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Mon Oct 16, 2017, 03:30 PM

About the "me too."

Women have taken to posting "me too" on social media to highlight just how ubiquitous sexual harassment and assault are, and it's making news. Which it should. I think most people are genuinely shocked and dismayed by how prevalent it is.

But it does leave me feeling puzzled. I have never been sexually harassed or assaulted in my life. And of course I am extremely grateful for that fact. I do not wish to experience the disgust and fear and anger that comes from such behavior. But it does start to make me feel like some kind of alien. I've lived in a big city for my entire adult life. I walk everywhere. One would think I would have encountered it at some point. So what keeps me safe when others aren't? Do I look like I could kick someone's ass (hint, I probably can't)? Do I give off some vibe that keeps me safe? Am I so hideous that not even the trolliest of the trolls will comment? What is the formula?

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Arrow 70 replies Author Time Post
Reply About the "me too." (Original post)
Neema Oct 2017 OP
B2G Oct 2017 #1
Neema Oct 2017 #36
MineralMan Oct 2017 #2
Neema Oct 2017 #37
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2017 #3
Neema Oct 2017 #21
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2017 #50
Neema Oct 2017 #61
mountain grammy Oct 2017 #4
Maeve Oct 2017 #5
Neema Oct 2017 #29
Maeve Oct 2017 #54
TBA Oct 2017 #6
Neema Oct 2017 #34
Ms. Toad Oct 2017 #7
Neema Oct 2017 #27
Demit Oct 2017 #8
GoCubsGo Oct 2017 #9
Demit Oct 2017 #16
Neema Oct 2017 #14
Demit Oct 2017 #17
Neema Oct 2017 #20
Iggo Oct 2017 #10
Neema Oct 2017 #18
Iggo Oct 2017 #23
Neema Oct 2017 #25
Iggo Oct 2017 #52
Neema Oct 2017 #64
Iggo Oct 2017 #67
Demsrule86 Oct 2017 #11
Neema Oct 2017 #47
Demsrule86 Oct 2017 #55
chowder66 Oct 2017 #12
Neema Oct 2017 #19
pnwmom Oct 2017 #32
Neema Oct 2017 #38
pnwmom Oct 2017 #39
Neema Oct 2017 #43
chowder66 Oct 2017 #49
RobinA Oct 2017 #58
chowder66 Oct 2017 #59
Neema Oct 2017 #62
chowder66 Oct 2017 #68
Neema Oct 2017 #70
peggysue2 Oct 2017 #13
Neema Oct 2017 #24
peggysue2 Oct 2017 #53
Neema Oct 2017 #63
ismnotwasm Oct 2017 #15
cwydro Oct 2017 #26
ismnotwasm Oct 2017 #40
cwydro Oct 2017 #41
treestar Oct 2017 #22
Neema Oct 2017 #31
Siwsan Oct 2017 #28
Neema Oct 2017 #30
cwydro Oct 2017 #42
Siwsan Oct 2017 #44
cwydro Oct 2017 #48
mahina Oct 2017 #33
Neema Oct 2017 #35
cyclonefence Oct 2017 #45
Neema Oct 2017 #46
JI7 Oct 2017 #51
adigal Oct 2017 #56
Neema Oct 2017 #66
MerryBlooms Oct 2017 #57
Leith Oct 2017 #60
Neema Oct 2017 #65
alarimer Oct 2017 #69

Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 03:43 PM

1. Pure luck.

 

Be very happy.

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Response to B2G (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:50 PM

36. I am. I don't mean to imply otherwise.

It's just very disconcerting. Like finding out everyone you know has or has had cancer and you haven't.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 03:46 PM

2. There's no formula.

You just never encountered anyone who did those things. Like a lot of people, you didn't experience that. Others were not as lucky or something. My wife says that she never had any such experience, either. Other women I know did.

That's what I think, anyhow.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:51 PM

37. Thanks. You're right I'm sure.

eom

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 03:47 PM

3. You're lucky and also possibly not totally aware of your surroundings.

How you look has little to do whether or not you're harassed or assaulted.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:13 PM

21. Definitely always aware of my surroundings. For the first ten years I lived in the city I

lived in pretty sketchy neighborhoods. I was in grad school at night and would come home by myself on the subway at midnight or later. Being aware of one's surroundings is the only way to try to stay safe (not that it always works).

