Say if you were in a public place, participating in something fun like an open-air musical performance. And then one of the guys you just met starts making friendly talk, and you talk to him friendly too, because you still have the fun mood going, and defenses are down, and girls just want to have fun. And then before you know it he starts to get a little too friendly, declares his love for you, and his arms start going around your body without being invited, giving his hands the chance to begin exploring…
What I’m starting to grasp is how hard it can be for a woman to find the right moment to say when the masher has crossed a line. For social interaction to work at all, people have to loosen up with each other and allow one another into one’s personal space. This loosening up allows the possibility for a guy to take liberties with a woman’s personal space. Most men of course mind their manners and keep their hands to themselves unless I specifially invite touching.
If anyone just walked right up and grabbed me, of course they would receive an instant purse to the headbone. But when a man has a smooth manner with women, sometimes a woman is feeling friendly and relaxed, and before she knows it he’s crossed a line. But it’s so tricky to break that friendly mood… I don’t know if I’m explaining it well, but I bet many of you women, if not most of you, have been in this kind of situation and understand me anyway?
But I swear one of these days, I’m going to haul off and deliver a ladylike slap to some masher’s face while loudly accusing him: “Fresh!”
There are ways to do this suavely and humorously – “hey, nice try Romeo, but no” delivered in a lighthearted but direct manner works well. Even “paws off, buster” can be kind of funny yet unequivocal delivered in the right tone. That said, if a man crosses the line, and does not respect my wishes when they are clearly stated, I feel no need to maintain the friendly mood. Go ahead girl, make a scene!
it’s the whole “no means no” thing. Some jerks think a woman is just playing hard to get and tries harder. YMMV, but I find that if I make some excuse to go to another location at the party/festival/whatever, the issue is dropped. If he follows me, I will make a stand. If he persists, I make a scene. If he yet persists, I call a cop.
When they’re just putting the moves on me, I quite clearly say something casual but I also *physically * remove his arms from me. If he continues to persist, I remove myself from the area, if I can. I’ve only ever had one incident where he just wouldn’t stop, at an outdoor concert, and I had no problem at all turning to the couple of guys *next * to me and saying, “Hey, guys, can you help? This asshole won’t leave me alone.” They were more than ready to defend my honor, and he slinked away. (Slunk away? That just sounds weird.)
I’ve never had to slap anyone for this sort of thing…the guys that I tend to hang out with are (mostly) gentlemen.
I have perfected the art of being an Ice Queen-- my scornful, scathing sneer can leave a man impotent for weeks, and since I have adopted it, I have not been the victim of sustained unwanted attentions. One of those stares is generally enough to send them packing.
Only one man has ever touched me in public without permission. I believe I broke his nose with my roundhouse punch, but that was when I was younger and more tempermental. (I was given a standing ovation by the other women in the area who had been the victims of his pinches and butt-grabs.) Today, should a man be so bold as to lay a hand on my person, I would tell him succintly that I am quite willing to swear out a complaint of assault.
It’s the boldness, ladies. There are some men who can *smell *hesitation or intimidation coming from a woman and will take advantage of it. If you meet him with Full-On-Bitchiness, they will generally back off.
There are bastards out there who will simply not take “no” for an answer, whether from ignorance or inebriation, and a big problem is they always attract the same. Meaning, their friends never tell them to stop.
My missus went out with some work mates a few months ago and this drunken oaf was all over them all night. Followed them around the bar, got entirely too familiar, etc.
When my wife told him to screw off, he came back the the idiot’s retort of,“Then I don’t need you, bitch” or some sort and continued his depravity on her pals.
My wife punched him square in the nose. He left.
I love that woman.
Conversely, an acquaintance of mine is a very gregarious woman, so she is constantly the target of unwanted physical attention. She will make it clear that a line has been crossed, but she will continue to be socially friendly with the individual(s), and she wonders why they keep trying to ‘get with’ her.
If it’s a guy I have just met, I remove or shove their hands away, while stating, “I’d like you to stop (behaviour)” while turning away. That usually gets the message across. Some guys don’t realize how touchy-feely they are being.
If it’s someone I’ve known for a while, who just keeps upping the intimacy factor, I make it a point to privately express my desire not to be touched.
I’m a fairly reserved person, and I think that vibe tends to put men off, because conversations rarely get past the friendly and vaguely flirty stage with me. When they do, and I start to feel uncomfortable, I stop smiling at them, treat them more and more coldly, stop talking to them, and if possible seek out someone else to pay attention to. I have on more than one occasion withdrawn to my boyfriend when he was in another part of a room and plunked down on his lap or leaned up against him or kissed him, just to get the message across as clearly as possible.
I think that if some strange guy put his arms around me, there would be no polite removal or ‘please stop’. I would panic and immediately begin screaming. I don’t really like my -friends- hugging me, and a strange man? Definately not. There would be screaming.
So much excellent advice. I’ve never seen an IMHO thread packed with so much practical wisdom in this many posts. Guin, that was hilarious, LOL I wear a lot of his stuff, I hope it won’t attract him to me.
The incident the other night didn’t push me over the edge to where I would have panicked or something. Like I said, the guy was smooth and stopped just short of that point. He was a Christian rapper. He had just gotten done rapping a lot of Gospel, then came over and sat next to me and in 60 seconds had his hands on me and was starting to override my boundaries. He paid no attention to the Witch pentagram I always wear on my breast. But he stopped just short of where I was going to protest.
I don’t know what guys who keep hitting on me are thinking. I’m a 46-year old grandmother; the days when I used to be pretty are like faded autumn leaves that have drifted far down the stream of time away from this little bridge where I watch the flow. I dress modestly and comport myself modestly. This goes to prove what I’ve always heard about guys who “will chase anything in skirts”, literally anything, as I’ve found out.
No offense to you, but possibly they are thinking you will be an “easy mark” due to “low self esteem” since you’re not as young as you used to be. In other words, they presume that you will be grateful for their sleazy attentions. To borrow a phrase from the 80s, puh-lease. Or, since you describe a general demeanor of modesty, they may see you as a “trophy lay” – like nailing a nun or an Amish girl. Proof of their irresistable studliness. Again, puh-leeze. You seem to be an intelligent woman with a variety of interests – I’m sure you have no trouble attracting men who don’t think grabbing your butt is a good opener.
You know, my mom is just a few years older than you (don’t worry, I’m 30) and although she was a bra-burning feminist hippie in her youth, she still sometimes struggles against her earlier conditioning to “be nice” “don’t make a scene” etc. You should consider if this type of mindset is also influencing you in your actions, preventing you from being as outspoken in your own defense as you’d like to be. I couldn’t say, from the outside, whether it is or isn’t. It’s just a thought.
Well I get where she’s coming from - it’s hard to accept that the only reason someone was talking to you was the chance of a shag. Innocent naïve whatever some wimmin folk like to think that someone may have been talking to us out of interest in us not our vagina. We don’t see how the fact that we don’t want to sleep with you means that we should no longer even talk to you.