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So I recently buzzed my hair. All of my friends have been really supportive of my decision. I haven’t actually experienced any problems because of it before last night. I went out to liquor pitches at Lucky’s to meet some friends who were already there. After stepping into the crowd, almost immediately a girl I’ve never met before walks up to me and puts her hand on my head, while saying, “Oh my god, can I touch your hair?” I pulled away and said, “No” and kept pushing into the crowd looking for my friends.
I stopped in the middle of the crowd to look around, and I suddenly felt a large hand on the back of my head and I whirl around. Imagine the following conversation talking place by yelling, because it’s super loud and crowded in Lucky’s. There’s a bro-ish looking guy there who looks dumbfounded at me and goes, “Your hair is so short.” I am notoriously bad at dealing with people in these situations, so I blurted out, “Fuck off.” He looks taken aback and goes, “Woah, you don’t have to be a bitch about it. I was just gonna tell you that you still look hot.” I’m really mad, so I just say, “It’s so rude to touch people without asking them. And I don’t care how you think I look.”
Fortunately I spotted my friends while talking to him, and as soon as I got over to them, they were also talking about leaving because there were too many people. We left pretty quickly, and I did tell my friends that people touched my head without asking, but I’m weirdly embarrassed about giving them further details. It just felt so uncomfortable.
I take for granted how wonderful my friends are, because they always ask before they touch my hair, or even hold my hand or something. But two people in close proximity touching my hair without asking felt so gross, especially because the guy felt the need to reassure me he still found me attractive.
Thank god drunk bros in Lucky’s find me attractive with buzzed hair, that was definitely a concern of mine
First time at Lucky’s: It was alright, I like to get my groove on when I’m feeling well enough. Well, this guy I had consensual sex with once, then he date raped and hit me a time after the initial consensual sex was there, very close in my gf’s space, and I give her “THE EYES,” you know, like “AVOID AVOID!” So the guy sees me and comes up to me and asks if he knew me. I, of course, tell him that yes he does, and to stay THE FUCK away from me. Of course, this guy won’t let up. i eventually tell him.. he says he “is so confused” and “just doesn’t know what is happening” he continues to bother my friend and I. I tell him to GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME. I move to another area of the bar. He follows me, “still confused.” I tell him if he doesn’t leave us alone, I will get a bouncer, which I end up having to do. I explain the situation to the bouncer, guy gets questioned. Guy denies. Guys girlfriend (who he cheated on when the occurrence happened- I did not know and would not betray my fellow womyn like that) denies anything.
The bouncer misheard and thought he had hit me that night. I tell him no, he did not, but he is harassing me (I’m in tears at this point) and to please get the guy to leave. Bouncer of course refuses, I tell him he is encouraging rape culture and violence in our town and that the establishment is disgusting, he tells the guy to “move to the other side of the bar.” the guy lingers at the jukebox for the rest of the time so I can’t go to the bathroom, or get another drink without passing him. My other gf offers to throw her pitcher at him, a guy friend offers to beat him up. I refused the violence because that isn’t how this should be solved, I refused the pitcher throwing because I didn’t want to get kicked out… Lesson of day: let your girlfriends throw pitchers at shitty rapists, who cares if you get kicked out of Lucky’s. Have not and will not return.
This happened a few days ago. I was on the road with my band, traveling from last our show in Pittsburg to our next show in Columbus. We stopped for gas somewhere between Wheeling and Zanesville. When we pulled in, the area seemed pretty deserted, except for one guy at one of the four pumps. He eyed our Subaru Forester packed to the gills with three women and all of our music equipment as we pulled in. I was braving a skin tight mini dress for the first time in my life, but this guy looked like trouble, so I threw on a baggy t-shirt over it before I got out of the car, as if it would somehow protect me from his eyes. It wasn’t enough. As I crossed the smelly concrete into the station, he blatantly stared at my behind. He started to open his mouth as if he were about to say something to me. I made the meanest face I could muster at him, shook my head no, and kept walking. I didn’t need to Hollaback! He seemed to get the message. He looked away embarrassed and left quickly. The thing that sticks out to me the most about this exchange is how regular of an occurrence things like this are that I swiftly and instinctually covered myself without even thinking about it, and that I didn’t even mention it to my band mates.
Thursday evening I went up to the Union to hear some music. I noticed this guy eyeing me multiple times throughout the night. I was headed toward the water jug from the door, and he was toward the stairs. He reached his arm around me and tickled my ribs as I walked past. I was startled and instantly felt sick to my stomach. I didn’t think fast enough to slap him or head butt him, as everyone suggested I should have done. I DID follow him down stairs and out the door and promptly asked a friend who he was (he had just bummed a cigarette off my pal). My friend didn’t know and another friend over heard me frantically inquiring about the guy. This friend pointed at him and said “Are you asking about this creep? I don’t know who the hell he is, but he was creeping on another friend earlier”. The guy was standing in the circle of my peers and at this point out and comment, split. I didn’t see him for the rest of the night.
