I’m the Slut in the Grocery Store

I am your sexy eye candy.

I’m only here for you to stare at, to whistle at, to mumble comments under your breathe like some creepy mustached pervert.

This is obviously what I want.

This is why I came here.

I got up this morning and chose clothing based solely on how I thought you would react.

I was looking for a reaction.

To the guy I met in the grocery store today…is this what you think of me? Because when I walked past you, toting my little shopping basket, you paused in the aisle. Your eyes did an exaggerated roving gesture, full head tilt and all, from my feet to my chest and back down. You never even made eye contact with me.

“Damn that looks good,” you said.

That?

That as in my dress, because you can’t have it. It won’t fit you and it really isn’t your color, dude.

Or that as in my body, because that’s not some thing that you get to just give your approval of, claim like an image you post on Facebook of some car/shirt/pair of shoes/house that you want. My body doesn’t go in that list.

But it’s okay, because I ignored you. I said nothing and kept right on walking.

I went and got the bread I came there for.

Except I met you in the line and you were saying it again.

“That looks good.”

And I ignored you.

And then you said, “Bitch.”

Now, because I ignored you…because I didn’t turn around and give you the green-light to go ahead with your degrading attempt at flirting…I’m a bitch.

slutSo now I’m a bitch who came to the grocery store dressed up simply to tease you into thinking you had a chance, because that’s obviously the only reason I would have for coming to the grocery store and I just knew you’d be here.

I must be a tease as well.

That’s me: the slutty, bitch, dick-tease at the grocery store.

You have said less than ten words to me, but they were powerful enough to put me in my place, to make me feel tiny, insignificant…wrong.

So when I turn and blast you. When I growl out, “Just shut up.” When I practically run to my car and lock the doors and head back home to change my clothing, because I don’t want to go to my children’s school in a dress anymore. When I feel less pretty and wipe off my lipstick, because I worry it makes me look like a slut…

Just know that all you had to say was, “You look nice today.”

And I would have smiled.

And I wouldn’t have been a bitch and you wouldn’t have altered my day in such a negative way.

I would have smiled.

I would have said, “Thank you.”

 Herstory Lesson: Don’t let someone else’s ignorance mess with your identity…or your day.

 

141 thoughts on “I’m the Slut in the Grocery Store

  1. The way some people are so presumptuous is scary. God forbid you express yourself or do what you want, it’s all about them them them.

    I am sorry you had to deal with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This happens so often, though. I want to just shake those guys and be like, “Hey! This is the WRONG way to get my attention.” I seriously would be nice to someone who just said “You look nice today.” But the roving eyes, the offensive way of saying things, it all turns into something creepy.

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      1. My sister-in-law runs into the same problem, especially when she is on her way home from work (at a club). This may be overblowing it, but really we wonder why there is an issue with rape culture in this country? Because of guys like that and others with similar ego problems. :-/

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        1. The issue is that no one thinks this is an issue. I mean, sure women don’t like it (at least, none that I know), but how many of us stop men when they do this and say, “Hey. That’s not okay.”

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  2. So true. All of this.

    My spoken word idol, Maggie Estep, has a video that was widely circulated on MTV in the 90’s. It’s called “Hey Baby” and it’s all about being harassed on the street in an ignorant way. At the end, the guy says, “What’s the matter? Do you have something against men?”
    She answers, “I don’t have anything against men. Just STUPID men.” It became her catch phrase. The video is on YouTube, by the way.

    And also, because you put the word “slut” in your title? Now that will be one of your number one search terms forever. That’s how I became the “slut mom” blog. I used both of those words in a title. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of people searching on Google for “slut.” Sad.

    I really loved this post, Laura. All they have to do is be nice about it. Is that so difficult?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got to go watch that! And maybe using that word is why my blog has gone batshit today. I was wondering why the influx of new people. Not that I’m complaining. Maybe I’ll start using slut in all my titles bwahahahaha.

