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Old 08-15-2005, 12:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
32 flavors and then some
 
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Location: Out on a wire.
Being felt up in public.

This started as a journal entry, but then I nearly put it in the Ladies Lounge, but I think here will work as well, as it isn't really just a woman's issue.

Last Thursday Sissy and I were at the mall engaging in one of our favorite activities: Trying on clothing we had no intention of buying. It's late summer, so it's a little crowded even on a Thursday afternoon, filled with teenagers and parents buying back to school clothes, and kids just hanging out in groups (don't they have houses or parks or empty parking lots behind the 7-11 where they can hang out?). Sissy keeps running into friends from school, and she takes off to hang out with them. Teenagers; don't want to be embarassed by their fuddy-duddy older sisters, I guess. Especially when the older sister is an instructor at their University and they want to gripe about instructors.

So I'm by myself, and I head into the little hobby store, where they have among the model rockets, cars, and trains, K'Nex sets and so forth, what I'm looking for, collectible miniatures and statuettes. I'm hoping there's some rare chance that they'll have a Phoenix Heroclix. I found one at the San Diego Comicon, but the guy there wanted $100.

There's essentially about a dozen nerdy looking guys, the clerks, also nerdy-looking guys, and a geeky looking girl, me. I was wearing my typical summer wear, mid-thigh denim skirt, full-length cranberry spaghetti-strapped cotton tank with built in bra, matching canvas tennis shoes. Nothing overtly sexy or provocative, just typical young woman summer clothes, and a lot less revealing than most of the girls were wearing that day.

They didn't have the Phoenix Heroclix, so I'm standing at the display case of maquettes (small bust style statuettes) trying to decide whether to get the new Hawkgirl they have there, when a guy sidles up beside me.

I'm used to sidlers from having been among them many times at the comic shop. Some of the guys are so awkward around girls that rather than just come up and talk to me, they'll sidle up. Kinda cruise up slowly nearby, pretending to look at whatever is on the rack I'm looking at, and get very close, occasionally rubbing up against me. I've learned that one good counter is if the guy doesn't leave soon, I can turn to him, look him in the eye, smile, and say, "Hi." This usually cases them to turn red and retreat to wherever they came from. I have no idea why. Other times I just walk away myself, but this has proven to be less effective than the "Hi" defense, as sometimes they follow me to my new location if I don't leave the store.

You know, as an aside, I've read online that some women don't read comic books because the only place they're readily available is in comic shops, and some women are a bit reluctant to go into such places. Someday I'll try to figure out why this is.

So I'm looking at the display of maquettes, and the sidler comes up beside me. It isn't Cat Piss Man, whom I have encountered a couple of times in his various incarnations, but it's enough to make me a little uncomfortable. I'm debating whether to just walk off, or scare the crap out of him by saying hello, but he takes it up another level and makes the decision for me. He put his hand on my breast. Oh, I have no doubt that he had some excuse formed that he would consider plausible deniability, but this was unmistakable. He reached out in front of me, as if reaching for something on display on the shelf just past me, and his hand landed on my breast, where it lingered for a bit.

I turned and left the shop, called Sissy and told her I was going home, asking if maybe she could get a ride with one of her friends. She must have heard something in my voice that told her I was upset, because she came to meet me and go home with me.

I ended up crying on Grace's shoulder that evening, and didn't have a real pleasant night.

I talked with Grace about it, and I'll talk to my therapist, but I can't help that it makes me feel small every time something like this happens. I've tried to figure out what it is that makes the guys target me like this. It's been a long time since I've encountered the hand on my breast, but I've gotten more than my share of being rubbed against and hands on my rear.

I've tried to identify what it is about me that guys see that makes them think it's ok to pull this stuff. I've talked with Grace and Sissy, and it doesn't happen to them, or at least very seldom with Sissy, and never with Grace. Grace says that if the same thing had happened to her, she would have very forcefully removed his hand--there's a way of maniplating the hand and wrist that's very painful pretty much gives you control over the other person just with a few pounds of pressure on that one part of the body, and she's very good at it. She says that's why the guys leave her alone.

