Men, Women Are Not That Into You

by Evette Dionne

Not into youIt is mid-summer. The trees are blooming leaves in an assortment of lush greens. The sidewalks are littered with beautiful people attempting to soak up the sunlight before shuffling into office buildings. You are decked in traditional summer attire and men are noticing. Their conspicuous stares are uncomfortable, but manageable – until one of them crosses the boundary between innocent appreciation and inappropriate action. You ignore his antics, hoping his barrage of comments will fade. You keep strutting, looking past him while attempting to calm a rapid heartbeat. His aggressive commentary continues until you’re out-of-earshot.

“You’re beautiful. Let me talk to you for a second.”

“Can I get your number?”

“Where’s your man at?”

“So you’re too fine to speak?”

He is loaded with confidence; he knows his words are persuasive and that one woman is bound to appreciate his approach. His ego is inflated.

A recent study has uncovered one of the reasons men think street harassment is acceptable behavior. “The Misperception of Sexual Interest,” a study conducted by the University of Texas, Austin and Williams College found that men overestimate women’s interest in them. The report notes that this is attributed to biology and evolution, as “the costs of rejection for men are relatively low (embarrassment), while the potential value of maximizing limited opportunities for mating is high (reproduction).”

“The Misperception of Sexual Interest” examined the interactions of 199 college-aged men and women in “speed-dating” sessions. Most of the men over-perceived the sexual interest of the women participations while women under-perceived the sexual interest of the men. This was based on a pre-recorded self-ranking of attractiveness. Men that considered themselves “more attractive” were also more aggressive and thought more of the women were attracted to them.

The misperception that a woman is more attracted than she appears fuels sexual harassment, street harassment and some aspects of rape culture.

Men, all women are not into you.

  • ChaCha1

    I need a shirt with that saying on the front. And back. Although it probably still wouldn’t help.

    It’s like some men on the streets can’t take a hint, even when that “hint” is as blunt as “Leave me alone”, “No, I’m married” or a huge frown.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    I have noticed over time that men simply do not care about a woman’s body language or tone of voice. They will try to force a connection between them and a woman even when she has done nothing to even acknowledge his presence.

    Does anyone else here get asked “How you doing?” a lot by men? It seems to be some type of pick-up line.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Some years ago I spoke back to a guy who spoke to me and he ended up following me around. I got on two wrong buses trying to get away from him (He even followed me onto those buses). My lack of response to his questions just made him more persistent.

    Men definitely wrongly perceive a woman’s interest. This is why I almost never speak back to men who speak to me.

  • SAMURAI36

    I have to admit, this article vexed me something fierce.

    “Women aren’t that into you…” And then you wonder why women are not getting married in record numbers.

    The problem with these anti-male rants, is that they point out all the things we men are doing wrong, but NEVER offer a shred of a hint to help us do things better.

    If we wait for women, most of whom REFUSE to do any approaching towards men, to take the lead in this, as they wait for the perfect fairy tale, Cinderella glass slipper approach, & turn any & every one down that doesn’t approach at just the right time of hour/day/week/month/year/whenever the stars & planets are perfectly aligned, with the right combination of words, looks, clothes, car etc, then the birth rate of the planet will eventually drop to zero. :-(

    Also, it’s continually frustrating, how women are ad-hoc’ing new standards for themselves almost daily, while not bothering to give anyone else the memo.

    They make it virtually impossible for those of us who may not be the most proficient with dating to get ahead of the learning curve.

    I don’t know why the attempt is being made to convince anyone that no woman likes the “street” or ultra-aggressive approach. Just because any one particular woman doesn’t, doesn’t mean that there aren’t those that do.

    In fact, there are plenty of women out there, that won’t even give you a second look if you don’t come at them that way.

    Stop pretending like you haven’t turned down the courteous, chivalrous gentleman, for no real reason, in favor of the “bad boy thug” before. EVERY woman has done that, at least once. It’s engrained in the dating culture, especially amongst black women.

  • SAMURAI36

    LMAO!!

    So, because you had one bad experience with one man, you’ve sworn off interacting with men???

    This just sounds counterintuitive & downright silly, but hey, have fun with that. :-\

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    I don’t live in an area where this is common (or I just don’t spend that much time outside walking,) but I have found that answering the man’s question while continuing to walk consistently works.

    ::knock on wood::

    Interesting that women don’t perceive themselves as attractive as they appear to men–probably the result of years of looking at photoshopped models/getting negative messages from the media about women’s bodies.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    “The problem with these anti-male rants, is that they point out all the things we men are doing wrong, but NEVER offer a shred of a hint to help us do things better.”

    Funny you say that because I have seen on this very site men state that men should not listen to a woman’s dating advice.

    “They make it virtually impossible for those of us who may not be the most proficient with dating to get ahead of the learning curve.”

    It’s not a woman’s job to make you better at dating. That is for you to do.

  • dirtychai

    “Does anyone else here get asked “How you doing?” a lot by men? It seems to be some type of pick-up line.”

    I feel like men do this for the sense of control that they feel when they get a response. “Can I get this woman — who I know has no interest in me — to give me a facile amount of attention?”

    I go through this every single day while walking up the sidewalk from my office to my car. The scenario is usually: walking-random man is standing at the bus stop-he’s staring at me-look down-walk faster-now he’s ogling me-getting closer-don’t make eye contact-passing-”how you doin’?”-ugh!

  • SAMURAI36

    My thing is this:

    If men at so terrible at approaching women, then why aren’t women using this as a teachable moment, to show us how to do things differently or better?

    Women are the first teachers men ever have, as young boys. However, how many women are sitting their sons, younger brothers, cousins, nephews, etc down to school them on the art of approaching women? On how to read body language, facial expressions, & all the subtle hints? Or the proper etiquette of what to say/do, vs what not?

    Of course not, because that’s too much like helping to make the situation better.

    In fact, most of you will sit back & watch these young boys perpetrate these same errors on the next generation of young girls, & do absolutely nothing about it.

    I had to figure it out on my own, & thru the process of trial & error, I’m *STILL* figuring it out.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that women actually enjoy watching men painfully stumble around in the dark, for their sake.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    *Laughs and claps hands*

    That is exactly how it happens.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    One bad experience? Eh, no. I get harassed EVERY DAY.

  • SAMURAI36

    Why is it my job alone, when I’m not the only one involved in the dating process??

    Once again, with the Cinderella, glass-slipper mentality.

    *I* need to figure it all out, & what, pray-tell, will you be doing, besides sitting back & reaping all the benefit?

    How’s about “we’re all in this together, so we need to figure it out together”?

    You mean to tell me, that never once crossed your mind???

    If not, then it’s no wonder people refrain from taking your advice.

  • dirtychai

    The entirety of this comment reeks of rejection.

  • SAMURAI36

    So wait….

    “How you doing?” has now become a social faux pas???

    What kinda crystal meth are you chicks snorting???

    Either that, or I must really be in the Matrix now.

  • Humanista

    What? Nobody sits women down and teaches them how to understand body language. Are you saying that men LITERALLY can’t tell a frown or rolled eyes or “go away” =/= interest? That sounds nuts.

    Since we’re talking about mothers: kids know when mom has had a bad day w/o her saying so, when mom isn’t having it, when mom is pleased, etc. Men who have dads in the house SHOULD be learning from how dad responds to mom and her boundaries. But, honestly, body language isn’t even all that different between genders. A frown is a frown is a frown; a grimace a grimace; an ignored question an ignored question.

    I’ve always believed that men who ignore these signs in women are doing it because they simply feel like their desire in that moment is a little (or a lot) more important than the desire of the woman to be left alone. Men who do this don’t care about boundaries. Don’t. Care. They’re not oblivious to them.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    What does any of this mean to you anyway, Samurai36? Aren’t you married to your ‘Queen’?

  • IntrospectiveGoddess

    Seriously dude, Did some woman reject you when you attempted to approach her as she was minding her own business walking down the street. To be upset with this article at the extent you seem to be is really showing an obvious insecurity that you have. Take a chill pill, its like you are taking this personally. THe article is speaking of men who can’t seem to get it through their heads that a woman does not want to speak with them as she is walking down the street. Oh and another question, what is the point of you even coming to this site, if you have such a problem with so many of the articles and commenters here?

  • Skye

    Yes, soon as I hear some sweet talk. I ignore or gently say hello back and keep it moving real fast!

