Cat calls when I am with my children.

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JHyre
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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by JHyre » Tue May 08, 2012 12:56 pm

Ooooh, no. The older men still contain a contingent of unreformed lechers, used to getting away with far more than is normal today, even in Chile. I'm no fan of feminists, but meeting some of the old buggers reminds one that they are right about a few things....or more aptly put, they were right about a few things. But Chile and the world have changed. Not enough to satisfy Utopians and Gloria Steinem types, of course. The old pervs are a reminder of what once was.

John Hyre

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wiscondinavian
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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by wiscondinavian » Tue May 08, 2012 2:49 pm

chilco wrote:as for in Patagonia, there were stares and cheers, but what really bothered me was when I would go to do the Chilean greeting of a kiss, and some men would open-mouth wet kiss me on the lips. Am I being an up-tight gringa because it bothered me? What is the dividing line of personal invasion? Is it sound? Is it touch? Can anyone tell anyone else what their comfort or discomfort level should be?
Wth? Luckily I've never had that happen, but I'm curious as to what kind of situation this happened in?

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chilco
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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by chilco » Tue May 08, 2012 4:56 pm

Ok, the first time it happened, I was being introduced to someone my boyfriend had hung out with a few times. I was pretty shocked, but the guy was quite lecherous towards me throughout the duration of knowing him. My boyfriend doesn't speak much Spanish, which allowed this guy to say things to me. I think he thought he was flirting, although I made it clear I was not interested. Anyway, I attributed it to his naughty nature. I don't think in his mind there was anything wrong with it. I just managed to avoid the kiss after that whenever we ran into him.
The next time, we were staying at a cabana owned by an elderly couple. The husband took us for a walk to show us his cows, and where he used to raise turkeys. He was very nice and interesting, and it was good conversation. The next time I had to go to the office to inquire about internet or something, I went to greet him with the cheek kiss, and got the open-mouth kiss on the lips. After that, I avoided the kiss with him, too. But he also said minor things to make me aware that he was attracted to me.
Another time, it was with an older campesino who had been showing us his land, that we are considering buying. We had a lot of interaction with him, and generally nothing ever happened, but one day he landed one on me, which was VERY unexpected, because usually it had been the normal cheek kiss. Perhaps it is because my Spanish is more fluent than my boyfriend's, so I was doing all the interaction with these men, and maybe that made them have ideas. Or maybe because I'm a gringa; perhaps there are perceptions about our morals.
Because I don't know Chilean ways, I didn't know if I would be over-reacting if I made a big deal about it at the time. But now, I guess I should have asked here on the forum if it was common, after it happened the first time. I tend to tread softly, particularly in a culture different than mine, and my boyfriend is mild-mannered as well, so we just wondered about it. Now I feel kinda dumb......

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El Chupacabra
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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by El Chupacabra » Tue May 08, 2012 5:30 pm

Cat calls are one thing; the unexpected kisses on the lips deserve a smack across the guys face followed by a beating from your boyfriend.
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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by Donnybrook » Tue May 08, 2012 7:10 pm

OK, part of the problem is that you are kissing people in situations where that would normally not happen. You do not kiss the owner of somewhere you are staying or someone who is showing you around a farm. It is difficult to put cultural idiosyncrasies into words, but in general you use the kiss as a greeting with friends and their friends if you are introduced to them. It is like an acknowledgement of equals and an indication that you are comfortable with them. If you are invited to someone's home you would use a kiss on the cheek for greeting. You do not kiss everyone you meet. A simple "Gracias" would have been enough for the cabin owner and the farmer, or a handshake and a warm smile. The old codgers must have thought they had won the lottery and they went for the prize!

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chilco
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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by chilco » Tue May 08, 2012 8:13 pm

Ok, that WOULD make sense. But is it the same all over Chile? In the cities as in Patagonia? Because I never promoted the kiss, I got pulled into it. When I would put out my hand to shake, they would pull me in for the kiss, which is what made me think that was what was warranted. Can anyone speak to the smaller town Southern aspect of this? Vicki?

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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by Tombi » Tue May 29, 2012 11:42 am

It seems Australian and British men also think this is a compliment
http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-vi ... 1zecm.html

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JHyre
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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by JHyre » Tue May 29, 2012 12:09 pm

Because it doesn’t matter if someone is calling you beautiful, saying you have nice legs or, er, calling you sugar tits, street harassment, despite what some might think, is never complimentary.
One of the problems with Western Feminism, and one reason why I prefer Latinas. Tasteful compliment? Same as vulgar epithets if you are a feminist. In Latin America? One gets you a smile, the other gets you ignored.

I have daughters. Calling them beautiful in a respectful manner with a pleasant smile is fine. Calling one of them "sugar tits" or the like will result in a look of disgust, or perhaps A Problem.

