The Opposite end of traditional “street harassment”: the girl who never get’s cat called
In feminist spaces I see a lot of feminists complain about being street harassed. I read about it and I totally sympathize with their experiences, even though I have never experienced them myself. I am a female myself but am not conventionally attractive. I am not hideous but more or less a plain jane. On top of that I have ALWAYS valued comfort over style, so dressing feminine isn’t something I do on a regular basis. I wear a lot of loose jeans and T-shirts. But yeah, anyway, know that I am not trying to play “who has it harder” or anything but rather I am making this to share my experiences of getting the opposite end of the shit-covered stick that is street harassment that I don’t see being mentioned. I call it street dismissal.
When I say street dismissal I am talking about men who feel the need to subtly announce that unattractive women are not worthy of respect or acknowledgement because they are not a conventionally attractive female or their fellow man.
Some examples I’ve personally experienced include:
- Many guys at parties will arrive or leave, give all the men handshakes, give the attractive women hugs, but won’t even make eye contact with me. I am not a guy or a hot girl so I don’t exist.
- I’ve been bumped into in public without an apology by men. I am not an attractive girl or your fellow man, so it makes sense for you to not even notice I am there.
- One time I was walking behind a group of attractive women. A guy spotted us. Opened the door for the three women and shut the door in my face. I am not worthy of his time because I am not attractive.
- I once was charged a cover on ladies night because I went out to the bar in my work uniform. (red shirt khaki pants)
- Another time at a bar, I saw an open space to order a drink. The guy sitting next to me saw me, raised his eyebrows and turned the other way to make sure I don’t DARE try to talk to him. (Because I totally went there to hit on him and NOT get a drink right?)
- I once went with my gay male friend to a straight guys house he knew. The first thing out of the straight guy’s mouth was “I was totally excited when you had a chick with you. Nevermind!” the whole night he offered my friend drinks and didn’t offer me a thing and seemed frustrated when I asked where the bathroom was. The only other thing he said that night was “do you have any hot single friends that would come over here?”
- Another time I went with a female friend of mine to get drinks. We met up with her guy friend. He ordered a round of beers for everyone except me. His excuse was “he didn’t know she was going to bring someone along and he is low on money” that was until his guy friend from high school showed up unexpectedly and he quickly bought him a drink.
These are just examples that have happened to me. So my question is are there any other “unattractive” girls out there that experience things similar to this?
I just wanted to speak from the other perspective. We always hear the horror stories of sexism from the perspective of the women who are objectified by men in the sense of “oo I want that.” and not too many in the sense of “oo, ew DO NOT WANT”
This may seem like a big long rant that looks like “WAH PRETTY GIRLS GET THINGS AND I DON’T OH MY LIFE SUCKS” but I don’t mean to come off that way. Because I feel the need to mention that guys don’t do this just to get laid. This is where it’s important to bring up the fact that we are treated with less respect than other men. Men aren’t decent people to other men because they want to fuck them. They are decent to them because they see them as equals that deserve basic respect and acknowledgement. But we are women and to these men either you try to fuck them because they are hot or want them to go away. An unattractive woman has no purpose to him.
Misogyny affects all women negatively.
I can relate to this 100%.
I learned at a very young age that if I wasn’t pretty, men would see me as worthless (because I wasn’t, and they did.)
I was ignored and excluded, not only by boys my age, but by male coaches and teachers. It was always made clear that I was seen as a burden to the adult men I interacted with.
Without any type of positive influence in my life to teach me about loving myself, and not basing my worth on the opinions of others (especially men), I became OBSESSED with being beautiful, because I wanted to be seen and I wanted to fell like I mattered. I developed an eating disorder, I self-harmed, and at one point I refused to leave my house for like six months.
At NO time during any of this did I ever hear anyone say, “Hey, you deserve to be treated with respect, regardless of your appearance. The opinions of these douchebags should mean less than nothing to you, and you certainly don’t need to be killing yourself to earn their approval.”
Eventually I began to repair myself, little by little. It took a long time before I was able to think a positive thought about myself without dismissing it. And I’m glad I found it within myself to start making progress towards that direction, because as an adult, I now have the opposite problem.
In my twenties my appearance changed A LOT, through no particular effort of my own. Now that I’m what’s considered conventionally attractive, I frequently find myself wondering why the fuck I ever wanted attention from men in the first place. I guess I thought that being on their dick’s radar would mean that they’d somehow treat me nicely, but no. It’s not better.
My life would have been so different if someone had just explained that to me when I was younger.