The opposite end of traditional “street harassment”: the girl who never gets cat called
In feminist spaces I see a lot of feminists complain about being street harassed. I read about it and I totally sympathize with their experiences, even though I have never experienced them myself. I am a female myself but am not conventionally attractive. I am not hideous but more or less a plain jane. On top of that I have ALWAYS valued comfort over style, so dressing feminine isn’t something I do on a regular basis. I wear a lot of loose jeans and T-shirts. But yeah, anyway, know that I am not trying to play “who has it harder” or anything but rather I am making this to share my experiences of getting the opposite end of the shit-covered stick that is street harassment that I don’t see being mentioned. I call it street dismissal.
When I say street dismissal I am talking about men who feel the need to subtly announce that unattractive women are not worthy of respect or acknowledgement because they are not a conventionally attractive female or their fellow man.
Some examples I’ve personally experienced include:
- Many guys at parties will arrive or leave, give all the men handshakes, give the attractive women hugs, but won’t even make eye contact with me. I am not a guy or a hot girl so I don’t exist.
- I’ve been bumped into in public without an apology by men. I am not an attractive girl or your fellow man, so it makes sense for you to not even notice I am there.
- One time I was walking behind a group of attractive women. A guy spotted us. Opened the door for the three women and shut the door in my face. I am not worthy of his time because I am not attractive.
- I once was charged a cover on ladies night because I went out to the bar in my work uniform. (red shirt khaki pants)
- Another time at a bar, I saw an open space to order a drink. The guy sitting next to me saw me, raised his eyebrows and turned the other way to make sure I don’t DARE try to talk to him. (Because I totally went there to hit on him and NOT get a drink right?)
- I once went with my gay male friend to a straight guy’s house he knew. The first thing out of the straight guy’s mouth was “I was totally excited when you had a chick with you. Nevermind!” The whole night he offered my friend drinks and didn’t offer me a thing and seemed frustrated when I asked where the bathroom was. The only other thing he said that night was “Do you have any hot single friends that would come over here?”
- Another time I went with a female friend of mine to get drinks. We met up with her guy friend. He ordered a round of beers for everyone except me. His excuse was “he didn’t know she was going to bring someone along and he is low on money” that was until his guy friend from high school showed up unexpectedly and he quickly bought him a drink.
These are just examples that have happened to me. So my question is are there any other “unattractive” girls out there that experience things similar to this?
I just wanted to speak from the other perspective. We always hear the horror stories of sexism from the perspective of the women who are objectified by men in the sense of “oo I want that.” and not too many in the sense of “oo, ew DO NOT WANT.”
This may seem like a big long rant that looks like “WAH PRETTY GIRLS GET THINGS AND I DON’T OH MY LIFE SUCKS” but I don’t mean to come off that way. Because I feel the need to mention that guys don’t do this just to get laid. This is where it’s important to bring up the fact that we are treated with less respect than other men. Men aren’t decent people to other men because they want to fuck them. They are decent to them because they see them as equals that deserve basic respect and acknowledgement. But we are women and to these men either you try to fuck them because they are hot or want them to go away. An unattractive woman has no purpose to him.
Misogyny affects all women negatively.
When I saw the first line I thought this post was going to be a boohooing tale about someone who desperately wanted to get harassed by men for hotness validation, but it was nothing of the sort. This is important and we should definitely see this brought up more in conversations regarding men’s general attitudes toward and interactions with women.
I hear stories like this mostly from big women or women who used to be a lot bigger than they are now. A woman told me she was once straight up punched in the face, after the guy told her she was disgusting and fat, and he just walked on and laughed. And the saddest part is that she told me, a lot of women harrassed her as well :(
OP is right, women are not left alone or “ignored” just because men dont find them attractive. And as the OP says, ignoring someone can be done in a rude and aggressive way.
And some people get both.
I’m a super fat women and I both get harassed/streetcalled/rubbed up on in public, but I also get completely ignored.
