Monday, November 16, 2015

There's No Excuse for Being a Perverted Old Man

A 17-year-old posts an Instagram picture of herself in a bikini with her two young nieces. At first the comments are innocent enough.

"Gorgeous."

"You're my inspiration."

"Love is u."

Then come the inappropriate comments. I can't quote those here because they're filled with profanity and disgusting words about what these men want to do to this 17-year-old girl. But it isn't long before people speak up.

"You are almost 40."

"It's simply amazing to me the amount of sexual comments being directed at a 17-year-old girl from grown-a** men... That's someone's daughter!"

Soon after came the rebuttals. 

"She knew what she was doing by posting herself in a bikini."

"Calling a 17-year-old sexy isn't wrong, so please get off your high horses."

The picture that started the uproar?



Was that what you were expecting? Because as I was reading the comments, I was thinking, "Did people see the same photo I did? Because there's nothing really all that provocative about the 'bikini' she's wearing. In fact, it looks more like a two-piece bathing suit to me."

In response to the uproar, the actress in the photo, Ariel Winter, posted the below photo that defines a woman by her skirt length:



Of course, it's important to note that the comments on the original photo were largely supportive. Only a couple of the male commenters were inappropriate. But it appeared that the "she's asking for it" comments were largely a product of middle-aged men defending themselves because they see nothing wrong with making sexually explicit comments about a 17-year-old girl.



I used to work with a woman whose teenage daughter would come downtown and have lunch with us sometimes. She had serious chest action going on and wasn't afraid to show it. As we'd walk around downtown, the number of way-too-old men who ogled her was alarming, but only because she was underage. It's a tough one, because those men may not have known she was a minor...and it isn't illegal to look. Still, it provokes a reaction when you care about the teenager they're ogling.



The girls being ogled usually aren't paying attention. Unless the guy falls into the category of "hot," he may as well not even exist. But blaming the young girl isn't the answer. Saying the men are wrong for looking isn't the answer, either. However, there is a difference between looking at someone and saying extremely disgusting things to that person.



How do you feel about men who ogle underage women? Would that opinion change if it were your daughter/niece/granddaughter being ogled?

61 comments:

  1. Blaming someone else for your own actions just doesn't fly.
    I see pretty girls at the gym all the time. Some are dressed in ways that their mother shouldn't have let them out of the house in. But I'm certainly not ogling them. If they appear under thirty, they could be my daughter, and that creeps me out.

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    1. I had a friend in high school who would carry her clothes in her purse. She'd walk out of the house wearing one thing and change into something else when she got where she was going. How she got those clothes without her mom knowing is beyond me! Sometimes those skimpily-dressed kids you're seeing may have also borrowed the clothes from a friend while spending the night.

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  2. I have no issue with what the girl is wearing in the photo. What I do think is stupid is to post bikini photos of yourself online! Especially if you don't set your preferences to private. Her parents should have taught her this long ago.

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    1. She's an actress--and 17--I'm assuming she may have even been shown in a bathing suit on her TV show at some point. I'm not sure. She's on the show Modern Family.

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    2. Ok, I didn't recognize her without her glasses. Honestly, my opinion doesn't change. She's still a minor. And no matter the age, I think it's dumb to post photos of yourself in a bikini and then be upset about the comments. It's 2015.....who is shocked by trolls and perverts online?

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  3. I too have no issue with the bikini the girl is wearing, after all its a beach wear and she was at the beach. But once she posted her photo online for public viewing, then she should be prepared to receive all kinds of comments

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    1. You should read some of the comments--from 40-something-year-old men. In my personal opinion, those men are "asking for" being criticized and told they're dirty old men through what they're putting out there for the world to read. But they seem to be the ones who are unable to take the criticism.

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    2. Nancy, I agree! And whether the comments were from 40-something-year-old men or teen boys, posting a photo like this is bound to get reaction. We need to be careful, there are pedophiles out there, rapists, etc. Personally I would not have posted a photo of myself wearing a bikini.

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  4. I heard about this was had to shake my head. Most people are good, but the bad eggs really up the creep factor and the way they think is frightening. I've never believed the line, "you are asking for it." And the fact that it's still used in 2015 is disturbing.

