“As if he thought I wanted his sexualized attention.”

Coming home from the Metro around 10:30 at night Sunday 4/10, a man blew kisses at me while I was talking to my husband.

It was as if he thought that since I was facing his direction (and paying attention to who was around us at night), I wanted his sexualized attention.

The other thing that bothered me was that this was the second time (I submitted a story about being harassed in a Safeway) in one weekend I was harassed in front of a partner who did not notice the harassment at all. I don’t think that it is his responsibility to stop the harassment or confront the harasser (in fact, I do not want him to do this, as it reinforces the idea that women are objects to be owned), but I do think that he should notice what is happening to women around him, particularly women that matter to him, so that he can be a better part of the solution. Do others have partners that are “oblivious” in this same way?

Submitted by k

Location: 7th and Massachusetts NW

Time of harassment: Night (7:30P-12A)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

2 Responses

  1. cathy

    i can’t help with your question by speaking from personal experience since i’ve only ever been in lesbian relationships, but i do notice guy friends don’t see harassment around them. it takes a lot of education for men to see past their privilege. frequently they’ll stick to “it’s a compliment” and not realize how insulting that is.

    try talking to your partner, give him a lot of real examples, point out what’s happening to people other than yourself. hopefully over time he’ll get it. which is to say i hope he’s not just a jerk. 🙂

  2. Cal

    Yeah, I totally have this. My partner (male) and I have been together for 5 years, and he’s wonderful. He was raised mostly by women and he proudly identifies as feminist, but he’s also a really strong guy. We argued all the time about harassment (particularly about that Schrodinger’s rapist article that circulated a while ago). He thought street harassment was a bad thing, but also thought women were mostly over-reacting to it. We’ve talked about it a lot and one of the things he’s admitted is that it’s hard for him to really accept that it’s that bad because if he does he doesn’t know how to not walk around angry all the time. I don’t really get it, he’s basically walking around being a little willfully ignorant. I would mind this more except that he’s the type of guy who always says something or does something when he sees anything like harassment happening in public. I’ve seen him stare down groups of frat guys at bars and intervene with arguing couples on the street when it gets a little too heated, so… Sorry, I’m not rambling, but I wanted to respond and say that I feel your pain a bit. Thanks for your post.