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“Stop That Right Now. You Never Do That To A Woman Walking On Her Own”: Woman Shares How A Guy Called Out His Friends’ Jerky Behavior
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People, Social Issues1 month ago

“Stop That Right Now. You Never Do That To A Woman Walking On Her Own”: Woman Shares How A Guy Called Out His Friends’ Jerky Behavior Interview

After attending a wedding, most people are overwhelmed by warm feelings of love and perhaps a little too much champagne. When heading home, the guests are probably imagining their own future weddings, brimming with excitement for the new happy couple or feeling grateful for their loving partners. The last things that should be on anyone’s mind after such a joyous occasion are concerns for their safety. Unfortunately, one woman recently shared on Twitter that walking home alone from a wedding was a stark reminder that women never get a day off from worrying about their well being.

Earlier this week, Amy Clarkin tweeted a thread detailing how she was followed by a group of men in Edinburgh while walking back to her accommodation. Thankfully, the men were called out by one of their friends and ended up leaving Amy alone, but it’s still an upsetting situation for anyone to be in. Below, you can read the full story, an interview with Amy about her experience, and  some of the replies we’ve gathered from Twitter. Then if you’re looking for another Bored Panda story featuring men keeping their peers accountable, be sure to check out this piece next.

Earlier this week, Amy Clarkin shared on Twitter how she was followed by a group of young men while walking home alone from a wedding

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Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

The men kept getting closer and making Amy more uncomfortable until finally one of their friends demanded they leave her alone

Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

Image credits: AmyClarkin

We reached out to Amy on Twitter to hear if she thinks situations like this are common. “I think that the fact that this thread resonated with so many people, and that their reaction when the guy spoke up to his friends was generally delighted shock and relief, shows how common it is to experience harassment and how rare it is for someone to intervene,” she told Bored Panda. “I’m lucky that I’ve never been attacked, but I have had people follow me, make comments, act in ways that made me uncomfortable. I think almost every woman has. I was moved but sadly not surprised by the number of people who responded sharing their own experiences, and devastated by how many of them didn’t have the same ending this did.”

Amy went on to explain how women are taught from a young age that they are responsible for their own safety. “I remember my all-girls secondary school giving us self defense classes when we were 15 and teaching us to keep our keys between our fingers. I never heard of the all-boys schools being taught not to harass or how not to intimate women.” She also noted that it’s also not just women who experience these situations. “While my thread refers mainly to women’s experiences, pretty much every group that is not white, cis het, or male has these concerns and experiences. LGBTQ+ people and people who aren’t white also experience large volumes of harassment, and it’s up to everyone who is not part of those groups to speak out when they witness them being targeted,” Amy told us.

Lastly, we asked Amy if she had anything to say to men who are bystanders to help them understand how important their voices can be in these encounters. “I wish that that guy calling out his friends wasn’t so rare that it went viral on Twitter, but I’m also really heartened that he did. He probably continued with his night and completely forgot about it, but for me, that meant I went into the apartment feeling hopeful, not upset, uncomfortable and worrying that I had narrowly avoided being attacked.”

Image credits: Patrick Tomasso

While it’s frustrating that men sometimes need another guy to point out their wrongdoings (because it’s not obvious that harassing someone and making them uncomfortable is wrong?), I’m glad that someone was around to help Amy get home safely. These young boys probably did not grasp the severity of the situation because they don’t know what it feels like to be a woman walking alone at night, but that’s no excuse for invading Amy’s space. In fact, a 2021 survey in the UK found that women now feel less safe walking alone at night than they did 4 years ago. In 2018, 46% of women reported that they always or often feel unsafe walking alone at night, but last year that number had risen to 63%. To compare those numbers to how men feel, only 10% of them reported feeling unsafe walking alone at night in 2018 and 15% of them said the same in 2021.