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  3. Men can be such assholes, why would a person think it is appropriate to ogle someone and then talk derogatory to them. The audacity that this person had. I give you a lot of credence because I would have probably said something different than Shut Up. I am sorry he made you feel different about your outfit, I am sure you looked beautiful and yes a very kind “You look very nice” would have gone miles.

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    1. It’s amazing the power words have on how we see ourselves. I’m a strong woman, but that small interaction made me question every part of my appearance that day. It’s sad and it makes me angry.

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  4. I bet you looked beautiful and I’m sorry that douche ruined it for you. I wish I’d have been there. I’m pretty sure I’m old enough to be your mother and I’d have handled him for you, you would have kept the dress and lipstick on and he would have been a eunuch. Just sayin’…

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    1. When did self-confidence become an ugly trait on women? Because it seems if we dress in a way that makes us feel good, we’re going to get more negative feedback than positive.

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  5. Damn straight and WELL SAID. I HATE dickwads like that… something MUST be wrong with YOU for not appreciating his WAY of complementing you. Idiot. He’s probably married.

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      1. Wow. You set a better example for that poor kid than I would have – not so sure I’d have stayed silent after that “bitch” comment… Guy probably spends so much time in strip clubs that he’s lost touch with how to speak to real Ladies in public. Ass.

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        1. You know, I didn’t even think about the example I was setting for his kid. That sounds selfish, but I was so lost in my own issues right then, I barely noticed his son. Sad…

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          1. What about the example he was setting for *his* kid? I mean, yes, the only thing you could have changed was you, but I have more pity for what he was showing to him, really. The kid has to live with him.

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              1. Good. I don’t have the best relationship with my own mother, but I give credit where credit is due– and my mother didn’t raise me to be a fool. She wanted a gentleman, and she got that, most of the time (the rest of the time, my daughter and I laugh about fart jokes).

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. Nothing wrong at all. But, my mother used to tell me things like “no nice lady will want to marry you if you do XYZ” and then I married a tomboy who doesn’t care about my occasional crudeness, and then our first child is just as tomboy as she is. I didn’t get the ideal SHE wanted, but I’m very happy!

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          2. I’d say you’re good – blame his nasty behavior which was unbecoming (to say it nicely) of a Daddy at the supermarket. Pray the kid doesn’t turn out like Daddy.

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  6. I LOVE THIS POST. You know you should have your own talk show. This reminds me of my Tamale guy incident *as I shiver from disgust and fear* I am certain I was nearly raped that day.

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    1. I would suck at a talk show…that involves the whole talking in front of people thing that I’m not good at. Tamale guy? Have I heard this story? Is it going to make me want to kill someone?

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      1. I just posted a poem about it. Thank you for the inspiration. Felt good writing about it. Silly how nothing can happen yet make you feel as if something did. Love you Sista

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  7. Ugh. On behalf of men, I apologize. It’s one thing to see a beautiful woman and do a double take. It’s another to talk to and treat her like an object. This dude is a fucking douche and I’m sorry he made you feel like you don’t have the right to look nice out in public.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t apologize for scum like this. Don’t you dare. I in no way think that all men act like this. Unfortunately, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a majority that I come across. But I still hold out hope. There are good men out there, like you 😀 So no apologizing for this douche.

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      1. Well, someone has to apologize for you being treated so rudely, and this jack ass obviously isn’t going to do it. I really am sorry that you and other ladies have to put up with this type of bullshit, because that’s exactly what it is. Bullshit.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I once read a science fiction novel where everyone was armed and if someone insulted you, you had the legal right to shoot them. That would have been nice Laura, if you could have whirled around while pulling out your 45 and the blasted a hole in his guts. You could then blow the smoke off the end of the barrel, and slide it back into your holster as he lay bleeding to death on the supermarket floor. Problem solved! Ha! Violent? Who me? Failing that, I too apologise for the asshole. If I could, I’d take away his membership in the human race. If it’s any consolation, you are beautiful Laura.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would fail so hard in that society. I’m a we-don’t-need-guns kinda person :/ But I’ll tell you the same thing I told TD…no apologizing for scum. I refuse to apologize for the women out there who act like absolute bitches to the people around them, you don’t need to apologize for guys who act like douchebags. 😀

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      1. I was an SF fan very early in my life, starting about age 7. I used to read everything SF including “Best of” short stories. I clearly recall that story but it would have been when I was early teens. I tried Googling it but to no avail. I’m sorry, at that age I rarely looked at authors. I haven’t been able to find it. My apologies.

