Post # 1
- Wedding: September 2012 - Mother of the Bride's residence
I walk, a lot, around town. I walk to and from work, and I walk to a lot of my assignments, because my town is really small and Mr. D and I share a vehicle. There’s a lot of vagrancy issues in my town but for the most part, I feel safe.
Today I was walking along the main street and saw that I’d have to walk past a pretty big group of younger guys, all of whom were physically large, with another group of large younger guys coming across the street to join them. I had to basically walk between the two groups, and I kind of got the feeling it wasn’t going to go well.
As soon as they noticed me, one of the guys squared off, stepped out and started doing the heeeeeey, girl thing, like half a foot away from me, really loudly, with all the other dudes laughing. I had headphones in and sunglasses on and I just kept walking fast past them, but the ringleader kept heckling me, loudly, to the point that a guy walking in front of me turned around to see what was up.
I was only about a minute from work so I knew I’d be at a safe place soon, there was a safe-looking person ahead of me who was paying attention, and the guys didn’t try to follow me or anything beyond calling after me, but I still feel shaken up — this is the most unsafe I’ve really felt since moving here and it happened in broad daylight.
So, my question is, do I just ignore stuff like this? Do I say something back to them (which was my strategy in university when I had a bit more chutzpah)? I ignore most of the people who try to bug me on the street, but I feel like if I ignore leering jerks I’m giving them power over me… but they were physically scary and I don’t really want to engage with people I’m afraid of.
Post # 3
It probably wouldn’t hurt to carry some pepper spray just in case you come across a weirdo.
Definitely do not say anything to them.
Post # 4
I would ignore it. If you react, it might provoke them to be more annoying or worrisome. If they get to close too you or start following you a significant distance, I would go into a building full of people (like a cafe or something), but as long as they keep a good distance away, I would just roll my eyes under my sunglasses and keep walking.
Post # 5
I would say don’t say anything, it could put you in a dangerous situation and might make things worse. You don’t want them to follow you to work and wait for you to get off or anything super creepy like that.
On the other hand, my girl friend was on the metro (crowded area) when some guy started catcalling her and she turned around and said something like, Oh my gosh yes, would you like to go out on a date? I love steak and lobster and would love to have a free meal. Shut him up real fast before she escaped on a train. Sometimes I just give them the glare of death, but mostly I just roll my eyes so that I don’t provoke anyone. Makes me furious that I can’t do anything, but it the end it’s usually not worth it.
Post # 6
@GroovyHippieChick: +1 I have pepper spray on my key ring.
I can’t even walk from the building to my car when I’m leaving work without being honked at or whistled at, but I don’t have to deal with anything as bad as you do!
Post # 7
I’m sorry that you found yourself in such an uncomfortable situation. In cases like that I think the safest thing is what you chose to do, which is ignore them. I guess it’s somewhat flattering, but you also never know how a group will react.
Darling Husband recently got me can of pepper spray to keep in my pocket for when I’m coming home late. Our neighborhood isn’t dangerous, but there are some questionable characters walking around sometimes. I’ve also taken a couple self-defense courses at his insistence just in case something ever happened.
IMO you’re only giving them power if you acknowledge them – being ignored by a pretty girl is enough to bruise any guy’s ego.
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2012 - Mother of the Bride's residence
Yeah, it’s definitely a safety concern — especially with such a large group. I’d rather be alive and in good shape and silently fuming than the alternative…
@CaliHoya: One of my friends in university ALWAYS yelled something back when dudes catcalled her from car windows! I feel a lot better about flipping someone the bird or yelling back if they’re in a car and they’re driving away, but something about how close this guy got gave me the chills. Bleh.
Post # 9
just ignore them. it’s probably the safest thing to do. luckily you were near work. if you feel like that again and not near home or work, i would suggest walking into the closest store or cafe or something. even an office building lobby if that’s what’s around.
i don’t know why guys think this action is appealing to woman. i’m glad you’re ok.
Post # 10
I ignore shout-outs from passing cars (yeah I cannot believe this actually happens either). If it’s someone on the street or a couple of guys (never dealt with a large group thing) that make a random comment, I ignore it. If they say hi, I say hello back but I keep it pretty short/cold. I don’t try to invite conversation but I don’t ignore a person who says hi to me on the street either.
I’m actually relieved when I get “Hi, you’re <adjective for attractive> do you have a boyfriend?” because I’ll say, “Thank you but actually I’m married” and that ends that haha.
Post # 11
I would definitely not say anything, but don’t ignore your gut feeling either… I would start carrying pepper spray and try to take a different route (walk on the other side of the street?) if at all possible. And honestly if I felt that shaken up about it I would carry an umbrella or something with me, inconspicuous but it’s something you COULD use for self defense if you needed it. Or maybe get a walking buddy? And you could try talking on your cell phone, to an actual person as well, that might help deter them from escalating.
Worst case scenario, if it becomes a regular thing from these guys, call the cops. There has to be a law protecting you from that kind of behavior… or at the very least it’s a public nuisance!
Post # 12
I never give into people yelling, cussing, or trying to get my attention. I’m too chicken for it and fear that my giving in will only make it worse. I’ll never forget when my mom’s ex-bf got out his car one day to fight another guy in a car because of something that happened. As for your situation, I would definitely carry pepper spray and be ready to take action if needed.
Post # 13
In college one time someone yelled slut at me out there window (car full of college kids). I proceeded to catch up to the car (it’s a walking city with lots of stop lights) and slammed my fist against their window and started cussing at them. When they drove off and my adreneline died I realized how absolutely stupid that was. My point being even though you want to tell jerks to stop it isn’t a good idea.
Post # 14
I usually smile and say thanks! Or if some guy is hanging out of his car yelling, I wae back. I don’t know why. Of course if I felt physically threatened that would be different. My little town is pretty low key and safe though.
Post # 15
I used to yell in college or flip the bird, but now I just ignore. My blood boils less.
Post # 16
@msdragon: I’m more of a flight than fight person myself. Self-preservation and that whole thing.