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Old 09-23-2011, 04:22 PM   #1  
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Question How to deal with unwanted male attention?

I'm excited that I've lost weight and love life in my new body but I've been struggling lately with how to deal with male attention.

They seem to have come out of the woodwork. Every where I go, some guy has something to say about how I look or just tries to get my attention. I don't mind a pleasant hello or a respectful smile. It does get to me a bit that it's such a drastic change from hardly any attention before, though.

But, the times that get to me are the ones that aren't so respectful - more direct comments about certain parts of my body or unsolicited touching (the not so accidental bumping into me or falling on me). I feel like my body is on display. It makes me feel very vulnerable. I don't like it at all. It kind of feels like they can see me naked.

I plan to keep this body and even make it better so I need to develop a perspective to deal with this. Thoughts and advice?
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:57 PM   #2  
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My advice: Be blunt.

If you aren't appreciating the attention, tell them so. And the more aggressive they are in giving the attention, the more direct and authoritative you can be in your reply.

In cases of unwanted touching a very clear "No thank you" works well for me. "Excuse you." is also a good way to let them know you are distinctly displeased with whatever action was taken. I assume you are talking primarily about issues with strangers, as friends or acquaintances can be dealt with a bit more diplomatically.

The crude comments...there isn't much you can do about unfortunately. Ignoring them is my general response (not that I'm overcome with male attention or anything). Or, as someone suggested on a different thread, you could say "Oh my, you must be so embarrassed you just said that out loud!"

Its your body. Own it girl!
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:17 PM   #3  
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I agree tinneranne2, be blunt and stop the behavior in its tracks. I find that most men with even respond to a simple shake of the head. Unfortunitly, this is probably going to happen everywhere you go. I think some men may have a misconception that women like that kind of attention.

If I get unwanted attention I honestly try to ignore it. Try not to let them make you feel uncomfortable, they are only embarrassing themselves by acting in such a crude manner.
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:56 PM   #4  
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You'll get less depending on how you dress and do your hair/makeup.

Also, you'll get fewer if you appear to be on a mission. Don't look around, walk briskly - sends the signal that you're not available.

Combine the top two will drop the number a lot.

The only way to get the number down to almost zero is to be with another guy.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:03 PM   #5  
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i act oblivious or outright ignore any unwanted attention. i don't know that there's anything that you can do, apart from making yourself appear to be less attractive.

men have this general idea that women are here for them to look at, i guess.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:08 PM   #6  
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In my experience all it took was getting to my goal weight and the attention pretty much stopped. I'm not even kidding, but when I had 50ish pounds still to lose the male attention was ruthless. It really did seem that I was getting hit on from all angles. Then, all of a sudden, about 150, (at 5'6") the attention STOPPED. Seriously, dead in it's tracks.

Now when I get all dressed up and out on the town, I do get some looks and maybe a few smiles, but not one man has approached me or hit on me in any way. (bummer...lol j/k) Maybe it's the wrinkles, maybe it's my giggle, but my husband says it because men are scare of me now. haha!
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:27 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Bell View Post
In my experience all it took was getting to my goal weight and the attention pretty much stopped. I'm not even kidding, but when I had 50ish pounds still to lose the male attention was ruthless. It really did seem that I was getting hit on from all angles. Then, all of a sudden, about 150, (at 5'6") the attention STOPPED. Seriously, dead in it's tracks.

Now when I get all dressed up and out on the town, I do get some looks and maybe a few smiles, but not one man has approached me or hit on me in any way. (bummer...lol j/k) Maybe it's the wrinkles, maybe it's my giggle, but my husband says it because men are scare of me now. haha!
Maybe it's because now you are not 'attainable". That you are too good for them. They see their paunch and think, "eh... she won't dig a guy like me."

I don't have personal experience with it - been heavy for way too long. Can't believe I wasted my 20s and 30s being fat!!!
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:54 PM   #8  
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I have no idea how you dress, so don't take this the wrong way. However, a lot of people when they lose weight start to dress a lot sexier, which attracts attention. It's kind of a natural reaction to weight loss to start wearing some of the things you were too intimidated to wear before, but if you're doing that, then that can bring some attention along with it. Some may say it's unfair that women can't dress the way they want without unwanted attention, yada yada, but life isn't fair, and that's the way it is. I think some women dress provocatively without even realizing it. Again, this may or may not apply to you.

Also, you're probably carrying yourself a lot differently. You probably have a lot more of a presence when you walk in a room, so people are going to notice that.

I honestly don't mind attention, but I haven't had the bad sorts-- like the touching thing. I have only ever gotten smiles or a little flirting. The touching or crude comment thing would bother me. If you're brave enough, the suggestions of being direct will help, but only after it has happened. Are these strangers or guys you know?
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:13 PM   #9  
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I live in India where dating, being alone with the opposite sex, and sometimes even being with the opposite sex in public is forbidden in most parts of the country. Unfortunately this leads to hugely sexually frustrated male teenagers who have no idea how to interact with females in a healthy, respectful way.

