Yesterday I was taking an early morning walk around my neighborhood before work. It was still pretty dark out, and as I shuffled groggily past a gas station a guy got out of his car and whistled at me. “Hey sweetie! Where you going?” he said. I kept my head down and kept walking. “Where you going?!” he asked again, getting noticeably irritated at my unresponsiveness. I picked up my pace a bit, trying to appear aloof and very sure of myself, but inside I felt anything but. Maybe I should have been more assertive, I thought as I turned the corner. And then I started questioning my own instincts: Maybe I was too rude. Maybe I should have at least smiled or waved or something. It’s embarrassing to admit that I was worried about not being polite enough to a strange man who demanded to know where I was going, but it’s true. Getting catcalled or harassed on the street always makes me feel this way: insecure, nervous, unsure of myself and my reactions.
I thought about something my dad told me awhile ago: “When someone violates your boundaries, they forfeit their right to politeness. You get to set the tone.” So as a reminder to myself and every other woman who isn’t sure how to deal with street harassment, here is a list of totally acceptable ways to respond to catcallers. Take your pick:
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A few weeks ago, I texted my brother to see if he’d had a good birthday. “It was great!” he said, “I stayed home, ate some roast chicken, and watched a movie.”
“Wait, that was a good birthday?” I asked, trying to communicate my confusion without being rude. “I’m glad you were into it, I’m just not sure I would call that a good birthday.”
His response was quick and to-the-point: “That’s because women always hate their birthdays.”
At first I got a little offended by the generalization, but when I thought about it, I have indeed hated my birthday every year for the past decade or so, as have the vast majority of my friends. Why do so many women greet their day of birth with “UUGGGHH” rather than excitement? Why have I cried myself to sleep with a belly full of birthday cake on more occasions than I can count? Why do men seem immune to many of these birthday issues? After some self-reflection and polling a ton of lady friends, I’ve settled on these 10 reasons: Keep reading »
Here’s the conundrum: the person who you love most in the world wants to talk about an issue. You’re honored, of course, that they’re coming to you with their dilemma, but at the same time, it’s challenging because you know them so well that you can cut straight through the BS and tell them that this isn’t really about their boss, it’s about their control issues with their father and they better address those first. But you can’t say that because they’ll probably want to punch your in the face for being so right. Being right — rather than empathetic — can be awfully annoying when your partner is having a vulnerable moment. But they need your input. What to do? Tread lightly and carry a tiny stick. Meaning, it’s all in the delivery. Here are some tips to help you master one of the most important relationship skills: how to give your SO guidance without pissing them off. Keep reading »
It’s Halloween. Most of us are sitting at our desks in our Sexy Pizza costumes, pounding Candy Corn and drinking as much spiked apple cider as we can without getting wasted. Perfectly normal behavior for October 31st. Sadly, this holiday seems to bring out the bat shit insane in so many. I’ve rounded up some of the dumbest/weirdest/most bizarre things that have gone on so far this Halloween. And the day is still young… Keep reading »
If one rule holds true about human sexuality, it’s that everyone goes hogwild for boobs — big bazoongas, itty bitty titties, sideboob, underboob, nip slips, boob tricks, cleavage! Tits, tits, tits! chants the human race. Although we’ve known this forever because DUH, a groundbreaking new study published in the journal Sex Roles confirms once and for all that all human creatures love to ogle boobs. After hooking people up to eye censors and forcing them to look at boobie pics (the horror!), researchers discovered that “both sexes fixed their gaze more on women’s chests and waists and less on faces.” Yep, science has officially proven that it’s not just straight dudes who love to stare at boobs; gay men and straight women are also guilty of ignoring the “my eyes are up here” rule. We love to look tits, too. Why, you ask? Here are some reasons we might get caught checking out other women’s boobs. [Gawker] Keep reading »
Not to sound like a fall cliche of a human being, but this weekend I went apple picking on a small farm in New England. And as these activities which snap you out of your everyday routine tend to, apple picking led to my own mini-spiritual awakening. As I was harvesting my bushel of fruit and feeling one with nature, I had a few bite-sized revelations: Keep reading »
If you’re not planning to hand out candy or take your niece trick-or-treating, chances are you’ll be spending this Halloween at a party. Whether your soiree of choice is a crazy frat party, a high-end fundraiser, a random house party, or a costume contest at a bar, the signs that a Halloween party has run its course are always the same. Here are 10 indicators that it’s time to pack up your broomstick and head home… Keep reading »
I don’t know about you guys, but I always have big plans when I click on my Netflix bookmark. I’m going to finally watch that documentary that will make me sound smart when I reference it at parties! I’m going to get caught up on the heavy British drama that’s supposedly really good! I’m going to check out that offbeat comedy I jotted down the name of months ago! But I’ve found that no matter my intentions, all of my Netflix surfing always plays out in the exact same way. As follows: Keep reading »
I am 4’11” and I absolutely love it. While it wasn’t always something I liked, these days I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s a part of who I am and really fits my personality. I can sit comfortably in a tiny airplane seat, I can crowd-weave like nobody’s business, and being tiny secretly makes me feel dainty (never thought I would admit that one!), The bottom line is: I like being short. But the strange thing about my height is this phenomenon in which people seem to think I don’t know I’m short. They also believe that it is now their personal job to inform me, in case I hadn’t realized in the past few decades. My height is a part of my persona, but it’s kind of old news to me. It never occurred to me to bluntly inform others of the status of their physical traits, but there is something about being short that makes me an unsolicited opinion magnet. Maybe this happens to tall girls too? Enlighten me.
The thing is that when people make cutesy “short” commentary to me (which usually isn’t meant to be rude) they honestly believe they are the first people to say it. Here are the most common things people say or do to me that they think are oh-so-original. Some are endearing and funny, some are eyeroll-inducing. ALL are overused… Keep reading »