Often it is a leer, a whistle or a remark. No matter how modestly a woman dresses she often has to endure this behaviour simply because she is deemed "less" than men. How can a Christian woman discourage this behaviour without resorting to words or actions that dishonor Christ?
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This may not be the most "Christian" answer you'll get, but it comes from my experiences with some really frightening men in a city library & in museums and living where I do (in a rural area with a heavy meth problem.) I think this has little to do with women being perceived as "less" than men, but a combination of factors ranging from just general lack of class to men being egged on by their immature companions and sometimes alcohol. Even in Victorian times behavior like this went on, but our society has made it even more common for beautiful models to show their bodies in ways that are clearly designed to appeal to and elicit expressions of male lust. These models and bathing-beauties send uncultured men the message that even respectable women WANT this kind of attention and that women enjoy being objects of attraction. Some real cads enjoy seeing a woman blush, or even frightening her a little..and few people in our society correct them for it. This is one of those cases where you may not can help the birds flying over your head; you can only stop them from nesting in your hair (as the old saying goes.) You can't control what someone else does and in many cases there's nothing you can do about suggestive cat-calls. There are some men who would make crude remarks to a nun dressed in a full habit. Honestly, these men are simply not worth a Christian lady's notice, other than to pray for them. There are some words that a lady just does not hear. You just have to ignore these men and go about your own business, and call the cops if things get out of hand. Of course use common sense: dress modestly, wear clothes that allow you to move freely, carry yourself with reserve (don't flirt with the men or answer their cat-calls), don't make eye contact, keep personal space, have somewhere you're going and look busy, and don't shake your hips or make any gestures that might be seen as a come-on. Don't be loud and call attention to yourself, and don't even condescend to make any gestures in their general direction. There is also a time and place for having a brother, father, cousin, or male friend walk with you a few times. Something about seeing you with a man, especially one who looks like he throws anvils for a casual hobby, sometimes sends a clear message to men like this. Again, some of these men function on a very low level; it's sad but true. I could tell you a funny story about my friend who foiled a would-be burglar with a shotgun and her Great Dane (the man ran away screaming that she was a crazy women with the biggest dog he'd ever seen), but the message intended here is that you're neither helpless nor responsible for what men say about you falsely or even if they try to paw or pinch you. I think a lot of these rude men sense fear and a victim-mentality; if taking a martial arts class or learning to shoot (if this is legal in your area) will help you feel more confident, then do it. The Proverbs 31 woman was strong, not weak, and God expects us to use wisdom and the ordinary methods of protection that He places at our disposal.. You have to decide for yourself what's appropriate to the situation, the laws in your area, and to your personal views about pacifism. Also read some of the Psalms about God being your shield and protector. Speak softly, act respectably, don't be overly familiar with strange men....and carry a can of pepper spray and be ready to use it.
I have been affected by this same issue and honestly there's nothing that you can do to make a difference. There are men mainly on my job that have approached me inappropriately that I never held a conversation with that would give them the impression that I'd be o.k with such behavior. Some men are just simply disrespectful. You can be careful of what you wear, keep your conversation clean and decent, and go so far as to avoid them altogether and it really won't make a difference. The only thing that works for me is to pray for wisdom to know how to handle the situations as they come up and pray that God would touch the hearts of these men to respect themselves, their marriages, and women more than they do. It's a very sad and sometimes depressing situation to be in indeed.
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