How common are indecencies towards women/girls?? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-08-2014, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How common are indecencies towards women/girls??

DH and I were discussing a recent rude advance on my 16yo niece and got to talking about everyday dumb advances like this one, and also predatory behavior and worse. (My niece was feeling guilty about curtly brushing the guy off and not being sweet.) DH said that he understands that actually being whisked off by a predator is less common that we fear.

I agreed, perhaps on this one level, but beyond abduction, I said that we will never know how common rape or indecency is because it is grossly underreported, especially indecent behavior.

He was shocked to hear that in my ordinary life, I've seen 3 men masturbating while watching me (and that's just who I've noticed), seen at least one man lurking oddly (and once recently with my daughters at a large grocery store), had one abduction attempt when I was in first grade, had my crotch grabbed in the cafeteria in junior high, and can count at least 2 men I knew who (in hindsight as a wiser adult) engaged in preliminary grooming behaviors with me.

I told dh that I didn't think my experiences were out of the ordinary for women at all. That we simply don't talk about it. Well, now I'm talking about it.

"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:58 AM
 
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Nothing like the things you mentioned has ever happened to me. I have no idea whether that's out of the ordinary or not.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I'm thinking it's "ordinary" when it isn't?

"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:45 PM
 
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I'm not sure if it's ordinary or not as far as how common it is but I've witnessed a lot of the same that you're talking about. I was the target of quite a few attacks of sorts in school at least three that I would say were very aggressive to the point of being full attacks had someone not stepped in. I've also been followed, stalked, pushed around, and the object of a lot of unwanted attention as an adult as well but I did bartend for a decade so in nightclubs you can imagine that's going to happen. Luckily again there I had security to protect me and nothing unduly ever happened to me there. I see a lot of rude and ignorant behavior towards women just in public - you know the whistling and calling stupid names, making rude comments. I find it to be maybe not "common" but certainly not uncommon enough to surprise you to see it around here. I have figured out a definite pattern to this in my area at least though and am thus able to avoid it in general.

I think the scariest moment for me was the day we went to eat with my oldest two as babies, DD maybe 3-4. We stopped off at Burger King and a strange man sat in the booth behind us. I didn't notice him at first but then realized he was sitting there and staring at DD. Something freaky about the way he was looking and he seemed a little familiar. We ran out of there with our food and he'd parked near us. A white van that you could tell had toys in it. I checked that evening and he seemed familiar b/c I'd seen his face on the SO registry. *shudder*

Another note as far as things being unreported I know of at least 2 rapes/child molestations that were unreported because of family BS and 2 more that have been accused and I'm pretty certain of although some people have doubts. Turns my stomach to wonder how many more "nice" guys running around are actually child molesters too.

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Old 07-10-2014, 05:16 AM
 
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i would say it is very ordinary. in fact it is unusual to have someone not groped, or deal with some unpleasant advances.

i have had this conversation many times over. since high school.

there are regional connotations to this. some places have them more than others.

i will go as far as to say there are very rare woman who have not faced some sort of lewd gesture - at some point in their life.

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Old 07-10-2014, 07:22 AM
 
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An older relative had several experiences in the late 50's or early 60's as a girl/young woman... A man following her home from school, a serviceman (home repair, not military) in her home touching her breasts, a man sticking his hand under her as she sat down on public transportation.

In my college, there was a man (not a student) who was exposing himself to female students.

I'm sure I got some lewd comments as a teenager and young woman. But nothing major that I remember now. Any unwanted advances were from peers and didn't continue after I made my disinterest clear. I might have needed to be blunt/rude at times.

ETA: A couple of years ago, I took my son swimming and a guy was staring at me inappropriately. That was pretty gross (he was staring at my body, not making eye contact, practically drooling) and has made me not want to go back to that swimming location. I wouldn't have been bothered by someone who made eye contact and whose eyes wandered around before making more eye contact. That falls under human nature. But this guy's stare was completely objectifying. And you can't really complain/report that someone is looking at you in a public situation:-/

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Old 07-10-2014, 07:47 AM
 
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I think that sadly, your experience is more common than anyone would like to believe. I've had a few uncomfortable instances and I live a pretty sheltered life. But I've been cornered coming out of a bar bathroom, been felt up on a dance floor by someone I knew well enough that he should have never touched me and the target of "but I really like you, we should go out" pestering, after being told very clearly I wasn't interested. I won't even mention the date rape

A few years ago my 11 year old son picked up on a creeper watching his 6 year old sister. I had sent him to go sit at a table in a restaurant with her, because the guy kept getting too close to her. He just gave me the heebie jeebies. They went and sat down, he came and sat 5 feet away from them. Ds came right back to me and said the guy gave him the creeps. If an 11 year old boy picks up on your creeper vibe, you're creepy!

