Street Harassment


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In every situation like this, it ends up with identity. Sadly, perhaps. We humans NEED identities. We aren't happy unless there is someone telling us who we are. We conflate "role in other people's lives" with "point of my existence". In some ways, long term-relationships and friendships do provide this, and some people are happy being pretty much alone, but for those who can't do either of those things, being given an identity is crucial.

So why this ramble?

Because culture is the integrated view of identities. And, let's face it, much of these kinds of expressions, like catcalling, complimenting, and so on, is a cultural manifestation. As was repeatedly stated, in places where the general, larger culture allowed for non-personal communication without issue, catcalling et al were smaller phenomena. And so, since debates like this do not reach outside the culture in which they are discussed, raging here about how improper it is to catcall isn't going to accomplish anything whatsoever. Rather, it comes across more like "Look how badly all those poor, unemployed people are behaving. Ugh. Someone really ought to do something about the... that. Whatever."

You know me by now, I am not one who usually sees things in terms of class divides, racial issues and so on. Even so, I think in this instance, the gobbo is right. It doesn't happen in a vacuum, it's not a random sample of all the men in a society who do this. And if not, we need to discuss REASONS. WHY did the guys in the video try to talk to a woman just passing on the street? Because in their culture, it's more okay to do so? Because they are poor and don't really have anything to lose from not showing courtesy? Because they felt that since they didn't have a chance with that girl anyway, they should try showing her she was unwelcome on their sidewalk? Because, perhaps, they were lonely and any sort of human contact, even hostile such, is better than not feeling you exist? All of the above, maybe? Something else?

Think about it. Try to understand the why, and you can find a way to do something about it, to show people a better way. Don't, and you'll never affect anything in a positive way. Even if you consider yourself a better person for being more angry than everyone else about something.


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Empathy, humility and self-examination? That's gonna have to be a generation solution, 'cause I ain't doin' none of that in my lifetime! :P


Kirth Gersen wrote:

That's the wording of your proposed law? Presumably you're not a member of the bar.

You know, we don't really need 'more laws' - frankly they only serve to keep on dividing society and create a climate of fear (I can't say or do anything to that guy catcalling, because I'll have to break a law too - so I have to let it slide), what we need is less jerkhats, and we can't legislate them out of existence.

Social contract is the word, and people catcalling away open themselves up for the mocking they deserve.


Shifty wrote:
You know, we don't really need 'more laws' - frankly they only serve to keep on dividing society and create a climate of fear (I can't say or do anything to that guy catcalling, because I'll have to break a law too - so I have to let it slide), what we need is less jerkhats, and we can't legislate them out of existence.

I totally agree with all of this -- it was largely what I was trying to get at, but I wanted to hit every point along the way instead of just skipping to the end.

Shifty wrote:
Social contract is the word,

This is the part I'm undecided on, because as we've seen, the places in the U.S. cited as having the strongest social contracts forbidding speaking to others in public (e.g., NYC) also have the largest preponderance of catcalling problems. People responding from places where it's okay to talk to people on the street are generally also the ones saying they never see catcalls except on videos (you may be an exception if you're in Sydney, which boasts a lot of tourists; I'm not sure).

Shifty wrote:
and people catcalling away open themselves up for the mocking they deserve.

Which is why I constantly refer to them as "mouth-breathing cretins."


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Shifty wrote:
You know, we don't really need 'more laws' - frankly they only serve to keep on dividing society and create a climate of fear (I can't say or do anything to that guy catcalling, because I'll have to break a law too - so I have to let it slide), what we need is less jerkhats, and we can't legislate them out of existence.

I totally agree with all of this -- it was largely what I was trying to get at, but I wanted to hit every point along the way instead of just skipping to the end.

Shifty wrote:
Social contract is the word,

This is the part I'm undecided on, because as we've seen, the places in the U.S. cited as having the strongest social contracts forbidding speaking to others in public (e.g., NYC) also have the largest preponderance of catcalling problems. People responding from places where it's okay to talk to people on the street are generally also the ones saying they never see catcalls except on videos (you may be an exception if you're in Sydney, which boasts a lot of tourists; I'm not sure).

Shifty wrote:
and people catcalling away open themselves up for the mocking they deserve.
Which is why I constantly refer to them as "mouth-breathing cretins."

