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Author Topic: Symbolism and Suggestions  (Read 17335 times)
yarnwitch
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« Reply #15: June 19, 2011, 11:32:24 pm »

That is weird... maybe you just have nice armpits?

Hahahah! Eh, I discussed it with the husband and his opinion is that I am "different". I don't know what this means. I dress in feminine skirts and never show a lot of skin. I like colorful bags. I'm going to experiment with wearing business casual downtown and seeing if there is a difference in being approached.
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harzgeist
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« Reply #16: June 20, 2011, 03:41:51 am »

I will admit that I have a knee jerk reaction when it comes to things like whether or not your hips sway when you walk (as harzgeist suggested). Because, well, hips do move when one walks, you know? I think it's too easy to say that a person is responsible for bringing unwanted attention to themselves, when it might be something altogether different.

Yes, I am aware that your hips move when you walk. I was just offering the idea that sometimes people walk in a way that is considered sexy by most people though they themselves aren't aware of it. I'm by no means trying to blame the victims. Just recently I was in the pub with a friend; in my opinion she was flirting very strongly with a friend of ours, but then she was so shocked when he came on to her, as well. Apparently, what she considered normal conversation was flirting in the eyes of me and the other friend.
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Otter
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« Reply #17: June 20, 2011, 10:17:10 am »

Hahahah! Eh, I discussed it with the husband and his opinion is that I am "different". I don't know what this means. I dress in feminine skirts and never show a lot of skin. I like colorful bags. I'm going to experiment with wearing business casual downtown and seeing if there is a difference in being approached.

The ideas that you can avoid this behavior by dressing and carrying yourself differently being expressed around in this thread make me very uncomfortable, I have to admit. There's no definition of what screams CREEP MAGNET when you walk down a street. I live near Manhattan and go there often and I've been hit on in creepy ways no matter what I'm wearing. Men who do that are men with no concept of personal boundaries. Their issues have nothing to do with you or anything you're doing.

So unfortunately, there's really nothing you can do to guarantee its avoidance. These guys just come out of the woodwork when they will, especially in the summer months. Remember there is nothing wrong with walking away, telling them to stop, or striking up a conversation with someone else to show solidarity. These are all tactics I've used. Whatever you feel comfortable doing to make yourself feel safer, you should do it; you're not obligated to stand there and let their behavior continue. I just want to emphasize that there is nothing you're doing wrong in these situations. I guarantee it. Nothing.
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harzgeist
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« Reply #18: June 20, 2011, 10:58:44 am »

I just want to emphasize that there is nothing you're doing wrong in these situations. I guarantee it. Nothing.

As you rightly say, there are people who'll chat you up no matter what. I guess our misunderstandings came from the fact that the OP was referring to (disturbed) people who'll just randomly chat up strangers, and I was referring to those creeps who think that just because you're female you're very likely to want to have sex with them. With the former group of people, no change of behaviour will help. With the latter, I have found that dressing more modestly and moving a bit differently when I'm out and about alone does help me.

I live in a fairly big city, and I have quite often made the experience that men are more likely to try and chat me up when I'm wearing shortish skirts than when I'm wearing jeans and a sweater. So I decided for myself not to wear short skirts anymore when I'm alone (especially in the evenings) because I hate being chatted up by strangers. It's just a personal preference to take every precaution, because I have to admit that I'm quite scared of strangers at times.

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catherine
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« Reply #19: June 20, 2011, 11:50:12 am »

Yes, I am aware that your hips move when you walk. I was just offering the idea that sometimes people walk in a way that is considered sexy by most people though they themselves aren't aware of it. I'm by no means trying to blame the victims.

My comment wasn't a dig at you or anything, though I can see why it might seem like it was. I was just using that as one example of putting the responsibility on the recipient of unwanted attention. It's a common response. A person will say that they get all kinds of strange comments, or what have you, and the first thing others will ask is, what are you doing to cause it?   

The incidents that yarnwitch described didn't sound like the usual come on comments to me. They sounded like the kind of random incidents that can happen when you're dealing with people who have untreated mental health issues. It's a very different thing, and one that I think should be considered because in America, we have a huge problem with people ending up on the streets when they can't get the care they need. This wouldn't have anything at all to do with what she was wearing, how she walks, etc.

This is a separate issue, but even if it were a case of being hit on in a bar or something, I think it's unfair to automatically assume that because a person is attractive, friendly or outgoing, they are responsible for drawing the unwanted attention to themselves.