  • Bgirl

    Ahhh… The good ole Black women turn down “nice” guys for thugs B.S. Let me tell you how many ” nice” guys have approached me and once I got to know them, turned out to be anything but that. I don’t like or date these so called thugs you speak of, but at least you know (mostly) for the most part what they are about. Because SOME of these “nice” guys will sell you a dream, future, and a fantasy and do everything to make you fall for them when they have no intention of returning the favor. And thats from experience.

  • Mademoiselle

    I actually agree with where SAMURAI36 is coming from. It’s impossible for the black community to grow if we refuse to help each other improve. We (finally) have a man on this site willing to hear out the street harassment argument that has been made several times on Clutch, and he’s asking women to make these kinds of articles more educational than combative so men can learn something new, and he’s met with “it’s not our job to help you out.” That frustrates me. It makes the Clutch community look like we’re only interested in complaining and co-signing each other’s complaints than any real change.

    Well, SAMURAI36, my response to you is this (and this is speaking for myself only):
    Street harassment doesn’t normally get under my skin as much as for the average woman, but I ALWAYS ignore it because it comes off as childish. As a woman, hearing a man address me in one liners reminds me of the boys in high school who would say ANYTHING just to get my attention and waste my time — and half the time they weren’t even trying to express interest, they were just sporting around. Adults who do it just seem like they haven’t grown up.

    Alternatives for men who actually are trying to express interest, and just don’t have that skill:
    – “Good morning” and “Hello” should always precede “How are you?” Good morning is a greeting. “How you doing” (by itself) is not. It’s a subtle difference between friendliness and skeeviness.
    – If a woman doesn’t respond to your greeting the first time, let her keep on her way. Even though it is true that some women will play hard to get SOMETIMES, persistence and harassment have a thin line between them.
    – If it’s someone you see everyday, following her, or throwing out a bunch of one liners in a 30-second span is very discomforting. So keep it simple: “Good morning” one day, “Have a nice day” once in a while, maybe “Nice shoes” here and there, but know when to back off if she’s not responding.
    – AND if you genuinely are truly trying to talk to her, try “Excuse me, I know you’re on your way, and I’m not trying to hold you up, but…” and finish with genuine interest.
    – My final suggestion is to approach frowns with precaution. For me, I do kind of perk up a little bit when someone shoots me an “it can’t be that bad” if I’m not actually in a bad mood and just happen to be looking sour (that line has always just been cute to me, but it doesn’t guarantee I’ll speak to any man that says it), but if I am in a funk, talking to me about anything mundane will get a deep eye-roll, maybe a loud sucking of the teeth, and possibly even a stank snort. So you’re rolling the dice. Now version 2 of my comes out extremely rarely, but some women will give you version 2 just because approaching someone who already looks upset does kind of seem like harassment. Again, if this is genuine interest, maybe try a smile & nod instead to be on the safe side, and stay away from giving instructions (i.e. “Smile, it ain’t that bad”).

    I’m sure there are plenty more suggestions women could give men in this arena if anyone else is willing to have an actual dialogue. I hope this helps.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    …and of course ladies never do a thing that would provoke male attention, right?

  • Yvette

    Such as?

  • E.M.S.

    You’re making a lot of large accusatory generalizations here mister. Allow me to address a few of them:

    1) There are many reasons why women are not getting married as much including the fact they just don’t want to.

    2) Not all women believe in or want a “cinderella glass slipper” approach to a relationship.

    3) I have never heard of any woman who appreciates being harassed on the street, so I wonder what proof you have to defend that statement.

    4) Not all women have foregone the gentleman for the bad boy, not even once in their lives. (And some times that foregoing is simply because she’s not looking for anyone at all)

    If you really do wish to learn something from reading these articles, start by approaching it as food for thought rather than a personal attack on your gender then spitting venom in your comment(s). I fail to see how that helps the learning process. Stop and think about what’s being said and what the message is before you go off.

    This is not an anti-male piece, it’s an anti-street harassment creep piece. There’s a right and wrong way to go about speaking to a woman, we’re telling you how NOT to do it. We’re also telling you that even if you approach correctly, you may not be successful because she wasn’t interested in the first place.

  • SayWhat

    I would have loved to see a breakdown of the women by race/ethnicity etc, because as ‘myblackfriend’ said, women are trained to have negative self image by the bombardment of all things ‘white/light, skinny and blonde’.
    That said, I have found that saying ‘i’m fine while still walking’ works great.

  • Anthony

    Subjects like this make me happy that I am old and off the “market.” The fact is that women want male attention, the problem is women always end up getting much more attention from guys who do not interest them than from guys who do.

    More to the point, I never got any meaningful action from trying to holla at women on the street, and the whole process struck me as a waste of time. A friend of mine told me years ago that the key to being successful with women was to really be attentive, and notice who is showing you interest. Being somewhat passive is tricky because it goes against all the pop culture imagery of the persistent guy who wins the girl over. In my experience, women who don’t find you attractive won’t change because you keep after them. If anything ever does happen, it will be because the man has backed off and allowed the woman to reassess the situation.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    Okay, but, what’s the point of a post about street harassment on a woman’s blog? We already know everything we need to know about it. And, this article certainly isn’t giving us any new strategies to deal with it. So, what’s the point?

    Seems to me these sort of posts should be on blogs for men so they can learn how this bothers us. Otherwise this is just a cynical post geared toward women who just want to bash men.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Here is a list of what not to do:

    Do not tell a woman to smile.

    Do not ask a woman any personal questions if you have not introduced yourself to her.

    Do not assume that because YOU have seen her before that she is going to know who you are.

    If she asks you “Who are you?” when you randomly ask her “How you doing?” tell her who you are. Do not ignore her question and tell her that you know she lives in the area or where she works. Because then, she will feel uncomfortable with you paying so much attention to her when she doesn’t even know who you are.

    Do not follow her, ever!!

    Do not honk at her.

    Do not try to talk to her from your car window.

    Do not ask random women walking down the street if she wants a ride.

    Do not try to talk to her if she is more than 3 feet away.

    Do not call after her or motion to her with your hands or finger.

    Do not call her any pet names. That includes: shorty, ma, mami, baby, sweetheart, sexy, light skin (or any other nickname for a woman with a light complexion), boo, yo, beautiful, pretty etc.

    Don’t try to trick her into conversation by asking her for directions or the time.

    If a woman is reading a book, has earbuds or headphones on, is looking down at her phone, do not interrupt her.

    If you are standing in line behind a woman, you need to keep some distance. If she keeps moving forward even though the line is barely moving, it is because you are too close.

    Do not talk about her to your male friend as if she isn’t there. For example – A woman comes walking down the aisle you and your male friend are in at Target and you loudly remark in her direction, “Beautiful, just beautiful! Doesn’t she look good?”

    Learn to read body language. If you walk up to a woman, asking her how she is doing and she does not respond or responds without looking at you or asks you how you are doing, walk away and do not try to further engage her.

    Do not ask her where her man is. It is just none of your business. It also makes you come off as an a** for thinking that a woman has no business being out unaccompanied by a man.

    Do not ever reach out toward her, touch her, or walk closely behind her back.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    walking down the street bare butte naked…

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    more than you could imagine…

  • The Moon in the Sky

    What I feel the issue is is that men’s blogs (mostly Black male centric blogs) have such a narrow focus. It’s sports, women/s*x/relationships, and Rap/Hip Hop. What I commonly see on women’s blogs is a variety of issues being talked about while men’s blogs do not talk about the more important issues, like street harassment and rape. Very rarely if ever do I see men’s blogs feature stories on women doing good things. Their articles on women are usually about how f*ckable she is or how good she looks.

    Essentially, I agree with your comment, but not the part about women wanting to bash men.

  • Mademoiselle

    Wow. Ok. Looks like we have the don’ts covered. What does the list of what a guy should do look like?

  • http://melodymoose.deviantart.com/ Catpopstar

    There’s some guys that go on here.

  • Skye

    Yes! Most women who ignore these men just rather be alone than with them sorry. I never liked men approaching me out of the blue whether mall, walking, etc. I had one guy harass and chase me out the dollar store until I got in my car and still knocked on my door. I hurried up and pulled off, I did not care if I ran over his foot. It just seems superficial to me why ask someone out when you haven’t heard anything or know anything but simply them walking/standing. Prefer and think most women prefer the happen to be around each other and end up hitting it off, the pressure is less intense.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    What a man could do is dependent on the individual woman. I am an introvert and tend to have less tolerance for what a man could do that another woman wouldn’t mind. I figure with the ‘do not’ list, one could infer what to do.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    I should also mention that I am not emotionally/romantically attracted to men, so it doesn’t matter what they could do that is right anyway.

