October 31, 2014

"Dude, why aren’t you hitting on her? Dude, why aren’t you trying to pick up more women? Why aren’t you yelling that at her?"

Imagining the pressure from other men that leads men to harass women on the street.

69 comments:

Joe said...

I guess I'm in the wrong demographic since I've NEVER had someone pressure me like that nor have I EVER been with a "Street Harasser."

And if you want harassment, play an online game.

Ann Althouse said...

I've been in a situation where I was aware of one man pressuring a younger man exactly like this.

The younger man in question regarded the older man as a lout. But not all men on the receiving end of this kind of prodding have the self-awareness and character to disregard this kind of junk.

RecChief said...

This piece by Ed Driscoll is really good regarding this whole thing.

As Mr. Driscoll says, it's important to remember that the organization that posted the video wants to criminalize speech, calling it "violence".

Fuck em all.

richard mcenroe said...

There is a proper, polite, civil and progressive way to express your appreciation of an attractive woman.

You send armed uniformed Arkansas State Troopers to her dressing room to escort her to your suite.

Rob said...

Hey baby, you can teach about my Article I anytime. I got your Bill of Rights right HERE.

Bob Ellison said...

Let me get this straight.

1) Joe's in the wrong demographic, as am I, since we've been involved in and never have witnessed anything resembling what the Professor describes.

2)...there is no two. What is the point here? You talk about a "younger man" and an "older man". You're not making sense. "Junk"?

Is this a new GamerGate thing?

Bob Ellison said...

Oh, moderation is on. Interesting.

rhhardin said...

Amish men vex women.

Meade said...

Moderation is on while we deal with a huge incoming spam attack.

Bob Ellison said...

Meade, I hear you. That makes sense. Good luck.

Ann Althouse said...

It makes sense, but it's not interesting.

Anyone who thinks the moderation is on because of the subject matter of the discussion or what real commenters are saying is completely wrong.

It's just pure crap I'm fighting off.

sean said...

Gee, if I started in on people who say inappropriate things, I'd have to become either a hypocrite or, to be consistent, a total semiotic policeman, which would mean I'd have to start telling women how to dress. I mean, signs are signs, to the semiologist. Imagine how mad that would make Debjani Roy and her friends! To be honest, I don't think Prof. Althouse would like it much either.

Meade said...

"Amish men vex women."

Amen Venom Whim Sex.

Ann Althouse said...

There. I took moderation off. Looks like the storm passed.

Bob Ellison said...

I should have said "it sucks". You two have a tough job up there, and anyone who thinks moderation is because of the subject matter isn't paying attention.

Anyway, please carry on, and good luck.

Meade said...

Thanks, Bob.

Biff said...

The thing that seems to be getting lost in the shuffle is that in a lot of neighborhoods (including ones I've lived and worked in for years), this sort of behavior is effective from the male point of view, and many women seem to respond positively and to treat it as playful banter, no matter how offensive it seems to caucasian or middle/upper class sensibilities. That doesn't make it right, but let's not pretend that the pressures/incentives are exclusively from the male side of the equation.

YoungHegelian said...

Notice what's missing from the article discussion of confronting the serial harasser: Did the harasser's technique work? Did he get dates with 1 out 10 women? 1 out of 15?

My guess --- if he was good looking, he got a date at least 1 out of 15 times. You know, if you're a guy, a hit ratio of between 1 in 10 to 15 isn't a bad return for so little time & energy spent.

Or, was this guy just insane & kept repeating a behavior that got him absolutely no return? If that's the case, the guy's problem is that he's insane, not so much how he manifests it.

Unknown said...

OK, full admission, I was once, what's now called a street stalker.
Circa 1966, my age 24 (doofus, skinny yet self-confident) a,
to me, attractive young lady, walking alone on a metro street.
Left my vehicle to walk with her, she's on the sidewalk, I'm in the gutter (comments not needed).
Short story long, I gave her my work number, asked her why boyfriend (couldn't believe she didn't have one) wasn't with her.
No response, yet she took me up on work # and we had a fun & casual relationship for several months.
I forgot, today casual is sex w/o commitment, then it was just that, casual!

