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How should a man react to being sexually harassed and groped by a woman?

Submitted by thoughts in AskRaddle

I was inappropriately harassed and groped by a drunk woman recently. As a man who considers himself a feminist, I felt shocked and violated when this was happening to me. I felt paralyzed because the friends of the woman were doing nothing to stop her, and the female friends I was with were too scared to react to avoid seeming "crazy" (their words). The groper just walked away afterwards.

I am just wondering how do you think, as a man, it would be appropriate to react? How do I defend myself if I'm being sexually attacked by a woman? I don't want to be violent. But I can not accept being violated like that and feeling helpless.

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12

GaldraChevaliere wrote

There is nothing crazy or violent about protecting yourself from assault. It's gross as fuck that she did that, and your sexes don't make it okay. You don't have to lay her out, but you have every right to draw a line and make it clear you don't want that. If it happens again, and I really hope it doesn't, make a scene. Raise your voice and tell her you don't want that, and not to do it again. If she tries again, slap her hand away. But I'd hope nobody with any worth would judge you for that.

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edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I would add that anyone who treats him inappropriately for that reaction is not a good person. Sometimes the friends we lose turn out to have been people not worth befriending.

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noordinaryspider wrote

What GaldraChevaliere said, but I totally grok how uncomfortable that might feel if you are cis and AMAB.

What I would suggest is to start small and make sure her friends AND yours can hear you saying something along the lines of but more comfortable for your actual personality:

"Hey, I don't like that, but thanks for the compliment anyway."

"I said I don't like that! Stop! I'm shy!"

"PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME. I don't like that, but I do appreciate the compliment."

"STOP."

"I AM NOT HERE TO DECORATE YOUR WORLD. STOP. "

"Thank you. I felt the same way when you did that to me as you did when someone did it to you. I am so sorry that happened to you. Do you want to talk about it? I won't hurt you. Are you okay? Do you need a ride home?"

Of course we don't live in that kind of world, so if it ever happens again, you just do the best you can, get the fuck out of dodge, stay safe, and don't stress about it.

That's what we (femmes of all genders and sexual orientations) have to do and what's good for the goose is good for the gander and bla bla bla do unto others and all that other sh*t I'm supposed to say that basically boils down to YOU MATTER.

Stay safe. Wish I'd been there to punch her in the face for you because I have a vagina and a flock of oxymoronic adult kids to prove it so I can do that.

5

ravengrace wrote

I am so sorry that this happened to you and it's gross that this happened. If this happens again I would suggest firmly telling her to stop and back away. I've learned to say STOP. I DO NOT LIKE THAT. Really loud so that it embarasses the person and step back. If she doesn't stop you can push her off you without hurting her.

To look at this from a feminist perspective .. it's actually a by product of patriarchy that men are expected to like every sexual advance. Men learn that from other men and women learn it from men too. Men use their sexuality and women's sexuality to oppress women. I'm sexually harassed almost everyday by men.

Feminism isn't thinking that women are perfect angels who can do no wrong. It's understanding that women are human beings who's existance is not to serve men. If you think women are always good and always victims sorry that's not feminism...

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ziq wrote

I was groped by a drunk British woman in her 60s when I was 13 or 14, she backed me against a wall right in front of her husband and my mother. I was incredibly uncomfortable and no one else in the room even seemed to notice it was happening. I just squirmed away from her and left the building.

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noordinaryspider wrote

That's terrible! Mentally reverse the genders and imagine what would have happened because that's what SHOULD have happened.

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bloodrose wrote

Well, I imagine very little would have changed were genders reversed. At least that has been my experience. People seem very quick to use children as they are treated as non-people whom adults have authority over. I am striving to teach my daughter bodily autonomy by never forcing my physical affections upon her so that if anyone does, it feels extra wrong.

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noordinaryspider wrote (edited )

True in many if not most social circles in 2018, I fear. :''(

Thank you for tactfully correcting me and reminding me to post an article in /f/parenting yesterday that I had forgotten to post or incorrectly assumed was no longer relevant and/or realistic

ziq, I am so sorry that happened to you too when you were that age. I hope I have the power to keep it from happening to the last 13-14 year old person I will ever have the power to protect from this specific type of sexual assault.

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tusk wrote (edited )

I think there is a problem that society sees women as vulnerable and men as strong and unemotional... so when a man is abused by a woman it isn't taken seriously and if the man pushes the issue he is called a pussy or something.

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noordinaryspider wrote (edited )

Exactly.

I see a huge problem with gender roles in society that just isn't going to get unraveled until we all feel safe and can focus on our similarities rather than our differences.

I see a huge problem in a society where a more vulnerable minority (nonbinary kids) has to protect a less vulnerable minority (cisgendered female adults) from a common enemy.

The problem makes me cry. Sometimes it makes me overcompensate. To be bluntly honest, just between you and me and the entire internet, tusk, sometimes I need a break and I have to pace myself so I don't accidentally overcompensate myself into assholery.

Just a heads up in case you ever feel that way too. It's okay to take breaks. It's okay to feel feelings. The only thing that isn't okay is to get carried away by those feelings and accidentally hurt other people's feelings.

That may or may not be what that drunk woman did, but it was NOT okay and she can NOT do it.

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bloodrose wrote

I'm sorry this happened to you. I have no good advice but wanted to offer commiseration.