My bff takes the L and the bus and had been rubbed up on, seen more unknown penis than anyone ever should, had men harass her for her number, use a very awful racist movie line on her more than once and about a million other uncomfortable situations.

So I think your experiences are pretty common.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:50 AM
 
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I agree with the other posters, these experiences are common. I was lured in to bad situations and hurt twice as a pre-teen, had guys whistle and make lewd comments starting at age 10, have been solicited many times, groped, and sexually harassed at work. It seems to be something treated as guys being normal but I hate that these things are treated that way. I also know three women who were date raped but didn't report it so the underreporting of rape is definitely a real thing to imo.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:30 AM
 
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I completely agree with you, Sweet Silver -- I think your experience, sadly, is perfectly ordinary. Of my women friends, I can't think of a single one who hasn't had some sort of upsetting sexual interaction.

I've had lots, from childhood on, and I don't think my case is particularly "bad" or unique.

I hesitate to type this for fear of offending, but the comic Amy Schumer has a line in her act that says something about how every woman has been at least "a little bit raped." Very dark humor obviously, but I related to it instantly. If someone asked me if I've been raped, I would say no, but I do feel like I sort of have. I think many women feel that way.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:33 AM
 
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I agree. Very common and I think becoming more so. These "minor" incidents need to be teaching moments so our girls have a stronger chance of avoiding worse situations in the future. Being "nice" when saying "no" sometimes gets taken as a "yes" by the wrong person.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:49 AM
 
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Yes, common and not acceptable. Teaching moments for our girls AND boys, please.

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Old 07-10-2014, 10:57 AM
 
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Heh. Yeah. I actually only have boys and these will definitely be teaching moments for them too. But I do worry more about the girls when I hear/see these things happening. I had lots of close encounters when I was younger and didn't realize til after the fact just how lucky I was that there wasn't a far worse outcome.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:15 PM
 
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I generally have not had these problems, but it's not my impression that they're not normal - I think I'm sometimes a touch oblivious, and that I was very sheltered during my childhood. Unfortunately, I think SweetSilver's set of experiences is more common.

And even oblivious me has a fair bit of experience being followed, harassed, catcalled, pressured for sex, and approached in incredibly inappropriate ways. When I say "I generally have not had these problems", I mostly mean that they aren't my daily experience. Once a month, once a week at most.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:38 PM
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Common. . . let's see what I can remember
A man followed me around downtown for awhile--I was about 13 and actually shopping with my mom, but she went to a different department. I was freaked out and so when he followed me up an escalator, called out "mom" on the next floor and acted like I was finding her.

All sorts of rude gestures, etc in middle school -- how could people make it through without it happening? One that I especially remember wasn't directed at me. A boy in art class took a T-square and made as if another girl "needed some" so badly that she would use the T-square. He operated it as if it was on a hinge and was rhymically going down and up.

A creepy guy was taking pictures of girls at a local water park. He was removed from the facilities by the owners.

In high school boys liked to try to embarrass girls (or maybe they were trying to find out who was uptight/not) by describing sexual acts and asking if we liked them.

After college, at my first professional job, my coworker constantly made comments. He named my breasts at one point. Yes, it would classify as sexual harassment, but I never felt threatened and he really helped me out a lot too.

I am sure there are more.

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Old 07-10-2014, 05:01 PM
 
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well not ALL men are the same. not ALL of them have one track minds like Wolowitz from Big Bang Theory before his marriage. i mean look they created that character and all he got for being so nasty and creepy was - being ignored by penny. nothing else. let a woman do that in a show and all hell breaks lose. though i havent watched cougar.

there are just some men - who feel justified to do so. i've been thru the whole gamut. from snide remarks to rape. but the hardest for me is this attitude. i just cant stand the attitude that its their right to do what they do. and they dont even try to hide it.

i wonder how it is for men. what do creepy women look like? are they real - society's idea of creepy woman - or something someone created and that's what one sticks by?!!!

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Old 07-11-2014, 10:30 AM
 
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All sorts of rude gestures, etc in middle school -- how could people make it through without it happening?
I wonder this too. I went to middle school in a safe middle-class neighborhood, and I saw and heard more graphic, disturbing things in those 3 years than ever before or since. Everyone seemed to get over the shock value by high school, which was much more tame by comparison.