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  9. I think it’s sad and scary how many of us can relate to this. I’m sorry he made you question your clothing and makeup choices that day. This is not on you. This is on him.

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  10. I love the way you wrote this out. And seriously, what do they think our response will be? I HATE it when they say “that”. Not that any of the other words they choose to use are any better, but “that” does imply an object, a thing. I hope you didn’t really change out of your dress. That would make me sad because I bet you looked great.

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    1. I did, but it worked out. It was field day at the kids’ school and so trying to do tug-o-war with them in a dress probably wouldn’t have worked out so well! And “that” makes me sick to my stomach…It’s not a word to be used for a person.

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  11. Truly eye opening, powerful statement. I never realized what women went through; what toll you paid simply to look nice. It is an ignorance and chauvinistic relic to think any woman, especially a woman of class, would be swayed by such crude motions. Thing is, he didn’t care. Many men don’t. You women are a trophy, a notch, a kingdom to conquer and boast of its spoils. You aren’t human to them… until you become their mothers, sisters, nanas…something other than a woman. They don’t see the humanity, or the heart. They don’t hear the cries or wipe away your tears. They don’t brighten at your smiles or laugh with your jokes. They don’t care to…you are meat, and less than rats, especially if you rebuff or deny their flirtations.
    I was fortunate in that I was taught to never be disrespectful to a woman or treat her as meat. I can’t be alone in this thinking or behavior. But as a gentleman, please don’t let these men ruin your esteem or slut shame you. Please don’t stop dressing or feeling beautiful. You don’t deserve what happened, no woman does, and to change or let them ruin your day is to let them win. Be strong, be proud, and be beautiful.

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    1. That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in a long time. Thank you so much. “You aren’t human to them… until you become their mothers, sisters, nanas…something other than a woman.” – That line broke my heart. I sure hope that no one in this world ever looks at my daughter as less than human. Thank you for your kind, wonderful words.

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  12. Just know that all you had to say was, “You look nice today.”

    Cimmy usually does that for me… I’m often too anxious. Especially when I don’t want to give the wrong impression. But, I have decided to follow her lead when I’m up to it, I mean, as she compliments everyone. I like to have some kind words for parents (“I remember when my kids were that small”) especially when their kids are acting up (“mine do that too”) and I always have compliments for guys that rock the face hair like me.

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      1. Cimmy sometimes gets reactions of disbelief, or expressions that seem to say “what do you *really* want?” so I back her up by saying, “Oh, she’s sincere, trust me.” Usually though, she does get positive reactions, and sometimes people say exactly that– that she’s brightened their day.

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  13. Thank you so much for succinctly saying something I’ve been trying to articulate for years! “You could have just said ‘You look nice,’ and we both would have walked away happy” – that’s exactly how I’ll explain this to people in the future.

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    1. Yay for standing up for ourselves! It’s so hard to articulate in person, isn’t it? I mean, with all the emotions, the fear, the anger…I’m never good with words when my emotions are all out of whack…at least not good with speaking them.

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          1. If I found a genie, it’d be wish #1. I’m also pretty awkward in person if I don’t know you well, and I’d love to bring my sauve, witty online persona to parties and stuff, too!

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  14. I’m too old to get insulted like that anymore. Which I am perfectly fine with! It’s a shame that society has gone so far down the tubes that any man thinks saying what he did is ok. And then to call you a bitch because you didn’t fawn all over him when he objectified you on top of it! He was wrong, with his caveman attitude. You have every right to wear a dress and makeup to feel good about yourself. Don’t let men like that spoil a good thing in yourself.

