks.

OP - good on you for telling them to fuck off. Glad they fucked off without giving you further trouble.

VestalVirgin Sun 19-Jun-16 17:07:07

Every, read at least three well-known feminist books before you come back here.
I don't think anyone on here wants to explain feminism 101 to you.

0phelia Sun 19-Jun-16 17:26:45

Everycloud It bursts your bubble. That's bad enough in my opinion. It's impolite.

Everytime it happens (A cat-call, beep or other unwanted opinion) I'm not "deeply offended" I'm just suddenly self conscious of male-gaze, of men's opinions, of my facial expression and my whole train of thought is lost. It's only men who ever do this to me, men who have no manners.

Why is that acceptable to you?

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 19-Jun-16 17:28:36

They just want to show you that it's their world, and that you're an object in it.

They believe that the acceptable state of society is for women to be there for men's benefit. So in a sense, they do find their behaviour acceptable: it's an expression of the widely-held view that that's what women are for.

TwentyCupsOfTea Sun 19-Jun-16 17:32:33

I've had a man wanking while looking at me in public. The cat calling etc is exactly the same thing. It's designed to embarrass and fluster women, and put us down.
I don't have advice, as I hate it more than almost anything, but ignoring it is all I nornally do.

EveryCloudhasl Sun 19-Jun-16 18:31:52

Nope sorry just don't get it. Men don't beep their horns at you because they don't value you, because they don't care about what you're doing because they believe you are an object in their space...they do it cause it's a simple 'oh she's fit' beep beep. Yeah it can be embarrassing, a bit cheeky but to me that is all. I don't find it scary, I don't believe they are set out against women. If it happened to me 5 times in one day I would probably just think I looked a little better than normal and checked my skirt wasn't tucked into my knickers. However if a man was wanking in public whilst looking at me I would be horrified and inform the police- I don't see how that can even be described as similar to a beeping horn?!

DetestableHerytike Sun 19-Jun-16 18:42:08

Every, why should my day be interrupted because a man is so keen to give me his opinion on my attractiveness?

You do realise that a beeping horn is part of a spectrum of catcalling that can include more explicit remarks (nice tits) as well as insults (fat bitch) if you don't respond as they wish.

calamityjam Sun 19-Jun-16 18:45:26

A few years ago dsd was 15 but looked more like 12. She was on a bike riding home from her mates at about 9pm on a sunday night. A drunken man letched at her coming out of the pub asking her for a blowjob. She was frightened to death and came home and told me. I phoned the police and luckily a lovely police woman asked us to hop in the van to find and identify him. Unfortunately being too pissed to remember was his excuse which he got away with.

PalmerViolet Sun 19-Jun-16 19:30:34

Well, bully for you Every.

How lovely for you that you don't care that men see you as an object to be appraised by them in order for them to judge you on their personal fuckability scale.

Just out of interest, where's your line for "man being a git" reports?

Actual masturbation?
Sexual suggestions?
What?

RebelRogue Sun 19-Jun-16 19:34:10

Every because i don't want to listen to it. I don't want creepy dudes feeling me up in a busy train/bus either,no matter how fit they think i am(i'm not but that's besides the point) . I don't want even creepier dudes to stop their car in front of me and start chatting me up. I don't want to be in my own garden,and be nice enough to respond when asked for directions to be told how insert "compliment" here and can he come in. I barely go out as it is (there's people out there ewww) ,and going out the door does not mean i am fair game to be judged or "appreciated" . I don't want it, i don't need it and i don't like it

sonlypuppyfat Sun 19-Jun-16 19:46:19

I've seen a new one, pulling up your shirt and rubbing your belly! I've seen it twice now what on earth is that supposed to achieve. My 15 year old DD can't go out without some twat beeping at her or putting their hands down their pants when they see her. Bastards everyone of them

RebelRogue Sun 19-Jun-16 19:51:52

Sonly that you're good enough to eat? Fuck knows..

TwentyCupsOfTea Sun 19-Jun-16 19:59:17

I can be compared, because both acts make me feel the same way.
It's not 'cheeky' it's degrading. And ive had it since I was a child.

Fauchelevent Sun 19-Jun-16 20:08:57

Hate to burst anyone's bubble but it really isn't about looks. The majority of times I've been cat called have been when I've been so dressed down I can pass for fifteen.

In the lifetime of most women, we'll have men compliment us, call us beautiful, chat to us nicely because they fancy us. It's nice because it's non threatening, simple and is a GENUINE compliment. Most women can recognise a genuine compliment and it feels good.

We can also recognise the difference between a guy blushingly telling us we have a nice smile, and a man demanding we tell him our name, that we accept his offer to walk us home, that we give him our number then dialling the number to make sure it's real, a man getting in our face and yelling "smile for me", five guys in a car shouting at us to see our tits, men hissing at us like we're cats, growling sexual profanities in our ear... do any of these sound ANYTHING like "you have a nice smile" "you're really pretty" said politely, mindfully and like we're not just a piece of meat?

Men who cat call believe the streets are their domain. They believe this because their belief goes unchallenged, that every woman who walks those streets is public property. It doesn't matter that these advances are frightening, intimidating and threatening because these women are public property. Right up to and beyond forced sexual intercourse with these women, they are not humans with autonomy and wants and wishes, but public property, like street lamps to piss on and tarmac floors to spit on. Believe this, to this men we're not "fit", we're less than dirt. We're nothing.

You only have to answer back to these shitbags to find that one out.

DownstairsMixUp Sun 19-Jun-16 20:18:55

Good for you every if you truly believe that. hmm I personally feel I have the right to walk to the shops/town etc without being beeped at or chatted up. Once I was even pushing my 1 year old son and had a transit van of men hold down the horn for ages and shout out "MILF" that my son jumped and woke up. Yeah they must of really valued me.

Another time I was 20 weeks pregnant, visible bump and got shouted stuff at on the way to work. I was in agony from SPD and in a shit mood, why can't I walk to work without being harassed???

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now