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Women who get catcalled are the real sexual harassers, explains Men’s Rights Redditor

Woman sexually harassing a group of men with her slutty attire.

Woman sexually harassing a group of men with her slutty attire.

A month or so ago, after an antiques dealer responded to her comment about a piece of furniture by asking her if she and her female friend “ever made out with each other,” Leah Green of The Guardian decided it was time to try a little gender-reversal experiment: she would use hidden cameras to film her to treat unsuspecting men to the same sort of inappropriate sexual remarks that women get treated to every day, using real life examples collected by the @everydaysexism project.

You can see their reactions in the short video she posted on the Guardian’s website; she discusses her motivations more here.

Many of the men, unaccustomed to this sort of harassment, weren’t exactly sure how to react to her comments. When she asked a bartender for a drink and a lap dance, she had to repeat herself several times before he got her point. When she tried the “have you guys ever made out with each other” line on two older men, they couldn’t quite even process the question at first.

Others got angry. When she yelled “oi, get your asses out” at some construction workers – a gender-swapped version of the classic “show us your tits” — one of the affronted men responded with “you can’t talk to us like that.” And that was essentially the point of the video: no one should be talking to anyone like that.

That point seems to have escaped one angry commenter on the Men’s Rights subreddit going by the name of frankie_q, who spewed forth a well-received virtual manifesto arguing that it’s complaints about cat-calling, not the cat-calling itself, that is the bigger problem. And that the biggest problem of all is that women wear clothes that men consider sexy.

Frankie starts by pointing out that none of the men in the video were dressed like Chippendale dancers (or Donald Trump):

[A]ctivists who point out that on average women are cat-called more than men never admit that on average men tend to dress in very conservative and unrevealing attire compared with women: all of the men featured in the video were dressed in bland, functional clothing. …

The harassed men were not flaunting their flesh, their figures, nor even showing ostentatious displays of wealth, strength or influence (which are things that more often attract women to men than vice-versa). Had these men been wearing tight black leather chaps and shirts, Chippendale tuxedos, hotpants over profile-enhancing push-up underpants; if they were parading their waxed and oiled muscles, or if they were letting their £30,000 Patek Philippe timepieces dangle alluringly from beneath their shirt cuffs, it would have been a much more poignant and valid comparison.

So is Frankie suggesting that all women who get harassed literally dress like strippers? Not quite. He’s suggesting that there’s just not that much difference between what stripper and non-stripper women wear.

[E]ven something as ordinary as a skirt reveals acres more flesh than the equivalent male garment. Almost all women’s clothing is designed to enhance their sexual allure and heighten their sexual power, and this is so normalised that we don’t even notice.

And therefore, women who dress the way women usually do are essentially broadcasting their sexuality to the world and bringing sexual harassment – sorry, sexual attention – upon themselves.

Dress is a form of communication. … A prostitute dressed convincingly as a nun or in dusty overalls would fail to attract many clients, not because nobody desires her services, but because she is not communicating her sexual availability. Conversely, men and women who advertise their desire for sexual attention, whether verbally or through their dress, are wilfully miscommunicating if in truth they desire no such thing.

So should women simply cover themselves up from head to toe?

While I would not advocate for the adoption of burqas in the west, they are a stark and extreme example of how things like cat-calling correlate with appearance. Their use is encouraged in the genuinely patriarchal Arab world by women who wish to evade the attention of men, and by men who perceive immodest dress to be a way for a woman to gain power over them, and while I consider the practice backward, these men and women both have valid points backed up by empirically observable outcomes: dress dowdy, be left alone.

But hey, we don’t need to resort to burqas when we already have pantsuits:

A female office worker in a frumpy pant-suit or a woman running an errand in baggy jeans and a hoodie is as invisible as a man dressed the same way.

And women in baggy or “frumpy” attire are never, ever, ever sexually harassed ever, apparently.

The real problem, in Frankie’s mind, is that women use their sexy sex appeal to have sexy sex power over sex-hungry men. (Women are not as interested in sex, you see, and so are less inclined to lose their minds over men in tiny hotpants.) By dressing sexily, women thus gain an unfair and “unchecked sexual power” over men.

Being sexually desired is a form of power. …

If a person has a strong psychological desire for something, be it a man who desires sex, a woman who desires wealth, an ex-smoker who desires nicotine, a recovering junkie who desires heroin or an infected person who desires a cure, someone who is in possession of the desirable thing has an easy way to manipulate the deprived individual.