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    1. I know, right? Instagram is filled with selfies of 13-18-year-old girls. The fact that middle-aged men are browsing Instagram and commenting on pictures of those girls is disturbing in itself. Granted, MOST men aren't like this. There just is a certain breed of 'creepy old man' out there and the Internet brings it out of them. They think nothing of making sexual comments toward minors and when called out on it, they put the blame on the girl instead of looking at their own behavior. That's really the issue with this.

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  5. Interesting post Stephanie...I have no objection to her beachwear but what I can't understand is why she posted this photo on social media for anyone to see and comment. I don't understand either why supposedly grown men making some rude comments. Maybe there's a lesson to learn from this. I like the next photo with the length of dress for women. I love below the knee so that makes me old fashioned but I already knew that. lol

    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. I think because she's a celebrity, perhaps? I don't know...I've seen non-celebrity teens post cleavage pictures on Instagram--it's just something teens do now. It sucks that moms don't often know their kids are doing that. If I had a child, I'd be watching what she was doing on social media...and require that she have her account protected. Mostly because I know how many scary men there are out there and that they like to look through pictures of young girls online. It's creepy to me!

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  6. I have a number of young teenagers who are friends of my grandchildren on FB and a 15 year old granddaughter who looks like a 22 year old model. We have told her not to post photos of herself in her bikini's because there are perverted old men trolling online searching for young "marks" and they can get into any of your social media. However, obviously several of the young girls in her group must have no parental supervision online because they do post provocative photo's and it always makes me cringe. Old men ogling young girls is nothing new, they did it 60 years ago when I was a teenager and dressed appropriately and it always made me feel uncomfortable.

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    1. I think some teens don't tell their parents what they're doing online. They can set up their Instagram/Twitter accounts as private and unless their parents are paying close attention, they don't even know it exists...they add their friends, but the question is whether they'll add people who aren't friends. Say one of these perverts sets up a profile with a picture that indicates he's a 16-year-old hot guy. How often will a teenage girl add a guy like that?

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  7. It's gross, but women who post bikini pics online are begging for attention. This look at me look at me society has gotten so annoying. I know a certain military spouse who posts her ass cheeks on Instagram once a week. Dude. Enough already...

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    1. I'm not really convinced the above picture was posted for attention, though...it seems fairly innocent. I fully disagree with women/girls who strut around and then complain that "icky men" are leering at them. However, when the comments go to the next level, I think that's more of a reflection on the person making the comments, especially if the girl is a minor. Parents should watch what their kids do, but even more pressing is the fact that middle-aged men who should know better are making sexually explicit comments to minors and saying, "She asked for it" when they're called on it.

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  8. The mama bear in me wants to roar at all those older men and protect the children. Because, no matter how their bodies look, those girls are still kids. I think part of the problem is some men when they age don't have what they find attract grow older as well. They have their teenage ideals still in a middle age body. If only the media would make older women attractive. With their full hips and little stretch marks on their bellies from having babies. A terrific mom who loves her kids and takes care of herself should be much more attractive than a teenage kid.

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    1. I don't understand that--it's some sort of biological thing, I assume? It isn't all men. But I think some people have trouble matching what they look like to what they're attracted to. I've known out-of-shape older men (and there may be women) who stayed single because they were too busy drooling over Selena Gomez to find a suitable mate. I've also known married men who ignored their wives to spend time on social media flirting with young girls and 20-somethings. It does have a destructive effect on these men...whether the girls are enjoying the attention or creeped out by it. I don't think the majority of young girls who dress skimpily enjoy inappropriate comments from men old enough to be their grandpas!

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  9. Stephanie, I was sexually abused at seven years old so this is a very very hot button for me. I think sexualizing young girls is very very bad and the media and beauty contests for little girls, and so many other things play into this. And you're right, that's just a two piece bathing suit. Not provocative at all.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that, Karen. The fact that people see that as "too sexy" is bothering me because she looks like a typical teen to me. She even got a reduction in her chest recently and it looks like she's lost a little weight all over, so I'm guessing she's just proud that she now looks more proportionate. Teen girls want to look fashionable and fit in...they want to be seen as attractive, but they're still trying to find their identities. Yes, the parents should put limits on what they wear, but girls have to go through a certain phase. It's easy for people to blame young girls for what men do to them by saying "she asked for it," but at that age a girl has no idea what "it" is. They don't really know the dark side of some of these men. They're young and innocent and assume they're safe. But they do get their cues on how to dress from watching TV and paying attention to the way people like Kendall and Kylie Jenner dress. They copy that. We can't seem to stop Hollywood from saying that's the way to look "hot," but I still would find a middle-aged man who thought 18-year-old Kylie Jenner was "hot" a little bit on the creepy side. Keep those thoughts to yourself if you have them, dude!

