07 June, 2009

Last Post on the Sexually-Harassed Bugle

It is sadly common for feminists to be accused of hating men; all the more so feminazis, presumably bitter at male rejection of our Hitlerian moustaches (because all howwid feminininiths of any description are ugly hairy lesbians in want of a man to turn them, doncha know). Over the last few days, this blog could to the untrained eye have appeared to be conforming to this stereotype, what with all our decidedly unwomanly protestation at uninvited male attention. I'm sure we'll be back to attacking the other sort of Mail soon enough, but I couldn't help giving one last hurrah today.

Like any self-unrespecting binge-drinking ladette at the root of 25% of violent crime, I went out last night. I went out in Temple to be precise, which being at the opposite end of London to where I live, involved lots of walking and night buses. I was actually pretty lucky, though; I was only harassed twice all night. There was nothing remarkable about either incident, but it got me thinking, in my remnant rage this morning, about the worst cases I or my friends have encountered before. So, in no particular order, I give you...

Passing Pervert Top Trumps

1. "C'mon... I hit women all the time".

I was 15, he looked about 12. This was the last trick up his salacious sleeve after following me through an arcade in the middle of the day, asking me if I gave blow-jobs. His two little brothers looked on.

2. "But, you are ugly".
She was 15, he was in his early 20s. She was not, and never will be, a minger. He and his friends, spending their Friday nights surrounding groups of underage girls in shitty nightclubs, most definitely were.

3. "I'm not going to stop running until you stop walking".
I was 16, he looked about 14. As I strode back from school one afternoon, he puffed his laboured way along beside me for a good ten minutes before I outran him for the last sprint home.

4. "Ssss, ssss, tsk tsk".

Repeatedly, over the last ten years, in a variety of locations. The most memorable was a middle-aged man accosting we two 14-year-olds in a lunchtime market... with his wife and two children a metre or so behind him.

5. "You look fifteen, let me take you out for dinner... I just wanna know you".
I'm 23, he looked in his late 30s. He was the cashier in my local Tesco's, and spent several months trying to chat me up at the check-out, following me around the shop, and latterly throwing temper tantrums when I persisted in telling him that I was not interested and to leave me alone.

Those are the first five I can think of off the top of my head. Other charming non-verbal advances have included the threat of a hit-and-run when the guy drove his white van up onto the pavement for a closer look, and miming slitting our throats and/or shooting us.

Honestly, I don't know what we silly women are complaining about.


  1. Oh indeed, didn't you know it's any red-blooded male's privilege - nay, duty, to sexually harass any woman they come across?

  2. When I was 11 a group of boys in my school tackled me to the floor so one of them could feel me up, I headbutted him then punched him when he tried to chase me. At the time I felt bad and wondered if that was wrong of me. (Hell no!)
    I have had a hand put between my legs on 2 separate occasions, first time I was 12, he was 16 and a friend of my cousins at a family party (didn't say anything as my family would've have kicked off and I didn't want to cause trouble) second time I was 14 and just walking on the street, don't know how old he was.

    Those are the worst ones I can think of other than general lewd comments/leering. I ended up shaving my hair off and dressing like a boy in my teens, being called ugly or a lesbian (my mum was with a woman so we all quite happily looked butch I suppose) was still shit but much preferable to being sexually harassed/assualted.

  3. Oh I forgot, 2 flashers, whilst I was primary school age. My mum called the police after a guy flashed me & a friend in the park, my friend's parents for some reason thought a man getting his cock out in front of pre pubescent girls was hilarious and didn't understand why my mum called the police.

  4. jaime - what the fuck, on all counts. there are others i've probably forgotten but i've lost the old word document me and my friends made in our early teens chronicling them all. why we even did that says a a lot.

  5. Men get sexually harrassed by men too. The number of 'cupping' incidents me or friends of mine have experienced in gay clubs - where the clientele should really know better - is startling. I personally find it amusing in a locker-room way, but obviously most do not.

    Serisouly though, I think there is some kind of territorial pissing at play, like the alpha male looking to use perceived phsyical superiority to acquire power.

    When it's guy-on-guy the threat is normally straight-up violence: a push or shove, a threat to maim or an aggressive, provocative insult.

    With men on woman, obviously conventional violence is considered unacceptable even by the more vicious of thugs, so verbal or physical threats of a sexual nature are the order. And, in the obvious case of rejection, an insulting comment about attractiveness invariably follows, because obviously the sole purpose of woman is to look nice.

    The truth is, none of these guys have sex, ever, and they are often just frustrated, living out their porno fantasies (big, butch man picks up hot Russian girl in street, fucks her in alleyway, walks off) but naturally failing.

    A hope and skip away from sexual assault.

  6. yes, except a club is an adult, somewhat sexualised, setting. obviously that doesn't mean men should grab you instead of just talking to you, but there is a world of difference being pursued (however crassly) in a place you might reasonably have some expectation of meeting someone, and having that happen coming home from school.

  7. The worst examples of these are those who grope you quite blatantly on the Tube, or the bus - this happened to me a few weeks ago, a semi-violent grab, we're talking both cheeks here - and then have the audacity to respond to your anger with "you should be flattered". >_>

  8. WHAT? they actually said that? what did you say? what did other people say? fucking hell.

    i think the best reprimand i ever heard was actually my mum in her local swimming pool asking very loudly, "do you touch men as well then?" he got straight out, excruciatingly stared at by about 25 people.

  9. Hi! new follower here. Oh God, the times I've had to verbally abuse random men who seem to think that by having boobs and a pulse, I'm inviting conversation. I also had to report being harassed at work. I've made a promise to myself that, where possible, I WILL confront people who harass me. I have no problem being complimented if its polite, but if it's crass, woe betide the idiot who dares to say it.

    There is a problem closer to home, though. My landlord has this nasty habit of looking his female tenants up and down, and we've decided between ourselves to shame him by asking, innocently: 'Is there something on me? Because you're looking at me funny' or something along those lines. The problem here is that he's otherwise a nice enough person, older, and both of us ladies come from Africa/Caribbean and were raised with traditional attitudes to our elders. As I've pointed out, he's not respecting us as adults, or as women. So I'm not going to feel bad for embarrassing him.

  10. The "you should be flattered" variety are the worst. I mean - seriously? Do they really, truly believe that yelling "I'd fuck you!" at me is fucking *flattering*?

    And the power play - that's exactly it. It's a way for them to assuage their shruken egos (and manhoods).

  11. CB - exactly, but it's never genuine compliments, is it? the only time a random man has stopped me on the street and it actually was just nice was when one said they loved my shoes. that is the only time it has been something flattering and harmless.

  12. Very recently I was harassed by a drunk (at 11.30am) man on the train. He looked in his mid thirties, he thought I was 17 (Im 26) and was violent in his expression of disbelief that I actually was old enough to vote. Which really made his continued vulgar "compliments" and requests for my number (after I repeatedly told him I had a boyfriend, fictitious yes, but he didn't know that) even more creepy - would the middle aged man have been less interested had he not thought I was a teenager? I suspect so.


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