So women are basically the drug dealers of the drug … in their pants.

[A] smoker who blows cigarette smoke in the face of an ex-smoker is rightly condemned for frustrating them. A pimp who has an abundant supply of drugs can is considered evil for luring addicts to their ruin. …

But the reasoning that accompanies these kinds of moral judgments does a full 180° turn when the scenario involves a man who is being psychologically controlled through his sexuality. He is afforded none of the sympathy given to the other, comparably manipulated individuals, but worse than that, he is considered an aggressor if he so much as looks at that which he is being tempted with (the “male gaze”, “visual harassment”), never mind if he passes comment or escalates the situation with a romantic advance.

So when a guy yells “show us your tits” at a passing woman, this “romantic advance” is really the fault of the woman for having tits in public. She’s the “morally contemptible party” for displaying herself in front of horny men who are not at that very moment having sex. Don’t blow your tits in men’s faces, ladies!

Oh, but apparently my reaction here is an example of anti-male “empathy apartheid.” In Frankie’s world, sexual harassment is merely a kind of “romantic advance”; the real sexual harassment comes from women wearing makeup and clothes that reveal their female figure.

In a world that treated the male experience with the same empathy and concern as western society treats the female experience, when revealing, figure-hugging clothing, makeup, short skirts and push-up bras are worn in the workplace it would be viewed as sexual harassment, and the women who seek to gain influence through such means would be shamed and reprimanded in the same way as would any other kind of psychological manipulator.

That’s right: women should be “shamed and reprimanded” for making (straight) men think dirty thoughts about women.

I’m pretty sure that most straight men can manage the dirty thoughts all by themselves. Maybe men should be reprimanding their own brains for all the filthy scenarios they keep coming up with.

Thanks to Cloudiah and AgainstMensRights for pointing me to this.

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Posted on April 18, 2014, in a woman is always to blame, antifeminism, boobs, butts, creepy, empathy deficit, evil sexy ladies, gender swap, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, oppressed men, playing the victim, reddit, sexual harassment, the eternal solipsism of the MRA mind and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 138 Comments.

  1. You’re welcome, Children of the broccoli! It sounds to me like a parody of Children of the Corn, and yeah, it gives me the giggles!

    Plus, I like broccoli. :)

    Cassandra – remember when David put up the post about Bayley at the time? Bayley was trying the Oh But I’m A Nice Guy and She Blew Me Off and I Got Mad line of defence at the time, plus the fake regret, breast-beating and please-execute-me bullshit (knowing full well that wasn’t going to happen).

    Except it came out afterward he’s a serial rapist, and had fantasised about raping and murdering a woman even in the supposed correctional sessions in prison.

    Yet they still let him out. They didn’t join the dots and say this shit should be inside forever. No, that had to wait until he’d committed murder.

  2. @kittehserf

    “I won’t go into what the men I know with daughters and other women in their lives that they love have to say. :D”

    Be worth hearing, though! :D

    Actually it would, in seriousness. The more men who stand up against misogyny in any form, the better.

    Well, first, it has to do with some violence with a liberal amount of torture to any potential offending body parts to any man who messes with their daughters in an offending way. :)

    Second, the men I know with daughters want them to be able to exercise their right to do whatever they want with their lives, and to be free of scummy letches trying to control and demean them. They want them to be safe and to be with men who treat them well. They want the same for their wives, mothers, and sisters.

  3. ::snicker:: I rather thought doing nasty things to the bits might be part of it!

  4. I always wish these guys would tell us where they see crowds of hot women walking around in stripper gear all the time, because I’m sure plenty of straight men and lesbians would be happy to move to this wonderful place.

  5. cassandrakitty

    What happened with Bayley should be all the proof anyone needs that the criminal justice system doesn’t treat rapists severely enough. Why did they keep letting him out early every time he was convicted?

  6. At a guess because he was sorrrryyyyyyy or they just didn’t actually look at his record and say “He has this conviction and this conviction and this conviction and …” Lack of cross-checking is a major fail in our so-called justice system.