  • Skye

    Well, feel out her personality first before you try to approach her, If you happen to bump into her at the coffee shop a couple times see her then make conversation first it works.

  • http://melodymoose.deviantart.com/ Catpopstar

    Why do you even need a “what to do” list? Don’t you know how to interacting with a person you do know versus a person you don’t? If you barely know someone, don’t call them a pet name before knowing their real name (take it away, Family Guy- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVUfDsMh6XU ). If you really were interested, try normally introducing yourself first. Its like human interaction 101.

  • Mademoiselle

    So then your whole post is extremely biased then. If you’re not attracted to men, and all you can offer is a list of criticisms, it ends up being just a bash. You could’ve left it at “don’t approach me.”

    I’ll take a swing at some do’s.

    Do try to find a way to start a conversation that isn’t creepy. I actually do think asking for directions or time is a good way to break tension and nerves if a man isn’t skilled at openings, but always follow up with your true intentions and listen if she says she’s not interested.

    Do meet her where she is instead of asking her to come to you, since you’re the one expressing interest.

    Do look for a common interest to break the ice — if you work at the same company, tell her you’ve seen her before but have been wondering what department she works in; or if you’ve seen her jogging in your neighborhood and you have that in common, ask her if she’s training for a race (it helps if you’re training for a race that you can mention to see if she’ll be there too), etc.

    Do introduce your full name no later than the second sentence because it puts a woman (or at least me) at ease if she has a name to give to the police if you turn out to be crazy.

    Do use your polite words. “Excuse me” says everything from “I’d like your attention” to “I apologize if I’m disturbing you” in 2 simple words, so make it your friend, especially if she’s in “do not disturb” mode.

    Do speak for yourself. Sending your friend over to do the talking could blow up in both your faces if he comes off creepy, or has less charisma than you, AND it makes you look way too timid if you can’t approach a woman on your own.

    Feel free to compliment, but do keep the compliments rated PG. It keeps the sleaze-quotient to a minimum.

    Do pull yourself together before approaching a woman. Pull your pants up, fix your shirt, do a quick sweep under your nails, etc. so your appearance doesn’t pull its own stop.

    Do keep your eye contact on her eyes and nowhere else. Bedroom eyes are creepy outside of the bedroom.

    Do ask if she minds you sitting, standing, running, etc. next to her so she knows you’re not forcing your presence on her.

  • http://melodymoose.deviantart.com/ Catpopstar

    This does remind me of the term “Schrodinger’s rapist”. Its when a stranger tries to hit on you and you have no clue what their intentions are (google it). And it’s not like its an irrational fear; chances are you were already harassed/ assaulted or you know someone who was. If your not careful enough and you get assaulted, everyone will nitpick at every wrong thing you did and you might get little sympathy.
    And P.S. no one likes getting called pet names by people they do not know at all. Family Guy accually explained that, oddly.

  • Guess

    Anyway… It should be obvious, but I guess I’ll break it down 4 u: it’s more about semantics, voice inflection & which syllable you emphasize when you say “how you doing?” Posed as a question/greeting without any expectations of extensive dialogue or interest, I don’t find it offensive. I usually say “fine & you?” with a smile & keep it pushing…

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “First-Degree ‘Rapo’, or ‘Kiss Off’, consists essentially of mild flirtation.

    White signals that she is available and gets her pleasure from the man’s pursuit.
    As soon as he has committed himself, the game is over”

    http://www.heretical.com/berne/rapo.html

  • http://trueletterson.wordpress.com trueletterson

    Thanks Mademoiselle this is what’s needed in our community you showed your intelligence by teaching us and giving us understanding instead of throwing knives and trying to win a unwinnable fight, again thank you, you make good common sense.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Not true, Mademoiselle. I said that I am not emotionally/romantically attracted to men. That doesn’t mean I don’t want anything to do with them at all. I just don’t want to deal with them romantically.

  • Mademoiselle

    Sorry. I guess I just don’t understand the difference between not being emotionally/romantically attracted to men and not wanting to be approached by them. I wasn’t trying to make assumptions about you, though.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    @trueletterson

    “just immature, bitter, mad and blowing smoke because they know ain’t no man trying to hit on them anyway.”

    Sorry, I don’t agree with that description. This is a legitimate issue and it happens to every woman, young or old. My point is that this post isn’t covering any new ground and seems to be baiting women.

  • http://twitter.com/krysiebecomes Krystal Miller (@krysiebecomes)

    “Men that considered themselves “more attractive” were also more aggressive and thought more of the women were attracted to them”

    However in my experience, the men were primarily less attractive than what is “average” to me and seemingly the majority, so do these same men rate themselves higher as an ego boost despite them knowingly recognizing their physical limitations?

  • Allie

    Only the guilty are the one’s raising hell. Sad really, instead of taking a step back and realizing how f*cked-up harassment on any level is not ok, they are trying to defend these deplorable acts by using friend-zoning and slut-shaming.

  • Kaeli

    Street harassment isn’t about dating and women are not obligated to show interest in every man who shows interest in them. You think men who follow, yell at, and make at times very inappropriate comment on the street are interested on getting to know that woman? Not a chance. These men do the same mess to almost every woman who walks by.

  • SAMURAI36

    So wait…

    You don’t date “nice guys”, & you don’t date thugs…

    So who’s left to date?

    You ever stop to think that *perhaps* the problem isn’t the men that’s the issue, but *perhaps* it’s you?

  • SAMURAI36

    Riiiight, I’m the one that’s insecure.

    There’s a chick here that felt the need to ride all around town on the bus, just to avoid a man, when a simple “hey dude, I’m not interested. Leave me alone, before I call the cops” would have sufficed.

    Besides, if you read the ENTIRE article, you’d know that it’s not about just being harassed on the street. The author mentioned what happens in speed dating as well.

  • SAMURAI36

    Wow, thank you so very much, for your positive & encouraging responses here, Mademoiselle. I have learned alot from what you have said.

    Someone asked why I come to this site; it’s to interact with more women like yourself. We need more black men & women getting along, & not at each other’s throats all the time.

    As for Frye, you’ve added nothing whatsoever of relevance here. Instead of being combative & anti-male here, & riding around town like a fool trying to avoid men, next time just tell him “I don’t like you, because I’m a lesbian”. Problem solved.

  • http://gravatar.com/congocapanilo CCN

    IMO, this also has something to do with the epidemic of narcissism in today’s society. There are a lot of emotionally, and/or psychologically, damaged people out there trying to over compensation with false confidence, or they develop this delusional sense about themselves and/or the world around them.

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu AB

    For one, why does the burden fall on us to teach you how to be a decent human being? That’s your parents’ job.

    Secondly (speaking for myself here), if the approach is egregious enough and if I can quickly assess the risk of whether or not I could be physically attacked (this DOES happen to some people) as a result of my response, I will quickly explain to them how they are wrong. The most quick and effective retort in those situations for me is to ask: “Is that how you want someone to talk to your mother/daughter?” It stops them in their tracks (at least), and makes them apologize and buzz off (at best).

  • D.T.

    The men that engage in this type of behavior are either broke or didn’t have a positive male influence in their lives. They are most likely a combination of both. Upwardly mobile black men and men with good fathers don’t behave this way.

  • Wong Chia Chi

    “next time just tell him “I don’t like you, because I’m a lesbian”

    Most men just take it as a challenge. I’ve tried that, even though I’m not gay. It doesn’t work.

    Why would anyone need to be told not to approach someone in the street anyway? Look for women at social outlets where you have a common interest. Like at social groups such as church or meet up groups like cosplay or comic conventions, or even bookstores/coffeeshops. Those are the kinds of places where striking up a conversation with someone you barely know is desirable and even encouraged.

    Randomly flagging down a woman while they are walking is scary for us, think Scrodinger’s Rapist, and it also gives the impression that you are only interested in our physical appearance and that can only mean you are looking for sex, and not anything more meaningful. And that you’re not even looking very hard, there is the internet for that, you’re just being lasy and taking it where you can get it. Which is doubly insulting and hurts your chances.

