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Joe Eaton recorded a remarkable account of the motives behind street harassment. One question I wish he had explored, though, is how to dismiss a harasser. Some women play along, some get angry, and some pay no attention, but what works best?
The most impressive dismissals I’ve seen were back in college. The storefronts across from the University of Texas were usually crowded with unemployed men, while the sidewalk was full of young female students. Drooling attention was dispensed by the bucket; most women just seemed to take it. But I dated one girl who didn’t. Every time some ne’er-do-well pulled the kissy face, the catcall, or the whistle on her, she would shout, “Get a sex life!” Though she didn’t cow them, she was loud enough to stun them.
Is yelling back the best way? How do you fend off the creeps?