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Response to Neema (Reply #21)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 08:17 PM

50. Fair enough. I apologize for discounting your experience.

I have definitely had the experience of thinking I wasn't "pretty enough" or "hot enough" to harass, so I hear you on that point.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #50)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 01:44 PM

61. No worries. Thanks.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 03:48 PM

4. Luck, and I'm happy for you.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 03:49 PM

5. Lucky you (and I do not mean that sarcastically)

For whatever reason or reasons, you have escaped what a majority of American women have endured. From the unwanted "hey, I was just kidding" kiss or fondle thru the "stay out of it, girl, or you'll get hurt" up to rape and beyond, most of us have had a brush with some sort of harassment or assault just because we are female.
I wish I could say I have no need to post 'me too' but then I also wish I'd never had a knife at my throat. (short version, I broke loose and he went to jail)

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Response to Maeve (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:33 PM

29. I'm sorry for what you experienced Maeve.

I do realize I'm lucky.

I guess it's almost like finding out that 95% of the women you know have had cancer and you haven't. It's not like you want to have cancer, or wish it on anyone else, it's just bizarre to learn that you are part of an extremely small minority.

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Response to Neema (Reply #29)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 08:40 PM

54. In some respects, I'm not sorry

Happened in college, made me more fearless, since I won that battle.

And maybe it's one of the reasons that I reacted when there was a fight one winter evening on my quiet suburban street. A guy literally ripped the sweatshirt and bra off a woman and tossed them in the snow. I turned on the porch light and asked if she needed help. He told me to mind my own business, she said, "Please!" so out I went, got her clothes and dried them, helped her call for help (didn't want the police). He also still had her purse, so I walked her down to his parents' house and demanded it back. (Hubby and neighbor right behind me with cell phones already partially dialed). Probably one of the more stupid moves I've ever made, but....got it back.

An attitude of "I will SO kick your ass" helps, but always take backup.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 03:51 PM

6. What field are you in? Where do you live?

I spent 20 years in a very male dominated field and saw and experienced a lot of harassment. Women were an anomaly and the "locker room" mentality prevailed.

In addition, not that is is just a Southern thing, but I believe fundamentalist religious beliefs contribute as well. Here in the deep south, young men are often taught they are to have the authority over women.

I have also met women who have supper strong personalities that seem to intimidate men. I wish I did.



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Response to TBA (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:45 PM

34. I live in a blue state, in a big city. I'm in a field that is probably closer to equal though

still male dominated. And my clients are often total dude-bros. But it's just never happened. Not that I haven't had scary experiences (spent all of my childhood and teen years being teased endlessly) or been harassed, it just wasn't sexual in nature and actually the scariest experience I've had was at the hands of two women, as odd as that sounds.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 03:56 PM

7. Rapists do select their targets.

You may well carry yourself in a manner that projects, "Don't mess with me." There are studies that show the earlier the resistance, the stronger the resistance, the more likely the rapist is to back off. It's similar to the way bulies select targets.

Within a few years after being raped, I learned to carry myself in a manner that dramatically reduced the frequency of harassment.

But there is, also, unquestionably luck involved. No amount of carrying myself differently would have warded of my brother's midnight forays into my room, for example.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:31 PM

27. I was teased mercilessly as

a grade-schooler and high-schooler. I was a nerd (not a cool nerd, just a plain old awkward nerd), I was chubby (the greatest of personal failings it seems), I was poor and wore thrift store clothes in a wealthy school district. I was teased by everyone, not just boys, and not in any kind of sexual way. But maybe it hardened me or made me do everything in my power to be invisible.

I'm so sorry for what you experienced Ms. Toad. And thank you for your response.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 03:59 PM

8. You've never been whistled at, or told by a stranger to smile b/c you're prettier that way?

 

I guess if you walk everywhere you've never been felt up on the subway, or rubbed against, or had a pervert expose himself to you. But you've never once been patted on the rear end by an acquaintance? Been subjected to an assessment of your breasts, how big or small they are? Been sitting in a bar talking to friends and asked by a strange guy what's a pretty girl like you doing there alone?

