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Apr 21 2013

Snappy one-liners

Ever been in that situation where you see an attractive woman walking down the street, and you’re trying to think of something to shout out, and your mind just goes blank? Here’s a helpful collection of things you could say.

55 comments

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  1. 1
    sheila

    I love these guys.

  2. 2
    Abdul Alhazred

    Here is the link to the video on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P4eVjwVd_U

    The comments are very illuminating.

    I see the trend as being the exact opposite of what is intended.

  3. 3
    vaiyt

    The correct thing to say is, of course, nothing. I don’t know why people think they need to voice these things out loud. It’s like walking around a bunch of people you don’t know and shouting “HEY, I HAVE A BONER!”.

  4. 4
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    Well, youtube comments. If some people get it and improve that will be good. The entrenched misogynists will need something a lot stronger to change them.

  5. 5
    slatham

    I wish I’d seen this back in 1996. I would have felt more confident in speaking up.

  6. 6
    damien75

    What is probleamtic in this video is that we have no idea what the other guy said.

    The maker of the video have a message: there are things that it is not right to tell women on the street. But what are they?

    Could it be anything?

  7. 7
    sundiver

    damien 75, if you have to ask, we can’t explain.

  8. 8
    damien75

    Thank you sundiver, that is very helpful.

  9. 9
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Could it be anything?

    You got it exactly right.
    The other guy asking a woman standing beside him on the bust station what hour it is? Unafuckingcceptable! Seriously, dude, don’t you even dare look in the general direction of a woman, let alone speak to her. God. Some people are disgusting.

    The other guy saying Good morning to a colleague in front of the building they both work at? You tell that bastard to keep his filthy mouth shut!

    Yeah, damien75, comments of those guy in the video were about some guy saying anything to a woman. Anything. *scary voice*

  10. 10
    damien75

    @Beatrice (looking for a happy thought)

    Given that your comment is obviously ironic, I see you get my point.

    So what remains? What do the makers of that video think is unacceptable? Why not be more specific about it?

    This video looks like ther are xome crucial bits missing, that is what happened a fex seconds before the character on the screen speaks.

  11. 11
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    damien75,

    Well, I sure am getting your point. I don’t think you’re getting the point of my sarcasm, though.

    Yeah, I guess they could have added a short bit with some dude saying “Nice tits, bitch!” before the sequence but then again, guys like, well.. you could still play dumb and claim that well of course that is sexist, and you would never ever say that. Except maybe when drunk. Or if her tits were reaaaally extraordinary, or you were out with other dudes and you were egging each other on and… you know, boys will be boys stuff. *nudge nudge wink wink*
    So the video would also have to include stuff like “Smile, you’ll look prettier” which, while not being sexual harassment, would still definitely be worth of one of these snappy come-backs. So then we would also have to add all other stuff that a Nice Guy would say on the street, totally oblivious to the fact that you don’t say that kind of shit to women on the street. Because otherwise, guys would still play dumb over what exactly is which the guys in the video object to.

    This is not new. Every time we discuss things like not fucking drunk women who might be an “easy lay” after you (general you) become blurry enough, some guy appears asking how many drinks is too many. Are those beers or martinis, or maybe shots? What if she seems to be handling those 6 shots really well? And so on and so forth.

    So I really don’t appreciate you playing dumb here. It just reads as different story, same crap we get every time when it comes to this mysterious thing that is interaction between men and women. “Women are from Venus, men are from Mars” is crap, not a life philosophy. At least not one that anyone should desire to live by, if they are not a complete asshole.

  12. 12
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I see this video not mentioning specific insults as a benefit, a way to encourage you to question yourself and find whether anything you would say to a woman on the street might deserve a come-back like that. No, you don’t get to get a nice and easy list of all the wrong things to say, because I hope you realize that is impossible. You are supposed to listen to this and think “Hm, maybe saying [...] to that hot redhead last week was a wrong thing to do. ” Maybe you’re not a guy who says shit to strange women on the street. In that case you won’t find yourself in this, except maybe as a guy who would join with a snappy come-back. In that case, great! Maybe you are not recognizing yourself in this because you are too busy asking for a list of exact specific things that are wrong instead of actually thinking about it for yourself. But maybe I am expecting too much from men. What do you think, damien75? Am I overestimating men’s intelligence?