  • Anthony

    As a man myself, I do not understand men who post here and then get mad because they run into what they see as hostility or bitterness towards men. If a man really wants to learn about women, than he should be prepared to hear some things that are not flattering because millions of women have had negative interactions with men.

    I would be a liar if I said that I never see posts that seem unduly hostile, or angry, but I always try to remember that these women are dealing with things that I will never or face or truly understand the way they do, much the same way whites will never truly get some of the views African Americans have.

  • Skye

    Not approach at all please!

  • Wong Chia Chi

    next time just tell him “I don’t like you, because I’m a lesbian”. Problem solved.

    It doesn’t work, I’ve tried it. Men see that sort of statement as a challenge and it doesn’t deter them.

    I would suggest first of all not approaching women in the street at all. Why would you want to? If you’re approaching women in the street the only thing you can be attracted to is her appearance. While we love being complemented on our appearance, once and respectfully is enough for us, unless we’re attracted to you it’s not enough to make us want to pursue a relationship with you. We hear that sort of thing all the time. You can try your luck. But if you keep striking out you’re either not very attractive, or you’re attractive, just NOT to the women you prefer to pursue, if striking out with those kind of women is normal for you.

    Besides talking to men in the street is also unsafe for us. Any man can be a rapist and women don’t know until it’s too late. So we have to take every precaution because our behavior is scrutinized to the nth degree in the event that something happens. To every woman you approach in the street you’re potentially Schrodinger’s rapist.

    Places where you can approach women are any social gathering places where conversation between people who don’t know each other is desirable and even encouraged. What are your interests? If you don’t know off hand a good place is a cafe, bookstore, bar/lounge, social meetup group. At least at these places you can meet someone who you have something in common with, who you are ALSO attracted to. But in the long run, the MUTUAL INTEREST is what’s more important in relationships.

  • Mademoiselle

    I agree with what you’re saying about safety being the priority for women, but regarding never approaching a woman you see “on the streets,” I don’t think men have to avoid approaching an attractive woman at all costs just because they’re not in the middle of a setting. I’ve met men at banks, the laundromat, grocery stores, etc. that were harmless and the only thing either of us would know we have in common at that point is one or both of us was in the middle of an errand. So many opportunities to meet decent people would be passed up if you can only express interest in designated areas. Plus, as great as mutual interest is, it most often takes a backseat to physical attraction — that’s how sayings like “opposites attract” get traction: to explain people who have little in common but are attracted to each other. I do agree that women probably feel more at ease with the guys they meet at an event, but creeps can be found in cafes, bookstores, bars, and meetups too. I definitely don’t agree with or advocate for any man who purposely stands on a corner waiting for women to pass by just so they can holla, but if a man is on his way, and he sees a woman who is on her way that he’d like to get to know, I say approach respectfully and good luck.

  • Medusa

    I don’t think a man has the right to come to a site for and by women to discuss the things that matter to us and then demand that we derail our conversations to teach him. There are plennnnnnnty of places where he can go to learn how not to harrass women. This shouldn’t have to be one of them.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “I would suggest first of all not approaching women in the street at all”

    FWIW – i never did approach women on the street.

    i see males who do that as losers who make it bad for all of us. if she is walking down the street showing off to every man, chances are that i don’t want her.

    i’ve always had more female attention than i could handle, why would i be seeking more?

    if you do want a woman there are plenty of venues where they congregate to be picked up. just go there and pick one out. leave that street stuff alone.

  • Medusa

    Why the fuck should I have to say that I’m a lesbian? You should leave me alone because I’m not interested, regardless of whether I’m a lesbian, a married woman, a prostitute, a swinger, or a nun.

  • Mademoiselle

    Maybe so, but as a woman, I’d rather discuss solutions instead of complaints, especially when the title of the article is specifically directed at men. Once we’re done griping about street harassment, then what? I wish more men would ask to be taught how to be better. I wish more women would do the same. And I wish more people were willing to spread knowledge.

  • LemonNLime

    I shouldn’t have to say I’m a lesbian but let’s be honest, that doesn’t always work and some cases can result in more verbal harassment and in extremely cases physical attack.

  • LemonNLime

    Males like you are so simple minded, it just screams you don’t understand our issues and concerns and you don’t care to learn.

  • ChillyRoad

    trueletter

    People have a right to condemn street harassment. Thankfully for most sane, psychologically balanced happy and joyful women, we know the difference between a man paying romantic interest in us and a man who is just being a jerk.

    As many others have said, just approach a woman the way you would approach anyone. Obviously there has to be a bit of a twist but it shoudnt be that difficult.

    Most of the time, it will not be reciprocated and thats fine. On those rare occasions, if the woman is like me, sane psychologically balanced, happy and joyful and INTERESTED, you will receive a good response.

    Regrettably there are too many black woman who believe that the best thing a black man can do for her is to just drop dead. Leave those women to their misery. As I have said too many times before, the sane psychologically balanced, happy, joyful black men and women need to enjoy each others company and let the ball busters and women haters rot in hell.

  • Apple

    Tried that . Doesn’t works always results in them trying to turn you or planing a threesome

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    @mrs Anthony on page 4

    Sorry but I don’t buy that “only women bleed” BS. Pain is a human experience that neither sex owns the patent, copyright or exclusive rights to.

    Furthermore, I don’t tolerate abusive/offensive behavior from anyone, and I couldn’t care less if they try to justify their abusive and offensive behavior on the ground that they themselves were abused. If they were abused they should know better and regard themselves as having a greater responsibility to break the cycle of abuse.

    We don’t tolerate male abusers of children who were abused as children themselves.

    Why not?

    because their OWN abusive behavior is just as destructive to THEIR victims.

    Similarly, if a man smashes your face in because he’s angry at women because some vile man-hater tried to destroy his life with a false rape accusation, the crime he commits against you isn’t excused by her crime against him

    So let’s get this straight – YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ABUSE BECAUSE YOU WERE ABUSED YOURSELF.

    Anyone who thinks their own experience of mistreatment entitles them to mistreat others shouldn’t be surprised if they find themselves repeatedly being abused.

  • http://gravatar.com/trueletterson trueletterson

    Well said ChillyRoad you are right on point because it’s still a fact that well balance black men and black women love, admire, adore, respect and appreciate each other and welcome each other company and healthy attention.

  • apple

    i hate street harrassment with every fibre of my being.. its annoying and some times down right scary.. all it takes is one “hey girl” to ruin a good day. you’re feeling good, dressed nice , feeling free, reading a book, ANYTHING and all it take is one asshole who can’t take a hint to fuck it all up.. i have been CHASED, grabbed, cursed out, even almost CARRIED AWAY by a group of men. what the fuck is wrong with them. and sadly its always the black ones, at least the white/hispanic/asians just tell you something nice and keep it moving. i always cringe when i see men, and pray to god that accidental eye contact doesn’t warrant being approached.

    the way i play it now is to respond nicely and keep moving(knowing the questions before hand they are going to ask since they are mostly the same anyway is helpful), because if you don’t they get really violent sometimes and want to come after you or throw things

    i can only count on one hand a guy has approached me nicely, thing is , if they were less forceful i would actually talk to them and hold a convo.

  • Anthony

    I’ve never run into “abuse” while posting on Clutch except from men who somehow felt they could upset me by questioning my masculinity. Some women are harsh critics if the behavior of men, but that is done in the context of discussings the subject of a thread. There statements are not directed at me and do not
    Take them personally. Sometimes my comments get a lot of negative votes, but that is bound to happen sometimes if you voice your opinion publicly.

  • Deb

    To people that experience street harrasment REGULARLY, do you live in the city (or I guess urban setting), in a rural area or suburbs. I’ve always been curious how much that affects the prevalence of street harassment.

  • Anthony

    Apple, we men are clueless about how much women are in fear of sexual assault. Rape is real, and millions of women have experienced it. No woman knows what some strange man is going to do.

    One of the things that first got me seriously thinking about women’s issues was when I was in graduate school and it was about 9:30 or 10:00PM. I was studying with a female friend, and she mentioned that she wanted something from the library. I said why not just go get it? She said I cannot got out that this time of night alone. Honestly, it had never occurred to me before then that a woman cannot travel as freely as I could for fear of her safety. That one conversation opened my eyes about how life can be different for women.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    I live in the suburbs. I also walk a lot and ride public transportation, so that puts me in contact with the type of men who harass.

