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65 Responses

  1. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 June 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm |

    Is there any chance that you’ve misjudged your cousin? If he called you a “walking exhibit,” then he’s reduced you to the inanimate, in his eyes. Insults–which is how I classify those kinds of remarks–are psychologically damaging, which are the worst.

    Maybe this guy ain’t all that. If he says this to your face, then what is he saying behind your back–or behind the backs of other women?

  2. Barnacle Strumpet
    Barnacle Strumpet June 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm |

    I need you to support me and understand why women like me should be free to walk down the street without men invading our space, yelling at us, honking at us.

    How do you propose they tell women like you apart from the people that appreciate being yelled and honked at?

    My reaction to that sort of behaviour has always been a pleased “yeah you know I got it” much like your cousin suggests. I don’t need men to step in and help protect me from some dude telling me I have a nice meatsuit.

    1. A4
      A4 June 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm |

      I’m confused. Are you saying that asking men to stop yelling sexual epithets at women in public places would be chilling to a valuable and uplifting discourse between men and women who heartily appreciate frequent unsolicited sexual remarks?

      How do you propose they tell women like you apart from the people that appreciate being yelled and honked at?

      Personally, I find that in order to deviate from a general policy of “don’t make sexual remarks to people in public places” with a particular individual, I need some sort of past experience with that person that would indicate that they in particular would be appreciative of a sexual remark coming from me.

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet June 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm |

        I hardly think you and I would have to be mutually sexually interested in each other for you to compliment me on my looks.

        If you’re so cautious you can’t even tell me I look beautiful, I don’t how we would ever progress to determining if there was mutual sexual or romantic interest.

        I have no interest in being a senator and I would find being compared to Audre Lorde to be an insult, not a compliment.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L June 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

          I would find being compared to Audre Lorde to be an insult, not a compliment.

          Because she was a woman?

        2. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet June 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm |

          Because her writing is fucking awful, IMO.

        3. Lynne
          Lynne June 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm |

          “How do you propose they tell women like you apart from the people that appreciate being yelled and honked at?”

          Being kissed in the ear by someone you never met? You appreciate that?

          “If you’re so cautious you can’t even tell me I look beautiful, I don’t how we would ever progress to determining if there was mutual sexual or romantic interest.”

          We’re not talking about someone you’ve started talking to at a party or a friend you’re thinking about pursuing. We’re talking about strangers, in cars, or passers-by violating your personal space. Don’t forget possible psychos who won’t take no for an answer.\

          I don’t need men to step in and help protect me from some dude telling me I have a nice meatsuit.

          Oh, now you’re the real feminist here? There’s a big difference between “Protect me I’m soooo WEAK” and “please try to understand.”

        4. A4
          A4 June 25, 2013 at 9:44 pm |

          Let this be a lesson in reading comprehension for you Barnacle.

          I hardly think you and I would have to be mutually sexually interested in each other for you to compliment me on my looks.

          Me neither. What I said was:

          I need some sort of past experience with that person that would indicate that they in particular would be appreciative of a sexual remark coming from me

          If you’re so cautious you can’t even tell me I look beautiful, I don’t how we would ever progress to determining if there was mutual sexual or romantic interest.

          Even though I’ve established above that the antecedent on this condition is false, it is very very rare for mutual sexual or romantic interest to follow an incident of street harassment. The causes for this phenomenon are still under analysis. You will therefore need to continue pondering how you will progress to determining if there is mutual sexual or romantic interest between you and a random stranger on the street. I hear they make smartphone applications for that.

          I have no interest in being a senator and I would find being compared to Audre Lorde to be an insult, not a compliment.
          Then strangers attempting to establish a mutual sexual or romantic interest with you should refrain from such harassment as suggesting suitability for leadership positions or comparing you to well respected authors. Perhaps you should have a button or t-shirt made to this effect? Or these facts could be placed on your profile for the aforementioned smartphone applications?

          I would note that my original confusion exists, and you did not answer my question.

          I’m confused. Are you saying that asking men to stop yelling sexual epithets at women in public places would be chilling to a valuable and uplifting discourse between men and women who heartily appreciate frequent unsolicited sexual remarks?

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune June 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm |

        Personally, I find that in order to deviate from a general policy of “don’t make sexual remarks to people in public places” with a particular individual, I need some sort of past experience with that person that would indicate that they in particular would be appreciative of a sexual remark coming from me.

        Oh, look, a sensible and comprehensive view of when public sexual compliments are and aren’t appropriate!

        Plz to take notes, people. It’s not that fucking hard.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L June 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm |

      How do you propose they tell women like you apart from the people that appreciate being yelled and honked at?

      The answer is for men not to harass women at all.

      1. TomSims
        TomSims June 26, 2013 at 10:23 am |

        “The answer is for men not to harass women at all.”

        I agree 110%!

    3. Kierra
      Kierra June 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm |

      My reaction to that sort of behaviour has always been a pleased “yeah you know I got it” much like your cousin suggests. I don’t need men to step in and help protect me from some dude telling me I have a nice meatsuit.

      How do you tell the difference between a man who gets in your personal space just to give you a “compliment” and one who wants to hurt you?