  13. 13
    Chris Clarke

    My guess is damien75 knows exactly what kind of comments constitute street harassment, may well be a consistent provider of street harassment himself, and merely wants to derail the discussion by rules-lawyering an example list of harassment lines.

    “I didn’t see the word ‘melons’ anywhere on your list, so what are you complaining about?”

  14. 14
    damien75

    Dear Beatrice,

    I just had a nap.

    At some point I thought about all this and had the idea that the video was not a good video because it will only convince those viewers who are already convinced. No surprise when one is so fuzzy. It just leaves other people struggling for themselves. And that is other people who have an interest, not the people who will discard that video right away.

    I believe that when I have a message to get through, I am clearer than that, and I am right to do so.

    In restrospect, the point of that video may be, if I may say so, “internal use”, a video from people with a certain set of ideas to other people like them. I am fully aware I may be wrong there, but I have ton consider that possibility, and if it were true, it might very well be a very good video.

    Then I got up and read your comments.

    You write “I guess they could have added a short bit with some dude saying “Nice tits, bitch!””: well at least we would know what we are talking about, right? That would be a starting point. Thank you for giving me that example.

    Now that I think of it, I’m raking my brains but I have to say I never hear that in the street. And I am not deaf nor hearing impaired, nor do I wear headphones. Recently, however, a Belgian student, Sofie Peeters made a movie about the things she would hear in the street while walking through Brussels. Unfortunately she apparently removed her videos from the internet.

    I found this, though, and it is in English:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIyccXJ8ehg

    Sorry abouth the strange layout, I didn’t find out how to make it look normal.

    “So then we would also have to add all other stuff that a Nice Guy would say on the street, totally oblivious to the fact that you don’t say that kind of shit to women on the street.” I have to confess that sentence is obscure to me.

    “So I really don’t appreciate you playing dumb here.” Apparently, I am dumb. I’d rather had straightforward answers, no psychology added.

    In the next comment you write: “No, you don’t get to get a nice and easy list of all the wrong things to say, because I hope you realize that is impossible.”

    Well, I beg to differ. I understand you consider there are some things not to say to people in the street. I think so too but we may not have the same things in mind. In any case, there is a possibility that a short list may cover 95% of occurrences of these things, and may be good enough a source of examples to help finding out about the things not listed.

    If you look at my first comment, what I am saying is: some context might help. It’s what the guy says, but also how and whom to.

    There is also a possibility that there anything can be said to anyone in the street in a non offensive way. There might be a good way to say anything, no matter what it is. A friend of mine does it very well, on a dare he once showed me how he could say “I’m gonna gouge your eyes.” to people in a way that would make them smile and that they would find friendly.

    “Maybe you are not recognizing yourself in this because you are too busy asking for a list of exact specific things that are wrong instead of actually thinking about it for yourself.” Dear Beatrice, I have a lot of thinking to do and that topic until today was not on the top of my list. You will no doubt understand that not everybody has the same main focuses as you have. Besides there is only so much thinking I can do in one day. That is why a little accuracy might help me.

    “maybe I am expecting too much from men” no idea. I don’t know you at all. Nor do I know men so well, actually. Why don’t you start working on that hypothesis and lower your expectations?

    “Am I overestimating men’s intelligence?” may be, but maybe, just maybe, sometimes your message is not clear enough.

    I do not want to sound paternalistic, although I fear I will, but anyway I am going to go for it: I have to say, keep in mind not everybody comes from your neighbourhood. Not everybody has your history, or the history of people in your social circle. What is obvious to you might not be obvious to somebody else. I know that what I am telling you is in some sense so obvious it is bordering on insulting, and I am sorry for that. But it seems to me it is a very common mistake that people make, and that you might be making, to believe that the other people “see what you mean”.

    Anyway, I thank you for having taken the time to make things more explicit.