Most of these things are such minor annoyances that we women end up dismissing them, just a fact of life of being a girl or a woman. But it's not just the dangerous stuff that counts as sexual harassment. It's the indignities too. I doubt you've never been on the receiving end of one or more of them.

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Response to Demit (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 04:04 PM

9. And, it never ends.

I'm in my mid-50's. I STILL get men making lewd comments about my breasts. To my face, not behind my back. They're probably the same perverts who used to come up behind us snap our bra backs when we and they were 12 or 13.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #9)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 04:48 PM

16. Right, yes, the bra snapping. Now you got me thinking back to when I was that age...

 

I once had a dress, it was a cute dress, that had a long zipper up the front with a decorative pull. I was hanging out with a group of friends in the neighborhood, and one boy just reached over & pulled the zipper down. Naturally, instead of thinking that HE HAD NO RIGHT to do that, I thought it was my fault for wearing a dress that zipped up the front. That incident made me start to become aware of how a lot of women's styles are designed to look like they're halfway off already, or easy to take off, like tube tops. I think designers are deliberately appealing to men's fantasies of taking a woman's clothes off. Young women today feel that they should be able to wear whatever they want, be as provocative as they want to be without repercussion. I don't know. Maybe they're right. I just know I never bought a dress like that again.

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Response to Demit (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 04:31 PM

14. Doubt all you want but I haven't been. And I commuted everywhere by public transportation for years.

Now I don't as much.

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Response to Neema (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 05:04 PM

17. Wow, none of those things ever happened to you?

 

You are the luckiest female to ever have lived in a big city! I hope your lucky streak continues.

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Response to Demit (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:10 PM

20. No. None of them have ever happened to me.

eom

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 04:08 PM

10. Beautiful.

Right up until the "But..."

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Response to Iggo (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:03 PM

18. Why? I don't have a right to ask a question?

If you found out that 90% of the person you knew had the same experience in their lives, you wouldn't wonder why you were part of the ten percent that didn't? I'm not saying I want it to happen or gloating that I'm special in any way. It just makes me puzzled.

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Response to Neema (Reply #18)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:22 PM

23. You have every right to ask questions.

Never said or tried to imply that you don't.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #23)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:26 PM

25. Okay, but the face palm suggests you thought the rest of what I wrote was

the opposite of "beautiful." Maybe I read your comment wrong. I apologize if I did.

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Response to Neema (Reply #25)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 08:20 PM

52. The face palm indicates what I thought about everything from "But" forward.

You got it right. No apology necessary.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #52)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 01:50 PM

64. Oh okay then.

You were just being dismissive and judgmental. Crystal clear now.

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Response to Neema (Reply #64)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 01:56 PM

67. Crystal.

In my estimation, nothing good ever comes after the "but."

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 04:11 PM

11. You were lucky. I face sexual harassment a few times and an attempted rape.

Most women I know have face one or the other and some times both.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 07:36 PM

47. I'm so sorry you experienced that.

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Response to Neema (Reply #47)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 08:46 PM

55. I am sorry too...and that my daughter faces the same risks. I wish I could have done more to right

this country.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 04:12 PM

12. Sounds like you feel alone in not being a victim of abuse.

What is the formula to not becoming a victim of murder?
What is the formula to not becoming a victim of pedophilia.
What is the formula to not becoming a victim of sexual harassment?
What is the formula to not becoming a victim of abuse? Any abuse.

You tell us.


p.s. I'm admittedly a little unnerved by your post. Not to worry though, it's just they way you have presented it, it's no reflection on you as a whole from my point of view. And to answer your question aside from the list I've provided you which should help give you some insight...I believe that a) you are a very lucky person (while others are being harmed everywhere around the world) b) you do not recognize what harassment is which could be very worrisome.

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Response to chowder66 (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:05 PM

19. I'm sorry, I don't mean to unnerve everyone. I guess I find it unnerving myself to

being in such a tiny minority. I consider myself lucky to be in it. Maybe it's a form of survivor's guilt or something.

And I know what harassment is. I've lived nearly five decades, have worked since I was sixteen and live in a large city. I've seen it happen to other people. It's just never happened to me.

