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  #21  
Old 04 June 2014, 05:58 PM
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He didn't speak out against street harassment, he spoke out against a stranger talking about his woman like that. He wouldn't have confronted them if they'd said the same thing about a woman he didn't know. He didn't say "don't talk about women that way," he said "you can't talk about my girlfriend that way."

It wasn't about respecting me, it was about respecting him. It reinforced the ideas that men should respect other men, but don't need to respect women, and that women who don't have men to stand up for them are fair game.

ETA: I would also advise men to use caution in confronting street harassers, especially about confronting groups of men. But that was not the primary source of my annoyance.
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  #22  
Old 04 June 2014, 06:12 PM
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That makes sense, then. Thanks.
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  #23  
Old 04 June 2014, 06:30 PM
Ellestar Ellestar is offline
 
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This is a slight hijack, but the discussion here is reminding me of an opening for the show Six Feet Under. The openings are usually a death of some kind of a person who will be using the funeral home of the main characters.

This opening had a young woman walking alone in a poorly-lit area. She hears hoots and catcalls from a group of men down the street. She gets more scared the closer they get and eventually runs into the street where she is hit by a car and dies.

The group of young men, it turns out, are her friends who were just messing around. At her funeral, one of the young men, crying and obviously feeling tremendously guilty, kept remarking on how brave she was. It was as if he couldn't conceive that she would be scared of a group of men coming for her on a dark night. Reading into it, he (and the other friends) seemed to have thought she'd get angry, go to confront them, see that it was her friends just messing around, and they'd all laugh. Because this young man hadn't (presumably) treated women like that before, he didn't know the real fear that results.

That's one thing that I think most men who don't catcall or street harass really get. It's not about talking, communicating to a woman on the street. It's about making her feel small and scared so that they can feel powerful. They can tell themselves it's complimentary so they won't have to recognize it as bullying. It also does get to a point for some people that it's "normal" so no one calls them on it. They buy the company line that it's not really hurting any one and some women must like it, so what's the big deal?

I can say from experience that I remember the first time I was whistled at. I was playing basketball in my driveway when I was 10. A truck going down my road slowed down and the driver (I'm guessing in his 20s, but he looked old to me at the time), caught my eye and very deliberately wolf whistled at me. I was scared and upset and immediately went inside. In no way did I feel complimented, just intimidated out of doing something that I had previously been enjoying.
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  #24  
Old 04 June 2014, 06:33 PM
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No, it's not complimentary. It says, "Hey, you! Don't forget you're in a body I get to think about sexually and deliver my opinion of in public." It's in case you got preoccupied and thought for a moment you might be a person.
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  #25  
Old 04 June 2014, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellestar View Post
They buy the company line that it's not really hurting any one and some women must like it, so what's the big deal?.
On a sitcom, King of Queens, the main female character gets angry because a group of construction workers don't whistle and catcall her - IIRC her feeling is that she isn't attractive anymore if she can't get that kind of attention. I think the plot twist ends up being her husband pays the guys to harass her . I can only assume it was written by men but what the actress playing the female lead thought about doing this is something I've always wondered about.
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  #26  
Old 04 June 2014, 07:56 PM
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It is a trope in a lot of fiction that women are made to feel unattractive by virtue of not being harassed. That's not been my experience, ever. I live in a small town with very little of such that happens. It was much more common in other areas, and I've found it to be like some kind of overwhelming onslaught when I'm in settings where it's a cultural expectation (usually on public transit, these days).
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  #27  
Old 05 June 2014, 08:16 AM
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The same trope was used on Arrested Development. Lindsay visits her father in prison, after having avoided doing so for fear of being harassed. When she finally goes, completely covered up, she's actually ignored by the inmates. This upsets her, so she starts dressing sexier on each subsequent visit in an unsuccessful attempt to get them to cat-call her.

I never got into the show, largely because of stuff like that.
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  #28  
Old 05 June 2014, 09:03 AM
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I cycle to work in a skirt and tights. Not tight skirt, not a mini. I wear tunic style dresses and smocks. It's odd how aware I've become of having legs because of it - I used to just think they were useful things for getting me places. Nope, apparently they're scandalous appendages that must be hooted at, honked at and commented on. Even when covered by tights. I get that my skirt rides up a little as my legs go up and down, but I've seen men cycling in short shorts that show more thigh than I do.

You'd think I was cycling naked.

When bemoaning to a male friend about how self conscious I get when cycling he remarked that the tights I had on at that time were "cheeky" and seemed to think I was naive for not thinking I'd get comments. Those particular tights are paler at the top with ring patterns just above the knee, kind of like stockings but no bare skin, two shades of black and patterned rings. I just thought they were pretty patterned tights. In any case, I've had honks at 100 denier.

It's uncomfortable and intimidating. It makes me think I'm dressing scantily and makes me constantly aware of my clothing and body instead of aware of the road and the fun of cycling. And it angered me that my friend blamed it on my tights.
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  #29  
Old 05 June 2014, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
The same trope was used on Arrested Development. Lindsay visits her father in prison, after having avoided doing so for fear of being harassed. When she finally goes, completely covered up, she's actually ignored by the inmates. This upsets her, so she starts dressing sexier on each subsequent visit in an unsuccessful attempt to get them to cat-call her.
To be fair, Lindsay also routinely neglects her child, and even forgets the child exists. I don't think the writers were intending to make the point that women in general enjoy catcalling, or that is flattering, but it could be interpreted that way.
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  #30  
Old 05 June 2014, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twankydillo View Post
he remarked that the tights I had on at that time were "cheeky" and seemed to think I was naive for not thinking I'd get comments.
A great place to start a dialog about how entrenched misogyny is. Start asking questions, like, "why should I assume I'd get comments?" "Who decides whether my tights are cheeky?" "Why do men think it's okay to make those comments?"

