Post # 1
OK, so this morning I woke up feeling pretty good. I put on my usual clothes, leggings, long top, jacket… and went to the local shop. It’s literally a five minute walk – but twice on the way there I was yelled at by someone.
I can’t even tell you exactly what they said, but the first was a guy who stuck his head out of a car window as they drove past. They went too fast for me to hear what the words were, but from the tone it wasn’t pleasant. The second was when I passed a trio of teenage boys near the shop – they waited till I’d passed and then started yelling at me. I wish I could say I was just paranoid but there was nobody else around!
Thing is, this is the third time in a week a complete stranger has commented something nasty to me. The other time I was heading back from work and I was in my lazy clothes, and a woman stopped in front of me on an empty path, looked me up and down and then said ‘ooh la la…’ in a really snotty way. And today I realised just how often this actually happens.
I’m able to remember waiting at a bus stop and a guy shouting comments about my chest out of his car window, having a full beer can thrown at me by a couple of fully-grown men at a train station, and even a 30-something woman with kids hurling a plastic cup at me as I walked by. I didn’t talk to any of these people, and I didn’t know any of them. They didn’t even look a little familiar, so I don’t think it was something personal – they just wanted to yell at someone.
Is this something about me? Do I exude some kind of attitude just from walking silently down a street? I make it a point not to stare or even make eye contact with strangers, so I find it really weird that this happens so often. I can’t even say it’s something to do with my looks – I’m a little bigger than most but I’m not massive by any means, my hair is long and brown, my style is usually black and white with minimal makeup – I don’t think I stand out in a crowd at all! But for some reason this keeps happening. Maybe I just live in a rude town, I don’t know.
Does this ever happen to anyone else? It seems so weird because I never see it happening to anyone else. It always happens when I’m alone, too – not even anyone else around. Seriously, it’s getting hard not to get really paranoid! Once I got home I just sat inside and moped; I didn’t even want to open the front door for the delivery guy tonight because I feel so depressed by it all. Any advice?
Post # 2
yip. all the time. sorry, can’t help. i even get it wearing jeans, trainers and a heavy, buttoned-up-to-the-throat winter coat.
Post # 3
WTF??? I can’t even remember the last time something like that happened to me. I think you need to move.
Post # 4
Find an assertiveness class. You need to start walking with attitude as though you have a right to walk down the street.
Post # 5
That stuff used to happen to me a lot when i was in my 20’s for no reason (wasn’t dressing promiscuously). Some guys have no idea how uncomfortable/uneasy it makes women feel (or they just don’t care). I live in a major, progressive city, so it might not be about where you live.
Post # 6
Wow, where do you live? That sounds pretty horrible.
I got a few inappropriate / nasty comments when I was in my very early 20s (guys hanging out the car window saying I was fat, when I wasn’t) but haven’t for a long time.
Next time anything like that happens, be ready with a snarky ‘and what the hell is YOUR problem?’ or a good middle finger in the air and a ‘eff you’… not the most mature retaliation but it sure makes you feel better!
Post # 7
YES. It happens to me ALL the time when I am walking alone. I have people walk in the center of sidewalks so I am forced to jump aside in the grass or bump them only to spin around and see them(man or woman) smiling while saying something cruel or rude. I also have men shouting something at me from cars. It never sounds like they yelling something “flirtatious” or whistling, it usually is something mean like cussing or calling me the C word. I have had people throw drinks at me and cigarette butts from cars. I have had women clip the back of me legs with baby strollers(perhaps a accident?) but it has happened 3 times this year alone and none of those ladies said sorry. I will try to let it pass that maybe they are just rude. I feel like everyone is just really cruel lately!
I also try to dress very modest. I don’t wear shorts or spagetti tops/tank tops because I have a curvy body and normal clothes can look a little too revealing for my body shape. I know this so I try to dress appropriatly so I can avoid attention yet I attract crazy people who feel the need to shout things at me. I try to avoid eye contact when possible but I still hear people talking about me(my clothes, body, hair, skin color, ect.) Woman tend to be the worst and call me the worst names. I would never comment on a stranger let alone say something hurtful. I am in the same boat at you! I also hope someone can give some insight on why this happens.
Post # 8
I got a lot of “compliments” yelled at me in my teens/early 20s. Some men are just entitled assholes who don’t realise or don’t care that young women can be really threatened by that kind of crap. It was one part getting older and one part dressing *a lot* more conservatively that seems to have put a stop to it.
Post # 9
I get whistled at on the street and I’m a fairly modest dresser (I’ll wear shorts and stuff but normally no cleavage, etc.) I just chock it up to, people are asshole.
One time I got drive by proposed to.
I had a street vender get down on one new and prophess his love to me in Mexico because “my eyes make him crazy” I was 16. Basically a child. He was like 40
some people just don’t quite get boundaries
Post # 10
This is so bizarre! But it seems like it happens to others. Where do you live?
Post # 11
LittleE3: I think it’s much better to have compliments shouted at you than insults, but I can see why anyone shouting anything is hurtful and mean 🙁
Post # 12
Let me just say that it is their problem and absolutely not yours. You should not feel ashamed of your body in any way because of thier own issues. It won’t matter how conservatively–or not conservatively–you dress, because people will still make comments to make themselves feel better.
I was walking across the street to get to work and a man screamed ‘slut!’ at me from his car window while driving past. I was wearing a dress with tights underneath with knee-high boots and a sweater, mind, but it really doesn’t matter what I was wearing. What gives him the right to scream, in his mind, an insult at me?
I know confrontation is difficult, but I agree with amyinbrisbane: that the best thing to do is acknowledge that you heard what they had to say and disagree with a swift flick of the finger or a few choice words.
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2014 - SPRING VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB
It happens to me regularly. At least once a day. I’ve learned to ignore it. I don’t ever engage them. So no flicking them off or saying anything back. Now I did have one guy take it too far by touching me. In that situation I did react.
Post # 14
Wow. Thats insane. I live in NYC and used to get my fair share of catcalls when I was younger, but I’ve never had anyone THROW something at me. I imagine the laws of NYC would mean that the thrower would get a good, old-fashioned beat-down by any and all men standing anywhere near me if that were to happen.
Post # 15
I’ve had men whistle or say comments to me about my looks, but never anything mean or someone throwing stuff at me. Maybe instead of avoiding eye contact, just briefly look at them with a smile and go about your business. It’s not you, it’s just the douchebags that are around you. what do these people say to you? I can’t imagine just yelling mean stuff at a stranger? People are really cruel. im sorry this is happening to you. I hate walking alone for this reason. creepy guys gets balls when a woman is alone. :/