  7. Kitteh, you know it! The descriptions get pretty graphic. And painful.

  8. I don’t know where this guy gets off claiming the men in the video weren’t dressed to invite harassment. Some of those guys wore leather jackets, and how is an innocent, horny woman supposed to see leather and not think of bondage? The ones in club shirts and gelled hair were deliberately and maliciously trying to look attractive, which means a woman needed to yell gross stuff at them from a car. Every single one of those hussies wore pants, shamelessly flaunting the shape of their legs and location of their junk. Men know perfectly well that even an ordinary pair of trousers shows off more than a modest skirt. And don’t tell me that bartender wasn’t asking for it. I mean, he’s a bartender.

    They should all be ashamed of themselves for walking around in identifiably male-looking bodies. I’m not saying men should wear burkas, but men should definitely wear burkas. Then I can yell different gross stuff at them from my car.

  9. In the US people go to jail for years, even decades for non-violent drug offenses. Sex offenders rarely seem to get more than a couple of years. It’s so frustrating.

  10. Our justice system has never treated sex offenders seriously enough. They put them in for a couple of years, and if they have good behavior in prison they get dumped back out again. i don’t know what the alternative is, this is the only reason I support the death penalty because I legit can’t think of another way to deal with someone who has gone past the point of fantasizing and has actually acted out.

  11. cassandrakitty

    It really is a stark reminder of the fact that most societies only pretend to think rape is bad.

  12. cassandrakitty, I hadn’t heard of that case. What a heart-breaking story and a powerful essay. Thank you for sharing it.

    Shiraz, excellent points.

  13. It happened in Melbourne, Auntie Alias. I don’t know how much coverage it had overseas.

    There was a peace march organised in the suburb where she was murdered, afterward (late 2012). Some ten thousand people joined in.

  14. This is effin’ hilarious. Dude, saying stuff like “normalised” and “empirically observable” doesn’t make you a smart social scientist any more than it diverts attention from the fact that you think women oppress men with their butts. “The power of boobs compels you”, indeed. One of these days, I’m going to have to try* to read Warren Farrell’s book of bullshit. Because I suspect all of his arguments basically boil down to “men are attracted to women, therefore men are oppressed. Women are not attracted to men, or women, or anything really, and gay men don’t exist, and what about asexual and agender and trans people oh now see what you did you’ve gone and made a mess of my finely divided binary of gender and sexuality”.

    As a straight dude, I can guarantee that I’m not rendered a drooling, shaking piece of brain mush when I see women in sexy attire. These guys really need to stop watching childish sitcoms and decide they represent reality.

    *The key word being ‘try’.

  15. Oh, and forgot to add: Even if I “couldn’t help but catcall” a woman in revealing clothing (or any clothing really, if the real world outside bad comedies is taken into account), then that would be my problem, not the woman’s, and it would be my responsibility to find a way to deal with that particular issue. It is fitting that this guy’s thoughts automatically jumps to burqas, as everything that happens in his mind (or down his pants) is apparently a woman’s fault.

  16. I’m only going by David’s description of the reverse gendered harassment experiment, because I’m lazy, but if the journalist only “cat-called” solo, she’s missed how it’s usually a group activity. Guys are “joking around” as they bully and humiliate women for fun, which is why the more egregious examples in this thread involve male teens. It’s also a way for men to discuss sex, express sexual bravado and titillate each other in very “hetero” way, by turning any random women at hand into the sexual object.

    The reddit poster is impressively wrong when he argues that men cat-call in reaction to women being aggressively sexy, since the cat-call dynamic is similar to groups of young men hurling gay, gender or racial slurs and general insults for kicks. Different scenarios, but in the end, it’s just a group of guys harassing people because they’re assholes who think they’re being funny.

    As a side note, it seems that in movies and television, a female character is shown to be plucky and sassy by responding to cat-calls with a clever, saucy retort. Our heroine is so self-possessed that she turns the whole thing into sexy banter and shared joked between her and her would-be harassers.

    I’m not sure where I was taking that last point because I’ve been drinking and about to go to bed, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.

  17. Anarchonist – if you do read any of Farrrell’s wafflings, make sure you have lots of kitty/cute Furrinati generally videos to hand. From all accounts, you’ll need them!

  18. Brooked – I’d say the point with that is that sexy banter isn’t how it’d turn out. How many women would feel safe enough, never mind comfortable enough, to respond that way, or want to? I would imagine the harassers would make it an excuse to escalate.