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse said...
There. I took moderation off. Looks like the storm passed.

I think the Christina Hendricks photos were the most tasteful of the lot.

Meade said...

Incoming! Reengage moderation!

Wait. No. Never mind. It was just chicklit.

Bob Ellison said...

I walked up to a woman in college once in a library. She was really pretty. I gathered up my courage and approached her and said something like "I don't have any better reason to address you than that I think you're really pretty."

She said no, pretty much. Ah, well. She is still really pretty in my mind's eye, and probably a nice lady.

Revenant said...

I tried giving a crap about "street harassment", but I failed.

YoungHegelian said...

I, good ex-altar boy that I am, have never catcalled a woman.

I have, however, been catcalled by women when I was in grad school in 1980. A buddy (handsome & a marathon runner), my then girlfriend (now wife), and I were walking up Q street to the Dupont Circle Metro in DC when a car with three young women drove by and one hung half her body out the window & yelled at us "TAKE OFF YOUR CLOTHES!!!!"

My buddy pulled off his belt & the chick started howling. I, dumbstruck by this vicious & unprovoked attack on my tender virtue, just smiled & waved.

My girlfriend thought it was hilarious all around.

Lem said...

There is scene in Magnolia (1999) where Tom Cruise's character instructs men just so...

Obviously, a minority report.

chickelit said...

A song for every O'Kasion: I'm A Girl Watcher.

Very "horny" band.

glenn said...

None of my friends ever behaved this way, except for one. Spotting a nice looking girl on a bus stop he said "Hey honey, do you ****". She replied "no but my Brother does, bring your mother over" we never let him live it down.

Alex said...

I don't know I've never seen a man harassing a woman right in front of me. Then again I don't hang out on street corners where swarthy types do all day long. Maybe I've got too much white privilege goin' on. I'm sure Crack thinks it's perfectly find for ghetto guys to catcall women.

Alex said...

I still don't get what is the "oppression of the male gaze". Unless a guy is literally leering at your exposed cleavage, what are you so fucking offended about slut?

Alex said...

Lem, Tom Cruise portrayed a PUA to perfection in that movie. Ultimately PUAs are empty shells of men. If they don't have sex with a woman, there is nothing else that defines them.

Eric said...

I tried giving a crap about "street harassment", but I failed.

Yeah, same here. If you're such a wilting flower you can't handle being spoken to by men you don't find attractive, then you're never going to amount to much in life.

Freeman Hunt said...

A lot of men who don't move in social circles where catcalling is acceptable make constant comments about passing women to other men. If the other men don't make comments, they'll often try to goad the other men into commenting.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's easy to say that street harassment is no big deal if you've never been a young woman, but do try to imagine what it would be like if strangers stared at you everywhere you went and you were physically much weaker than all of them. It's not surprising that many young women say that this wears on them.

Achilles said...

1. The behavior is boorish and I tell people around me to at least have some game when hitting on a woman.

2. This is so far in the first world problems category. Victory for feminism I guess if you turn women into such pathetic creatures.

3. Feminists supported an actual rapist who is currently the most popular democrat alive and whose wife is a possible presidential candidate because she was married to him with no actual qualifications of her own.

I appreciate the clarity these tools are providing.

chickelit said...

A lot of men who don't move in social circles where catcalling is acceptable make constant comments about passing women to other men.

Here's a perfect example of two such famous men goading each other to make comments about a passing woman:
The Girl From Ipanema

HoodlumDoodlum said...

To get to the "100 incidents of harassment" they apparently counted things like guys saying "good morning" as well as the behavior most of us would frown upon.
I'm with the people wondering how often behavior like this "works," though. Gotta be careful with the question, of course, since if we say "they do it because it sometimes works" that is at least partially putting blame on women...which is obviously wrong.

