The Ladies’ Guide to Living in a Man’s World

Hey ladies! This post is for you!

So we all know existing in this world as a woman is difficult. From dealing with catcalling to the extremely worrying rate of sexual assault, it’s definitely not a piece of cake!! We’ve all been groped at clubs, felt a little nervous when the Uber driver started asking uncomfortable questions, and had to send your friends your location while you walk home.

What are we to do?!

Ever wish you could just have someone tell you how to deal with those tricky situations? Luckily, I’ve created this super fun, easy-to-read guide to deal with men who make you uncomfortable. It can be applied in any country, for all ages of men, for virtually any scenario!!

The

1.  First off, make sure you’re entirely covered. This might not be a foolproof plan though, as we’ve all been catcalled wearing our bikinis at the beach too. Basically, this one is a lose-lose situation. If you’re covered, you’re harassed, and if you’re walking around naked, you’re harassed. Unfortunately, there’s not much to do with this.

 

2. Make sure you avoid all eye contact. Although, there is also the risk that if you avoid eye contact, they’ll follow you or grab you or just yell louder. So I suppose there’s no real right thing to do here, either. Maybe look once to show that you’ve acknowledged him and then don’t look back. This might work. Sometimes it doesn’t. I wear dark sunglasses and earbuds even when I’m not listening to music, so that it appears I am doing something and going somewhere; someone is expecting me.

 

3. Have something to defend yourself, just in case. Could be anything from a key to a knife. This is tricky however, because he might be able to grab the weapon from you and use it against you.  So maybe purchase one of those tasers that has a handle! You never know when it’ll come in handy. If someone approaches you and makes you uncomfortable, yell something (like “get away from me!”) really loudly. This could attract more unwanted men or attention, however, so maybe just stay silent and use your taser.

 

Here is a link to purchase a taser.

 

4. Only walk around by yourself during the day. However, this can also get tricky, as we’ve all been followed by an older man in broad daylight. I’ve found what works best to combat this is to either only walk around in large groups of mostly men (although then you’ll be heckled for being a slut), or to never leave the protection of your home.

 

5. If you *must* walk alone, it might be best to have an escape route. Have 911 dialed in your phone, your thumb hovering just over the call button. However, having your phone out could make you a target. Just remember that!

 

6. Don’t walk suggestively. Make sure you move in the most minimal way possible, to ensure the least amount of stares. Of course, you’ll probably have to hunch over a little to shrink the size of your body, and take smaller steps, but taking up less space is very much worth the fewer stares.

 

7. If you notice that someone is following you on the street, walk to the other side. If he follows you there, cross again. Stay on the side with more stores, more light, more people. If he’s following you in a car, make 4 right turns, because then he’s just followed you in a circle. Then drive to a police station. I learned that last trick in GL magazine, geared toward middle school girls, when I was in 7th grade, and I’ve used it many times. It’s very helpful to ensure you are safe in your vehicle!

 

8. Definitely do not smile at men. If you smile, they might think you are flirting. Also, don’t look at them for too long, because this also might be flirting. However, if you don’t smile, they might demand that you do smile. So, there’s not much to do there. Maybe constantly have a slight, mouth-closed smile on your face, with downcast eyes. That might be the best option.

 

9. Definitely don’t take any drinks that you did not see poured. This goes for alcoholic or not. If they are persistent, say you are the driver that night. If they offer to drive you/your friends home, say you’re on a medication that cannot mix with alcohol. Of course, then he might call you names, but that’s another thing altogether. It’s best if you pour or bring your own drink. However, he could always slip something in it when you’re facing the other way, so maybe just don’t drink at all. That’s actually probably the best idea!

 

10. Never act afraid. Men often love to comfort nervous or fearful women, so many sure you appear confident and strong at all times. Not too confident though, because you have to take up less space, remember? Also, appearing too confident might make a man intimidated and lash out in response. So look confident, but not *too* confident.

 

11. Never take any favors from men. They will probably think you owe them something in return, from a phone number to sex. Do everything on your own and never ask for help. As we’ve discussed, men often prey on vulnerable women, and asking for help can be seen as vulnerability. Many times, men will offer to help you carry things or walk you somewhere, but you should always say no.

 

12. Make sure to be alert at all times. Daylight, nighttime, noon or midnight, make sure you are always aware of your surroundings. Be looking behind yourself. Keep your head down. Don’t listen to music (but have earbuds in so you seem busy). Maybe pretend to talk on the phone so they know someone is listening to you. I know, it’s physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausting, but not being on constant surveillance leaves you vulnerable to others.

 

So, don’t drink, don’t leave your house, don’t show any skin at all, have a soft smile on your face at all times, be alert 100% of the time with a weapon on your person, be confident but not too confident, and have a charged phone with your location shared with several friends.

 

It’s tough existing as a woman out there, and our skins have to be super thick. Have any more tips or comments? I’d love to hear them! Leave them in the comments section below.

 

So, don’t drink, don’t leave your house, don’t show any skin at all, have a soft smile on your face at all times, be alert 100% of the time with a weapon on your person, be confident but not too confident, and have a charged phone with your location shared with several friends.
In all seriousness, it’s fucking difficult being a woman. Men, do better. If you call yourself a feminist, read up on how to make women feel safer. It’s not our jobs to educate you, it’s your jobs, as beneficiaries of the patriarchy, to educate yourself and dismantle it. Make us feel safer. Check yourselves. Call in your friends and do the work, because we do it every second of every day. 
Here are some things that men have done in my life to create more safe spaces in public. Think of more on your own, and talk to the women in your life about it:
  • Walk to the other side of the road if you’re walking behind a woman. Go out of your way to make her feel safe.
  • If you hear a woman being harassed on public transportation, and he won’t leave her alone, stand up for her. Sometimes, men need to be called out by other men.
  • Announce when you’re coming up behind a woman or a group of women. Something as simple as saying “On your left” before walking around them makes them feel a lot safer, because it’s not just a random man blowing past them.
  • Think twice before entering an elevator with one woman inside. If you do, stand farther away from her to help her feel safer.

Thanks so much for reading–

until next time, xoxo

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