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Why do men follow women?

(52 Posts)
TicTacTwo Tue 22-Dec-20 17:07:18

I was shopping in Morrison's today when somebody suddenly grabbed my arm. It was one of my teen DD's friends and she said that a man was following her. She had gone into the supermarket in the hope of losing him and his face being caught on cctv just in case. sadangry

Why do men follow women? Are they turned on by a woman being scared? Do they hope that she'll be home alone so he can assault her?

The man had disappeared by the time she found me. Presumably he assumed that I was her mum or something but I can't help feel furious that she's been made to feel terrified for the crime of walking down the street. angrysad She asked me not to tell my dd but we told her mum what had happened. I'm livid that she's embarrassed about something that's not her fault.

OP’s posts: |
Deliriumoftheendless Tue 22-Dec-20 17:11:08

I think your post illustrates a worse question, which is “why do men follow <girls>”.

Deliriumoftheendless Tue 22-Dec-20 17:11:19

Italics fail.

MoltenLasagne Tue 22-Dec-20 17:16:20

Did you report it? They may have managed to catch him on cctv and he's likely to have previous.

Some men get off on knowing they're scaring girls (or women). It's usually part of a pattern of escalation so even if he wasn't planning on attacking her then, he may do so to another girl in the future.

Its definitely worth reporting as even if they haven't got anything on him at the moment, it will give the police a pattern of behaviour to track.

risefromyourgrave Tue 22-Dec-20 17:19:00

I think it’s a power thing, they know they’re scaring the girls and they get off on it.

mincepois Tue 22-Dec-20 17:19:07

I honestly have countless memories of being followed by men and 90% of occasions took place when I was a child or teenager. And when I say "followed" I mean had a penis flashed at me a handful of times, followed in my school uniform, hand my butt grabbed, called insults for ignoring "hey sexy" "where you going beautiful" etcs.

Those men act that way because they see the walking child, teen or adult female as something they have a right to. They may honk a horn at you or drive past you 10x at 9pm while you walk alone or call you sexy bitch BUT IF YOU DARE do that to them they see you as a weirdo.

It's about being in control, using fear to maintain an upper hand, being delinquents and believing they own you and you should behave and respond in ways that suit them OR ELSE

mincepois Tue 22-Dec-20 17:20:26

Report him. I let so much harassment go when I was younger I now make a point to report everything by phone or email to police. Even a fb post warning other women in the area to be vigilant.

TicTacTwo Tue 22-Dec-20 17:36:52

Thank you for the replies. You're right about the age issue.

OP’s posts: |
Delphinium20 Tue 22-Dec-20 17:42:39

I'm happy you were there for her. I can remember so many times as a girl and young woman feeling so alone when that happened. If someone were to to interview stalker men and ask them, I can imagine it's along the lines of entitlement, seeing women as subhuman, prey, etc. How much is socialization vs instinct? I don't know of any research that shows us that definitively.

I imagine these same conversations have been going on between women since the Stone Age.

jumperweather Tue 22-Dec-20 17:49:00

How awful for her sad

I had this happen to me and my toddler when we were on our way home from the park, it was awful and left me on edge for about 2 weeks.

BaronessWrongCrowd Tue 22-Dec-20 17:49:53

I remember when I was about 14/15, my friend and I being followed by a man. I'll never forget the creepy way he said "You've got a body I like." We ran into the nearest shop giggling because we were immature teens. I'm 41 now and it still creeps me out.

So glad your DD's friend has her head screwed on. Girls shouldn't have to go through this.

JosephineDeBeauharnais Tue 22-Dec-20 17:56:02

I’m 57 and a few months back realised I was being followed round the supermarket 🙄. I think I managed to let him know I was onto him by giving him a hmm look each time he came into my eye line.

MrGHardy Wed 23-Dec-20 00:36:02


GlummyMcGlummerson Wed 23-Dec-20 00:45:35

Oh the poor girl, I know that terrifying feeling. I'm so glad you were there OP.

To answer your question - because they like to intimidate and scare girls they get a kick out of it

jakeyboy1 Thu 24-Dec-20 12:08:57

Poor girl that must be so scary.
This happened to my sister recently in a Tesco Express so not even a big shop, and there was a lot of heavy breathing going on as close as he could get to her. She turned around and shouted for the whole shop to hear "WHY ARE YOU FOLLOWING ME FREAK" he then proceeded to argue he wasn't before eventually scuttling off. Hopefully it puts him off doing it to someone else.

Thelnebriati Thu 24-Dec-20 14:05:27

Tell her that she's good at thinking in an emergency, she used several strategies to secure her own safety including trusting her own instincts. I hope she's able to stop feeling embarassed.

