I really don't believe, when I'm walking down the streets at night, and a man comes literally right up behind me within a few inches (if that) and starts to catcall and harass me in unwanted ways, that HE is the victim. I completely disagree with your article.
Hey, Baby? You’re Not A Victim.
HeyBabyGame.com asks, “Ladies, are you sick and tired of catcalling, hollering, obnoxious one-liners and creepy street encounters? Tired of changing your route home to avoid uncomfortable situations? ”
Hey Baby is a PC game about unleashing all your pent-up anger and hatred on men that use annoying, out-played, and what some may call inappropriate pick-up lines. Properly made by LadyKillasINC, Hey Baby let’s you run around a neighborhood and AK men in the face, in hopes you won’t be angry anymore.
I have a few things I’d like to get off my breasts. Forgive me, I just wanted to write “breasts.”
Sally is, by common standards, attractive, while Mary-Sue is homely. While Sally says she’s grown tiresome of male attention, Mary-Sue says she’s flattered. Both Sally and Mary-Sue post sexy pictures on Myspace, Facebook, etc., except Mary-Sue is far more appreciative of inappropriate comments. Mary-Sue is compelled to post more. Mary-Sue has never had a boyfriend and Mary-Sue can’t saturate her face with a flattering light in real-life, so Mary-Sue feels in-control this way because Mary-Sue craves the power to reject something she desires.
But your guise is linked more closely to Sally, so you sink further into annoyance. You despise your freedom being encroached upon. The freedom to walk your dog in your neighborhood as non-erogenous as possible. You despise the obligation of returning eye-contact to unknown men parading all over your city. “I get it all the time,” you say. You don’t want the attention, as others more than likely assume you find gratification in mentioning so. It’s an inescapable part of your daily life. You feel dictated by the audacity of a few or more men. They make you feel powerless, impeded.
Remember, you’re Sally. As Sally, being hit-on is realistically a put-down. His comments make you feel insecure, so you unconsciously pull your spaghetti strap just a bit further up your bare shoulder. You pull your sweater down a little longer. As Sally, you feel obligated to create a game called Hey Baby. As Sally, you crave the chance to tip the virtual power scale by unloading a rifle into the face of an inconvenient male. You’d like to think it’s funny and harmless. Your reward? A tombstone with a bigoted pick-up line Sally has encountered over and over. As Sally, you crave the power to reject something you despise.
Then again, maybe you’re Betty–incomparably sexy, outwardly confident, with only a smidgen of self-respect, and a self-proclaimed attentionmonger.
Maybe you’re a less attractive Sally or a more attractive Mary-Sue. Sally and Mary-Sue are nearly interchangeable. Both Sally and Mary-Sue inherently expect and desire a commitment from men they’ve never met before. They expect decency. They expect to be heard. Sometimes, they only expect to be left alone.
I’ll admit it. I consider myself a fairly attractive female. I have long, dark hair. I have big, hazel eyes—props to my Middle-Eastern heritage. I’m fairly voluptuous. It’s nearly impossible for me to get somewhere quietly. Still, I’ve honestly never imagined I’d take the opportunity that Hey Baby provided to me because I’ve never been that angry. Someone else being angry enough to create Hey Baby? Scares me.
I’d never even opt to kid about it. Either way, I disagree with the self-victimization that plagues this game. Why?
Catcalling, usually performed in a moving vehicle or in groups of two or more, is a popular form of ineffective “flirting.” Lucky you. As you somehow manage to garner the attention of a man who cannot surmount the difficulty of creating a proper, introductory statement, you’re probably too uncomfortable or insecure to realize how you possess the ability to smash his poor demonstration of bravado to teeny-weeny pieces. Lucky you. In the very least, he’s saying he’d totally have sex with you. Instead, you ignore him because, hell, it’s more convenient. You rummage through your pockets, pret
ending to look for something. You reach for your cellphone, pretending to text someone. You question if what you’re wearing is too provocative, even if it’s a sweater paired with slacks. You, you, you, you, you. It’s always about poor you.
It’s a hard-knock life for both Sally and Mary-Sue. Except, not really.
The truth is, on some days you’ll catch me as Mary-Sue and other days you’ll swear I was Sally. Tuesday I went to dinner with my skirt reasonably hiked-up and Thursday I browsed the mall in sweatpants. Betty regrettably kicked-in on Saturday because it happened to be the weekend. The only key difference between Betty versus Mary-Sue and Sally is that Betty welcomes the cause and effect relationship between a male stranger and herself. She’s an exaggerated display of a woman who, for better or for worse, is fully aware of the fact that men are capable of being wolves. Instead of feeling uncomfortable like Mary-Sue or Sally, she folds her dress a little higher and smiles.
