I’d had a sucky weekend.  The reasons why, the story about what happened, that doesn’t matter.  Just know that I’d spent my entire weekend indoors, stewing, just wanting to be somewhere else.  Finally, it was Sunday and I spent the day anxious to jump out of the house, if not out of my very skin, and just go somewhere.  That morning I laid out an outfit.  That afternoon, I put it on and left my house with no destination, no concern for one.  I was keen to just walk.  Through the streets of my neighborhood, to the center of the city I was born and raised in.  To think, to be alone, to see something other than the yellow walls of my living room or the pink (ugh) walls of my bedroom.

What I was wearing doesn’t matter, but know that I was covered from collarbone to toe.  There was nothing at all provocative about me, guaranteed by the 60 degree weather of the day.

The plan was to just walk until my legs gave out, or until my best friend, who is male, was ready to meet up, whatever happened first.  I had My Chemical Romance blasting in my ears and all I wanted to do was listen to them do the screaming that I couldn’t do (because it’d look a little odd, just walking down the street and screaming, you know).  The walk from my house to the city’s center is about three miles.  I looked forward to each one.

I’d made it about three blocks before the first car honk.  Those are easy to tune out.  A couple of blocks later and the first car pulled over.

“Hey, hello, how you doin’?”

I couldn’t hear him, of course, because of my music.   Now, when this happens, my default response is a smile and a polite decline when he asks for my number, or a dinner date, or whatever.  And then politely decline again.  And again if necessary.  This particular Sunday, it took a lot of energy–a lot of energy–to do that, but I did it.  I did it the first time.

Hey.  I’m fine, and you?  My name is Tracy.  No, thank you.  Alright, you have a good day.

I did it the second time.

Hey I’m fine I’m Tracy no thank you have a good day.

And even the third.


And you know what?  I even managed to grin through it the fourth time, when a car that I’d ignored as it passed me on the street circled the block just to cut me off and stop as I was stepping off the curb of the sidewalk, slowing my stride, breaking my zone and effectively taking another piece of my day away from me.

“Hey, Ms. Lady.  What’s your name?”

I never stopped walking, but I did engage long enough to get to the “no thank you.”  Again, I always try to stay on the civil side of things when dealing with these situations.  As a common courtesy, I guess, I don’t know.  Maybe it’s my semi-southern upbringing that moves me to be instinctively polite to strangers, even the ones who are on my last good nerve before they even open their mouths.

I lost it two cars later, though.  As I walked past a car wash about 5 blocks down, I noticed a black SUV turn off the main street and into the parking lot to cut me off at the pass (again).  Seeing him, I sped up, intent to pass before he had the chance to reach me, and I did so successfully.  But even over Gerard Way screaming bloody murder in my ears, I hear the driver yell at me:

“Come here.”

I snapped my head around violently and asked him what the fuck he just said to me.  He said it louder, with more authority, as if I’d genuinely just misheard him.


Now let me pause here to say that I am 28 years old.  If the “man” behind that steering wheel was older than 19, I’d be authentically surprised.  Where the hell does anybody get off talking to a stranger off the street that way, let alone a teenager to an older woman??  Had I not been so mad, it would have made me sad, but I was too pissed to care about the patriarchal state of society that made this little boy think that was acceptable.

“What the fuck?!” I snapped, “That’s not how you fucking talk to people!  That’s not how you ask for shit from people!”  I went on shrieking as I turned up my headphones and stalked down the street a little faster.  Behind me I heard him saying something, then heard the boy in the passenger seat laughing, but I don’t know what was said.  He probably called me a bitch or a whore or yelled that I wasn’t all that cute anyway.

From then on, I resorted to tactic #2: the ice grill.  The scowling, rabid mask with sharp hints of “I with a motherfucker would” poised at the corners of the mouth.  I’m very familiar with this.  I’ve perfected it.  but I abandoned its use when I discovered that it doesn’t work because men who see you walking down the street and decide that they are going to have a conversation with you don’t care about whether or not you want to have a conversation with them, if you look uninterested, if you’re on the phone or listening to music, if you look like you’d rip their heads off and chuck them into oncoming traffic.  They have something to say, and gotdamnit, it’s a free country, so listen up. Maybe they’re the ones who can brighten your mood.  You probably just need some dick anyway.  That’s probably why you’re mad in the first place.

“You too cute to look so mad!  Can I see that smile?”

That’s it.  You’re cute.  If you were ugly, they wouldn’t have bothered.  So it’s kind of a compliment, right?

