The number of “get me out of here” tactics women have developed and shared to help each other escape from overly-insistent-to-borderline-predatory dudes in public places should probably be enough evidence of the existence of rape culture all on its own.
I especially like how, in the majority of cases, you don’t have to verbally communicate what your signals are to other women. I’ve had women I didn’t even know come save me. Literally every woman recognizes the “Dear god, help me” facial expression, and knows exactly what they should do. We don’t get a handbook for this. We don’t have a sit-down nail polish party where we talk about a standardized woman code for preventing creepers. It’s just part of being a woman.
BUT LOL RAPE CULTURE DOESN’T EXIST.
Yup. I’ve definitely taken strangers by the arm and pulled her aside to go, “Oh my GOD it’s you! How ARE YOU?!? It’s been so long!” and then been like “hey I could overhear that guy who wouldn’t leave you alone so I figured I’d give you an out” and then see their VISIBLY RELIEVED expressions. This is part of girl code, because rape culture is that pervasive.
I once had a girl sit on my lap and say “hey baby” after she witnessed a guy (who was easily 20+ years older than me) hitting on me and harassing me for my number even after I told him I was taken. After he got up and left she asked if I was okay. I couldn’t thank her enough times, I even bought her a drink.
Ive had a woman grab my arm in the girls room with fear in her eyes begging for help and asked me to hide her and escort her out of the club just so she could leave without a specific guy that was harassing her all night follow her home. He was waiting outside of the washroom but I put my coat on her with the hood up and we managed to sneak past without him noticing and get her safely into a cab. This happens far too often!
(Sorta long, sorry)
I was at a karaoke bar with my best friend and we got hardcore hit-on by this total creep, who turned away from the stage to stare at us non-stop for several minutes. First we asked him to stop staring at us and he straight-up refused so we got more aggressive and demanded he stop staring at us, which caused him to throw a massive tantrum which involved cussing us out and getting in our faces. When my friend (who was receiving the majority of the attention and aggression from him) told him she’s gay, he screamed that she is a “fucking dyke bitch” in her face. I tried to get a bouncer to help but as soon as the guy saw security coming, he stopped freaking out and sat back down. A few minutes later the creep went over to a woman sitting with friends at the karaoke stage and sat next to her, and over the course of a few minutes began leaning closer and closer to her and eventually put his arm around her and started playing with her hair. Everything about her body language said “Leave me the fuck alone”. She was facing away from him, leaning as far away from him as she couldn’t without falling out of her chair, etc. But he either didn’t get the hint or he just ignored it, and kept touching her hair, rubbing her shoulder and whispering who knows what into her ear while she pretended it wasn’t happening and continued her conversation with her friends, who sat horrified but never told the guy to fuck off. I walked up and asked the woman if she knew him and if she wanted me to make him go away and she said she didn’t know him but that she was fine, I didn’t need to intervene. However, her body language was SO clear (imagine sitting with one buttcheek on a chair, leaning as far as humanly possible to one side) that I went and got the bouncer anyway, who kicked the guy out finally. Hands down to this day it is one of the worst cases of predatory sexual harassment I’ve experienced in a bar. It also proved to me how afraid women are of men that they won’t stand up for themselves and say “No”, even if they are being touched and creeped on, and how important it is that we trust our guts and stick up for each other.(via misandry-mermaid)