      The vast majority of people don’t enjoy strangers getting into their personal space (and in any other situation, this is not a radical off-the-wall statement), so it’s a pretty good bet that the guy in question knew that the woman was unlikely to appreciate that behavior.

    4. kb
      kb June 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm |

      Why exactly do you need to tell a stranger this? I have never understood why people think I’m sooo concerned with how hot they think I am or not. Especially random strangers. Why do I care?

      1. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie June 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm |

        This, x 1,000.

    5. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune June 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm |

      How do you propose they tell women like you apart from the people that appreciate being yelled and honked at?

      And, you know, there’s lots of people in the world who’d love to be surprise-kissed, or surprise-proposed-to, or be given a sports car for their 18th birthday by a guy who’s hit on them in the past and been turned down. All of those are good!

      Just, you know, with people you know would like that shit.

      And, speaking as a fellow ace-spectrum person, if the practice of giving people you don’t know “compliments” in the form of kissing their ear died a horrible death tomorrow, I’d be thrilled to pieces. I may even throw a Goodbye To Forced Sexualisation By Random Shitheads party!

      Anyone who wants to turn up is totally invited. Alas, my food is vegetarian, but feel free to bring your own meat.

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet June 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm |

        Does “blowing a kiss” mean something different to some people? As far as I understand it, it’s the practice of kissing your hand and waving it at someone. That’s a lot different than touching someone, or slobbering on their ear.

        The saliva spewing is gross, but if you’ve never accidentally gotten saliva spray from someone talking, I would be surprised.

        What is being talked about is verbal/audio exchanges and hand gestures, not walking up to someone and lip-locking them or something.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm |

          Does “blowing a kiss” mean something different to some people?

          Barnacle, IDK, but I think that considering OP described it as

          “He invaded my personal space, put his face over my shoulder and his lips to my ear.” and “I could feel the saliva from his kiss land on my earlobe and hair.”

          I would imagine that it’s more the “air-kisses” style of not-quite-touching-skin while making a kissy sound. Which is also called blowing kisses, but is, obviously, a lot more space-invasive, and has more potential for spit-projectiles.

          I’d be annoyed if someone blew me kisses across a street (like, wtf, dude, get a life) but this kind of blowing kisses would leave me grossed out and upset. So I guess it’s more than you and OP have different ideas of what went down.

        2. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet June 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

          @Mac: Yeah I probably did read that wrong. I’ve just never seen anyone air-kiss in the U.S, so that style of thing didn’t even occur to me when I read “blew a kiss”.

          Either way, f someone feels harassed by someone blowing a kiss across the street, I’m not going to dispute that it’s harassment.

        3. XtinaS
          XtinaS June 26, 2013 at 10:45 am |

          @Mac: Yeah I probably did read that wrong. I’ve just never seen anyone air-kiss in the U.S, so that style of thing didn’t even occur to me when I read “blew a kiss”.

          Then you should’ve read the rest of the description for context for that phrase, not assumed you knew what it meant and ignored the actual description in the post.

    6. dc
      dc June 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm |

      BS:
      I don’t need men to step in and help protect me from some dude telling me I have a nice meatsuit.

      On being a good ally
      Accept and understand your privilege
      Learn to listen
      Don’t make it about you
      Adopt a language of respect and equality
      CALL OTHER MEN ON THEIR CRAP

      http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Allies

    7. trees
      trees June 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
      I need you to support me and understand why women like me should be free to walk down the street without men invading our space, yelling at us, honking at us.

      How do you propose they tell women like you apart from the people that appreciate being yelled and honked at?

      Barnacle Strumpet
      Are you suggesting a continuation of the status quo? A bunch of folks, me included, consider this behavior harassment and a fucking hassle to just going about the day. It leaves me feeling like public space is for men and I’m a visitor who better be on her best behavior. If you are willing to forgo the unsolicited public commentary that you appreciate, maybe others may avoid violence and harm.

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet June 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm |

        Forgoing the attention is one thing; having men going around protecting me from it is another.

        I have a problem with men being called on to be chivalrous saviours who swoop in to protect us from unwanted male attention.

        The “because she is your cousin” line really brings it home to me I guess. I think the whole “be nice to women because they’re some man’s wife, mother, sister!” has been addressed here before. It breaks women down to being someone men should respect because another man gives a damn about them, but not being worthy of respect in their own right.

        It rankles. The random compliments and horn blowing doesn’t usually bother me, but if it did I would rather deal with it on my own, instead of having OP’s male cousin swoop in for me.

        1. trees
          trees June 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm |

          I have a problem with men being called on to be chivalrous saviours who swoop in to protect us from unwanted male attention.

          The “because she is your cousin” line really brings it home to me I guess.

          I’m puzzled. I see how you could get that from that single line, but your impression is in direct contradiction to the whole rest of post. Here are a few quotes from above:

          You were supposed to have my back….

          I need you on my team, cousin…I need you to support me and understand why women like me should be free to walk down the street without men invading our space, yelling at us, honking at us…I need you to support me… You need to help stop this culture of degradation of women that leads to violence, rape, and death. One in three women will be abused at some point in her life. It has happened in our family, and it starts with this culture. When you stand by and let your friends do this to me, you’re hurting me too…

          …I can’t do this alone. I need you and other ‘good’ men like you to be my allies. I need you to stand up and call out injustices when I am not in the room. I need you to echo my voice when others won’t hear me. I need you to help make that change.

