Do men know this is creepy?
FlossieTeacakesFurCoat18 · 27/03/2021 14:19
Yesterday I was walking in woodland near my home, something I do regularly. I was approaching a gate leading to the lane and a guy was coming through it towards me. I glanced back once I was through the gate and he'd turned around and was now walking behind me. I stopped by a tree and pretended to be fiddling with my phone so I was facing him and kind of stared him down... He then made a 90 degree turn and went up the hill.
I don't think he was actually going to do anything sinister but surely guys know that you don't do an about-face and start following a woman you've just passed in a relatively remote space with no other people around? He wasn't a young lad who might not have realised this is scary for women, he was in his thirties.
I realise men can be clueless but is it possible to be THAT oblivious? Do they do it on purpose or am I paranoid after seeing screenshots from reddit users saying they get a kick out of following women and seeing them get nervous?
FlossieTeacakesFurCoat18 · 27/03/2021 14:32
Oh god yes. I thought the screenshot was pretty well known but maybe it's only gone viral in feminist groups? I'll try and dig it out. Some guy was saying how he realised the girl he was walking behind was looking back nervously and he got a thrill out of it and recommended this street- talking as a "harmless" hobby for men (incels, anyway)
Milkshake7489 · 27/03/2021 14:42
It's difficult to know. I often meander on walks and would often turn around at a random point which could look like I was following someone.
But I would also be wary if a man did this when I was alone.
I don't think the question is whether that particular man was trying to scare you... I think the real question is how we can society be improved to a point where it's not so much of a consideration.
Notashandyta · 27/03/2021 14:43
I believe you too.
When its happened to me in the past, you have to trust your instincts and stop/ get on your phone or something. Because you never know if they are freaks who get a kick out of it or worse, toying with the idea of actually attacking you.
You then feel reluctant to mention it to anyone else in case you're thought of as thinking too much of yourself by implying you were 'getting attention' from a man.
Midlifelady · 27/03/2021 14:53
I was once followed at very early in the morning and I stopped and looked at the guy and he said 'I'm not going to hurt you'. That totally freaked me out and I changed direction. I was also followed on Ken High St broad daylight and the guy is trying to chat me up and I'm like you really think I'm going to respond to some random guy following me when I've already asked you to leave me alone?
I really think that some guys do not have a clue, though I can't believe the man in your situation didn't realise what he was doing. And what it says about society that the mere presence of a man (even a police officer) in a deserted place has become something to fear.
littlepattilou · 27/03/2021 15:00
And men are all faux shocked that many women fear them, and act all like 'wot about us iccle menz???' (Along with the wimmin who sympathise with the menz!}
That screenshot is putrid.
Bet he tries to find 13-14 year old online to chat to too, and pretends he is a 15 y.o. boy, so he can get to meet up with them!
Sandgrown1970 · 27/03/2021 15:13
I think he WAS following you intentionally so can’t feign any cluelessness.
I can well believe some men get kicks out of those kind of things. Usually the pathetic and often otherwise invisible ones you’d never look twice at because it’s one of the only things they can think of to feel powerful for ten minutes instead of actually being a decent man and realising it’s not on to frighten women.
When I was in the States in my teens and 20s and physically tiny, I noticed that quite a few men, and usually it was black men, would actually go out of their way to make sure they didn’t make women alone feel intimidated or afraid. A prime example would be that if they saw I was alone in a lift and realised they’d be the only one getting with me in late at night, rather than risk me being afraid in a confined space with a strange man they’d say “it’s ok, I can wait for the next one” or if we were already in the lift and were the only two left they’d step out often well before the floor I’d seen them press earlier. It was like they were thinking “how can I make this young woman feel comfortable in this situation?” Rather than “how can I make this woman feel
Why can’t more men be like that? Honestly,
I would wipe the floor with my boys if one of them ever dared behave like that screenshot. They’ve been brought up to respect women. Cross the road if they can or make her aware they are behind rather than sneak up, step out the lift, take their hood down to be less intimidating etc, don’t make small talk at inappropriate times etc.
Thatusernamewastaken · 27/03/2021 15:35
Yes, that’s very weird behaviour. I am a big guy and like to think I am pretty aware of how intimidating I might come across to women and men. Randomly starting to follow someone on a secluded walk would be disconcerting to anyone. Not sure if most men would think about it. Think a lot probably wouldn’t even consider it intimidating, I might not if I wasn’t as tall tbh
VenusTiger · 27/03/2021 15:42
That screenshot is not every man - stalkers are not every man - murderers are not every man.
I've been followed (several times), shut in a hotel room, dragged across a road (by the hand), driven away from the direction of my home in a taxi so I understand where some are coming from. But we must not vilify every single man like this.
Not all men will do this, my husband understands if he's walking behind a lone woman/girl, he will hang back or cross the road - it's something you teach your sons AND your daughters, but we can't live like this with presuming that ALL men are predators.
OP, sorry to hear you felt unsafe, hope you're okay.
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