But how do they know that she's going to humiliate them and I'm just going to walk away upset? I mean, sure, just looking at us you can see that she's a lot more formidable physically than I am, but still, an observer, a stranger like the guy who felt me up, who was over six feet and probably 230 or 240 plus, for a guy that size, there really isn't much difference between my 110 lbs. and Grace's 135 lbs. We're both still tiny compared to a guy like that. I know that he could basically have his way with me and snap me like a twig if that's what he wanted, while if he messed with Grace he'd likely end up in the emergency room, but there's no way for him to know that just by observing us.

And it isn't that I dress provocatively and invite it. I wear mostly relatively conservative casual dresses, or skirt and top sets. Grace typically shows more skin than I do, and is built like a Playboy centerfold. And I'm not trying to imply that women who do dress provocatively or show a lot of skin deserve such treatment. They don't.

So I can't help but come to one of two conclusions. First, I'm imagining things and overreacting. The rubbing and hands on my rear are just accidents that I read too much into. This doesn't make sense to me, as I've been in all of those situations where a guy rubbed up against me and a hand ended up on my rear or this time, my breast, and I've never ended up rubbing myself up against someone or accidetnly put my hand on a woman's (or man's for that matter) butt or breast. And the women don't rub up against me or "accidently" put a hand on my butt.

The other conclusion is that I'm doing something to invite this. This doesn't make sense either. There's no way a guy can know just by looking at me that I'm so skittish about that kind of contact that he can do so safely and all I'll do is walk away. There's no way to know just by looking at Grace that she'll have his wrist contorted at a very painful angle the moment his hand ends up in the wrong place.

So I'm wondering, are they targeting me, or do they target all women and just leave those with what Grace calls her "Don't fuck with me mojo" alone? Or maybe it is all incidental, and I'm imagining it because I'm oversensitive to such things.

Sissy gets the occasional hand on her rear, but shrugs it off as no big deal, all a part of being female in the US. If the guy is anywhere in the vicinity of cute, I'm half conviced that she enjoys it and is flattered.

Most of that probably makes little sense, but that's how it runs through my head as I'm trying to make sense of it all, trying to find some way of making it fit in my mind.

I'm doing ok, but I think I'm in an acute state of cognitive dissonance. I can't find a way to fit this information into my head, a way to have it make sense. Either I'm imagining it or the guys who do this sort of thing have some sort or magical radar that tells them which girls are going to react which way, and neither of those really fit with my experience. I can't assimilate the information, but I don't know how to accommodate it.

Gilda
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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For one, you're in "their territory" when you're in a comic store. I don't know about Grace, but Sissy doesn't sound like she goes into those too often by herself. Also, it could just be how people perceive you. Maybe you act very gentle and passive in public, and they consider it to be an invitation. The only way to be sure would be to ask them, while they were hooked up to a polygraph. Either way, as far as ass brushes go, I'd consider them to be accidental if I were you. Much of the time they are accidents, and I'm not sure what good it does to consider them purposeful (unless you're flattered by that kind of thing, like me). The breast grabbing though, I can't say, although you should have punched him or something.
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Last edited by Suave; 08-15-2005 at 01:18 AM..
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is a very confusing situation. All I can offer, perhaps, is some insight into the dirtbag who did that to you. As a male comic book fan, I can speak for all of us when I say that my radar always goes off when I see a girl in a comic book store. It's a novelty to most comic book guys. After all, girls don't like comic books, do they?

Just think of how women are portrayed in comic books. Things get better all the time, but do you think a man could possibly learn to respect women from reading them? I don't. That has to come from interacting with them. Maybe all this loser knows about women came from the Marvel Swimsuit issue. I don't think he even considered your feelings in this situation.

It's inconceivable that you did anything to provoke him. I think he would have done it to anyone.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds a bit out of the ordinary. I think its just a chance situation, you just happened to be there at that moment. Theres nothing that you could do to invite such behavior. But one thing you can do is stay out of shady situations with abnormal men lol.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visotech
Sounds a bit out of the ordinary. I think its just a chance situation, you just happened to be there at that moment. Theres nothing that you could do to invite such behavior. But one thing you can do is stay out of shady situations with abnormal men lol.
No. Gilda was in a comic book shop, not some back alley club. No woman should have to consider a comic book shop a "shady situation." If it's run by bikers, that's one thing, but that was not the case. Women should be on guard in certain areas (unfortunately too many), but let's not add comic book shops to that list. Instead, let's think of how we can make the comic industry a more equal place and maybe teach nerds, like the one I used to be, about real women and how they don't like non-consensual touching.