I was really stoked to see my friend speak up and call the dude out so directly!
Catcalling: One way to set me off and put me in a pissy mood for the entire day. As I walk towards the entrance of the gas station, I am confronted by two men screaming and trying to get my attention with whatever asinine sentence fragments they could possibly muster together and use.
“Hey, sexy! You gon’ buy me lunch?”
Me: “No. F*#k off.”
“That’s not nice. You’re fiery! I’d buy you lunch, baby. I’d buy you lunch and dinner and dessert.”
Me: “That’s nice. It’s best that you save your money for someone who gives a shit.”
I thought I made it safely inside without further interruptions or awkward confrontations and I find that I was sadly mistaken. I’m stopped by another man, who appeared to be in his late 40′s early 50′s. He said, “I just want to give you a compliment. Me and the fellas outside saw you pull up and I said, ‘By the looks of her haircut — how it’s cut short and swoops like that, I know she gotz a bangin’ body! So we took a bet on it. And sur’ nuff you do!”
I looked at him in complete and utter disgust, “That’s not a compliment, that is sexual harassment and a sign of your utter lack of intelligence and respect. You are f*#king disgusting.” I walked away to pay for the gas.
The two men outside were still preying like vultures, and as they had seen me walk away from the counter, they started banging on the glass and yelling to get my attention. I did not feel comfortable. All I wanted to do was to get home and unload the groceries out of the car and relax. I wasn’t in the mood for confrontation or even wanting to respond to these idiots.
I step outside and head to the car — to two men outside keep running their mouths, “You didn’t buy anything! You stole that! Look at that giant roast beef! I’d like to bite into that!” (I guess they were referring to my ass?)
I turned, gave them the bird, slid into the car, turned on the song “Trainwreck 1979″ by Death from Above 1979 and turned the sound up as loud as I could. I sped the off.
Sitting here and thinking about this situation, catcalling is not like sexual harassment. I responded incorrectly. No, sexual harassment occurs in the privacy of an office or workplace. Catcalls, by and large, come from strangers and they happen in public places, in front of an audience of regular passers by. The reason why ignorant, low-life, pieces of shit males commit to the act of catcalling is because it not only lends them to anonymity to the caller, but also makes it easy to keep the interaction fleeting. When done in groups, if it turns out the woman doesn’t fall for the bullshit and walks away, there’s something to have a dialogue about afterwards.
If you’re being sexually harassed at your job, you know exactly where the harassment is coming from and you have the option to ask them to stop or report them if they don’t. Unfortunately, there’s a very slim chance that the complaint will even be taken seriously.
With catcalls, you’re not given the same opportunity to air your grievances in a way to shame them as much as they have publically shamed you. With women on a mission to complete a simple task of purchasing an item or running an errand; walking to or from a place of that which is important to them; spending a day at the park — or taking a light stroll around the block, it’s not on the forefront of our minds to want to be verbally combative to protect ourselves. It’s disgusting behavior! And there are two options for women in catcalling situations:
1. If you acknowledge your catcaller by speaking to them or engaging them in any way, you’re egging them on and inviting them to continue talking to you and offending you.
2. If you acknowledge them with eye contact, no matter how brief, even if no words accompany it, it can be seen as condoning and encouraging.
For me, being an outspoken woman, catcalls still engender a forced passivity that leaves me with no effective means of counteraction except to fix my eyes on the ground and ignore the caller until I leave, or they leave me alone.
I walked away today feeling frustrated and silenced. No matter what, it’s a lose-lose situation no matter which way you slice it. Women who face catcalling behavior, realize there’s nothing that they can do. There’s no correcting this wrong that’s been done to us — just as we’ve been socialized to do. Unfortunately, women start analyzing themselves and try to figure out what it is that *they’ve* done wrong to attract this unwanted attention, so that they can alter their appearance or behavior to prevent it from happening again.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have left the house with make-up on?”
“Maybe I should have worn my pajamas out today?”
“Maybe I should start wearing my old baggy jeans that no longer fit me anymore?”
“Maybe I should just stop wearing dresses?”
“Maybe I shouldn’t go to that particular (insert place) anymore?”
This is not a humblebrag…..this is an embarrassing and maddening reality for women. We have been socially molded and manipulated to believe that WE have to do whatever is necessary to avoid being catcalled at, groped, sexually assaulted, etc. Instead of MEN being taught to stop catcalling, groping, and sexually assaulting.