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Response to Neema (Reply #19)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:38 PM

32. Have you never walked down a street and had men make sounds at you or suggestive comments?

Or otherwise had male strangers trying to get your attention?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #32)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:54 PM

38. Nope. Not once. I've seen it happen many times to other women but

it's never happened to me.

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Response to Neema (Reply #38)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:55 PM

39. Has a boss ever complimented you on your appearance

even though he wouldn't compliment a man?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #39)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 07:13 PM

43. No male boss or client has ever once complimented me on my appearance.

I always look polished and professional, but I'm overweight, so in my experience men tend to look through or around me unless they are addressing directly. Female bosses/clients will compliment me though.

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Response to Neema (Reply #43)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 07:53 PM

49. Then it looks like you are lucky.

It does amaze me that you haven't experienced any kind of harassment whatsoever from a man.

Sincerely, I have to ask... do you interact with men?
Has a man ever labeled you a lesbian or something other than that regarding your sexuality?
Has a man ever ever called you a tease, a bitch or worse?
Has a man ever asked you to flash your breasts. Many of my overweight friends were asked this all the time. That's why I ask this particular question.
Has a boyfriend or lover ever pressured you on something you were uncomfortable with sexually? That is, if you have relationships with men.
Have you ever been "dared" to do something sexually? Spin the bottle, truth or dare type situations.

It feels weird to ask you all of this. But if none of this happened to you I want some of your remarkably lucky juju, please!!! I'm pretty sure every woman would want that kind of luck.





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Response to chowder66 (Reply #49)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 10:21 PM

58. Sheesh, Enough

already. The lady says she's never been harassed. People seem awfully threatened by that. Implying she doesn't know what harassment is is a bit over the top.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #58)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 11:46 PM

59. I read that part. Thanks.

I responded and I'm as gobsmacked as she is.

My questions, while they may be crass - based on the subject, are sincere. Some people do not recognize harassment when it happens to them, that's becoming more rare. If their self-worth is low it can be more of a problem.

Either way, she seems sincere after a few more replies but her original questions/posits? were a bit unnerving and I even said so in my first reply.

"What is the formula?"... is a pretty disturbing thing to read from a victims point of view. It reads, what is the formula for becoming a victim of harassment - based on her previous sentence. In a world of trolls here and elsewhere it confused me and I wondered. As a victim who went through years of therapy it also worried me.

Threatened is the wrong word.

We aren't talking about harassment, we are talking about sexual harassment. I made more than one implication. She's lucky or she may not know she's being harassed. One I envy and one came from a place of real concern, crassly put... but still from concern.

Thank you for your input.

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Response to chowder66 (Reply #49)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 01:46 PM

62. None of those things.

My mother called me a lesbian once for cutting my hair short. Go figure. I'm not a lesbian for what it's worth, nor do I consider it an insult. But my mother does. I've been married for a long time and my husband is one of the good guys.

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Response to Neema (Reply #62)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 02:11 PM

68. I really do think you are one of the lucky ones.

I envy your luck and I'm glad that you got a good one! They are out there and I'm lucky to have a wonderful man in my life as well.
Please forgive my crassness in my replies. I couldn't tell if you were trolling, possibly in denial or an alien. My head couldn't wrap around your situation - or lack there of.
I am still amazed that there is a woman out there that hasn't experienced one instance of this. I've never met a woman who hasn't. I'm glad you exist and wish you that same luck in all aspects of your life.

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Response to chowder66 (Reply #68)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 02:35 PM

70. No worries. I was kinda feeling like an alien which is

what prompted me to ask in the first place.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 04:28 PM

13. Pure luck

You should be grateful for that because harassment of any sort is never fun. Sometimes it can be downright scary. I worked in Philly for a number of years. It happened to me on the train, in the street and the office. Not talking full assault but innuendo, sexually-charged comments, touching, getting cornered in inappropriate ways. There are all types of harassment but they all share one thing: the need of the harasser to feel dominant and conversely the harassed to feel . . . vulnerable.

I was young and chirpy at the time, one of millions during the mid-to-late 70s, female baby boomers pushing our way into various professions. Our entrance into the workplace, particularly in the numbers we represented, did not inspire great glee from the status quo. Harassment was frequently the price we paid for our audacity, that and a general dismissiveness of working women.