  • Mademoiselle

    “if they were less forceful i would actually talk to them and hold a convo.”

    I think that’s the biggest missing link. I believe if random guys weren’t busy harassing women there actually would be a cordial culture in our community where people would feel comfortable greeting each other. But because of some really nasty human beings, women are forced to be on guard at all times.

  • Mademoiselle

    I live in the suburbs. Right now I only get harassed by the security guy at my office who showers me with compliments no matter how fast I try to make my entrance/exit to avoid it. It’s weird because he’s old and it makes me feel rude not to respond when all he’s doing is making (not-so) light convo, but I don’t know how to make it stop (going on 3 years). It was WAY worse when I used to live urban, though. WAY WORSE.

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    Oh so it’s only “abuse” when you find it offensive but not abuse when it’s offensive to others.

    Thanks for making my point . . . that abuse is ANY conduct be it verbal WRITTEN or physical that causes offense or harm to others.

    Furthermore appealing to the old “if you’re not guilty don’t take it personally”, cop out is just more of your usual BS.

    A blanket indictment of a class of people is offensive to everyone in that class.

    End of.

    I’m not debating that point with you mr tough guy night in shining armor.

    If the indictment contains no identifier such as “THE MAN/WOMAN WHO WRONGED ME”. We can infer that it is intended to apply to the entire class being indicted.

    So you can try to shame people all day for the “crime” of not wanting to be abused, but that aint gonna fly.

    We’re still gonna call ABUSERS out when they’re abusive and their sex won’t give them exemption from being judged as ABUSERS.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    I am a woman not a ‘chick’.

    I didn’t ride around town on the bus. The buses were the right buses, but when I got on them they weren’t going the full route.
    Don’t tell a woman what she simply could have done when you are not the one who has had men follow you around and you felt scared because you didn’t know if they were going to hurt you or follow you home.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “I don’t know how to make it stop”

    ask him to stop. if that fails report him to his management.

  • Mademoiselle

    I think my bigger problem is that I feel guilty about complaining over an older man being too nice. I might also be a little gun-shy because I recently complained about a bus driver whose bus always smelled like cigarette smoke, and I think that got her fired, which wasn’t my aim and made me feel really bad.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    There is nothing a woman can do really to stop street harassment, because women are not the ones acting out the behavior.

  • Skye

    True. Even if you downplay your attractiveness by wearing baggy clothes, tied up hair, no makeup they still will try. Its the same of the article of teaching boys not to rape. We need to tell them young a woman’s body is not your property period.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    dress more modestly?

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Comedy definitely isn’t your forte.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “Comedy definitely isn’t your forte”

    true, but rationality is…

  • omfg

    i’ve mainly had this experience with black males. i try to avoid eye contact at all times. i look straight ahead and try to look as unapproachable and uninterested as possible.

    at times, i have my earbuds in with no music playing just to send “a leave me alone” message.

    when i’m on the train, i do not sit near them or seem welcoming.

    i sometimes try to seem mean or pissed or just super busy and preoccupied.

    i never respond when they say anything to me.

    i damn near run from people though.

    but i have been called a bitch. last weekend a crazy black man called me a *iggar bitch for not responding to him.

  • Treece

    Wow, there seems to be a lot of men posting on this article that believe women are out of place for expressing their displeasure with being harassed as a form of flirtation or flattery. I would hope that most men are not of the impression that women should respond positively to any type of attention she gets from men. I would sincerely hope that the men who have posted some pretty argumentative comments on this article would encourage their male peers and young men around them to come at women with a lot more respect and consideration than a “hey girl” from 10 feet away or a “how you doin today sweethart” while not making eye to face contact. I would hope you would tell other men that stalking (if only for a few minutes down the street) is not acceptable. Why be so combative towards a feeling that woman have about a habit that men continuously practice without any intervention by other men?? Yes, we have chosen this venue to vent about it. Clutch is a website for women to be able to do that. So, in so many words, Why you mad?

    Also, there has been some talk about us teaching men what TO do instead of complaining about what is wrong with the way men street harass now. Here’s the thing, by a certain age, you should already know. If you are not reading body language correctly b/c your head is so full of your own ego it’s blinding you, then I can’t teach you sh**. Point blank, period. But, if you sincerely want to know, ask all the men writing books and blogs calling themselves “relationship experts”. Instead of supporting them in thier futile efforts to get women to “act right” for men and find a husband and all that bull, to write blogs, articles, and books directed towards YOU ALL teaching you how to compliment a woman without harassing her, how to speak to a woman with respect, how to tell if she really is into you, the difference between harassment and flirting…..and the list could go on. Most importantly you all need to get away from this warped POV that tells you that a woman owes you something because you showed interest. I don’t need to give you a damn thing. Not smile, not a hello, not a thank you, whatever. If your aim is to flirt (most women know when they are being flirted with or in some cases harasses) and we aren’t taking the bait, just walk the fu** away! Quit getting in your feelings, take a safety pin and pop that big bubble you have inside your head that tells you “Yeah, she really likes this. I’m going to keep pursing even though I got no feedback from the ‘How are you doing’ I just threw out there”. Stop acting like you are God’s gift, and that if a woman does not recite to you her number after you just told her she looked “nice today” that there is something terribly wrong with her…..

  • Apple

    Also doesnt work . You can wear a gstring or business suit if a man is gona holla there is no stopping

  • The Moon in the Sky

    I disagree. I don’t think it is okay for a man to approach a woman everywhere. A man would have more success if he approached a woman who is in a place where that is expected. There was a PUA show on VH1 some years ago that I came across, and one thing that I agreed with him on was that a man should never approach a woman who is in motion. People go to the supermarket to grocery shop, not to meet potential dates. That is what bothers me the most, being treated like a dating opportunity everywhere I go.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    If you were at all rational, you would know that what a woman wears does not matter.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    This all stems from a lack of personal boundaries, the view of women and simply the word no when it relates to attraction/sex. These guys really need to take no as a final answer. No is NOT code for you to try harder and harass me some more. If a woman is not interested keep it moving. And I don’t see what attractiveness has to do with it because most street harassers are men I wouldn’t give a time of day too especially the old creepy cat daddy ones that bombarded me in high school…ew… at this stage if you don’t know how to properly address potential mates then you don’t need to be trying to “holla” at anyone.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    And lol at the pressed commenters. Must be true hit dogs do holler.

  • Gina Wild

    @The Moon in the Sky
    You watch PUA shows!? What’re you doing, girl! JK.

    Really, I don’t think it’s wrong for a man to approach a woman in a supermarket. It depends on how the guy presents himself, and it also depends on the woman’s situation.

    A single woman would most probably react differently than a “taken” woman (for lack of a better term), if approached in a grocey store or in the street. Single women want to be approached and most dosn’t mind being approached in a supermarket, provided the approach is done with respect, tact and charm.

    You cannot always count on social functions, friends/relatives setting you up with a potential mate. Therefore, as a single lady you need to keep your options open.

    Oh, you mentioned «that a man should never approach a woman who is in motion». Well he can, as long as he puts a time constraint. That’s something these PUA’s also teach. As a matter of fact, Paul Janka, one of the best PUA’s, is known to have an impressive success rate at picking up women in supermarkets and in the street. You can see videos of him on Youtube, and these girls are good-looking, so it’s not like they’re all desperate.

    Of course, if a guy who approaches you in the street, and he has poor hygiene, poor linguistic skills that’d be a total turn-off.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Yep. Nearly all of the harassment I receive comes from Black men/boys. I sometimes get harassed by Hispanic men, but they usually say something like, “You so pretty, baby!” or “Hey, baby!” Other times they just stare.

  • Anthony

    Come on! Adolescents and grown men should have enough manners not to try to aggressively engage strange women regardless of what they are wearing. Furthermore, there are men who would harass women in burkas if they think they can get away with it.

  • Z

    This is true, by staying out of certain neighborhoods and areas you are less likely to experience street harassment, unless the element comes into your neighborhood/area.

  • Z

    “However, how many women are sitting their sons, younger brothers, cousins, nephews, etc down to school them on the art of approaching women?”

    Seriously? That’s a FATHER’S responsibility! But of course many men today think that’s just yet another woman’s role because so many father’s are absent to teach their sons.

