Sketchbook: There and Back again Updated- 7/04/12
For example, every woman I know has had experiences with men being abusive, stalking, harassment, touching when not wanted, etc. Have you experienced this? Do you see how that would color our view of the world?
When I leave my house alone, I'm always aware of where any strangers on the street are. When I'm in a parking lot, I hold my keys in my hand and move quickly to my car. When I'm in a store and another male seems to be shadowing me, I leave and go to an area with other people. No man I know can relate to feeling like JUST LEAVING THE HOUSE is some sort of survival battlefield!
And the most interesting part of that is that it's second nature. It's like breathing. We don't even notice it sometimes. Now try to imagine living like that. Does it make more sense why women are so suspect and cautious?
I realize you're starting to understand this position (Which is great, because some of the stuff you said was very triggering.), based on what other gals have said, but I wanted to explain it more for anybody reading this who was confused.
I used to have to walk through the woods to get home from school late at night. I'd hold my keys really tight the whole way or put them between my fingers so I could punch them with the keys. Same when you're opening the door..
We need to be careful about the direction this thread is taking before we put on our big white pointy hats and lynch all the seedy looking men because they look seedy. Those damn men, as soon as you look away from them they gon' POUNCE ON YOU. It's best to keep a gun pointed at them at all times.
It's around the world too, some stories of course are older than others.
Things I learned for my safety.
I no longer sit by the window of the bus, because too many times men have wedged me there and have tried to/have touch me inappropriately. Not just because it was crowded. I either sit on the end seat or sit on the ones that are on the side so people can see if a guy tries anything.
I've reported guys several times for inappropriate behavior and response from the public transit is usually little to none. I was fortunate one time I rode with a driver I've known for a long time, because I took the bus with a co worker and SHE got groped by a guy. The driver had called security. I kept an eye on the guy to make sure he didn't decide to stalk her once she got to her stop.
I keep sharp pencils and keys in hand as a weapon. You want to try something, you're probably gonna get a sharp stab by my key or pencil, specially if I'm drawing.
I keep an eye out everywhere and turn down the headphones when I'm not in good areas.
I used to be more outgoing and friendly, willing to help guys or women when necessary. Quite a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch as they say. I now have to look out for myself.
My number one "rule" in a situation like that is to first remember/remind myself she is a person...she may have lot on her mind, she may be....a million things and not be open to any contact. So I always wait to read her body language and see if she's even noticed me first.
Depending on that "read" I make the gut-wrenching decision to either approach her or not - either way it is gut-wrenching. I always just try to be friendly and introduce myself and never be a pest or "hit on her".
Anyway, it can suck to be a guy too...sadly the only thing in danger is our ego and self esteem. I'll now go back and read the drama ( I don't mean to dismiss it as just drama by the way, it sounded like some actually decent discussion).
However, as strange as it sounds...I can relate to what you're talking about. I've been sexually harassed at work by a female boss and occasionally been the target of unwanted attention in bars, and hit on by gays (no big deal - just sayin). All that does tend to give one a bit of a look, just a hint mind you, of what women have to deal with from about the age of 8.
At the same time, you mention this kind of "on the guard awareness" being second nature. Myself, and most friends I know, have a very similar "awareness". I am always on my guard in public, scanning and noting wo is around and how they are behaving...and what I may have to do in a given situation....and where the doors are...and who is coming in. So anyway...men might have more going on than you're aware of as well.
In the end, trying to talk to random people whom you meet on the street and having an actual connection is really rare. All the friends I've ever had in my life I've met in either classes, or activities or work or other people have introduced them to me. I don't think I've ever met some person off the street where I ever saw them again or anything.
But I completely agree that it is really hard to meet people, especially if you're shy like me. I'm in a situation where I don't know anyone, all my colleagues are much older and I don't feel safe in the area where I live. So I don't have much contact with people which depending on the day can be fine or emotionally shredding. I'm hoping to take an art class in the fall in hopes to at least have a chance to talk to people because being lonely really sucks.
Last edited by Reutte; May 19th, 2011 at 07:53 PM. Reason: hit the button too soon.
And yeah I've broken up a couple of fights and even once did a heimlich maneuver.
But, basically, if I understand it correctly, people walking up to women on public transportation would get shot down no matter what they said or did?
It may be socially acceptable to chat someone up on a long distance bus trip. At least then you can pretend you're bored rather than socially inept or creepy.
Thing is though, that you can't seem to do anything without kicking someone in the shins. I'm sure there are women offended by the notion that they would need such protection from a man.
Towards the Girls being self protective and distant because of creeps. I can understand that completely.
But just in general not even in a creepy setting. Like a big public place plenty of people, just going up to a random person and even trying to talk to them not even just ask them out you get shut out completely nowadays. (There's some funny instances on youtube, you just almost feel bad. Guts churning at how awful some peoples reactions were to just someone saying "Hi nice weather we're having"). Its just socially constructed to not even talk to strangers at least around where I'm at.
Though to one of the above I read of asking a random girl if you can draw them. Personally I have the weird problem of the exact opposite on campus in the past. I had girls randomly come up to me every now and then and sit and chat about my drawings. Then some ask the standard "Hey could you draw me?" question.