Anyway.  The mean mug didn’t work.  I was cut off by more cars before I ducked into the parking lot of a White Castle to wait for my friend.  On the phone with him, I tried to explain my frustration, why I was annoyed, why I just wanted everybody to just leave me alone and let me walk down the damn street.  I hung up feeling like I hadn’t done a good job, and when he pulled up and I hopped in his car, he said, “Well that’s what it is–you’re too beautiful.  You look really really good today.  That’s all it is, babe.”

Sigh.  Here’s where it becomes difficult.  How do you express displeasure/discontent/annoyance at being complimented without looking like a snooty, ungrateful bitch?  Answer:  you can’t, until you can effectively explain to someone that these are not compliments. They are intrusive, unwanted, often forceful and disrespectful advances that I do not have to like or entertain.  You know what a compliment is?  “Hello, ma’am, you look very nice today.”  That’s a compliment.  Driving around the block to cut me off and force me to talk to you, not going away after I ask you to or attempt to annoy you?  Harassment.

This is what men have trouble understanding, I think.  On their end, it’s just a man acting on a natural urge when he sees an attractive woman.  It’s well intended.   But on our end, it’s a caution not to look too cute when you plan on walking around in the world outside.  Don’t wear that new sundress you bought, even though you really love it and it’s warm outside, because you never can tell what the site of your bare shoulders will do to a man.  It’s a warning to take the long way to your favorite florist to buy your favorite flowers because you know a corner full of men waits for you in the middle of the short route.  It’s a prompting to just say fuck it sometimes and stay at home because you may not have the strength to put up with it today.

And that’s unfair.  All of that is unfair.  Men often think that it’s not a problem because they’d love to get that much attention from women.  Or at least they think they would.  But they wouldn’t.  They wouldn’t appreciate being constantly stopped and approached by women that they’re uninterested in any more than they’d like a call from a new telemarketer on their cell phones every 5 minutes.

In my friend’s defense, though, he was trying to cheer me up, and I believe that he got my point as I was explaining that what a woman looks like, what she’s wearing, is never, ever, ever an excuse or reason for everything, nor does it mean that she should be grateful for attention she never asked for in the first place.  Still, it made me all the more tired.

So what’s the answer?  What can I, as a woman, do to keep this from happening?  The answer is nothing. The needed change cannot come from me or any other woman–this is a charge that falls in the laps of men.  Do you think its okay to approach women on the street?  Fucking stop it.  It’s not.  If you pass somebody and you like her and want to date her and marry her and have kids with her, have some faith that fate will hook all that up for y’all later, and if it doesn’t, get over it.  Are you a man who recognizes the problematic state/affairs of street hollering?  Then when you see some other knucklehead following a woman down the street or honking his horn at her like he’s at a damn drive through, say something.  Teach these dudes.  The change has to come from y’all.

The street hollering scene is absolutely horrible in Louisville.  If any of you self-respecting men would like to do some teaching, this is a good place to start.  I was stopped by at least 8 cars in about an hour’s time.   I can give you car descriptions–I can guarantee you they don’t remember me, but I remember them.  We always do.

Brokey McPoverty

Brokey McPoverty, aka Tracy Clayton, is a writer and humorist from Louisville, KY. She currently writes for BuzzFeed and lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter.

Latest posts by Brokey McPoverty (see all)

  • My personal Fav…when you walk past a guy and catch him in the act of the always awkward && imposing “booty glare”. I mean you can’t wait until I am at least 10 steps away before you rape me from behind with your eyes.

    Men definitely have GOTS to do better!

    Kudos for this post. I thought I was the only that had perfected the iced out mean mug. I don’t think men understand that THIS is why we are always walking around looking mad..we just had 50 MF’ers hit on us in a span of 20 minutes and now I got an attitude. LMAO… but oh so serious!

  • keke

    Great post, and you touch on some excellent points.

    I don’t get why it is so hard for some men to understand that women don’t like being randomly approached and/or harassed on the streets. Part of the problem is that many of these men don’t see it as harassment. They assume that a woman should be “thankful” for all of the attention that she receives. But seriously these guys need to cut it out.

    I live in Chicago and I see plenty of women including myself deal with this daily. It is really exhausting, its almost like you have to put on your war face just to walk down the damn street! But as you mentioned, then you get men telling you “smile, cause you are too cute to look so mean”, or “smile baby, it can’t be that bad”…which infuriates me.

