A new video from Vocativ features a number of young women describing the sexual harassment – from creepy catcalls to actual physical assaults – they and countless other women face on the streets every day; the unsettling video, in which one woman, a former beauty queen, recounts her own sexual assault on the Washington DC metro last year, has been seen more than 2 million times on YouTube in the eight days it’s been up. (I’ve pasted it in at the end of the post.)
Some of these viewers have been Men’s Rights activists, and a lot of them aren’t too happy about it. Not about the street harassment. About the women speaking up against it. Indeed, one new Men’s Rights Redditor by the name of liuetenantwaffleiron was so angered by the video that he sat down and wrote a 700 word rebuttal of sorts – which quickly won him dozens of upvotes from others on the subreddit.
He started off with a story of his heroic efforts to stand up against one of the evil sexy women in the video, and the terrible price he paid for expressing his so brave opinions on the subject on Facebook:
Dear ‘harassed’ in the provocative attire,
I need to say this, and I literally have nowhere else I can say it, so I figured I’d say it here, and to you. I was facebook unfriended today by commenting on the sexual harassment video that’s been going around that you’re in.
Unfriended. The horror!
You were the one who said she likes to “dress provocatively” but that you don’t want to “deal with it,” and who was carrying a hidden camera with her to document all her public ‘harassment’ you get.
This sounds like the worst “missed connections” ad ever.
I simply replied:
“Dresses provocatively; provokes.”
I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently we straight men can’t help but utter the words “baby” or “nice toes, ma,” or “I want to cum on your tits” or “pregnant pussy is the best pussycat” every time we’re “provoked” by a woman in a short skirt or a long skirt or pants and a shapeless sweater wandering into our field of vision.
On top of the instant shit storm that erupted at my insinuation that you ought not to have been surprised at the attention you intentionally attracted, I was subsequently unfriended by the poster, an industry colleague of mine.
Gosh, who would ever imagine that being a dick to a woman who’s getting sexually harassed could possibly cause you any problems in the work world? What an outrage!
On top of the despair I felt at not being able to say more than three words in criticism without fingertips shooting into ear canals, I tried to imagine who those ‘harassing’ men were who called out to you.
I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you. I was too busy crying, thinking of the terrible “despair” you felt when your dickish and completely unoriginal comment didn’t get you a standing ovation and a tiny little medal.
While a vanishing minority may truly have been confident about their romantic prospects with you, there’s no doubt that most knew that they didn’t stand a chance in hell. Yet, there you sauntered, dressed as sexily as you could, meticulously made up, flaunting that fact; Rubbing it in their faces that they would never have a chance at catching the eye of such a beauty, much less to speak with you, so much less to touch you.
Wait, you’re actually angry that you can’t automatically score a date with – or at least get a chance to grope – every single attractive woman you see? You’re going to have a rough time here on planet earth, dude, as there are literally billions of women out there who will never sleep with you or let you touch them.
Are none of these women allowed to wear clothes that you might find sexy? Or are they obligated to have sex with you if they do?
Would you really rather they dressed as drably as possible, with no makeup? Somehow I suspect that this would make you even madder.
Everything you do is seems to be to attract a man, yet when a man presumes to express that attraction, you’re offended to the core, and you demand that the rest of us be as well.
“Express their attraction?” What video did you watch, anyway? The men in the video I watched were doing a lot more than “expressing their attraction.” The woman you’re so angry at — the one wearing a short skirt and a hidden camera – faced what seemed like an unending series of leers and crude remarks from men as she walked down city streets. The women being interviewed described men “expressing their attraction” by groping and threatening them.
You are one of the most privileged people on Earth, and you dare to complain that some men don’t know their place, and won’t suffer your insults in silence.
Really? Because I watched that same video, and what I saw was a woman in her twenties getting endless harassment from men, some literally twice her size, for the terrible crime of … being an attractive young woman in public. How exactly is this a sign that she’s privileged?
I ask you: Do some men cross a reasonable line of decency? Of course they do. Some masturbate, and grope. Some do worse.