I've noticed that the catcalling/public isolation (we need a simpler term than "social contracts forbidding speaking to others in public" and that's my best effort) remain the same in direct proportion, but vary a lot depending on background noise level, regardless population level.

. . .

I hope that made sense; I should probably just be posting everything in the beer thread at this point.


Kirth wrote:
This is the part I'm undecided on, because as we've seen, the places in the U.S. cited as having the strongest social contracts forbidding speaking to others in public (e.g., NYC) ."

Yeah but there's 0 repercussions to breaking those contracts.

In Australia, it wouldn't be too long before someone gave them a crack in the mouth.

When we keep making laws about things we shift the responsibility to the Police to sort everything out, as opposed to a social contract where its everyones bag. Education, not legislation.

Liberty's Edge

Shifty wrote:
Kirth wrote:
This is the part I'm undecided on, because as we've seen, the places in the U.S. cited as having the strongest social contracts forbidding speaking to others in public (e.g., NYC) ."

Yeah but there's 0 repercussions to breaking those contracts.

In Australia, it wouldn't be too long before someone gave them a crack in the mouth.

When we keep making laws about things we shift the responsibility to the Police to sort everything out, as opposed to a social contract where its everyones bag. Education, not legislation.

Don't like what someone's saying, crack 'em in the mouth. That's the civil way to go about it.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Kirth wrote:
This is the part I'm undecided on, because as we've seen, the places in the U.S. cited as having the strongest social contracts forbidding speaking to others in public (e.g., NYC) ."

Yeah but there's 0 repercussions to breaking those contracts.

In Australia, it wouldn't be too long before someone gave them a crack in the mouth.

When we keep making laws about things we shift the responsibility to the Police to sort everything out, as opposed to a social contract where its everyones bag. Education, not legislation.

Don't like what someone's saying, crack 'em in the mouth. That's the civil way to go about it.

No, it's the Australian way!


ShadowcatX wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Kirth wrote:
This is the part I'm undecided on, because as we've seen, the places in the U.S. cited as having the strongest social contracts forbidding speaking to others in public (e.g., NYC) ."

Yeah but there's 0 repercussions to breaking those contracts.

In Australia, it wouldn't be too long before someone gave them a crack in the mouth.

When we keep making laws about things we shift the responsibility to the Police to sort everything out, as opposed to a social contract where its everyones bag. Education, not legislation.

Don't like what someone's saying, crack 'em in the mouth. That's the civil way to go about it.

Maybe but there is something to be said for people reacting n the spot as opposed to hoping the gov steps in. We once lived in a world that used shaming and the occasional bit of violence to be a more polite proper place.


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JurgenV wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Kirth wrote:
This is the part I'm undecided on, because as we've seen, the places in the U.S. cited as having the strongest social contracts forbidding speaking to others in public (e.g., NYC) ."

Yeah but there's 0 repercussions to breaking those contracts.

In Australia, it wouldn't be too long before someone gave them a crack in the mouth.

When we keep making laws about things we shift the responsibility to the Police to sort everything out, as opposed to a social contract where its everyones bag. Education, not legislation.

Don't like what someone's saying, crack 'em in the mouth. That's the civil way to go about it.
Maybe but there is something to be said for people reacting n the spot as opposed to hoping the gov steps in. We once lived in a world that used shaming and the occasional bit of violence to be a more polite proper place.

And back then a lot of the guys in that video would have been hung if they'd made those comments, even the mildest ones, to a white woman.

Of course the white guys would have been making the same kinds of comments, at least to any unaccompanied women.

The myth of the better past is pretty much just that.


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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Doodlebug -- You posted that video, and now you seem to be insisting that this thread is about that video's subtext.

From your original post: "She seems resigned to this kind of thing, but I've been seeing a lot of media about street harassment lately, and I got to wondering."

Racist video is totally on topic.

"I'd appreciate an apology, and please stop trying to steer the entire thread in that direction."

Sorry, but no. National discussions sparked by a video demonizing men of color as sexual predators doesn't get to be discussed colorblindedly.


Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Doodlebug -- You posted that video, and now you seem to be insisting that this thread is about that video's subtext.

From your original post: "She seems resigned to this kind of thing, but I've been seeing a lot of media about street harassment lately, and I got to wondering."

Racist video is totally on topic.

"I'd appreciate an apology, and please stop trying to steer the entire thread in that direction."