    In many of these instances, we can’t win. If we mean mug and don’t respond, we get called a bitch. If we smile and decline an advance, it is almost considered an open invitation for the guy to keep trying hoping to wear us down.

    there was another article written about the “smile baby approach” and it is a good read. The comments are also interesting. Many women agreed with the post and expressed support, but there were plenty of men and also some women who just don’t get it: http://clutchmagonline.com/lifeculture/feature/nobodys-smilin'/

  • Darth Paul

    “Teach these dudes. The change has to come from y’all.”

    Really, now? I’ll agree it has to come from “us” but it’s a matter of personal improvement. What’s gonna prevent Douchie McGee from stopping when a dude says so…a threat of violence? That’s not much of an improvement, and you end up perpetuating threats and violence that way.

    Thing is, that men are often the brunt of unwanted attention, too. Yes, I know it’s not always (though gay hounding DOES happen) in the same sexually-threatening vein, but it’s still very much harassment and completely unnecessary. The bums and very-likely prostitutes around my way do that ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Need an ATM? There’s one or more hanging out next to it. Smoke? Don’t do it in public or you’ll get yelled at for one (if you refuse, prepare for being called any number of names- I got “b!tch ass n!gga” last week). Buy anything with cash at the convenience store? At least one person is watching you get your change then accosting you for it.

    • yeah. because being asked for a cigarette is kind of like a man screaming ‘AY MA YOU GOT A FAT ASS’ at you as you walk down the street.

    • public sexual harassment and objectification is not equitable to being panhandled.

      • cocolamala

        yeah, especially because of the inherent threat of violence — being followed in a car, being followed down the street after dark, being followed by older men at a young age (especially when you are smaller physically)

        • cocolamala

          …i meant to finish that sentence,

          but being followed and yelled at without regard or respect for your feelings, is just the first step towards having someone actually commit a crime, or assault against you.

          strangers who push your boundaries in public are not just trying to bum a cigarette, or buy a sandwich. in fact those people tend to be polite. actually, i have never had anyone follow me or call me a bitch, because i didn’t have a square to spare.

        • Darth Paul

          So you’re saying that a male cannot possibly be issued an inherent threat of violence? Are direct ones sufficient cause for concern?

          That’s nice you’ve never been accosted or attacked by allegedly innocent bums (not exactly panhandlers- thugs), but I have. Followed by cars, had bottles thrown at me, physical assault, etc. Because it wasn’t in a sexual context doesn’t make it that much easier.

          What I’m saying is that gratuitous accosting in any form is bad for everyone and it’s everyone’s problem. In addendum, no one gets to determine the validity of anyone else’s feelings.

          • Scipio Africanus


            • cocolamala

              also, i just don’t understand, how generally saying “gratuitous accosting happens to everyone” explains the particulars of how, why, and where, women are harassed in the street better than the original essay which actually brings out some of the nuances of the situations women face out there on the daily.

          • cocolamala

            a male can be threatened with violence — but usually men aren’t then also blamed for being harassed by pointing to their clothing, or bodies, or their presence in public.

            when men speak up and object, they can get accolades for defending themselves. in fact, it’s called “being a man” “manning up” “having balls” etc.

            men aren’t told their complaints are “unladylike” or that they should “smile” about being harrased in the street.

            in fact, men who “fuck with” other men expect to be responded to with violence. how common is it for a dude to respond to man on man sexual harassment with threats of violence or actual violence … very common. it is a part of performing hetero masculinity.

            of course patriarchy clips the acceptable identities of men, but we’re not talking about the effects of sexual street harassment on men.

            • shani-o

              Was trying to think of a good way to respond; but I think you said it best.

              Shorter: co-sign.

            • haiba


          • DVE

            Even discounting all of the ways in which the scenarios you describe are totally and completely different, since all of those things happen to women too, it would still mean women deal with at least twice as much harassment and intimidation.

          • who is disputing that ‘gratuitous accosting in any form is bad for everyone and it’s everyone’s problem?’ what’s the motive in pointing that out? that sexual street harassment isn’t a bigger problem than being hassled on the street for some change?

            i don’t understand.

          • Tedra Osell

            Oh for fucks sake, why is it that EVERY TIME a woman talks about this shit in public some dude has to show up and say “but what about MY pain?!?”

  • Yeeeah, not the same, Darth Paul.

  • Val

    There are def some place that I don’t go. There in fact is a whole city, right next to the city that I live, that I almost never go to because of street harassment.

    I never make eye contact with men when I’m walking on the street. I never answer them when they talk to me.

