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18 Feb

How to get street harassers/creeps to leave you alone

A while ago I wrote about what it’s like being harassed and catcalled by siff men while walking in town.

I’ve tried every approach to getting men like this off my case: Pretending to be married, ignoring them or just the good ol’ “Fuck off”. None of these seem to have any impact whatsoever.

So I’ve come up with a more powerful strategy.

When a guy asks you, “Why are you not smiling?” say:

1. Because Heath Ledger is dead

If you can manage a few tears while saying this – EVEN BETTER.

Hopefully he doesn’t know who Heath Ledger is.

2. Because you smell

That’s right, I’m childish like that. Tit for tat, you shit.

When a guy catcalls you, do one of the following:

1. Shout the exact same thing back to him

But like, super dramatically. If he shouts, “Hey bokkie!” shout it back at him with the most manic look you can muster.

What can he say back to that? Fokkol, that’s what.

2. Point to the guy nearest to you and give the catcaller a thumbs up

Oh, mister catcaller – you have excellent taste in men!

When a guy follows you:

1. “Call” someone

And talk about your period, that weird fungus under your foot – anything embarrassing, really.

Pro tip: Make sure your phone is on silent.

2. Rub your stomach and say “We’re almost home, my baby”

When a married guy makes a suggestive comment (Yes, this happens):

Just stare at his ring

Don’t laugh. Don’t respond. Don’t blink. Just stare at his ring until he cringes so hard that he needs to go home to his wife to get Spasmend.

If you’re brave enough to give this a go, please let me know if it works. If you have any other ideas to add to this list, comment below or tweet me – I’d love to hear it.

  • Meagan

    I love the staring at the ring suggestion. It’s like saying, “Really, you forgot that you’re married?”

    I have to say that I usually just ignore catcalls, but I often feel like I should say something, because it’s not right.

    Once I did correct someone who called me baby. I was like, “That’s not my name.” And then I told them my actual name and explained how what they said wasn’t a compliment. That worked for that situation.

    February 18, 2015 at 2:33 pm Reply
  • Abby

    If it is some dodgy creep then I will just say fuck off in my strongest voice possible and give a death stare that says come any closer and my heels will slice your throat. Otherwise I have done this on a couple occasions (it works especially well with the tik heads), I say a random phrase in French that doesn’t sound like obvious French that is actually “I am sleepy, so I am off” in a really sinister voice like I am putting a curse on them and then I chuckle and sometimes say your are cursed. I know it sounds crazy but it works and it has worked every time and one even apologised and asked me to forgive him before scurrying away. Don’t mess with me just because I petite and a woman!

    XoXo One Stiletto At A Time

    February 18, 2015 at 2:53 pm Reply
  • Modupe


    Can I just say though that the preggers one might not work? Didn’t work for my mom in a supermarket one day, at 7 MONTHS ALONG. Some people have absolutely no shame. The Taylor Swift one is my totes fave, except when I do it I don’t say anything, I just twitch and jerk and look around me like I’m hearing voices (but apparently not his). I will definitely be trying the thumbs up!

    February 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm Reply
  • Gugu_A1

    LMAO! I am soo trying these *sigh of relief*

    February 18, 2015 at 11:59 pm Reply
  • Shalane

    I swear the people at work must think I’m crazy, cause I’m laughing so loud right now! I am definitely going to give these a try. These guys can be such douche bags. Have a lovely day Anja

    February 19, 2015 at 5:56 am Reply
  • Ina-Mari

    Oh this is perfection!

    My favourite is when you drive behind/next to a bakkie full of workers giving you the smoochy-wink-thing…and then you stop at the same robot. My response is always to hang out the window and shout loudly: “Nou wat nou?! You wanted my attention now what?” Usually they are too embarrassed to say anything back. Only once did a guy pick up on the joke, get out and kneel in the middle of the road and acted as if he was proposing. That was hilarious, because it was mid-traffic and all the other cars saw what happened, so I actually laughed instead of cursing at him.

    February 20, 2015 at 8:45 am Reply
    • Leigh-Ann

      DAY MADE!

      February 25, 2015 at 2:09 pm Reply

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