  19. As a straight dude, I can guarantee that I’m not rendered a drooling, shaking piece of brain mush when I see women in sexy attire.

    I thought men’s eyeballs pop out of their skulls and their irises turn into little hearts when they see a shapely woman, or have cartoons been lying to me since I was a small child?

  20. I hate to be all nitpicky, but the photo being used to illustrate street harassment isn’t what it seems. According to the (now 83) woman in the photo she wasn’t being harassed:

    http://www.today.com/id/44182286/ns/today-today_news/t/subject-american-girl-italy-photo-speaks-out/#.U1InaKKwWtY

    But that aside, I agree with all the above comments. When I was in my teens I lived in baggy tee shirts, jeans no make up and with my hair tied back, and would get harassed all the time. I even took to wearing big baggy jumpers and cardigans in all weathers to hide my figure.

    I’ve also experienced street insults. I’ve been called ‘an ugly piece of shit’ and ‘a dirty shit eater’ by groups of teenage boys. I also had some guy in a group of guys yell ‘You’re fucking ugly!’ when I was on my way to my evening job.

    It would seem you cannot win.

  21. I had always thought that picture was staged, but I think the main reason it says harassment to me is 1) one woman, surrounded by strange men focussed on her, and 2) her expression. Craig and Orkin were having a great trip (yay!) but in that photo Craig doesn’t look remotely happy. She looks like she’s trying to get the hell out of there and to me her expression is close to fear or distress.

    I’m glad it wasn’t actually a creepy moment, but I would bet the picture goes on being read that way.

  22. a woman running an errand in baggy jeans and a hoodie is as invisible as a man dressed the same way.

    Aaaaaand the guy doesn’t know what he is talking about (not much of a surprise). I was catcalled and harassed in such clothing. And I’m fat, not conventionally attractive, never wore make up in my life etc.. :/ Almost as if harassment and looks had very little to do with each other.

  23. I was first catcalled, and flashed, by a guy waving his willy from a nearby hedge, when I was 12. My friend and I were swinging on the swings in our local park. I know exactly what I looked like – a skinny boy, with pudding basin haircut – and I can guess what I was wearing – jeans or dungarees and a T-shirt, maybe a cardigan too.

    But my friend and I were calling out to each other so we were identifiably females, and that was apparently enough.

    Besides, as has been said, in what possible world does calling a total stranger insults “bitch”, “slut” “ugly skank” etc etc ever result in an invitation to sexytimes?

    Ever?

  24. If only that hedge had been plentifully supplied with poison ivy …

  25. @ Will do, thanks! I’ve already borrowed it from my library and read the introduction. I’ve thought about starting a journal of my experiences, just to keep me from tearing the book apart in frustration. Seriously, he’s comparing a girl’s experience of learning history written exclusively from a male perspective to a boy’s experience of there sure being a lot of female teachers in this school, boy howdy! And then (to make this subject matter relevant in the context of this thread) he writes, and I quote:

    The powerful woman doesn’t feel the effect of her secretary’s miniskirt power, cleavage power, and flirtation power. Men do.

    I just… How do you make a rebuttal of something that makes no fucking sense? This is supposedly a learned man. An academic, even. He’s, like, read books and shit. What justifies this drivel?

    And you guessed it, it’s starting to look like the whole book is one big “Citations are for women. Real men don’t need research or competent peer reviewers, they have their arses handy!”

    Uggggggh. Thankfully, I can always go back to writing my own thesis when I get fed up with Mr. Females Are Really Running Everything, Let’s Loathe, Ph.D.

    @Brooked: I am sorry I had to be the one to tell you this, but it was too late that the connection between BS (Boner Sinusitis) and heart failure was discovered. All men who experienced the symptoms (extreme pressure behind the eyes, iris deformity and lethal heart palpitations) died very quickly and painfully of all the blood in their bodies rushing to the eyes, hearts and boners simultaneously, leaving their lungs, liver, brains and other vital organs to die. Tex Avery and his fellow misandrists thought this was hilarious, and their cartoons are a testament to this.

  26. D’oh! The first quote was @kittehserf. Stupid typing hands and stupid eyes.

  27. ‘I’m glad it wasn’t actually a creepy moment, but I would bet the picture goes on being read that way.’

    I agree it does look like intimidation, but ever since I read the article about its origins I feel uncomfortable every time I see it.