    Regards,

    Damien

  15. 15
    damien75

    To Chris Clarke:

    Seriously Mr Clarke? Seriously?

    You don’t know me the least in the world, but you have a guess about me that I “may well be a consistent provider of street harassment”?

    Well I have to say that is so very nice of you. Not aggressive at all.

    I wonder how that compares to telling to somebody that they should smile more or that they have an amazing… bosom.

    Is that kind of guessing appropriate?

  16. 16
    Jafafa Hots

    Damien,
    Consider the possibility that the reason the objectionable comment is not heard in the video is so that those few people out there who honestly (not looking-for-an-excuse-and-full-of-shittingly) do NOT know what the offensive thing a man might have said to a woman was…

    …will be forced, rather than checking just one of thousands off possibilities off of a list, to actually engage their brain and think about what those possibilities are, what men say to women, and hopefully what they themselves might say or have said in the past.

  17. 17
    damien75

    Dear Jafafa Hots,

    I do consider that possibility, but I do not think it is the best way to go about getting the message through.

    Plus I think that if one has a statement to make… One should make a statement, and not let other people fill in the blanks.

    Regards

  18. 18
    Jafafa Hots

    (you might also consider the possibility that calling out your opinion of a complete stranger to that stranger on the street is with few if any exceptions obnoxious behavior, period.)

  19. 19
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh yeah, I’m more and more convinced that the video is lacking and not that damien is playing the good old derailing game I gave an example of in my first response (the “how many drinks” example). Riiight.
    Especially with the part about his friend being able to say anything to people without them getting offended.

    I’ll be off to bed soon, so I’m not going to waste any more time repeating myself tonight. I think I explained myself pretty well in my previous comments. If someone is not willing to think, I’m not going to waste sleep on it. I am not impressed, though, damien75.

    Same old, same old.

  20. 20
    Jafafa Hots

    Plus I think that if one has a statement to make… One should make a statement, and not let other people fill in the blanks.

    They DID make the statement they intended.
    Barring language difficulties, few people are likely to misunderstand.
    Even you clearly understand, you’re just using the imagined ignorance of others as a reason to complain.

    It’s pretty clear that you approach this message not with the intention of comprehending it but rather with the intention of nitpicking it to death.

    Given that, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that if this video DID contain the objectionable comment (or even the limitless number and variations possible) that you would still find a reason to nitpick it.

  21. 21
    happyrabo

    @damien75

    I’m a computer programmer. Treating convoluted logical structures literally is part of my job. Sometimes I dream in code. I too sometimes get irritated when people are too vague about something I think should be stated explicitly.

    That said, you’re utterly wrong about this. Leaving out what the original comment might have been was the right call for this video. When your aim is to encourage people to think about what sort of statements might trigger responses like those in the video, letting people fill in the blanks is entirely appropriate. So, fill in some blanks! What are some examples of things you think might justly trigger responses like that?

  22. 22
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Jafafa Hots,

    Given that, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that if this video DID contain the objectionable comment (or even the limitless number and variations possible) that you would still find a reason to nitpick it.

    Yup. Another one of my points that damien75 ignored. Ignorant innocents who have no idea about what might be inappropriate to say to women on the street, or even constitute sexual harassment, still wouldn’t get the message if an example were given. Because an example is never enough . You gotta give them the whole list, because otherwise poor dears won’t have any idea about how to interact with people.

    So many generations of boys raised by wolves. You would think someone would have conducted a study about them by now.

  23. 23
    benco

    I don’t think the message of the video is exclusively directed at the hypothetical street harasser.

    It’s also for guys who know him and are made uncomfortable by his actions, saying to them that they can and should speak up about it.

    It’s also for women in general, saying that it’s pretty damn reasonable of you to expect better of men.

    If it also happens to get a man to insert things that he’s said into the empty line preceding the video, and think a little critically about it for once, all the better.