  • Anthony

    Mademoiselle, have you simply told the security guy, “your compliments make me uncomfortable, all you need to say is hello?”
    If that doesn’t work, report him with a clear conscience. As for the buss driver who was fired, you have no way of knowing what issues had popped up before your complaint, if your complaint indeed got that person fired.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    is he ‘being nice’ or is he ‘harassing’?

    sounds like you are enabling.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    let me get this straight. the preponderance of downright slutty dress that i see on the street has NOTHING to do with male behavior? women bear NO responsibility.

    every thing is ALL the males fault, right?

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    it just happened to me yall!

    i went out to mail my bills and some chocolate skinned young sister flashed her big, pretty eyes and said ‘hello’ to me. i didn’t know whether to speak or hit her up side the head. maybe if i explained to her that i was celibate and a vegetarian she would leave me alone?

    i gave her a ‘how ya doin’ and scurried away.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Street Harassment Derail Tactics 101:

    1. Blame it on how a girl or woman is dressed.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    jamesfrmphilly:

    Street Harassment Derail Tactics 101:

    1. Blame it on how a girl or woman is dressed.

    trueletterson:

    What the f*ck are you talking about?

  • omfg

    this is not something to make light of.

    sometimes, it’s a matter of being assaulted and not being assaulted, or even life and death.

    it’s not funny at all.

    i generally do not speak with people on the street unless it’s in certain circumstances – i’m at the farmers market, etc.

    i do not want to open the door for them. they will start thinking that i want to have conversation with them beyond them saying ‘hey beautiful’ whenever i see them. and i want nothing to do with them.

    preserving my life and my safety are far more important than trying to stroke a stranger’s sorry, demented ego.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    First, what is “slutty” attire to you? Secondly, women get street harassed wearing their work uniforms, school uniforms, simple jeans and a tee and other modest clothing. Not every woman who was/is harassed on the street is wearing two band-aids and a bandana for goodness sake. Furthermore, if it takes something simply as a way a woman dresses for your mind to go AWOL and you to lose any type of sense/rational to control yourself THEN YOU DON’T NEED TO BE OUTSIDE period! But why am I surprised victim blaming and woman shaming is an art these days. I mean how dare an attractive woman give you a woody and she is not or was not interested in you in not type way, shape or form then she the blame for your frustrated state and should be harrassed and worn down until you feel good about yourself…smh Give me a break on this reasoning james like really?

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    women bear NO responsibility for nothing, right?

  • http://gravatar.com/libpatriot GeekMommaRants

    This behavior happens with only black men. I live in a majority Asian city and have never seen a Asian man talk to an Asian woman he did not know. They consider this being chaste, since there parents may choose their spouses. I have never seen a black man talk to other types of women this way. Never.

  • Anthony

    Geekmomma, women in Italy, India, and Japan, have been known to complain a great deal about both verbal abuse and fondling in public spaces. I have read. multiple reports about that sort of thing.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    Wow, the astounding ignorance of your statement is overwhelming. In fact, I think this may be the most ignorant comment I’ve ever read on Clutch.

    .

  • The Moon in the Sky

    James:

    If someone walked up behind you and bashed the back of your neck with a baseball bat because you were wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey, are you going to think you are responsible for their behavior?

    There are two ways you can answer the question – with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

  • Anthony

    James, I am fat. No one has the right to insult me out of the blue because of my weight, and if a fool followed me trying to harass me, he might just get slugged.

    Grown men have seen boobs and buns before. Grown men have seen nice legs before. A grown man can control himself when he sees a woman wearing sexy clothes. That said, the type of men who harass often harass women who are dressed professionally or wearing modest casual clothes.

  • E.M.S.

    A man can choose to not do something disrespectful or violent regardless of what a woman is wearing. (Would you pick up a gun & shoot someone just because they aren’t wearing a bulletproof vest?) And if a man classifies a woman as “slutty,” something supposedly undesirable, why would he pursue her anyway? That speaks to his character as well, not just hers.

    That logic basically suggests that men are such animals it’s in their nature to sexually harass unless women are completely covered from head to toe. It’s the same argument used against rape victims.

  • Anthony

    The idea that only black men harass women in public would be quickly disputed by women from all over the world. I am often the first man to admit that black men have terrible issues with sexism, but the idea that black men are uniquely horrible and abusive is bullshit.

  • The Bishop

    Asian men have been known to murder their female offspring when they perceive the family may been dishonored in some way, also they have pushed their women to use lightening creams in order to look more white. Asia was built on the aborted fetuses of they’re Asian women which has directly contributed to the lack of suitable mates and to rise of rape’s and violence toward women throughout Asia and Asian communities. But you go head and keep extolling the virtues of Asian men, hey at least they didn’t talk to you aggressively.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    @JamesFromPhilly

    Do you really not get that it is not a woman’s fault that she’s harassed on the street or are you just arguing for the sake of arguing?

  • http://gravatar.com/jeanettemoore Jeanette

    @ Bgirl, this is so true. I’ll add that if a woman turns down a “nice guy” that is her right to do so. Just because a man is a nice guy doesn’t mean he’s the one for me. Just as you stated, so eloquently, many nice guys have turned out to me monsters. They really weren’t nice guys to begin with; their representatives showed up in the beginning. I’ll tell you that with what’s available out there now being single is quite attractive!

  • omfg

    @Whiteprivilegeterminated

    lmao at your silly self comparing loud women to a woman being yelled at on the street and constantly having her physical safety threatened.

    you are plain dumb. really, there are no other words.

    and it’s also weird you think people posting here are section 8 women. lmao. i live in a downtown highrise in my city. i got a nice view of my city’s skyline too. are you dumb enough to think threatening males only live in or around section 8 housing?

    too rich. gtfo. get a life.

    i pray you don’t ever have a little girl. if you’ve got one, i pity her.

  • Mademoiselle

    Anthony & jamesfromphilly, I’ll give your advice a try. Maybe I am enabling. Thanks.

  • DW

    God u ignorant

  • Luci

    Actually, I find that men are less likely to harass me when I’m dressed sexily than when I’m in business or casual attire. I think they’re intimidated by a woman who is overtly taking charge of her own sexuality and prefer to try to ambush one who seems off guard.

    Because it’s not about meeting a woman. It’s about trying to dominate one.

  • LemonNLime

    WOW and you mentor young men? If this is what you believe is funny or true, I can tell there will be no changes in these boys that are coming up.

    Maybe I should tell the girls I mentor to move to “stand your ground” states so when they encounter the hoodlums you mentored, they will be protected by the legal system when they have to defend themselves.

  • LemonNLime

    If I find the guy attractive and I am approached in a RESPECTABLE manner, I’ll engage him in conversation. That means for example:

    - no “hey ma” in any variation (and really Ma? you aren’t my mistake so don’t call me Ma)
    - no “where’s your man” (where’s your manners?) in any variation
    - no “you too fine to speak?” or “SMILE” in any variation
    - NO TOUCHING
    - not at night when I’m by myself
    - etc.

    But I also carry mace, a Swiss army knife, and/or a box cutter at all times and I am going to learn how to shoot a gun because, trust, I will NEVER feel bad for being provoked into using them to defending myself..

  • LemonNLime

    If I find the guy attractive and I am approached in a RESPECTABLE manner, I’ll engage him in conversation. That means for example:

    - no “hey ma” in any variation (and really Ma? you aren’t my mistake so don’t call me Ma)
    - no “where’s your man” (where’s your manners?) in any variation
    - no “you too fine to speak?” or “SMILE” in any variation
    - NO TOUCHING
    - not at night when I’m by myself
    - etc.

    But I also carry mace, a Swiss army knife, and/or a box cutter at all times and I am going to learn how to shoot a gun because trust, I will NEVER feel bad for being provoked into using them to defending myself..

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “Rapo is basically a social game in which someone lures another to pursue them sexually, takes some pleasure (ego boost) from it, and then dismisses their target”

    http://www.heretical.com/berne/rapo.html

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    Oh really, then how do you square the so called fear of assault with the fact that “stranger danger” is far less a threat to women than violence from men they know and have an intimate history with with?

    That’s right, the story we’re usually told is that the overwhelming majority of violence that women experience is inflicted on them by men they know. Therefore in light of that “fact”, the “threat” posed by so called street harassment would seem to be mostly imagined anti-male propaganda, unless you can dig up some evidence which shows that street harassment is a leading cause of violent harm to women also.

    I won’t wait for that evidence because you won’t be able to produce any that is statistically signification

    But which is it?

