Greetings Are More Than They Appear…Apparently.

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I live in a big city, and I walk or use public transportation to get around. I’ve typically ignored men who approach me on the street on my way to and from work; my parents taught me not to talk to strangers. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore. Doing so led to these men telling me I wasn’t cute enough to be a bitch or calling me a slut.

Then I started saying hello back and found that more often than not that led to the man following me, making a suggestive comment or calling me a bitch or slut anyway.

When I commented to a male friend, he informed me that women returning the hello implied that a sexual relationship would result.

I didn’t realize that returning a hello implied that I would have sex with a man. I guess by walking down the street I’m a slut or a bitch. So sorry I forgot, it’s #MFIF

-Street Walker, USA

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9 Responses to “Greetings Are More Than They Appear…Apparently.”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Oh my. I had no idea that every time I say hello I am actually propositioning someone.

    I wonder if it counts when I say hello to other men, was I propositioning them too?

    People must think I am so rude propositioning them then not carrying through when they said hello back.

  2. A Different Sam Says:

    The sort of people who make that sort of moon-logic conclusion are the sort of people too stupid to think about any topic other than sex.

  3. sharon Says:

    This reminds me of when I lived in Edinburgh. I used to walk to a placement in Leith and there was a litttle old smiley man who would always say hello. Being polite, I said hello back. At which point, he would screw up his face and start leering… He never followed me though and did seem quite frail, but it was creepy nonetheless…

  4. Pavlov's Cat Says:

    So you’re damned if you don’t (rude, stuck up bitch, how dare you ignore me, what’s so special about you) and damned if you do respond. Yet another example of unwritten rules designed to be a no-win situation for women.

  5. erica Says:

    The bitch/slut situation is pretty bad, but that will probably resolve itself in time. Thankfully, I became mostly invisible to men when I started to look over 25. Not to say that ageism is appropriate, but I’ve found it convenient.

  6. Sam Says:

    This is so strange – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman saying hello to an attractive GUY who was walking down the street (well, at least not a sober one…) assuming he would sleep with her.

    But yeah. You’re a woman, so you’re a piece of meat on two legs.

    You could start wearing big headphones so people don’t think you could actually hear them.

    • CM Says:

      “You could start wearing big headphones so people don’t think you could actually hear them.”

      Yeah, we all have coping mechanisms like that. It makes me sad that we’re forced to have to disengage from parts of life (walking down the street, keeping your head up) simply because men don’t get the idea we’re not their bloody fuck stick.

  7. frenchette Says:

    It’s amazing to me that, no matter how clear it is that I am not interested in stopping to have a conversation with a male stranger, I can’t walk alone ANYWHERE without getting harassed-even with headphones in. So rude!

    Not only that, it is almost invariably some comment along the lines of the discussed favorites: “Smile, gorgeous” or “Stuck up b—-!” ( In this case, if I happen to not be in the mood to placate the whim of some lonely, skeevy guy, looking for conversation when I am looking to get to school on time ).

    As a recovering child actress ( shudder… ), trying to unlearn a lifetime of people-pleasing and obsessive grooming, what absolutely burns me up is not the harassment itself so much as the instinctual blame I assign myself for disappointing someone with my refusal to accommodate him. Clearly, I must always have a perfectly upbeat demeanor, regardless of mood or circumstance. Why do I still feel as though I owe every gross guy out there an apology for not meeting their expectations/ living my life at center stage inside “the gaze”?

    So, the stupid dudes are bad enough…coming to understand the LIFETIME of insidious cues to be a “good little girl” I still catch myself responding to makes it feel utterly heartbreaking.

    But what do I know? I’m just an angry woman. Probably because I don’t stop and chit-chat long enough to invoke the mating ritual with my coded “hello.” I’m sure I’d feel a lot better if I was layed by a perfect stranger.

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