Sorry, but no. National discussions sparked by a video demonizing men of color as sexual predators doesn't get to be discussed colorblindedly.

Does the video demonize them or does it show that this issue might be worse with some demographics?


Statistics versus profiling

Are you trying too start a flame war?

Statistics make youth more dangerous in gangs than gangs of the elderly......


thejeff wrote:
JurgenV wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Shifty wrote:
Kirth wrote:
This is the part I'm undecided on, because as we've seen, the places in the U.S. cited as having the strongest social contracts forbidding speaking to others in public (e.g., NYC) ."

Yeah but there's 0 repercussions to breaking those contracts.

In Australia, it wouldn't be too long before someone gave them a crack in the mouth.

When we keep making laws about things we shift the responsibility to the Police to sort everything out, as opposed to a social contract where its everyones bag. Education, not legislation.

Don't like what someone's saying, crack 'em in the mouth. That's the civil way to go about it.
Maybe but there is something to be said for people reacting n the spot as opposed to hoping the gov steps in. We once lived in a world that used shaming and the occasional bit of violence to be a more polite proper place.

And back then a lot of the guys in that video would have been hung if they'd made those comments, even the mildest ones, to a white woman.

Of course the white guys would have been making the same kinds of comments, at least to any unaccompanied women.

The myth of the better past is pretty much just that.

not all rosy but more people stood up to bullies and troublemakers. Now too many would rather look away


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KenderKin wrote:

Statistics versus profiling

Are you trying too start a flame war?

Statistics make youth more dangerous in gangs than gangs of the elderly......

Im picturing a geriatric gang on golf carts


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JurgenV wrote:
Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Doodlebug -- You posted that video, and now you seem to be insisting that this thread is about that video's subtext.

From your original post: "She seems resigned to this kind of thing, but I've been seeing a lot of media about street harassment lately, and I got to wondering."

Racist video is totally on topic.

"I'd appreciate an apology, and please stop trying to steer the entire thread in that direction."

Sorry, but no. National discussions sparked by a video demonizing men of color as sexual predators doesn't get to be discussed colorblindedly.

Does the video demonize them or does it show that this issue might be worse with some demographics?

I would be wary of drawing any such conclusion from a video from which all (or most?) of the white perpetrators were removed by the editor.


[Comes back from smoking a cigarette and calming down]

If it is any consolation, Evil Lincoln, I am sorry your girlfriend got yelled at. Women shouldn't have to put up with that shiznit.


thejeff wrote:
JurgenV wrote:
Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Doodlebug -- You posted that video, and now you seem to be insisting that this thread is about that video's subtext.

From your original post: "She seems resigned to this kind of thing, but I've been seeing a lot of media about street harassment lately, and I got to wondering."

Racist video is totally on topic.

"I'd appreciate an apology, and please stop trying to steer the entire thread in that direction."

Sorry, but no. National discussions sparked by a video demonizing men of color as sexual predators doesn't get to be discussed colorblindedly.

Does the video demonize them or does it show that this issue might be worse with some demographics?
I would be wary of drawing any such conclusion from a video from which all (or most?) of the white perpetrators were removed by the editor.

I am drawing no conclusion, i m questioning what it shows. Seeing the whole unedited might be revealing.


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Went through Jezebel and HuffPo looking to see if any of them were at least a little worried about the racial...subtext, I guess, but it seemed pretty glaring to me...of the Hollaback video and, gotta say, couldn't find much.

Ironically enough, I found myself on Hollaback Baltimore's anti-racism page where I was assured that replacing sexism with racism was a no-no. Hmmm.

Finally found an article in something called Brooklyn Magazine which:

a) restored my faith in humanity
b) drew connections between this video and Ferguson/the Pumpkin Riots divide which I didn't make on my own (thank you, Ms. Iversen)
c) tipped me into the fact that the video is also cis- and heteronormative (if I've gotten my nomenclature correct)
d) credibly speculated as to why liberal feminists, who should know better, would employ the myth of the black rapist: to raise money

“Hey, Beautiful”: On the Racist and Classist Implications of the Catcalling Video


ShadowcatX wrote:
Don't like what someone's saying, crack 'em in the mouth. That's the civil way to go about it.

Its surprisingly effective.

Guy acts like a douche, eventually he will be called on it.
He then has the opportunity to shut up and go away.
He has the alternative option of continuing to act like a hat, but its probably going to end in fisticuffs.