Seinfeld on using a low percentage tactic.

traditionalguy said...

Roy Orbison's greatest hit will need to be censored. Roy was southern polite asking a pretty woman walking down the street to stop awhile. But he really sees her as a street walker.

Anonymous said...

Black Out Drunk Guy says:

So I had some drinks and this girl passed by on the sidewalk and I asked her name and she just gave me attitude, I mean: Bitch c'mon, I wouldn't call you 'bitch' if you just told me your name and then she said something but I was then throwing up, she was all like I'm better than you and then my friends thrwwew me in a Cab and I threw up again and I woke up on Roosevelt but someone had stolen my shoes and it was raining.

Aric said...

I'll bet that 'Harry' has slept with at least three times as many women as the author of this article.

You get more of the behaviors you reward and less of what you don't.

RecChief said...

that is at least partially putting blame on women

blame for what?

I guess there are some feminists who think the only contact with a man should be through match.com or tinder. Sorry, I prefer the days when my squad mates and I would go to a bar, chat up every pretty girl there ( and get shot down 99% of the time, by the way), and sing loud profane songs on the hike back. good times.

David said...

Freeman Hunt said...
A lot of men who don't move in social circles where catcalling is acceptable make constant comments about passing women to other men. If the other men don't make comments, they'll often try to goad the other men into commenting.


I spend very little time standing on streets, but if I see a particularly attractive woman I often will point her out to my companion. Whether I do or not depends partly on context. Business meeting--no. Church, school, PTA meeting, etc--ditto. But if we are in a bar or restaurant, or some other social context (often in cities)where people are generally "on parade," I'm likely to point the woman out. It also depends on who my companion is, but the companion need not be a man. Nor must the person observed be a woman. I know plenty of women (my wife is one) who enjoy observing other people. People watching is quite a normal pastime throughout the world (with exceptions.)

The comment does not have to be lewd or specifically anatomical but I'm not sure why uttering appreciation for an attractive person is a bad thing. My tag line is "it's ok to look, but not for as long as you might like to."

There should be an exception for young girls, even if they have tarted themselves up, as many do these days. Or for anyone who seems uncomfortable. It's not that hard to tell, though you certainly can make mistakes.

I like to click through Althouse's link to The Sartorialist. Pretty people in pretty clothes. Why not look at such people on the street, and comment privately in a way that does not threaten them? Why would a pretty person out in public expect not to be noticed.

I've had pretty teenage girls as daughters and now granddaughters. I do understand how attention can be confusing and disturbing to a young girl, and older men should keep clear in every way possible. But a pretty girl or man is going to get attention and learning how to deal with it is part of maturing. In that sense it's unavoidable.

Revenant said...

It's easy to say that street harassment is no big deal if you've never been a young woman, but do try to imagine what it would be like if strangers stared at you everywhere you went and you were physically much weaker than all of them.

Being a non-predatory man in a world where women, parents, and authority figures feel free to view all men as predators is no picnic either.

Heck, just look at this "street harassment" video. The woman who made it was harassed by a fraction of one percent of the men she encountered while walking around one of the most famously rude cities on Earth... but somehow, men in general are responsible?

Sorry, but I'm not going for it. Everybody has annoyances they have to deal with regularly. Life's tough, wear a helmet.

Laura said...

The proliferation of cell phones makes this an easy peasey problem. Simply point, click, record, and engage by relaying the video and audio to the local police station.

P.S. -- Does the Sartorialist obtain consent forms? Fashion "rape," but not "rape, rape," en blog. News at eleven.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Chickelit,
Ah, Carolina beach music. Horny, but too cool for catcalling.

Eeyore Rifkin said...

Dude, please.

Be said...

Catcalling is easy to deal with. You just respond in kind, for the Love of Pete.

I remember some guy hollering out at me from a construction site during the first Boston Rehab, back in the mid-90s:

"Baby, you can do my wash any day."

"You know, I charge extra for the sh#t stains, right? You can't afford me."

***

(Elle se tut discretement.)

Achilles said...

I had some friends that would eat horrible things that gave them awful gas. They would go to a crowded bar and pick out a table with the hot girls at it. Guys would constantly go to that table to "talk." My friends would spend the whole night drinking and crop dusting that table. I like to think they were protecting that table from the constant attention they received.

tim maguire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim maguire said...

According to women I know who are part of or know about these cultures, about 99% of the commenters on both sides of the discussion have no idea what they're talking about. (And I don't either, I'm just passing on what I was told by women who live in or work in these places.)

None of these guys were trying to pick her up. A young man who says "looking good!" Is paying a compliment and nothing more. It is completely normal and nonthreatening, the equivalent of an old person saying, "have a blessed day." Which they do in that community. A white guy might be trying to pick her up, these men were not.

This video was about a woman from one culture going into another culture and expecting everybody there to treat her according to her norms instead of theirs.

There's a term for what she is doing--cultural imperialism.

damikesc said...

We're watching two major parts of the Progressive coalition, feminists and minority men, starting to break apart.

It's amusing.

Bruce Hayden said...

Someone pointed out that the problem is that these are almost Inevitablly low class men doing this. Blue collar versus white collar professional. A class thing. Something that is more reminiscent of high school than college.

I think that some women don't mind all that much. They take it as a compliment. My partner tells me of friends of hers who are like that. She doesn't, and never did, but was protected by her very large older brother when young. I would maybe expect that women who have brothers, etc, who do this sort of thing to women are more comfortable with it than women who don't.

Think of much of it as cross-class conflict or rivalry. Also, maybe a bit like Blacks of both sexes acting esp. Black just to make all the non-Blacks around them a bit nervous, and therefore respect them - out of fear, because they can't do it out of class or money. And, these cat calls and the like seem to work - the targets of them take notice. Maybe not in a good way, but notice.

Banning this sort of thing isn't going to work. For one thing, a lot of the cops that would have to do the dirty work are maybe even cruder themselves. And, you also have that pesky 1st Amdt that rabid feminists and other good fascists so hate.

tim in vermont said...

The best way to approach any woman is to first get three written attestations as to your hotness from women unrelated to you. This is not for the woman in question, this is for yourself.

If you cannot get three affidavits from women as to your hotness, just don't do it because you are clearly a rapey asshole.

If you can get three such testimonies from different women, then anything you want to do is OK.

For you hot guys, you already know you are hot and are excused, this exercise is for the other rapey assholes who weren't born hot.

CStanley said...

I finally watched the video yesterday and was surprised at how mild most of it was. As someone upthread mentioned, a large percentage of the interactions were guys saying stuff like, "Good morning, beautiful." How is that harassment?

Why are women so scared? Are women actually being dragged off the street at NYC construction sites and raped? If not, then why does any of this cross the threshold to "scary" instead of "mildly irritating", and why should it be anyone else's concern if these women can't figure out the proper response?

Also- I agree that this is a class/culture thing. All men like to look at pretty women, and despite women acting as though it's not the case, women generally like to be admired. Some people of each sex perform this ritual in ways that are considered crass (men catcalling and women dressing in overly provocative ways.) When people from two different classes mix, the results are prone to misinterpretation. What is messed up is that feminists (=women of class and privilege) want the right to perform the ritual any way they want without consequence, while they want men to be held to the standard of their choosing.

Here's a tell- the producers of the video included in the opening explanation, the fact that she was dressed in jeans and a black t-shirt. This is plausible deniability- this is a curvy woman in body- hugging clothing. They wouldn't have sent her out in baggy clothes, but they wanted to point out that she wasn't tarted up. I'm not saying women should wear burkas, just that there is a reason that it is fashionable to wear fitted clothing that shows off your body, and that reason is attractiveness, so why, then, get upset at people who are attracted?

Typical of feminist thought in general, really. All rights, no responsibilities.

Bob Ellison said...

I can't drive my PT Cruiser past the laundromat without getting hollers and whistles from all the women on the sidewalk. "Hey, y'all! Come get some!"

The men are even worse. "What is that thing you're driving?" The steering wheel is too small to hide behind.

William said...

In the presence of rejection, I wither and die. I generally have to sleep with a woman two or three times before I can muster up the courage to ask her out for a date. I'm not a street harasser. When I was in the service, I did have a friend who was. He was a good looking guy. His harassment was not, strictly speaking, obscene, but it was definitely invasive. He got a lot of rejection, but he got lucky a fair amount of the time.......It's like Ebola. Some guys are more infectious than others, and some girls have weaker autoimmune systems than others,.....Net net street harassment is a bad thing, but, like treason, if it succeeds none dare call it harassment.

jr565 said...

Did you notice how almost all the people harassing her are either blacks or latinos? What is this video trying to insinuate about minorities?

D.E. Cloutier said...

Women,

One person's "disaster" is another person's opportunity. Polish your people skills. Say something clever and nice (without stopping) to men who say something to you on city streets. Then run for mayor.

Remember Shelley Hack in Revlon's old Charlie commercials on TV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sn8H42FZcI

- DEC (Jungle Trader)

Alex said...

D.E. Cloutier,

I'm sure that 3rd wave feminists can't be bothered with polishing their "people skills". Why do that when you get everything you want by glaring at a man and slapping them if you open a door for them?

Jupiter said...

tim maguire said...

"There's a term for what she is doing--cultural imperialism."

Also known as "walking while female".

Anonymous said...

One form of pressure between men that we've mostly lost and that it might be nice to have back: "This guy bothering you, lady?"

Anglelyne said...

RecChief: I guess there are some feminists who think the only contact with a man should be through match.com or tinder. Sorry, I prefer the days when my squad mates and I would go to a bar, chat up every pretty girl there ( and get shot down 99% of the time, by the way), and sing loud profane songs on the hike back. good times.

And I bet when you were shot down you took it with good grace and had a laugh about it with your bros, didn't get in the girl's face and call her a bitch or get hostile or nasty in other ways, and saved your jolly profanities for the hike home.

Discussions on "street harassment" are usually pointless because people are really talking about wildly different types of behavior. Let me illustrate with a personal example from my younger days. (Not a response to what you said, RecChief, just a general comment):

I'm walking down the sidewalk one fine day in a Western town. Stop at a light on the corner. Truck pulls up, flatbed loaded with laborer dudes who start jumping around and screeching like zoo apes, grabbing their crotches, shouting filth and making other obscene gestures, and carrying on until the light changes and they are driven off into the distance. I turn the corner and a few blocks later pass a cowboy, who flashes a beautiful smile, tips his cowboy hat, and says, "Good morning, pretty lady".

Now, apparently to both the feminists and the anti-feminists, the guys in the truck and the cowboy were engaging in exactly the same kind of behavior. The feminist ditzes claim that the courtly cowboy was a crypto-rapist asserting his dominance over a passing female, the moron manospheroids insist in all seriousness that I would have been totally cool with the crotch-grabbing and obscenities from the cowboy, 'cause he was a tall handsome alpha and the truck-dudes were short swarthy lower-class mestizos. And oh yeah, the cowboy committed his micro-aggressions in English while the Others expressed their, er, admiration in Spanish, and were poor young laborers, so I'm sure both of the above groups of nitwits would perform stupendous feats of cranio-rectal inversion to demonstrate that the reason the guys in the truck got disdain and bitch-face, and the cowboy a smile and gracious greeting in return, had absolutely nothing to do with any real difference in behavior, but only with race/class blah blah white privilege blah blah blah hypergamy! blah blah blah patriarchy! blah blah blah precious snowflakes blah blah blah.

A pox on both your houses. I'm mystified both by the way the behavior in that video clip is discussed by Side A as if there were some really ghastly stuff going on (jeez, I've seen and experienced way, way, nastier stuff on city streets than this garden-variety loutishness and jackassery), while at the same time Side B apparently thinks that any objections to loutish public behavior are feminazi attacks on masculinity. Freeman is right - this stuff you think is so cute gets real old real fast for young women. The ungrateful bitches! (And no, when we get old, we don't miss having men grab their junk - or ours - and shout filth at us on public streets.) Were y'all raised in barns?

tim maguire said...

Jupiter said...
tim maguire said...

"There's a term for what she is doing--cultural imperialism."

Also known as "walking while female".


I would refer you to my previous statement that 99% of people making comments have no idea what they are talking about. I was most certainly not saying that women should just accept the harassment, I'm saying you are fundamentally wrong about what is happening in that video. Your opinions are filtered through your own ignorant interpretation of what you are looking at.

Jupiter said...

tim maguire said ...
"I'm saying you are fundamentally wrong about what is happening in that video."

"This video was about a woman from one culture going into another culture and expecting everybody there to treat her according to her norms instead of theirs."

This video was about a woman walking around in the city she lives in, being harassed by street scum. I have lived in that city, and I am familiar with street scum. Don't try to tell me about their god-damned culture. The verbal harassment is how they case a prospective victim. If you show vulnerability, they move in.

That motherfucker who walked along with her for five minutes was hoping to get her alone, or at least isolated, so he could lay hands on her, to what end he probably doesn't know himself. How long ago do you suppose that subhuman POS got out of prison? He'll be back.

Alex said...

Jupiter - there are so many conundrums for the left in this video!

#1 - Street scum tends to be towards the non-pale hue if ya know what I mean.

However SJW would have us believe that all men are scum and rapists.

Jupiter said...

I think men might find it easier to understand the woman's point of view if they imagine themselves beginning a (no doubt undeserved) prison sentence. As you hear those steel doors slam shut behind you, a large, hairy man offers you a warm greeting;

"Hey great ass! I can hardly wait to see you in the shower!"

Isn't it pleasant, receiving compliments from strangers?

ken in tx said...

I knew a guy who was arrested for obscene phone calls. I asked him why he did it. He said he got a lot of dates that way. Except he didn't use the word 'dates'. He used another word that starts with P. What he would do is just dial random numbers. If a woman answered, he'd talk dirty to her. If she hung up or yelled at him, he hung up too and dialed another number. After a few tries he got one who would talk dirty back to him. He would arrange to meet her by parking his car at a certain spot with the hood up and him there looking under it. She could drive by and if she liked what she saw, she could stop, if not she could going. This worked for him for about a year before he was arrested.

Freeman Hunt said...

You also have to remember that many young women have had to run away, or escape by some other means, from strangers before. It doesn't happen often, but it happens. That makes all the unwanted attention especially wearing because young women don't know which stranger might turn out to be a real creep next.

CatherineM said...

Exactly Freeman Hunt, Jupiter and Anglelynn. I even think very few "activists" would find the man tipping his hat saying "hey pretty lady," bothersome. There is a difference between, "Mmm, damn baby," and "Lovely dress miss."

I am guessing the men upset with women not appreciating their "compliments" have never had to hide (in a ladies room, in the lobby of a building not mine with the doorman) from complimentary men who then followed you after you acknowledged them? You're a stranger, how do I know if you're nuts or normal? If I am assaulted or murdered, you would then say I shouldn't have been ______. I am sure 99.9% of the time the remarks are harmless, but why take the chance? Stinks that a few bad apple spoiled it for everyone. I wish I never had to be afraid. I do.

On the other hand, I don't want people arrested for speech. I totally disagree with speech codes or criminalization of speech (other than slander/libel). It's the actions after some of that speech I worry about.

Æthelflæd said...

Paul Zrimsek said...
"One form of pressure between men that we've mostly lost and that it might be nice to have back: 'This guy bothering you, lady?'"

I am trying to teach my sons this.