This morning's commute (the 'ugh' edition)

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  • rather than the Chuck Norris style beatdown I picture in more Hollywood imaginings.

    a Man riding in on a big horse bike to defend ones honour is not always best appreciated...

  • The somewhat indirect action advised is reassuring as its the sort of thing I would do, rather than the Chuck Norris style beatdown I picture in more Hollywood imaginings.

    I guess you've all seen this right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzF3OyRY­X7I

  • a Man riding in on a big horse bike to defend ones honour is not always best appreciated...

    i agree with this (it can be infuriating and diminutive to have someone try and "fix" something for you if you have a hold of the situation) but i also genuinely appreciate it when a stranger does ask if you're ok if you're visibly shaken or they've seen something unpleasant happen. in the heat of the moment it can be hard to pick the best course of action all the time but "are you okay?" or even"is this person bothering you?" pretty much, to me, covers getting involved but not destabilising the woman even more.

  • I like @bothwell 's approach of calmly asking them to repeat what they said 4 or 5 times.

    I don't recommend this as an approach, btw, just in case anyone thinks that was a suggestion of how to deal with street harassment when it happens - it's a thoroughly unpleasant experience. The fact that it is an interaction encourages them to come closer to you and the fact that it's an uncooperative interaction that doesn't follow their script encourages them to become aggressive almost immediately. Don't do this. It doesn't make them turn around with their tail between their legs, it does the opposite. You get more abuse at closer range.

    I do it because my disability means I don't have much of a choice - I can either ignore everyone (including people like lucyh's "nice balance" peeps, or people asking me if I'm ok) or I can take everyone on good faith. I do the latter which unfortunately leads to some fairly scary moments.

  • I've see much more of this first hand when I've been riding with a female rider. I think it's harder for the harasser to distinguish that you're travelling together than when on foot. It makes me incredibly angry and they tend to back down pretty quickly when they realise that you are travelling together. Further evidence of what a cowardly, shameful act this type of abuse is. It's also evident that men who act in this way consider that it's ok if the female in question is not the "property" of another man.

  • Yeah good point.^

    It's apparent that any abusive behaviour from car occupants towards those cycling has a tone of 'I'm in a powerful car, I can leave this scene quickly without reproach or consequence.' Maybe road users like public transport users could inform tfl about incidents? If we ALL did it every time, maybe that data could be of interest to tfl?

    I find women on bicycles often extremely defensive if I speak to them, I can see from that a general expectation that they're going to be harrassed pervades.

    Good thread lucyh.

    The crips guy did it brilliantly. I liked Clockwise's ride in the way routine.

  • Chips guy was great. And there seemed to be a general thing of others feeling able to pitch in once one uninvolved person has made the first move and set an incredibly calm tone about doing so.

  • Its abuse if it is something abusive. Something like 'nice arse' isnt abuse. Its just a comment.

    I accept it probably gets very tiring if it is constant and can see why youd get pissed off with it but just saying sometimes it is just a harmless comment so shouldnt be met with giving the person the finger ect which is likely to invite confrontation.

    Obvs threatening stuff like touching your bike / arse ect is not cool...

  • No, you're wrong. It's sexual harassment and it's not done in order to start a flirtation/friendly conversation, it's done to exert male power over a female and is uninvited and intimidating. Maybe you should talk to some females about how it makes them feel and try to understand rather than assert that "it's just a comment". It's not. It's a symptom of a much darker, misogynistic side of our society.

  • So every bloke who makes a comment at a woman on a bike is somehow a rapist in wating?? It can actually be meant as a compliment!

  • To fix this, who needs to do what?

  • It has happened that people were genuinely trying to be nice to me/my bike and I can guarantee it never started by "nice arse".
    I have had some very cool chilled conversations with people at lights or on the road in general and it was always a cool experience, which isn't what we are describing here.
    As for the

    rapist in wanting

    please read up some of the links that have been quoted and try to understand the topic ever so slightly more ?

  • As for the rapist in wanting, please read up some of the links that have been quoted and try to understand the topic ever so slightly more ?

    Sorry, what? Is that directed at me?

  • no no ! it was quoted from @thiscocks 's comment :)

  • Nope @GF, the forum strikes again making it clear as mud. Ecunard was referring to thiscocks as you can see where it says "in reply to" in her post. (Oops, beat me to it! haha)

    My 2p: Shouting "compliments" like nice arse are never compliments, it's like builders wolf-whistling at women or cat-calling in general. It's an exertion of power by the shouter and abuse of the shoutee's right to walk/ cycle/ generally exist in society without having to be confronted with comments about their appearance.

    Top tip: Cat-calling is not flirting and will most likely make you seem quite unsuitable as a potential shag.

