If you’re a woman who leaves her house, chances are you’ve encountered some kind of discomfort thanks to rude or intimidating men. Suddenly, normal actions can seem loaded — like bending over to pick up something you’ve dropped or running for the bus. People can stare and make you feel awkward — and suddenly your world gets a little smaller as you avoid certain places or decline certain activities.
On Reddit, women are sharing the actions or movements that they’ve grown uncomfortable with doing in public, and it’s really sad.
Let’s bring back eating bananas at work or while walking around town. Let’s take off our sweaters with ease instead of struggling out of them lest some demented dude thinks we’re putting on a show. It’s time.
1. Bending Over
“Bending down to get something.” — thaswhashesaid_
“Eating, especially things like bananas.” — haf224
3. Walking Past Men
“Just walking past a group of men and feeling their stare behind me.” — uniqaa
4. Smiling At Strangers
“Oh god SMILING AT strangers. There’s a public park near my house and I used to go there around 7pm for a while to walk. It had a track that went around the greenery, as most parks do. This older man and I were walking in opposite directions of the track, so we would face each other when crossing paths. As an observer, I was impressed with his commitment to walk everyday for an hour. Idk what I was thinking about but I was freaking smiling and then locked eyes with him so he smiled back at me in the next lap. Pretty normal, it’s nice to smile at strangers right? It’s friendly, kind even. Then I stopped going because I couldn’t find the energy to.
A month later, I decided to go for a walk again, crossed paths with him in my first lap and he stopped me to ask why he hadn’t seen me for a while. I told him I was busy with college and he said okay. Then he said he wanted my number and told me he wanted to be my friend. I told him, ‘No that’s okay’ and walked away without giving him a chance to response. It was so dark and I was so scared about running into him again, I skedaddled for dear life out the park and went home. I’ve not been able to go back to that park since because it was so scary but that also meant there was no nearby public space where I could go to.” — perfectlylonely13
5. Adjusting Your Boobs
“Scratching or adjusting my boobs.” — Rachel_BA1
6. Taking Off Your Jacket
“This one doesn’t seem to be very common, but, taking off my jacket, even when it’s getting way too warm and I’m starting to sweat. I always fear that one of the people nearby is a wacko who will mistake it as me doing it specifically to show off my body to him. It’s seems incredibly silly to me as I’m typing this out, but I’m kinda paranoid anyway, so idk.” — IndependentCrazy
7. “Just Existing”
“Sometimes just existing. For example I’ve recently stopped shaving my legs and the amount of hateful or gross comments I’ve gotten from strange men on the street is genuinely insane and frightening. Running and jumping is a big one too for me because of my boobs.” — aliciachiquata
8. Being Bubbly
“I have ADHD and the amount of times being disorganized, impulsive, and bubbly is seen as ‘manic pixie dream girl’ is so f*cking annoying. I can’t just be nice to people without them thinking I’m flirting. That and being awkward/shy around a man is taken as attraction too. Can’t f*cking win.” — fuckmylighterisdead
9. Eye Contact
“Eye contact with anyone I’m not supposed to meet.” — slurymcflurry2
“Running or even just walking briskly. I’m breastfeeding right now and because of that my boobies are pretty huge. There’s just no containing them. I was chasing after my toddler and those bad boys were just bouncing everywhere. I ran up some stairs in public the other day and every single guy was looking at me.” — cuckedprincess
11. Helping Men
“I really don’t like how scared I am to help men. Does he really wanna know where to pay for a parking ticket or he just wants to get in my car? Does he really want to see the machine my dad is selling or he wants to get me in garage alone instead? I know how cold and reserved I must look like.” — MorningLightTea
12. Going To The Gym
“I don’t go to the gym and I’ve never really gone to the gym because of men. Maybe one day I’ll be able to afford to go to an all women’s gym.” — jasmine-blossom
13. Picking A Wedgie
“Picking out my wedgie.” — Working-Flamingo6500
14. Sucking Lollipops
“I used to suck lollipops all the time when I was quitting smoking and a guy in a pub literally called me ‘wild’ because every time he saw me I had a lollipop. As if anything I choose to put in my mouth MUST be some kind of sexual invitation, there was no other reason I might put anything into my mouth in public. He said he would never suck a lollipop in public. I said that was intensely sad for him, lollipops are f*cking delicious.” — punkpoppenguin
15. Basically Everything
“Just simply walking alone in an empty area of the city, traveling alone, asking a stranger’s help, taking off my cardigan/jacket (when I’m wearing a tank top/sleeveless top underneath), smiling at strangers, receiving free drinks from strangers, falling asleep in the train/bus, getting drunk.” — KitKatCookie9