It’s upsetting that women are made to feel ‘guilty’ or (GASP!) ‘ungrateful’ for not accepting the catcalls as compliments! How dare we! That (those) guys took a considerable amount of time, needed a lot of guts and bravery to shout those vulgar, sexually-pervasive epithets our way. Thank you! No….no…f*#k you! I think I can safely assert that most women (#yesallwomen) don’t feel all warm and cozy inside when they’re being catcalled. I don’t come home and say to myself: “OH MY GOSH! I have to tell my girlfriends, call mom and dad and tell them about this great experience that happened to me today where a man said he wanted to “Bite down on my ass because it’s plump like a roast beef.” No. It feels more akin to how zoo animals feel when they let humans observe, make stupid noises at them, and tap their nasty hands on the glass to try to get their attention — or to encourage them to do something interesting. ##It’s not a “Humancall,” as it is referred to as a “Catcall” for a reason: when you’re catcalled, there’s no consideration of you as a human being. There’s no acknowledgement of you as being someone’s sibling, or daughter — or mother. There’s no acknowledgement of, or consideration of your humanity. You’re being appraised as an object….a body without a person inside of it.
I swear I just saw some sort of domestic violence related high speed chase. I was driving along 681 near Albany behind a smallish, silver SUV that was traveling at a pretty reasonable pace when a small sports car came speeding up behind me and whipped around my car in order to wedge itself into the small space between me and the silver SUV. The sports car almost got into a head on collision with someone coming from the other way around the blind curve that was just in front of us. The SUV pulled over into the nearest driveway. I saw a young looking woman driver roll her window down, throw her hands up, and scream, “What the F*#K is your problem!” It was clear that she knew the guy. He parked his car on the side of the road, got out, and started stomping toward her. I was very afraid for her and tried to think quickly about what I could do to help. I pulled over up ahead of them a bit to try to make it clear to the guy that someone was watching. I scrambled around in my car looking for a pen to write down his licence plate number but didn’t find one. I thought about getting out of the car, walking up to them, asking the girl if she was okay, and calling 911 if I needed to. My dad had told me that even if you don’t have cell phone reception, you can still get through to 911, but I didn’t understand how that could be possible, and I didn’t think this was a good time to test that theory. I found some mace and started to open my car door, but they both were pulling out of the driveway, traveling in the opposite way that we had just been traveling. I still hadn’t gotten the guy’s licence plate or anything, so I tried to follow them for a minute to see if I could get it and still call 911 from someone’s house or something, but they were traveling too fast, and I lost them. These were probably all dangerous ideas that maybe I shouldn’t have done, but I was just really fearing for this girl and wanted to help. I left the situation feeling powerless and depressed. I just hope she drove somewhere where there were other people around.
How do you respond to harassment when it seems that the harasser has a mental illness or cognitive disability of some kind? I was just on my way into the laundromat with an arm load of laundry. There was a guy sitting on a bench a couple of stoops down. He called out to me, but I couldn’t quite tell what he was saying. I made eye contact and gave him the same nod and half-hearted/half-guarded smile that I give to every male stranger as well as every acquaintance that I don’t care to speak to. I continued on into the laudromat, and as I turned my back to him in order to enter the building, he called out to me again. Again, I couldn’t quite tell what he was saying, and I just continued into the building. When our eyes met, he seemed benevolent, so I wasn’t anxious about him. I put my laundry in the wash, and then walked out to go do errands. He called out to me again as I was crossing the street, and I noticed that he had some sort of make-shift cast/brace on one of his feet. The laundromat is in the same block with the place you go to get disability money if you are a veteran. Again, I couldn’t tell what he said. I put my hand up, more in a stop sign than a waving sign, and just said hello loudly and nodded as I got into my car. I understand this may have been mixed signals. Then as I drove passed him, he made a disapproving/mischievous face and waved me to come over to him. This is when I started to feel harassed. I suppose people with disabilities and mental illness need to learn that harassing strangers is not okay just like everyone else does and that assertive communication is still a fine route to take. I just feel like a bit more of a jerk for not giving more slack to people who have a bit harder time in life, and I’m interested to hear what other folks think. I decided that if he called out to me again when I went back to get my laundry, I would walk toward him and ask him what he wanted, then make some statement about how continuing to call out to strangers when they’re clearly not interested in speaking to you is harassment and not okay. When I went back, he had moved a block or so down the street and didn’t call out to me. I didn’t go to talk to him, but maybe I should have.
Double whammy! I walked to the Y (Cincinnati) yesterday morning for my workout. On the way I passed the laundromat on Sherman and Allison, and a man stepped out the door and mouthed “wow!” as I walked by. On my way back, two men stood outside the same laundromat talking. One of them stared me down as I walked past while still talking to his buddy. Honestly, the staring was way creepier. I’m just trying to get to my workout!