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  10. My opinion would not change if it was a relative of mine, it would be the same. Although we don't find the bikini provocative, members of the male population would. Back in the much earlier decades, like the 1930's and 40's, the bathing suits were much more modest, pretty much everything was covered except for the legs, and even if a young girl or woman is not intending to bring attention to herself in wearing a bikini, sadly, it does bring attention to her body by men who have sex on their mind.

    When I was a teenager in the 70's I was aware of this so I was careful to dress modestly. We all think that a woman or teen 'should' be able to wear a bikini like this without having men ogle us but often this is not the case, and as sad as it is, it is what it is.

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  11. And just to add that I agree with some of your comments above about the very fact that this photo was posted online for all to see to begin with. Even though it may not be our intention to draw attention to ourselves, by wearing this bikini in this photo is doing just that. I would not post a photo of myself dressed like this online for all to see.

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    1. I think teens will be teens...as I commented above, it's up to the parents to teach their girls not to do that. However, I've seen young girls set up Instagram accounts without their parents knowing it. I personally have no problem with men ogling girls in bikinis or two-pieces. Girls (and women) must know that if they don't want those eyes on them, they can't prance around like that. However, the line that I feel was crossed was the sexually-explicit comments that were made by middle-aged men, who then defended their behavior by saying, "She asked for it." They, I feel, "asked for" the negative comments and "you're a creep" accusations by making those comments in the first place. As an actress, that girl could be called upon to wear a two-piece bathing suit on her TV show as part of a beach scene. Kids wear bathing suits in movies and TV shows all the time. I'm not sure a teenager would have the capacity to know that there are some really dark men out there who actually might act on those nasty comments. When you're young and your mind is still innocent, you aren't dwelling on those creepy old guys. You're thinking about how cute your peers will think you look. At that age, peers are pretty much all that is within your view, from what I remember. I think I wore a few miniskirts in my time and I'm sure old guys might have leered at me...I didn't notice. But it was the 80s and everyone wore miniskirts. I never had an old guy make a sexually explicit comment to me, thank goodness. That sort of thing should not be said to an underage girl, I think.

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  12. Well, I have to say that in my opinion, under no circumstances does the statement "She asked for it" ever apply. No matter what she wears. Or how she behaves. We are responsible for our own actions, and blaming someone else when we behave like 'jerks' (insert harsher word) just doesn't fly with me.

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    1. AMEN to that, sister! The real truth is that teenage girls are going to post pictures of themselves showing off their cleavage, wearing miniskirts, wearing bathing suits, etc. It's just going to happen, especially in this social media age. With so many stories about people like the Subway guy, it just disturbs me that we seem to have the attitude that it's the woman's fault. Even if a girl isn't showing flesh and she's wearing a piece of clothing that conforms to her shape, she could be called "too provocative." For young women with ample chests, there's little they can wear that doesn't come across that way. So they are supposed to hide and never post pictures of themselves?

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    2. Stephanie, this is a huge topic in our household. My daughter used to broadcast live from a local radio station that was a vocational program in her high school. She and a classmate did a documentary titled 'Rape Culture' and in it they explained how we live in a society that teaches "don't get raped" instead of "don't rape". They also stated that male sexual violence is normalized and victims are blamed for the abuse. It is an excellent documentary that can be found on this page for anyone interested in hearing it:

      Show Archive
      Scroll down to the documentary titeld "RAPE CULTURE DOCUMENTARY"

      We live in a society with attitudes that excuse, tolerate and even condone sexual violence against women, sexual objectification and derogatory comments. This faulty way of thinking places the blame on 'the victim'. And frankly, I'm sick of it. I'm also sick of being given the message that I should teach my daughters to avoid being raped or sexually abused, when mothers should be teaching their sons not to rape or be sexually abusive. It doesn't matter what a woman (young or old) wears or how she behaves. We have no right to abuse her or cause her any harm. No right.

