I’m all for some consciousness raising Bill and you’re to be lauded by jumping in here. I draw a distinction between “boys being boys” and actual harassment and assault. Women who are waiting for men to change will wait forever to feel at ease on the street. Girls, it’s an inside job! Let’s start building up our “ignoring muscles” and stop letting them get to us. “Aura In” and they’ll either notice you less or you’ll notice it less, or both! Vent as necessary to get back on center. And to those slime balls who cross the line to actual assault, haul ’em into court.
Thanks Rox. I agree with making distinctions in these situations. A lot of what I read was egregious behavior that should be reprimanded, and some of it prosecuted. There were other cases where the women were upset that a guy was looking at them from far, far away or that he added “baby” or “sweetheart” to his verbal greeting to them. They were upset by ANY indication that a guy wanted them, sexually. Unfortunately, except for test-tube-babies and sperm banks, that’s what we’re all doing here…. SOME guy wanted to have sex with SOME girl, and they did it and someone raised that baby and now that baby is YOU. I think those women that are hoping that guys are going to stop being sexually attracted to them could use your “Aura In” suggestion. 😀
OTOH, there’s tons of incorrect behavior that goes on that should be stopped. Again, I have the benefit of being a guy, so I can walk past construction sites without incident. I can order food or a beer without someone asking me personal questions. I can walk down the street and think without random people interrupting my train of thought because they want something from me. I can walk past a group of guys that I KNOW are going to harass the next attractive female they see without them saying anything to me. It’s easy to not be able to empathize with women in these cases, because A) men don’t get sexually harassed in the street, and B) our reaction to harassment is going to be the buildup of adrenaline and aggression as opposed to fear and just HOPING nothing happens to us or counting on words to get us out of the situation instead of physical action.
There really isn’t a reverse equivalent. Women can’t sexually harass men in the same way. As long as the woman is attractive to the guy, he’s going to be glad she’s kicking it to him. He’s still going to choose whether he has sex with her or not (because he’s married, because he thinks she’s “too easy”, whatever), but it’s a POSITIVE thing that she’s interested in getting with him. From what I read, a lot of women just hate the fact that guys want to have sex with them without knowing anything about them other than what they look like, or in the cases where their bodies are covered, just the fact that they’re females. I’m not talking about the guys that clearly have no chance of getting on and are just saying things to the women in order to be jerks. I’m talking about the guys that have a certain percentage chance that a woman’s going to like how they look and accept their rap and take things from there. They say the same things to women all day and all night, and most of them don’t go for it, but some of them do.
If the woman ISN’T physically attractive to the guy, hahaha, that’s STILL not the same thing, because the element of intimidation isn’t there. If he’s not attracted to her, he’s not having sex with her, regardless of what she says, so it’s more like an annoying fly buzzing around. If she presses him, it’s the same situation as the bum in front of McDonalds. She’s going to have to back off, or there will be “consequences & repercussions”! 😀 (Eddie Murphy, “Life“)
The point is that many of the things that make women feel harassed, like a guy saying “hey baby” can’t really be understood by guys, because there’s no equivalent. Any pressure put on a guy is going to lead to self-defense. It all falls under the umbrella of ‘disrespect’, and will be dealt with accordingly. Women have too many examples of their own and from other women where a situation started out “just like this” and ended up in a really bad situation for them. The only way around this, IMO, is to increase male awareness about the intimidation aspect that women perceive in what they’re doing. I know guys that will go “hey ma” and “hey beautiful” and “you look good” etc etc ALL DAY, up and down the block… but if they see some guy actually harassing one of these women, they’ll beat the living tar out of him. This is because what they’re doing is SOCIALIZING. They’re making it known to the women in whatever style they use that they’re interested in them, and they’d like to spend some time with them. If the women aren’t interested, they keep going and that’s that. The guys doing it have ZERO bad intentions towards the women, but I’m sure a lot of them don’t connect their socialization style to the women feeling intimidated at all.
OTOH, there are lots of guys that act like jerks just because they can, to guys & girls alike, and they enjoy and abuse the advantages they have over women, so all you can do is “fight the good fight” of education, awareness and rarely, legislation.