Story Time: This past weekend, I went to a sports bar with some teammates. I was setting my purse down when I felt hands on my waist- and I know that my teammates wouldn’t dare grab me. I turned to see a drunk man, probably around 30, staring at me. His friends grabbed him, shouting “We love you!” as a waitress ran over to get them out of the restaurant.
For once, I was happy my girlfriend wasn’t with me.
Since I started dating my girlfriend, we have been catcalled, stared down, and been the subject of unwanted attention. See my post on the oversexualization of lesbians to get more information on why lesbians are catcalled constantly. Having your significant other with you can lead to more harassment if you are queer, but it also means that you have someone by your side to defend you. Protecting your relationship isn’t easy, but it’s a necessary evil that everyone, gay, straight, or queer, has to deal with at some point.
Here are some ways that girlfriends (and boyfriends!) can get rid of unwanted attention and deal with scumbags. These tips also apply when dealing with angry homophobes who won’t stop making inappropriate comments. (i.e: the use of the word pervert, faggot, ect…)
This may seem extreme, but even the threat of physical violence can go a long way. When my girlfriend and I had first started dating, we were approached by two gentlemen who apparently wanted to do more than just stare at us. Her arm had been in a big cast for the past month, and she threatened to hurt them with it. It worked and they left! Physical violence should be a last resort for when you are legitimately worried about being physically hurt, but don’t be afraid to threaten violence to scare someone away.
2. Call the police
When you are just plain tired of dealing with jerks, call the police. While I haven’t had to do this before, my girlfriend has used it as a threat when being bothered by a drunk man. The police are a community resource. Don’t be afraid to use them if you or your significant other are being harassed.
If you are uncomfortable and you have the means to, just leave the situation you are in. During my experience at the bar this weekend, my teammates were willing to leave the restaurant if the drunk man didn’t. Since he was kicked out, I felt safe with my friends so we stayed.
4. Ignore them!
This is perhaps the most effective way of dealing with weird comments and catcalls. Simply ignore the immature people who are being rude, and move on with your life. They aren’t worth your time.
5. Stand up to them
My favorite way to get rid of creepy guys (or girls!) is to talk to them until they are upset.This isn’t something that everyone is comfortable with because it invites said creepy
guy/girl into a conversation. However it also gives you an opportunity to say what’s on your mind. I have talked to guys before that legitimately didn’t understand why catcalling was wrong- they thought it was a compliment. Standing up for yourself also allows you to feel confident and take charge of the situation.
My girlfriend and I have been able to successfully ward off unwanted attention by sticking up for each other. When she is being stared at, we leave. If someone makes weird comments about us, she says something. Being in a relationship means that you are willing to sacrifice. We shouldn’t have to go through what we do, but if you’ve been in a similar situation then hopefully these tips give you and your significant other a way to ward off unwanted attention.