I’m covering this topic as a bit of a female empowerment move because it’s something that has been bothering me a lot more recently then normal. Maybe it’s because women are really starting to not take crap but what’s really been bothering me lately is how men won’t leave me alone walking down the street or wherever I am. I was saying it to my my man friend a few weeks ago while we were at a traffic light because I nearly got blown off the road by a bus driver trying to get my attention WHILE I was with him. Obviously this is not just me who deals with it, I see it all of the time with women I don’t know and my friends discuss it too because they have it happen to them a lot as well. Majority of people would say 'take it as a compliment' but I can say you would not say that if you have people stare at you, look you up and down and lick their lips while they stare at your rack of vaj.
What annoys me more than the act itself it is the fact that these particular men think they have the right to do this to women and behave that way. I am not saying men shouldn’t approach or comment on anything but there is such a fine line between passing a bar at night and a guy shouting Oi Oi acting Billy Big Bollix in front of his Lads Lads Lads. This guy is just pissed and having a laugh and the second you walk by that’s it there’s no staring or lips licking it’s just a bit of banter. But that’s the issue here is that we don’t know where the line is between Lad banter and been vulgar.
We don't know where the line is between Lad banter and being vulgar
This topic is one of the main reasons I had to move from Peckham because I was harassed constantly every day to and from my house by “The boys in the Hood”. I could not go to the Tesco at the end of my road without these guys screaming from their balcony what they wanted to do to me and comment and say "I’m packing like a black hoe" or how "they were 21 like Jordan" (whatever that means?-I just thought Michael Jordan was the guy from Space Jam who now sells runners). It was just disgusting and when it happened at night it really frightened me because I would be worried that the drink and drugs would push them further in their vulgarity. The one instance that scared me the most was when I left my apartment and I was approached by a man, I nicely said sorry I am not interested I am married (I’m not) and I walked away. I walked the 20 minutes to the local high street and when I stopped at a window to look at something THE GUY from earlier grabbed my arm and said “Bitch I just wanna know you”. He had followed me the whole 20-minute walk to the high street. Luckily this was the middle of the day and a Gentleman stepped in and made the creep leave. That scared the life out of me because if it was night time and no one was around then that’s a whole other situation. This was the final straw for me and we moved away from "The boys in the hood". I don’t mean to stereo type anyone from any background or heritage but I’m speaking from my personal experience and these are the men I have had most of my harassment from so far. I also met nice guys in that area – on one particular afternoon two guys were having a fist fight outside my apartment entrance and insisted the fight stop until I was inside because they felt a lady shouldn’t have to see that – Charming! (No joke they stopped the fight and waited until I was out of sight to continue). I then watched the fight from my window while eating a Panini.
Not just the Hood
Although I have moved and I don’t have half the trouble on my own door step that I had in Peckham while I lived there it still happens everywhere. When I am walking to work on a Tuesday and the bin men are on my road they always feel the need to comment on how I look and do it to every woman that passes them. Bus drivers do it on quieter roads when they pass by they beep horns and flash lights to get your attention and then when you look they make some sort of vulgar gesture. The most common one is waiting to cross at a traffic light and if a vehicle nearby has construction or trade workers in it then they do the usual look you up and down/pass comment/ signal their friends to look at you. I have no issue pointing out how bad the trade workers are for this, is it all of them? No! But in my experience yes it is! It really is all of the time and I can’t just stand at a traffic light and wait to cross the road while they are around and made feel like I’m on display in a window for purchase under a red light. On the tube men stare me down like it’s a game and then when they leave hand me their business card – like when did this become a thing? What do they expect a woman to do? Call them and be like “Oh Hi it’s the girl from the tube. My name is Kaylen by the way! Do you prefer fizzy cola bottles or Haribo? That’s so weird - me too!! Wanna bang?”. Like what do they expect to happen from handing you a business card at 8am? And more importantly what respectable woman would ever respond to a man that thinks all he needs to do is hand you a business card? Like who is this woman that made this sort of approach something that men now try? Whoever you are you ain’t Boujee and you are playing a massive part in why men do this to us. You might think you are living a Samantha Jones life but we both know on the inside you are dying (and probably riddled). I’m not slut shaming you! I am flat out judging you for accepting a business card from a man on a tube at 8am just because he thought you were worth no more effort than that.