    I’ve been dealing with this since I was eleven years-old.

    This really isn’t about men wanting to meet you are even really talk with you. It’s about them exerting control over you. It’s about them trying to force their will on you.

    And as you mention in your post it has nothing to do with what you are wearing. Women in burqas and niqab get harassed on the street.

    It’s too bad there aren’t laws against this. I suppose the 1st amendment might be a problem, right? But some of this speech on the street is abusive so maybe there could be laws against that? Most of us have cell phones that take photos or video so maybe if these men where caught on video harassing women and prosecuted that would stop them?

    • wow @ 11. it is frightening how young it starts. my earliest memory is being followed home from my school bus stop by a man in a pickup truck telling me how pretty i was when i was 12 years old. when i got to my house, i kept walking and went to my neighbor’s because i didn’t want him to know where i live.

      and now its frightening how young the men/boys involved are.

  • Wow, this was timely. I was moved to update my Facebook status describing the two incidents of harassment I dealt with within minutes of leaving my apartment this morning. One man said, “Sweetie” as I walked by. I pretended not to hear him, didn’t make eye contact, and kept walking. As I turned the corner, a man standing in front of the bodega said, “Brown sugar. Mmm. You lookin’ good this mornin’. And I see you’re not just brown su-” That was all I heard before I was out of earshot. Again, I didn’t turn my head, didn’t respond, and cursed him out in my head.

    I’m (a younger looking) 35, and I get very offended by very young men speaking to me in a way that is disrespectful. It gets my blood pressure up and makes me angry that I feel that I have to walk around with a “mean mug” in order to protect myself (insomuch as that’s possible).

    In response to my FB status update, one of my (male) high school classmates basically said that men do it for sport. He said, “There is no time for fun where there is pressing business to attend to, like the attention of an attractive woman (especially when in front of your boys).” Um, okay? What, me feeling comfortable and safe when I walk down the street is not as important as some boy/man-child/man feeling the need to try to get my attention? I don’t think so. Yelling “Brown sugar” or “Sweetie” or “Look at that” when a woman is walking down the street is, in my opinion, is not the best way to approach a woman. I don’t know. Maybe they get enough positive responses/results to encourage them to continue engaging in this behavior. Regardless, my presence on the streets doesn’t give anyone a right to treat it as sport. And, like Val, I think this is about control.

    I’m d*** sick of it; that’s what I know for sure.

    • Its sport in a baseball batting average sort of way, men do it because it actually works. As a teen Uptown we all did this all the time and if you were moderately human looking it worked a fair percentage of the time. Of course it does not work on well-adjusted, confident, secure women but the tactic is tailor made to get the attention of a maladjusted and insecure woman. Sad but true.

      • Thank you for your response, MikeCee. I was wondering if this approach actually worked. And, yes, it doesn’t really work with women who are well-adjusted, confident, and secure. Which is very, very sad.

  • marie

    Ugh, stories like yours and others in the comments are an all too regular occurrence and annoyance. I think the most frustrating thing has been when I’ve encountered some jerky “compliment” and when I go to complain/commiserate with other women they don’t get why I can’t take a compliment. Believe me. In my 30 years on this Earth I know when I hear a sincere compliment and a harassing comment…
    I participated in a survey for a book on street harassment and have found the book’s website an invaluable resource:Stop Street Harassment

  • old enough to stop caring

    Now imagine if all those catcalls were letting you know how unattractive you are. I’m not going to get into specifics, but for every “hey good lookin'” comment you’ve heard, all I heard was “bet you thought you looked good–well you don’t” and worse. It’s a form of harrassment that’s very different from what you’ve experienced, but every bit as uncalled for. It hurts to think about all the years I had to put up with it but, at 60+ years, at least nobody looks and therefore nobody comments anymore.

  • HEY!

    Just wanted to reach out and say – AWESOME. I’m so glad you told this story. It’s so important to talk about it. It helps on a personal level, but it also helps other realize they aren’t alone.

    We’re tracking street harassment stories around the world, check us out at ihollaback.org.


  • Dan

    As a guy and someone who’s lived a fairly sheltered (and privileged) life, reading stories like yours has been a real eye-opener. I truly, honestly, had no idea just how often men act like this. It’s ridiculous and pathetic.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I also live in Louisville. I remember being 16 and waiting at a bus stop. I didn’t have my license yet, and I took TARC to a job interview, so I was dressed in an a skirt and a button down shirt. A man, probably in his 60s or 70s, driving in a convertible with a kid (his grandson?) sitting in the front seat pulled up to the bus stop and started telling me what a pretty little thing I was. It was awful.

