Author Topic: Casual public sexual harassment  (Read 420 times)

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Offline Jag

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2015, 08:31:48 PM »
Any advice on how to raise daughters to be prepared for this reality they will eventually have to deal with?

Good question!

First and foremost, your daughters will look to you as their first model of acceptable male behavior. So pay attention the the things you might say without thinking about it. How you treat women, their mother in particular, is going to have a BIG influence on what they will accept as "normal". Avoid using gendered insults - in our culture, the worst insult for a boy is being compared to a girl. That's probably not the kind of thing you want your daughters to let get too comfortable in their heads, so be careful not to participate.

Let them see that you respect women as people first.

I'm not sure how old your daughters are, but teaching them to be observant of both people and their environment will also be really useful. With a military background, you have some experience with this I'd imagine. Make a game of "find all the exits" or "It's the zombie apocalypse! Where do you run for help?" when you are out and about. Be subtle, but have them pay attention to the way people interact when they think they aren't being watched, and have the girls tell you what they see. Who is smiling? Laughing? Who looks sad, distracted, busy, grumpy? How many people are wearing tennis shoes, versus flip flops? Use whatever fits the circumstances. A lot of it is just basic safety and awareness training; if you approach it in a somewhat lighthearted way, and pay more attention to the skills than the potential future threat, it will also minimize the risk of making them afraid of men in general. Kids LOVE games, and they can be used very effectively as teaching tools, because they're enjoyable.

Be polite and respectful to service workers. Because this is at least partially an issue of power, behave with civility to people who have less of it than you do. Nothing personal, but men are granted power by default, without doing a thing beyond existing. Don't be that guy in front of your daughters.

It seems that I think the most useful things you can do are going to be related to making sure that they have healthy self confidence and a good example to learn from in your behavior. I'll give this some more thought though, there are other ways to look at this.
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Offline frogkids35

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2015, 08:53:23 PM »
Any advice on how to raise daughters to be prepared for this reality they will eventually have to deal with?
I love this question.  And Jag, I love your suggestions of safety and awareness training.  I have a 7 year old daughter, still young enough to believe she can kick ass at anything. I hope to keep that belief going way beyond her teenage years. For me, for all 3 of my kids, my boys included, I just talk to them about the fact that they are the boss of their own selves and, among other things, to not be hesitant to do something embarrassing like screaming and running if they are afraid or feel threatened. We totally crack up talking about how embarrassing or weird we would look, especially if we were mistaken,, but then we talk about how safety is first priority. Not coolness. For me, its about empowering my kids that they are worth respect and to trust their guts.... And on this topic, (kind of) I must put in a link to one of my favorite short clips ever. I cried the first time I saw it, but the message stays with me and spurs me to encourage girls of all ages that they're tough and awesome and WORTH it. Whatever "it" might be.https://youtu.be/q3GpXgFwWmk
Actually, the 3 minute version is better, just FYI...
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 09:00:58 PM by frogkids35 »

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2015, 09:24:53 PM »
I shouldn't complain, I guess, but sometimes I feel like the only woman in the world who never has (and, at this point, undoubtedly) never will get hit on. OK, I've been married for 30 years and have 3 kids, so someone, at some point thought I was worthwhile, but mostly if I even ask my husband if I look pretty anymore, he'll respond with "we're both too old to worry about that".

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2015, 10:35:03 PM »
And on this topic, (kind of) I must put in a link to one of my favorite short clips ever. I cried the first time I saw it, but the message stays with me and spurs me to encourage girls of all ages that they're tough and awesome and WORTH it. Whatever "it" might be.https://youtu.be/q3GpXgFwWmk
Actually, the 3 minute version is better, just FYI...

Oh, that made me tear up too, and I'm male and 52. Thanks, frogkids.

You and Jag have offered thoughtful advice on this particular topic and situational awareness in general. I'll have to ask my sister how she approaches this with my nephew.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 10:37:01 PM by wright »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2015, 11:12:17 PM »
I shouldn't complain, I guess, but sometimes I feel like the only woman in the world who never has (and, at this point, undoubtedly) never will get hit on. OK, I've been married for 30 years and have 3 kids, so someone, at some point thought I was worthwhile, but mostly if I even ask my husband if I look pretty anymore, he'll respond with "we're both too old to worry about that".

You still have a chance. Just go spend time in a latin country (except Cuba, where the sexism has been Fideled  right out of them, I hear.) They do not really care what you look like. If you are ambulatory, they hit on you. Everyone male including babies, roosters, cucumbers, flagpoles and the dead will hit on you. 