  • Ah, sorry - missed that part of the post!

  • Thanks Caz, that's what I was trying to say.

  • It can actually be meant as a compliment!

    If you step on my foot, you need to get off my foot.
    If you step on my foot without meaning to, you need to get off my foot.
    If you step on my foot without realizing it, you need to get off my foot.
    If everyone in your culture steps on feet, your culture is horrible, and you need to get off my foot.
    If you have foot-stepping disease, and it makes you unaware you’re stepping on feet, you need to get off my foot. If an event has rules designed to keep people from stepping on feet, you need to follow them. If you think that even with the rules, you won’t be able to avoid stepping on people’s feet, absent yourself from the event until you work something out.
    If you’re a serial foot-stepper, and you feel you’re entitled to step on people’s feet because you’re just that awesome and they’re not really people anyway, you’re a bad person and you don’t get to use any of those excuses, limited as they are. And moreover, you need to get off my foot.

    See, that’s why I don’t get the focus on classifying harassers and figuring out their motives. The victims are just as harassed either way.

    (Hershele Ostropoler, in a comment on John Scalzi’s blog post, “Readercon, Harassment, Etc.” )

    To the above list, please also add "if you step on my foot as a gesture of appreciation for how incredible my arse/tits/whatever are, you need to get off my foot".

    I'm sorry that you haven't read any of the links that have been provided. I'm also sorry that you don't understand the posts that we've made.

    I'm sorry that we have a culture in which people can justify their own shitty behaviour and that of others by saying "but wait! Maybe my hidden intention makes this shitty behaviour magically not-shitty!"

    Congratulations for being complicit in that.

  • @lucyh thanks for the links. That was very informative.

  • Can I just say, I've had it here in Italy too.
    only diff is, I have no fucking clue what they're saying.

  • Yeah, don't worry, my comment was made with full self-awareness. I'm 6ft 3 and weigh 75kg soaking wet so all of my hard-man actions are imaginary by necessity anyway. In real life my shows of manliness are limited to reaching high-up things for short people and occasionally opening jars for my wife. I'm very happy to keep it this way. I may add strategically placed eating to my repertoire though, I like that.

  • Something like 'nice arse' isnt abuse. Its just a comment.

    I'm finding this attitude hard to critically break down, but I feel that it's just WRONG. On so many levels, a 'harmless compliment' can actually be something a whole lot more insidious. I suppose I'm put in mind of Stewart Lee's parody of Top Gear 'It's just a joke!' routine.

    'It's just a compliment!'

  • Somewhat torn between not wanting to feed the troll and saying, okay if there is the slightest possibility you are not a troll, how can you be reasoned with...

    It can actually be meant as a compliment!

    What is a compliment? What's its purpose?
    Let's say you were wanting to compliment someone - it's about making them feel good about a thing, right? Making them pleased? So if you genuinely wanted to compliment someone on their arse, your aim would be to make them feel pleased that they have a nice arse. So if you knew that you have a very high chance of upsetting someone, bringing their mood right down, by yelling "Nice arse!", surely if you actually wanted to compliment them this would be meaningful to you. It would make you think "Oh, okay. That's not a cool way to compliment someone.", rather than think "Well what do their feelings matter? It's much more important what I meant!"

    There are a lot of people saying that those "meant as a compliments" verbals, are not appreciated or received as such. If that's considered irrelevant by the complimentor, then that complimentor isn't trying to be nice at all, they're trying to be mean.

    Get it?

  • It's just uninvited, unwelcome objectification.

  • Somewhat torn between not wanting to feed the troll and saying, okay if there is the slightest possibility you are not a troll, how can you be reasoned with...

    The way I see it, is that there are three options.

    1. He's not read any of the supporting links that we've posted (which have already covered this material), because his penis has said "yo man, we don't need to bother with reading any of that shit because there is literally no way we can learn anything from it - it's all about women and there's nothing we don't know about women coz we are such a stud innit", in which case he needs to stop listening to advice from his penis because it is stupid;
    2. He has read the supporting material but doesn't understand it, in which case I'm not sure what to say as the material is mostly in webcomic form and has been designed to be easy to understand, I guess maybe he should read it again until he does;
    3. He has read the supporting material but figures he will repeat the same tired old "arguments" against letting women decide for themselves how they feel about their own lived experiences because either he's sure that he will be the bro who finally persuades wimmin to get it, or just because the sun is out and he's feeling a bit trolly. In which case he needs to be aware that I'll be fucked if I'm going to let this thread become yet another place in which some guy can come along and explain to women how they are womaning all wrong and if only they'd woman in the way he thinks they should everything would be so much better.
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This morning's commute (the 'ugh' edition)

Posted by Avatar for ioreka @ioreka

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