You would think that after all this time, things would have dramatically changed.

Sadly, no. Whatever's old is new again.

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Response to peggysue2 (Reply #13)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:24 PM

24. I'm neither complaining nor boasting, just puzzled.

The more I discover that virtually every woman I know has experienced sexual harassment or assault, it becomes almost bizarre to me that I haven't.

Just to be clear, I have been in scary situations before. I was randomly attacked by two women, oddly enough, who didn't like that they had to wait for me to cross the street (at a crosswalk, where I clearly had right of way and all other cars were stopped). As I crossed in front of them, they lurched their car forward as if they were going to hit me and, when I jumped, they decided to mess with me further. Pulled over, got out and started calling me names, pushed me back and forth, then hit me in the face with a big metal key ring. No one else stopped to help, and this was before cell phones, so I just got out of there as quickly as I could.

I was also mercilessly teased in grade school and high school by boys and girls alike for being poor and having thrift store clothes, for being chubby, for being smart.

But I've never been catcalled, never been harassed, never been told to smile. None of those things.

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Response to Neema (Reply #24)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 08:24 PM

53. I apologize, Neema

Really wasn't trying to suggest you were boasting or complaining. Though I admit, I'm surprised because the harassment I experienced and also witnessed seemed . . . everywhere. Which makes me sound positively paranoid. LOL.

Of course, that was years ago. One of the advantages of age is that you're transformed into an observer as opposed to the observed.

Although the behaviors are still there, I think the reaction from a number of young women is quite different--they're braver, often willing to call out the rude, crude catcalling on the street. I suspect they're not willing to put up with a lot in private either. Fearless girls. Which I wasn't at that age. There's also strength in numbers, women supporting other women. I'm glad to see women coming out, facing public commentary/ scrutiny because they've simply had enough with the intimidation, business as usual mindset.

Your story about being shoved in the street is terrifying. By two women, no less. Sorry that that happened. Sadly, gender does not exempt people from being royal jerks. Being hit in the face is an assault. Should have been reported but I can certainly understand simply wanting to flee the scene.

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Response to peggysue2 (Reply #53)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 01:49 PM

63. I didn't necessarily think you were suggesting it, but I wanted to make it clear.

No worries either way.

I don't think you're paranoid. I think it is everywhere, which is sad and terrifying. But I'm hoping that the Trump era is finally rock bottom and we can come together to end this. God I hope Trump is rock bottom. I cannot imagine it getting worse.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 04:39 PM

15. Not sure

It’s been happening to me since I was about 7, and hitting middle age only slowed it done—didn’t stop it. And I ~Do~ give off an “I can kick your ass” vibe.

It may have to do with how you define sexual harassment. If you have never been catcalled, followed, had awkward and unasked for attention in a public setting, been stalked, received inappropriate phone calls, email, or social media tags or messages, I would have to go with luck. Relative attractiveness has little to do with it, although woman who strive to be attractive are seen as fair game by assholes who can’t see them as human being first.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:29 PM

26. Same here.

And WAY past the age where I would expect this kind of attention.

But it still happens.

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Response to cwydro (Reply #26)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:59 PM

40. Yeah its pretty weird

Had an catcalling incident happen to me recently and someone said “at least you still got it” whatever “it” is suppose to be. And No, I don’t. It’s rude bullshit.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #40)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 07:01 PM

41. It usually happens to me in the gym.

I find it very odd.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:14 PM

22. I have not encountered much either

or what I did was rather minor.

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Response to treestar (Reply #22)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:36 PM

31. I'm glad for you. And sorry that so many do not share

our experience.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:33 PM

28. I was in the Military

It was epidemic, when I served. I have a feeling it still is a very common experience, for women in the military.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #28)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:36 PM

30. I can imagine it would be epidemic in the military or any environment where

extreme masculinity, or what are perceived as masculine qualities, is celebrated.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #28)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 07:03 PM

42. Me too.

I was in the military in the late 70s.

It was constant, everyday, just something to be endured.

A common refrain from my fellow airman was this: “Women join the military if they’re whores, lesbians, or looking to get married. Which are you?”

Gah.

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Response to cwydro (Reply #42)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 07:18 PM

44. 1977 - 1984

It happened when I was an "A" school instructor and when I was doing clinic work. Stateside and overseas.

