The Male Response
The only thing that frosts my cookies worse than men harassing women with cat-calling and sub-human hollering, is the ignorant men claiming they simply don’t know what’s appropriate to do anymore since us "crazy" females complain about everything.
A recent viral video sparked a lot of conversation when a women in New York city was filmed walking the city streets for hours and documented man after man hollered at her as she minded her own business. The comment section of any website that posted this video was more infuriating than the video itself. Let the "mansplaining" begin.
This is a list of comments I compiled from one Facebook page, and I had to stop reading so my blood pressure didn't continue to rise.
Let me break it down for all you guys out there who may or may not be guilty of this behavior, but have the gall to complain about the conversation that then ensues when actions like these hit the public forums.
Thanks but no thanks, I do not need to smile at you. I do not know you, nor do I need to exercise my face muscles to make your day better. Even further, you might think smiling is an invitation to continue to speak to me, follow me, or harass me.
“Hey! Someone’s acknowledging you.”
Oh really? Must be my lucky day that a man decided to waste his breath on me right? So let me make sure to be grateful, because after all, my gender dictates that I always serve and please whatever is going to make their day better, right?
No. How do I know that acknowledging it won't lead to me being put in an uncomfortable if not dangerous situation? Oh, that's right, I don't have that guarantee based on those pesky things called facts. Take a gander at these stats while you complain about being subjected to online dating.
- Worldwide, up to 50 percent of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16.
- An estimated 150 million girls under the age of 18 suffered some form of sexual violence in 2002 alone.
- Between 40 and 50 percent of women in European Union countries experience unwanted sexual advances, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at work.
- Over 22 million women in the United States have been raped in their lifetime.
“Hey sweetie.” “Hey beautiful.” “Hey mama.” “Hey girl.”
Funny I don’t recall my parents naming me any of those things when I was born, and I certainly haven’t gone through the process of a name change, so I’m not sure what makes you think you have the right to come up with names for me. Even further, you might think acknowledging these pet names you've come up for me with as an invitation to continue to speak to me, follow me, or harass me.
“Good Morning.” or “Have a Good Evening.”
This seems to be the one that trips guys up. They are upset claiming that as a stranger they can't be a polite gentlemen. Let’s be honest. A kind warm-hearted, innocent salutation is not exactly what men have on their minds as they size a woman’s body up and down while they are telling her to have a nice day. It’s simply the politest way they can think of to possibly pick a woman up off the streets. So it’s a scam basically. Let me act like I’m not a total creep by seeming to have good manners.
Do you see a theme here? If we react to every Tom, Dick, & Harry that hollers at us, we don't know the chance we are taking with our safety, so wouldn't it behoove us to not risk it, and go on our way? Or I guess we could live always having a contingency plan ready?
Let me give you three personal accounts of harassment that I have experienced.
I said hello.
When I was 20 I was getting my hair done in a salon, and by the time I left it was night and I was walking to my car in a lit parking lot alone. I couldn't have parked any closer to the front door if I had wanted too, so my journey was not far. As I walked a guy said hello to me, and so I did what I thought was the polite thing and smiled and said hello to him while I continued to walk. I unlocked my door and quicker than I realized he was opening my passenger door and getting in my car. My heart stopped but I didn't want him to think I was scared, so I sat in my seat and left the door open. I tried to play it cool and just talked to him as he spit game at me. He stayed there for 5 minutes asking me questions. The whole time I was dying inside, but I feared if I ran away he would follow me. So I continued to act as chill as I could not knowing if this STRANGER WHO LET HIMSELF IN MY CAR was going to stab me, try to rape me, or worse start free style rapping his latest joint to me. He eventually left after I told him thanks but no thanks. Had I not smiled and said hello to him, would he have gotten the picture and known I wasn't interested?
I did nothing.
My second account, I was even younger, a fresh faced 19 year old on her way to work. I was driving on I-4 and the same car was keeping pace with me and staying the same lanes I was in. For awhile I thought this was coincidence until l I got off my exit and he took every turn I took, not letting any cars get in-between us. A part of me still thought perhaps I was being paranoid, so I drove into the parking lot of my job which thankfully was a busy shopping center.
He got out of his car and looked at me. His line? “Where did you learn to drive like that.”
Was this happening? I had just been stalked via the highway. All this man had seen was bits of my face and shoulder. Sure lady shoulders are sure to get anyone hot, but still, he had no idea what he was chasing. I could have had a peg leg for all he knew. That didn’t stop him from having the insane idea that maybe if he just followed a random girl off of the interstate he could snag a date out of it. I certainly wasn’t asking for any attention on my daily commute in a Chevy Cavalier no less.
I was working.
My third account was in the workplace. A guy I worked with became infatuated with me. It was beyond scary, and he even lost his job over the ordeal. Imagine my horror when I showed up to work to find him sitting outside waiting for me. The guy who had been fired because of me was sitting there waiting for me. This was a person I had been nice too, a person I couldn't ignore because I worked with him. Next came restraining orders, and constantly being afraid to go to work because a stalker might be waiting for me.
So men, my plea to you, is to stop blaming us for the actions that you all seem to think is no big deal. Stop downplaying our emotions, that we are rude or mean because we don’t light up the moment you choose to acknowledge our existence on a city street, at a place of employment of even the interstate; when the fact is normally we are scared and terrified most of the time. We have to live with constantly having our guard up because we just don’t know if we will be the next story on the local news of some horrible fatality or injury because you felt you had the right to something that you don’t.
So until then, leave your ignorant sexist comments to yourself.