Oh, sure. Men might pull out their dicks, or shove you up against the wall on the subway, or you know, do that thing that starts with the word “r,” but none of this matters as much as the DESPAIR our manifesto writer felt when people on Facebook got annoyed at him for being a dick.
Perhaps its because they’re mentally unstable, or perhaps it’s because they’re so socially marginalized that they have no longer have incentive to behave civilly.
Huh. Apparently in the world of liuetenantwaffleiron — and a lot of other Men’s Rightsers — every guy who ever victimizes a woman has an excuse. They’re mentally ill. They’re “socially marginalized.” It’s never, say, that these guys are, you know, entitled shitheads who think they’re entitled to women’s bodies.
To paraphrase West Side Story, they’re depraved on account of they’re deprived — of a woman’s body, something that doesn’t actually belong to them.
In the cases illustrated in the video, I’m certain that there was no possibility of any of them having any sort of equal relationship with you, or to the other women featured, and you know it.
Really? Even if this were true, so fucking what? You’re not entitled to have a relationship — equal or otherwise — with any woman who strikes your fancy. You’re not entitled to harass every woman you see who’s out of your league, or already hitched, or just not interested in your asshole “nice guy” self.
In the absence of incentive to try to win your favor and to respect you, and in the presence of your garish flaunting to them of your unavailable sexuality, I have no doubt that some even grow to resent you.
Yeah, we picked up on that already, genius. As did every woman in the video, who saw clearly that the actions of the men who harassed them weren’t driven simply by attraction but by resentment and rage and a desire to demonstrate power over women they knew weren’t interested in them.
Whoever these predatory males are, they’re not me. I don’t know them. I don’t know where I can find them.
Really? Because you sound pretty much exactly like “these predatory males.” Maybe you haven’t harassed any women – yet – but your little manifesto is filled with the same toxic mixture of aggrieved entitlement that helps to fuel this kind of harassment.
I doubt they’re reading these words, or watching your videos. I’m terribly sorry they cross the line into physical contact, and stalking, and god knows what else, but we’re NOT those guys.
I hate to tell you this dude, but you’re already thinking like a harasser. I mean, you’re writing a 700-word manifesto attacking a woman you’ve never met because she had the temerity to walk down the street in a short skirt and record the harassment she got.
Yes, dressing sexily is absolutely your right, as is walking in that “provocative” outfit down the street while expecting a certain degree of civility from your countrymen. However …
Somehow I knew that “however” was coming.
However – know that your message to us is powerless to change the behavior of the ‘creeps’ that will physically harass you, and assault you, and worse.
Really? Then why are you getting so mad about the video? Somehow I suspect that you realize this sort of video does give harassed women a certain degree of power, both by shaming those men who might not realize how terrible their behavior really is, and by helping encourage and empower women to hollaback, as they say, at their harassers.
Your insistence to wear what you wear, and act as you act – while absolutely within your rights – undeniably makes you a more visible target to those perverts and predators.
And an even more visible target to the creepy entitled assholes of the Men’s Rights subreddit, apparently.
You are determined to ignore one of the most important factors in avoiding harassment and assault because you have the gall to be offended that lower-status males might dare to approach you.
And you, dude, have the gall to be offended by a woman talking frankly about the harassment she gets.
Furthermore, your constant antagonism of their attraction to you gives them reason to resent you.
No, I’m pretty sure you’re responsible for your own resentment here, given that it stems from an unacknowledged sense of entitlement.
These two factors expose you to risk that you simply don’t need to take, and I refuse to feel any guilt for your misadventures so long as you act with such a sense of entitlement and such a complete lack of common sense.
Well, forgive me for feeling no sorrow if no woman ever wants anything to do with your whiny, resentful, bitter ass.
ps- First time posting. Happy to be here
You’ll fit right in. Your sense of aggrieved entitlement is already pretty well-developed.
That, and access to the internet, is really all you need to be a Men’s Rights Activist.
Here’s the video. TRIGGER WARNING for detailed description of sexual assault: