Saturday Morning Harasser

Last Saturday morning I was walking home from the Farmers Market at 14th and U. Right outside the the McDonald’s on 14th and U a man says, “hey there, you are beautiful.” I’m not in the mood to deal with it so I decide to ignore him and keep walking. He continues to yell after me, “Hey, beautiful. I just want to tell you you’re beautiful.”

Submitted by anonymous on 9/30/2009

Location: 14th and U NW

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10 Responses

  1. Golden Silence
    | Reply

    “Hey, beautiful. I just want to tell you you’re beautiful.”

    My response to this harasser is:

    Hey, annoying. I just want to tell you that you’re annoying.

    I wish harassers would realize it’s not their right to give us these unsolicited and unwanted “compliments.” We don’t care what you think about us. Leave women alone.

  2. charon
    | Reply

    What if you found him attractive? Would you still object?

  3. K
    | Reply

    I’m not the OP, but I can say, in answer to your question charon, YES. I’ve been sexually harassed by attractive people. It makes no difference in how I feel about it. Its the behavior that’s the problem, not who’s doing it.

    For the record, I’ve been paid polite compliments before by men I would not consider attractive, but because these were polite, friendly, and most importantly, were not SHOUTING down the street at me, I said thank you and did not consider these men to be harassers.

    Again – the behavior was good, so it didn’t matter who was doing it.

  4. charon
    | Reply

    “For the record, I’ve been paid polite compliments before by men I would not consider attractive, but because these were polite, friendly, and most importantly, were not SHOUTING down the street at me, I said thank you and did not consider these men to be harassers.”

    Fair enough. But sometimes I’m afraid the distinction is lost on this site. E.g., it doesn’t look like the first compliment in this posted story was rudely delivered. The vast majority of the encounters described on this site do involve rude behavior, but not all of them do. Reading these posts, I occasionally get the impression that some women are including as “harassment” all expressions of sexual interest by men whom they don’t personally find attractive, in public settings.

  5. Golden Silence
    | Reply

    That’s not the point, charon. Most women don’t want to be complimented by random men they don’t know. I can speak for myself with that. It doesn’t matter how attractive or unattractive the harasser is—if I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to hear it. I’m not on this earth to be visually appealing to men.

  6. charon
    | Reply

    “That’s not the point, charon. Most women don’t want to be complimented by random men they don’t know. I can speak for myself with that. It doesn’t matter how attractive or unattractive the harasser is—if I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to hear it. ”

    I can’t speak for you, but from my experience what you’ve said here is not true. When I approach a woman I don’t know and express that I find her attractive (sometimes directly, sometimes more playfully), if she finds me attractive she’ll welcome the attention. This is how babies get made a lot of the time–not just by dating people in our social circle. Men have the biological urge to approach women they find attractive, seeking sex, and women have the biological urge to accept the offer from men whom they find attractive. I wholeheartedly agree that men should approach politely, and accept rejection when it occurs. But to say that all men should completely stop approaching women whom they don’t know but find attractive is 1)totally unrealistic and 2)almost certainly not what most women want.

    • Golden Silence
      | Reply

      Let me clarify.

      When I’m going to the grocery store, I’m not trying to be attractive to men.
      When I’m going to work, I’m not trying to be attractive to men.
      When I’m going to pick up a prescription, I’m not trying to be attractive to men.
      When I’m going to the library, I’m not trying to be attractive to men.
      When I’m coming home late and just want to get home, I’m not trying to be attractive to men.

      And so forth.

      Please don’t dismiss the OP’s story because you’re a guy who is striking out with women. That’s unfair. The guy made her uncomfortable and she had every right to be uncomfortable. Women are not objects simply on this earth to be attractive to men. There’s a time and place for everything. The streets are not the place to pick up women. Go to the nightclub for that.

  7. Nafas
    | Reply

    If a man approaches or shouts at a woman on the street, she feels threatened in some way. She feels this way particularly if she’s alone. If the “compliment” is about her body, her looks, her walk, etc., she probably also feels embarrassed and dirty. It does not matter if he’s attractive. I agree with Golden Silence — the street is just not the place to pick up women.

    Furthermore, to all men out there, it doesn’t work. (1) My “instinct” when a man gives me a “compliment” on my looks in the street is to run — cross the street, move faster, make myself not visible to to person harassing me. (2) Even if I didn’t feel this way, slimy guy in the street isn’t telling me something I don’t already know. I know I’m attractive because I have good self-esteem and believe the compliments family and friends have given me my whole life. (3) Chances are, if she’s got that magnetism that makes men claim they “can’t help themselves” but catcall at her, she’s in a relationship already. She’s not going to ditch partner-person for street-harasser person. Street-harasser person’s “compliments” are just one more thing she doesn’t need while on her way home to someone who respects her, someone who she did not meet on a street corner.

    Exception. I have actually felt complimented when men comment about my outfit, jewelry, or shoes if they sound sincere, even if I can tell the man is just trying to get my attention. Why? Because he’s complimenting a choice I made. If all a man’s trying to do is get the woman to look at him long enough to decide whether she’d consider getting with him, then, “Wow, that is such a pretty color” will do it. If she’s interested, she’ll chat. This approach is waaaaay less creepy, than, “Hey, let me get some of that ass.”

  8. charon
    | Reply

    “Please don’t dismiss the OP’s story because you’re a guy who is striking out with women. That’s unfair. The guy made her uncomfortable and she had every right to be uncomfortable. Women are not objects simply on this earth to be attractive to men. There’s a time and place for everything. The streets are not the place to pick up women. Go to the nightclub for that.”

    LOL, I find it amusing that you think my disagreement stems from the fact that I’m “striking out with women.” To the contrary–and apropos of your claim that “the streets are not the place to pick up women”–one of the girls I most recently dated (for about a month) I “picked up” on the sidewalk, right in front of my front door. I don’t recall that I directly paid her a compliment, but that’s not really the point, because there are a million different ways to signal to a woman that you find her sexually attractive. I did so indirectly, and it got me several dates with her.

    So I have to disagree that public places, such as streets, are off-limits. Certainly she didn’t think so. (And please don’t badmouth her–she’s a really sweet teacher from the midwest.) Basically I’d say there are only a very few, limited places where expressing sexual interest in a woman is inherently rude.

  9. […] to meet her. But from most of our experience it does not work, yet a few of our male commentators debate otherwise and claim it is all part of […]

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