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Walkie Stalkie
Great article by Cathy Seipp on stalking. I particularly liked this excerpt:

...I've interviewed (Gavin) de Becker, author of the bestseller "The Gift of Fear" and other books, and have noticed he's refreshingly impatient with men who pooh-pooh women's experience of being bothered by strangers. Reading in his books about how to keep teenage girls safe from unwanted attention, I thought of things I hadn't in years. How my sister and I used to be regularly asked by strange men if we were twins, for instance, which of course insulted both of us.

De Becker told me that at one group he addressed, a man complained that he was in an ice-cream shop, "and there were these two teenage girls who looked like sisters, but I wasn't sure, and because I read your book I didn't feel I could ask them if they were sisters." Perhaps the man was expecting to be assured that friendly small-talk was OK. Instead, de Becker told me, he responded sharply: "Why should a 50-year-old man be asking teenage girls these personal questions? Do they have some duty to reveal their lineage to you?"

Although many of his views -- that battered women do have a choice to leave, that murderers are created by abusive or neglectful parents -- go against the grain of our Don't Blame the Victim society, none, de Becker says, has been more controversial than his simple insistance that women do not have to be nice - that they have, in fact, the right to be rude.

Posted by aalkon at September 10, 2005 8:03 AM

Comments

I like that, but it's hard. Especially if you were raised to always be polite, I'm just starting to get used to being mean because when I'm not, guys think it's an open invitation to bother me. And when I tell my aunts or older women what I say, they get all upset and say it wasn't necessary to be rude. But it wasn't necessary for them to talk to a complete stranger who's at least half their age in the first place so...

Posted by: Lia at September 11, 2005 5:05 AM

I had a friend when I lived in NY that always had guys bothering her because she was so beautiful. One time, she was dancing at a club, and a guy danced over to her. She danced around until her back was to him. He danced to her back for two songs, tapped her on the shoulder and said, "If we keep this up, people are going to say we're dancing together!" She looked at him with great disdain and said, "Well, we're not."

Posted by: Goddyss at September 13, 2005 4:58 PM

I guess being congenitally bitchy and having no compunctions about being direct (ok, rude) can be advantageous at times.

Posted by: Melissa at September 14, 2005 7:34 PM

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