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DEARSUGAR NEEDS YOUR HELP: Harmless Or Harassment?

Curious Corrina wrote in hoping that others would help shed some perspective on a small spat that she's having with her friend. Please comment and share your opinions with her.

Dear Sugar
I got into a dispute with a friend over the way that male drivers honk and wave at you as you drive or walk on past them. I take it as a compliment that some random guy thinks I'm good looking. Although he is a total stranger, I don't see the big deal about it.

She thinks that it's offensive and demeaning. I'm not talking about the times when guys take it to the next level and yell something crude out to you; I'm just referring to a little honk, whistle or wave. Do you fellow Sugarians think of it as insult or as a compliment from a stranger? Curious Corrina

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kittycat kittycat 10 years
i find it annoying, so i just ignore and pretend nothing happened. what i hate most is when guys stare
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 10 years
I run every day, so I get these a lot. I never respond and pretend to have not heard, but inside my head I take it is a compliment. However, if they yell something crude, it's demeaning and deserves the finger they get.
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 10 years
I guess it depends.
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Excellent point.
JennaV JennaV 10 years
Well....for me, it matters if the guy is ugly. Harrassment is UNWANTED attention. If the guy is ugly, I don't want his attention and hence we have harrassment....
la_clique la_clique 10 years
I am a blond in a red convertible, so I get this ALOT. In fact, the first week I got my car, I got some of the nastiest hand/mouth gestures I had ever seen, all involving oral sex, and this was in broad daylight! I just ignore all of it, I don't care if they are cute or not, if they are skeezy enough to catcall I'm not interested. (Plus I have a wonderful BF, so I would never be interested) The only time I've ever responded is when a minivan full of Jr HS boys told me I was a hot lady. They were cute! ;) I dont mind a nice comment, however. And usually a smart comment will stop an inappropriate man in his tracks.
Lakey Lakey 10 years
Yikes, sarahlynn, that's nasty!
sarahlynn sarahlynn 10 years
so one time i left work and was waiting for the alarm beeping to go off(i closed the store and once had an incident where i opened and put in the wrong code and a officer came so the alarm made me sketchy or soemthing) anyways this guys propositions me! he said something about how it WAS "such and such" a street. (known for prostitutes) i said something like "first of all im better looking than ANY hooker you'll find on "such and such" st." and i went up to this random man/woman couple and asked if i could stand with them for a few mins or something said what happened and he kept walking. im from the KUNTRY so i didn't know i could have called the police on him for just doing that. where im from(usually anyways) if ur walking...your walking. you know?
seahorse seahorse 10 years
Maybe you don't mind it, but street harrassment can be demeaning and make you feel unsafe. Check out what a group of people in New York decided to do to get back catcallers:
sofi sofi 10 years
jinx- Thanks for pointing out the double standard. A smile or double-take can be flattering, but the honking and shout-outs are freaky. There are so many psychos out there (handsome and not-so-handsome). Do you really KNOW that they won't try to take it further if they get some kind of reaction from you. It's very uncomfortable to be in such a situation. What reaction do you give? Ignoring could piss them off and a positive acknowledgment might allow them to further approach. Sorry, but it all scares me.
gracey gracey 10 years
Jinx, I was thinking the same thing! It matters if he's ugly? Wow how haughty taughty is that? lol Snobby much? I ignore every whistle, cat call or yell that comes my way. They only want your attention, why give 'em what they want? I guess its flattering in "I need men's lust to feel good about myself kind of way" ;) I like to purposely ignore guys in gorgeous attention getting cars too! lol Especially when you can hear the music three blocks away.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 10 years
Yes- honking and wistling and other random acts of obnoxious behavior are totally annoying... but yes, a smile or nod are very nice compliments!
yayita yayita 10 years
LOL Jen, you are not ooooooooooooooooold, you look way younger than you are
Jinx Jinx 10 years
jen76, I agree, a smile or nod of acknowledgement is wonderful, cat calls are in another category, I don't care what the guy looks like.
yayita yayita 10 years
cute factor should not determine it, I think its the good or bad factor. Like in the old days, men where complimentary to women in a very cavalier way. I would accept those but the narstty a-Holes shouting out gross things then no
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Jinx, I'm a sucker like that. A handsome guy gets away with a lot more. :P As for this poll, honks bug me because the noise is so grating. Whistles are SO tacky. But an appreciative look, a smile, a wave, whatever, sure - doesn't bother me. In fact, I'm noticing that as I'm getting oooooooooooold, I really don't mind the attention. LOL It ain't gonna last.
Jinx Jinx 10 years
Well, really, its disgusting, "If he's cute, its okay", Good Grief.
yayita yayita 10 years
LOL Jinxy
Jinx Jinx 10 years
Wow, I'm surprised by the double standard here. So its okay if the guy is handsome? Ted Bundy was handsome and charismatic.
yayita yayita 10 years
it depends if its nasty thins they are saying or complimentary things
LaylaCams LaylaCams 10 years
I should add, that's never happened to me btw.
LaylaCams LaylaCams 10 years
I don't find it offending. Now if he pulls up and says "hey baby you working?" THATS OFFENDING.
Snoop3 Snoop3 10 years
Depends on the day I'm having and what the person looks like. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable. A couple of weeks ago I was on the highway and was passing a trucker. He sped up to keep even with me and was looking down at me. I was just happy I wasn't wearing a low cut shirt or anything. It was creepy!
swwonder swwonder 10 years
It mostly makes me laugh, unless like other's said I'm in a bad mood in which case I just keep on walking. BeachBarbie: I agree with you I find that so rude and then the girlfriend starts giving you the evil looks.
Padraigin Padraigin 10 years
When they honk at me at 6 am when I'm out walking the dog in my jammies and iPod and keep on going, it's all good. It's when they stop that I get annoyed.
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