Besides, suggesting Gilda not go into comic shops would be like suggesting the Bush administration not go into Iraq.
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As a guy, I find the breast-grabber's actions disgusting. I don't know if its my conservative upbringing or the huge respect I have for women in general (I think I get that from my Mom), but if I saw something like that happen I'd prolly go over and kick the offender's ass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suave
For one, you're in "their territory" when you're in a comic store.
That shouldn't have anything to do with it, and shouldn't make it any less wrong.

No woman should have to endure what you went thru. You strike me as someone who wouldn't be able to just slap the dude, but a good tongue-lashing is sometimes more effective. There's nothing wrong with you, and it would be wrong of you to think that. Secondly, if you didn't utter the words "feel my boob", then you weren't inviting it. The guy was an ass. End of story.
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm stunned. That guy must have had severe Asperger's Syndrome or something. A real mouth-breather.

I'll admit that I've been known to sidle, usually because I'm trying to think of something to say that doesn't sound stupid. This guy didn't bother to think and was just a total asshole.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Shoulda smacked him one, plain and simple. Or called the cops on him. Or find out where he lives and throw bricks at his windows or something. Bastard.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Gilda, that was assault. You didn't invite it.

Damnit, I'd be staking out the store and filing a complaint if the guy shows again.

Hopefully he's a harmless idiot lost in his comic world, but I can't shake the feeling he could be escalating his encounters.

Argh, pisses me off.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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gosh, i go crazy when my bf touches my bum in public!!!imagine a stranger???i'd totally freak out.i most probably would've lashed out at him or something.made him feel like an inch tall my slapping the shit outta him.just reading about your problem has gotten me all riled up...to think that there are some guys out there who have complete, absolute and total disrespect for women...it disgusts me!!!i cant even begin to describe how.

had i been with you ...i wuda totally beaten him up for you. there is like so nothing wrong with you. and i know you felt violated and stuff... but the only reason you shoulda been crying is to think that there are actually men out there who are such ignorant, arrogant, egotistical, immature, insensitive pigs that they could actually do something like that, when you(as a woman) deserve so much better!
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Maybe things are just different out in California than they are in North Carolina, but at the comic store in Asheville that Sage and I hang out at, I couldn't imagine something like this happening. Not only have I not ever seen anything remotely like blatant boob-grabbing (and we do get plenty of girls, and yeah sometimes they get hit on even if they're obviously with someone else), but on top of that I know for a fact that the owner (and probably the professional bouncer that hangs out there too) would personally boot the offender right out the door and/or call the cops if something like that DID happen.

Most people I've ever encountered wouldn't put up with something like that, and most men I've encountered have a built-in "protect women" function. I'd wager that if you'd yelled "HEY, DON'T YOU GRAB ME, YOU SICKO", this guy would have instantly been on the receiving end of plenty of unsavory attention from anyone else in the store. After all, what better way to make themselves look good to you than publicly defend your honor?
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It doesn't matter were she was at nobody has the right to grab or touch anyone period. The guy obviously has issues it's not Gilda's fault she was in a comic store thats something she enjoys she should have the right to go into one with out having to be touched or groped. I don't think it is her fault in anyway it don't matter if she was being percived in that way she didn't say hey guy grab my breast. There are just sicko's out there that think they can do anything they want to women and get away with it and that's wrong. If I would have been in that store and seen it I would have knocked the guy out. Maybee she does seem shy and timid but that still isnt a excuse for that kind of behavior. Gilda I know you probably do think it is you but it's not there are just sick people out there that like to pray on people and from what I have read about you on here you are a real sweet person and those types of people prey on nice people so it's not your fault whatsoever sorry about the rant this stuff really gets to me.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I am not surprised by this at all... I can't count the number of times friends of mine have (almost all women) told me stories similar to this one... There are men who just feel it is their right to cop a feel.

Most of them just do the slide and stand in your space, or will "brush up" against you... it sounds to me like this idiot was pushing his boundaries.

