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Old 06-06-2015, 07:03 AM   #31
Clodfobble
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By the age of 15, I had been aggressively hit on by two separate men in their 30s--not in a leering sense, but in a genuine "you can trust I would make a very good boyfriend," entitled sort of way--and had one adult man of indeterminate age whom I had never met attempt to engage me in phone sex. And I led a rather protected, upper middle class life, at that.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:10 AM   #32
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:34 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Sundae View Post
But I think men who don't try to get a bit of female flesh for hire don't realise that this goes on. Perhaps even the really fun guy that they crack open a few beers with has tried it on occasion. And then they wonder why women can sometimes be genuinely offended by a pat on the bottom or a catcall in the street.

Anyway, as you were.
We hear about it the same way women who don't get this kind of attention hear about it - from stories of our friends who do - and it's hard for both men and women to get because, well...



To put it in perspective, while some women get sick and exhausted from beating the horde of potential lovers away with a stick, many women and almost all men can occasionally go through a few years without anyone approaching and saying anything that can remotely be interpreted as complimenting or nice. For women it's because male attention is rather focused on the upper tire, you can see it manifesting in statistics in places like okcupid where very few women receive almost all messages. For men it's because female intentions aren't usually expressed that directly and men don't generally have a culture of complimenting each other. From that position, the implication that someone is finding you attractive is a lot more significant then the implication that your standards are low enough that you'd accept money.

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Old 06-06-2015, 08:21 AM   #34
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Defne 'attention'.


On catcalling:

This isn't something that happens to the pretty girl, but not the plain girl, the young girl, but not the older girl, the available girl, but not the married girl. This happens to women pretty much randomly. It starts when you're very young - for most girls- and it continues, on and off, until you read the age of invisibility (somewhere around 40 usually).

This idea that we, the ones who get noticed, should be grateful for the attention because, hey - first world problems right? Men find us actractive, boo hoo, right? Feel sorry for the ones who get ignored, right?

Which fundamentally misunderstands both the tenor and impact of that kind of attention.

Walking to the shop, minding my own business, just going about my day - I don't need a total stranger to tell me to smile (is my facial expression not acceptable, Mr Man?), nor do I have any interest in sucking his cock. I don't particularly like the experience of having the entire street's attention directed my way because the two lads hanging their heads out of a second story building are shouting comments about my tits or my willingness to do it doggy style. It is of no interest to me that yet another random stranger feels I'd be prettier with make-up /wearing a skirt, or that I really should get some meat on my bones.

These are not compliments - they are an imposition. They get shouted at women of all shapes, sizes and aesthetic types.

But hey - we should all be fucking grateful right? Because that's what all women really want - attention from men. Got it.


As for propositions - when I was 18 years old my landlord (and a mate from around town) tried to persuade me to let him set me up as a high class prostitute. I laugh about it now - and I always had some affection for Harry (mad old sod) but actually, they were a little too pushy about it for that to be an entirely comfortable memory. They were in their early 40s.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:04 AM   #35
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Lost a whole GD post - I hate the library computers sometimes/

I was basically saying that a loving relationship, or acquiring a lover, is nothing like being propositioned for money.
The flip side of that would be taking a woman on a date asking her "for coffee" at the end of it and having her bring out a charge sheet. "What's wrong honey, didn't I use the right font?"

I haven't been in a loving sexual relationship in years. Would I like to be? Probably. Not enough to actively work towards it though. And only partly because I have enough in my messed up life to deal with right now. But the idea that I would equally miss the unwanted, unasked for comments, catcalls, open discussions about my sexual orientation, size of my breasts, shape of my butt on the street just doesn't work. Little boys tend to pull the hair of the girl they fancy, then run away. Grown men don't. This is about power, not attraction.

I'd hate to think that my brother ran the same gauntlet every day with attention from gay men. He doesn't, although I'm sure there are an equal number of manipulative gay men out there who like to throw their weight around. Perhaps they have to be more careful in who they direct their aggression to because there are more men ready to stop them down for the insult.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:25 AM   #36
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Running the gauntlet. That's such a good way to put it.

I remember when i was about 11 years old, maybe coming up on 12 - my best mate and I often used to walk up the back street, from my house to a local park. There were several houses in that block which had been converted to bedsits, and mostly housed single men.

Running the gauntlet is exactly how that walk felt. Sometimes we'd shout something back (if we were feeling brave), often we'd just try to ignore them - our cheeks burning (poor Maddie got very embarrassed very easily and it always showed in a full-on red face).

The stuff they shouted to us - Jesus. If I caught a grown man saying stuff like that to one of my nieces I'd have the police involved in three seconds flat. But that was normal - that shit just happened. I look back at how young we both were, and how young we both looked, in our peddle-pushers and bright t-shirts - and it makes me feel a little queasy.

