To be baffled at the male assumption that random women will wish to engage in sexual inuendo

(136 Posts)
Greythorne Thu 13-Jun-13 09:01:01

I do a lot of volunteering at my DCs school. I run a library and send out group emails with class info etc. (We are in France).

Yesterday, I send a group email asking for people to return their DCs library books.

One father replied that he would bring the book to the summer fair on saturday. Fine, says I, I will be running the "throw a sponge at the headmaster" stand, so look out for me there.

Father responds: Ooooh, is that the wet tee shirt stand?
Me: Gosh, I hope not. I will be rescinding my offer of help if so.
Father: Oh, don't say that, you might win!
Me: hmm

WTAF? Why? Why? Why?

I am a forty-something happily married mother running a library (FFS) and still I am seen as a target for sexual banter.

And yet so many women don't want to be feminists. Bangs head on desk.

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Tue 18-Jun-13 22:25:16

holy blush

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Tue 18-Jun-13 22:24:32

Later a male relative expressed sympathy for the yelling men, saying "They weren't to know. If another woman had walked it she might have found it funny and had a laugh with them".

Even if that were true (and it's obviously bollocks) even if 99 out of a hundred woman would think it was hilarious.. if one out of 100 women are going to think wholly shit this is a bit scary and rapey Wouldn't the decent thing to do be not risk it? confused

it can't NOT occur to them (or you family member) that some women will find it highly threatening?

SplitHeadGirl Tue 18-Jun-13 22:07:41

It is getting harder and harder to like and respect men. And I speak as one with a wonderful husband (who also doesn't like men very much) and a beautiful, innocent son. It is so sad.

scallopsrgreat Tue 18-Jun-13 21:55:47

Yes DoA. Women are expected to be responsible for men's behaviour (or at the very least handling it). That is why victim blaming goes on in rape/DV cases. That is why Nigella is expected to leave Saatchi and no expectation on Saatchi to stop being an abusive prick.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 18-Jun-13 21:46:45

Right, well, that post made little sense.

To clarify, there was a thread about the Mitch Benn quote that more time should be spent teaching boys not to be dicks than teaching girls how to handle boys being dicks. Your example, Kasey, was exactly that - YOU had to handle it by talking to the barman and leaving the bar, an alternate suggestion was that you handled it by laughing along and being flattered or whatever (grr) - no suggestion that actually it was the stag party's responsibility not to be dicks.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 18-Jun-13 21:42:23

It goes back to the "teaching not to be a dick" thread, I think - many posters were unreceptive to the way that message was sent, but whilst I think posters could assert that their close male friends and family wouldn't commit sexual assaults, I think that asserting they wouldn't be one of the men shouting, or even one of the men rolling their eyes but not saying anything, would be a far harder assertion.

Sorry, bit off topic but I do think that many men are either bad at or simply don't care to see which of their behaviour is intimidating.

KaseyM Tue 18-Jun-13 19:54:45

It was Doctrine, but we wouldn't want to let that get in the way of some drunk mens' entitlement to have a bit of fun now would we? grin

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 18-Jun-13 18:50:53

Kasey, that's horrible sad and very physically threatening for you.

KaseyM Tue 18-Jun-13 18:11:56

This reminds me of the time I accidentally walked into the wrong part of a pub and found myself in the middle of a stag party. Surrounded by 50+ men yelling at me "Get your titis out!" was quite intimidating but I managed to let my rage be known before I legged it (courtesy of bartender stepping in to help me out).

Later a male relative expressed sympathy for the yelling men, saying "They weren't to know. If another woman had walked it she might have found it funny and had a laugh with them".

As women aren't a homogeneous unit it would be nice to assume that the default setting was: don't yell "get your tits out" at random women unless they have signalled to you that they want you to. Just a thought...

OneMoreChap Tue 18-Jun-13 11:49:13

Sounds like an ignorant pillock. It happens, and sad to say if you point it out (even as a bloke) you are derided as not having a sense of humour.

I can understand why you didn't reply.

And yes, some women may like to engage in "banter" like that, and some women may suggestively chat to/sexually harass young men for giggles, but that's not what the OP is about.