When I was a little kid I used to get perverts every once in a while. Nowhere near what my girl friends would relate but from time to time the horny old man with a penchant for little blue-eyed, blonde boys would make a pass at me.

No one ever completely groped me but I a lot of accidental brushing against.

Gilda, there are many creeps out there. I know you know that it wasn't your fault. You just need to keep telling youself this. Some here have suggested you should have belted him or yelled or whatnot... I've been there, I know why you didn't. It's OK.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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She could have been standing stark naked and it wouldn't matter... Her personal space was invaded, and unless she was wearing a sign that said, it's ok to touch me, that guy had no business touching her.

I really don't understand the mentality that some people have that think it's OK to touch another person. It is definitely assault. This is one of those incidents that wearing stiletto heels comes in handy.. .years of riding the subway where some men would grab any ass available to them, you got pretty good with a well placed heel to the instep...

I'm sorry that it happened to you, especially in a place that is normally fun for you... and it won't prevent you from going back into comic book stores in the future.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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damn...that's just not okay.

i do think that "Don't fuck with me mojo" exists...but failure to display said mojo isn't a personal invite to be assaulted or groped. it's just so frustrating to see how much of civilization isn't behaving civilly. when i go out, i don't expect to get hassled like that...and i certainly hope you never do. prepared in case something does happen, yes.

i've got a few friends who pretty much stop all traffic in comic shops...i'll have to ask them how they deal with the creeps. maybe ask grace to show you that hand trick.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Out on a wire.
Thank you for the feedback.

I'm going to be taking off to Six Flags in a few minutes, so I don't have time to respond fully right now, but I wanted to make a couple of things clear.

I obviously wasn't clear about where I was in my OP. I was at the mall in a hobby shop, one of those places that sells model kits, rockets, electronics experiments, K'Nex, collectible figurines and so forth. It just has a similar atmosphere to the comic shop, and has some of the same toys that they'd have at the comic shop.

I don't think that I invited the intrusion. My question was more along the lines of why do bullies target certain kids in school, but not others? The kids that are picked on in schools aren't inviting it, I've counseled a few of them, but the bullies always seem to target some kids but not others, and there's no pattern I can see other than those who get targeted are different. But it isn't all the kids who are different, just certain ones, without a pattern that's easy to identify.

So what I was wondering, and really it's more of a rhetorical question than one I'd expect an answer to, was why am I targeted but not Grace? Why are some women, and in Charlatan's case, some children picked out while others aren't? There must be some signal we're sending out that says we'd make a good target that others don't.

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Old 08-15-2005, 07:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I think predators have a sense for this kind of thing... not quite instinct but close. They just know what to look for... It could be the way you stand. It could be the way you avert your gaze. It could be the way you breathe...

All I know is this... if you are obsessed enough about something you will figure out how to do it well.
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:10 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I've spent a lot of time studying child psych, and playground interactions is what most interest me. Bullies pick on kids that wont fight back. Passivity can be read like a book by many people. Why do they do this? Because most bullies dont have low self esteems like many people believe, but oversized ones. Their ego is bigger than their britches (as the hicks here say). People who fight back run the risk of bursting their ego bubble, and once you see a bully get his ass whooped most people no longer fear them (chain reaction, suddenly others are willing to fight back).

So does this carry over from men to women? Only in some ways.

Those boys probably have never even kissed a woman, the only interaction they get is in those comics, in which a "man" dominates the woman. In their mind all they need to get women is to be a "man" and take hold of the situation (litterally in this guys mind). You said it yourself they're scared shitless of you, they dont know how to interact, and this guy majorly screwed it up. You never said how old he was, but being 240 I figure at minimum 16, that's old enough to know it's wrong with no excuses.

What do you do next time? Nut-shot him, good and hard. You said he was 240, well he wont touch you after that. He could, dont get me wrong, but it's in a public place. Ontop of that every single witness would take your side, and ontop of that he'll know he deserved it. You have the right to go in those stores alone without feeling scared, if you feel threatened, get a can of mace... that stuff sucks (and no cop will arrest you because they assaulted you first).
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I can make a pretty good guess as to why this creep decided to push things with you.