I don't see how you guys could do that there, the gun culture sort of ruins the fun when there's a good chance one of the parties is armed up and things are more likely to escalate quickly to a lethal outcome. Here the odds of either party being armed are pretty close to zero - so aside from a bit of a scuff and a bruised ego it is (usually) not going to get any worse than that.

Anyhow, I think the people taking a shot at this lady trying to call her out as racist or a 'white woman blah blah' are being a bit sad really, they can make their own video if they chose - she owes them no apology or explanation.


Shifty wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Don't like what someone's saying, crack 'em in the mouth. That's the civil way to go about it.

Its surprisingly effective.

Guy acts like a douche, eventually he will be called on it.
He then has the opportunity to shut up and go away.
He has the alternative option of continuing to act like a hat, but its probably going to end in fisticuffs.

I don't see how you guys could do that there, the gun culture sort of ruins the fun when there's a good chance one of the parties is armed up and things are more likely to escalate quickly to a lethal outcome. Here the odds of either party being armed are pretty close to zero - so aside from a bit of a scuff and a bruised ego it is (usually) not going to get any worse than that.

Anyhow, I think the people taking a shot at this lady trying to call her out as racist or a 'white woman blah blah' are being a bit sad really, they can make their own video if they chose - she owes them no apology or explanation.

But her video doesn't blame white men, that is the goal for some. Showing a black guy misbehaving is racist.


Actually, no one has said anything about her, Mr. Shifty.

Stuff has been said about:

Rob Bliss, whose pro-gentrifying propaganda I documented (with a little help from Slate) earlier in this thread, and

Hollaback, an organization which has a page saying explicitly that people shouldn't do what this video did, but is apparently in need of funds.


Huh... I hadn't even thought about the racist tone of the video, and I'm Latino.... Caucasian, but Latino (Fun fact! Someone once told they were surprised I was from Brazil because they thought "Everyone in Brazil is Mexican!". Yup someone not only thought "Mexican" was an ethnicity, but also assumed a country with over 200 million inhabitants only had people of a single ethnicity. Human ignorance never ceases to amaze me). I thought there were more Black and Latino men in the video because the girl went to poorer neighborhoods, where people are, generally speaking, less educated, and in the U.S., Latinos and Black people are, again, generally speaking, not as wealthy as white people.

Shifty wrote:
Anyhow, I think the people taking a shot at this lady trying to call her out as racist or a 'white woman blah blah' are being a bit sad really, they can make their own video if they chose - she owes them no apology or explanation.

You do realize that the same could be said about catcalling, right? After all, everyone has the right of free speech, so they can speak whatever they want*. That includes commenting on other people's appearance. Just because a behavior is not illegal, doesn't mean it's not morally wrong. I'd say portraying certain ethnicities jerks while carefully editing out men from another ethnicity doing exactly the same thing is morally wrong.

* Actually it's illegal to say stuff that might cause unnecessary panic, such as screaming "FIRE! FIRE!" in a building.


I did see on Jezebel, though, that Ms. Roberts has been receiving death and rape threats via internet, which is, of course, horrifying.

I don't know why people just can't have a civil discussion on the internet.


Lemmy wrote:

Huh... I hadn't even thought about the racist tone of the video, and I'm Latino.... Caucasian, but Latino (Fun fact! Someone once told they were surprised I was from Brazil because they thought "Everyone in Brazil is Mexican!". Yup someone not only thought "Mexican" was an ethnicity, but also assumed a country with over 200 million inhabitants only had people of a single ethnicity. Human ignorance never ceases to amaze me). I thought there were more Black and Latino men in the video because the girl went to poorer neighborhoods, where people are, generally speaking, less educated, and in the U.S., Latinos and Black people are, again, generally speaking, not as wealthy as white people.

Shifty wrote:
Anyhow, I think the people taking a shot at this lady trying to call her out as racist or a 'white woman blah blah' are being a bit sad really, they can make their own video if they chose - she owes them no apology or explanation.

You do realize that the same could be said about catcalling, right? After all, everyone has the right of free speech, so they can speak whatever they want*. That includes commenting on other people's appearance.

* Actually it's illegal to say stuff that might cause unnecessary panic, such as scremaing "FIRE! FIRE!" in a building.