      As you can see, this is a very important topic for me! I can debate it till the end of time :)

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    3. I agree with you. I think we diminish women when we say that we need to dress or behave a certain way and that we're wrong if we do anything to attract attention to ourselves...and if we do, we deserve what we get. There are other reasons to teach young women not to parade around half-naked, of course, but they come from a place of building self-esteem. So then you come to the point of, "Do we live our lives in fear and avoid posting anything on social media at all?" Should women not post our pictures because it could attract the wrong person? I don't know that we want to live our lives in fear... How awesome is it that your daughter already has such a good head on our shoulders! She's going to make a big difference in the world with that message.

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  13. I am an old dude, I do not see anything wrong with quietly admiring beauty at any age, but to not be respectful if just wrong and low class.

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    1. I agree...I think it's one thing for people to say that men shouldn't even look at someone like that. A look is one thing. But when you write sexually explicit things in the comments section of a teenage girl's website, you've crossed a line, in my opinion. And in my opinion that behavior is worse...since an adult has a legal responsibility not to behave a certain way with minors. If someone will publicly state what he'd like to do to a teenage girl, what else will he do?

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  14. When men are trash they act accordingly. Some men are gentlemen they also act accordingly. So some men were raised to respect and others weren't. That's the way I look at it.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I agree. As adults, we're expected to be responsible for our own behavior. Kids may not know better...we can blame the parents if we feel that girls shouldn't post pictures of themselves online. But honestly, if I were a parent, I would want those accounts private no matter what the content. Has little to do with what they're wearing--a beautiful young girl fully covered can still invite attention. I'm worried more about these men finding these young girls outside of social media after seeing their photos online. But where is the line? Should parents never post pictures of their children where a creep could potentially see it? Because it's almost impossible to shield your children forever from these people.

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  15. If this were not an actress, I'd say she should be more selective who she accepts as her 'friend' and should certainly change settings to private. Not because anything she posts may or may not be wrong, but it's really a good idea to not post too much about yourself on a photo sharing site to the mass public. Anyone can take those photos and do whatever they want with them. Even I keep a privacy setting on instagram.

    But she's an actress, so it's a little trickier for her. The men posting lewd comments and then backing up their comments is just creepy. As you say, that is someone's daughter. To flip the script a bit, I wonder if these guys would post the same sort of comment if they knew their own mother was reading what they were writing. For the most part, I think not. There truly is no excuse, even when a young lady shows poor judgement in sharing any sort of photo.

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    1. Well put. The young girls I know who are on Instagram/Twitter have their accounts blocked from anyone but those they've added. But the problem is, a determined person can just post a profile picture of a hot guy and he'll likely be accepted. Happens all the time. In fact, it's more likely that a creepola will do something crazy like that than sit around friend requesting random teenage girls with a picture that either reveals his age or hides it altogether. The fact that these guys can't find young non-celeb teens to creep out over online because all of them are set to private may be exactly why they hang out on young celebrities' pages. Every teen I know who is on Instagram is private. I'm friends with a couple of them and they have a very tight-knit group of peers who comment on their pictures. I don't even comment because you can tell everyone commenting is 15 or so! I've seen some inappropriate profile pictures for some of these young girls, but it always says "marked as private" so people can look at the selfie with the cleavage, but they can't comment. I guess they could enlarge the profile picture and save it? But these girls are focused primarily on their peers, as we were when we were kids. We didn't stop to think about what 35-year-old people thought about the way we dressed. We couldn't have cared less!

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  16. When I was 21, I had a 17 year old girl who wanted to go out with me. She said her parents were cool with it, but I just felt weird. The age gap wasn't that big, but I felt like I might as well had been 40+ by going out with her. So I turned her down.

    I think old men trying to get with young girls is creepy. I always preferred women who were a little older anyway.

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    1. In Tennessee, under 18 is considered a minor. I always think it's crazy when an 18-year-old is a registered sex offender for life because he had sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend. Often it's the girl's parents who have him arrested. And then that guy is ostracized for it. People don't know the difference between someone who is a sex offender because they had an underage girlfriend at the age of 18 or because they actually are dangerous to society.