    A few years ago, I was walking with my ex-boyfriend and his brother. There was a girl in front of us who was dressed to go out–heels, fairly short skirt. A car full of guys drove past her and shouted at her, honked the horn at her. I was disgusted. My ex-boyfriend and his brother were baffled. Obviously, she WANTED to get that kind of reaction, otherwise she wouldn’t dress like that. It was a COMPLIMENT that those guys thought she looked good. I could not make them understand why it was not right or appropriate. It was so frustrating, and frankly, a little scary, that I couldn’t even make these two guys–level-headed, rational, fairly decent guys–understand.

  • hallie

    I would like to personally thank Dan for (a) listening and (b) not being that guy.

    Conversely, I’d like to personally tell Darth Paul – you *are* that guy. And shut the fuck up now, really. Holy Ignorance Bingo, man.

  • LJ

    @ “old enough to stop caring,” I know exactly what you mean. I mostly get the hey baby’s/whatever these days but when I was younger, especially when I wore baggy clothes (wasn’t in then) and pulled my hair in a not so flattering pony tail and had really, really messed up bangs, I got lots of nasty, making fun of comments and this wasn’t even in a city, but in a suburb and most of the mean-cat callers were white, though some weren’t. Proves it happens regardless of race and if they are cat-calling b/c they find you attractive, city or suburbs. Shoot I got cat called in a very rural part of North Carolina. You can’t win. You look “cute” they have to say something, you look “ugly” they have something to say. Seriously messed up. It seems like a way to make you feel bad, no matter how you are looking and I’m the same person I was when I was the young girl with the bad do and scruffy clothes as I am now as a woman with the nicer hair and more flattering clothes.

  • LJ

    Meant to say they cat-call regardless of where you are if they find you attractive or not city or suburb. And I should seriously find a better term b/c calling it cat-calling does a diservice to our lovely feline friends.

  • lee

    this is something that really bothers me as well. i don’t appreciate being approached and hollered at when i’m not in a setting where it’s appropriate. if i’m at a bar/club…. ok… this is a social setting. however, when i’m walking quickly to work, or to the store, or i have my headphones on why bother me then? it extremely annoying and when it’s late at night it’s darn right scary. i don’t appreciate being hollered at. i don’t like being stopped on the street. blocking my path when i’m walking is not only rude, but it’s way too aggressive and could potentially provoke me to be loud/ig’nant. you’re not boosting my ego… in fact you’re doing the opposite. any women with a little bit of sense and any self-respect doesn’t want to be objectified.

    btw… that whole “well don’t look so cute” bs is exactly that BS! how about you have some self control? never thought of that huh?

  • Thanks for this.

  • Filbert

    I can’t help but admit that while reading this all I could think about was how I’d like to see a picture of Brokey McPoverty to see what she looks like.

    That being said, yes, this is an issue that needs to be dealt with.

    Is any of this perhaps regional? I know women are approached on the street no matter where they live, but I live in CA, and know a couple of very good looking women who get approached from time to time, but never to this extent or in the manner described.

    • re: what i look like – here ya go! http://tinyurl.com/2cx5wyl (i’m cheating a little; that’s a baby pic.)

      re: whether or not it’s regional, i can’t really guess, because i haven’t been lots of places. i’ve lived in Louisville, KY, Lexington, KY, and Philadelphia, and i can say that in my experiences, Louisville is by far the worst that i have ever experienced it.

    • I can’t help but admit that while reading this all I could think about was how I’d like to see a picture of Brokey McPoverty to see what she looks like.

      uh, why?

      • because if i’m getting all that attention, i MUST be fine!

        and if i’m not fine, then i MUST be lying!

  • Sasha5000

    Is anyone willing to address the elephant in the room – this behavior is much more common among black men then among white men. I think it is somewhat disingenuous to ignore that aspect of the issue.

    • April

      Please provide actual evidence for this. Thank you.

  • Little Sue

    Great piece. While your experience seems extreme I think we have all been there. My question is how can we get this issue into the public discourse? This type of behavior by men is problematic, and I don’t think that most men understand just how it makes women feel and how it can totally effect your day and the way you interact with your community. I think more discussion is needed – we need more people to write about this and get it out there.

  • MissT

    Well said.

