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At Last a Use for the Mobile Phone
November 16, 2007 1:42 AM   Subscribe

This guy made me actually WANT to get off at 42nd Street So if you can't slap 'em, snap 'em. Your street harassment questions answered. Can't think why they aren't flattered by all the attention they're getting.
posted by jennydiski (41 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: one exhibitionism post per day is enough. This is linked in the thread just below this. Please don't use MetaFilter to forward your point from metatalk. -- jessamyn



 
Déja déja vu
posted by jouke at 1:45 AM on November 16, 2007


A post about how women experience street harassment, not about how interesting the psychology of the men who harass them is. That is taken care of below.
posted by jennydiski at 1:53 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


There was an arm against my rear - or so I thought - so I moved up a couple of inches. Then, there it was again. And again. And again. Eventually I realized that it wasn't an arm at all - it was a hand that was getting friendlier and friendlier as the train moved from 51st to 42nd. I kept turning around to give him dirty looks, but I think he took that as an invitation!
And that's when you move on to yelling "hey pervert, get your hand off my ass!" Why settle for photos?
posted by grouse at 1:55 AM on November 16, 2007


But both in follow up to MLs deleted post. And this was linked from indirectly from that thread.
So déja déja vu.
But go on. Flog your horse.
posted by jouke at 1:59 AM on November 16, 2007


Here in Tokyo the problem of women being groped in crowded train cars has resulted in one particular action which would most likely be unthinkable in most western countries: they've introduced "women only" cars on some subway lines during rush hours.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:00 AM on November 16, 2007


"Flog your horse."

Is that you being saucy, or?
posted by From Bklyn at 2:02 AM on November 16, 2007


Not that unthinkable. I'm told that the English ladies-only carriages were declassified after people realized that a carriage full of women was just a better target for men.
posted by grouse at 2:03 AM on November 16, 2007


Thanks, jouke, but horse was prematurely pronounced dead in my opinion. And while I've got the whip in my hand...
posted by jennydiski at 2:06 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


So is 'getting off at 42nd Street' anything like getting off at Edge Hill? (See the 6th paragraph.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:21 AM on November 16, 2007


Thanks, jouke, but horse was prematurely pronounced dead in my opinion. And while I've got the whip in my hand...

SPANK ME! ME FIRST!
posted by loquacious at 2:22 AM on November 16, 2007


A post about how women experience street harassment, not about how interesting the psychology of the men who harass them is. That is taken care of below.

Did you just call every single male commenter on Metafilter a harasser?
posted by slimepuppy at 2:47 AM on November 16, 2007


No, I didn't. I was referring to a post below this one about the nature of exhibitionism. A separate and interesting topic. Jouke suggested it might be a duplicate, I suggested it wasn't.
posted by jennydiski at 2:53 AM on November 16, 2007


Ah, that makes sense. Mea culpa.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:00 AM on November 16, 2007


SPANK ME! ME FIRST!

Oh, Lo, you're thirty years too late...It was not to be.
posted by jennydiski at 3:15 AM on November 16, 2007


The most interesting thing to me about that Hollabackgirl website is the guy with the pink phone on the holaback NY masthead and the low post count.
posted by Rubbstone at 3:18 AM on November 16, 2007


Whoa, today is like Elephant Day's creepy uncle.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:18 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


What an awful, awful term (from that icky HP marketing shill Gwen Stefani and her Asian minstrel show) and a terrible site. This is a very serious issue that deserves much better than this kind of self-rightous, mega PC gripe site. It reads like the worst kind of political rants of the classic Viz character Millie Tant . And look at the embarassing blogroll. Surely some of these entries are staged parody? Maybe the rubbish design and awful , C- in a gender studies class tone puts off potential posters? What a shame. I read about this a couple years back in The Observer, maybe their hit count is low so thier PRs arranged for this suspicious FPP? Hmmmm.....
posted by The Salaryman at 4:29 AM on November 16, 2007


from the mission statement on the first link:

you have the right to feel safe, confident and sexy without being the object of some turd's fantasy...