    (Of course, this all can be expanded gender neutrally and be completely valid, but it remains valid without that)

  24. 24
    carlie

    Hello, Damien! You might like to read this and all associated comments, particularly the ones talking about how it’s not the end of the world if people don’t ever approach strangers in public and try to chat them up. Yes, ever! Turns out that this doesn’t actually cause the end of society as we know it! So no, it doesn’t really matter what the initial statements were. See, they still rely on assuming that other people are there for your own amusement, and that it’s perfectly ok to push other people’s boundaries and make them enforce their own boundaries against your intrusion rather than assuming upfront that they may have things they’d rather do than talk to you, both of which are pretty shitty ways to act.

  25. 25
    Argle Bargle

    Damien just wants to know what comments are good, bad or indifferent. “Nice tits” is probably bad, “bodacious ta-tas” could be iffy, but what about “Excuse me, madam, but you have particularly good looking mammaries”? Damien is Just Asking Questions, also known as jacking off.

    Seriously, Damien, if you don’t know if a comment would be appropriate, assume it wouldn’t be. If in doubt, try not to be an asshole.

  26. 26
    damien75

    Thank you happyrabo for that constructive answer.

    Quickly, beacause I cannot write for long.

    “What are some examples of things you think might justly trigger responses like that?”

    I can imagine things that might trigger responses like that. But those I already know.

    I found out that the world is frequently different of what I imagine it to be. If I want to know what women are told in the street and find offensive, I am not going to speculate. I am going to go in the street and observe, or ask some women. It is a long and tedious process. I’d be pleased to have somebody else’s results.

    Really, imagination is the wrong way to go about it. I have been surprised too many times about what people think or the way they perceive things to leave it to my imagination. Sometimes, somebody will say something to somebody else that I’d think is an insult, and the other person think it is great.

    In any case, I want to know what the people who made the video have in mind, not what I imagine they have in mind.

  27. 27
    Forbidden Snowflake

    The maker of the video have a message: there are things that it is not right to tell women on the street. But what are they?

    For straight dudes, a good rule of thumb is: shit you wouldn’t say/do to a man in the same situation.
    So if you don’t allow yourself to comment on some strange dude’s powerful pecs, don’t comment on women’s mammaries, either.
    If you walk away and leave a guy alone when you’ve tried to talk to him and he seemed disinterested, do the same with a woman.
    Really, not brain surgery.

    At some point I thought about all this and had the idea that the video was not a good video because it will only convince those viewers who are already convinced.

    Re-read what “benco” said. The video does not try to change anyone’s mind, just to encourage people to do what they already know is the right thing by showing them a few of their peers doing it. Basic PSA material.

  28. 28
    Chris Clarke

    damien75

    Well I have to say that is so very nice of you. Not aggressive at all.

    It was me giving you the benefit of the doubt based on my assumption that no one could really be that fucking stupid.

  29. 29
    Jafafa Hots

    In any case, I want to know what the people who made the video have in mind, not what I imagine they have in mind.

    The video is not so much about what phrases and comments the people have in mind as it is about what comes to the minds of the viewers.

    That might be “Yeah, I known exactly the kind of thing they mean!”
    or it might be “geez, I wonder if I do this? I’ll have to reflect on my habits and things I say.”

    Or it might be “I can’t possibly imagine what they’re talking about! This is such a long and tedious process! Won’t someone please create a 15 year long YouTube video to list every possible interaction so that I know how to behave?”

    But probably not the last one so much. More likely “I found something to criticize!” followed by the “I can’t figure it out!” insincerely stated as merely a tactic.

  30. 30
    jefrir

    Now that I think of it, I’m raking my brains but I have to say I never hear that in the street. And I am not deaf nor hearing impaired, nor do I wear headphones.

    You’re also not a woman. This may skew your experience slightly.

    And if you actually want to know about street harrassment, why don’t you fucking google it? The term was mentioned many times in the video, and it’s not as if there’s a lack of information about the subject on the internet. Not every conversation should start with the assumption that the audience knows nothing.