Seaboe
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  #31  
Old 05 June 2014, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
To be fair, Lindsay also routinely neglects her child, and even forgets the child exists. I don't think the writers were intending to make the point that women in general enjoy catcalling, or that is flattering, but it could be interpreted that way.
Indeed, much of the show's humor derives from the ridiculous, asinine, obnoxious, and often despicable actions that are often totally contrary to social norms. You're definitely supposed to be laughing at them, not with them.
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  #32  
Old 06 June 2014, 01:24 AM
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I'll admit I haven't watched much of the show, but I don't think the gag is "these people are nothing like real people!" It seems to be more like "this is what people would be like without a filter--come on, you know you once had an uncomfortable crush on your cousin/desire to commit fraud/unhealthy relationship with your mother--you just managed to control yourself and keep it quiet."

ETA my point: it seemed to me the gag was that Lindsay was being so blatant about her desire to be harassed, something many if not most women share but manage to be coy about.
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  #33  
Old 06 June 2014, 02:34 AM
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Not really. The humor is mostly "wow, this is a seriously evil family. Even the sympathetic characters are kind of jerks (Lindsay is not one of the more sympathetic characters)". There is, for example, a story arc where the Jason Bateman character (who basically *is* the most sympathetic character along with George Michael) goes on a date with a developmentally disabled English woman. He is unable to determine that she is developmentally disabled because a. she has an English accent and b. she is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Another character gets his arm bitten off by a seal and there are several stories after the fact about his post traumatic stress disorder about the incident (mostly, actually, it's about the rest of the family's complete lack of tact).

It is *really* dark and sometimes cringey on the level of the British version of The Office. The Lindsay character is horribly, inhumanly vain and is married to a man who unironically refers to himself as the "first licensed analrapist" (a combination analyst/therapist). It is also maybe the funniest show ever made.
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  #34  
Old 06 June 2014, 02:47 AM
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Agreed Johnny. If Arrested Development hit a trope they probably did it intentionally and with a great deal if satire.
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  #35  
Old 06 June 2014, 01:04 PM
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Yes, hence the catcallers being convicts. I don't think it's a common trope that women enjoy being catcalled in a prison setting.

ETA: I've watched every episode from the original run and a few from the Netflix series, and I don't agree with Esprise Me's interpretation at all.
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  #36  
Old 06 June 2014, 02:18 PM
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I have made self deprecating comments in the past on the lines of 'Even perverts aren't interested in me'. I've been out with more attractive friends when the others got harassed by men who took one scornful look at me and then pointedly ignored me while dribbling their odious comments at my friends instead. It's... oddly hurtful. On the one hand it's a relief not to be the object of desire to men who are 80% alcohol and 20% slug, but it's as if we're all being treated like meat and I'm the rancid meat.

I think it's understandable if not entirely rational to feel a little rejected when you aren't treated like other women, even while other women are being treated like walking sex dispensers. People act so often like it's just something that happens to women, like their own personal weather, that it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you must be unfeminine if it doesn't happen to you.

However, whenever I'm in the situation where I am being leered and jeered at (which does happen more often than I'm 'spurned' by perverts, now I come to think of it), I always feel self-conscious and unsettled. There have been occasions when I've laughed it off, but never times when I've felt flattered.

It pisses me off when other women pull the whole 'You should feel flattered when men catcall you!' nonsense. They act as if they're beacons of confidence and other women are just too sensitive, but if being treated like a hollow milk chocolate woman shell makes them feel good then they must be really desperate for male approval. Again, sort of understandable, because it's pretty much hammered into our heads that the value of women is the number of men they attract, but it's maddeningly... well, saddening.
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  #37  
Old 06 June 2014, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blatherskite View Post
On the one hand it's a relief not to be the object of desire to men who are 80% alcohol and 20% slug, but it's as if we're all being treated like meat and I'm the rancid meat.
I have had these exact feelings.
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  #38  
Old 06 June 2014, 06:19 PM
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I would be lying if I didn't on occasion have fantasies of being so beautiful that people stopped to stare in the street. I imagine I'm not alone in this. Part of this is that I am not conventionally beautiful in the way society seems to think is important, so there's some wishful thinking about what that must be like.

This doesn't mean that I want to be catcalled and objectified in real life, any more than people who play first person shooter games really want to be shot at in person. It's not really a fantasy about being beautiful, it's a fantasy about being powerful in a way society deems acceptable for women to be.
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  #39  
Old 07 June 2014, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Slick View Post
Not really. The humor is mostly "wow, this is a seriously evil family. Even the sympathetic characters are kind of jerks
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Yes, hence the catcallers being convicts. I don't think it's a common trope that women enjoy being catcalled in a prison setting.

ETA: I've watched every episode from the original run and a few from the Netflix series, and I don't agree with Esprise Me's interpretation at all.
I have to agree with the majority here. It was on late at night here so I watched most episodes but not all. But the humor was definatly about how horrible these people were. How removed from realality they were and how incapable they were or surviving in the "real world" without the protection their money gave them. Jason Batman was the best of a bad bunch and was trying to put things right but he had flaws.

The show was called "Arrested Development" after all.

The humor was very black at times. I also think part of the humor was it was the complete opposite of the families in the shows that made Jason Bateman and producer Ron Howard famous.
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