Self defense trainers usually have some spiel about "being a victim" and this is pretty much true... By not actively asserting yourself in your environment, you do give off these "victim" vibes.

In your original post, you actually mentioned that you will sometimes turn to the person, look them in the eye and say hello... By doing so, you have asserted yourself to that other person, and unless they are very agressive, they will back off.

So what should you do? When some one starts "sidle"ing up to you, turn and look them directly in the eye. If that doesn't work, turn yourself to face them square on and say something (like "hi" or "can I help you?").

Eye contact is probably the most powerful tool you have to use. Try to maintain eye contact until the other person looks away.
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:34 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm amazed that any guy could do that to a girl. That's just asking for a slap in the face and a lawsuit. You could seriously get that guy in trouble with the law if you had turned him in. I realize that you wanted to get the hell outta there, however. The guy is another nerd who realizes that he's never going to get a girl because of his own issues and must resort to "having fun" with girls without their permission. If there was any decent guy in the vicinity I'm sure the breastman would have left you alone. Sorry you had to go through that.

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Old 08-15-2005, 07:56 AM   #21 (permalink)
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What a fucknut. This is why I get all over-protective of my female friends (most of whom are physically smaller than I). Because I'm aggressive. Very. If someone's sidling, they get direct eyecontact and if they're skeevy, they get distinct cold-shoulder-leave-me-the-fuck-alone-dirtbag vibes. Don't get me wrong, I'm usually pretty friendly, but I will turn on the anger vibes to scare them off when necessary. I've been places you've been, Gilda. I know how it is to be too startled or intimidated to fight back. But these days... no more. It's good to be a little mad. This guy is an asshole, and yeah, I would wonder about his escalation of such events. Bet he's a fucking peeping tom too.
/deep breath

YOU didn't do anything wrong. I would bet you don't give off a lot of confident vibes, or bitch vibes in all situations. That's what you'll want to learn. No one has ever grabbed my breast, and I feel that's because of the way I present myself, my body language. (I sorta look harmless, blond chick with young features, etc.) Decide what you want to project, and feel it. It's sort of like wearing Deet for mosquitoes... they leave you alone and don't even realize why most of the time.

However.... please don't take my advice to mean I think it was you. I don't. He's still a fucking cocknugget of scum. However, putting out a stronger vibe of what you want them to see might help you. Don't feel like these people target you. Feel like they wouldn't dare.

I'm sorry this happened. I only wish I had been there to teach the fucker a lesson. Next time (though I pray there isn't one), you'll teach 'em.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:04 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I really believe that body language has a lot to do with it.

A couple questions first and then I'll post more later:

How do you stand?
1. Do you hold your head up while walking or look toward the ground? Is your chin/jaw generally level with the floor.
2. Do your shoulders and back form a slight curve forward or more backward (military style - or it feels that way somewhat)?
3. Do you take short steps or do you stretch your legs out forward as you walk briskly?
4. If you encounter someone's eyes how long do you hold their gaze? How many seconds?
5. If you encounter someone's eyes and then look away, which direction do you're eyes go? Do they slide sideways? do they close and then look away? Do you slide your gaze down?

I have personally found ways to invite advances when I WANT to flirt or to turn them away when I dislike the advances. These ways use Primarily the body language areas mentioned above.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:16 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Amen to what Ambient said. The "passive" vibe is certainly visible -- and with five minutes at the mall I could show you the women most likely to be victimized. If you don't make eye contact or are otherwise ignoring the "groper," then you're just an object. We've talked about objectification a million times before, but that's exactly what creeper is looking for.

As soon as you look at him or say "hi," he's forced to realize that you're no longer an object for his sexual lust but a person with feelings. Even the creepiest of creepy will shy away from this, because they-themselves have been on the recieving end of many unfortunate jabs. If you're able to forget its a person on the other end, it's very easy to do all sorts of creepy and evil things. I'm certainly not saying that a comic book store or any-other-place for that matter is a bad place to be, but remember to BE A PERSON. If you don't set yourself apart from the surroundings as a human and not an object, then you're going to look exactly like the porn that aforementioned creeper likely wanks off to daily.

