13 Oct

Chloe, of feministing, wrote today about an incident that happened to her while at Starbucks. A man came up to her and laid his hand on her arm while complimenting on her appearance. Sure, this may seem like a normal occurrence where a man is simply complimenting a woman, but there is a lot of underlying implications involved. For one, the man assumes that the woman would be flattered to hear about how beautiful she is from a complete stranger. The man also assumes that he has the right to judge said woman solely based on her appearance. Without asking the man invaded her personal space by placing his hand on her arm. He assumes once again that the women would not mind since he is praising her in return. Just because a compliment is being made, does not mean that the women is allowing you to invade her personal space. Chloe was simply waiting on line to order her coffee at Starbucks. She wanted nothing else. But this man comes along and assumes that his opinion mattered to this stranger. Sure, there may have been instances where the women responded positively to such statements and actions, but that is not supposed to set the precedent.

Chloe, the writer of that post, speaks about the anger and rage she felt even more long after the comment was made. She criticizes herself and why she did not reply sooner with a snarky remark. I’m sure this has happened to many of us. If only we were able to respond and show our anger, then maybe they would change. However, if the woman replies angrily, she may be seen, especially by other men, and even some women, as being overreacting. Society makes us believe that when someone compliments us, we should reply pleasantly and maybe even say “Thank you.” I feel that no matter what the circumstances, if we, women, are made uncomfortable and insignificant, we should speak up about it. The more negative responses these men receive, the less likely they will repeat such actions again. It’s not about this one isolated incident, but it is about all the other times women have been treated as an object with sex appeal and nothing else. I’m sure there were other incidents where a man would even try to harass a woman, whether sexually or verbally. Constantly being a victim can lead to very long term effects on the woman. She may start to think that it’s her fault that she’s receiving such attention and that it’s only normal for men to act that way. But this is not true. It doesn’t have to be this way so long as we’re willing to do something about it.

-Diana Situ

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2 Responses to “”

  1. ysamar October 14, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    This is so true. When we women are complimented we tend to just say thank you no matter how disrespectful the comment is. I agree that instead of just saying “thank you” we should say how we really feel about what he just said. Maybe I’m being to protective but I also don’t think he should’ve put his hand on her, to me that’s an invasion of personal space. Men don’t need to be going around thinking their disrespectful comments are okay, and if as women we don’t stand up to it, then who will?

  2. itzjessicax3 October 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    I would consider this major violation of privacy. No one has the right to touch someone else without permission. Compliment or no compliment its unlawful. I think the girl should have punched him but that could lead to unlawful things as well. This is like the video we watched on thursday where girls had to iron their breasts to prevent male counterparts from being aroused sexually. Men think with a compliment they can get away with anything. In this case, the girl.

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