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  17. Oh goodness...so I saw this on my social media news feed the other day. And I completely agree - it's so creepy, and so inappropriate. There's no need to spread that kind of luckiness. It just feels wrong, and I don't understand how people can think that's okay. I'm a big fan of Modern Family, and I'm glad she spoke out!

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    1. I'd love to watch Modern Family but they don't have all the seasons anywhere...on Hulu or Netflix anyway. I like to watch a series from the start and all that's on Hulu are the past few episodes. I guess I'll catch it a few years from now when they finally put it on Netflix!

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  18. I think it's incredibly creepy. While everyone should be able to dress how they want, the extreme sexualization of young girls and teens makes me sad. However, that bikini pic is modest by today's standards!

    These men are setting a bad example.

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    1. I thought so, too. I didn't see it as all that scandalous. If you go to a beach, you see far worse than that!

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  19. You are asking for it is an excuse. And only ever an excuse for BAD behaviour. I have never heard it used in any other way... no, you are asking to be treated with kindness and respect. Which, when all is said and done is all any of us want. Need.

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    1. I think that's the best way to live our lives in every area. Just respect other people!

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  20. most men are lead by hormones, just like women, but yours mostly influence your emotions and mood, while with men they influence they're sexuality or mojo :) It is kinda like waving a red flag in front of a bull, the bull often can't stop himself from getting all crazy. Not that I'm defending anyone. If you dress overly sexual or look sexual, that is the response you will often get - a sexual one. Imagine if I waved a chocolate cake in front of you.... would you salivate?

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  21. Totally inappropriate if the girl is underage. Those men would want to kill other men for doing that to their daughters. It's no different.

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  22. The guys were way out of line and its good to know it was a minority of them. And the 'she was asking for it' makes me sick.

    I don't think the girl was going for 'look at me being all sexy', but she put a photo on social media which might not have been a good idea. Once it's out there; it's fair game. I wish teens would realize this. I've seen quite a few pics up on line that make me worried for the kid who doesn't think about sexual predators b/c they think they are safely anonymous on line.

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  23. I find it tacky in the extreme. And the comments show a decided lack of character. It PO's me.

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  24. Creepy. Old men who ogle young girls are just creepy. And the guys who were commenting about that picture have to be border-line pedophiles, if they're not full fledged pedophile. And seriously, how arrogant to think your comments will be received with anything but a turned stomach? Like that young girl thinks your wrinkled, gray-haired self is in the least bit hot.

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  25. If you're going to flaunt it I don't think you can be surprised when men look. Would it bother me if it was my daughter or granddaughter that was being oggled -- yes. Would it surprise me -- no. Having said that looking is one thing -- making disgusting remarks is another.

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  26. Those men need to get a life. Do they have daughters? Would they like someone to talk about their daughters like that? Keep their thoughts to themselves. Also, a girl should be modest. I guess I'm old, but I'd not want my daughter, if I had one, to show herself to the world. Old fashioned grandma.

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  27. (The title of this post had me in stitches, btw :) I honestly have some serious issues with people who think that because females dress a certain way that men can't control themselves and that they're "asking for it". Few things make me angrier. I think self-control is huge. Sure, a look is one thing, ogling a bit more, but acting on that? Think first. For example: sure I might take a long look at the hot men running on the trail without their shirts on. But hell would freeze over before I would start cat-calling :)

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  28. There are some people out there who don't have boundaries. You can't control anyone else. You can only control yourself.

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  29. No matter what age, act like a man. He isn't a man acting that way. He is a rude SOB. That is just bad manners and rudeness. I would call anyone out being that way in public. Hopefully shaming and emarrassing him for making those gestures.

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  30. No matter what age, act like a man. He isn't a man acting that way. He is a rude SOB. That is just bad manners and rudeness. I would call anyone out being that way in public. Hopefully shaming and emarrassing him for making those gestures.

