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Wolf-whistling

*Holly**Holly* ModeratorPosts: 140 Settling in
So what do we think about wolf-whistling?

Sexual harassment in public? Or just a harmless way of paying a gal a compliment?

Our ranter, Brittany has certainly made up her mind.

http://www.thesite.org/community/reallife/rants/wolfwhistleswoe

Thoughts people?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with her. Some men may do what they consider a 'harmless' wolf-whistle. But I've been in threatening situations where the abuse has followed on from a 'harmless' wolf-whistle. As if my non-response was an invitation to continue and pester and from speaking to friends I know that this happens a lot. I realise that not all men who wolf-whistle are like this but if you don't know how it's going to be taken then just don't do it. Personally, it makes me feel threatened. My past history dictates that it makes me feel threatened; as a victim of sexual harassment whilst at college it brings back painful memories.

    Once I was wolf-whistled at when I was on my way out for the evening and I actually considered going back and changing. One wolf whistle made me question how I was dressed and whether I was going to attract the wrong sort of attention.

    Often I've noticed when it does happen, it's a group of blokes targetting one lone girl walking. Even if it is..again that word 'harmless', instead of me fretting over a dress and whether it was going to attract unwanted attention.. I really think men need to consider the sort of messages THEY are conveying when a group of them choose to show 'appreciation' for a girl on her own.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    UH OH! Another TheSite rant article. Are we allowed to disagree with this one? :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wasnt there a thread on this recently? And by recently i mean a couple of months ago?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lexi99 wrote: »
    Wasnt there a thread on this recently? And by recently i mean a couple of months ago?

    Bit longer ago than that, but yeah, I believe so.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,224 Skive's The Limit
    Women have whistled at me plenty of times and I've never minded. I don't find it insulting, nauseating degrading etc etc, and I don't think it's got anything to do with women rights specifically.

    I do recognise that women, especially women on their own can feel intimidated by it though - much more than a man might and in such a situation I think it should be considered threatening behaviour. Not sure if police should start arresting people over it, but a warning could be good.

    It's a pretty tacky thing to do anyway. I've never wolf whistled, though I have given ladies I don't know flattering comments of a non sexual nature - and I'm sure there are some people that would even take that as offence.
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As usual I like to point out my scepticism at the sincerity of the rant based on the fact it is yet another journalism student :p. Anything to get something with their name on it!

    Onto wolf whistling now. It's not a simple answer because firstly we must divide wolf-whistling in itself to wolf-whistling associated with aggressive sexual behaviour as clementine identifies. If you just wolf-whistled at someone in the street that is one thing, if you wolf-whistled and then followed them while making lewd comments that's entirely another, and certainly in my mind is sexual harassment / sexual predation.

    To the 'innocent' wolf-whistle there may be a gap between perception and reality. A guy thinks its funny and wolf-whistles at a hot girl and his friends shake their heads bemused. He got some cheap laughs and that's all about it. The woman's perception may be that he is basically posturing himself as a sexual aggressor saying 'I want to fuck you' and that's intimidating.

    As a guy, and other guys will relate to this - if you're walking home alone after a night out and you accidentally end up walking behind a woman, you automatically feel like she is judging you as a potential attacker. And my understanding is that yes, it does make some women feel uneasy and vulnerable, even though it's the most innocent intentioned thing in the world -you're just walking home! So that's an extreme case of the gap between reality (innocent activity) and perception (potentially dangerous / rapist).

    That's not to say that wolf-whistling isn't rude or even mean, but the way it makes women feel (vulnerable / scared) may in many situations be unwarranted. As the woman in the article says, she turns into a 'crazy bitch' and starts ranting and raving. When I walk into a shop and a middle aged woman tuts at me and calls me something under her breath, I certainly don't rant and rave in public, even if it makes me annoyed. I just accept that people suck sometimes and get on with my life.