but is that really true? i'm down with safety and confidence, no problem there, but this new no fantasizing rule intrigues me. is it reciprocal? am i guaranteed the right somewhere that women will never fantasize about me? is that a right i'm even interested in having? what about the conflict in the female psyche disclosed here, yes, you want to be sexy, you bought that push-up bustier to display your new implants to best advantage, but when they turn a male head, suddenly he's an oinking turd! is there a significant difference in the way you feel between me appraising your assets and george clooney appraising your assets? yes, cam-phones are ubiquitous now, you propose to take his picture and upload it to your site; you would have no objection, i assume, to the guy you just photographed taking your picture and uploading it to his site, e.g., crazystreetbitches.com? i'm opposed to physical and verbal harrassment too, but this no-looking, no-fantasizing thing is a gray area; even the lady in the isley brothers' song who's that lady? said look, but don't touch, is her directive no longer operative in 2007? women in muslim countries have a solution for that, perhaps you could start a chain of clothing stores, call it something like...

old muslim navy!
posted by bruce at 4:34 AM on November 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


indeed, Bruce. In fact I recall hearing the self-promoter behind this saying something like 'I want to be able to walk down the street in a bikini top and not be looked at'. That is really, really bizarre from a psychological standpoint. If I walked down the high street in nothing but crotchless chaps and chocolate sauce it would be to attract attention. This whole thing reminds me of this.
posted by The Salaryman at 4:47 AM on November 16, 2007


flapjax at midnight: They have those in Bombay's suburban train system. While I can see why there are seperate women-only bogies ('ladies compartments') out there [1] - heck, I hardly had space to breathe in the men's compartment - that was one bit of Bombay's urban-life that caught me completely off-guard; it was surprisingly quite hassling trying to find my (female)-friends after we all alighted at our destination. I can only wonder with amazement as to how people could find each other in the system in the days before mobiles existed.

--
[1] - I recently learnt that the pre-Independence term for (what we now in India call as) ladies' compartments was a 'zenana' carriage. The zenana is, of course, the ladies' apartment in a traditional north/central-Indian house.
posted by the cydonian at 4:51 AM on November 16, 2007


ya know what happens when you drop a match into a bucket of wood shavings?
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:51 AM on November 16, 2007


You get to see better what's around?
posted by jennydiski at 4:58 AM on November 16, 2007


jennydiski, can you step back for a minute and let your thread stand on its own for a bit without overmoderating it? If it's good enough to stay, it's good enough to stay without you hovering over it.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:01 AM on November 16, 2007


You got it.
posted by jennydiski at 5:03 AM on November 16, 2007


Did you just call every single male commenter on Metafilter a harasser?

No, no, not commenter. Every male commuter.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:14 AM on November 16, 2007


...you have the right to feel safe, confident and sexy without being the object of some turd's fantasy.

I ain't no thought police. As far as I'm concerned, turds and others can fantasize all they want. They should just keep their ideas -- and their hands, and their cash and prizes -- to themselves.

To me it seems clear that street harassment is more akin to bullying than it is to sex -- the "hey, baby" stuff is merely a fig leaf. And as for dudes who think that bullying is somehow sexy, well... that is just sad.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:28 AM on November 16, 2007


Bruce, your harangue is crying out for a street corner.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:43 AM on November 16, 2007


Some devil's advocacy from a recent local NPR broadcast:

"How the internet is changing how we think about our reputations. We talk with DANIEL SOLOVE author of the new book The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy in the Information Age. It's a cautionary tale of how the web has blurred the lines between written and spoken gossip and the impact this is having on how people view us. He is an Associate Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C."

Listen (real audio, sorry).