Regretfully it manifests itself in an unseemly way- catcalling, making a kissing noise when they walk by you, blatantly licking their lips and taking your picture with their phone, yelling "Hey Sexy!" from their motorbike when you walk along the road, pinching butts and breasts, grabbing crotches in large crowds, and worse.

What JohnP recommended helps me. When I am alone in public I walk very briskly and usually I have a very stern look on my face. I hold my head high. I KNOW I will be noticed (not because I am any sort of beauty to behold hah but because I am a foreigner, and female) and trying to dodge that only makes me look vulnerable.

I also have to dress VERY conservatively here (ankles and arms not showing, high collars), but hopefully you won't have to resort to this. It's a shame that women have to modify their clothes and the way they express themselves because some men decide they can't control themselves if they don't. It should be incumbent on the man to view her with respect and treat her with respect, regardless of her looks or clothing.

I don't think I've helped you much, just want to empathize and share what has worked for me. good luck!!
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:32 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
The only way to get the number down to almost zero is to be with another guy.
Nope, I get it frequently even when I am with my husband, and he is VERY obviously my husband!


I disagree with the idea that any woman should have to be super careful of how she dresses in order to not have men be disrespectful. No, I'm not going to run around dressed like a hoochie, but my skirt being somewhere above my knee and my shirt showing the slightest bit of cleavage does not give some guy the right to be a jerk.


If they are just saying things then I try to ignore them. If what they say gets too rude I give them a haughty look and make sure my ring is displayed (though the ring part won't work if you're single). If that doesn't work then I flat out ask them what makes them think they have any right to speak to/about me that way, so far that has not failed to shut one up. If some guy touches me I very clearly let him know that if it continues he will be extremely sorry (and I have made sure that I am capable of making such men sorry should I ever need to).
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:34 AM   #11  
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[QUOTE=FitGirlyGirl;4044838]Nope, I get it frequently even when I am with my husband, and he is VERY obviously my husband!


I disagree with the idea that any woman should have to be super careful of how she dresses in order to not have men be disrespectful. No, I'm not going to run around dressed like a hoochie, but my skirt being somewhere above my knee and my shirt showing the slightest bit of cleavage does not give some guy the right to be a jerk.


QUOTE]

I was actually referring to women who dress like hoochies. I agree-- what you're describing, which I consider "normal" modesty level should not be a problem. But if you let your boobs hang out, wear a teeny miniskirt, painted on jeans, etc., then expect to get some attention. That's why a lot of women wear those things in the first place. There's a time and place for certain types of dress, and stuff like that in a grocery store is going to attract some attention.

And people really bother you when with your husband? I've never had that happen. My husband is a taller/more muscular guy, so maybe guys are intimidated. There has been one time in recent months where my husband got irritated at some guy for staring at my butt or something, but I didn't even notice it-- he did.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:40 AM   #12  
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I find that when I wear high heels, it's terrible. People scream stuff at me and sometimes guys will go around five times if I'm waiting for the bus just to try to start conversation. Totally flattering, but also at the same time it makes me feel extremely self conscious.

If you don't want that attention, I find that when I'm wearing more androgynous clothes and have no make-up on (my combat boots help a lot too!) only the cool kinds of guys talk to me. Yay!

There's no reason for anyone EVER to touch you or try to touch you without your consent. You should not stand for that. That's considered sexual assault. I don't even know what I would do if someone touched me inappropriately out of nowhere. Probably punch them then call the cops.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:46 AM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FitGirlyGirl View Post
I disagree with the idea that any woman should have to be super careful of how she dresses in order to not have men be disrespectful. No, I'm not going to run around dressed like a hoochie, but my skirt being somewhere above my knee and my shirt showing the slightest bit of cleavage does not give some guy the right to be a jerk.
I agree- a woman SHOULDN'T have to dress super carefully. The onus is on the guy to behave himself. Even wearing a low-cut dress and what society deems "slutty" or revealing doesn't give him the right. You're right, the woman should anticipate more attention, but it still isn't warranted.

I choose to dress the local dress here- long, loose-fitting, very conservative salwar kameezes and kurtas- as opposed to nice-fitting Western shirts and shorts. The stares, comments, gawks I would get from men AND women are too annoying, and the possible eve-teasing/yelling I would get from men is too stressful (and even dangerous).

But I'm in India, it's a different society with different ways of viewing women. (And I'm trying very hard not to go off on a tangential rant about how poorly women are respected here).
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:56 AM   #14  
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I honestly just look men in the guy and say:
"Ew..."
If they keep it up (which happens maybe 1/20 times by that point) I just say:
"Does that REALLY work for you?"
and walk away. If you can't, make it an educational experience:
"You know, you're going to die alone in a nursing home if you keep that type of behavior up... " etc.
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:43 AM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FitGirlyGirl View Post
I disagree with the idea that any woman should have to be super careful of how she dresses in order to not have men be disrespectful. No, I'm not going to run around dressed like a hoochie, but my skirt being somewhere above my knee and my shirt showing the slightest bit of cleavage does not give some guy the right to be a jerk.
Hear, hear.
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