          …Get angry like I am and vow to help change our society.

          This bit was key for me so I added the bold:

          One in three women will be abused at some point in her life. It has happened in our family, and it starts with this culture.

          She’s calling for support in affecting cultural change, and she’s specifically addressing the men in you life whom she loves.

        2. Tekver
          Tekver June 25, 2013 at 9:07 pm |

          I think you might have misread the author’s intention, Barnacle Strumpet.

          It seemed to me that Renee wanted her cousin, and all people, in her life to validate her feelings of violation and shame the guy who harassed her. The cousin’s comment was a shade of victim blaming, since her cousin was siding with the perpetrator and saying it was a compliment and she should feel proud she was sexually harassed on the street.

          The answer to street harassment isn’t “the menz should defend ~their~ womenz.” It is teaching everyone that making sexualized comments, honking, and whistling are violations of people’s boundaries and are not acceptable behavior in public. Renee was making the point that it is this very thinking that street harassment as validation or invited by being attractive in public that leads to— wait for it— street harassment! Her cousin was de facto supporting what she had just said violated her personal boundaries.

          I share those same feelings of disgust and anger when someone makes a comment or honks at me. Some people don’t feel that way, but I do.

          I sure as shit don’t want to be trying to tell my loved ones about a particular incident and have them turn it back on me like it was my fault or I should be flattered.

      2. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie June 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

        “support and understand” doesn’t sound to me like “Please protect me, o brave and steong Man-Cousin!”

        It sounds like, “Please respond with ‘ugh, that’s gross,’ or ‘what an asshole,'” or something along those lines.

    8. Nanani
      Nanani June 25, 2013 at 8:51 pm |

      How do you propose they tell women like you apart from the people that appreciate being yelled and honked at?

      First, I propose you prove those people exist in the first place.
      Your own choice of words suggests you’re well aware that “yelled and honked at” is not the same thing as “complimented in public” or anything other than pure and simple harassment.

      Don’t tell any women apart, tell yourselves all women are PEOPLE and we don’t do this shit to people.

    9. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help June 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm |

      If you’ve never read the Schrodinger’s Rapist thread, I suggest you do. Or re-read it if you have. WTF makes you think women in general need or want strangers invading our space, passing judgement on our bodies, treating us like sexthings? Just because you aren’t fussed by it doesn’t mean anyone else has to go along with it. The default should be to LEAVE US ALONE, not expect us to have a “no yelling, honking, ‘compliments’ or assault, kthnkz” sign around our necks so the poor dudes can go on doing so to that vast majority of women who like such things.

      Fuck, I can’t believe I’ve read this from a regular here.

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet June 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm |

        WTF makes you think women in general need or want strangers invading our space, passing judgement on our bodies, treating us like sexthings? Just because you aren’t fussed by it doesn’t mean anyone else has to go along with it.

        And I never said they did have to go along with it. The majority of people here have said they find it a problem, but I have no clue if that rate carries over to the general (non-feminist) population or not.

        If the majority of people are like myself, and don’t have a problem with people passing by giving them compliments, then I don’t see why we should tell men that they’re not allowed to compliment strangers on the street anymore.

        As for the Schrodinger’s Rapist post… what the hell is that being referenced for? I found that post really troubling, after googling it. It plays into the idea that people that look or act a certain way are safer than others. Anyone’s who’s been abused or assaulted by some clean-cut, polite guy knows exactly how much bullshit that is.

        And the “fifteen emails=rapist!” thing is troubling as well, if only because I’ve dealt with people that did that sort of thing–and were autistic, or had an other disorder, and had no clue that they were violating a social norm.

        I have no problem with people getting alarm bells over anything that alarms them, but I loathe anything that promotes the idea that people are safe from rape if they’re with someone that meets the bill of normal-looking and socially adept. That is just disgusting, and that’s what I’m getting from the SR post.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 27, 2013 at 10:46 pm |

          And I never said they did have to go along with it.

          No, you just said that it’s totally okay and not remotely a problem. What else does that mean? Or do you mean that it is not okay and definitely a problem, but it’s irrelevant because Barnacle likes men honking at their booty and nobody else matters?

          I have no clue if that rate carries over to the general (non-feminist) population or not.

          Well, you don’t have a clue about a lot of things, judging by your posts on this thread. FWIW I have never actually met a woman (or FAAB person) other than you who feels all warm and fuzzy about being honked and yelled at on the street, or – to return to what OP was actually talking about, instead of being disingenuous as fuck all over the thread, someone putting their face over their shoulder and kissing their ear.

          If the majority of people are like myself, and don’t have a problem with people passing by giving them compliments, then I don’t see why we should tell men that they’re not allowed to compliment strangers on the street anymore.

          Hmm. The majority of people don’t mind having sex with their intimate partners. I guess romantic asexuals should just shut up and deal with being asked for sex all the time even though they’ve said they don’t want it? The majority of people think having a sex drive is normal. I don’t see why asexuals should get all tetchy about being told they’re abnormal. The majority of people think that asexuals… I could go on. Do you want me to? Because seriously, there’s a lot of shit asexuals (and women!) deal with. I could be here all day.