But yeesh, the things middle school kids say and do haunt me still. I see some of the same type of stuff in my 13yo niece through her Instagram account. It makes me worried for when my kids reach that age.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My experiences peaked in middle school as well. 12-14yo, with a little happening in early high school and into my early 20's. But nothing compared to middle school. It seemed like the predators were crawling out of the woodwork, though it was only once I became an adult that I recognized the behavior.

"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:04 PM
 
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But nothing compared to middle school. It seemed like the predators were crawling out of the woodwork, though it was only once I became an adult that I recognized the behavior.
are you talking about adults when you say predators? or other middle and high school kids?

i remember that i became more aware during middle school and what stuck out for me was the awarness around adults. some of the men's glances creeped me out when i was younger. but it was in middle school when i really developed breasts that i became aware of the adults. (my school experience was different because i grew up in asia and i'd been with my classmates since K so did not really face too much school stuff)

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Old 07-11-2014, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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are you talking about adults when you say predators? or other middle and high school kids?
In my experience, yes. Middle school kids were not immune from crude gestures (thus the one-off crotch grab) but as far as "predators"-- those who would groom and gain trust for later nefarious purposes, men who follow and lurk and plan-- in my experience none were kids.

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Old 07-18-2014, 10:19 AM
 
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this article reminded me of this of this thread.

it raises the question for me (not this particular scenario, but this is a common scenario in the workplace, inspite of harrassment procedures in place) - how do i protect my dd, and how do i empower her to be able to 'defend' herself.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014...ntent=20140717

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Old 07-25-2014, 02:00 AM
 
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Not that much has really happened to me, but when I write down the things I can remember, there are a number.

When I was 12, I was walking around the parking lot of my apartment complex at night, and a man kept trying to get me to sit down next to him. He was patting the ground next to him and was very friendly and chatty. He asked me if I was married. I kept talking to him, but eventually was able to leave and go inside.

I was sexually harassed as a babysitter by the father for whom I was babysitting. He made advances to both me and my sister, but he was worse with my sister than with me.

A teacher in middle school made inappropriate sexual comments.

A guy at work made an inappropriate sexual comment, and another guy laughed.

A friend of my sister's grabbed my breast when I was a teen, he just seemed to think that's what you do. I chased him out of the house with the broom I was holding, and my sister told me I was overreacting, and basically I was supposed to welcome this attention.

One time a guy walking down the street stopped and asked me if I wanted to "do it" with him. I kept saying, "Do what?" and he got mad and said forget it.

I am fat and female, so a lot of my interactions are a cross between fat hatred and misogyny. A lot of stuff has to do with men yelling things out of car windows, sometimes following me to keep yelling. It can be related both to my size and gender, but I feel like a lot of size discrimination has it's roots in sexism. One day, as a teen, it was an older guy who kept following me and my cousin when we were teens, and sticking his tongue out and coming back around a few times. One guy called me over, I thought to ask directions, but he wanted to tell me that I was the fattest person he had ever seen. I was pushing my 3 year old daughter in a stroller at the time, and I called my husband to come get me because I didn't feel safe walking anymore.

In college had experiences with gay men who made inappropriate advances I guess because they felt like since they weren't attracted to me, it didn't really matter what they did. One guy was drunk, and basically stuck his tongue in my mouth, and cut my lip with his tooth. And then I had another incident I can't really mention, but it was clear they thought this was funny and I should welcome this.

Now that I'm older, I generally feel like I should be immune from these things, but just the other day I was in a campground with my 10 year old daughter, and I was coming from the bathroom around 8 am. These guys in the next campsite started yelling at me, making fun of my clothing and shoes, and they called me a pejorative name.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Viola! That's terrible!

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Old 07-25-2014, 02:57 PM
 
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oh viola. you say its not all that much but it has my skin crawling that you even had to put up with so much.

i think the following link is appropriate for this group.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/this-wo...s-and-secretly

even though its about cat callers what is unbelievable is the idea men have of women. oh holy cow. how did they even get that attitude!

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Old 07-25-2014, 04:00 PM
 
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oh viola. you say its not all that much but it has my skin crawling that you even had to put up with so much.

i think the following link is appropriate for this group.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/this-wo...s-and-secretly

even though its about cat callers what is unbelievable is the idea men have of women. oh holy cow. how did they even get that attitude!
I really like the cards on the woman's website from that article but unfortunately that would be very dangerous for me to do. There are some really cute ones though!

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Old 07-25-2014, 05:29 PM
 
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but unfortunately that would be very dangerous for me to do.
yeah she states that herself acknowledging that some of this may not work at certain places.

where i am right now, my friend stood up to a truck tail gating her. this is what he did. and we are in a conservative area. http://www.alan.com/2014/07/06/conse...bama-liberals/ he did it as a indecency to a women - not political.

she came close to having an accident on the freeway.