  31. 31
    chigau (違う)

    damien75
    You could always go to the website shown at the end of the video
    http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/

  32. 32
    chigau (違う)

    also, I like “raking my brains” but it sounds messy

  33. 33
    cicely

    Now that I think of it, I’m raking my brains but I have to say I never hear that in the street. And I am not deaf nor hearing impaired, nor do I wear headphones.

    damien75, going from your ‘nym, I assume you are a man. I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt (rather than go with the assumption that you are a troll, deliberately and maliciously feigning ignorance).
     
    Thing is…you may very well have heard these things, without them even registering. The comments are not made to/at you: AutoEdit. It doesn’t affect you, so it may not (as far as your notice goes) exist in your world. Not your foot, not your shoe pinching.
    -

  34. 34
    PZ Myers

    I wonder how that compares to telling to somebody that they should smile more or that they have an amazing… bosom.

    Plus I think that if one has a statement to make… One should make a statement, and not let other people fill in the blanks.

    You seem to have done a fine job of filling in the blanks all by yourself. So why are you pretending to be stupid?

    Or perhaps you aren’t pretending.

  35. 35
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    It would be far too difficult to follow a link to learn about what street harassment is. And how can one every expect men to express their condemnation of street harassment until every single random commenter on the internet has been told, ad nauseum, what street harassment is. And there is universal agreement about it being a bad thing.

    The good news is that once damien75 grasps what street harassment is and why it is bad, there will be no need for social disapproval by men, because every other man on the entire planet will have already ceased doing it.

  36. 36
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Oh look, a handy page of definitions from a variety of sources, found under the “resources” section on the Stop Street Harassment website. But probably none of these will be good enough, because none of the definitions give a specific list of Bad Werdz(tm). Poor damien.

    http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/definitions/

  37. 37
    carlie

    People don’t exist for you to talk at them. They are in public because they are going about their daily business, not because they are looking for people to talk to. It is perfectly ok not to talk to them.

  38. 38
    rq

    I like the group groan the best.

  39. 39
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @damien75

    Are you stupid? No? Then I’m sure you are perfectly able to work out the kind of thing they are talking about. Don’t come on to strangers in the street. It is very simple. Also, don’t come on to a thread about street harrassment and engage in the most obvious campaign of JAQing off I have ever seen. Any adult is perfectly capable of working out what is and isn’t appropriate to say to a complete stranger on the street. If it’s innappropriate, don’t say it. And ta-da! You are no longer part of the problem.

  40. 40
    rootrudee

    @thumper1990

    I do like to compliment people unknown to me in the street, in fact, I do it quite often.
    Passing perfect strangers, I smilingly compliment their choice of wardrobe, shoes or their hairdo (never their size of – well, whatsoever, though).
    It has to be done quick, sincere, cordial AND (most important, that part): one has to send out a clear signal that one does NOT wish any further contact with the complimented person, e.g. by walking on as fast as one had been doing before complimenting.
    Otherwise this action could be mistaken for flirting.

    It helps if one is accompanied by children, by the way.

    This action obviously brightens up the day for nearly every complimented person — but only “nearly”, as most men I —a man myself– complimented on their shoes, for example, were not certain what I “really” wanted, looking at me quite bewildered.
    Women, on the other hand, always were grateful that someone noticed.

  41. 41
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    This action obviously brightens up the day for nearly every complimented person — but only “nearly”, as most men I —a man myself– complimented on their shoes, for example, were not certain what I “really” wanted, looking at me quite bewildered.
    Women, on the other hand, always were grateful that someone noticed reacted the way they had been trained since infancy to react – act grateful for the attention, wanted or not, to avoid the risk that person giving the compliment will turn nasty if you don’t behave appropriately.

    FTFY

  42. 42
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I have a special look of bewildered contempt reserved for people like rootrudee. It combines “Wtf who are you why are you talking to me” and “Fuck off, creep”.

  43. 43
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @rootrudee

    This action obviously brightens up the day for nearly every complimented person — but only “nearly”, as most men I —a man myself– complimented on their shoes, for example, were not certain what I “really” wanted, looking at me quite bewildered.
    Women, on the other hand, always were grateful that someone noticed.