Men crossed the street to get right in front of me and make kissy face noises. Teenagers shouted "Ai luff you!" from doorways. Once a homeless beggar lying on the sidewalk tried to grab at my leg as I walked past. I learned to tell men off and even curse them out in Spanish but that only made them laugh--ohh she has a nice big a$$ and she's spunky! The only time I got relief was when my husband was walking with me, his arm around me or holding my hand in an obvious ownership gesture. As Jag says, it gets exhausting. I knew I had finally met a gay man when, during a conversation, his eyes stayed on my face.[1]

ps If that is your photo and I was gay, and we were both in a bar, I'd try to hit that. Just sayin'.  8)
 1. I only retaliated physically once. A man's hand snaked out of a crowd on a packed bus and grabbed my waist. I seized his hand in mine and held it tightly, then used my other hand to dig my fingernails into the back of his hand as hard as I could. He tried to pull back, but I held on with all my might. He wanted me, and he got me. When the crowd dispersed and he slunk away, I am sure his hand was bleeding.  :angel:
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 11:30:12 PM by nogodsforme »
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2015, 07:06:30 AM »
Haha...thanks, nogods. I guess I really shouldn't complain. For some reason, during my single/younger adult years I always seemed to bring out the gentleman in guys even if it wasn't exactly what I wanted (which, in retrospect, was a very good thing, at least a couple of times that I recall). I think I just always gave off an air of being extremely naive and innocent - which I was - and for whatever reason everyone seemed more prone to want to protect me than to take advantage. One of my aunts once described me as "...a very nice girl, but she has absolutely no sex appeal". Then again, her own daughter was the type who had been tossing used guys aside ever since she was about 14, and for some reason she (my aunt) seemed very proud that my cousin had that ability.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2015, 10:48:21 AM »
How about raise sons that don't do that shit!

yes.

Also, for men, be vocal around your male friends who might say or do these kinds of stupid things.  I read an article recently (which I cannot now find) about how misogynists in frats tend to rely on social support and interpret silence from their peers as condoning their behavior, even when that might not be the case.  So, one frat decided to try to reverse that, and when their friends act poorly toward women, they intervene.  It seemed to help.

This isn't the same article, but it is the same idea.  it's about peer influence.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/15/feminist-stop-rape-frat-boy-trained-bystanders
http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/23290.aspx
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2015, 10:51:42 AM »
I hear you, jt.

I got "the wrong kind of attention" (in my mother's parlance) from strange men on the street and harassment at jobs, but it was not like I could actually "pull". Random street attention does not translate into relationship success. I never had a real boyfriend in high school, or college, for that matter. I did not even date much as an adult.

I think the early JW training stuck and I gave off a "not interested" vibe. My younger sister, however, got less street attention--being a big woman with a no-nonsense attitude helped-- but always had actual boyfriends.  :?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2015, 02:44:57 PM »
Quote
My younger sister, however, got less street attention--being a big woman with a no-nonsense attitude helped-- but always had actual boyfriends.

a shot in the dark:  confidence. 

A friend of mine whose taste in women tends toward the skinny and petite, once confided in me that he had a thing for Queen Latifah (this was prior to her big weight loss).  He said it was mainly because of the way she carried herself and her confidence.

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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2015, 03:47:02 PM »
Quote
My younger sister, however, got less street attention--being a big woman with a no-nonsense attitude helped-- but always had actual boyfriends.

a shot in the dark:  confidence. 

A friend of mine whose taste in women tends toward the skinny and petite, once confided in me that he had a thing for Queen Latifah (this was prior to her big weight loss).  He said it was mainly because of the way she carried herself and her confidence.

Sexual attractiveness and confidence are linked[1]

The reasons seem clear, however pegging them down doesn't.
 1. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8843687&fileId=S1138741600006065

Offline Emma286

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2015, 07:39:17 AM »
Sorry to hear that happened to you Jag.  Hoping the guy backed off!  I've had the odd experience of that kind of thing before, not exactly fun to be on the receiving end of I know.   ;)

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2015, 04:17:27 PM »
Any advice on how to raise daughters to be prepared for this reality they will eventually have to deal with?

Good question!

First and foremost, your daughters will look to you as their first model of acceptable male behavior. So pay attention the the things you might say without thinking about it. How you treat women, their mother in particular, is going to have a BIG influence on what they will accept as "normal". Avoid using gendered insults - in our culture, the worst insult for a boy is being compared to a girl. That's probably not the kind of thing you want your daughters to let get too comfortable in their heads, so be careful not to participate.

Let them see that you respect women as people first.