Catcalling has long been more of a lower class thing than linked to any one group


I was also reading more articles by Ms. Iversen about other recent gentrifying antics in the Big Apple. I wonder what else is out there?

Fire Sale: Bed-Stuy Landlords Plot to Burn Buildings with Squatters Inside

Anyone else want to complain about being harassed by panhandlers?

Arm the Homeless!

Vive le Galt!


Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

Went through Jezebel and HuffPo looking to see if any of them were at least a little worried about the racial...subtext, I guess, but it seemed pretty glaring to me...of the Hollaback video and, gotta say, couldn't find much.

Ironically enough, I found myself on Hollaback Baltimore's anti-racism page where I was assured that replacing sexism with racism was a no-no. Hmmm.

Finally found an article in something called Brooklyn Magazine which:

a) restored my faith in humanity
b) drew connections between this video and Ferguson/the Pumpkin Riots divide which I didn't make on my own (thank you, Ms. Iversen)
c) tipped me into the fact that the video is also cis- and heteronormative (if I've gotten my nomenclature correct)
d) credibly speculated as to why liberal feminists, who should know better, would employ the myth of the black rapist: to raise money

“Hey, Beautiful”: On the Racist and Classist Implications of the Catcalling Video

I have to say I am not sure where you are trying to go with all this, Doodlebug. Although, I think if you say "gentrification" once more you get a free t-shirt or sandwich or something.

Other than that, it looks sort of like changing the topic off "stupid things people say on the street" into some sort of attack on any number of elements AND tying it into the riots.

If that is your intention, I'm pretty sure that could use its own thread or even to not exist; I know we have a bunch of locked threads full of hostility on those subjects.

To be clear, regardless of what magazine or web site has decided to take up a side or agenda, all types of men engage in this behavior regardless of their color or the amount of money they have. Editing the video is not cool, but it doesn't change the base of the conversation: people saying stupid things is not a good thing.

Silver Crusade

Lemmy wrote:
I'm Latino.... Caucasian, but Latino...

Spoiler:
Side question - do you mean you're White, or of Caucasian descent? Just curious because I know those sometimes get conflated.

We are not talking about people saying stupid things on the street, Sir NDay, we are talking about sexual harassment on the street. We are talking about it, specifically, in the context of a national discussion started by an internet video gone viral by an apparently up-and-coming marketing firm that successfully employed one of the oldest racist tropes in America's long history of racist tropes.

To those of you who would prefer to discuss whether it is appropriate to say "hello" to pretty women in the street, I apologize.


|dvh| wrote:
*spoiler*

Spoiler to Avoid Derail:
Both. I'm white. So are my parents and grand-parents. That obviously means I'm of Caucasian decent. My family is mostly from Portugal (from my father's side) and Italy and Spain (from my mother's side). But I'm from Brazil. The nation is known for its miscegenation, so I'd be really surprised if there weren't at least a couple other ethinicities in my genes. Black and uh... (What's the non-offensive term for the people who are descendants from the native tribes that occupied Brazilian territory before the arrival of Europeans? Native-Brazilians? Native-Latin-Americans? G&$*@~nit, I hate this politically correct agenda that forces everyone to tiptoe around their own words) most likely, since those are the most common ethinicities in Brazil.

Before I came to the US for the first time, I didn't even know "Latino" was considered an ethnicity. I thought the term only referred to someone being born in Latin America (or people whose parents were born there). I'm not proud or ashamed of my ethnicity. IMO, genetic configuration, much like nationality and gender, is not something one can be proud of, since it has nothing to do with merit and everything to do with random chance.

Anyway... Back on topic... Catcalling is obnoxious and annoying, but IMO, it's closer to "minor nuisance" than "sexual harassment". A guy who says "Hey, beautiful" to a random woman is certainly not the classiest of men, but if that's all he does, he's a very far shot from people who actually stalk/threaten/assault women.


Lemmy, most of the posters in this thread are from the English-speaking world. Here is an English-language definition from an online dictionary for sexual harassment:

"that is harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks."

I am only bringing this to your attention so that everyone is on the same page. Or at least, understands what page everybody else is on.


While looking through Jezebel, I discovered that Ms. Williams from The Daily Show had made a previous video. I hope it's as good:

Masters of Sexism - Claps and Catcalls


Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

We are not talking about people saying stupid things on the street, Sir NDay, we are talking about sexual harassment on the street. We are talking about it, specifically, in the context of a national discussion started by an internet video gone viral by an apparently up-and-coming marketing firm that successfully employed one of the oldest racist tropes in America's long history of racist tropes.

