The Sexist

Sexist Comments of the Week: Honking Harassment Edition

Last week on the Sexist, my examination of street harassment through honking turned into a BATTLE OF THE SEXES. Do men get more harassing honks from straight guys than women do? Would you rather be constantly sexually harassed or pay for dinner? And how many women can a 5'9" guy bed in one night in South Beach, Fla.? Your burning questions, answered:

DirkJohanson writes:

Amanda, it appears to want to find bad deeds by guys targeted at women everywhere, but its not just all about gender. Guys are targets of The Douche Bag Who Honks, too.

I’m a guy that can in no way be visually mistaken for a woman, and very straight-looking males, often in pickup trucks, have honked at me on numerous occasions, often in combination with screaming out the window. They always do this when my back is turned to them, so as to startle me. It has nothing to do with gender, other than, in my experience, the gender of the offender has almost always been male.

That having been said, I am going to try to bring some truth to your post. I am sending out an alert on my blog, The Balls Monologues, asking my readership to stop honking at guys. After all, if guys are going to falsely accused of targeting women for misdeeds, a good deterrent to the false accusations is to actually start targeting the very misdeeds dreamt up about us. Hopefully the douche bags who honk will listen.

Victor writes:

I honestly don’t understand this at all.

I’m completely baffled. Why bother performing this action, which one would assume is instigated by a guy’s desire for the woman in question, when you just drive off in the end? I mean, even on the off chance that the woman was just standing there, thinking to herself “I’m gonna have sex with the next guy who honks at me”, he’s driven off by the time he’s finished honking.

My only conclusion is that the honkers are actually gay, and in fact do NOT want to have sex with women. The honk is just an attempt at making those around them assume they are straight. Guys that actually want to have sex would at least harrass women in person, where there’s that imaginary chance of success. Its only polite.

DirkJohanson writes:

Women aren’t the only ones targeted in public because of their gender. Just last Sunday, I was repeatedly harassed on Ocean Drive in South Beach as a result of my gender. As I passed virtually each restaurant, one hot chick after another stuck an advertcard practically in my face and verbally tried to coerce me into eating at the restaurants they were hostessing for. The cards were stuck in my face, not my date’s face. She wasn’t approached by a single one. The hostesses probably assumed, correctly, that I was the one paying, and also probably assumed, incorrectly in this instance(my date is very bi and had just shared two other women with me the night before), that I would be more swayed by being approached by a hot chick.

I was approached and harassed before I ate, and I was approached and harassed after I ate. I even thought that next time I go down there, I am going to wear a sticker or carry a sign that says, “I already ate.”

In fact, of course, a sign that says, “I already ate” is really the same thing as a woman wearing a wedding or engagement ring – it, in effect, says, “your time and energy is better expended elsewhere.”

As far as what to do about guys waving at you from construction sites – why does that bother you so much, anyway?

Magnetic Crow writes:

Yup, you guys keep whining about how unfair the world is to you. Meanwhile, those of us who have to experience this kind of crap almost every time we go out in a public space will continue to discuss it constructively.

Victor writes:

I don’t think the world is unfair to me. I’m tall, white and male with an upper-tier education. I think I was very lucky.

But that doesn’t give others free license to make illogical assertions. Dirk seems to like to whine, with an interspersal of “look at me” statements. His constant whining about paying for stuff can get very tiring, I agree. You don’t want to pay, don’t ask a girl out. To ask a girl out and whine about paying is a passive aggressive move which no one with any self-esteem would put up with for any length of time. Hell, I can barely stand it. The statement “grow a set” comes to mind.

DirkJohanson writes:

Victor, growing a set isn’t the issue – at least not for me, since I’m not the one trying to deflect criticism to another guy.

That having been said, growing tall is definitely an issue – a huge issue. If you’re not tall – and I’m not – most women these days expect you to pay for their virtually every move. There was an excellent study reported by the New York Times a year or two ago which found that, on average, a woman willing to be with a guy 6′ tall making $65K would require a guy 5′9″ to make over $200K to compensate.

As an example from my life, my date tonight, who I went out with once, has been flat-out asking me to wire money for days now. I can blow her off, and face the exact same thing from another broad soon enough, so what’s the difference? I’m not 6′ tall, have never done felony time, I like hot chicks, and I don’t have a job where I’m the boss and can fuck women in my office, so I am going to pay for it one way or another – that’s not whining, just reality.

