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Why IS it that most verbal harassment is committed by men?

Jambalaya

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Bouncing off the current thread about harassment:

I want to preface this by saying that I know there are millions and millions of wonderful, decent men in the world who would never dream of harassing a woman. But after reading the thread, I started to wonder why it is that the vast majority of verbal sexual harassment is committed by men.

After all, it's not as if women don't have desires or get aroused. Can you imagine if the tables were turned?

"Nice packet you've got there. You should wear something tighter." Etc.

I know there's a physical difference, but in a public place, a woman can be fairly sure that a man's not going to turn round and hit her for saying something sexual to him. How come we never hear about older women leering at younger men on the check-out? Or offering to pay him for a good ride on that cock he has stuffed into his pants? Or telling him to wear tighter pants to work so she can check him out better next time she's in?

I mean, you just DON'T hear about it. Maybe it happens, but I've never heard of it happening.

Why are so many men old leches compared to women? Women can have strong urges during ovulation, after all, and we don't go and leer at every young man who crosses our path because we're horny for babies and we want good young genes!!

Sorry for any generalizations - I know there are so many good men out there, but it just seems that the public verbal harassment of a sexual nature is mostly a one-way street, and I wonder why.

Does anyone remember the first episode of Sex and the City, where a worker on the street harasses Miranda, and she goes right up to him and offers him s*x. He becomes very uncomfortable and backs down.

It seems to me that there is just something in the psyche of men that allows many of them to act this way, and women just don't. (Generalizing, yes, but I hope you understand what I mean.)

Apologies to all the decent guys reading this.
 

Austina

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As the mother of a son, I just don’t see young/er men in that light :lol: I always think “I’m old enough to be your mother”

I did witness that kind of behaviour from a group of women towards a young handsome man, and pointed out to them that they’d be furious if a bunch of lecherous men were saying those kind of things to their daughters/nieces etc.
 

Jambalaya

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^^ Woe, Austina, that's so interesting! How did the young man seem to take it? And how did the women react when you told them off? Were the women older than him?
 

Austina

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It was in a situation where he was doing his job, so felt unable to respond, just ’appeared’ to take it in good humour, but was probably squirming. Their initial response was ‘it’s just a bit of fun’, and I asked if they’d find it so funny if it was aimed at a young, attractive female, or if in fact, it was their son and the comments were coming from a lot of middle aged, menopausal women!
 

TooPatient

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I have seen women and girls behave that way. The guys either don't mind or don't say anything. It probably happens a lot more than people realize.

Not verbal, but DH and I were out to coffee with a woman (before we were married, but still clearly together) and she thought it was acceptable to put her hand on his leg and start rubbing his thigh working ever inward. He didn't say anything because he was afraid she would accuse him of something. Then you see women walking up and touching men's hand/arm/shoulder or thinking they can give a kiss on the cheek or whatever. Things that anyone would call inappropriate if done towards a woman.
 

stracci2000

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This is a good question.
Is it because they have the need to feel superior, and the verbal s*xual innuendos are their way of asserting dominance?
Or do they think we like it?
I've had my share of catcalls, and never enjoyed a single one. I never enjoyed it when a former boss used to comment on my clothes, hair, lipstick. It was skeevy and gross.
I never enjoyed it when a complete stranger grabbed my a$$ on a busy sidewalk.
I didn't enjoy it when I got honked at while crossing the street last weekend.

Calling all the PS men to explain......
 
Last edited:

OboeGal

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My observation: there's two societal problems at play here.

One is that, as some have noted, there ARE women who behave this way as well, but we just don't hear about it nearly as much because there is a sexist notion in society that all men are hypersexual beasts that must love it. It's the same attitude behind the way that so many people "nudge and wink" when adult women prey on underage boys. Obviously disgusting. There may additionally be a sense that it doesn't need to be addressed when women do it because there isn't the same threat of them physically forcing themselves on the men they target.

The second problem is one of power dynamics. Men are used to being the ones who hold the power in society, and some feel the need to continue to assert their power, personally and societally, by reducing the women they encounter to just sexual objects - and not just sexual objects, but ones that know that most of the time they lack the physical prowess to defend themselves against these men. Others don't necessarily feel that way personally, but participate in that behavior to "fit in." For some, the increasing gain of power in society by women and other marginalized groups is triggering the increase in these behaviors as they fear their hold on power is slipping away.

I'm personally of the opinion that most of the time, when people of any gender behave in ways that force unwanted stuff on others, it's essentially about power and control at the core rather than sex or whatever else it seems to be on the surface.
 

Jambalaya

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^^Agree with all that, @OboeGal, and I think you're absolutely right about the power aspect, too.
 

Karl_K

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I dont really have any answers but I did ask one guy I knew soft of a friend of a friend who cat calls all the time why he did it.
His answer: I'm just showing them that I appreciate them like fine peaces of art.
My answer: why would they care that you appreciate them?
His answer was the fword off

For the record every once in a while I will whistle at my wifey but I cant recall ever whistling at anyone else.
Way to shy to do that. So you can say im clueless lol
 
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