Women Are Sharing The “Normal” Behaviors They’ve Been Forced To Change So They Don’t “Lead Men On,” And I Can’t Believe We’re Still Having This Conversation In 2021 by BuzzFeed

Women Are Sharing The “Normal” Behaviors They’ve Been Forced To Change So They Don’t “Lead Men On,” And I Can’t Believe We’re Still Having This Conversation In 2021 by BuzzFeed

(Link): Women Are Sharing The “Normal” Behaviors They’ve Been Forced To Change So They Don’t “Lead Men On,” And I Can’t Believe We’re Still Having This Conversation In 2021

Not too long ago, we wrote up a viral Reddit thread where women shared the behaviors they’ve had to change around men so they don’t get accused of “leading them on.” And, because society is a nightmare, there were even more upsetting responses from women in the BuzzFeed Community. Here are their stories:

Warning: This post discusses verbal harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and mentions of stalking that may be disturbing to some readers.

    1. “When I was very pregnant, I had a guy block my car because he was ‘into pregnant women.’ So, apparently, being pregnant is an invite for harassment.”

2. “I was once told that I was acting provocatively by just smiling at a man. There are so many things I’m afraid to do. I’m just afraid to be around them in general, TBH. I think I’ve earned that right as a trauma survivor.”

3. “I had to change my running route around my own neighborhood three times to avoid being followed, harassed, and actually stalked (three different men, one on each different route).
It got so bad that I bought myself a treadmill so I could exercise in peace. Now that I’ve started venturing out again, I wear a fake engagement ring and have a story ready about my imaginary super-jealous, 6’4″, 200 pounds of pure muscle Navy Seal fiancé.”

…5. “I’ve stopped asking to pet their dog. I’m not flirting! I just want your dog’s attention! I feel like I can only talk to dog owners if they’re a woman or a couple.”

6. “Saying that you’re single. Well, that MUST mean you need physical attention from some guy you literally just met. No. No, it doesn’t.”

…8. “I tone down my outgoing, bubbly personality. Every guy thinks I’m flirting just because I’m a very talkative and energetic person. Even my husband thought I was flirting with a random guy once. I was asking said guy about his farmer’s market booth and got excited about his awesome garden. Like, a literal garden.”

…10. “I don’t help men anymore. Once, I fixed a guy’s bike because I saw he was struggling on the side of the road. He then cycled behind me and next to me and kept pushing a date. When I ignored him, he told me I was ‘such a slut’ for leading him on.”

…12. “Just looking at men. I have been followed for BLOCKS because I dared to look up from the ground. Any time I can sense a strange man in my periphery, I keep my eyes glued to the pavement. I’d rather walk into a wall or a light post. At least the light pole won’t try to grope me or call me a ‘stuck-up bitch.'”

…17. “When I worked a tech support job that dealt with customers face-to-face, I wore a plain silver band on my right hand just because I liked it. But it quickly became a necessary part of my work gear, as some men would not give it a rest unless I quietly moved it to my left hand to look like a wedding ring. Do better, men. Be better than this.”

To all the men who STILL can’t differentiate between general friendliness — or literally just existing — and “flirting,” I’d like to say: If you can’t make that simple distinction and don’t understand why this kind of behavior makes us feel unsafe, you’re the problem. Caio for now!


(Link): Quiz: Science Finds Most Men Misread Whether a Woman is Sexually Interested

(Link): A Man Allegedly Shot A Baby In The Head After Her Mom Rejected Him At A Party by B. Sacks

(Link): Romantic Comedies: When Stalking Has a Happy Ending (from The Atlantic) / Men Who Mistake Platonic Friendliness For Flirting – So Annoying

(Link): Explanation of the Difference Between Flirting and Sexual Harassment is Spot On by S. Ankel

(Link): A Romantic Partner Is Not Meant to Be Won and Will Power Is Not Love by B. Cooper

(Link): Can You Tell When Someone is Flirting? Researchers Classify the Most Effective Facial Cues Including Slight Smiles and Head Tilts

(Link): Goodbye to romance: Are rom-coms worse than porn? (How Hollywood Feeds Into People’s Tendency to Idolize Marriage and Turn a Spouse Into a Deity)

(Link): Single Woman Meets Stalker Guy at Church – letter to “Ask Amy” Advice Columnist

(Link): Female Dragonflies Are Pretending to Die in Order to Avoid Irritating Males

(Link): Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

(Link): Why Nice Guys Don’t Get Picked by Women (podcast)

(Link):  A Teen Boy Tried To Kill Three Women “In Revenge” Because He Was A Virgin – felt that women “were the weaker” breed

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