I highly suggest you download/checkout/buy a movie called Dreamworlds II. I had to watch it for my "Sexuality" Philosophy class last year, and it addressed this very topic. It showed, quite blantantly, the messages that media like MTV sends. It shows hundreds and hundreds of MTV "music videos" where women are portrayed as always-willing and never-offended by a strong and domineering man. The narrator goes on-and-on about what a horribly distorted image of women this gives the viewer. MTV actually tried to get it banned, as "slander", but the court ruled in favor of the documentary. I had never really analyzed that my perception of women might have been a bit fuck'd until I saw the video, so it's very likely that Creeper has never known anything other than the way he treats women currently. The best way to teach him is to show him that there ARE assertive women who'll say "hi" and not let themselves be groped. The documentary is quite interesting, and I think it might help you get over your fear of the overtly-groping creepers.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:17 AM   #24 (permalink)
 
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Gilda, a similar thing happened to me in Zambia. This cocky guy wanted to have a picture with me and the other female student with me (from America). This was pretty typical behavior in Africa... people want pictures of you with them.

So he stood between us, his arms around our shoulders, and there was this moment when his hands touched/grabbed our breasts from the side... I blinked and thought, did that just happen?

The picture was over, the guy left, but I looked at Jen and wondered if the same thing happened to her. I asked her later and she said yeah, and we were both upset about it... feeling much as you did in the comic shop. I've actually never been touched like that before. I also was thrown off since I was in a very foreign setting, and knew that if I responded as a Western woman, something bad might happen.

Anyway, I've always prided myself on having the "don't fuck with me mojo" [Edit: just saw Raeanna's post, and I think she's right on the money... that's what I am usually very conscious of, in terms of body language and looking like a kick-ass woman.], but I didn't have it in this strange, foreign situation.

I've resolved that if any man or woman touches me without permission, in any country, they're gonna get a nasty verbal warning, slap in the face, or knee in the balls, if not worse. Sometimes these things deserve a physical response... I dunno. It is assault, to me, and I guess I feel like someone's asking for it if they cross that line.
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Learn karate and break his arm, all woman should take some self defense. You sound as if your confidence is shaky as well,by the crying you did after the assault. Most folks would had been pissed,maybe even belligerent.No one should have to tolerate such behavior.
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:06 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilda
So what I was wondering, and really it's more of a rhetorical question than one I'd expect an answer to, was why am I targeted but not Grace? Why are some women, and in Charlatan's case, some children picked out while others aren't? There must be some signal we're sending out that says we'd make a good target that others don't.
Lisa Simpson figured this out, didn't she? A pheremone that we geeks exude that bullies are sensitive to. IIRC, she named it "Poindextrose."

Seriously, there are jerks out there in the world, and they seem to have a sixth (sick?) sense of who the easy prey are. Best you can do is learn not to give the signals of easy prey.
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:43 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilda
So what I was wondering, and really it's more of a rhetorical question than one I'd expect an answer to, was why am I targeted but not Grace? Why are some women, and in Charlatan's case, some children picked out while others aren't? There must be some signal we're sending out that says we'd make a good target that others don't.
He sized you up and found you wanting. Men size other men up all the time. It makes all the difference between throwing the first punch and running the hell away. A woman will size up her boyfriend's ex when they meet unexpectedly. We all size up new colleagues and friends when we first meet them. What the 'groper' did isn't too different.

Not to mention you were on his 'turf,' which is to say the area where he would feel most comfortable expanding his boundaries. You're attractive, you're alone and you're shopping in his 'territory.'

Now, that certainly doesn't mean you deserved it. It doesn't mean that you invited it and it certainly doesn't condone this idiot's actions.

raeanna is absolutely on the mark about it all being about body language. You say nobody screws with Grace? Watch her walk in public sometimes. Watch her interact with strangers. I imagine the differences are very noticiable.
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:59 AM   #28 (permalink)
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He sized you up and found you wanting.