    Is it men you know or is it men you don’t know who are creating this climate of fear that turns women into cowering nervous wrecks, forced to the margins of society, terrified of exposing themselves to an ever present threat random violence at the hands of lawless men, that could strike at any moment?

    Fear men in the home coz they’ll beat yer or kill yer. Fear em on the street coz they’ll beat yer, kill yer and then rape yer.

    Psychos! Pur-lease!

    Like I said, just a bunch of reactionary (as in, extreme right wing politically) anti-freedom, anti social equality, anti-justice, anti-working class man haters who have an agenda to demonize the male working class majority, for the sole purpose of showing solidarity with the white male power structure

    and btw

    I do have a beautiful full black, too black, too strong, black man (ONLY) loving daughter who has very healthy relationships with men, the first and foremost being her relationship with me.

    So I rebuke your wish for harm to befall her, to punish me for daring to challenge your bigotry.

    These are the kinds of people who say they seek to protect women.

    People can’t help but expose themselves.

  • Anthony

    If you are carrying a Swiss Army Knife for protection, you have made a very poor choice. They are not designed as weapons, and it will never open fast enough to be of help if you need it. You might want to study up on knives ad self defense. Probably, your best option would be a gun if you have option to legally carry one.
    Just remember, most states have a high legal bar for lethal force, and “he was disrespectful,” won’t “cut” it!

  • Laila

    Really, a hello? You would want to hit her for that? I can’t believe how violence against women is treated lightly around here.

  • Fa

    I moved to the Caribbean about 3 years ago and have had to re-think what I consider “street harassment” and how I manage it. Some men here consider beeping their horns or yelling a compliment(s) from across the street as the norm. I was first uncomfortable with it, but also had to understand that culturally it is the norm. When I talk to other women here some are disgusted by it, others see it as part of their everyday lives. I make a point to speak up when I feel uncomfortable or when my personal space has been invaded, but I also pick my battles.

  • Wong Chia Chi

    @ everyone
    I accidentally posted my response twice but I said approaching a girl in the street was generally was not a good thing to do. But I do get that it’s a numbers game i.e. shoot into a crowd enough times you’re bound to hit someone. Just do it respectfully and follow her cues. If she isn’t interested leave her alone and move on. If you insist with your advances when it’s clear they aren’t wanted( you’re not being responded to, you’re being ignored, she walks away from you faster,)THEN you’re harassing the girl.

    Women deserve to be able to walk down the street just like everyone else. We shouldn’t be harrassed just because we have vaginas.

  • Wong Chia Chi

    How would you men feel if big Micheal Clark Duncan type homothugs ran up on you every time you left the house talking about how cute your booty was and how they couldn’t wait to turn you out and they called you Baby and Honey?

    And before you say” But I’m a man, men shouldn’t talk to me that way” Keep your own logic in mind: just because it doesn’t work on you that doesn’t mean it hasn’t worked on some other man. So why shouldn’t he try you out? Besides you left the house with your pants sagging so clearly you wanted someone to check out your ass.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “you left the house with your pants sagging so clearly you wanted someone to check out your ass”

    is there any other reason to be putting it on display?

  • Wong Chia Chi

    @ Jamesfrmphilly

    Lol. Being too poor to afford a belt perhaps?

    But you got my point right? Judging by the way most men react to homosexual advances it seems like they understand what negative attention is when it’s directed at them. All the stuff they tell women when we complain about it sounds stupid when you put it in a different context.

    It almost makes me wish gangs of Micheal Clark Duncan like homothugs WOULD harass/assault men in the streets so they finally understand where women are coming from on this issue.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    being a man, i can NEVER understand where women are coming from.

    i could lie to you, as many men do, and act like i know but i really don’t. i got no cramps, no period, no labor pain.

    i have been surrounded by women all my life and yet i honestly do not understand. you guys go out there popping all of your goodies and then get mad when men react. i do NOT understand. you guys assume NO responsibility for nothing and then get mad at us. no, i do not understand.

    in my world the ladies give as good as they get.

  • ChaCha1

    That might be your personal experience (not ever being harassed on the street by anyone but black men), but believe me, they aren’t the only ones who do it. Who do you think the construction worker stereotype started with?

  • Adiya

    James,

    You’re on this site everyday, commenting and until this point, I presumed, reading. If by now, you stllL don’t know where a woman is coming from, perhaps that is a sign you should do MORE LISTENING/reading and LESS SPEAKING/ responding. In your multiple attempts to discredit women’s points of view on a site for and about women, and even after being “surrounded” by women your “whole life”, your misogynistic attitude towards women makes you seem SHORT BUS SLOW.

    Street harassment isn’t about what a woman has on, or even about meeting women. It’s about men parading their virility for other men.

    Very rarely have I ever been harassed by a solitary man. Alone is when men speak like they have some sense and actually want to get to know me. When it’s a group, I’m just another object used to demonstrate their heterosexuality for their boys. That’s when the “hey ma” and “you look so sexy” and the honking come and they want to follow me down the street spitting the worst lines, then call me a “bitch” and “ugly bitch”, any kind of negative adjective bitch or even actually spit at me after they’ve been ignored so they can get their manhood back up.

    Incidents (plural) like these have happened when I’m in suit, a North Face coat that brushes my knees, or a weather appropriate sundress. It’s not about the clothing, it’s about raggedy and insecure men who think women’s sole purpose is a tool with which to impress their boys or have sex with. As an adult, there have been days, usually the first warm ones, that I don’t go outside because I don’t want to be harassed. I walk the long way to the train station so I don’t pass groups of men who like to hang out. The underlying threat of violence is draining. It sucks the humanity out of you to constantly be treated like an object or prey.

    Is it really asking so much for men to shut the fuck up and let an unaccompanied woman walk down the street without being subjected to CONSTANT commentary and threats? Is it even too much to ask for men who are allegedly so invested in what women are doing that they come to a women’s site, to also shut their holes and actually GAIN SOME KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING about how women think?

  • Wong Chia Chi

    @ JamesfrmPhilly

    And I said “Understand where women are coming from on this issue” Not on what it’s like to be a woman.

    And yes. Let’s pretend that every woman who gets street harassed is dressed like a stripper.

    I was walking with my MOTHER and grandmother when a man stopped his car in the street and said “Hey sexy thang where are you going?” He kept yelling lewd things at me as we were walking while my mother gave him the worst cussing out I EVER heard in my life.( Excuse me This is MY DAUGHTER you’re talking to. SHE’S TWELVE! YOU NASTY M************ *runs at car singing purse screaming obscenities until the man drives away*

    I was TWELVE years old I was wearing a white dress, with a green sash tied in the back, and the dress had a frilly skirt with many layers. And I was wearing black dress shoes with green tights. My hair was in curls and I had a green bowrettes in my hair. Because we were all ON OUR WAY TO CHURCH!

    I know. I was totally asking for it right?

  • Wong Chia Chi

    @ JamesfrmPhilly

    I love the way that you assume every woman who is street harassed was dressed like a stripper. Besides I said I wished men would be able to *understand where a woman was coming from on this issue. Reading comprehension for the win!

    A man stopped his car and followed me down the street blowing kisses and saying the most obscene things and trying to make me get in his car. This was while I* I was walking with my mother and Grandmother*. My mother and grandmother both ran at him screaming, using swears I didn’t even know they knew let alone used.

    Did I mention I was TWELVE YEARS OLD at the time? I was wearing a white dress with a frilly layered skirt that reached below my knees. The dress had a green sash tied in a bow at the back. I was wearing light green tights, white hand gloves with lace at the wrists, and shiny black dress shoes with straps at the ankle. And I had a white purse with five dollars in it for the offering basket.

    But…I was totally asking for it right?

    Just like that time I was on my way home from the grocery store, and a man pulled next to me again in his car and tried to talk to me. He had a baby asleep in the back seat and he a woman sleep in the passenger seat and only stopped when she woke up and asked him what he was doing. I was wearing my JuniorROTC uniform that day and I was in highschool.

    But yeah. The outfits I just described are totally what strippers would wear at a strip club. LMFAO!

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    i just got back from the mall.

    in philly, slut dress is the order of the day. the ladies were in there showing it all off and this in winter. at the same time i observed NO cat calls. a few stares but that was it.

    i just do not see things the way that you do. sorry.

  • LemonNLime

    You are right. They are hard to open but I usually carry it with the blade out when needed (when I am walking back from the gym at night by myself).