To those of you who would prefer to discuss whether it is appropriate to say "hello" to pretty women in the street, I apologize.

Ah I see. Sorry, just was afraid this was going to turn into something a little less friendly (it was friendly?!?!?) and more in the vein of the very unfriendly and unhelpful threads on the riots and so forth. If that becomes the case I'm retreating.

Carry on. :)


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Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

Lemmy, most of the posters in this thread are from the English-speaking world. Here is an English-language definition from an online dictionary for sexual harassment:

"that is harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks."

I am only bringing this to your attention so that everyone is on the same page. Or at least, understands what page everybody is on.

I know. (Notice how I'm speaking English, not Portuguese ^^).

Okay, let me rephrase my sentence to try and make myself clear...

Catcalling does belong to the "sexual harassment" category. That said, IMO, the uh... "intensity" level of the behavior is small enough that it seems like a minor annoyance, unless, of course, it's coupled with other, more serious, actions, such as stalking, threatening, touching or assaulting an woman (or man).

I don't think catcalling itself (not "catacalling + stalking/threatening/assault") is usually done with ill-intention, and it's not harmful enough to be considered such a serious problem. The greatest argument that it's evil is because it's annoying, and it's annoying because so many people do it...

But "annoying" doesn't equal "evil". And having multiple people act in the same way can make something more annoying, but doesn't make it more (or less) morally wrong. If you punch someone in the face for no reason, you did something wrong, but it doesn't suddenly become a more serious crime if someone else does the same thing to the same person in a situation where you're not involved.

Still, as I mentioned time and time again in this thread, I do not necessarily disagree that catcalling is wrong. I'm not defending the behavior. I'm just point out that it seems to me that the magnitude of the problem is being blown out of proportion.

thejeff at one point asked me if I didn't see anything wrong with asking someone if they want to have sex with you. I don't. Sex is not evil. Wanting sex is not evil. Asking people if they want to have sex is not evil either (obnoxious and kinda creepy, sure, but not evil).

BTW, while there are a few posters who seem a bit too eager to display their new shiny white-knight armor, I do enjoy listening to the opinion of people like Kirth and Sissyl, whose opinion I highly value (even if I often disagree with them about gaming-related subjects. Yes, Sissyl, I'm looking at you! FF8 still sucks! ^^)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

This morning, my girlfriend got dressed up for Halloween. The outfit is demure, not that it should matter, but it seems relevant to mention.

On her way to work, some people called out their car window at her. She seems resigned to this kind of thing, but I've been seeing a lot of media about street harassment lately, and I got to wondering.

I guess I'm just too cynical.

I feel like the the only change would be effected by making a(*&^les somehow not be as*&$es.

It may be defeatist, but I really do believe that this kind of behavior has to be anticipated. I think it has a lot to do with my social status as a child... I take it as given that you need to avoid people for that kind of reason. It's the same impulse that has kids throwing rocks at other kids because of how they look and act, only the rocks are judgments.

The idea that you could ever wring contrition out of the kind of bully who accosts strangers strikes me as extremely naive.

I understand that this logic is regarded as contributing to the status quo, and I feel badly about this. But at what point do we leave the truth behind in pursuit of the ideal?

So are you saying that since this is a norm, we should simply shrug our shoulders and give up on changing it?

Thing is progress CAN be made. Decades ago, rapes were unheard of, not because they didn't happen, but it was expected that a victim would be pilloried on the witness stand if she tried to bring up charges on her attacker.

Liberty's Edge

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Shifty wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
Don't like what someone's saying, crack 'em in the mouth. That's the civil way to go about it.

Its surprisingly effective.

Guy acts like a douche, eventually he will be called on it.
He then has the opportunity to shut up and go away.
He has the alternative option of continuing to act like a hat, but its probably going to end in fisticuffs.

I don't see how you guys could do that there, the gun culture sort of ruins the fun when there's a good chance one of the parties is armed up and things are more likely to escalate quickly to a lethal outcome. Here the odds of either party being armed are pretty close to zero - so aside from a bit of a scuff and a bruised ego it is (usually) not going to get any worse than that.