Likewise, walking down the street as school girls of 13 in our uniforms was like we'd flicked a red light on over our heads. You knew, as a girl that age, that the blokes on the building site on the way to school would make lewd comments or whistle. Cars would occasionally slow down so that men, not boys, men could comment and leer.

I'm not saying it happened constantly - but often enough for it to form a part of our understanding of the world in which we moved. Want to know what it feels like to be prey? Be an adolescent girl walking down the street of an ordinary industrial town in Britain.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:05 AM   #37
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These are not compliments - they are an imposition. They get shouted at women of all shapes, sizes and aesthetic types.

But hey - we should all be fucking grateful right? Because that's what all women really want - attention from men. Got it.
I didn't said any "should's" - She was speculating why men don't get it, I explained that it had very little to do with whether they know what is happening and a lot more to do with their point of view in the dynamic of what is happening.

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These are not compliments - they are an imposition.
Those don't actually contradict:
I need to do groceries and get food and cook followed by washing the dishes - those are chores - frankly sometimes I really don't feel like it, I sometimes even hate it. But I am not sitting around wondering why people from actual 3rd world countries are rationing dried bread for the next few days because the sweatshop money is only coming next week would be having a bit of a difficult time "getting" my complaint.

I am not going to go and tell them that food isn't a privilege but a chore, because I do acknowledge that it can be both, and depending on where you stand, sometimes the value of one of those elements can greatly overshadow the other, and yet that in no way makes me feel any better about the chores ahead.

Yes, your mother's thing about appreciating bad food because of hungry children in Africa is total bullshit, both complaints can absolutely be legitimate in the same time. I am calling her out on it! And I am not afraid if she knows (OK maybe I am. Please don't tell her) .

Perhaps this still has a bit of a proportional problem, so a better metaphor might be this: I hated the army service and the war, the whole running towards people shooting at me and people you care about dying really isn't for me, It was genuinely a very difficult experience for me, but I can still acknowledge that and in the same time acknowledge that people who are living in areas that don't have the means to defend themselves at all might have a hard time seen where I am coming from. One problem doesn't contradict the other.

Edit: For an even more balanced example, someone in the US just got hurt in a car accident on the way from getting groceries, someone from a village in Africa just broke their leg because they couldn't withstand the 5 hour walk with a jug of water over their heads. They are both hurt, but the later got hurt for lacking the means of the former, and might find the particular complaint about driving safety a bit hard to identify with.

Regarding "should's" - if you are trying to get a value judgement out of me... That's difficult. When both sides stick to their guns and just refuse to see how their perspective comes from where they stand rather then the nature of the terrain, or in MMO terms (What class or skillset they picked rather then the overall gameplay), then both are pretty ignorant. I suppose my "Should" would be for both sides of that debate to get their heads out of their asses and try to analyze the exchange as a whole. But that's an ideal I gave up on awhile ago, I still believe most people can do it if they wanted too, but I realized a long time ago that regardless if they can, most people don't want too, since it has the awful tendency to invalidate what they feel.

Last edited by it; 06-06-2015 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:43 AM   #38
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I was responding mainly to the poster you showed, Trace.

But also this:

Quote:
To put it in perspective, while some women get sick and exhausted from beating the horde of potential lovers away with a stick, many women and almost all men can occasionally go through a few years without anyone approaching and saying anything that can remotely be interpreted as complimenting or nice.
Most cat calling isn't about potential lovers complimenting the objects of their desire. It's a power trip (as Sundae pointed out). And it's not about the women for whom this happens, and the women for whom it doesn't - we're the same women. As you say, it is perfectly possible to go for quite a while without anybody saying anything nice or complimentary to you. It's also possible then to get a flurry of incidents across a year or so.

An actual compliment is a lovely thing. Despite the fact that I have a real problem with the idea of catcalling and some of the assumptions and permissions that underlie it - some random bloke (or group of lads) makes a genuine, if clumsy attempt to express appreciation, I generally take them at their word and smile or laugh as appropriate. I generally choose not to take offence if none seems to have been intended - and if I've not been put into a horrible and publicly humiliating position (has happened) by their attention.

But the root assumptions that underlie catcalling are pretty unpleasant to my mind.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:00 AM   #39
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Hmm... You seem to be looking at reframing the action itself by superimposing an assumed vilifying frame of intentions that are completely outside of your actual qualia - criticizing the color choices of invisible clothes says very little about anyone else's fashion sense.

If you examine the actions in themselves and view them as harmful, that is a fact about the actions, but if the only reasons they take a negative tone is because of the hidden agenda you assume is there, which you assume because of the negative tone... That's a super imposed image, not an observation.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:53 AM   #40
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Not really. What I'm suggesting is that as cultural understandings change it is unfair and unwise to expect all members of the community to move at the same pace and in the same direction. It's a little like not taking offence when an elderly person makes a mildly racist assumption about 'coloureds' - recognising intent is important in any human interaction. We all make assessments as to other people's intentions when they interact with us.

