June 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm #176993
I’d like to ask you forumites about how you deal with unwelcome attention. How do you interpret it? (Men being men? A form of dominance?) How do you deal w/ it? (Say “ excuse me ” and leave?)
First of all a little background about myself. I’m not gorgeous – just a pleasant, friendly looking S.Asian woman living in the USA. I’m single, and don’t wear any rings. I live and work in a pretty sparsely populated small town. In Summer, I get to travel a bit to work conferences and I really enjoy visiting big towns. I use these few days to do the shopping, dining etc. that I don’t get to do the rest of the year. And this too, is in the evenings and weekends, when I’m not at the conference.
OK – here’s my pet peeve. As soon as I get out of my familiar small town environment I feel as if I’m being targeted by men; and I’m second guessing every movement to avoid them. Most of these men are middle aged or older, and I think they are just looking to chat with a woman. For the life of me, I don’t know why I’m such a magnet for these men. Maybe it’s because I haven’t mastered how to have a disinterested gaze, and when I look in their general direction, they could be thinking I’m looking at them. I’ve been told by lots of people that I have very expressive eyes. Anyway, I love this small window of opportunity to be out and about, and how do I “protect my space” w/o antagonizing them (which could lead to further unpleasantness)?
This year, my workplace has increased our meal allowance for out of town travel, and I’d like to make use of it (and to celebrate a promotion) by going to restaurants. Because of the unwanted attention issue, I’m considering delivery options to my hotel room. But one part of me says “don’t be ridiculous – you worked for it, and don’t let others’ behavior spoil it”. Any thoughts?
Sorry for the long rant – but it really bugs me. Thanks in advance!June 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm #176994
Follow up …
To those who may wonder why I haven’t mentioned getting unwelcome attention form older men in my small town – yes, that does happen. But I’m not out in public all that much – I just go to the store as they open, or near closing time. You might think I’m some strange anti-social recluse. I’m not! (Just a workaholic, which is fine, as I enjoy my work.) I go to work around 6 a.m. and go home around 9.30 p.m.June 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm #177008
Actually, IMO, looking disinterested when walking is the last thing you should do! Walk looking purposeful instead. Maybe take quicker strides. If you think you need to, buy a bottle of mace to keep in your purse.June 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm #177075
So…. what are they doing to make you feel uncomfortable ? Are they just being nice and friendly or are they getting in yer face and not letting you go by ?
More than likely they are harmless.
I always use my cell phone as a good way out of such things… act like you just got a text or need to make a call. Making yourself unavailbale to approach.
I wouldnt worry… youl be fine !June 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm #177086
Thanks for your thoughtful posts, Shelly and Marcy! The guys are not scary – just pathetic and annoying. I think the annoyance effect is heightened because I feel like they are intruding in on the v.precious little free time I have. I’ll definitely use Marcy’s cell phone idea!July 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm #181861
In big cities like that, you may be screaming ‘TOURIST’ without even realizing it. If you act like you know what you’re doing (wear sunglasses, look straight ahead even if the big buildings are tempting to look at!) they’ll probably leave you alone. It’s worth a try, anyway.
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