So, besides advocating violence against people who say words you don't agree with, what else do you think should be met with violence? Inappropriate dress? Funny looks? Someone of the wrong gender asking you out?

Anyways, probably the best argument I've heard in favor of America's gun culture.


So you managed to take a a position of advocating putting a very pointed stop to people coming and directly accosting and harassing you - with the caveat that you give them an opportunity to cease, and instead you make this about going out and actively accosting people and assaulting strangers at random and then champion using the threat of lethal force to make sure they just have to cop what you do on the chin and are fearful of saying anything about your behaviour.

Cool story, needs more dragons.


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This thread truly breaks interesting ground. We even have an argued defense of the "crack them in the mouth" style of politeness. Let's start with that.

If social contracts are to be upheld with violence, you get MORE violence, not less. Expect to be punched now and then, because whether you actually follow the applicable rules of etiquette, people will make their own interpretations. Not a big deal? A good punch to the face has a decent chance of a) breaking your nose, b) breaking your jaw (argument fracture, usually comes in with another person with a digit 5 fracture of the metacarpal bone, true story), c) causing a concussion, d) destroying your sense of smell and taste (beyond the basic tastes) permanently, e) causing a fall with a more severe head injury as a consequence, f) otherwise damaging your face, sometimes in a permanent manner. I may have missed a few. It is not something that should ever be taken lightly. A slap is usually not dangerous to someone's health, but go further than that and people get injured.

Worse, you get cultural effects of that that are probably not what you want. In such a system, a 98-lb weakling gets punched frequently, someone big and bulky never gets it, no matter what he says to whom. Not letting musclebound oafs dictate our social contracts is one of the most brilliant changes made by recent generations. It also certainly tied into things like "never strike a woman" policies, all of which conveniently seemed to not apply to women you were married to, often by law. It is also worth noting that sword-canes were a rather popular option back then, evidence of a social and literal arms race. Violence was insanely more prevalent back then.

So... catcalling is enough of a problem that we want to ignore social change that was doggedly put into place to protect people from violence? Really? Get a grip, you guys.

Lemmy: If you don't like FF8, then you are a truly worthless human being. Scum of the Earth and all that. Defend yourself.
*punches Lemmy*


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Sissyl wrote:

Lemmy: If you don't like FF8, then you are a truly worthless human being. Scum of the Earth and all that. Defend yourself.

*punches Lemmy*

*Denounces Sissyl's assault to the police, but isn't taken seriously due to being a man.*

Well... That's unfair... But at least I'm not catcalled when I go downtown!


The punch in the mouth occurs exceedingly rarely and if it does it is at the end of a very very long chain of events.

Catcalling does occur rarely... Sometimes from building sites (most large construction companies stomp on it - I know because my father was a project manager for a large construction company. Bad behaviour = no beer at the end of the week).

You sometimes get hoons and bogans shouting s!+$ from car windows - like "show us your t&#!" or "show us your pink bits", but I have also seen them shout "show us your cock" they don't care who they target.

But in the city during the day catcalling is exceedingly rare, the cat callers will cop an earful of abuse back... Usually far more obscene than what was said and that's that.


Lemmy wrote:
thejeff at one point asked me if I didn't see anything wrong with asking someone if they want to have sex with you. I don't. Sex is not evil. Wanting sex is not evil. Asking people if they want to have sex is not evil either (obnoxious and kinda creepy, sure, but not evil).

Perhaps a miscommunication. I didn't say evil. And I would say that being "obnoxious and kinda creepy" is wrong. Not evil.

Obviously depending on context. There are contexts where asking someone if they want to have sex is perfectly fine. Strangers walking down the street is not one of those contexts.


Sissyl wrote:
If social contracts are to be upheld with violence, you get MORE violence, not less.

You'd think so, however the exact opposite has occurred.

Also, no matter how big and strong the oaf is, there is always someone bigger and stronger.

You'd also be surprised that the arms race has also not happened - people just aren't walking around tooled up. Weapons are still a really rare thing to come across.

Then again, so is catcalling.

I'll leave you with that.

I also note that there is this strange fixation several posters have on getting straight to the end of the chain,its almost as if they are choosing to ignore the face that end result of fisticuffs happens at the END of the (long) process rather than the start of it - it is ALMOST as if they are trying to suggest that the chain of events leading to an outcome is unimportant, and that the end result is always inevitable - a curious mindset.