Quote:
if the only reasons they take a negative tone is because of the hidden agenda you assume is there, which you assume because of the negative tone... That's a super imposed image, not an observation.
There are different kinds of catcall/uninvited remark which carry very different meanings. Some of the negative elements are obvious, some intended. Some are not intended - but they do not happen in a cultural or social vacuum.

We talked earlier about attitudes towards rape. We can view that issue at a case level - an experience level. Or we can look at how it fits into the bigger picture. Catcalling (and Eve Teasing as it is known in India) also speaks to that bigger picture - it says something about how we view not just the roles of men and women, but the responsiblities, expectations and permissions of men and women.

There is a spectrum of unwanted attention, ranging from clumsy, but well-intentioned come-ons to intimidating and demeaning jibes. They all have at their base an assumption both that women want male attention, regardless of where it comes from - and that men have a right to women's attention. Because the thing about catcalling a woman is the man isn't just paying her attention -m he is demanding hers back. Whatever reaction you give, whether it is to engage, try to scurry away, try to laugh it off, blush whatever - you are now dealing with him and his wants not you and your own stuff.

If I've got dressed up and am dancing in a club and some random lad moves up close and tries to make nice - I wouldn't be offended - that's the game. Everyone's clearly playing - we're all in the kind of place where the game is played and God loves a trier after all.

If I am on my way to the bus stop to catch a bus and get to a lecture - or I'm coming back from the shop, with some knotty problem on my mind - maybe wrapped up in a coat and not feeling particularly sociable - I am not playing the game - random strangers are just that: random strangers. Why would any random stranger assume I want to know what he thinks of me?

Drunk lads out on the pull - fair enough - they're in that mindset, they're on the playing fields, and if it strays a little towards catcalling people who aren't playing, you kind of see why. But when guys just do it as an ordinary part of the day - to girls and women who are just trying to go about their own damned business - on the high street, the bus, the school gates - that is different.

What it all goes to say is - that for those men, any woman is potentialy playing the game at all times - if they like her then she is fair game. She might have chosen to not play the game - but that choice doesn't cut it. She might have clothed herself in baggy, saggy clothes that hide her shape and try to make herself invisible - but that also doesn't cut it. Because she is female - and therefore fair game.

So no - I don't like what underlies it. I don't like what it says about my right, as a woman, to opt out of the mating dance. But that doesn't mean I am going to lamp every guy who still thinks that shit is acceptable. Because, like most aspects of sexism and gender relations there are two distinct strands to look at: the theoretical, taking account of the wider cultural context and structures and the personal, taking account of our lived lives as human beings.
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:48 PM   #41
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They all have at their base an assumption both that women want male attention, regardless of where it comes from - and that men have a right to women's attention. Because the thing about catcalling a woman is the man isn't just paying her attention -m he is demanding hers back. Whatever reaction you give, whether it is to engage, try to scurry away, try to laugh it off, blush whatever - you are now dealing with him and his wants not you and your own stuff.
That is a curious way of seen things... Did the modern day ability to block users we don't like on social media made it such a "right" in our mind, that we view our bubbles of our own little universes as a right to take for granted and breaching it as a right never given? Instead of the right for free speech, we now demand the right for selecting what speech we hear and view the inconvenience speech we dislike as an entitlement for a right not had?
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:19 PM   #42
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You'd have a fair point if catcalling was something that wasn't loaded with sexual meaning and gender assumptions. Does it happen to men? Yeah, sometimes - but mainly it is something that women experience, and experience because they are women.
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:45 PM   #43
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Going back to Sundae's point about being propositioned for cash and after the Quiz for Ladies thread sent me down a Man Stroke Woman road on Youtube - came across this:

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Old 06-06-2015, 03:37 PM   #44
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You'd have a fair point if catcalling was something that wasn't loaded with sexual meaning and gender assumptions. Does it happen to men? Yeah, sometimes - but mainly it is something that women experience, and experience because they are women.
It is certainly a manifestation of gender dynamic and it's certainly - at least a good portion o the time - a sexual advance, neither one of those form particular good exceptions to what I said.

There is an awkward combination of competing social forces atm which vilify sexual and/or romantic initiative in more and more of it's forms in a way that makes good old Catholicism and Jewish Hasidics seem like the 60s sexually revolution by comparison. Why should sexuality be exception to the basic tenants of liberty?
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:20 PM   #45
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I don't suggest that it should be.



Freedom of speech is about having the right to express your opinion without fear of state reprisal or judicial response. It is not the right to express yourself without any social consequence.
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