One time super late at night I was on the train and a complete stranger, a man, came up to me and started screaming at me and demanding money. I was reading a book and he got in my face and physically slapped it out of my hands and onto the floor, yelling and threatening me and demanding money and calling me names/insulting me. I loudly stated that I didn’t know him and asked him to leave me alone. Nobody in the train car reacted. The only other woman there stared stonily ahead (I don’t blame her at all). Finally, a tall guy stood up and walked toward me… to sit next to the (slender, conventionally attractive woman) putting his body between her and the screaming guy assaulting me. Nobody addressed the screaming man threatening me. Nobody pushed the brightly lit blue call button to notify the conductor. I didn’t matter. The other (thinner, more conventionally attractive) woman who was (not yet) in the line of fire mattered more than I did.
I wound up scrambling off the train just before the doors closed at the next stop, even though it wasn’t my stop and I knew there’d be a 20+ minute wait for the next train. I really hoped the guy wouldn’t be able to follow me out. Part of the reason I didn’t stay on until my stop (which was the next one after) was because I didn’t want him to disembark with me and follow me home… something that’s happened before.
There are a lot of different ways to harass women. Both responding aggressively to their femininity/perceived sexual availability and also denying it, devaluing them because they aren’t feminine enough. Both are harmful. Both just… chip away at the person, at the soul, at the worth of someone. It’s a constant slow eroding drip wearing us down.
Yes to all this. I’ve been sexually harassed, fat shamed and invisible depending on how someone decides how valuable I am to them. It cuts at you.
I think I’ve already reblogged this but I don’t care. It’s so important. It’s SO important. In our society, you either exist as an object to be fucked or you’re ignored or greeted with anger if you’re not deemed fuckable enough. And it’s perverse and disgusting and I am so tired of hearing these stories from women. We are more. Whether we’re thin or fat, conventionally attractive or plain, no matter what color we are, we deserve respect and we aren’t getting it, (and many times WOC get it worse than white women, which I think it’s important to remember) and it makes me so tired and so sad.
This needs to be spread. The worst I’ve been harassed is also the most difficult to understand: I was not even a block away from my workplace walking at 8am in the frigid Midwest in a long, black puffy coat with black tights and boots and a man in a car driving opens his window to yell “NICE PUSSY.” I only caught the tail end so I pretended it didn’t happen until he purposefully made a u-turn to pass by me to scream it AGAIN. Thankfully he didn’t stop to continue but seriously, he couldn’t see anything (certainly not my vagina) and I was still nothing but an object. I’ve taken to wearing my headphones walking back and forth from work (no more than a few blocks). Harassment in all forms is degrading and makes one feel like their personal safety is compromised. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories
Agreed on all counts. The dismissal, ignoring, blatant rudeness, and hostility toward the unattractive women is as bad a sign of blatant misogyny as the other end of the spectrum.
I’m one of those ‘sturdily built’ girls who’d’ve died in my early forties after pumping out 12 kids, carrying the mule home from the back 40 after finishing the plowing, back in the ‘ancient times’ (heh), but since I live in the modern world and don’t have to work my fingers to the bone every day, I’m a bit heavier than ‘average’, no matter how much I diet or exercise, no matter how flexible or healthy I actually am. It’s just my genetics. I’ve always been, at least, plush, with an unhappy trend towards actually becoming fat now as age creeps up on me, but I’m not some hideous bridge-troll, nor do I ignore hygiene or dress wildly inappropriately as a rule.
Still, as an example, I regularly see the male employees at the grocery store politely offer to carry the groceries of the conventionally attractive young woman in front of me, or the frail-looking older lady, or the athletic-looking woman who clearly doesn’t need help with her single bag of groceries, but when it’s my turn? These helpful guys don’t say a word to me, with my four bags of groceries and case of bottled water. The male clerks at the shoe stores, electronic stores, and etcetera other types of businesses will also generally ignore me unless I ask them for help. In fact, more than once I’ve had them actually excuse themselves - promising to be right back - and go to help a new, female, conventionally attractive customer. Rarely coming back to me unless I make a point of catching their eyes after they’ve helped that other woman, or going to them and asking for help again. Casual dismissal, subtle signs that I’m not considered worth their time, not even when it’s their JOB to assist me.