I'm not slut shaming you! I'm flat out judging you...
The club guy
This guy is the one who I spend nights out arguing with because I feel he should receive all my wrath over men being so vulgar. He comes at you on the dance floor, he keeps trying to grab your hand, he lurks around the toilet, won’t leave you alone in the smoking area/beer garden, and most importantly he doesn’t drink because he is doing everything to drive a girl home in white car with a sound system. Why is it always a white Audi or Merc? Like does the car sales man advise you on colour based on lifestyle - Family man you need a grey one with 5 doors, Business man you need a black one with leather interior, Creepy Club guy you need a white car with a boot big enough to hide her body after. This exact guy has been lurking the club scene since the 00’s and he will be there till the end of time. He is like a garden pest that won’t stop eating your flowers but for the love of God - keep him away from your flower. The days of meeting decent guys in the club are well and truly over- us girls know it but the sooner the guys realise we know it, the easier it will be for us gals to go out-out without having to hide all night from a creep – maybe when they realise this, someone could also let them know that just because we are in a crowded place and you need to pass by me doesn’t mean you need to touch my waist.
Why is it always a white Audi or Merc?
This issue is the one that bothers me more than all of the above because this guy is the one who crosses the line even further then vulgarity and gets physical. There are men on tubes in London who will rub their crotch on you and press against you. This guy can target you and you may not even notice because its crowded and think everyone is just pushed up against each other but you need to be more cautious. If you have a look around you, you will notice the crotch on women and these guys are like magnets behind women who bend over to get something in their bag they will slip in behind these girls so fast and they are on the prowl to see who they can target without been
caught. I had a guy do it to me on an over ground train here in London that wasn’t that crowded and he did it so much that when he got off the train two girls said to me that they thought he was with me and my boyfriend coz of how he was behind me and how he was looking at me. I had no clue because I couldn’t see him but ever since that day I am your worst nightmare on a tube I now will call you out if you are pushed up against me and your crotch is on me. After that day I am the person that says out loud to people on the tube that I’m really not OK with their crotch touching me and need them to back off of me before they get off on me. I have no shame here, what’s worrying is that when it does happen and I say it only two men ever have defended themselves and said sorry it’s not intentional it’s the crowd – all the rest have panicked, or disgustingly moved to another carriage to another girl. It’s my theory that if you aren’t doing it on purpose you will defend yourself and make it clear it’s not intentional because no decent man would ever let a woman feel that way, or be questioned on doing something that disgusting.
It’s not OK for anyone to do this to anyone. Male or female no one has the right to make you feel like you are just a piece of meat and that someone can demean you because of your looks or gender. I think it’s a really sad time that women can’t even leave their house or walk home without been gawked at or preyed upon. I don’t know if it’s because women are rising up so men have to go that extra mile to prove their masculinity but I can assure you there is nothing masculine or manly about shouting at a woman on the street or looking her up and down fixating on her while licking your lips. It is vile, vulgar and completely inappropriate. It’s not a compliment in any way because they do it to any woman not just one specifically they find attractive. We need to start biting back and calling them out on this. This cannot be fobbed off or pushed aside when it happens even if it’s just a full on death stare you give when it happens then so be it! Make it clear that it is not OK and you are not there for anyone to stare at. Majority of men don’t behave this way and would not deem any of this OK but this is a stand against the ones who think it is.
Take a stand against this behaviour. It’s that simple! it happens all day every day all over the world. If it happens and you are not OK with it then do something about it. You don’t need to scratch someone’s eyes out but you have every right to call someone out on this and make it clear that it’s not appropriate. Just be mindful of when you do it and make sure you aren’t putting yourself in any danger because let’s face it if they are that vulgar and disrespectful to people then other forms of abuse won’t be that much out of character - all they need is a trigger.
Stay Safe & Stay Boujee xx