The number of “get me out of here” tactics women have developed and shared to help each other escape from overly-insistent-to-borderline-predatory dudes in public places should probably be enough evidence of the existence of rape culture all on its own.
I especially like how, in the majority of cases, you don’t have to verbally communicate what your signals are to other women. I’ve had women I didn’t even know come save me. Literally every woman recognizes the “Dear god, help me” facial expression, and knows exactly what they should do. We don’t get a handbook for this. We don’t have a sit-down nail polish party where we talk about a standardized woman code for preventing creepers. It’s just part of being a woman.
BUT LOL RAPE CULTURE DOESN’T EXIST.
Yup. I’ve definitely taken strangers by the arm and pulled her aside to go, “Oh my GOD it’s you! How ARE YOU?!? It’s been so long!” and then been like “hey I could overhear that guy who wouldn’t leave you alone so I figured I’d give you an out” and then see their VISIBLY RELIEVED expressions. This is part of girl code, because rape culture is that pervasive.
I once had a girl sit on my lap and say “hey baby” after she witnessed a guy (who was easily 20+ years older than me) hitting on me and harassing me for my number even after I told him I was taken. After he got up and left she asked if I was okay. I couldn’t thank her enough times, I even bought her a drink.
We have done this. In fact, we are this. Because we are asexual and we don’t like alcohol so we never drink, we have gone with friends to parties/places where our sole job was to keep an eye out for everyone and be the permanent ‘aggressive man-sheild.’ Not one of our female friends has ever questioned this or found it all strange. In fact, often once they realized we were willing to do it, it would be pre-arranged. Every guy friend we ever did this in front of or tried to explain to looked flabbergasted. They had no idea that this was a) an intentional thing, b) a planned ahead thing, or c) universal.
Rape culture is the fact that every woman understands this. Male privilege is the fact that no guy on earth seems to know or understand.
I’ve been asked to pretend to be my friend’s girlfriend every time we go out at night, just because she wears clothes that show off her curves and guys won’t leave her alone. They only back off when I put my arm around her and act as if we’re together romantically, and sometimes not even then.
i once ran interference for a friend, only to receive the unwanted advances myself. he wouldn’t back off until my (male) friend literally wrapped me up in his arms and acted as if he was my S.O.
It happens online too. A guy I know started Facebook-stalking me after a recent interaction, and my roommate immediately got on Facebook and told him she was my girlfriend. He thankfully backed off after that.
I can’t count the number of times I have pretended to be somebody’s girlfriend or sister in a bar when a guy wouldn’t leave her alone. Both with friends and strangers.
After reading these, I feel like taking a shower. Because I’m the designated driver pretty much every time, not being a big fan of alcohol, but I rarely, if ever, intervene. And yeah, I’m small and pretty physically weak, but I could put my foot down verbally if it came down to it. I’m just too scared.
You’re probably scared of confronting the guys. And you should be. That’s what this whole post is about. Rape culture is so prevalent and socially accepted as the rule of the land that if someone confronts a guy and tells him directly to back off, someone is getting hurt. That’s why all of the testimonies here are examples of how to deflect. How women all learn methods of pulling a woman away from a situation with a guy who isn’t allowing her to say no, by making up some lie that will get the guy to let her go without sending him into a rage and deciding to teach you both a lesson about knowing your place and submitting to rape culture. Men are dangerous in these situations because all of society backs them up as just a nice guy who deserves a chance, and vilifies any woman who refuses to give him a chance. Women are not allowed to say no. So other women have to rescue the women saying no and pull them away with some made up excuse. Otherwise the situation will escalate and the ones who get hurt are always the women.
Women absolutely have to learn rescue tactics for each other, but it’s kind of funny how we describe really obvious facial expressions and body language as “secret signals.” The reality is that women telegraph disinterest in these aggressive men, making it super obvious, but men choose to ignore it. Total strangers who are just sitting nearby or happen to glace their way will be able to see that the woman isn’t interested, but the guy making the advances is somehow oblivious? Unlikely.