    I think harassers don’t target women they think are attractive, but women they think are vulnerable. Which is why it’s often to women who are alone or with their children. I think that’s why I got less harassment in my thirties when I wore make up, skirts, my hair down and was pretty fit from yoga and swimming every week. But I used to walk with my back straight and feeling pretty confident, I can only remember one instance of someone wolf whistling, and I gave him the finger. When I was in my teens and twenties I would scurry about trying to look invisible and I would get hassled all the time.

  28. Anarchonist – Boner Sinusitis, LOL!

    That quote from Warren “Chucklfuck” Farrell – not only does it make no sense, but it sort of presumes lesbians don’t exist, which is par for the course I guess.

    sn0rkmaiden – yeah, I’ve never fathomed why I’ve had so little harassment over the years. My style of dress has changed completely and the only time I’ve had moderately frequent Idiot encounters was in my Goth days. Mind you, if some ninny calls you a witch, you’ve already got an advantage ‘cos it says he’s a bit scared of you. Useful, it was: there was one old fool who was Museum Herpes but wouldn’t come near me ‘cos he thought I was a vampire. I didn’t discourage the idea. /OT

    Back on track, I’ve wondered if having an “I really don’t give a shit about you and am not even noticing your existence except when you get in my way” vibe had anything to do with my really low rate of being harassed, but I don’t really buy it. Too many women have been targeted because they looked confident, and that threatens the poor menz, and the uppity b**ches have to be put in their place.

  29. cassandrakitty

    It depends on what the individual harasser is hung up on, though, doesn’t it? So one who feels particularly threatened by confident women will harass women who look confident, while another one who really hates fat women will be on the lookout for fat women to harass. There’s nothing about the women that you can pinpoint as the reason they’re being targeted because it’s not really about them, it’s about the insecurities and anger of the man doing the harassing.

  30. It really is a stark reminder of the fact that most societies only pretend to think rape is bad.

    Next time an MRA goes on about how an accusation of rape ruins a man’s life, tell them to google the UK football player Ched Evans. Right now he is 2 years into a 5 year sentence for rape and his former football team are visiting him regularly and courting him to come back and play football for them as soon as he gets out. They want him back on the team as soon as possible. I mean who cares that he’s a convicted rapist who will be interacting with young football fans, right?

    Meanwhile his victim was doxxed, threatened and driven out of her home town.

    Yep, society thinks rape is so bad. Well, as long as we’re clear that men who rape are just fine and it’s the rape victims who report them who are the bad thing. /fury

  31. I’m only going by David’s description of the reverse gendered harassment experiment, because I’m lazy, but if the journalist only “cat-called” solo, she’s missed how it’s usually a group activity. Guys are “joking around” as they bully and humiliate women for fun, which is why the more egregious examples in this thread involve male teens. It’s also a way for men to discuss sex, express sexual bravado and titillate each other in very “hetero” way, by turning any random women at hand into the sexual object.

    QFT. So often it’s like a team sport with guys competing to see who can make the woman look most upset & humiliated, thus proving who manly they are. Homophobia, objectification & entitlement all rolled up into one lovely ball of hatefulness.

  32. Buttercup Q. Skullpants

    So much of MRA sexuality is about public performance. Group behavior like catcalling, harrassment, loudly rating women, bragging about notch count, negging, and other assorted forms of appearance policing are all done for the benefit of other straight men. They need to constantly emit signals – “I’m straight I’m straight I’m straight I have conventional taste in women I’m straight” – to reassure themselves and their friends of their alphaness. Bullying and boundary violations are one of those signals, unfortunately.

    For an MRA, sex isn’t a private world created in secret collusion with an enthusiastic, willing partner. It’s something conducted in public, in bars and on the street and the subway and the internet. When they’ve “scored” (whether that’s actual sex, or just being in the same vicinity as a woman), the entire world needs to know about it. Otherwise it didn’t count.

  33. cassandrakitty

    It’s so sad. One of the best things about sex is that temporary nobody else in the world exists for a while feeling. I’d almost feel sorry for them if they weren’t so determined to make other people share in their misery.

  34. There’s nothing about the women that you can pinpoint as the reason they’re being targeted because it’s not really about them, it’s about the insecurities and anger of the man doing the harassing.

    Ayup.

    For an MRA, sex isn’t a private world created in secret collusion with an enthusiastic, willing partner.

    Love that description!