I’ve seen women moon men in public restaurant windows. I’ve seen women wigwag sexual innuendo from across the street. I’ve seen women catcall men. It isn’t a rarity on a Friday night on Hollywood Boulevard. The thing is, I won’t get angry at a man on Sunday because I’ve decided to adopt the pessimism of Sally on Sunday. Hell, at least this particular brand of man is constant in his behavior. At least you know what to expect.
With that being said, It ultimately doesn’t matter what persona you tend to adopt. This is what separates the normal, horny male species from a man on a power-trip. This is what separates the social implications of a game like Hey, Baby from a game like Rapelay. You are not the victim. He is. He is and he knows it. He’s waiting for you to accept his “foot in the door.” When a man “flirts” with you, hes giving you the power to accept or reject him. You’re just complaining you have this power.
Instead, you create a game like Hey, Baby. Instead, you complain about an inconvenience of social normalcy. Get over yourself. As they say, boys will be boys and men have a better gameplan. As for me, I have more important things to attend to. Like, uh, flossing my cat.
Thank you for writing this article about Hey Baby... it's exactly the tonic I needed after reading so many half baked polemic reviews, each one more eager than the last to dissect the so-called "rape culture."
It's as if not a single reviewer had ever been to Italy or France? Or anywhere outside the United States for that matter...
I've seen countless friend return from traveling abroad, complete with a radiant glow and sparkle in the eye, talking about how flattering and sexual the men where... really relishing the experience of being offered the power to accept or reject.
Why do so many people feel that it is advantageous to stifle the expression of male sexuality through shame, but balk at the notion of empowering women through positive sexuality?
I have to say that I don't really agree with a lot of this. But I'm of the opinion that this stuff isn't going to stop unless the people who are performing the offending acts just...stop. We should never have to deal with it, no matter how short our skirts are or how big certain parts of our anatomy tend to be. There's a certain amount you can shrug off, but nothing's going to happen until rapists decide not to rape or, less offensively, catcallers decide to stop catcalling. And this goes for both sexes.
Why does it have to be one way or the other? We're not a hivemind. And frankly, there's nothing welcome about street harassment regardless. Even wearing "sexy" clothes doesn't give anyone a license to harass anyone else.
God, SatC 2 was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The amount of misinformation on Islamic cultures and sharia and all that sickened me.
Again, I'm not disputing that men, as well as women, should learn better manners. And I certainly do not and should not be expected to speak for all women, but I do encourage them to get out of the "powerless" state of mind.
Also, regarding your dress comment, I was also thinking how it relates to women, particularly in Islamic cultures. They wear hijabs out of respect for their bodies and to prevent "temptation." Sure, it may have an influence on men's behavior in a superficial sense, but do the men really change or desire women any less? I doubt it, but it's is extremely rare that a man will even talk to a woman unless a woman strikes-up a conversation first. This is their culture, but many people see it as "oppression." This is how they've dealt with it, though and according to many women I've spoken to living in Islamic countries, it works very well. Then, I get dragged to see a movie like Sex and The City 2 and I realize Carrie is attempting to discuss a culture she's never been exposed to, alluding to the fact that the women have "no voice." It's a bit backwards and confusing. I mean, I do agree that talking can help, but I'm not sure talking is enough to change the demeanor of men.
Either way, I don't disagree with your viewpoint by any means, but I do feel there are better ways to deal with it.
I don't really think you're ever going to get it. Not that that's bad, but we have different experiences regarding men (for instance, we are complete opposite body types - therefore, we've gotten different reactions from men in the first place - and I've done internship work at sexual assault clinics, so I'm well-versed on topics like the rape culture that exists around the world) that are obviously going to affect how we look at this issue. Forget the guns. One woman encouraging inappropriate behavior from a man might make him think that it's okay to act that way with every woman he comes in contact with.
And there are women who spend their entire lives trying to reverse the rape culture. It's not going to happen completely, but for every little boy that is raised to understand how to correctly treat the women in their lives, there's at least one woman who's going to have a better life experience because of it. We have to start young, but we can make a dent in it.