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

EckhartLolly Thu 24-Dec-20 14:09:24

They do it because they can. Male entitlement coupled with rampant misogyny. Twats.

OhHolyJesus Thu 24-Dec-20 14:27:43

Please report this to the supermarket security and the police. You have no idea what else this man may be doing and what he might be building up to.

I saw a video recently of a man walking around a residential area with his arm tightly around a young teenage girl going to school. A woman followed him and filmed him. The girl was terrified and I don't want to imagine what might have happened if the woman hadn't have caught him.

LouHotel Thu 24-Dec-20 14:32:56

I think this also highlights the importance of unity in women. She was lucky you were a face she knew but actually I think any women in that situation would have protected her as an unspoken rule between us.

It's the same reasons I tell my girls if their ever lost to find a women with a pram or a shop assistant because how often do you see police officers on the streets these days.

LouHotel Thu 24-Dec-20 14:37:27

Just to add to the stories, I've had my share in my teens and twenties and was pretty good at confronting as I have quite a strong fight instinct however since having children (3 girls) I'm terrified of this scenario because i dont know how I would protect them all if we were followed.

RufustheSniggeringReindeer Thu 24-Dec-20 15:18:32

Did you report it? They may have managed to catch him on cctv and he's likely to have previous

I reported when it happened to dd, just in case he had done it before

He was caught on the cctv

FlyingSquid Thu 24-Dec-20 16:02:14

A teenage girl I didn’t even know hurried up to me while I was out with the dogs in a fairly empty village, and asked if I’d walk with her to the bus stop as the same van had driven past her three times and ‘the man was staring’.

Happy to help - and yes, the same van came past while we were at the stop and this time went straight on without slowing.


Jackabobbo Thu 24-Dec-20 16:02:52

Glad she found you and it was all very smart thinking on her part. When I was younger it happened to me quite a few times. The two scariest incidents were one when I was 11 and a much older teen (17/18 I guess) followed me home from school. As I got closer to my house I started to run and managed to get in and shut the front door behind me. He banged on my letter box for a while and then left. My mum was at work.

The other scary one was when I was about 18/19 and had got the bus home after a night out with my friends. He was following me along for quite a while, it was dark and nobody was around. Luckily I passed an off license that was still open and I went inside and the shop men sorted it out - no idea what they did. Going into a place that would have CCTV would not have occurred to me, I'd have gone in a shop if I could, but just for safety in numbers! That's a tip I will definitely be passing on to my daughter when she's older, so thank you for that, but it's so sad that we have to think about this stuff.

As to why they do it, mainly I think it's about power and fear. That's why it happens more to younger girls and women I think. It's never going to be a successful way to pick up women so it's not about that. In the two incidents I mentioned above, I really believe they planned to rape or assault me, but most of the time I think it's literally just a power trip for sad men who get a kick out of knowing they're causing fear and discomfort. I really hope it stops before my daughter gets older. I do not want this to ever be a concern in her life, or any other girls. I think many men (ones who don't do it) and even some women, have no idea just how much it can affect a young girl. Even if it doesn't happen, just the awareness that is has and it can and there is very little we can do to prevent it.

Jackabobbo Thu 24-Dec-20 16:07:00


Just to add to the stories, I've had my share in my teens and twenties and was pretty good at confronting as I have quite a strong fight instinct however since having children (3 girls) I'm terrified of this scenario because i dont know how I would protect them all if we were followed.

That's a worry of mine too. I have one DD and I hate to think of ever being in the position where she sees that I cannot protect her. I also worry about it happening to her when she's by herself too. I have an ongoing list in my head of tips and advice to pass on to her when she's older. Things I learned through necessity and experience. I want her to be well prepared - but without curtailing her freedom. It's a very tricky area to navigate and I repeat that I'm so sad that we have to.

Stealhsquirrelnutkin Thu 24-Dec-20 20:30:21

Happened to me when I was 14 and spending the night with a school friend whose lone parent father was working night shift. 2 really creepy men started following us, and enjoying our fear as we realised that we were being stalked.
We were both terrified when we got to her house and locked the door behind us, only to hear them whispering and laughing outside the back door, and trying the door handle. Her sister, who was two years older than us was angry rather than scared, she quickly boiled a kettle of water and ran upstairs to pour the boiling water from a window above the back door.
My friend and I were impressed by her bravery, but also horrified that she would consider pouring a kettle of boiling water over strangers who hadn't actually done anything illegal.
Nowadays I just regret she didn't have a big pan of chip fat to drop onto their sniggering heads.

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