          AND AGAIN, O DISINGENUOUS ONE, we are not talking about compliments, we are discussing slobbertastic ear-kisses and nonconsensual pressing of bodies to bodies. YOU are the one who made this about “compliments” and then furiously attacked your scarecrow legion.

          How many women* need to find something triggering before we get to say “hey, don’t do that before you know she likes it“? (Keeping in mind that no one is taking away your pwecious, pwecious wight to have someone you know follow you around town in a snowplow honking out the tune to Jingle Bells, if that’s what gets you happy in your netherbits.) 1%? 2%? 4%? 20%? Please let me know what that number is.

          You are being triggery as fuck to multiple people on this thread, per their own statements, myself included, and you need to back the fuck off and take your rape culture with you.

    10. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable June 25, 2013 at 11:41 pm |

      Uhhhm. I don’t think they’re telling you that “you’ve got it” so much as “WE’VE got it” – that is to say, the power in the situation you’re in. They’re reminding you of it. No one honks compliments.

      “Nice yard, I think I’ll pull into this guy’s driveway and honk.”

      “I like your bumper sticker, lady, and strongly agree with the sentiment. I’ll pull up behind you at a red light and honk my compliment.”

      “Hey, cop. Thank you for doing your job and pulling over this guy who was speeding. HONK.”

      This is an example where intent matters.

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet June 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm |

        What power? The power to say or yell random things at people walking down the street? I actually do have that power, and have made good use of it against pro-life protesters.

        The power to honk my horn? My car is always the one at the red light, laying it on excessively till the thing turns green.

        “No one honks compliments”? Got anything to back that up? There’s honk if you love Jesus bumperstickers. There’s honk if you like my driving.

        I don’t think you know what was going through the minds of every man that’s ever honked at me. I certainly perceived it as complimentary, and that idea didn’t come from nowhere. I would agree that honking could be more value-neutral, neither complimentary nor insulting in itself, given that it’s usually used to gain a walker’s attention to some further compliment or insult verbally expressed by the car’s passengers.

        1. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable June 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm |

          “No one honks compliments”? Got anything to back that up? There’s honk if you love Jesus bumperstickers. There’s honk if you like my driving.

          WHAT YOU WEAR IS NOT A BUMPER STICKER ASKING FOR AFFIRMATION BY HONKING.

          FFS, do you have any idea what objectification is?

          And if you somehow think that as a woman, men in general feel intimidated enough by you simply for being a woman that you’re able to force yourself into their consciousness, you’re living in an alternate universe.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 27, 2013 at 10:56 pm |

          There’s honk if you love Jesus bumperstickers.

          Bumpersticker saying “honk if” =/= person going about their damn day. And are you seriously comparing OP’s dress/body to a bumper sticker inviting honks? Are you for fucking serious? I wouldn’t have thought this shit could come from you.

          And in the feminist utopia you seem to abhor so much, where men are generally told not to honk or scream or ear-kiss strange women, if you are so desperate for public approval, I cordially invite you to cover all your clothing with a cloak made entirely of HONK IF YOU LIKE BARNACLE BOOTY, or wev. Kind of like wearing a “ask me about Jesus” pin!

          Yay! Honking/non-honking for all based on their own taste! It’s almost…like…everyone gets to consent to it…

          Seriously, suck it up, heir to the throne. Call me a selfish prick (yeah, it’s that kinda pronoun day), but I value my mental health over your casual jollies.

          @PA

          Barnacle goes by “their”, being neutrois. Sorry, but I had to point out misgendering. Otherwise, WORD to everything you’ve said on this thread.

        3. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet June 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm |

          @PrettyAmiable:

          And if you somehow think that as a woman, men in general feel intimidated enough by you simply for being a woman that you’re able to force yourself into their consciousness, you’re living in an alternate universe.

          I literally could not give two shits about being in men’s consciousness, so it’s irrelevant.

          @macavitykitsune:

          And are you seriously comparing OP’s dress/body to a bumper sticker inviting honks? Are you for fucking serious? I wouldn’t have thought this shit could come from you.

          No, I wasn’t making that direct comparison. I was answering the general question of whether honks can be complimentary. I would have thought that you could discern that, but I have no problem clearing things up if can’t.

          I don’t think I mentioned the OP at all the post you’re referencing, so I don’t know where you got that idea from, but whatevs.

          Now, the problem with a cloak is that it would actually conceal Barnacle booty. A short cape might work better.

          AND AGAIN, O DISINGENUOUS ONE, we are not talking about compliments, we are discussing slobbertastic ear-kisses and nonconsensual pressing of bodies to bodies. YOU are the one who made this about “compliments”

          Incorrect. The majority of people in this thread haven’t been on a strict “I’m talking about ear-slobbers only!” policy. Street harassment (the term the OP used as well) encompasses a broad variety of behavior people face on the street. While ear-slobbers are out there, the most common experience is one-off compliments made by passing pedestrians or car passengers.

          The OP mentioned experiencing street harassment four times in one day. Only one was specified to be an ear-slobber. The rest were probably whistles, compliments, or mentions of hooking up or exchanging phone numbers.