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    1. Thank you. Caveman…you know, I call the husband that as a joke. In my defense, he does grunt a lot and I think he’d have no issue tossing me over his shoulder and hauling me around if he thought it would get me ready to go out to dinner faster, but it is a really immature state of mind to think that people I am in public, my body becomes something that can be commented on WITH the attitude that I better like it.

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  15. Not in this situation myself and, therefore, able to think clearly, I can see myself turning to the douche and saying, “If you’re shopping for booty, you’re in the wrong store. Also, great example you’re providing to your kid. ASS!” Not that I’d ever think of doing that in real life. I’ve been honked at while walking down the street and not known how to handle it. There’s also that time I was selling Mexican popsicles in my home town and would often get lascivious looks from mexicanos along with the word “guapa,” which means handsome but can be taken to mean sexy, even though I always wore long pants and a very modest tee-shirt. I thank the Lord every day for men like jak. He’s my hero.

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        1. Computers need a sarcasm button 😀 Everyone hates that. Somewhere in this thread we’ve discussed making it a genie wish, to be able to actually speak like we write.

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  16. Any chance that he meant your brain or your writing… probably not. Much like Twindaddy above I must apologize on behalf of gentlemen everywhere. Nobody deserves to be treated this way.

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    1. I would probably hug a man who walked past me and said he loved my writing…of course, then I might get a bit nervous, ’cause in this tiny town, I don’t think any of them even know I write lol.

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  17. Ignorant, unenlightened, misguided, vicious, bitter man. Don’t let him make you feel badly about how you approach your own sense of self, beauty and style.

    I am sorry his path darkened yours this day, Laura.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Whaaaaat? That fugging sucks! I hate that he made you question how you looked, but I totally get it. I’ve walked into places feeling great and get a weird/snotty look from a woman, and completely implode on the inside as a result. I think, oh she looked at me because my outfit is stupid/ugly/makes me look fat, etc. etc. It’s amazing how a sneer, ogle, or shallow words can screw up our day.

    CAN’T EVERYONE JUST EFFING SMILE????

    I know I do. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. This guy must have a sad, empty life to think that is how women ought to be treated. And the thing is that often these guys are taught this. They don’t think of it on their own, to be honest. I was, and still am, too damn intimidated to approach a woman and say even “you look nice” (oh, and the elbow in the gut I would get from my wife), let alone that nonsense. And I see guys do that often. I have even asked these dudes what do they think would happen? They’d get laid or something? They usually laugh it off (nervously) and say “hey, I was just joking” or “I was trying to be nice, ya know?”. No, I don’t know, actually. I am not apologizing at all for that jerky dude, but I too am in awe in how other guys make us look bad. But nothing is worth chipping away at your self esteem for.

    Ya know?

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    1. I totally understand what you mean. My husband is a relatively shy guy. He would never, NEVER speak to a woman like that (or probably even say anything to her at all). It is learned behavior, and that is truly scary.

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  20. Sounds like he forgot you were a person with feelings, and that’s the scariest thing of all. And it’s scarily easy to do. I know I’ve done it at times (not to you….you know what I mean). That’s the thing we keep all forgetting – that each other are HUMANS TOO.

    It sucks.

    And I’m sorry to hear you bore the brunt of it.

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  21. I guess I’m too jaded. If an idiot says something like that to me, I just smile and say “Oh course it does.” I have lots of guy friends and one of them made a comment about me looking good in a particular vehicle I was a passenger in. My response was “Of course I do, I look good in anything!” I know there is a fine line between cocky and confident and sometimes I do walk on either side. If I feel good in what I’m wearing, be damned if anyone will convince me to change, even if it is an insult or a sexist remark.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I am so sorry you had to deal with that asshat. No woman should ever have to suffer that kind of abuse. I am mentally reaching through time and space and slapping the hell out of that man.