This is the other side of the cat-calls, the inappropriate touching or presumptuous behaviors, this is me being told I’m not even considered a human to them. Now, there are exceptions, some males in various businesses who are cheerful and helpful and kind, but they’re not the greater percentage in my experience. And, to answer anyone’s supposition, I’m ALWAYS cheerful, always polite, and I try to be a good customer and a decent human being. (I also tip well, because I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the exchange of goods or services.)
Sorry for the long-windedness, but this is why these issues need to be brought out into the open. It’s as wrong to treat women this way as it is to harass and abuse. We’re all humans, whatever gender or appearance, and ought to treat each other as such.
This guys. Yes. This right here. The little shit statements such as these still matter a whole damn lot.
|—||What I usually hear when people who aren’t really into American comics talk about American comics. (via kevinbolk)|
Hm, not sure if the Catholic men on the Supreme Court saw this one coming. But you know, unintended consequences and all. In a statement, the Satanic Temple said that it will use the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision to exempt its believers from state-mandated informed consent laws that require women considering abortions to read pro-life material.
So, yeah, HOLY SHIT, we won BEST NEW SERIES at the Eisner Awards Friday night. The Eisner committee had to engrave the words “SEX CRIMINALS” on two of their trophies. I have hidden it in my home for when they realize what they’ve done and come to take it away from me.
It was a fantastic, nerve-wracking night, and jeez louise ain’t Matt Fraction the best? If it weren’t for him and his brilliant brain I’d be doodling dicks on cocktail napkins for spare change. I love that guy and can’t stress enough how great it’s been to work on this with him. He’s a great collaborator and a great friend and NO, YOU have something in your eye.
Oh, and issue seven is at the printers, printing away. No ads, all story and giant letters column. COMICS WOOOO
Jeph Loeb (via jennieconvertible)
The difference here being that Grant Ward CHOSE to do them.
Worst of all — this dude is one of the execs for Agents of SHIELD, and this sounds like a prelude to a fucking redemption arc. Now I fully expect the next season to be a shitfest. Just… how can you misinterpret your characters this badly?
#friends don’t let friends write redemption arcs for grant ward
bucky was literally a prisoner of war who was experimented on and tortured until he was unable to fight back against any orders and the minute someone showed up who started treating him like a person again, he started to revert back to his humanity and fight against his programming
ward is a grown-ass man who was treated as a person by the people on his team clearly presented with opportunities by them to make the right choices and refused to make the right choices every time
fuck grant ward
y’all are surprised??? this is how he publicly promotes himself.
Creators often astound me. Sometimes with their insight, sometimes with their lack of it. How did you get this job, who is letting you have this responsibility and make these decisions? (via stonelionhearts)
Show me definite proof that Grant Ward had been kidnapped, mutilated, tortured, mind-wiped, brain-washed to an empty shell who will only do as he is ordered, no matter much the task is against his principles and life experiences, and has been for decades been treated as no more human than a object. Show we that, and I would root for Grant Ward too.
I remember the first time I read that article, shortly after I’d made my own feelings on Ward abundantly clear, and my immediate reaction was Jeph, NO. I sincerely hope he reexamines this statement and sees where he is completely failing to understand James Buchanan Barnes and the difference between what was done to him and what happened to Ward. This is such a genuinely disappointing quote, and I am certain if Sebastian Stan saw it, he would make that face he does when people call Winter Soldier a villain. I have hope for season two of Agents of SHIELD, and I genuinely enjoy the show, but I am so not here for a Ward redemption unless it takes place over years of making choices that are not scummy and grossly selfish. And even then? STILL NOT REALLY HERE FOR IT, SORRY. *PUSHES DOWN WARD FOR A BETTER VIEW OF TRIPP*
Gwendoline Christie and Rory McCann at SDCC 2014 x
Toronto-based editor Lyndsay Kirkham has started a firestorm this week after overhearing what was apparently an incredibly sexist conversation between IBM executives at lunch — and live-tweeting it.
Unaware that they were transmitting sexist nonsense to cyberspace, the IBM executives openly discussed “why they don’t hire women.” If you take Kirkham’s account at its word, it actually gets way worse.
North Koreans are so crazy about their dear leader, I bet they would even carve their heads on a Mountain they stole from indigenous people