These are 20 women share how fearful they stopped doing these innocent things because of fear

It’s crazy what fear can do to a person. Women must be careful not to reveal too much about themselves. Because if a case were brought against them, they could be blamed for what they wore that day. You can’t be too nice to men either, but it’s not acceptable to be rude either.

Women are taught to avoid the word no, to apologize when they don’t, and to smile to avoid confrontation. But why should they? Why should women live in fear that these basic and innocuous manners could cause so much trouble for others? See what some women share about their stories in a Reddit thread.

1

“Playing with my hair, many things actually, some dudes think every single thing a female does is because she wants him.

In my experience, you can’t treat most male friends the same as female friends. I want you to succeed in life because you’re my friend and I care about you. Most dudes would read way too far into it, it’s f*cking annoying. I don’t want to have to analyze everything I say to the opposite sex to make sure nothing I say makes them believe I’m leading them on in any way.

I like being a “mother hen” kind of thing, I like feeding people and making sure they are ok, ie I make birthday cakes for any friends who don’t get one. I wish more people saw it that way and not some f*cked up version. Just because I am nice does not mean I’m in love with you, I am only trying to treat you like a decent human being.

I play with my hair because of general anxiety, constantly doing something with my hands is just something I’ve always done, for job interviews I have to wear my hair back so I’m not messing with it, I’m not f*cking flirting.

This got kind of long, but yeah some dudes are just crazy.” – NewNavySpouse

2.

“I don’t let on to any guys I just met that I’m into gaming, especially if I know they’re gamers too. There’s still this stereotype floating around the gaming community that women who game are a rarity or they’re not really a gamer, just a slut trying to get male attention. So if I bring up gaming early on I usually get one of two responses: either the guy keeps hitting on me relentlessly or I get the Gaming Pop Quiz. Any woman who plays games knows exactly what the Gaming Pop Quiz is.

There’s also a third option which happens way less often, but I’ve experienced it all the same: guy just outright becomes hostile, like I’ve dared to step foot in the boys-only clubhouse or something. In all of my 20+ years of gaming that’s only happened to me twice, though.

And just a disclaimer: most of the guys I meet while I’m actually gaming are cool dudes. For some reason, I only get this behavior out in the wild.” – Aelle1209

3.

“Let’s just say I don’t eat bananas in public anymore.” – erinsuzanne

4

“If I have to pick something off the ground I bend my legs and squat down to do it so it doesn’t look like I’m showing off my a*s, even though it’d be a lot easier to just bend down.” – acontreras1228

5.

“Licking or biting my lips. Used to stick my tongue out when I was concentrating on something, that went out the window real quick. Sucks having to be overly conscious of unconscious facial movements, even chewing on a pen is risky.

Oh yeah, and no licking ice cream cones in public. Ever.” – reluctant_slider

6.

“Trying to politely decline their advances. Sometimes I have to be rude just for them to get the point.” – convergence_limit

7

“Well, I’ve taken to dressing like a hobo so men don’t think of me as a sexual being. I get treated like, ‘That guy who wears baggy clothing and has long hair…’ It’s alright.” – SheTroll

8.

“Whenever I’m talking with a guy, I’m always super conscious about not mentioning too soon or too late that I have a significant other. Too soon, and it’s ‘jeez, I was just making conversation!’ Too late, and it’s ‘jeez, way to lead me on!’ Thankfully, since becoming engaged, this is less and less of a problem, as my ring sort of speaks for itself on its own.” – Cat_Toucher

9.

“Being in shape. Many men think that women get in shape solely to impress them, so fitness is like an open invitation for unsolicited attention.” – EmbodimentOfChaos

10

“Asking a question or giving them a compliment.

But the worst thing is when I’ve walked back to my car alone and in the dark. I’d been out that day and was wearing cute and kind of revealing clothes. A guy followed me from the train station to where I’d parked (about 10 minutes), and when I got in my car he started to yell at me for leading him on. We hadn’t spoken, but we’d made eye contact a couple of times on the hour-long train ride, which seemed to be enough for him.

I didn’t think that the phrase “leading someone along” was so literal, but okay.” – darlinglark

11.

“Acknowledging that I recognized any of my male ‘regulars’ back when I worked at retail.

Seems like good customer service, right? Remembering that Joe always gets 3 packs of reds or Mac gets a six-pack on days [Sports team] is playing away or asking Jake how his car rebuild is coming.

Yeah, that’s how I got stalked, followed home, and threatened verbally with rape when I explained that I’d only ever been professionally friendly. The cops dismissed the matter because it was he said /she said (Jake said I’d invited him over) and no damage had been done, my coworker/roommate cheerfully told them how friendly I’d been with Jake whenever he came into the store, and my employer refused to ban him.” – HatlyHats

12

“Not accepting any favor from a man. No rides. No coffees. Avoid avoid. It sucks.” – betweensadmad

13

“Mentioning that I have a girlfriend, weirdly enough. You know how saying you have a boyfriend is normally pretty good for making guys go away? Well, saying you have a girlfriend just leads to a bunch of gross questions and offers of “if you’re ever looking for a threesome, hit me up” (gag). Like what, does this guy think I’ll go home and excitedly tell my gal pal, ‘Guess what? I met a guy at a bar, and, you won’t believe this, he wants to have SEX with BOTH of us!! What a rare and exciting offer, we need to take him up on this!”‘ – strych91

14.

“I work retail. So I’ve had to stop wearing makeup, stop smiling, and entirely stop being polite. Because as soon as I smile and say “how are you today?” I get told he’s going to “take me out to dinner and put me in lacy panties,” and then goes to my coworkers to find out what time I clock out.” – na_tica

15.

“I gradually stopped going to our local board games community after several people hinted that I was doing it to get male attention and find a “nerdy boyfriend.” That was pretty soul-crushing. I just genuinely loved board games.” – Mornedhil

16

“There was that time when I was eleven and I started needing a training bra and my teacher gave me a weird talk about keeping bra straps hidden at all times? I didn’t even know how to properly adjust the straps so they wouldn’t slide and I really didn’t need Mr. N’s bra strap advice as an impressionable eleven-year-old.” – ZePistachio

17.

“Like general affection, even with hugs and compliments, I’m pretty reserved unless our relationship is clearly drawn out and we both know that nothing is being implied.” – ColorMeCuriosity

18.

“Today, apparently, I shouldn’t have carried a nightstand down the street. It was a little awkward but not heavy at all, and some dude came up to me and tried to take it from my hands, unasked. I held onto it and told him, “no thanks.” He kept pulling on it. I had to ask him to let go.

When I said “Jesus Christ” he went on, “Oh, like it was such a bad thing.” Yes, dude, that was absolutely a bad way to try to help someone out. You don’t take something from someone’s hands unbidden if you actually want to help them. Frankly, you pulling a medium-large object from my grasp makes me think you’re trying to steal from me or con me.” – stink3rbelle

19

“Being young. Turning fifty was the best idea I’ve ever had.” – saltshapedpear

20.

“Showing any kind of concern for a guy. Like if you have a guy friend that looks sad and you try to be a good friend and comfort them that’s seen as flirting somehow. (plus most of the stuff everyone else posted).” – waytobookish

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