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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

You cant even cross the bloody road anymore!

15 replies

CaptainHindsight · 20/12/2013 16:03

I had a walk to the supermarket at lunchtime to stretch my legs and buy crap and there was some stationary traffic at a roundabout, as I was waiting to cross the road a lovely young chap popped his head out the window, looked me up and down and wolf whistled. I responded with the middle finger and stood waiting for the lights to change while he hurled abuse about finding me and raping me.


FFS, I didn't have my glasses on so couldn't read the bloody number plate and now I'm pissed off at myself for not paying more attention to the car etc so i could report the incident to police.

Should i report it anyway or am i wasting my time?

OP posts:
ThinkAboutItTomorrow · 20/12/2013 20:01

God. It is actually a pretty big and very scary development when that kind of thing starts to leach out from the anonymity of the internet to broad daylight. How did he thing that was an ok thing to say out loud and in public?

I wouldn't bother reporting though as there isn't much to say. Unless you go that way often at the same time and reckon next time you saw or heard him you might recognise and have your glasses.

Birdsgottafly · 21/12/2013 06:19

It depends on what was said.

The roundabout will probably be camara'd, most if our busy roads are, so either further up or back would be.

The only thing was that you were abusive first (I agree that comments/whistles shouldn't happen).

He has shown what he is and there are a lot if them about and other people, who will think that his behaviour is fine.

rosabud · 21/12/2013 08:44

The thing that I find very depressing about this, as thinkabout it says, is that it appears to be a new development. Back in the days when I was young enough to be wolf-whistled at, there was only one response that I was aware of: pretend you haven't heard and walk as quickly as possible whilst seething with embarrassment(if you were in your teens) or rage (if you were in your 20s) inside. I didn't know anyone who was brave enough to stick up 2 fingers or yell back.

So what this post makes me wonder is:

  1. Were there other, braver young women out there years ago (though fewer in mumber) who would also have then got rape threats shouted back at them? Because if so........

  1. Is it that men have always reacted angrily to women standing up to this kind of thing, it's just now there are more of them standing up to it so we are more likely to hear about this kind of abusive reaction? Or....

  1. Or is it that this whole culture of abusing women with rape threats, and being very angry with women who refuse to accept male objectification, is getting worse?

I also think that it's depressing as, Bridsgottafly says. that many people will think his reaction was OK. I'm pretty sure that when I was younger it would have been considered shocking that a man could yell at and threaten to rape a woman in borad daylight simply because she had behaved in a way that most would have interpreted as being "a bit bad-tempered." I think people would have expected a man to yell back "Oh, cheer up, love" or similar but not a rape threat.

Of course, all of the above is my subjective experience. I would be very interested to read if anyone else as old as me thinks differently.
sashh · 21/12/2013 12:11

The only thing was that you were abusive first (I agree that comments/whistles shouldn't happen).

No she wasn't, he wolf whistled, that is offensive.

Bubblegoose · 21/12/2013 12:19

The only thing was that you were abusive first (I agree that comments/whistles shouldn't happen).

Erm, he threatened to rape her. Disproportionate response or what?

RegainingUnconsciousness · 21/12/2013 12:35

Rosabud's post is interesting. There must be scholars of Women's Studies or whatever that have studied something like this.

If not, there's a PhD for someone.

NiceTabard · 21/12/2013 14:19

Not sure that this has changed, I had men shout stuff at me / whisper it when out and about as a schoolgirl. Also once a man nearly ran me over and decided that this meant he had to shout at me that I was a fucking slut Confused

Honestly I think this sort of thing has always gone on.

I assume this type of behaviour is illegal - I wish society would change so that it was considered unacceptable to behave this way. I also think it would help if the police encouraged people to report this sort of thing as at the moment women and girls don't unless it's something really awful, and many of these men escalate / would thing twice if they thought there might be a knock on the door.

Really I think it would be good if these sex/gender based threats and so on were given as much serious attention as racist / homophobic etc threats.