          Why you think unwanted compliments can’t count as street harassment is beyond me. Care to explain?

        4. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet June 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm |

          As an aside, Mac, I find it really ironic to hear you complain about disingenuousness and being triggering, and then watch you go on to talk about another poster’s nether regions, their butt, and how said poster likes to get their “jollies”, all in a post on sexual harassment.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 1:32 pm |

          No, I wasn’t making that direct comparison.

          But that’s exactly how you came off. Like I said, I wouldn’t have thought it of you, and I’m pleased to find out I was right, but that doesn’t change the fact that that’s exactly how it sounded.

          Why you think unwanted compliments can’t count as street harassment is beyond me. Care to explain?

          I don’t. However, to conflate OP’s experience with “compliments on the street” and then furiously attack the strawman that the majority of non-feminist women might loooove to be randomly told they have a nice ass, and it’s just us tightass feminists who can’t take a fucking compliment (etc) is pretty much regurgitating an MRA talking point. It’s insulting as fuck to OP, it’s insulting to people you’re talking to here.

          watch you go on to talk about another poster’s nether regions, their butt, and how said poster likes to get their “jollies”, all in a post on sexual harassment.

          What, I’m not a stranger on the street, so it’s triggering? I find it pretty amazing that you’re all about being given compliments on the street, but someone on the internet pointing out that it’s perfectly okay for YOU to solicit compliments FOR YOURSELF for whatever you like to be complimented on (I went with “booty” because alliteration, but if that was too sexualised, I apologise) is just horribly triggering and upsetting?

          Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

          Unless, of course, you’re saying that in some contexts you might like it, and in others not, and you’d really like to choose which contexts you hear mentions of your body, in which case you’re arguing my point, not yours, and let’s really talk about ironic, shall we?

          Also, since the context was “compliments about having nice ass, wearing short dresses, having compliments shouted out about the body”, yeah, I went with that. Also, if a person likes something, that’s conventionally referred to as a jolly, yes? Particularly when it’s romantic/sexual. That’s how I understood the term. Is there a definition I’m missing?

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm |

          Also I would like to note that you have still not answered my questions/hypotheticals about majorities:

          The majority of people think having a sex drive is normal. I don’t see why asexuals should get all tetchy about being told they’re abnormal.

          What is your take on the majority opinion of non-asexuals in the general non-feminist population? Do you think their majority opinion should affect whether or not you are labeled as a physiological/psychological deviant, and whether or not you get to be bothered by that?

        7. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable June 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm |

          Thanks, mac, for pointing it out.

          BarnacleStrumpet – I actually think I read that thread and have zero excuse for misgendering you, but hope you’ll accept my apology. I screwed up and could have avoided the mistake with even a hair more thought. Will stick with gender neutral terms when addressing you/your comments in the future.

        8. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet July 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm |

          Late comment is late, but:

          However, to conflate OP’s experience with “compliments on the street” and then furiously attack the strawman that the majority of non-feminist women might loooove to be randomly told they have a nice ass, and it’s just us tightass feminists who can’t take a fucking compliment (etc) is pretty much regurgitating an MRA talking point. It’s insulting as fuck to OP, it’s insulting to people you’re talking to here.

          As I have stated, OP very well may have experienced compliments as the 3 other incidences of street harassment she experienced. Why you are so determined to downplay compliments as forms of harassment is beyond me. Compliments can harass a person just as much as an ear slobber or anything else. Why do you keep minimizing them?

          If OP had only experienced “nice ass” “gurl get in my bed” “you’re smokin'”, she’d have just as much right/validity to write her post as she would with the ear-kiss. You are the only one who keeps implying that compliments are lesser offences. I don’t find what you’re doing “insulting” but I do find it disturbing.

          Furthermore, I don’t find the idea that offense over street harassment may be higher in the feminist population than the general population to be a big mean MRA insult. Feminists come to feminism for a reason–and it’s often because they care about one of the issues feminism deals with–reproductive justice, body positivity/acceptance, rape, harassment, etc. I would not be surprised if a fair amount of feminists came to feminism because of having a problem with street harassment. I came to feminism through thinking it was bullshit I was expected to shave my legs–and feminists were supposedly the hairy-legged sistren that would back me up. Maybe that insults your holier-than-thou idea of feminism though, IDK.

          What, I’m not a stranger on the street, so it’s triggering? I find it pretty amazing that you’re all about being given compliments on the street, but someone on the internet pointing out that it’s perfectly okay for YOU to solicit compliments FOR YOURSELF for whatever you like to be complimented on (I went with “booty” because alliteration, but if that was too sexualised, I apologise) is just horribly triggering and upsetting?

          I actually don’t have a problem with it. I do think you’d do well to take a little extra caution when talking about such things in a harassment discussion. These things don’t bother me much, but it could easily make someone else feel uncomfortable or unsafe. And I’m mentioning it because it’s rather hypocritical to complain when men make comments to female-bodied strangers about their body parts, and then think there’s apparently a free pass for non-men to make the same type of commentary, in a feminist space no less.

          Jollies is almost always a sexual term, equivalent to “getting off”. It may have a non-sexual meaning, but I have never heard either one used without at the very least, sexual connotations..