. . .If speaking truth to female empowerment is considered whining, I’m happy to say I’m whining my balls off – even when I’m not. You should, too, before you retreat by dumping on fellow guys after you make good points merely because some whiney woman describes your good points as whining.

Victor writes:

Dirk – Drawing attention to an action = whining. You’re acting like some poor stereotype of a jewish mother listing off all the things she’s done for her son. You are short… and as such probably don’t deserve to date. But that’s another issue… The issue at hand is that you have created an exchange with some women which works for you. To assume that this exchange is the same deal all of us guys work out, is silly. And to keep drawing attention to the “poor deal” you got, is whining. I don’t see anyone else constantly bringing up the various concessions they may have to make in their relationships.

jules writes:

UGH, stop making comments that are more than 5 lines long! No one wants to read that shit!

DirkJohanson writes:

Victor, As patently clear from my post, I make no such assumptions – I, myself, went out with a girl less than half my age last year who insisted on spending more money on me than vice versa. I do, however, deal in dominant trends.

And, for the record, I’m not short – I’m just not tall – I’m 69″, which is one inch shorter than the average American guy.

Victor writes:

Dirk… Less than 6′ is too short for a male. You’re 3 full inches short of that. That means you’re short and you whine.

(how’s that Jules?)

DirkJohanson writes:

Victor, The night before the harassment incidents on South Beach I mentioned in one of my posts above I had sex with four women. How many were you with that night?

Victor writes:

Ah Dirk… First, even if I were inclined to believe you (and through the years, I’ve learned to only believe about 1/4 of what short guys say… so that makes, maybe one woman)… all that does is make you a short guy who had sex with 4 women that night. See how that doesn’t change your height at all? You’re not going to drag me into any “how many, where, how much” competition. I was a tall bartender in a popular dance club for a few years. I had my fun. I have no problem with you having fun too, I don’t even have any problem with you paying for it (as you’ve admitted in the past)… I just find your incessant whining tiresome.

Freaking short guys.

Christina writes:

I understand the frustration of non-male harrasers feeling accused but unless you’ve walked/biked around as a woman in this city you’re not really going emotionally understand the point of all these harrasers blog entries. I’m basing this statement off the responses I’m seeing.

  • Vanessa

    Whenever I want to get mad at men, I come here. :)

  • L


  • Amanda Hess

    Christina wins comment of the week.

  • Emily H.

    WTF, why did this comments section turn into a discussion between two morons about how unfair it is that they have to pay for dinner? Can't they just trade numbers & talk on the phone?

  • DirkJohanson

    One minor clarification, before guys from all over the world make vacation plans.

    I didn't bed the four women in South Beach. I bed them in Fort Lauderdale, at Trapeze swingers club, and went to South Beach the next day.

  • Amanda Hess

    Well fuck, Dirk, I already got my plane ticket.

  • Emily

    "I’m not 6′ tall... I like hot chicks..."

    What a hypocrite. Being a "hot chick" has a helluva lot to do genetics, just like height. Of course, it also has a lot to do with having enough free time and disposable income to for lots of beauty treatments, time spent at the gym, etc. A woman could get that money by having a high-powered career -- but then she doesn't have as much free time to actually use it. So duh, yes, the "hottest" women are probably more likely to depend on men financially. Being hot, even for the genetically gifted, is fucking expensive and time-consuming, but guys like this never stop to think about that.


    A not-hot "chick" who can pay for her own damn dinner every time, 'cause she doesn't spend thousands a year to meet the beauty expectations of self-absorbed assholes.

  • DirkJohanson

    Actually, Emily, sorry to invalidate your theories as to what "guys like this" think or don't, but THE guy you were referring to "like this" thinks about "that" all the time. In my own life, when I went from working out once a month to 10 times a week a few years ago, my income, unsurprisingly, took quite a hit.

    And I'm sure most "guys like this," many of whom have let themselves go physicially working long hours, are perfectly cognizant of the tradeoff that both sexes often experience in terms of work and physical appearance. Sorry you don't approve of the way "guys like this" choose among the tradeoffs because it doesn't match where you've consciously decided to position yourself.

    And I'm a "hypocrite" because I'm not tall but I like hot chicks? According to Webster's online, a hypocrite is:

    1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
    2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

    What you can't stand is that what I want out of life is more than what YOU believe my physical limitations merit. So, as a self-described "not-hot chick," do you seek out to date short, unemployed guys? Of course not, so you, as a woman, are entitled to strive for the type of partner you want, but I, as a guy, shouldn't: THAT's hypocrisy.