My point is, I think the recipient's behavior should be the last thing to consider. Unfortunately, it's usually the first. That's a problem because it puts all of the responsibility on the person being harassed, and none of it on the person dishing out the harassment.   
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catherine
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« Reply #20: June 20, 2011, 12:28:28 pm »

I live in a fairly big city, and I have quite often made the experience that men are more likely to try and chat me up when I'm wearing shortish skirts than when I'm wearing jeans and a sweater. So I decided for myself not to wear short skirts anymore when I'm alone (especially in the evenings) because I hate being chatted up by strangers. It's just a personal preference to take every precaution, because I have to admit that I'm quite scared of strangers at times.

I completely understand where you're coming from with this. I really do. We should all take whatever precautions we're comfortable with to feel safe. I just have a huge problem with the idea that because someone is considered attractive, they're inviting trouble. For example, I was selling cosmetics in a high end department store. My job required me to look pretty. By that I mean, wearing makeup, having my hair fixed, dressing nicely, etc. I didn't wear short skirts or low cut tops because that would have been unprofessional and also, it doesn't fit my personal style. I received unwanted attention all the time simply because I was there, waiting for the bus, on my break or whatever.

Even If I was, that still doesn't make me the responsible party. Another example, let's say it's 90 degrees out and I'm wearing shorts and a tank top. Am I supposed to cover up and be uncomfortable so as not to tempt someone into harassing me? I don't think so. I think that no matter what a person is wearing or why, where they are or if they're alone, none of it should matter. They still deserve to be treated with respect, and not be harassed.

I know, perfect world and all of that. I just think that one way to change these kinds of preceptions is to talk about them when they come up.
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Otter
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« Reply #21: June 20, 2011, 02:16:14 pm »

Even If I was, that still doesn't make me the responsible party. Another example, let's say it's 90 degrees out and I'm wearing shorts and a tank top. Am I supposed to cover up and be uncomfortable so as not to tempt someone into harassing me? I don't think so. I think that no matter what a person is wearing or why, where they are or if they're alone, none of it should matter. They still deserve to be treated with respect, and not be harassed.

I know, perfect world and all of that. I just think that one way to change these kinds of preceptions is to talk about them when they come up.

This too! It definitely shouldn't be OP's responsibility to dress modestly if she doesn't feel like it, nor anyone else's. It's no more her fault for getting unwanted attention if she's dressed in something sexy than it is if she's wearing baggy sweaters and long pants. She's not dressing for the men hitting on her. That's the point--it's unwanted. Unfortunately society as a whole seems to care little about holding the creepers in these scenarios responsible for their actions. But I agree, it definitely helps to have these conversations.
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Shadowolf
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« Reply #22: June 20, 2011, 03:02:48 pm »

Aye that reeks of victim blaming imo. I've also encountered disturbed persons on the street and yeah no body language is going to keep them away, in general though the book had some helpful advice.
  Well....No one has the right to break into your house but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep your door locked.   I agree that when dealing with crazies sometimes it is just going to happen no matter what you do.   I think working on your own confidence,  if it doesn't prevent an encounter, can at least help you get through it
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Katefox
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« Reply #23: June 20, 2011, 03:13:03 pm »

This too! It definitely shouldn't be OP's responsibility to dress modestly if she doesn't feel like it, nor anyone else's. It's no more her fault for getting unwanted attention if she's dressed in something sexy than it is if she's wearing baggy sweaters and long pants. She's not dressing for the men hitting on her. That's the point--it's unwanted. Unfortunately society as a whole seems to care little about holding the creepers in these scenarios responsible for their actions. But I agree, it definitely helps to have these conversations.
Hurr, I feel like I should say something as I think I was the first to ask if there was something in the OP's dress or demeanor that made her particularly approachable.  I didn't mean to say it was anyone's fault for garnering unwanted attention, nor even suggest that she should have to change anything about herself, but simply to suggest a potential mundane explanation for all the unwanted attention she'd been getting which she, perhaps, had not considered.  I hope I didn't imply any sort of victim-blaming, because that certainly wasn't my intent.
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Waterfall
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« Reply #24: June 20, 2011, 03:16:19 pm »

The ideas that you can avoid this behavior by dressing and carrying yourself differently being expressed around in this thread make me very uncomfortable, I have to admit. There's no definition of what screams CREEP MAGNET when you walk down a street. I live near Manhattan and go there often and I've been hit on in creepy ways no matter what I'm wearing. Men who do that are men with no concept of personal boundaries. Their issues have nothing to do with you or anything you're doing.

So unfortunately, there's really nothing you can do to guarantee its avoidance. These guys just come out of the woodwork when they will, especially in the summer months. Remember there is nothing wrong with walking away, telling them to stop, or striking up a conversation with someone else to show solidarity. These are all tactics I've used. Whatever you feel comfortable doing to make yourself feel safer, you should do it; you're not obligated to stand there and let their behavior continue. I just want to emphasize that there is nothing you're doing wrong in these situations. I guarantee it. Nothing.