    I’ve tried to talk to male friends of mine who do this kind of thing and I always get the same tired argument back – that men are in some way biologically wired (and reinforced) to pursue women, and this is basically just the result. Now, I’d hope that most men are raised with enough common sense and manners to know that this is not the way to meet a future mate. And I think most are, it is the minority that do this kind of thing. But what about that issue – not to remove responsibility from the men who are doing this – but is our society also to blame? I see lots of messages pushed onto men (and boys) that they need to be the one to initiate things with women – and none that teach how it is appropriate to do so. Until we change the messages that boys receive growing up I don’t think we can hope for this to change.

  • April

    Thank you for this. I sometimes wonder if the men who act this way think their harassment is actually complimentary…but I’m convinced they do it 1) to get a rise out of us and 2) because, sadly, some women actually fall for it.

    • Sure they think it’s complementary and it’s easy for them to do that because they don’t really care what you think. They don’t do it to piss you off either, that part comes directly after you reject them. (B word anyone?) They do it because they’ve been taught to. This is an unnatural and unseemly extension of what boys have been taught about interacting with girls. This is asking a girl to dance 300 times a day.

  • Have you ever been growled at before? That one took the cake for me. I wrote a similar article to yours a while back in my own blog… and came to the very same conclusion.

    The final step is acceptance… but acceptance does not mean to think the way your friend does. I have male friends who all say the same thing. Either it’s a compliment, or, well you look really pretty, or, it just doesn’t matter. How do I accept this, without no longer caring, or not understanding it as the harassment that it is?

  • msl

    What strikes me about all of this is that it is only slightly harder to be actually complimentary. Ok, so tossing off a catcall is way easier than thinking up – and then having the stones to say – something genuinely nice (with a smile). But, no doubt it gets better results, i.e. an actually-pleased woman grinning at you. I’ve dealt with street interactions & harassment in various cities just like most women, and on the rare occasion when the fella is interested in a bit of banter or trading compliments it has brightened my day. The whole point for the guy is to come off as non-threatening, respectful & polite while expressing interest. It’s not an easy thing to get right, and might be beyond some capabilities.

    Though I once delivered a lecture to a construction worker on why telling me to smile was not ok — he actually apologized. My guess was that this was a one-off, but you never know.

  • First of all I’d like to apologize on behalf of all men: many of us do in fact have proper home training and are pretty upset that anyone would harass a woman in public (or anywhere else for that matter). I personally didn’t realize the extent of the problem until my gf broke it down for me in terms of both creepiness and frequency. You must understand, we almost never see it—it never happens while we’re with our gfs in public, and only very rarely to us when we’re out and about on our own.

    Secondly I would like to encourage more cursing and reading of the riot act to these knuckleheads (meaning the ones that persist after the polite brushoff). Ladies, they need to hear it from you, and they need to hear it in the harshest manner possible. Think of it as a public service—a caustic reaction from you makes it all the less likely they’ll bother the next woman walking down the street. Plus, now they can’t claim ignorance about the consequences of their actions.

    • Kavita

      There are many times when I would love to curse out the knucklehead. I refrain, because I am scared. I think this is an aspect some men may not understand. It isn’t just annoying/disrespectful to get hollered at on the street. There is always a level of fear and intimidation because we don’t know you. We don’t know which man is just “doing it for fun” or actually thinks he is giving us a compliment, and which man is a potential assailant. I don’t cuss these dudes out, even when I want to, because I don’t know which ones might flip and actually physically assault me. They’ve already verbally assaulted me, what’s to say they won’t take it to the next level? Besides the fact that any response, no matter what the content, is most often regarded as encouragement. “Hey baby you look nice” can turn into “F**** you you f*** B****” in an instant. But the lack of power to respond at all, to have to just keep my head down and pretend to ignore it, is incredibly frustrating.

    • Kavita

      One more thing–I know many guys are genuninely surprised at the frequency that this happens to women and it’s effect on us. But one thing I would love to see men do more of, is checking their friends when you see them doing it. I know it might violate the “man code” or whatever to say something, but really y’all are the only ones in a position to school these fools.

  • Andrew50

    Great post McPoverty. Well related and well reasoned analysis of this sad spectacle. And to any men attempting to compare our experience to what women often have to endure in this arena? Please. Come on guys, there’s no way that we have anywhere near comparable experience with being harassed the way that McPoverty relates here. 1st of all, if women were hitting up us like this most of us would like it. Secondly, it doesn’t happen, or if it does it’s so infrequent as to be worth talking about when it does. For half way decent looking women it’s something that must be dealt with constantly. That’s a shame and it speaks poorly for the male sex, sorry fellow menfolks ;–}

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