I'm not sure how old your daughters are, but teaching them to be observant of both people and their environment will also be really useful. With a military background, you have some experience with this I'd imagine. Make a game of "find all the exits" or "It's the zombie apocalypse! Where do you run for help?" when you are out and about. Be subtle, but have them pay attention to the way people interact when they think they aren't being watched, and have the girls tell you what they see. Who is smiling? Laughing? Who looks sad, distracted, busy, grumpy? How many people are wearing tennis shoes, versus flip flops? Use whatever fits the circumstances. A lot of it is just basic safety and awareness training; if you approach it in a somewhat lighthearted way, and pay more attention to the skills than the potential future threat, it will also minimize the risk of making them afraid of men in general. Kids LOVE games, and they can be used very effectively as teaching tools, because they're enjoyable.

Be polite and respectful to service workers. Because this is at least partially an issue of power, behave with civility to people who have less of it than you do. Nothing personal, but men are granted power by default, without doing a thing beyond existing. Don't be that guy in front of your daughters.

It seems that I think the most useful things you can do are going to be related to making sure that they have healthy self confidence and a good example to learn from in your behavior. I'll give this some more thought though, there are other ways to look at this.

Great advice. Some of these things we already do. I have consistently reminded them about maintaining situation awareness but mostly just for general safety like how to handle and carry scissors, being aware of where other people are in the room, how to get out of the house in case of fire etc. but I love the ideas you gave about really paying attention to people and details.

We are consistent when it comes to teaching them manners and treating each other and other people with respect and in turn we treat them with respect I don't talk down to them or insult them or each other. We have a strict rule of no name calling. We have advised them countless times that they shouldn't automatically trust everyone just because they seem friendly or are nice to them. The Disney movie "Frozen" actually helped illustrate that lesson and a few others.

We are always polite and respectful to service workers[1] because we have both worked in the service industry and know from experience how unrewarding those types of jobs can be. We always tip when appropriate. Both my family and my wife's family are pretty much the same way so almost everywhere they go these lessons are reinforced naturally by example.

I was rather pleased to see that we already incorporate many of your suggestions and I thank you for explaining a couple of areas where we can make improvements.





How about raise sons that don't do that shit!

yes.

Also, for men, be vocal around your male friends who might say or do these kinds of stupid things.  I read an article recently (which I cannot now find) about how misogynists in frats tend to rely on social support and interpret silence from their peers as condoning their behavior, even when that might not be the case.  So, one frat decided to try to reverse that, and when their friends act poorly toward women, they intervene.  It seemed to help.
 1. with the exception of telemarketers

I do this as well. My brother posted a raunchy joke about red heads on his Facebook once It was pretty sick, and even though my daughters don't have a Facebook account and would likely never see it, I simply responded to his perverted sexists joke with a picture of our sister and my youngest daughter[2] together. It pissed him off but he got the point.


 2. both red heads
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Casual public sexual harassment
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2015, 01:04:23 PM »
The things the writer talks about happen all the time. A few days ago, a semi-frequent guest in the hotel that I work at "flirtatiously" suggested that I needed a spanking. After I got my jaw off the floor, I responded with "my boyfriend is HUGE. He'd be more than happy to beat you to the ground so I can reach you and kick your ass myself. You need to go back to your room and have a nice night all by yourself. Right now."

I shouldn't have to borrow my big boyfriend to keep strange men from saying such stupid s**t to me. I should have kicked him out.

I’m tired of being kind to creepy men in order to stay safe

Title typo
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It is not just what other people say which affects you, it is also your own reactions which affect you. If you react in an aggressive way that will affect you differently than if you don't say anything. One thing you could do is carry a little hand held camera and take a photo of anyone who says anything you don't like. Don't explain anything. Just let them worry. You could delete the photos later.

I like to think that if someone makes a random comment to me, it is because they find me attractive and so it is meant be a compliment no matter what the actual words are. Cultural differences often cause misunderstandings. This is especially true with someone who is shy and who is likely to say whatever comes into their head. I know the effect I have on people live, one to one, so this happens to me quite often. Recently I was eating lunch on a train between cities and someone had booked a place opposite me. A guy aged about nineteen came along and sat down. He looked at me and turned bright red. He sat opposite me for about two hours changing colours faster than a traffic light, but the whole time he never spoke a single word because he was too nervous. I didn't start a conversation because I thought it would be hard work for two hours. I did say goodbye though, which he liked. These kinds of things give me a lot of confidence to be myself and make me feel lucky to be me, so I try to take random comments as compliments.

It gets more difficult when it goes beyond random comments to people thinking they know me and wanting to treat me as the fantasy object in their own heads. I can't say anything about what it is like to work in a service occupation but I expect that you are considered part of the service which would be the worst part of it for me.
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