December 11, 2013

Supposedly, "The best comebacks to sexist comments."

In The Guardian, via Metafilter, where people seem way more impressed than makes any sense. It seems to me, if the "sexist comments" are actually harassment — especially on the street — any response functions as a reward. If you banter, you're downgrading it to banter, and as banter, this stuff just isn't funny enough.

Examples at The Guardian:
Managed to stop white van full of men mid-catcall by shoving a big powdery donut into my mouth then smiling with mouth full.

Guy on train after I asked him to move his bag off seat: "Why don't you grab my cock?" Me: "I didn't bring any tweezers."

A friend heard a guy shout 'Sit on my face!' at a girl who replied 'Why, is your nose bigger than your dick?' AMAZING!
In my view, the best response to anything involving a stranger on the street is to absolutely ignore it, and in most social situations it's a look of pity or a glance upward with the half shake of the head that means I'm going to pretend you didn't say that.

11 comments:

tim maguire said...

But what if it isn't "actually harassment"? It's been my experience that most women like catcalls from construction workers.

I'm curious to hear what the women here think.

John Lynch said...

There's no point in engaging with idiots. When you do, they got in your head.

I forget harassment immediately. It's not worth the energy.

openidname said...

"It's been my experience that most women like catcalls from construction workers."

Troll? Or sarcasm? Oh, internet, you make it so hard to tell . . .

Ashlyn Elizabeth said...

I'm reminded of Miss Manners' advice about inadvertent bodily noises. There are some socially acceptable ones - burping, sneezing, coughing - which can be banished with a magical incantation like, "Excuse me." Then there are unacceptable noises, which she will not mention, "chiefly because they are unmentionable... these are noises that are acknowledged by neither the noisemaker nor the noise recipient, because socially they do not exist." A conspiracy of silence is the only acceptable response.

Treating catcalls as somewhere on a level with farts does not seem like a terrible idea to me.

rhhardin said...

I just ignore them.

Freeman Hunt said...

If they respond verbally, lots of catcallers are going to think they're flirting.

Joe said...

Managed to stop white van full of men mid-catcall by shoving a big powdery donut into my mouth then smiling with mouth full.

Now, that's sexy. There should be a web site for it. Probably already is.

Julie C said...

Sorry, I laughed out loud at the tweezer comment. I would think making that statement in a loud voice on a public bus would be quite effective.

Sam L. said...

Damn, there's a lot of bozos on this bus/subway car/street...

EDH said...

As I've recounted here before, an old bag lady on the subway once said to me, "Jews: big noses, little dicks."

My not exactly snappy come-back was, "I'm not Jewish".

Altogether sad, really.

Marshal said...

EDH said...
As I've recounted here before, an old bag lady on the subway once said to me, "Jews: big noses, little dicks."


Try: Maybe if you were better looking they'd get bigger.