    One of the best things about sex is that temporary nobody else in the world exists for a while feeling.

    ::snicker:: Even more temporary if one doesn’t remember to lock the children/dogs/cats out.

  35. What happened with Bayley should be all the proof anyone needs that the criminal justice system doesn’t treat rapists severely enough. Why did they keep letting him out early every time he was convicted?

    Tom Meagher makes the point that one of the reasons is that most of Bayley’s previous assaults were against sex workers. If society treated these women with a detectable modicum of respect for their safety, he would have been given more substantial sentences for those convictions and the psychological assessments would have been taken more seriously.

    It would be tragic if we did not recognise that Bayley’s previous crimes were against prostitutes, and that the social normalisation of violence against a woman of a certain profession and our inability to deal with or talk about these issues, socially and legally, resulted in untold horror for those victims, and led to the brutal murder of my wife. We cannot separate these cases from one another because doing so allows us to ignore the fact that all these crimes have exactly the same cause – violent men, and the silence of non-violent men.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-18/meagher-the-danger-of-the-monster-myth/5399108

  36. Almost all women’s clothing is designed to enhance their sexual allure and heighten their sexual power, and this is so normalised that we don’t even notice.

    Oh? Well, I suppose that explains how I managed to get harassed on the streets of Toronto wearing a puffy black coat that covered me to mid-thigh, over baggy jeans and Doc Martens. Oh wait, no hood on the coat. Yeah, I guess I was totally asking for it, and no wonder that poor curb-crawler who tried to pick me up thought my utterly invisible ass was for sale. I stopped wearing concealing clothing when I realized what an effect it was having on these poor, horny, clueless walking penises who just couldn’t help themselves, and that totally solved MY problem!

    [/sarcasm, in case you needed that]

  37. “A female office worker in a frumpy pant-suit or a woman running an errand in baggy jeans and a hoodie is as invisible as a man dressed the same way.”

    Well that is interesting as baggy clothes/dishevelled hair and outside in my weekend job uniform (frumpy black shirt and trousers) are the outfits I receive the most harrassment from men by far. A little way behind is jeans/tshirt/shirt, with no makeup, or when I’m out running. Hardly ever get bothered when I’m more dressed up. Oh wait – I look really young w/out makeup…nevermind.

  38. Also the ‘being too sexy in public’ accusation does nothing to explain all the dudes who felt compelled to scream across the street or from cars that me & my friends are ‘ugly’ or ‘fat’ or some other negative, sometimes accomanied by flinging a bottle or a sandwich at us/me. A friend suggested that some of these guys do in fact find us attractive, but because we don’t quite fit in with what is supposed to be ‘sexy’ that embarasses them and therefore makes them angry so they shout and throw things to stay feeling/looking manly enough. Could be something in that.

  39. Gee, and if women wear unappealing clothes or fail to wear makeup, I don’t suppose they ever get called mannish, get assumed to be lesbians (and treated like that’s unacceptable), or get told they’re dressing unprofessionally. Basically I’d have to put as much effort into camouflaging my body as I would painting it up to look attractive. And then I’d just deal with a different kind of abuse: the kind that comes immediately when a woman doesn’t make herself sexually available to men.

  40. Male sexual frustration and failure at self acceptance is an ugly thing. That’s what really astounds me about some of these manosphere men, they appear to genuinely hate themselves. I mean, if you’re happy with yourself, there’s no resentment when an attractive woman goes, no desire to tear her down, no disgust over her alleged all mighty sexual power. At least I assume this to be true from watching men.

    I know it’s a bit crazy, but it is the manosphere’s misandry that really bothers me. Some of us adore men, flaws and all, and watching some of these guys promote such horrible self images is actually kind of painful.

  41. Someone walking around in revealing clothes is not so much a manipulation like a drug pusher. It’s more like someone walking around carrying a bag of weed but not offering it to anyone. If you wanna compare them to a drug pusher, I’d think of someone who abuses their partner after getting them emotionally invested and whenever the victim thinks about leaving, the abuser throws some sex at them because they know their victim and know exactly what will tip the scales slightly in favor of staying. but that’s not what you’re doing just by wearing clothes in public.

  42. cassandrakitty

    So what you’re saying is that women are bogarting our own vaginas? Ewwwwww.

  43. A female office worker in a frumpy pant-suit or a woman running an errand in baggy jeans and a hoodie is as invisible as a man dressed the same way.

    Um, no. The objectification of women has nothing to do with wearing revealing clothing and everything to do with being female. Women are structurally determined to be the objectified class – physical appearance doesn’t provoke their objectification. That’s why I know women who have been groped while wearing hoodies and baggy jeans. I’ve been objectified as well, and I’m someone that no one expects to be objectified: a trans woman who passes as male and wears non-revealing masculine clothes.

    In fact, if anything, women who wear “shabby”, non-revealing clothes due to socioeconomic disadvantages are likely to be targeted, as poor people are over-represented among victims of violence and harassment. Clothing has often functioned as a class marker. Even a baggy hoodie is often perceived as a mark of being poor.

    Being sexually desired is a form of power. …

    If a person has a strong psychological desire for something, be it a man who desires sex, a woman who desires wealth, an ex-smoker who desires nicotine, a recovering junkie who desires heroin or an infected person who desires a cure, someone who is in possession of the desirable thing has an easy way to manipulate the deprived individual.

    Women aren’t sexually desired by misogynist men; they’re sexualized and dehumanized. Moreover, women are not institutionally empowered to manipulate men because not only are they condemned for doing so, but they are also held as proof that all women are sexually manipulative. This in turn is used as a justification for the rape, abuse, and harassment of women.

  44. While I would not advocate for the adoption of burqas in the west, they are a stark and extreme example of how things like cat-calling correlate with appearance. Their use is encouraged in the genuinely patriarchal Arab world by women who wish to evade the attention of men, and by men who perceive immodest dress to be a way for a woman to gain power over them, and while I consider the practice backward, these men and women both have valid points backed up by empirically observable outcomes: dress dowdy, be left alone.

    Oh yeah? Tell it to these women, you fucking jackanapes.

  45. [A] smoker who blows cigarette smoke in the face of an ex-smoker is rightly condemned for frustrating them. A pimp who has an abundant supply of drugs can is considered evil for luring addicts to their ruin. …

    And a man who ogles a woman’s chest is rightly condemned for violating the woman’s boundaries.

    Oh wait, usually women in her position are shamed for dressing like “sluts” and “whores” and told to not complain about harassment because “it’s a compliment” and “guys can’t help themselves.” Sounds like what the author is saying.

  46. When pinky mentioned the white supremacy 101 or whatever, that was in response to the suggestion that e Google feminism 101, saying that they’d be biased. BUT. E misses the point. IMO reading white supremacy 101 would be a good place to start if you knew nothing of their claims. The point isn’t to get unbiased information, it’s to find out what they believe. Then the NEXT step is to investigate any claims they made.

  47. Wait a second, did I comment about pinky on the wrong post?

  48. I live in Los Angeles, so I’m surrounded by handsome young wannabe male actors who do everything they can to make themselves as attractive & sexy as possible. Somehow I manage to control myself.

    Anyone who claims this is super-challenging is just outing themself as someone with no respect or concern for other people.

  49. It’s ironic isn’t it, that in countries where women have to cover everything up entirely and stay at home when possible rape statistics are very high? And that there’s a general, huge lack of respect for women, no matter how much they try to keep hidden under cloths to hide their body in every way?

    And on the other hand, people in warm countries can just run around naked without any problem.

    Wake up, Einstein!

    By the way, these people are *so* self-centred. Does he really think I wear something nicer than a garbage bag or a burqa to seduce him?

    And if I wanted to, then why would I complain if I’m getting harassed too often?

  50. “Next time an MRA goes on about how an accusation of rape ruins a man’s life, tell them to google the UK football player Ched Evans. Right now he is 2 years into a 5 year sentence for rape and his former football team are visiting him regularly and courting him to come back and play football for them as soon as he gets out.”

    Delurking to link to an awesome New Statesman article about this:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/media/2014/04/ched-evans-case-shows-ruined-life-narrative-just-another-way-blame-victim

  51. So women who wear any clothes which might tempt a man are to blame not only for all cat calling, but for manipulating the sexual addiction of men? Right, got it. Poshness simple. Now all women have to do is figure out which clothes they can wear which will guarantee no male attention ever. Nuns habits are out, and there’s plenty of men who like pant suits. I wouldn’t doubt a burqa fetishist exists. Wait, I got it! A burqa which displays an image of a man!

  52. I remember on Shapely Prose there was one person who was harassed while wearing a snowsuit. Sexy, sexy snowsuits.

    I couldn’t read this without hearing “Stupid Sexy Flanders.”

  53. Too many women have been targeted because they looked confident,

    I’ve been informed that I look scary. I definitely don’t get harassed when I’m wearing the black trenchcoat and mirror shades. Unless you count the cops that keep circling the block….

    I’ve been harassed while in security guard uniform. While talking to a male co-worker. In winter. These idiots need surgery to correct their recto-cranial inversion.

  54. takshak – friend of mine used to get harassed in uniform (she was in security, on ATM runs) until the harassers realised she was packing a gun and knew how to use it. (This being Oz, carrying a gun is rare and mostly illegal.)

  55. Thanks @Claribella, excellent article.

    Hopefully someone will be along shortly with your welcome package.

  56. titianblue – like this, you mean? :)

    ::waves:: Welcome, Claribella!

  57. *crosses fingers and attempts a blockquote*

    “I always wish these guys would tell us where they see crowds of hot women walking around in stripper gear all the time, because I’m sure plenty of straight men and lesbians would be happy to move to this wonderful place.”

    I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a notebook and casually people-watching in various safe, open, public places (for instance, the food court of my local malls), making a discreet tally of the women and teenage girls I see who are dressed in a way that could be considered “stripper gear” by the clothes police, versus the total number of women and teenage girls I see altogether. I want to do this precisely because I suspect that the number would be lower than 5%.

    Now, granted, I live in the Midwest, so my numbers may well more conservative than more tropical or trendy places, but I want to prove a point: Guys who police women’s clothing (an overlapping, but distinct category from catcallers) *only* acknowledge the conventionally attractive, 15-22 year old women who show off some skin. They then then assume that ALL women dress like that, and further assume ALL women have the same (completely invented) reasons for dressing that. I know MRA’s aren’t fond of paying attention to IRL stats, but I like the idea of having some actual numbers to counter to the idea that all/most women are strutting around flaunting their “miniskirt power” and “cleavage power” (LOLOL at that quote, by the way, Anarchonist).

  58. Yesterday was in the low 70’s. The shirtless dudes in shorts are already out.
    More power to them. Long may the sun shine on their muscly shoulders.

  59. Sigh…I’m still waiting for warm weather here. And hot shirtless dudes.

    (Or even a lukewarm one in bicycling tights.)

  60. Thanks kittehserf for the welcome package. I shall enjoy perpetuating misandry in my misandrist chair! :)

  61. Ya welcome, Claribella! Keep that misandry misandrying.

    Bina, love the image of a lukewarm man. I’m guessing they’re tepid at best up there at the moment!

    Speaking of which, day I get to Chicago it’s supposed to be 13C/57F. Good thing I want to show off my knitwear anyway. :P

  62. Funny, the uniform I wore back when I worked at Canadian Tire was not at all flattering, and yet I was often catcalled. I was groped on the bus ride home once, whilst wearing the same uniform. My winter coat is nice, but not at all revealing and yet I’ve been catcalled whilst wearing it. I had another, stinky, ugly winter coat I wore back when I worked painting balloons; I was chased to the bus stop once. I’ve never worn makeup, but when I have dressed nicely? The catcalls were never more frequent than when I wasn’t.

  63. I’d love to think my uniform at the Museum (striped shirt, electric blue knitwear) was sufficiently horrible to put anyone off. It’d be the only thing it had going for it.

    Funny thing: this was when striped business shirts were all the rage in the 90s. Co-worker, in her uniform, found herself waiting at a crossing with three dudes in business wear – and all four of ‘em had the blue striped shirt happening.

    They all four snickered about it.

  64. Alex, I have no idea what Canadian Tire was thinking when they chose that red…. I keep waiting for a Horta to eat one.

  65. it’s complaints about cat-calling, not the cat-calling itself, that is the bigger problem

    “You are the real racists” with a new coat of paint, take eleventy billion…

  66. Sort of like all those schools with strict zero-tolerance policies for kids complaining about bullying.

  67. Reblogged this on Life of the Loon and commented:
    An awesome piece on catcalling and the MRAs who love it. Funnily enough I get harassed the most when I am distressed or look distressed (aka like a frumpy mess ). Men like that are vipers.

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