I believe he addresses this site directly and raises the issue of how dangerous the lack of vetting is. I.e., men and women anonymously posting pictures of men they don't like and claiming they were sexually harrased by them.
posted by The Straightener at 5:46 AM on November 16, 2007


I feel sorry for the outside cafe eaters who have to put up with guys yelling at them for having a good time or asking for a hand-out.
posted by doctorschlock at 5:48 AM on November 16, 2007


I've heard that in Italy a man may legally touch a woman's ass, and she, in turn, may legally slap him with an open hand.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:50 AM on November 16, 2007


The Straightener, I haven't had time to listen to that story yet, but it makes me wonder if the only real difference in the Internet Age is one of degree. People have forever been able to lie and slander others, sometimes by putting up drawings or photos in public places.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:00 AM on November 16, 2007


Man, what awesome comments. Such sympathy for the viewpoint that perhaps it might be nice if one could walk through a city in a dress and not get yelled at! When I was trapped on a subway car with a man rubbing my shoulders, attempting to grab my breasts, and masturbating in front of me I now feel sorry I pushed him and got security on his ass as soon as I got off. Why was I ever scared? After all, I was probably drawing attention to myself. I'm sure it had something to do with me removing my winter coat and showing off my revealing heavy-knit turtleneck sweater. That must have done it.
posted by schroedinger at 6:01 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


George Clooney is allowed to ogle. bruce and bukvich are not. They do not dress like that to attract everybody's attention. They dress like that on the remote chance they will encounter Brad Pitt or Tiger Woods. The idea that us schlubs might consider ourselves in the same league as they is an *insult*.

Doesn't everybody get pissed off when they are insulted?
posted by bukvich at 6:03 AM on November 16, 2007


I've heard that in Italy a man may legally touch a woman's ass, and she, in turn, may legally slap him with an open hand.

Huh. Of course, you realize that's kind of a win-win thing for some of us...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:03 AM on November 16, 2007


I was walking down the street a while back, and the guy in front of me was making kissing noises and saying "Hey baby, you're so fine, mmm-hmm, what a nice ass you got, mmm" to the woman walking in front of him. I watched her body language get all stiff as she walked and ignored him. I sped up a little so that I was sort of next to the guy and said, So, does that work? Do you think she'll give you her number or something? How many dates have you gotten this way? He stopped and looked at me and said What? Fuck you, bitch. Being a grown-up, I just laughed. The woman disappeared into the crowd.

Another time, on a crowded bus, a guy put his hand on my ass. I said, loudly, get your hand off my ass. The hand was removed.

It's been a while since I got wooted. I don't miss it at all.
posted by rtha at 6:10 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


This one goes out to you, schroedinger, baby. From the third link:

...India-based blog [Blank Noise] has helped muster support for projects such as the "Did You Ask for It" art installation in which readers donate articles of clothing worn on days they were harassed, ranging anywhere from baggy flannel button-ups to floor-length skirts to pairs of jeans.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:10 AM on November 16, 2007


People have forever been able to lie and slander others, sometimes by putting up drawings or photos in public places.

But in the past employers haven't been able to find that slander from the comfort of their office in a matter of seconds by using the internet.

This is less of a problem for anonymous assholes who get shamed on the site with solely a picture, but if you start adding names...
posted by slimepuppy at 6:26 AM on November 16, 2007


From the last link:
Ugh! This man was some homeless bum in need of a shower and he looked old enough to be my grandfather.

So if he was clean and owned his own home (and age-appropriate), his behaviour would have been all right?
posted by Bearman at 6:37 AM on November 16, 2007


from that icky HP marketing shill Gwen Stefani and her Asian minstrel show

Um... the phrase "holla back" goes back much further than little miss Gwen (indeed, there really isn't much I can think of at all that actually originates with her, though a good deal [ska, "girl power" lipstick feminism, stepping, harajuku, musicians as fashion moguls] has gone through her, at least).

In song, the earliest and most popular incantation I can think of - off the top of my head - is the Neptunes-produced track by Fabolous off his 2001 album Ghetto Fabolous entitled "Young'n (Holla Back)"
posted by ChasFile at 6:46 AM on November 16, 2007


Of course, Bearman. Haven't you seen the training video? Three simple rules we guys need to remember to avoid a harassment suit:

1. Be handsome.
2. Be attractive.
3. Don't be unattractive.
posted by LordSludge at 6:54 AM on November 16, 2007


ChasFile I have been told. I am also sure that the Fabolous track rocks bells compared to anything that barbie doll who listened to a Fishbone record by mistake, then xeroxed it all in plastic could ever do.
posted by The Salaryman at 6:58 AM on November 16, 2007


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