          As far as your interest in bringing asexuality into this conversation, I have to say I think you have a very off idea of what the asexual community is like and discusses if you think something like ” I guess romantic asexuals should just shut up and deal with being asked for sex all the time even though they’ve said they don’t want it?” is supposed to be a negation of ideas the asexual community espouses.

          The thought that ‘asexuals shouldn’t have to put up with being asked for sex’ as an idea the asexual community fights against is nothing short of laughable. Such debate just doesn’t exist*, and such an idea is not fought for, to such an extent that I literally cannot imagine what basis an asexual would use to argue that.

          We don’t fight for ideas like that because promoting such an idea would be seen as sex-negative and slut-shaming. To an outsider, perhaps, one might think that that would be a reasonable thing that asexuals would advocate or discuss, but the asexual community is in a much more precarious position than others in the social justice communities.

          Reflect on the fact that Jill herself has made a post here on an article on asexuality and non-binary genders [general category, new LGBT identities], and felt that adding “otherkin” in on the feministe post as comparable to our identities was acceptable and appropriate.

          Perhaps the idea that “lesbians shouldn’t have to be asked for sex by straight men” is one that can be discussed in LGBT spaces.

          Saying the asexual equivalent is enough to get us ostracized and bullied again under the guise that we’re “slut-shaming, sex-negative, repressed, homophobes who deserve it”.

          The fact this this post (http://aceadmiral.tumblr.com/post/9263064522/my-list-of-demands) is listed as an example of an asexual saying homophobic things, may illustrate to you exactly how cautious we have to be in what we speak of, and to what higher standards we are held on things. We toe a fine line because largely none of the other SJ activists (anti-racists, LGBT, feminists, etc) see asexuals having any problems or needing activism at all, arguing otherwise usually causes a shitstorm.

          Applying SJ issues like dealing with harassment, consent, erasure, that are examined in almost every context (i.e consent as a woman, consent as a gay man, trans*, etc) to an ace perspective has to be put on a back burner because to begin to address those things, endangers our ability for our spaces to exist. Because addressing such things in a big way will bring down the bullying and trolling from other SJ activists that “such slut-shaming homophobes deserve”.

          We have to keep our spaces existing so that other asexuals can find their identity and have community and support. As such, a lot of the more radical talk has been tacitly stoppered.

          I guess what my point is, is that yes, for the most part, we *ARE* just shutting up and dealing with being asked for sex. That kind of negates your whole “X (asexuals) situation is like this, and you wouldn’t argue Y for that!” because I don’t need to argue Y, Y is the stance that’s being taken by pretty much every asexual. No one is making the argument that we should be exempt from being asked for sex.

          *Inevitably, there probably IS some ace out there that has made the argument that we shouldn’t have to be asked for sex, but it is not a common/wide one and I would love a link to anyone making that argument. Not in a “prove me wrong!” type of way, but more in a “fuck yes I’d love to read that” way.

          What is your take on the majority opinion of non-asexuals in the general non-feminist population? Do you think their majority opinion should affect whether or not you are labeled as a physiological/psychological deviant, and whether or not you get to be bothered by that?

          I’m rather confused by this. I’m not sure if you’re asking for my personal opinion on this, or what I think we should be advocating (they are two different things). I’m also unsure of if you mean labelled deviant as an asexual, or whether I should in general be labelled as a deviant. Also unsure if you’re aware that asexuals already are labelled as psychologically deviant/disordered.

          As far as “should get to bothered by that” such a thing is irrelevant. You can’t, afaik, stop a person from being bothered by something. Telling people how they should feel is, in general, a pointless experience, since people don’t often have much control over how they feel.

          I have, to the best of my knowledge, not told anyone here how they should feel about street harassment. My personal harassment line is crossed when I ask someone to stop doing something, and they refuse to do and keep doing it.

          That’s my line; I’m not saying it has to be anyone else’s. It is probably not the best criteria to be applied to street harassment or online dogpiling, because it isn’t any one person being repetitive like it might be with workplace harassment or a personal stalker.

          Telling someone one time that they look like Halle Berry or that they’re an asshole is only perceived by the sayer to be a one-off comment with only the effect the sayer themselves is responsible for. But the truth is, a person is being told a hundred times that they look like HB (when they don’t) or that they’re a shithead.

          And that builds, and has an effect that each one-off sayer probably never, ever intended. The one-offer would never tell a woman she has a nice butt 15 times in one day. Or the online shamer would never send an offender 15 emails telling him he’s worthless.

          Get told you have a nice butt once, you’re startled and shrug it off. Get told that over and over again, and you feel like nothing but a butt, and cry.

          Get told you’re scum once, either brush it off or examine your actions. Get told that over and over again, and you might attempt suicide.

          I have not seen any great solution for the problems of one-off buildups. We could tell men that they can’t comment on women’s bodies ever. We could tell people like you that they can’t call people’s assholes.

          I’m sure you’ll have some excuse for how insults somehow don’t build up and fuck a person up emotionally, but don’t even bother. I’m pretty being told “asshole!” “SCUM!” “go kill yourself” “I wish people like you didn’t exist” sends a lot of people’s fight-or-flight into overdrive. I know it does mine.