Exactly. I can imagine a woman may feel threatened for many different reasons. Her self-worth is being overlooked when a man chooses to comment on something inappropriate. I understand constantly feeling the obligation to even acknowledge a man. I've felt it, too. Everyone likes to talk about these issues, but what about a solution?
I understand there are boundaries and I understand the hostility a woman feels when they are crossed. What I do know is that different women give-off different signals and I've seen it time and again. You'd have to see these men, how they shyly move to a woman in a social setting or otherwise, hoping to receive some sort of response. Guys probably like iNova. Then, of course, there are the aggressive and inappropriate men. Yes, I understand it may make a woman feel uncomfortable, maybe she doesn't want to smile at him or put in the effort of ignoring him because it "shouldnt happen." But it does. And it will continue to happen. Ideally, it would be great for it to stop, but what about the "other" men? Is the severity so unbearable? Enough to make you fight "sexism" with a gun? Is it that women feel so utterly powerless, this is the only demonstration to have their voice heard?
I agree with you on the "do what you have to do." I do what I do because I want to. I may wear more make-up or dress more "sexy" occasionally. I don't think it matters for whom you do it or why you do it or EVEN how you look. Men don't look at a women and conjure up reasons why they've decided to dress provocatively or how it relates to being hit-on. They just do it because they're looking for something whether it'd be conversation or sex. I've never believed there is a bias that dictates who men hit on, either. Gorgeous or average, a woman is going to be hit-on in inappropriate manner.
That being said, I don't believe it is "encouraging" sexism anymore than it's encouraging women to not feel threatened and dictated by cowardly and/or offensive men. I don't want to hear women say they can't do something they want to do because a man is deciding whether to be a moron that night or tomorrow night. It still scares me that a woman feels strongly enough to make a violent game about something she possesses the power to deflect. If I'm honest, this game makes me scared to think that somewhere, this is most critical issue in a woman's life.
This is a good list of things as a start: http://johubris.tumblr.com/post/464453058/tips-for-preventing-sexual-assault
And you're right that it's a cycle. But it's because of men who don't seem to get when they're coming on too strongly that the cycle's even started. A woman who's had a friend hurt due to sexual assault can have that one instance change her opinion of men for life, even if that didn't happen to her. The ripples are wide-reaching and unstoppable.
The women who want the men on their knees have been conditioned to think that this is a result of being wanted. Nothing more. I happen to think that's looking for attention in a very wrong way. If you dress more sexily (assuming that's a word) for some occasions than others, it should be only because you want to be sexy and not because you're looking for that "wanted" response. Do what makes yourself feel good. (Assuming it won't get you arrested.) Forget the rest of the world. Be conservative if you want to, wear more revealing things if you want, but don't do it for the wrong reasons, and don't encourage the slobbering idiots amongst the men. Sure, some of them mean well, but encouraging sexist behavior should not be on the menu.
If you haven't, take some women's studies courses.
Soo you guys are both right. Tiffany i would apologize to the girls who have to deal with Catcalling or excessive and downright dangerous attention. But you mention that stuff isnt going to stop? What is "stuff"? Not every guy who hits on someone is a rapist,offensive or catcalling. Funny thing is its the guy who isnt those things that gets shut down hardest. A group of girls shrug a catcaller, yell at a guy who is offensive and flat out destroy everyone else. I've been to bars with friends and seen one of them try to talk to a group of girls and get flat out slammed. Then again i guess guys do the same. I guys its a cycle. Hopefully it can improve for all parties in it
So once again apologies to all the girls who have had to deal with bad guys. Just dont judge or codemn the rest of us who are trying to strike up conversations and be friendly
Thanks for your comment, Tiff. It seems there are women who tend to swing both ways on this issue. My issue here is, I'm sick of my friend going "I don't want to go for a walk, because I'm tired of men giving me unwanted attention." Then, there is my other friend that goes, "Dude, I gotta look sexy tonight. We're going to have those men on their knees." So I mean, which way is it? I, myself, tend to swing both ways on occasion. Sometimes I want to be left alone and other times, I tend to not care at all and I may dress suggestively. Does this mean men SHOULD do it? Well, no. However, I think if my friend is scared to jog outside of her house because a man may honk his horn, that's a bit severe. Catcalling may never stop, so should we just not go jogging? No. I also don't think combating "sexism" with an AK is useful, either and, if I'm honest, a little crazy for a one-liner you're capable of ignoring, rejecting, or encouraging.