Although being cautious at night is usually a “better safe than sorry” situation, women do have valid reasons to be concerned for their safety. One of the most harrowing examples in the UK was the tragic case of Sarah Everard. A 33-year-old marketing executive living in London, Everard was kidnapped and murdered by former Met Police officer Wayne Couzens in March of last year. The only reason Everard was chosen as the victim was because she was a “lone, young woman”. While that was an extreme situation, it’s unfortunately impossible for women to know when there is someone like Couzens lurking nearby waiting for their next victim. 

Thankfully, Amy’s situation did not turn too dark, but she had every right to feel concerned and uncomfortable. It’s a relief that one of the men in that group was in his right mind, but it’s disappointing that any of them felt their behavior was appropriate. Women should not need men to save them, but if you’re a guy who ever witnesses other men making women uncomfortable, please say something. It won’t hurt to call them out, and you never know what could happen if nobody intervenes. Let us know how you feel about this situation down below, and remember that being an active bystander can make a big difference.    

Readers have responded sharing how important it is for men to hold each other accountable in situations like this because these incidents are far too common

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Bobby
Community Member
1 month ago

I've never really paid attention to the cat calls and such things because I'm a guy that was raised by people with very... let's call it 'Mad Men' philosophy. Then I made some mistakes and went to prison. I'm a slight build guy with what I guess you could call feminine features. I was terrified a lot of the time. Many people wanted me and thought the way I always heard men hit on women was endearing or would win me over. At best it was uncomfortable, at worst I actually feared for my safety. So I say this to all men, having been on both sides of the equation: you can't think because the woman smiles and laughs along with your flirtation that she's actually in to you. She may or may not like that kind of attention, but until you hear her say she does she might be playing along out of a sense of self preservation. You want to go flirt with someone, that's cool. It's how a lot of healthy relationships start. But initially keep innuendo out of it because that can be seen as veiled threat

AliJanx
Community Member
1 month ago

I felt this walk in my core. You scan, you evaluate, you mitigate and you still have to deal with nonsense. It IS scary, sometimes even at midday.

sinead
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm so sorry that you went through that. I remember one evening I was walking home and passed a group of guys, I kept walking only to turn around and see them following me. I was terrified. They got closer to me and I told them to go away ( luckily I was very close to my house). Anyway, one of the men told the rest of the guys " that I wasn't looking for any trouble. They stood there for a minute ( it seemed like an eternity) and then they walked away. I don't walk alone ever in the evening or night anywhere by myself after that happened. I love going for walks alone but I will never again in the night.

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Bobby
Community Member
1 month ago

I've never really paid attention to the cat calls and such things because I'm a guy that was raised by people with very... let's call it 'Mad Men' philosophy. Then I made some mistakes and went to prison. I'm a slight build guy with what I guess you could call feminine features. I was terrified a lot of the time. Many people wanted me and thought the way I always heard men hit on women was endearing or would win me over. At best it was uncomfortable, at worst I actually feared for my safety. So I say this to all men, having been on both sides of the equation: you can't think because the woman smiles and laughs along with your flirtation that she's actually in to you. She may or may not like that kind of attention, but until you hear her say she does she might be playing along out of a sense of self preservation. You want to go flirt with someone, that's cool. It's how a lot of healthy relationships start. But initially keep innuendo out of it because that can be seen as veiled threat

AliJanx
Community Member
1 month ago

I felt this walk in my core. You scan, you evaluate, you mitigate and you still have to deal with nonsense. It IS scary, sometimes even at midday.

sinead
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm so sorry that you went through that. I remember one evening I was walking home and passed a group of guys, I kept walking only to turn around and see them following me. I was terrified. They got closer to me and I told them to go away ( luckily I was very close to my house). Anyway, one of the men told the rest of the guys " that I wasn't looking for any trouble. They stood there for a minute ( it seemed like an eternity) and then they walked away. I don't walk alone ever in the evening or night anywhere by myself after that happened. I love going for walks alone but I will never again in the night.

Load More Comments
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