    My game plan is to 1st. Mace the face then 2. Stab/slice OR pull a Pele and kick those balls until I get a goal.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    @Wong Chia Chi

    i apologize to you for the bad experiences you have had.

  • Wong Chia Chi

    @ JamesfrmPhilly

    i just do not see things the way that you do. sorry.

    I can see that. Why are you at this post then? Clearly you aren’t interested in the issue or what women have to say about. And it doesn’t affect you so…why are you here again?

  • bubbleyumgirl

    THANK YOU! Finally someone gets it!

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    ALL the issues that keep sisters and brothers apart interest me.
    ultimately we MUST learn to get along with one another. that is why i am here.

    in order to get along is it a REQUIREMENT that i see things the same way as you do? is that what you really want? should men and women be clones? is a male point of view intolerable to you?

    in any case, i seem to be drawing nothing but bad vibes so i will leave the thread.

    i do hope that you can live a peaceful life.

    peace

  • Come On

    @Whiteprivelegeterminated – She’s right. You are dumb. So because most women are assaulted by men they know, they have no right to be scared when some strange two hundred pound man invades their space. And because street harassment and stranger danger are not a problem, women should totally feel comfortable with strange men getting in their space? We’re just being a bunch of male hating feminists. It is very easy to dismiss most of the comments made on this thread by men like you. You all are on here telling women to teach you how to approach women because you don’t know. You’re on here talking about how women get what they deserve because they show too much skin even though woman after woman has said how they’ve been harassed in business attire and other modest clothing. You’re on here telling women that their experiences are not important because they make men look bad. And then you’re saying you need evidence of street harassment leading to actual assaults to believe that women should be scared of men approaching them and invading their space. Your daughter doesn’t have to be some black man hater to have these experiences. Do you think “black man lovers” dont have these experiences or do you just expect them to keep quiet? What would you say to her if this happened to her everyday? That she’s being paranoid? Strange men don’t hurt strange women so you shouldn’t be afraid? Would you tell her she’s overreacting and that she should stop making these men look bad? Would you tell her that she provoked it?

    Also I didn’t see anything in her comment wishing harm to your daughter. You’re being dramatic.

  • Kitty

    That’s such a load of bull and you know it. Every time you tell a man you’re a lesbian they come on harder hoping for a threesome…. and you NEVER HEAR THE END OF IT. it’s known as :”the misconception that your penis can change a woman’s mind”. I’m sure you’re no “fag” so we all know that a threesome is all you “real breeder men” EVER talk/fantasize about. You watch your porn with 2 chicks and a guy and pray that it be you someday. So please, stop you sad and pathetic lying. Just learn that if you don’t get a response it because YOUR ADVANCES ARE NOT WELCOMED SIR, GO AWAY!

  • Fantastico

    In street harassment they straight up ignore a woman’s lack of interest in them. Done.

  • Monica B.

    That’s just silly of you to say. I’ve lived in lots of different countries, and I actually experienced more catcalls and street harassment (including one man in France who followed me off the train, grabbed my arm, and tried to take me to a hotel with him) in Europe by non-black men. There’s nothing to be gained from simply writing off this behavior as unique to black me. How does that advance the conversation?

  • Fantastico

    Now that is a lie if I ever heard one.

  • Wong Chia Chi

    Good Riddance JamesfrmPhilly

  • The Moon in the Sky

    It’s not silly of her to say that. Most Black women and girls who are harassed are harassed by Black men.

  • Kevin

    Dear. Evette Dionne,

    I wanted to give you my prospective on your article. I submit to you that you did not do a sufficient job at demonstrating the concrete reasons why the data showed differences in the sexual interest of men and women; or at least represent it a little better. A flaw is this sample set is very narrow. It only looks at college men and women. The actual study information is not cited, so I’m not sure how significant the numbers are.What other factors did they examine? Age, disposition, etc.? The studies that were referenced seem to encapsulate an important point but not necessarily the one you eluded to. There appears to be a biological imperative in place that may influence a man’s interaction with a woman, but the how wasn’t really touched on. I wonder if there was anything about social cues in particular discussed in the research. It may be that some men viewed women as more as sexually interested in them because they misattributed certain social cues and vice versa. Body language, vocal cues, and visual cues play a huge role when interacting with people. We have to be a little careful will causation and correlation, but I do think that these misunderstandings may play a role in sexual harassment for men, women and etc. It is our job as rational adults to understand which social behaviors are acceptable for anyone in order to have a more productive human experience.

  • LemonNLime

    And the best way to get along is to discredit, insult, and attack?

    If you want to know why there are issues between men and women, go stare long and hard in the mirror.

    When you are interested is shutting up and listening rather than discrediting, then maybe I’ll believe what you say. But until then, you are just another jack-ass of a male, commenting on the women’s site, attempting to “teach” us about issues you can’t understand and frankly don’t care to.

    Thank God for men like Anthony who have good sense and are here and engage in thought provoking conversation.

  • Sylvie

    I jost want to start a slow clap for you Adiya and Wong Chia Chi. You both, through your real experiences (that sadly are not uncommon. I both empathize and sympathize) summed up the issue beautifully.

    That so called men spend all day on this site and read nothing is pathetic and just proves, once and for all, that some of them are just lonely trolls and hopefully we can start ignoring them as such.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Men using their car horns to harass women should never be considered as normal.

  • Kevin

    I really hope that you understand were I am coming from. Thank you again for your time and I look forward to your response Evette Dionne. Have a great day.

  • LMO85

    I want to say that I appreciate your ability to see women as human beings. I wish you could teach a class to your fellow brethren. To me, you sound like what some folks like to call a REAL genuine man.

  • LMO85

    Come on, you are too old and been coming on this site too long to try the slut-shaming angle. What a woman wears is her muthafukking prerogative and as previously stated, has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with harrassment. A real man knows how to control and respect himself, so he has no trouble respecting others–even in the midst of those women who APPEAR (in your opinion) not to respect themselves.

  • Mademoiselle

    I’m not going to try to get him fired. I’m going to use Anthony’s line and tell him he’s making me uncomfortable with the compliments. I would’ve done it today, but there was another security guard with him on my way out of the office, and I noticed he doesn’t go over board when other people are around. He just told me to have a good night and be safe. So I’m waiting for the next time he gives me one of his “stealing my heart” type of lines to use the advice.

  • Mademoiselle

    I saw this too and I thought it was creepy (especially the part where she looked like she might’ve had to move his hand off her butt). I felt bad for his daughter to have to stand there and watch.

  • Mademoiselle

    If that’s the case then I would hope he DEFINITELY gets fired. He’s not there to protect only the women that turn him on and allow him to ogle, and I shouldn’t have to pay for my safety with my comfort. You’re basically telling me my only options are to be uncomfortable or be unsafe, and that I should pick the lesser evil. None of the other security guards give me problems, so if this man makes me feel worse after speaking to him, I’ll definitely escalate my complaint to his supervisor. There’s a big difference between me not saying anything because he comes off as just a chatty old flirt who’s otherwise nice to me and me not saying anything because I’m scared he won’t do his job if I stand up for myself. I’m not his property, so he has no rights here.

  • Anthony

    LemonNLime, check out the knife carry laws in your jurisdiction or jurisdictions where you regularly travel. Since you have chosen to carry a knife for self defense, get one with a locking blade or a fixed blade that is of legal size. Finally, you should seek out training because if you do not know how to use it, it might be taken from you. Once again, remember the bar for self defense tends to be fairly high, especially when blacks claim that right.

  • Anthony

    Honestly, are you suggesting that Jaime Foxx couldn’t discreetly get in contact with Kelly Rowland to see if she would like to get with him? They both have agents who make contacts for a living.

  • PhillyGirl12

    Ladies and gentleman…please, please, please do not argue with fools.

  • YouHave2Wonder

    Thank you. Well stated.

    Funny how we don’t know each other but your responses are pretty darn accurate to what I would suggest.

    I guess that goes to show how often and similarly men hoot and holler at women.

  • PBR

    It may not always work, but I find success with being proactive. If I see a guy who looks like he wants to “holla” I’ll look him right in the face with a very serious expression and nod in his direction. They usually get the point that I’m respectfully declining any thought he had of trying to start a conversation. You shouldn’t have to walk around feeling like a victim all the time.

    And if I’m interested in a guy, I’ll smile.

  • Wong Chia Chi

    You completely missed the point. But I don’t expect much from you at this stage.

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