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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. 

THIS IS IMPORTANT

As a woman who gained a lot of weight right out of high-school and spent 3 years in ill fitting clothes and various terrible haircuts, then lost the weight in her early twenties and drastically refined her look — I have lived both sides of this equation. And I think having experienced the dismissal makes it all the more glaringly obvious how hollow the so called “positive” attention really is.

I’ll also say that some women who aren’t “conventionally attractive”, like myself, can sometimes be subject to other forms of street harassment that are neither street dismissal or cat-calls. I’ve always been pretty pudgy and I used to ride my bike a LOT. These are things as a “big girl” that I have experienced in ways of street harassment:

   -On multiple occasions boys/men have leaned out their window to scream at me; often profanity such as “fat bitch” “ugly cunt” “fat” and mostly just anything that pertains to my weight.

   -I have also had fast food thrown at me from car windows

   -I received a lot of honks from numerous cars (I ride on the sidewalk so it’s obviously not for me to get out of the way) which I’ve yet to determine whether that counts at a cat-call-esque form of harassment or not

those are only a few things, but I’m sure other girls have some more examples. Altogether, any form of street harassment is not okay, and it is something that needs to be eradicated.

As someone who has recieced both forms of harassment I can say that it does not just come from men. Almost everyone in society treats you differntly based on your looks. I have been shopping with my sister (who is a very skinny fashionable blonde) many times where she would get excelent service from the woman in the store. They would come to her directly to help with clothes or jewlery or just to chat. But when they see me they just give disgusted glances. Never even offering help or sometimes flat out refusing to help if I ask for it.
So what Im saying is yes men do it and it sucks. But women do it too. And that sucks just a little bit more. I shouldnt be looked down upon because of my looks.

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