      2. deegee
        deegee June 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm |

        I honk at people who have a really nice car, and I have honked and yelled appreciation at people picking up stray dogs out of traffic before.

        jusayin

    11. TomSims
      TomSims June 26, 2013 at 10:05 am |

      “I have a nice meatsuit.”

      Oh man I learn new words here almost everyday.

    12. JR
      JR June 30, 2013 at 10:49 am |

      Let me make this real easy for you. Tell me how many times you’ve heard this from a woman:

      “I met your father walking down the street, where he shouted obscenities at me from passenger side of his friend’s car.”

      The correct answer is ZERO because no woman ever really appreciates this. At the least, it’s annoying and childish. At most, it’s a violation (ref: this article). Either way, there is no more destructive way to introduce yourself to a woman than cat-calling her like an abject imbecile.

  3. The Last Selina
    The Last Selina June 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm |

    How do you propose they tell women like you apart from the people that appreciate being yelled and honked at?

    They don’t. Instead they don’t yell or honk at people. Period. I’m sure the people who would have appreciated it will be just fine without it.

    Also, I enjoyed the word choice of “women like you” vs. “people.” Subtle but effective.

    1. Barnacle Strumpet
      Barnacle Strumpet June 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm |

      Oh, is that where the “Barnacle is a misogynist” crap is coming from?

      It’s calling being inclusive, something you might want to look up instead of you know, acting like cissexist scum. Some trans* men get this kind of harassment as well, as do non-binary people like myself.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune June 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm |

        So instead of generally saying “let’s not slobber all over strangers in public”, your response is to…encourage street harassment…because reasons?

        Also, by the way, unless I’ve missed something in past posts that is shaping your view(?), Renee doesn’t identify explicitly as cis FAAB in this post, so I guess you and Selina can both sit at the Cissexist Scum table, if that’s all it takes to get there.

        1. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet June 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm |

          What… is your point? Renee refers to herself as a woman. Whether she’s cis or trans* doesn’t excuse leaving out NB people or trans* men, and it certainly doesn’t excuse anyone jumping down my throat because I choose to include them as people that may be affected by street harassment.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm |

          What… is your point? Renee refers to herself as a woman.

          Yes, because all nonbinary people never ever refer to themselves as women or men.

          In case that’s been your experience: hi. I identify both as a woman and…not, on occasion. Sometimes as woman+, if that’s a thing. Hence my pronoun choice.

      2. dc
        dc June 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm |

        *delurks momentarily to suggest a zebra or giraffe or whatever…*

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm |

          dc, the mods won’t pick up on partial phrases.

          we need a giraffe here

          (on behalf of dc)

          [Thank you for sending a giraffe alert ~ mods]

        2. dc
          dc June 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

          “dc, the mods won’t pick up on partial phrases. ”
          (lol.oh,sorry.thanks……!)

      3. tigtog
        tigtog June 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm | *

        Barnacle Strumpet: since you are calling out others as not being inclusive, why then did you choose the wording women like you” vs “people who appreciate” instead of people like you” vs “people who appreciate”.

        You are being challenged for separating “women” from “people” in your phrasing, which is generally frowned upon in feminist spaces as dehumanising objectification, and has nothing at all to do non-binary gender identities.

        Also, congratulations for provoking the addition of the abusive term “cissexist scum” to the moderation filter.

        1. dc
          dc June 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm |

          thanks mods…..
          (& also not too happy w BS suggesting that if some women “like sexual harassment”(?) or wolf whistles or whatever that ALL women need to put up with it.

          it empowers misogynist culture,victim blaming etc etc ….)
          wow-this is pretty damn triggery language to some people.

        2. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet June 25, 2013 at 7:34 pm |

          I didn’t change it because it’s the author’s original wording, and switching it to a all-gender inclusive plural could be perceived as erasing her gender identity.

          Some people consider using non-binary or gender neutral terms to refer to someone who is either of unknown gender, or is explicitly identified as a specific gender, to be erasing and also appropriative of non-binary people’s pronouns.

          That is why I didn’t change it in the parts quoted where she was very clearly referring to herself and the group she belonged/identified with. It’s not a hard rule, but replacing an instance where someone has referred to themselves as a “woman” with “person” or, “she” with “ze” can be considered offensive.

  4. dc
    dc June 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm |

    (ie calling bs on B.S.)

  5. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm |

    I need you to support me and understand why women like me should be free to walk down the street without men invading our space, yelling at us, honking at us.

    Yeah, no shit.

    (Note: discussion of sexual abuse, somewhat graphic)

    It gives me security on a pretty deep level when I can actually believe of a man I know that he would step in or have my back if I were being harassed on the street. I don’t think that’s about helplessness on my part; it’s about the fact that I’ve been hurt and emotionally and sexually abused while people wrung their hands and didn’t step in. (On one memorable occasion, said hand-wringing happened during a phone call I placed between incidents of sexual abuse.) It is literally a recurring nightmare I have, of being paralysed while Creepy Molester Priest puts his hands all over me, and my family and friends abandon me to it, or even worse, just stand there and watch while I cry and scream for help.

    I seriously can’t overstate the security that knowing a male-type person has my back gives me. Women (well, women not in my immediate birth-family anyway) I trust to support me, or fight for me, or at least get me the fuck away and hug me. Men? I don’t fucking know. So when I find guys I can trust to do that? It feels pretty fucking good, to me.

