Friday, April 26, 2013

Shit just got real on Missed Connections

In an incident somewhat reminiscent of January's Incident in the Fishbowl, there has been a series of heated exchanges on Ann Arbor's Missed Connections revolving around whether it's OK to honk at/yell at women who are running. Gentle readers, in case there is any confusion, the only times when it's OK to honk at someone running is if they are violating a traffic law and you might hit them, or some similar situation. The only time it's OK to yell at someone who is running is if you know them , of if they are unaware they are in immediate danger (e.g. the bridge is out, you're literally on fire, you're being pursued by a pack of rabid bears). I suspect you already knew that tough.

Here is the original post:

Guy who honked at me - w4m - 23 (A2)
Do it again and I will shoot out your windshield, motherfucker.

Your harassment is not welcome.

That goes for all of you.

Here's the response:

re: Guy who honked at me
Stop wearing next to nothing and jogging down busy roads. Whore.


Here are the remainder of the posts in the exchange. I'll just post links and titles, because you can basically get the gist.
3. Re: re: re: guy who honked at me - m4w (A2)

4. Re: re: re: re: guy who honked at me - m4w (A2) - w4m

5. Guy who honked at me. (Hate and discontent ) This post is noteworthy. It seems to be the guy who posted number 3. It's in response to number 4. He first re-posts all of response number 4. Then copy edits it making some minor grammatical changes. Finally he posts a third version where he adds his own parenthetical rebuttals. This is the true mark of a great argument on the internet. Remember, if you don't agree with something someone said on the internet, don't try to make a convincing counter argument, just correct their spelling and grammar.

6. RE: Guy who honked at me -To the OP This one contains the choice line "On a side note, anybody who runs down the busiest road in town (I know it's not you), wants to be seen. I don't care how much the other poster protests, it's the truth. Man or women wearing next to no clothes on Huron, Main, or any other busy road (at rush hour) wants everybody to see them." As someone who runs outside, I just don't think that's true. If you want to run more than a mile, at some point you will have to cross a busy road. Just my two cents.

7. RE: Guy that honked - m4w (State of Zen) Based on his extensive usage of ALL CAPS, I think it's safe to assume this guy was not posting from a state of Zen.

8. RE: promoting the rape culture - ww4w

9. Girl who i honked at - m4w - 23 (A2) Here the poster asks all beauties on Missed Connections if they care to chat.

10. RE: Guy who honked at me - w4m - 23 (A2) - w4m

11. re: guy who honked/thoughts on misogyny (not rants and raves?) This is a really great cap to the whole exchange. Here the poster essentially blames the existence of misogyny on women overreacting to getting cat-called and honked at. I mean wow.

So, in closing I'd just like to emphatically say: no, it's not honk at/holler at women who are jogging/running/walking outside, or in general. It can make people feel unwelcome and unsafe. We all have the right to feel safe and respected in our public spaces. Gentle readers of the male persuasion, I know you aren't the ones who are doing the hollering/honking, but as men, dudes, dude-bros and dude-brahs, some responsibility falls on us to help educate our bros about gender violence and rape culture.


  1. This is one thing I do NOT miss about being young. This kind of thing happened to me a LOT back in the day and once or twice I was CHASED by some nincompoop (once when I was seven months pregnant!!! What?). NEVER honk or yell at anyone who is running or walking or whatever. You may think you are just having “fun” but how does your target know that you aren’t a serial rapist or killer? Not fun, dangerous, and the missed connections exchange was horrifying.

  2. AMEN. Thank you.
    I was sad that on one of the first nice days, I was forced to remember "oh yeah, great, thanks! it's vulgar catcall season now I guess."

  3. Yes! This. I've been following the CL posts and just getting more and more upset with the world. I like to think A2 is different, and people are (on the whole) more educated, but then things like this happen.

  4. As liberals, we've come to a place nearing The Crucible territory on the main subject matter here ("Police said the man typically approaches a woman, tells her she’s pretty and asks her out on a date." The Horror! If you're wondering how #11 guy got that way, this is it), so I won't express even my slight disagreement with even the slightest of part of this whole debacle.

    As for the separate question of people worried about what other people say on CL. Your sex, gender, race, religion, or length of toe does not excuse you from learning what a troll is and how to deal with it. You are not a special case granted The Power of ButButButRage! The troll is not giving you special attention because of your _________. It's coming from knowing what hurts you most and squeezing. Some people are just assholes to anyone. Your feeding the troll is not helping you or anyone else, and frankly you're shirking your duty as a citizen of the internet because of your egotistical outrage.

    1. You know, I've always thought myself to be a narcissist, but it wasn't until you pointed out my egotistical outrage that it was really confirmed.
      The thing is, these people might be "trolling" but they are highlighting real beliefs that they and many others hold. Why can't we counter troll? Sure the original poster might not change their beliefs, but they won't be the only ones reading, especially on craigslist. It might challenge someone else's viewpoint, someone who might've not realized the trappings of misogyny/racism/length of toe-ism.

      Supposedly swearing helps us deal with physical pain. Responding to these idiots, be it on the internet or in person, is helping us deal with the daily pain of misogynistic idiots who won't let us have a discussion on this manner in any forum.

      And so, I engage. If we are citing DPS reports, let's bring up the taxi cab assaults. I mean, reading reports like those are probably how the original poster "got that way."

  5. I have to laugh when I get honked at because it always makes me think of that Seinfeld episode where he frames honking as a method men use to ask women out: "This man is out of ideas...That's why, I think, men get frustrated, when we see women reading articles, like 'Where to meet men?' We're here, we are everywhere. We're honking our horns to serve you better." Obviously there is something else going on here that's not about coming on to a woman: horn-honking is not for making acquaintances. Then I wonder if horn-honk guy has a wife or girlfriend from whom he hides his horn-honking. Or are there women who don't mind dating horn-honkers? Do I know any secret horn-honkers myself? I would be interested in hearing more about what's going on there.

    Have you ever seen the thing where men make obscene gestures or faces in your direction while you're driving your car? I saw this again just the other day, but I caught it right before he exited the freeway. He was licking the car window? While driving! That made me wonder how often people do this and I just don't see. Do they want me to see or is the thrill in doing it in my general direction without my knowledge? It's probably different for everyone.

    The world is so full of mysteries.

  6. Oh my gosh, I just read all the links! Horn-honkers think women like being honked at!!! Where did they get this idea? Are there women who liked getting honked at? Who read it as a compliment? Viewed in the best possible light, you're still getting complimented by a person who thinks honking is complimentary. So, you know, grain of salt.

    I was very troubled by the response that says people running in crowded areas do so to get noticed. Obviously we are living in two very different worlds.

    1. Women just don't know where to be anymore! Can't be on main roads (because it's our fault if we get honked at), can't be on back roads (because it's our fault if we get assaulted). Should we expect patriarchy to buy us treadmills?

  7. Wow. I never thought I would see a thread that wraps the internet so quickly like that one. If you could somehow blame Obama in there and that would be the perfect thread.