    Pardon me for not wanting to end up with the type of woman who doesn't respect guys enough to bother spending money trying to look good. Your appearance obviously reflects some not-hot emotions below the surface.

    And sorry to burst your apparent bubble that guys who aren't the most physically desirable are supposed to be content with women that are.

  • Em

    This is hysterical. Insecurities abound. Really?

    Shorter guys THAT ARE INSECURE have trouble. My boyfriend of years is 5'9 and is totally confident and happy with himself. I'm 5'7. I think I'm pretty damn cute, and I don't milk him for everything he's worth. Because that's disgusting. If you're going after shallow girls that can be bought into bed, don't complain about them acting like shallow girls that can be bought into bed! You should expect that. If it's not what you want, stop being so insecure and go for a different dating scene.

    But maybe it's not confidence. Maybe it's just that he didn't whine about paying when it's his turn and subject me to "hur hur look how big my dick is" stories of his "omg totally real" sexual escapades. Just a thought.

  • Emily

    Great, so you go to the gym 10x/week! Unfortunately, if you were a woman, that much effort wouldn't even bring you close to the minimum standard of attractiveness. That you think it does just reveals your naivety. Imagine, instead of making a fairly normal man's salary, you now get an average woman's salary. Now pretend you're spending money regularly on makeup, body hair removal, more expensive hair products and, if you're over 30, anti-aging creams, plus lots of other "small" expenditures that all add up. Then add the extra money women have to spend on clothes -- like it or not, women do "need" more clothes than men to meet societal standards. Feminine women's clothing is less generic than, say, a suit, so it's more noticeable if you wear the same thing all the time. Put it all together and you get extra expenditures of over $3000, on average, with a $3100 reduction in income. Basically, imagine your own situation, but six thousand additional bucks in the hole. And you're whining about a fucking dinner!

    Yeah, I def' have low self-esteem 'cause I know I can attract men WITHOUT routinely smearing chemicals on my face and ripping out all my body hair. Not men like you? Sure, but I don't want to. My self-esteem must be about as low as the average man, I guess, since they seem to think they're doing fine without those things too.

    And yes, you're a hypocrite. You whine about societal standards of attractiveness, then you turn around and demand women who meet societal standards of attractiveness. Sounds like definition #2 to me. BTW, I actually don't subscribe to the same standard of male beauty that society is pushing. I have *a* standard, sure -- I'm into guys who are nerdy and look it, who can hold a conversation, who hold shared interests, and who respect women. But I don't really care about their jobs, since, as I said, I pay for my own meals, and my definition of "tall" is about 5'5" and up, since I'm 5'2" and eschew high heels (whoops, there's my low self-esteem again). I'm sure it must be comforting to pretend that everyone is like you, but I'm afraid it's not the truth.

  • Ophelia

    Although there were many comments here I would like to take issue with...this one stands out;

    "Pardon me for not wanting to end up with the type of woman who doesn’t respect guys enough to bother spending money trying to look good."

    So women who are proud and confident enough not to spend money on ridiculous beauty products don't respect men? That's pretty rich, considering it's pretty damn hard to tell apart the clothes most men wear from day to day. Most men do not spend money on makeup, hair dyes, skin cream, anti-aging products, etc., if they did they'd almost definitely be branded as gay. If your opinion in any way represents the opinion of most men, men, not women, need to learn to respect the opposite gender more. Saying that by trying to be beautiful we're showing "respect" for men is essentially stating that we need to be beautiful in order to please men, in fact, states that we exist in order to be seen pleasantly by the male eye. it's hard for me to believe how much there is wrong with that statement, it almost embodies every stereotype and pressure and unwritten code for women in our society. Women who spend time and money on looking beautiful to please men don't have enough respect for themselves. Of course, that doesn't mean it's their fault, all that means is that there's one more thing on the list of offenses committed by men against women--giving us low self-esteem, which is absolutely true.

    I have never tried to be beautiful for men in general. I do try to look nice for the man I happen to be madly in love with, but him alone. And, for the record, he's shorter than I am, I'm five foot eight, he's five foot four, and I really couldn't care less, and his height does not correlate at all to the amount of money I think he should make. I don't care in the slightest how much money he can make, I don't even know that. I love him for him, not however much money he can give me. And I'd rather pay for his dinner than have him pay for mine, if he did insist on paying for my meal he'd get a rather long lecture on chauvinism.