    But then I don't feel compelled to get on my soap box at every opportunity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    As the woman in the article says, she turns into a 'crazy bitch' and starts ranting and raving. When I walk into a shop and a middle aged woman tuts at me and calls me something under her breath, I certainly don't rant and rave in public, even if it makes me annoyed. I just accept that people suck sometimes and get on with my life.

    But then I don't feel compelled to get on my soap box at every opportunity.

    I don't think that's particularly fair. I'm assuming you didn't feel threatened by the middle-aged woman in the shop? It's fight or flight and it varies person to person. I often don't have the balls to say anything but I can think of a situation where a man made a comment on a train that I need to 'go back home'. Which was funny in itself but at the time it made me so angry that I challenged him and called him a 'prick'. Completely out of character but he had me that angry.

    Also- more people to get on soap boxes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The thing that most bothers me about her article is actually this:
    It pisses me off when other women take it as a compliment.

    I agree with her that it can be massively degrading and I hate it - it makes me dead self-conscious, especially when I'm feeling a bit ming anyway, and while I can see the logic in people saying it's a compliment, it really isn't.

    BUT while it is my (and her) prerogative to find it degrading and offensive, if another girl wants to take it as a compliment, that's their choice and I don't begrudge it, and neither should she.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think that's particularly fair. I'm assuming you didn't feel threatened by the middle-aged woman in the shop? It's fight or flight and it varies person to person. I often don't have the balls to say anything but I can think of a situation where a man made a comment on a train that I need to 'go back home'. Which was funny in itself but at the time it made me so angry that I challenged him and called him a 'prick'. Completely out of character but he had me that angry.

    Also- more people to get on soap boxes.

    The thing is there are varying degrees. Whether or not the author *actually* ripped into someone or just said she did because it looks good in a rant is one thing, I'm not saying people should take it lying down if they're upset by it. But that the triviality of it in my eyes doesn't warrant a full blown war. Someone saying 'go back home' to you and you responding with prick seems to me to be perfectly justified, but people who go on all-out ranting sprees just seem like they have nothing better to do than o try to create drama.

    Wolf whistling is rude, it's disrespectful, but so are a hell of a lot of things :/. It's just part of life. I think it's difficult to live a happy life if everything that happens has to develop into a big drama (except unless the person gets off on having a good argument).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't like the idea that women should find it offensive any more than women should take it as a compliment. If a woman chooses to take it as a compliment that's her prerogative; if a woman chooses to take it as an abusive insult, that's also her prerogative.

    As for wolf-whistling, in my experience men generally do it when they're in a group and the woman is by herself or with one other person. They're doing it as a power thing, trying to show her who's boss. Women, on the other hand, tend to holler and wolf-whistle at a group of men, and they tend to do it as a joke. That's a generalisation, yes, but that's the way I tend to see it- as a man. There are different power dynamics in play when a group of men does it compared to when a group of women do it.

    It's just one thing in a line of shitty things that some men seem to think is appropriate. I remember conversations on here with men trying to claim that it's OK to start touching up random women in a nightclub or in a pub, as if their bottom is there solely for the amusement of men. It's not.

    It comes down to people thinking to themselves: is this acceptable or am I being rude? It can be a fine line but it's often really not. It's often not even about misogyny rather than a prick just trying to prove what a prick he actually is.

    If someone's being rude I will often call them out on it. I don't see why I shouldn't. If they want to make it into an argument that's their call, not mine.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be fair my only experience of wolf-whistling has been what I've seen on TV. Never seen it IRL or had any female friends who have said to me they've experienced it. There was one time when I was with some female friends and some teenage boys were shouting 'show us yer tits' and other deriding comments which was pretty offensive and intimidating not just to the girls but the guys in our group as well. But not sure if that's wolf-whistling or just plain ignorance / nastiness etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've seen it a few times, especially on a Saturday night in town during Stag Do Season. It's always a group of pissed up knuckleheads shouting things ("show us yer tits yer slag!" and wolf-whistling at the girl walking down the street by herself. It makes her scared, which is the reaction they want. The girls don't do it in the same way, they do it as a laugh.