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Old 07-25-2014, 05:38 PM
 
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yeah she states that herself acknowledging that some of this may not work at certain places.

where i am right now, my friend stood up to a truck tail gating her. this is what he did. and we are in a conservative area. http://www.alan.com/2014/07/06/conse...bama-liberals/ he did it as a indecency to a women - not political.

she came close to having an accident on the freeway.
I did see where she mentioned it not working in some areas. No comment on the article though but I would definitely see real danger if I tried giving out cards here. One of the many, many reasons I want to move.

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Old 07-25-2014, 07:51 PM
 
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Ugh... I ran to the small store near the house just not and received these vulgar comments and looks from multiple "men" at the store. This is a country store out in the woods and even given the general atmosphere of the region I live in I don't expect that to happen out here. I guess it surprised me a little and being that I'd just been on this thread made it worse. It really is sad that a woman can't seem to walk around anywhere at all without being at least verbally attacked.

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Old 07-27-2014, 10:39 PM
 
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I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I've read enough books and blogs and studies about violence towards women that I feel I should nod sagely and say it's very, very common. It is, so they say.

On the other hand, in my particular circles I find it very hard to imagine it happening that often. But then, I wouldn't necessarily know, would I? I don't imagine many people would volunteer the information at random. Maybe it's like miscarriage - it's everywhere once you mention it, but it doesn't tend to come up.

Personally I only have a very short list of 'indecencies'. For what it's worth, I'm not particularly attractive, definitely not curvaceous, and I don't tend to go out much, especially late at night or among drunk people. Which is not to say that those who are or do deserve 'indecencies' any more than I; just that it seems more statistically likely that they'd get them.

Let's see... I was wofl-whistled at once walking past a building site, which struck me at the time as amusingly cliched. I once frequented an internet cafe in which the owner, a Samoan guy, took a shine to me and said things like "You look like a Barbie doll - 'll put a big poster of you up in the shop" and "You should come to Samoa and find a husband, there are lots of husbands there". It was creepy enough to put me off going back - and for the record I have not ever in any way resembled a Barbie doll, even at 17 - but I didn't feel threatened exactly, just weirded out. I don't think he intended to be creepy. Then a drunk guy once shouted, as I rode home from work on my bike at night, "I like your hair; will you marry me?" Which again, was more amusing than anything.

Not a very impressive chronicle, is it? I know my older sister, who's extremely pretty, has had an awful lot of semi-creepy admirers; so I'm inclined to think creepiness, if not actual violence/rape, has something to do with physical attraction. (I've heard some people say no, it's solely about the perpetrator; but women do often specifically mention their breasts and/or legs as being commented on lewdly, and that surely requires a certain physical presence, no? I mean, I can't imagine someone loudly slavering over my B-cups, though I suppose that would indicate a certain broadmindedness in a misogynistic way... where was I heading with this?)

Among my friends, I do know one girl who had a guy she knew push her up the wall and threaten to kill her in broad daylight. Another one has had tons of men tell her on the street to 'smile!' (because heaven forbid a woman not wear a neutral expression) - I'm not sure if that counts, though. And another one has had a ton of lewd comments, but in the context of her doing burlesque acts, and I believe she views them as compliments, at least if they're positive. So, yeah. And I don't know what other incidents, if any, have happened. I think it's very hard to generalise about this from friends and family due to demographic differences.

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Old 07-28-2014, 10:21 AM
 
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smokering first its soo good to 'see' you

you do bring up a very good point. the realization that mean look at me with a 'different' look realization happened was when i got breasts. i so wanted to be flat chested. i developed early and i caught even family and friends 'look' at me. ugh. its kinda good to be older and grey and out of shape. at least now i dont get that many advances.

this thread also reminds me that in my limited world travel i've faced and seen it happening everywhere. the only difference is a matter of degrees. some countries even have a term for it.

eve teasing.

women are safe nowhere.

and its not just indecencies. the other day as my friend was pulling into a parking spot the next car's alarm went off. the man just attacked my friend verbally calling her a woman driver and how she should not be driving. he just came on to her really strong. she felt verbally raped and our evening was ruined because she just could not recover from his 'attack'. i spent the evening trying to nurture her and provide support, but she felt so violated that she could barely eat.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 07-28-2014, 01:36 PM
 
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^ So very sorry for your friend meemee Your support probably meant a lot to her! Refusing to engage/react to men who treat women this way is probably best as they are hoping to provoke the woman into *any* reaction: shame or anger, even subtle body postures that demonstrate that they have affected the woman
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