Silly women, you don’t own the streets!

My very good female friend lives just two doors down from me and I was leaving her flat tonight – we stood on the steps together and were laughing raucously as we said goodbye. A guy walking past started to shout something up at us, which we couldn’t hear, but he kept at it and was determined to interrupt our laughter.

I left my friends to enter the front door to my flat – which is opposite a bus stop – and was carrying a pizza box. Some guy standing at the bus stop waited until I was just going through the door (coward!) and shouted ‘You want someone to share that pizza with?’ (Er, yeah – I just shared it with my friends. You know, friends, not seedy older men who shout at women in the street…)

So a nice double whammy for me there. What I find very interesting about this harassment is that in the first instance my friend and I were laughing very loudly, and in doing so were noisy and in ownership of the street were we live. I think the man walking past just couldn’t bear to let that go unchallenged. He had to remind us that the street was male space – and only ‘manslaughter’ should be heard, not the laughter of women.

The second instance was just the usual, but I think there was an inference of ‘you shouldn’t be eating a whole pizza by yourself, you should be starving yourself for the sake of making yourself tiny and skeletal so men will find you attractive’. I don’t think he seriously expected me to invite him in for pizza, so the only motivation for him to shout was to intimidate and weirdly ‘guilt-trip’ me.

– CB

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, England UK

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2 Responses to Silly women, you don’t own the streets!

  1. Raven says:

    Listen. Learn a few tricks from this hoe: If you live in the northeast, specifically NYC, tell him that you’ll cut his dick off. That worked for me every time, even on the most violent predators (and I walked alone)and it worked like a charm every time. If you live out here in LA, the guys don’t mess with you as much, but when they do, put your hand in their face and say, “I charge $300 for you to talk to me. My time is money and money is time. If you ain’t got the money, get the fuck outta my face.” Guys who say that often aren’t aware or don’t care about your boundaries and do that shot gun shit because they think and automatically assume that all women are the ditzy type OR/ AND they do it out of intimidation (that’s where the “I will cut your dick off” play comes in….and say it like you mean it!!!) If you don’t want to resort to any of these, let him know you’re not a fool by saying this: “The great Chris Rock once said that when a man gives a woman a compliment, he wants some pussy, so WHY WOULD I WANT A COMPLIMENT FROM YOU? Again, don’t let fear and intimidation besought you. If it does, mace and wire cutters and a healthy does of a Lorraina Bobbit attitude will help! Always does the trick for me!

  2. CB says:

    Hey Raven, Thanks for your comments – I appreciate your advice! I think I’m lucky because on a ‘personal’ level it doesn’t intimidate me, but on a political and feminist level it really gets me 😦

    I actually live in the NE of England, and I’m used to living in busy cities, so I can certainly hold my own!

    It’s very important to me that I don’t ever feel frightened to go out – and I really don’t. I’m not going to EVER get intimidated off my streets! All my life, if ever I walk somewhere by myself in the dark, people – men and women – always act like it’s dangerous, reckless and I shouldn’t do it. Well, sorry, but if I want to go somewhere, I will. It’s not my fault if guys are so psychotically insecure that they can’t leave you alone to walk down a street. I can’t be held accountable for their behaviour, and attempts to oppress me so they can feel powerful.

    The ‘response’ issue is an interesting one – I’m not scared to open my mouth, but very often I don’t really want to offer these guys any reaction – as they really are beneath me and they don’t deserve to see me respond to them. I often don’t want them to see anger as I think they rate such a reaction as a ‘pat on the back’ for themselves – ‘great, there’s another woman who I managed to rile up and get all rattled!’. And surely any reaction for them is better than being ignored? I don’t know – I don’t know what their motive is, but I can only imagine it’s to frighten, intimidate and demonstrate power and latent rape aggression. I think it’s quite defiant to ignore their pathetic attempts to get a response – it’s certainly not a ‘weak’ or ‘scared’ thing. I’m just not going to waste my time or bother to feel any emotion as they are nothing to me – just idiot scum.

    I have a lot of respect for the Hollaback girls, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered to give some dick a reaction. Having said that, depending on the circumstances, I’m more than happy to answer back.

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