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  23. Ugh, grocery stores are magnets for these sorts of interactions. I have way more creepy interactions with the opposite sex while I’m grocery shopping in the daylight than I ever do whilst out at at night. We should make a list of appropriate responses:

    1. And THAT (looks at crotch) looks like something I’d like to stomp into the ground
    2. And THAT is the last thing you’ll ever say if you say it one more time
    3. And THAT right there is how you get your ass kicked by a woman

    I need to stop, I’m getting all fighty. I’m sorry this happened :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love every one of those responses. Now I just need to borrow the balls to say them. Can I use pull you up on Skype when this shit happens and have you tell them off?

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  24. THIS. *raises hands in the air*

    Oh my gosh. You just said it perfectly. Some days, it makes me feel to skip that pencil skirt or heels, simply because I don’t want to get that type of attention. But then I think, “F that”. It says more about that man, you know. Other days, I have a witty remark and then I’m considered rude or arrogant. Or, I just smile. I usually smile, haha.

    Thanks so much for writing this. 🙂

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    1. I wish I could get the witty remark. I always think of them after I’m already in my car and headed home. Of course the husband doesn’t do witty remarks. He just wanted a detailed description of the guy and then proceeded to mumble violent things under his breath. Bwahahahha

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      1. The witty remarks are far and in between though. Most of the time I’m just annoyed that it happens. Hahaha your husband is funny. 🙂

        Oh and can I just say that I looooove your hair! Oh my gosh. Perfect.

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  25. Wow, he must be a real catch. *rolls eyes*

    Sometimes I’ll wear a cute dress to the grocery store just because I’m in a dress mood and I’ve never had a comment like that. I really don’t know what I would say. I think I would ignore it like you did, but the “bitch” comment… hmmm… I REALLY don’t know what I would do.

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  26. Hi Laura, all too familiar!
    Walking doggy I had to pass two men in mobility scoots parked in a strategic spot. There was no way around them. The first time they whistled. I ignored them. The second time they mumbled shit. I ignored them. The third time they made licking noises and said that I purposely ignored them because they were disabled and that I didn’t know what I was missing because they were really good in bed. That’s when I exploded. I told them that if either of them opened their mouth again I would call the police. And then one of them got out of their mobility scoot. The bastard could walk! He was on the verge of slapping me, yelled I had it all wrong and, like a real hero, blamed his friend. I said I didn’t care and that if they hassled me one more time I would, in fact, turn the police on them.
    The next time I saw them they’d looked timid. I said good afternoon. Both of them nodded their head kind of sheepishly and wished me a good afternoon as well. As I passed I heard one say to the other, ‘See, this is possible also.’ I kid you not.
    Nice blog!

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  27. I read this post the other day and liked it, with out posting my thought print something I never do as oft implies the post was never read!
    At the time I had a few beers and felt commenting just then would not do justice to the weight of your words.
    In such a small post you say so much about the nature of society of people, perhaps even once they way I saw and thought.
    Often in life we act, do things with out taking responsibility for our own actions the ripples they cause in the life’s of others at the same time we also speak with out meaning, pass the “hi how are you?” Cliche with out actually wanting to know, just exchanging words, we see but forget to see.
    So this random stands in a supermarket, acts like the world evolves around him and spins you of in another direction, causing you to reflect on yourself.
    That sort of behaviour always drives me insane, what happened to respect and love?
    Words should be said because we mean them, actions should be considered, we have no right to use words or actions that negatively impact another, nor to judge.
    Somewhere in life the love has been lost, the genuine connection of one person to another as a whole, instead we latch on to cliche, negative vibes.
    How we dress, how we look matters not but the humanity and nature of who we are, striving everyday to be better at who we are and what we are, a small act of love can create waves that make positive change.
    The sad part is this random, does not see, probably never will and so while trying to live he simply goes through the motions and life becomes lost.

    I have read a few of your posts, I came across your blog via another blog I read. Your words your thoughts show your natural light and the reality of your person.