    Did it ever occurr to you that women react exactly the same way as the men, but because gender steretypes say they are meant to be flattered by shit like that they appear to react favourably?

    Be honest, if they visibly reacted the same way men do to such comments, what would your reaction be? What would your opinion of that woman be?

    And complimenting strangers in the street is creepy enough without adding the line “It helps if one is accompanied by children, by the way”.

  44. 44
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Unless rootrudee lives in Stepford, I sincerely doubt responses to his “compliments” are overwhelmingly positive.

    Although, since his advice is to drop the compliment and keep on walking fast, I doubt he can really take much notice of whether the answers are positive or negative.

    In short: we are being bullshitted.

  45. 45
    sundiver

    Jesus Iced Haploid Jumped up Christ on a Pogo Stick, Damien75 proved my post (#7) was absolutely right. Then xe doubled down. I wonder if xe might ol’ chunderfoot. And, one day, rootrudee may just get a surprise. Some women I’m acquainted with don’t take too kindly to that kind of shit.

  46. 46
    David Marjanović

    Women, on the other hand, always were grateful that someone noticed.

    …Let me guess: you come from a place where it’s normal to talk to random strangers. Rural US?

    Because over here, if you talk to a random stranger for no good reason, people will think you’re drunk or otherwise legally insane – and then they’ll fear you. Men, women, children, anybody.

  47. 47
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Women, on the other hand, always were grateful that someone noticed.

    Oh yes, ALL women are ALWAYS grateful to hear about your opinions. ALL of us, ALWAYS. because women are a monolith. We all think alike, talk alike, walk alike, dress alike and we always, ALWAYS love hearing what random strangers think about our fashion choices, bodies and general fuckability.

    Yep, no sexism here. Nosiree!

  48. 48
    carinade almeida

    @rootrudee

    Dude, that is just creepy. Like the guys in the vid said – Just STOP IT

  49. 49
    roro80

    damien75 #6

    The maker of the video have a message: there are things that it is not right to tell women on the street. But what are they?

    Could it be anything?

    Well, one thing’s for sure — you probably shouldn’t be interacting with people in public if you’re this clueless about what is and is not appropriate behavior.

  50. 50
    erikthebassist

    Que: “But plenty of women like being complimented, in fact they crave the attention. If you’re offended, YOU’RE the one with the problem, not me” in 5… 4….. 3…. 2….1….

  51. 51
    WharGarbl

    @rootrudee
    #40

    Women, on the other hand, always were grateful that someone noticed.

    Not all women are the same. As you stated, some men are uncomfortable about it. Likewise, some women might be uncomfortable about it.

  52. 52
    Jafafa Hots

    If it truly “helps if you are accompanied by children,” that’s a pretty good clue right there that something you’re doing is not well received and the presence of children merely mitigates your creepiness to some degree.

  53. 53
    myeck waters

    “…and the presence of children merely mitigates your creepiness to some degree.”
     
    More likely the presence of children inhibits them from responding in the way the creepiness deserves.

  54. 54
    rootrudee

    First of all: thank you for your replies. I can see your point, but you are, if I may note, on the wrong track.

    Coming from a small town (where people were connected and quite friendly to one another) to a big metropole (where salespersons were prone to treat even their regular customers as if they had never seen them before), one of the things I learned was that the metropolitan citizens –at least in Northern Germany– simply were afraid of crossing borders they thought every one surrounding them might have.
    (Btw, that’s one of the reasons why people can lie around dead in their apartments for weeks, which happens frequently here.)

    Normally being rather shy, one day I decided to cross these borders, and was quite astonished that people were not unfriendly or hostile.

    As a principle, I assume that all of the commenters here think it’s a virtue to speak up.
    I do find it interesting that speaking up seems to be a virtue only if you speak up AGAINST something but “creepy” if you speak up FOR something you like — which can be an elaborate hairdo of the person beneath you.
    (This certainly excludes any utterances concerning sexual preferences you might or might not have.)

    Did I make myself more clear this time?

  55. 55
    rootrudee

    Oh … english is not my native language … “a person beneath you” should read “standing alongside you”.

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