Was it right the OP should have been exposed to that nonsense? No, and I can't see how there's an argument about that.

PromQueenWithin Mon 17-Jun-13 14:40:51

women who aren't feminists (ie most of them) would probably just have laughed off the wet t-shirt banter.

Really? confused

Not sure how you can support that statement, beyond a basic "Feels right to me, so must be a truefact"

StuffezLaYoni Sun 16-Jun-13 14:32:37

As many people have said here, surely the default setting when talking to new people should just be to avoid the sexual banter? I have a good sense of humour and love socialising with people, but I wouldn't welcome sexual innuendos about my tits from someone I'd just met. In fact, when a relative stranger does make those kind of comments, it really puts me off them as they just seem crass and not too bright.

Fillyjonk75 Sun 16-Jun-13 14:32:01

women who aren't feminists (ie most of them) would probably just have laughed off the wet t-shirt banter.

Just because they laugh it off doesn't mean they have enjoyed the conversation or felt remotely comfortable about it. I can't count the times men have been inappropriate with me and I've smiled politely while thinking "Fuck off you ugly wanker" in my head.

Fillyjonk75 Sun 16-Jun-13 14:28:00

I wouldn't be massively offended by such a comment but I would think someone who tries to engage in such 'banter' who doesn't know me from adam is rather socially awkward, a bit of an assclown and to be avoided.

Unless you know someone well you maintain formality in emails, simple as that. Also I've been with DH since I was 23 and I'm now 37, since we entered into a serious relationship I've never remotely flirted with anyone sexually, you just don't! Unless you have a very frail ego and are a bit sad that is.

lifeandstyule Sun 16-Jun-13 14:27:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Chubfuddler Sun 16-Jun-13 14:15:22

Maybe you should all wear t-shirts warning you are a feminist to warn men not to joke with you or even go near you.

that probably wouldn't help over the medium of email.

Maybe men just shouldn't make remarks about women's tits? That works.

Greythorne Sun 16-Jun-13 14:11:47

Gosh, if only I had thought of laughing off unwanted sexual banter, lifeandstyule.

All this feminist talk has obviously muddled my thinking.

Thanks for your advice.

lifeandstyule Sun 16-Jun-13 13:20:08

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HullMum Sun 16-Jun-13 05:01:47

I'm not sure it's been said but for some of the totally mad posters on here who see it as just a "bit of banter"..

Joking about wet tshirts contests? Wet tshirt contests are solely for male pleasure they are as sexist as you get, and unlike strippers or prostitutes the woman is doing it for the sexual gratification of men whilst not even getting paid.

So not only has he's said he wants to see her tits but he's basically called her stupid too.

In what dimension would the be reverse acceptable?

"library books..blah blah.. I'd love it if your jeans got wet and I could see the outline of your cock, and if possible I'd love to see it in a competitive situation where I could judge your cock against the cocks of other fathers of children that I teach."

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 15-Jun-13 16:36:34

Yes Special I agree. The male assumption thing for me comes under the general heading of That Sense of Entitlement too many of them have.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Sat 15-Jun-13 12:12:12

grin Parsley, you and I need wine, a good takeaway and a good debate I think!

(Men can care for the children. they run the fucking world, they can change a shitty nappy wink)

Anyway, done hijacking blush Will continue lurking and learning!

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 15-Jun-13 12:08:49

Special if its any consolation, I remembered the gist of what you said -and have repeated it for requests by pm

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 15-Jun-13 12:07:32

I agree with most on the thread that the default position should be not to assume women are up for the twingey y-fronty-type nonsense though.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Sat 15-Jun-13 11:59:54

I PMed you back.

I know what you mean about forgiving not forgetting. You'll see from my PM my personal reason for not forgetting.

Anyway, hijacking over! Still stand by deleted post... Wish I'd saved it to repost

piprabbit Sat 15-Jun-13 11:49:51

Thank you Special - I've PM'd you.
I can forgive my DMum, she had come round to tell me about some bad news of her own without realising I'd spent all morning with the police. But I can't forget what she said.

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