    My thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Oh my god Laura!
    I am so touched by this. What an asshole! Some people do not deserve to be walking about freely.
    The more I think about your incident, the more angry I become.
    Damn.
    You handled the situation better than I would have, were I a woman.

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  29. Reblogged this on History of a Woman and commented:

    I post often about women’s issues. This ones seemed to be the favorite. Now whether that was because I used the word “slut” in the title and some servers blocked it as porn, or because every woman who read it could relate…It is still a conversation worth having.

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  30. Oh how I wish I had the courage to say that TO those types of people! When I was younger, I mean, I do a nice job of avoiding that w/my current lack of effort in my appearance 🙂 but I know what you mean. Rude, crude and socially unacceptable. They should have classes, along with anger management, they should have Douche Management classes. Imagine how rich a school that taught that would be in America??

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    1. It would be amazing to just have a Basic Manners course. Where they teach young men (and women) to speak to one another in socially acceptable ways, instead of in ways that make us get all fearful that we’re going to be attacked in the parking lot.

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  31. “Hey school girl you might be tiny but you got some junk in that trunk let me move on up here.” I wanted to say “are you fucking kidding me with that bullshit? Does that ever really work for you?” but I was newly pregnant with my daughter and was too afraid to say anything. I hate hate hate that these interactions make US feel like we are the ones to blame. “My pants were too tight” I reasoned and donated them to Goodwill. Just as you rushed home to change. Why do we think we need to change. Pisses me off.

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    1. Have you seen that commercial about women apologizing? I can’t remember who did it, but I think they hit the nail on the head. We spend so much time apologizing for everything, it seems only natural to blame ourselves for someone else’s bad behavior.

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  32. Oh wow, this is kind of amazing because I had almost the exact same experience in a very different setting. I was always one to flee from confrontation, one night I was going out with friends for my birthday and was all dressed up and feeling fabulous and as it turned out tipsy enough to have some dutch courage. A group of guys walked by us in the street and one of them said exactly the same thing, “Mmm-mm that looks good”, they started following us towards the club saying similar things and we started freaking out a bit.
    Something in me snapped and all of a sudden I was so SO mad that they were making me feel scared… it was my birthday dammit. I turned around and one of them said, “Oh there she is” and for once in my life I was perfectly awesomely full of all the right words at the perfect moment,
    “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realise we were playing hide and seek. Here I am… what of it? Were you talking to me back there when you said ‘that looks good’?”.
    “You know I was” said Douchy McDumbass,
    “Right” said I, “well you know what? You’re right, I am looking mighty fine tonight, but that…” gesturing at him, “…does not. You look and sound like a moron, so go home, put on some pants that fit because no one wants to see your panties and while you are there ask your Mummy for some lessons in English and respect”. I walked off on the biggest high I have ever felt (aside from my wedding day) and I was so SO proud of myself. I had never ever stood up for myself like that before and it felt AMAZING! Since then I have found it easier to speak up more, it just took that one time.

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  33. I once asked a man for change to use a vending machine and he said I could have his whole wallet if I sucked his ***. I can’t remember what my response was but it wasn’t substantial enough since he was still standing when I left. I felt absolutely disgusting the rest of the day. Nothing about that is a compliment, when someone treats you like an object it is an insult. Why someone thinks you should feel flattered by that sort of repugnant behavior I have no idea. I love dresses but I can’t enjoy wearing them because this kind of thing. Someone mentioned the car thing, I walk everywhere so I get harassed quite a bit by men in cars. The thing is guys like this don’t back off easily even if you say you are married/not interested, you have to physically leave or get hostile because they just don’t hear no.

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  34. You my friend are my new idol. People (not just men) who find it acceptable to force their negative ideation onto other people piss me off royally. As a woman of some size I often have been on the receiving end of the opposite type of attention. One observation in years of talking to people about their experience is the pervasive misogyny ..i haven’t heard from any men who have had this sort of encounter. I am not apt to let the person persist without an interaction in which I confront them (of course only if I deem it safe)

    Like

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