And its fucked because women actively know the signs while men have refused to learn any body language signal of “leave me alone” that women do.
Women are always the one who have to accommodate their behavior to suit mens egos.
I’ve never consciously thought about these things until reading this post. I have turned into the girlfriend of many of my straight female friends and female friends have turned into my girlfriends countless times in order to deflect aggressive males who refuse to see the very obvious “you’re making me uncomfortable” signals that we put out. Guys, if we’re looking around the room frantically while you’re trying to convince us to give you our number, WE’RE NOT INTERESTED.
Where and when do we learn these tactics anyway? No one ever told me how to do this. But for as long as I remember whenever my girls and I would go to a bar or even a club we knew that if we were being harassed it was safer to claim a relationship or feign a friendship with a stranger than to turn down a man. My earliest memory of this happening was actually with my little cousin who is two years younger than me in Germany, so yes, this is a universal problem.
Newly obtained surveillance video shows the violent encounter between a 17-year-old girl and Clairton police officers that left the teenager in the hospital.
A 17-year-old girl claims she was beaten by police in Clairton after she and her friends were stopped for a curfew violation Tuesday night.
Merceedez Wright admits she and her friends were out a few minutes after the city’s 10 p.m. curfew, and that she both ran from officers and resisted them after being tackled, but she doesn’t believe she deserves the injuries she suffered.
Wright is now recovering in the hospital with injuries to her trachea, esophagus and neck, plus several cuts and bruises.
"She’s a cheerleader, she’s a lifeguard at the Clairton pool, she was just on prom court," said Wright’s mother, Audelia Amoah. "She’s a good kid."
Even so, Wright admits she ran from officers.
"I was scared because of how he got out of the car. He didn’t just walk out, he jumped out of the car and started chasing me, so my first instinct was to run," she said.
Wright also said she did resist officers once she was knocked to the ground. She said she was trying to get her arms free to protect herself.
Clairton police did not respond to requests for comment.
You think this is sickening? Me too
551 Ravensburg Blvd
press ‘OPTION 6’ to be connected to the Clairton Police Department.
Flood their mailbox, flood their inbox!
Robert Hoffman is the Chief of Police and you can contact them directly here.
I just wrote in: “Newly obtained surveillance video shows the violent encounter between 17-year-old Merceedez Wright and Clairton police officers that left the teenager in the hospital.
She admits to being out past 10pm AND to “running” from the cops. When I was her age, I was in the same situation and the altercation did not result in me being tackled, in my head or neck being smashed against pavement, or a hospital bill.
I was told to call my mother while the officer POLITELY waited there for her to come pick me up. How is CPD training these officers that their first course of action is to pummel a little girl? The officers involved should be reprimanded without compensation.”
They didn’t do it because she’s a girl, they did it because she’s a black girl!
Pittsburgh is not safe for black folks.
I’m trying to tell you.
I hate commentary that assumes white people even have anything worthwhile to say in “opening a national race discussion”. Like what do you have to say over what I have experienced? What makes you think your thoughts on this are so much more important that it’s has weight over the millions of other…
It’s been almost a year since this shit dropped. I thought “Control” was going to wake rappers up. I thought it was going to usher in a whole new era of dudes coming with better verses, better songs, more meaningful content. Instead, eleven months later, we’re still getting the same old watered down bullshit about women, clubs, drinks and money. It is what it is, I guess.
It’s time for Kendrick to drop that second album though. N’s is waiting.
If you’re with someone who doesn’t look at you with adoration & passion, when you walk into a room they don’t instantly feel reassurance & pride for having the right to claim you, you get undressed & they don’t get the urge to take you down … Someone who doesn’t praise you for your accomplishments & admire your efforts to be a better you;
start loving yourself again and leave their company. There are too many people in the world to settle for someone who feels you’re mediocre.
black girl whenever you feel nervous about trying something “black girls cant/shouldnt do”
feel encouraged, feel like youre innovating something
because no matter what it is there will be other black girls looking up at your example
wondering that maybe, i, a black girl like her, can do it too