    I wear a lovely trilby because it keeps me head warm and dry. The women always take the piss out of it and it's hilarious but what the men say always seems to have an edge to it. It makes me feel wary and I'm six foot, fifteen stone and confident enough to wear a trilby.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    . But that the triviality of it in my eyes doesn't warrant a full blown war. Someone saying 'go back home' to you and you responding with prick seems to me to be perfectly justified, but people who go on all-out ranting sprees just seem like they have nothing better to do than o try to create drama..

    ahh I think that's where our views differ, I don't see it as a trivial thing. Again I do think it's fight or flight. When a person feels threatened they react in different ways. You could say the guy was creating the drama by 'whistling' and drawing attention to her. I see her response as reverting it back to him.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I hate wolf whistling - I always see it as they're taking the piss when it happens to me and it makes me feel self concious. This is probably because as AR says, it's usually a group of men showing off and the woman will be on her own and it is really intimidating. Similarly last year as I was boarding a plane and edging my way down the isle. I had to make my way past some sort of mens football club who were already sat down and one of them thought it was appropriate to just grab my arse as I was stood waiting for people to sit down. Luckily I was sat a few rows back from them but some of my friends were behind them and they proceeded to turn around and stare at them reguarly throughout the flight. Unfortunately they were foreign so we couldn't understand what they were saying to each other but I doubt it was pleasant. I know it's not the same as wolf-whistling, but I just dont understand how some men think it's ok to harass women and make them feel uncomfortable to entertain each other.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think men can really compare it to when a woman whistles at them... At the end of the day, the reality for women is that a group of men, or a guy whistling could be a danger (not saying women are never dangerous). It's the same for if a woman is walking home at night and crosses the road to avoid a guy... We don't know who the man is and what their intention is, which isn't to say all men are rapists, just that some men have made it so we always have to be careful. I think that some men don't understand this and why would they?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I dont think men in general can say its the same for a woman as it is for a man, but there is likely to be at least some.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it depends on the context. Wearing a tiny dress which is cleavagey and low cut on a sunny day, i would probably think i was inviting reactions. I wouldnt feel any more vulnerable than i was expecting to when i chose my outfit.
    if i was on my own at night and a group of men made comments or whistled, id feel threatened. Same as during the day im ok if a man walks behind me. In the evening id feel scared.

    Theres different extremes though and some men do it as a bit of an old fashioned compliment and some men do it cos theyre arseholes and it is intimidating.

    Some people cant tell the difference.


    What I really think though is that some guys cant win, because while i might have found it annoying when i was younger and it wasnt uncommon. Now im older and noone does it anymore i feel a bit like noone ever notices me and when it does happen its like "still got it" :flirt:

    I dont really have that much sympathy for a girl in a low cut skimpy dress complaining that men just notice her too much, and i dont really class it as sexual harrassment unless its one person going out of their way to make another feel uncomfortable consistently
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Basically
    - Wolf-whistling CAN be just an 'old fashioned' compliment - although I think men are DEAD stupid if they think THAT is a compliment

    - I totally agree that EVERYTIME I've been wolf-whistled I've felt vulnerable and horrible, it ruins my day; in fact once there was these builders and when I walked past he wolf-whistled and said 'coooor I'm gonna bash one out for her tonight' I find it highly degradable! - and worse to think that, that scummy man has probably a wife and kids at home!

    - At the end of the day I think its just a stupid man thing to do - notice they only do it when there in a group? - its a show off thing, to objectify women in front of each other seems like a male bonding thing, I bet half the men who wolf whistle me are weak men trying to impress their cohorts!

    At the end of the day, it ruins my day, most of them are scummy and to be honest I don't walk out the door to get judged by middle aged men who have nothing!

    and personally I would NEVER wolf whistle a man, or even just purely judge him on his looks out loud, NO ONE should be treated like meat IMO
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's neither complimentary or exactly the worst thing in the world, but it is pretty trashy.
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