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In the US, having a long chain of events leading up to a possibly well deserved beating doesn't cause it to magically not become assault and battery. "He deserved it, your honor" is not really a great legal defense. You praise your home for not having a prevalence of guns and then go on to praise go ole fisticuffs as a solution. Good call.


The person bigger and stronger than the oaf is not there right there and then. Keep trying. As to "the exact opposite has occurred": Violence is sinking, and is at an all-time low in the Western world. There was a temporary rise around 1995 in the US, but since then, violence levels have plummeted. In fact, look as far back as you want, you will find that the further back you go, the worse the violence situation gets.

And people are not carrying on an arms race BECAUSE the violence levels have dropped so significantly. For the first time in human history, the risk that you will need weapons is low enough to ignore the consideration. Add to this that weapons carry their own risks, which have to be outweighed by the gain for having them, and most people choose to go without weapons. You know, as a pretty much direct result of doing everything possible to discourage violence as a means to solve conflicts.

As for the end result of fisticuffs: Depending on who you're fisticuffing with, this could be yielding and having this respected, a sock in the jaw as you claim, or getting your face smashed into the sidewalk a few times, or being kicked a number of times once you go down, say, in the head. That's as it is now... why would this change because you start expecting people to solve their issues with violence?


I think this sort of harassment varies a lot from place to place. And so does the underlying "attitude" behind it. Entirely anecdotal, I rarely if ever experience anything like this when I'm out and about in Copenhagen, while it was a near constant when I lived in Rome.

I've been places where it felt super uncomfortable (Prague comes to mind), and places where it never got further than "kinda funny" (such as aforementioned Rome).

I spent two weeks in New York earlier in the year, and I'd rate it somewhat at the middle of the scale. There were a few incidents, but nothing particular creepy.

But, you know, random experiences are random.


My life sure would be a lot easier if I could solve all my interpersonal conflicts by just beating the hell out of someone. I would love it if that's all I had to do. Sadly, there are laws in the U.S. against that sort of thing, and there's no shortage of willingness to enforce them. In fact, get caught doing it more than once, and you're a "repeat offender" and can look at some really serious prison time.

The U.S. has a higher proportion of its citizens in prison than any other nation on Earth. By far. There is no sense of proportion or context, only a need to keep feeding the system.

That's not going to change anytime soon -- there's too much money in private prisons -- so "hit 'em in the mouth," as a practical solution to catcalling is non-implementable here. We can keep talking about how awesome it is, and it will keep on being a pipe dream.


It kind of straddles the line between woman's empowerment and victim-blaming, but I thought music lovers interested in eradicating street harassment might enjoy this:

Brothers Ain't Shiznit


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So here we are again....

I greet people on the street, in outdoor markets, and what not.
I greet young, old, both male and female people.

My greeting is short and has no motive/entitlement to it.
Occassionally it is just a nod.

So if I greet someone and they don't greet me back that's fine, I am not then butt-hurt nor demanding and just go on with my life.
In many cases I might even not see their return nod as they pass....

Where I live most people greet you back, so I have yet to encounter the problem.


KenderKin wrote:

So here we are again....

I greet people on the street, in outdoor markets, and what not.
I greet young, old, both male and female people.

My greeting is short and has no motive/entitlement to it.
Occassionally it is just a nod.

So if I greet someone and they don't greet me back that's fine, I am not then butt-hurt nor demanding and just go on with my life.
In many cases I might even not see their return nod as they pass....

Where I live most people greet you back, so I have yet to encounter the problem.

If that's the social expectation where you live, then there's no problem. Hell, even if that's not the social expectation then it's not a real problem, though you might be freaking some people out.

It's when you single out women you find attractive, whether that's for a simple greeting, a "harmless" complement, or something worse, that you're starting to be creepy.


thejeff wrote:

If that's the social expectation where you live, then there's no problem. Hell, even if that's not the social expectation then it's not a real problem, though you might be freaking some people out.

It's when you single out women you find attractive, whether that's for a simple greeting, a "harmless" complement, or something worse, that you're starting to be creepy.

Being more than a bit careless throwing "you" around, insofar as KenderKin specifically stated that he does NOT do what you're claiming in the 2nd paragraph. Most especially since you used "you" in the preceeding paragraph to specifically refer to him, not in any general sense.

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