John Hyre

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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by Vicki and Greg Lansen » Tue May 29, 2012 1:23 pm

chilco wrote:Ok, that WOULD make sense. But is it the same all over Chile? In the cities as in Patagonia? Because I never promoted the kiss, I got pulled into it. When I would put out my hand to shake, they would pull me in for the kiss, which is what made me think that was what was warranted. Can anyone speak to the smaller town Southern aspect of this? Vicki?
My favorite thing when traveling and visiting places is to find some coffee, venture to a park or city square and write postcards while sitting on a park bench. In Santiago, I was approached/accosted twice by OLD MEN, who sate beside me and the one instance, reached over to try and grope my breasts. The other was an elderly man who approached me to ask for a cigarette light, then made what appeared to me to be lurid gestures with his hand in his croch area.

In my travels south, in small towns and larger ones such as Aysen, Coyhique, La Junta, Caleta Tortel, etc. I never once had anything remotely like that happen. Ever. I have gone and sat having a beer alone in dumpy little taverns and never had anyone behave that way, young, or old. It might be the population crush in Santiago means more creepy old men (per capita?). Who knows.

Even when I was a bit younger and thinner, I never experienced that kind of behavior outside of larger towns. I do think the situation is a bit less a problem in Chile than it was in Costa Rica, or Panama, or even Argentina.

I find Hyre's comments about preferring latina's over gringas (women lib-types) because they are less offended by cat-calls, a bit offensive. That a woman anywhere would not appreciate being "cat-called" or leered over isn't a character defect, it's called self-respect. It might seem cute or funny when you are 14, but grown women (and young men) who grow up learning to value themselves don't appreciate or tolerate that kind of aggressive behavior.

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JHyre
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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by JHyre » Tue May 29, 2012 1:59 pm

At the risk of starting a free-for-all with Vicki for which I really have little desire: Cat-called or leered at are not the same as complimented in a reasonable manner. Indeed, the response tends to reinforce my point - many gringas, especially those with a certain value set, are rather quick to take offense, even if none was really offered. When such women are present (and here in the cold, litigious & sensitive north, one must always assume that they are present), one dare not flirt or even make eye-contact in the "wrong" way, lest someone be "offended". Among other things, this extreme reaction leads to cold, sterile work environments. Having to tiptoe around such sentiments does not lead to lowering of guards, trust or camaraderie, which in turn strikes me as harmful to work relationships.

Judgment matters. I think it's often OK to tell a woman she is beautiful, or maybe give a wee wink, perhaps a few tasteful piropos, or God Forbid, a bit of flirting. Is it too much to ask that women distinguish between that and vulgar comments? Latinas seem to manage it, and even enjoy it. They also seem capable of taking care of themselves and telling someone to bugger off once the line is crossed. And there is a line, this is not a defense of male louts who cannot or will not use some judgment of their own.

John Hyre, Shivering in the Cold, Cold North

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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by Vicki and Greg Lansen » Tue May 29, 2012 2:12 pm

Hyre, no tit-for tat (excuse the unintended pun) here. I find a distinction between flirting and compliments engaged in in the right circumstances, and the cat-calling that most women find offensive. Cat calling being loud hotting comments (from "Hey Baby, you're beautiful" to "Look at the ass on you!") from men, or groups of men who do not know you, and you do not know them. The original poster and subsequent women who have commented get the difference. Commenting fellow co-workers on their new hair cut, or nice suit does not fall in the category I believed we were discussing. Asking someone at work out for a date isn't sexual harassment, nor is complimenting someone in a tasteful way - in my opinion. However, if someone is your superior, and has direct influence on whether or not you are promoted or given a raise, they should not engage in "light flirting" or a "few tasteful priopos". That's just good business sense and behavior.

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JHyre
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Re: Cat calls when I am with my children.

Post by JHyre » Tue May 29, 2012 2:41 pm

Vicki, good pun. As to cat-calling, we are not too far off on definition. I suppose it depends on circumstances. I think that there are times when loudly addressing someone whom you do not know but find attractive is OK. For example, two groups of teens pass in the mall. Playing volleyball on the beach might be a nice time to toss out a reasonable comment. Some loudish banter is OK. Calling a stranger beautiful sans a leer strikes me as OK in most circumstances, as long as the body-language, etc, does not sully the message or make it into something gross.

Nonetheless, while it may not apply to you in particular, the problem remains: In our PC times, what is "offensive" is in the retroactive eye of the target. Given how overly sensitive many northern women tend to be, and some potentially negative career or legal consequences, a stiff and icy reserve is the result. I think Latinas are much more approachable. Even if they do not appreciate the particular approach, you probably won't be sued or get reported to the thought police. With Latinas, if you are tasteful, you are quite likely to get a nice smile over the shoulder. I prefer that environment. Judging from the number of Anglo men who marry Latin women, I am not alone. Indeed, my point is furthered by the comparative scarcity of Latin-male, gringa female pairings that last - machista paired with feminist does not tend to work very well. I'll take strong feminine over easily offended feminist any day.

Viva Latinas. Even when they are throwing heavy metallic objects at your head - not that I've ever had that happen, or deserved it.

John Hyre

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