I'm quite a bit quite naive though, mindset tends to be on the opposite spectrum as it doesn't work that way in society. The mindset of "Girls don't just come up and start hitting on guys nowadays" outside of some social setting like a party. They're just being friendly.
Of course that attitude tends to make me kick myself later sometimes.
.Edit: Read a page back and Arshes post on men misinterpreting signs is the exact thing I'm talking about actually haha. Then it comes to the matter of does she even like to draw. Is it one of those "Psh I can't even draw stickfigures" scenarios but even thenm who knows maybe they just like art. With guys women only think they're being hit on it seems to me, and with women there's guys that either blatantly misinterpret and think they're being hit on, or if there is general interest the guy blatantly misinterprets the opposite way thinking naw just being friendly haha.
Last edited by JFierce; May 20th, 2011 at 03:45 AM.
So here's another scenario. If the idea of approaching strange women is out, as I think we've ruled here, what advice would you give to the guy who has no friends and therefore no mutual connections, and works at home in freelance (so he can't meet people in the workplace.) let's also assume for this scenario that he doesn't have the time to take classes. I'm not even talking about an artist necessarily, just a rather isolated man.
It just seems that meeting people is very difficult nowadays... :/
P.s. I'm not necesarilly the guy in this scenario.
I suppose the solution is to have a "business card" and just go up to someone that looks interesting and say:
"I'm a chump, here's my card. Call me if we may interact socially." Give the card and walk away. Then go cry, because she will never call. Being a chump is a very unattractive quality.
Maybe he could go to annual/monthly gatherings (that are related to his occupation or hobbies) that he'd have enough time for and try to connect with people?
Gallery openings, events, places one frequents (including going to a public area to sketch/work), local community centers, neighbors...
Or chose the girls that look incredibly confident or slightly slutty.
Most girls have some confidense issues, and I've noticed that most of them have a rather high "Random strangers showing an interest in me are creepy" factor. This might be inaccurent though just an observation I've made.
If you are going real life, I would recomend stores or conventions. Particuarly entertainment stores (Games, videos, books) and hobby stores like art supply stores. Here you might even have a chanse with the lesser confident or highly introverted girls as you have a common interest. Art supply girls would probably not take "You have an interesting face, can we meet up at home so I can draw you" as a "You have a nice face, I'd love to draw your boobs" (A lot of people still think that all artists are perverted). Grocery store could go. I would personally not recomend clothing stores or public transportations but they could go for the high confidense girls.
Please note that I use "you" in the general sense, not personal sense.
Edit: If you go with the book store, make sure you are as far away as possible from the porn section. This also goes for the video store, but it might be harder there.
Last edited by Lady Medusa; May 20th, 2011 at 06:30 AM.
I think Jeff's posts are valid. Unwanted contact is unwanted contact regardless of your gender and sexual preference.
While there are differences in communication and signals, I find his points as valid as ours.
Men do get raped and assaulted too. When it happens reactions towards the victim are worse than if it was a woman in the same position.
I remember stories in the news where a guy thinks he's helping a female - like she said her car broke down and needs help. The guy gets out and gets robbed and assaulted.
JFierce, and yes I've also seen the problem where women often misinterpret a guy's motives for being friendly. Women tend to be more subtle in signals and often think a guy is trying to do "double talk" and have an ulterior motive.
There was a post about a guy has to be gorgeous to approach women. That's not necessarily the case, but social status also has a lot to do with it too. Money or your standing to others can cause women to be just as shallow as a guy who approaches a woman just for her looks (when she could have a rancid personality).
I do however, stand by my statements that men will often get the brush off at public transit due to safety issues. If you read the articles I provided, the amount of women who have been harassed (and some break it down as to what kind of harassment) it's pretty high percentage. With percentages that high, your chances of getting lucky are low..
@Jake - I'll vote for online dating too. My mate is single and, I've discovered, quite picky so she decided to join up on a few sites she always seems to be emailing someone now and has met quite a few guys now. As any woman she's uber-cautious about meeting people she doesn't know and doesn't walk anywhere alone at night but she has no qualms about meeting a guy in a public place that she's met and got to know online. More and more women are doing it now. (lol just thought of Debbie from the film Singles - man if you haven't seen that film it's funny)
Also the drawing someone you fancy approach seems quite an interesting idea, though from experience it is an intensly intimate thing to do as someone else mentioned. How about going to comic-cons and having a portable easel?
I don't think that approaching strangers in a public place is an effective means of searching for a long term significant other. Most women, and many men, are far too defensive in these circumstances to be receptive to advances made by strangers. I think many of the comments made to this point in the discussion support my assertion.
I think that joining special interest groups that:
1) promote activities that you actually have an interest in, and
2) attract substantial numbers of folks of the gender in which you have an interest.
is the most effective means of meeting that special someone.
Also, internet dating sites seems to be an effective way of meeting potential mate material. I know several long term couples who met this way. (Not that I have tried it myself - my wife would disapprove!)
I think it is perfectly OK to ask to draw someone, but let this be my last piece of dating advice:
The truth will set you free,
but first it's gonna piss you off!