I know I can avoid creepers depending on the way I act. Actually, creepers leaving me alone is the norm, but if I dress up all nice and feminine, smile a lot (as long as it's a friendly smile - I apparently normally smile like I'm about to cause trouble), and walk in a less masculine manner, I'll get the occasional creep coming up to me. But normally, wearing shorts and a t-shirt and looking a bit pissed off or maybe a little crazy, everyone just leaves me alone. I can walk down a street in town with a bad reputation alone in the middle of the night and not be bothered once. Or ride the bus down that street and have no problems. Most people I know are very uncomfortable walking down that street or riding that bus - they get bothered when they do. But not me.

And I don't know if this has to do with the way I carry myself or not. However, like I said, if I'm not acting normal, I might get bothered. All that being said, I don't think that people should have to alter their appearance or behavior just to avoid creeps. It's not their fault a creep is bothering them. However, if someone wants to, they can alter their behavior if they really hate the creeps. Not saying they have to, nor would I tell someone complaining about creeps to do so, but it is an option. Although I'm not sure if that works for everyone or if it's just me.
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Otter
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« Reply #25: June 21, 2011, 12:49:39 am »

Hurr, I feel like I should say something as I think I was the first to ask if there was something in the OP's dress or demeanor that made her particularly approachable.  I didn't mean to say it was anyone's fault for garnering unwanted attention, nor even suggest that she should have to change anything about herself, but simply to suggest a potential mundane explanation for all the unwanted attention she'd been getting which she, perhaps, had not considered.  I hope I didn't imply any sort of victim-blaming, because that certainly wasn't my intent.

I don't think anyone here was intending any sort of victim-blaming.
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harzgeist
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« Reply #26: June 21, 2011, 01:05:32 am »

I don't think anyone here was intending any sort of victim-blaming.

So what can you do to avoid people coming up to you and speaking to you, apart from changing something about yourself that we agreed you shouldn't have to do?

I've read of a visualization where you're supposed to imagine you've got an aura of bright white/bluish light that keeps you safe, but I'd have trouble keeping up the visualization while I'm walking around - there's traffic and whatnot that I need to pay attention to when I'm in town. Anyone has any experience with this?
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yarnwitch
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« Reply #27: June 21, 2011, 07:08:31 am »

So what can you do to avoid people coming up to you and speaking to you, apart from changing something about yourself that we agreed you shouldn't have to do?

I've read of a visualization where you're supposed to imagine you've got an aura of bright white/bluish light that keeps you safe, but I'd have trouble keeping up the visualization while I'm walking around - there's traffic and whatnot that I need to pay attention to when I'm in town. Anyone has any experience with this?

This! This is more what I meant to get at. An aura, or a spell asking the god or goddess to watch over me, or something! If I shouldn't have to change myself, and I can't change others, its something that would make me feel better. (I'm already prepared to weaponize my knitting needles in a worst case scenario, but i hope it will never come to that.)
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« Reply #28: June 21, 2011, 09:29:15 am »

This! This is more what I meant to get at. An aura, or a spell asking the god or goddess to watch over me, or something! If I shouldn't have to change myself, and I can't change others, its something that would make me feel better. (I'm already prepared to weaponize my knitting needles in a worst case scenario, but i hope it will never come to that.)

As far as I know, a shield spell doesn't need to be consciously maintained at all times. You could include an object in the casting, say a piece of jewellery, and state your intent that the spell will be active on you as long as you wear or carry that object. The spell might need renewing every once in a while, but a few moments' visualisation before you put on your talisman should be enough to 'switch it on'.
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« Reply #29: June 21, 2011, 10:07:00 am »

This! This is more what I meant to get at. An aura, or a spell asking the god or goddess to watch over me, or something! If I shouldn't have to change myself, and I can't change others, its something that would make me feel better. (I'm already prepared to weaponize my knitting needles in a worst case scenario, but i hope it will never come to that.)

Well, changing your aura *is* changing yourself, at a really fundamental level.

That said, it's definitely possible to project a "Don't bug me" sort of aura - just be really aware that it'll affect everyone you run into, not just the random people on the street. Some people find it effective to work with specific colors, and to deliberately change (so, one color when they're walking by themselves on the street, something different when they're with friends/open to conversation/whatever.)

Thinking about this conversation in general, I also want to put in a recommendation for a book called _The Gift of Fear_ by Gavin de Becker: it's about trusting intuition, and some very specific techniques that people who are being predatory use to engage with you. (And how to tell the difference between someone who's behaving oddly, but isn't a big risk to you, and someone who is.)
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