Post # 1
I have kind of an odd question I think. I know I’ve experienced sexism in various ways (though not much in my career since I’m a teacher and we’re majority female) however, I don’t feel that I’ve been the recepient of as much physical sexual aggression/intimidation as a number of women I know/have read experiences online. It really hit me when I was walking with a friend (5’4″) late at night who was completely on guard as we were walking, ready to “take someone down” if anyone tried anything with us.
I just…am not on guard like that. I’m not scared or intimidated physically, hardly ever. And it isn’t that I’m strong or in good shape, I’m actually living with chronic pain and don’t feel well a lot. I think it’s just because I’m tall. I’m 5’10”, close to 6′ in most of my shoes, so I’m rarely shorter than men. I am probably not viewed as an easy target for strangers to approach because of my height (and size, I’m not skinny either, though I’m not huge, but I’m solid). I teach high school and never feel intimidated by students, though some of my coworkers say they are.
I also know a woman who says she is often “picked up against her will” by men she has been on dates with/knows. She’s 5’1″. I was so offended on her behalf when I found that out! It would never even occur to me that a man might do that to a woman because…who on earth would do that to me? No one, because they can’t, of course.
So I’m curious to hear your experiences and height. Shorter women–do you feel that being small causes you to be more of a target of unwanted behavior? Tall women–do you feel insulated from that somewhat? (And I’m not talking about just unwanted flirting, I really mean physical aggression/threatening behavior. I’ve been flirted with inappropriately and had unwanted attention, but never felt intimidated or threatened by them)
Post # 2
Height has nothing to do with it imo. A vagina and marginal attractiveness do. I’m on guard and ready to fight but that’s because I watch a lot of horror and read a lot of shit that makes me paranoid.
Post # 3
I’m 5’11” and still feel like I am on guard around men most of the time. Maybe it’s due to the fact that men have been aggressive toward me from a young age — I always looked older than I was, and had some disgusting things said/done to me by men as an adolescent because of it. I also have a history of domestic violence. I have a general distrust of men I don’t know and their intentions.
Post # 4
I’m 6ft and I totally get what you mean. I don’t often feel threatened or intimidated. At work I wear 4 inch heels so I’m often the tallest in the room.
I don’t get hit on nearly as much as my short friends. I do get me try it on to get some kind of novelty value.
Post # 5
I’m 5’5, don’t consider myself tall and am pretty low on the paranoid/ready to fight someone scale. However, there is always “software running in the background” that reminds me that most men could probably overpower me if they wanted to and I don’t associate that with their height. Take that for what it’s worth.
Post # 6
I am 5 foot and 100 pounds and I am more “on guard” than my taller/bigger friends from what I have observed. I have thought about what you just mentioned and I agree that my size does heighten my paranoid side when in potentially dangerous situations
Post # 7
I am on the taller side, 5’8″ without shoes, with closer to 5’10” or so (I like chunky heeled shoes and boots). When I was in high school, I felt like guys avoided me because I was on the taller side, and I actually was taller than a lot of guys that hadn’t yet reach their peak height. I also played competitive softball so I always had an athletic build and was strong. I felt like my more petite friends always had guys flocking to them. I asked one of my guy friends once what I was doing wrong and he said nothing, that guys are just intimidated of me.
Once I got to college I noticed when I’d go out with my friends that again, the more petite ones got the attention, but at that age I realized it wasn’t always in a good way. I felt like guys (not all of course) felt like because they were more petite, that they’d be “easier”. I was kind of the mom of my friend group and felt like I had to watch out for them.
However I don’t always think height has everything to do with it. My mom and sister are both only around 5’3″ and they both put on an air of don’t mess with me. They’re very confident and it shows.
Post # 8
I am 5’8″ and always the tallest of my friends (bar one that I met in my 20s!), and I definitely get what you’re saying. I think generally people pick targets smaller/weaker than them, and a more petite person is definitely going to look like an easier target (even though I am the weakest clumsiest person lol). Not to say that larger/taller people never get attacked, of course that’s false.
Post # 9
I don’t think it’s about height at all. I’m very short (5’0) and I’ve experienced very little sexual aggression/harassment. And I’ve never once been picked up by anyone in my life (I mean I guess apart from when I was under 5 years old).
Im on guard a lot but that’s probably because I listen to true crime podcasts all day.
Post # 10
Hmm I’m 5″1 but I wouldn’t say I was constantly on guard, nor do I think being small makes me more of a target.
Post # 11
I am tall and I haven’t experienced the “insulated” feeling you mentioned at all. I’m on guard most of the time, especially with previously having lived alone in some high-crime areas. I’ve had men (many of whom were shorter than me) try to follow me into my building, grab my arm, and otherwise behave aggressively toward me. I don’t think height has much to do with it.
Post # 12
I’m 5’2″ and I am absolutely on guard for physical violence, having been assaulted in the past.
Post # 13
How on guard I am depends more on the situation for me. I wouldn’t necessarily say I was on guard all the time. I work with men frequently and usually I am on my own in a one on one meeting with men and I’m not on guard at all in that situation. But at certain times there’s points that put me on guard.
By the way I’m 5’ 4”.
Post # 14
I’m 5’3”, and this never occurred to me, but I think you’re right. I have been picked up against my will, and I am on high alert and recognize that it would be harder for me to fight back. I do feel like I’m a target sometimes , and it makes sense that height might play a role.
Post # 15
I’m 5’5 and I think I’m incredibly on guard but it’s because I grew up with domestic abuse and was assaulted and men were violent towards me a lot. I definitely had more sexual aggression towards me when I was slimmer and I hated it and my body.