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  31. As my hubby says, "Men are pigs". I think they like the younger the better because everything is ...young and perky. I got most of the whistles when I was a teen and all from men who should know better. Charlie Chaplin's wives were all very young (except for Paulette Goddard). Think about all the old coots who marry 25 yr old women-their daughters are usually older! The young girl in the photo is doing nothing wrong and seems to be enjoying herself with her nephews at the beach. You will always have creepy old SOB's and others who think she should be wearing a bathing suit circa 1910. Shameful but true

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  32. There was a Seinfeld episode about this. Jerry and George were at the NBC president's house touting the script they wrote for their show pilot and his teenage daughter came over. She was showing a LOT of cleavage.

    Jerry and George couldn't stop themselves from looking, even though they felt bad about it and of course the dad caught them and threw them out. So they set him up to have Elaine's cleavage in his face to make a point.

    I don't think it's usually a conscious response for men's eyes to be drawn to a scantily-clad female body. Heck, even my eyes are often drawn to that and I have no sexual interest in women.

    However, as you said, there's looking and then there's the comments you pointed out on this photo. One is a normal response. The other is gross, inappropriate and scary.

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  33. I don’t see nothing wrong with the photo. I just see a girl and her niece and nephew. The problem is the men made those rude and sexual comments because they don’t know her. If they knew her personally (family and/or friend) they would be on the defensive against such commenters.

    What I do have issue with is how more and more young girls over-sexualize themselves. A few years ago, my family and I and a few friends went to Coney Island for a cook out celebration on Memorial Day. Lounging on the beach not too far from us was a bunch of young teens blaring their music. I didn’t mind too much because they provided entertainment.

    There was good music. A reenactment of the Jerry Springer Show. And a grind fest to make dirty dancing blush (could’ve done w/o the last two though). So as the evening winds down, to commemorate their fun filled day, they started taking photos. And omg, the girls (which I know were younger than that 17yr old pic w/ her niece & nephew), did butt shot poses. And bragged how they're going to put it up on social media. :-O (if you don’t know what a butt shot is, then Google ‘nikki minaj butt shot Anaconda cover’).

    Why? Why that pose? I can understand wanting to feel and show off how young, pretty and sexy you are. Been there and snuck out a few tops that showed a little bit of chest and tummy and that were in the trend. But I had my limit & never went over the top with it. Wouldn’t dare and was too self-conscious. And I just didn’t want to go to HS dressed like a teenage grandma. But that butt shot pose to post on social media? I would never have done that. And I still don’t understand that. They’re just opening themselves up to receiving the same kind of dirty comments. Which I’m sure they’d have no problem with. Because it boosts their self-confidence and self-esteem. And that’s just the wrong way to do it.

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  34. I don't see anything wrong with the photo either - to me, she's just posing for a photo with her niece and nephew. It's not like she's trying to look sexy or anything - it makes me angry when people think it's ok to over-sexualise young girls, and that if women choose to dress a certain way they're 'asking for it'. Are young men 'asking for it' if they walk around topless or with short shorts on? Apparently not. I really like Ariel Winter's photo - it really hits home how differently men and women are treated in this day and age - if a man took a photo like that wearing shorts, the only thing he'd have to label on his leg is 'man'.
    Also, this post reminded me of the Bloomingdale's Christmas advert that I saw on Twitter last week - equally as outraging!

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  35. If someone wants to be rude, they don't need a reason. It's just who they are. I've given up trying to understand how people justify their actions.

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  36. As a "he for she" advocate, things like this really bother me.
    You know what's super fun? (But yes, has gotten me injured-- WORTH IT.) Changing the conversation around. Switching the "she/her" into "that human"- as in "What did that human expect? That human is showing a human stomach and a human leg." In the cases where the person isn't smart enough to get what I'm saying, I just change it to "he/his." Get some of my friends with flare to pose in pics like the one you have of the construction sign. This results in the pigs who made it either freaking out or... well, I did mention that I've been injured over such protests. Apparently homophobia and forgetting that women are equal humans go hand in hand.

    Fight the good fight. You write for young ladies. How about a story where one is the victim of such words? Show your audience how to deal and obliterate the pigs in fiction. Keep your pen mighty!

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  37. There was nothing sexy or provocative about that photo, but I am not surprised by the comments (and I saw even one comment here that said she was looking for attention by posting it). Out culture is very quick to blame women for everything they do: what they wear, where they breastfeed their babies, how much they weigh, whether they are working mothers or stay at home moms. One could say that, in our society, a woman can do nothing right. :(

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