Probably a poor choice in words. Before anybody goes off on guthmund, I don't believe he used the word "wanting" to imply desire.
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:39 PM   #29 (permalink)
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its much more him than you.

that being said, you should've slapped him. or found a cop and told him to at lease give the jerk a scare. because he got off free, he'll probably end up doing it again to someone else.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:23 PM   #30 (permalink)
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That shouldn't have anything to do with it, and shouldn't make it any less wrong.
I never said it did. You seem to misunderstand my statement. I was no condoning anything; she asked for attempted explanations, and I attempted one. Explaining behaviour and excusing it are two different things.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:53 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Let me apologize for those of my gender who would act in such a way. Most of us are okay dudes (myslef included), but occasionally there are social deviants who have no comprehension of empathy or acceptable behavior. I've been grabbed in public a few times, but as someone who stands over 6' and around 190 lb., it's clearly not the same. You are right in being very much bothered by this.
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:17 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I ran a comic book store for just over 3 years, and saw this kind of behavior numerous times. As I've said in the past, I also worked part time as a bouncer. The men I saw engaging in this kind of behavior were asked to leave my store, and never return. If they refused, I would ask one more time, then resort to grabbing them by an ear and dragging them out. Since I had asked them twice, and was not doing lasting physical harm to them, that was legal. I never had one of them return.

We carried a large assortment of anime at our place, so the girls were pretty numerous. They knew we watched for this kind of behavior (and so did there parents, for the underage ones) and knew it was a safe place.

As to what you do to bring it on, Gilda.......you just be. Predators of this sort can sense things from the way you hold yourself, the way you move, the way you act. Little clues in your body language say 'victim'. I would personally suggest some self defense courses, even basic ones. Not only will they teach you what to do to protect yourself, they will teach you how to move, stand, and act in such a way that says you are not a victim.

Other martial artists see the opposite of this all the time. Even though I've gotten a crappy desk job and have put on almost 100 pounds in the last few years, if I walk into a dojo the sensei can tell I've been trained. It's just in how I move and hold myself.

That's the only idea I can come up with without having met you. I hope it helps...and more importantly, I hope this type of violation of you stops. Your personal space is yours, and him touching you like that is a violation, as you can see from your reaction.
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:31 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Gilda, I'm not sure how often you get groped, sounds like a couple or more incidents, spread out over time. I deal with this on a regular basis. Always have. I don't believe for a second that the 'ass' pat is ever accidental. These are just too lingering, and don't feel like bumps.

Almost everytime I ride the transit i get the 'pat' - more in the summer. And if it is accidental, why are women less clumsy than men??? I've never had my breast groped, except for one dentist who rested his forearm along mine once along time ago.

I am very vigilant now, and it has become a challenge to try and ward off these rather pathetic attempts to touch me. I have a feeling that they think I am a person of minority who is shy and unwilling to either stand up for herself, or to complain. But I do both. One of the creepiest times was not a grope, but a sidle. i was at the grocery store, examining the cheese, and felt a warmth behind me. I turned around to find a stranger standing right behind me, pretending to look over my shoulder. He was almost right against me. I think he was smelling my hair, but if I moved back, I would have pressed right into him.

So it think these guys are opportunistic. They get off on that 'just one more chick' to add to their score. I just try not to become a notch in their staff.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:05 PM   #34 (permalink)
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To tell you what makes the difference between myself and other girls. I've been in some situations where I was dressed nearly the same as a girlfriend of mine. I tend to walk very erect, my chin level with the floor, my strides long (I do NOT have long legs - I just extend them fully), and my arms loose at my sides. When I notice someone looking at me or even 'sidling up' I decide if I like the interest or not and I respond accordingly IMMEDIATELY. I will either - if I like it - make eye contact, hold for the count or 3 or so and then let my gase slide down till my eyes close. If I do not like it and do not feel threatened by it I will look, hold the same gaze, blink and look just slightly to one side or the other of the person. If I adamantly do not find the interest in me positive then I will look at the person and hold their gaze sometimes for what feels like a long time but at least until they look away. It's a challange and I've never had anyone bother me after a look like that. I do not have to say anything. Still the way you hold your body while you make the stare matters a lot. Be sure you are standing erect and your back straight and head erect. Don't hold your hands hanging from wrists with your elbows bent. Either hold your hands tensed (very LOOSE fists even maybe) in front of you or hanging loose at your sides. Feet not tight together but more or less shoulder width apart. Place your non-dominant foot forward slightly. Just in general a fighting pose without looking too stilted. The body language says "Go away and if you don't I AM prepared to resist anything you would want to do.