    This has been your daily post-spam by Mac. I will run away now.

  6. tigtog
    tigtog June 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm | *

    Moderator note: further comments on this post will now go through the pre-moderation filter for at least the next few hours.

  7. AMM
    AMM June 26, 2013 at 9:31 am |

    Re: honking at someone (or shouting out a car window) to show you like how they look.

    I feel like saying, “guys, don’t do that.”[*]

    I’m a guy, and I’ve been on the receiving end of it. (Maybe the fact that I like to wear skirts has something to do with it. And, no, nobody who has functioning eyes is going to ever mistake me for a woman.) I walk down the street (on the sidewalk), and I get people honking at me or shouting stuff out the windows. Sometimes I can recognize the words “nice skirt”, sometimes it’s just unintelligible, (and maybe sometimes my auditory nerves are simply sparing my sensibilities….)

    It is always unnerving, even when I eventually figure out it was “supposed to be a compliment.” It is always an assault. It always triggers my “fight or flight” systems.

    If you want to get an idea what it feels like, imagine you’re driving and a cop pulls you over (flashing lights, the whole bit) — to wish you a happy birthday. Wouldn’t you feel grateful?

    If someone here thinks that there are people out there who like this kind of assault, and thinks that it’s all that important to provide them with it, I suggest they print up shirts with words like “PLEASE HONK AT ME” in big, big letters and give them out to those people, and re-educate the honkers to leave the rest of us alone.

    [*] Another don’t: don’t Google this phrase. Not if you want to maintain any faith at all in our species. Anybody got any spare brain-bleach?

    1. A4
      A4 June 26, 2013 at 10:36 am |

      It is always unnerving, even when I eventually figure out it was “supposed to be a compliment.” It is always an assault. It always triggers my “fight or flight” systems.

      THIS.

  8. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 June 26, 2013 at 11:16 am |

    The comments on this thread seemed to have gone off topic. I thought the original post had to do with Renee’s cousin, or rather her disappointment at his comments.

    But NOT honking and shouting at people on the sidewalk? NOT spitting and whispering in strangers’ ears? Do we even need to discuss this? It’s a no-brainer.

    Why not discuss–or offer advice–on how Renee should deal with her cousin. He obviously let her down, and she’s upset about that. It made up the bulk of her post.

    Or we can keep saying the same thing over and over and over, and expect it to actually have an impact on abnormal, derogatory behavior.

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable June 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm |

      K.

      Here’s what you’ve done in this thread.

      – Second-guess the OP’s interpretation of events (Is there any chance that you’ve misjudged your cousin?)
      – Dictated what conversations recipients of street harrassment can have
      – Shamed them for wanting to discuss something so pervasive by minimizing the problem (It’s a no-brainer.[though somehow it happens daily to most of us])
      – Encouraged us to instead offer the OP unsolicited advice like she doesn’t have big girl pants.

      Maybe we should check our privilege. What do you think?

    2. AMM
      AMM June 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm |

      But NOT honking and shouting at people on the sidewalk? NOT spitting and whispering in strangers’ ears? Do we even need to discuss this? It’s a no-brainer.

      Evidently not, to judge by some of the comments in this thread.

      Why not discuss–or offer advice–on how Renee should deal with her cousin.

      Did she ask for advice?

      If you look at the OP, she did ask for a certain kind of support — but advice wasn’t it.

      I don’t know what gender you are (or were raised as), but offering advice (especially when not asked for) is the sort of patronizing thing men routinely do to women. (Sort of a cousin to mansplaining.) And, yes, I’m still working on it myself.

  9. what we’re reading 6/29/13 | Disrupting Dinner Parties

    […] letter to allies about actually being allies (re: street […]

  10. Postcards from the culture wars
    Postcards from the culture wars July 4, 2013 at 11:17 pm |

    […] “The next time you hear that I am upset for how I was treated on the street, don’t just offer up words that say it’s okay. Get angry like I am and vow to help change our society.” […]

  11. Tom
    Tom July 5, 2013 at 5:23 am |

    “Next time your friends want to compliment me, have them tell me I remind them of Angela Davis’ spirit or Audre Lorde’s courage. Try, “Damn lady, you seem like you could be our next senator! Can I take you out?” They’d have my number in seconds.”

    I’m a gay man, so I kind of get male sexuality… while supporting the general gist of what you are saying (street harassment of women is shockingly prevalent and excused) I think you misunderstand male sexuality as much as they misunderstand your experiences.

    A guy walking past you on the street isn’t going to notice your superior intellect, he’s going to notice your looks. Sure – maybe he should keep his thoughts to himself, and maybe he should understand that the sexy girl also has a mind and deserves respect…

    Men who objectify women don’t do it because they are women, they do it because they are the objects of their desire. I know because gay men do it to each other too. Of course the end result is the same, since most guys are straight – but asking guys to change their sexuality is not going to be as effective as asking men to express their sexuality in a more respectful way.

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable July 5, 2013 at 11:42 am |

      OHHH.

      This is so different than when I walk down the street and use my telepathic abilities to infer the intellectual prowess of potential mates, rendering myself incapable of street harrassment.

      I get it now.

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