When I reported one of the incidents, I was told "Oh, he just likes you and is trying to get your attention." He was my immediate superior at the clinic.

It was inappropriate, on all levels. That kind of predator enabling helped me decide to not re-enlist.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #44)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 07:42 PM

48. I was 17 when I went into Basic.

Turned 18 there.

My first duty station was all men (in my work unit). I was very innocent and naive. Sometimes I wish I could go back there looking like that 18 year old, but with my present self in my head. Oh, the shit would hit the fan.

It wasn’t just my fellow airmen; there were a lot of civilian workers there. Almost everyone made some kind of sexist comment on a daily basis. I remember the ones who were “gentlemen” and who comported themselves as such. They were the exceptions, and I still remember them. Ha, I remember the others as well.

I remember one lieutenant who cornered me one day...a second lieutenant still wet behind the ears...told me he was a Mormon, and that women had no business in the military. I remember that so well, where I was standing, what he looked like....and sheesh, that’s a LONG time ago.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:43 PM

33. Statistics maybe.

Even if there's only a 1% chance of something happening, for that 1%, it's 100% of their experience. I truly wish you continued luck.

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Response to mahina (Reply #33)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 06:47 PM

35. Thanks mahina.

You're right. I guess I'm usually on the other end of most statistics.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 07:23 PM

45. I agree that you've been incredibly lucky, but

you may also comport yourself with an air of such confidence that would-be harassers don't dare speak to or move on you. Sexual assault, whether it's whistling or rape, is an act of bullying, and we know that bullies punch down. If something about a woman strikes a would-be attacker as a strength (not physical) greater than his, I'd bet he'd leave that woman alone.

Obligatory keep-your-pants-on addendum: I do not mean in any way that women who are assaulted "ask for it" by appearing weak. I'm not talking about anything voluntary that a woman can do. I'm talking about the way the woman is perceived by a potential attacker.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #45)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 07:33 PM

46. Someone else wrote that they carried themselves differently after being attacked and

it did seem to cut down on how often they were harassed. That got me thinking that, having been bullied a lot when I was a kid, I might have learned some coping mechanisms that I wasn't aware of. Or just luck.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 08:20 PM

51. Maybe its your work environment

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Mon Oct 16, 2017, 09:04 PM

56. I had an issue with a boyfriend, but haven't been harassed at work or in school

 

Which many other women have. I don't know why I haven't. I am pretty tough personality wise, but was a very pretty blonde when younger.
I am grateful, but wondered about the same things as you did.

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Response to adigal (Reply #56)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 01:54 PM

66. I guess a lot of it is just statistics

and luck.

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Response to Neema (Original post)


Response to Neema (Original post)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 12:04 AM

60. My Guess

Is that you don't look naive or vulnerable.

Until I was 25 or so, I was on the receiving end of harassment. Then it started fading away (thankfully). A few years after that, I was walking downtown and I happened to see a young woman and the first thought that flashed across my mind was "whoa! bitch!" Then I realized that I had seen my own reflection in a store window. Honestly, it made my day.

Perhaps you just have posture and way about you that tells others that you are a no-nonsense, won't take their BS kind of person. Don't ever lose that.

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Response to Leith (Reply #60)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 01:53 PM

65. Ha! I like your story about seeing yourself in the window.

I am starting to suspect that, in addition to just dumb luck, grade school bullying hardened me and/or taught me how to remain invisible. I hadn't considered that before.

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Response to Neema (Original post)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 02:18 PM

69. You just might not realize that you have been.

I was thinking the same thing, until I realized that there were several encounters with men or boys that made me uncomfortable. Once, when I was about 11, I was chased around the pool by a boy slightly older (and who had some developmental issues) trying to kiss me. Now, I don't know what was wrong with him exactly, but it was clear he did not understand boundaries. This was in addition to being flashed by a man when I went to the store by myself at roughly the same age.

Later in life, I was repeatedly hugged by the husband of a colleague every single time we met. He was considerably older than me and sort of avuncular so I thought little of it, other than I DID NOT WANT TO HUG HIM. But I did anyway.

I have been fortunately in my workplaces in that nothing untoward has ever happened to me.

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