Birdo83 · 22/12/2013 10:56

His response was vile and over the top, but why did you stick your fingers up in the first place? It was only a simple wolf whistle, not like he said anything abusive or mean. If he'd made the rape comment first I could totally understand it. When I've been wolf whistled or had someone shout "sexy!" or something I laugh it off and they just smile, I've never been abused like that. Of course it's gonna piss people off if you're rude and aggressive.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones · 22/12/2013 11:24

When I was a young student, over 20 yrs ago, a friend and I were walking home, out of town and through residential streets. We had a group of about 5 men following us. What started with wolf whistles and 'ello darlins' quickly turned into threats of rape and abuse when we walked on, heads down and ignored them.

We were so scared that we walked past own house, and doubled back into a busier high street (praying they wouldn't keep following us) because we didn't want them to know where we lived.

Perhaps we should have just smiled nicely at them?? Hmm

munkysea · 22/12/2013 11:38

When I was 17 I was waiting in a taxi office at about 7pm (my parents were on holiday) to get a taxi home (living in the sticks meant that the last bus left for my village at 6:30pm) after a long day's work as a waitress.

A group of lads came in, being boisterous and noisy. One of them turned to me and asked if I had a boyfriend. I was a shy 17 year-old, embarrassed and a little intimidated by the directness of the question. I said no in a polite way. Then he asked if I wanted to go to a party at their place. I said no thanks politely again. Cue guffawing and jokes about, 'Yeah, we'd only gang rape you if you came,' between each other while I kept silent and wished I could melt into the chair I was sat on because I was so hideously embarrassed and upset.

Moral of the story - you can politely refuse male attention and still be subjected to a mouthful of abuse. The abusive and angry response is not due to to being the woman being rude or aggressive, it is because she has rejected the man's attention.

VenusDeWillendorf · 22/12/2013 11:49

Wow! Just wow!
So wolf whistling isn't abusive and derogatory, and the OP "started it", by being aggressive first! Christ on a bike.

I suppose that means that she was asking for it.. Crossing the road, yes, ticks the box doesn't it? Yes, obviously up for a shag.

We're you wearing a short skirt OP?
You know that gives men a free rape card.

Come on folks, either we are going to respect women, as human beings, and not objects put on earth for men to play with, whenever they feel like it, or we are not.

Please stop the OP bashing. She was walking along minding her own business, and some prick indicated he would like to fuck her, by whistling, because that is what a wolf whistle is (a predatory signal) and then threatened rape when she had the temerity to tell him to fuck off.

I would report it tbh, the police will have a camera there, and he could be found and charged.

I hope you are ok OP, this kind of assault, and threats can make you feel very vulnerable. Give your local rape crisis centre a call, they're very nice there, and will give you a bit of support should you need it. A threat of rape isn't something you can just brush under the carpet.
Be kind to yourself.
And happy Christmas.

AthelstaneTheUnreadyFucker · 22/12/2013 20:55

Munky's right, refusing to acknowledge the attention is the same as rebutting it - gets the same angry response. I ignored the 'flattering' wolfwhistles, which escalated into suggestions, which escalated into my being chased down the street by 7 young bikers threatening rape. I don't think sticking my fingers up at them would have resulted in any better a result than staying silent.

What I should have done, clearly, is giggled and simpered and been overwhelmed by the sheer manliness of it all. Kept it good humoured Hmm


CaptainHindsight · 22/12/2013 21:19

Thanks for the replies, I havent reported it yet but there is a local garage with cctv and im going to ask them if I would be allowed access to the footage, hopefully i might be able to get a registration.

I'm pleased people are supportive about my reaction. There was no way in hell I was going to flutter my eyelashes in appriciation,I'm really not that sort of woman. Nice to see some solidarity here,it's exactly what I needed. Thank you Flowers

OP posts:
Skogkat · 22/12/2013 23:28

It can be so annoying. It's happened to me once recently. I felt very embarrassed and quite small iyswim, and they were quite intimidating about it.

CaptChaosGlitteryBaubles · 23/12/2013 03:12

Yes, women.

When a man wolf whistles you, you should immediately go an have sex with him, because he has lowered himself to noticing you. What you should never do is get pissed off after the daily grind of low level male entitlement and stick your fingers up at the wolf whistler, because, like, that means he can totes abuse you and threaten to rape you. Totally comparable.


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