I strongly believe that it's body language that almost ALWAYS draws or deters criminals to even be interested in a particular girl or guys to just want to pleasantly hit on a girl.

I have had guys pursue me like your slidler did. About 90% of the time though I have given them the "I am interested" look beforehand. When I have given the "challenge" look beforehand I have NEVER been approached in such a way.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:23 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Sheesh, don't guys just introduce themselves anymore?

Seriously, I am sorry you (and others who have responded with similar experiences) have been treated in such a rude manner. I would also recommend learning martial arts and body language so you can prevent these types of violations, and react to them in a way that allows you to maintain your confidence and dignity.

I would not suggest letting these creeps get away with it. The more they get away with it, the more they are encouraged to keep doing it. Who knows if (or when) they will get more violent. They need to learn respect for other people's privacy and space, and consequences when they violate that privacy and space.
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:03 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I've never been touched inappropriately by anyone, and since we both dress the same way and I don't have any real self-defense training I've got to chalk it up to a similar "don't fuck with me" attitude. I hang around in hobby and comic shops all the time, often alone, even go to Magic tournaments (always the only girl there) and maintain a nice two-foot sphere of personal space at all times.

Reanna's got it right about the body language. I recommend the book "Not an easy target" by Paxton Quigly, which will tell you everything you need to know about not getting messed with. It will also tell you a bunch of paranoid stuff that no one would really want to do, so be a filter, not a sponge--but the body language and positioning stuff is gold.

Finally, you need to seriously ask yourself WHY you just left after he did that. Someone with intact self-esteem should not have allowed this to happen and certainly should not have left without reprisal. Appropriate reactions could range from "Excuse me, that was unacceptable. Please leave now before I call security" to a slap in the face, but NO reaction is a little strange.
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:51 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I have to agree with the body language and victim vibe... not so much that it's a victim vibe, it's that you come across as "nice", wouldn't hurt a fly... I know because I've had people mistake that in me.

I've been grabbed from behind, grabbed in the front (not the breast either...), even grabbed while I was walking down the street holding hands with my SO! Some of these guys I'm sure are only doing it to get a rise out of you... I make a point not to give them that satisfaction... normally I just call them a loser because they must feel that's the only way they can get anything.

It's going to happen every now and then, the thing I've decided is to not be a victim about it. They are scum and treating them as such is something that doesn't allow me to feel like a victim and gives me the power over them, even if that is just helping me to deal with it.
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:27 PM   #38 (permalink)
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There are lots of ways people can "size up" other people... in this case, you may just come across at the type of person who will do nothing, and simply walk away. Since this is accurate, it can't be said that it's a baseless assumption.

Basically, if a guy looks at you with the intention of grabbing you, he's most often going to look at you and decide if he thinks he'll get away with it, or if you're more likely to mace him, put him on the ground, and rip his testicles off.

You seem like a really nice person, and a more "passive" personality is easier to pick out in a crowd, which is why you may feel "targeted" because it happens more to you than others you know.

The world's full of assholes... next time, give him a hello to disarm him, and then just knee him in the junk. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:13 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Gilda, am I correct in stating that you have been seriously victimized by men in the past? Not a bump, brush, or inappropriate touching, but physical assault? If this is true, you may carry yourself in a "fearful" way when alone and in the presence of men.
You are a petite, attractive woman and sexual bullies (especially one that weighs more than twice you do) could make that kind of move knowing that you won't retaliate. It might be something worth bringing up with your counselor.

I think it would be difficult to assume a fearless posture when you have learned there is a good reason to be afraid. But I think it is good advice to make the attempt. And as everyone else has said, you and how you carry yourself is not the issue. There are creeps in this world that prey on women.

You are an intelligent woman, Gilda, and I am confident that when the shock is over you will know where to place the blame.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:41 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clavus
Probably a poor choice in words. Before anybody goes off on guthmund, I don't believe he used the word "wanting" to imply desire.
Despite the fact that there must have been some sort of attraction on the 'groper's' part to choose to get personal with Gilda AND that I actually used the word 'attractive,' if you still managed to misunderstand what I said...

I was using the transitive form of the word. What I meant to imply was the 'groper' presumed that she was unwilling or unable to defend against his advances.
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