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I'm sure all of us are familiar with how blacks (especially in the south) acknowledge one another (even strangers) on the street as they pass. But I've found that black women more like than not will refuse eye contact. When I lived in Athens, Georgia in fact - a small college town - white women were more likely to acknowledge you than black women.... In Athens, black men would insist on making eye contact and black women would be cold as ice... It seems that in many formal social/professional settings, black women will hardly acknowledge your presence...

I'm curious about how many guys have also found this to be the case.

And I'm also curious if the ladies are aware of themselves or others doing this... and if so why?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I have not always been right, but I have always been sincere." ~ W.E.B. Du Bois ~~~~~~~~~~~
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I used to do an experiment once a week. I would smile & wave at every woman I saw. No attempts to stop her or engage in prolonged interaction - Just a smile & wave. Generally, your assessment has matched my experiences HonestBrother. I've seen women look me up & down, but not acknowledge me when I spoke. Don't know why the situation you describe happens HB - maybe the ladies will help us on this one!

hat
i Feel that its annoying when im just walking down the street and someone has to chat me, up or roll down the windown and go OI at me. This is proberly the reason why so many women give dirty looks or dont acknowlged men because there bored of it.....I also find that if i dont jump at the chance to talk to a a black man he then proceeds to say that i think im too nice or "white girls are much friendlyer ,but when i do smile at a black man then he atomatically thinks im game staright away so men do annoying, silly things aswell.
I'm very aware of it. I've been avoiding eyes since I was nine.

Just yesterday I only nodded at a guy in the store and he started hooting and undressing me with his eyes.

Hi isn't supposed to be an invitation to be sexually harassed.

Some men just read nice completely the wrong way.

They see a flirt. And some can get very aggressive.

So through the years I've gotten used to giving men my age what's been called the "look-at-me-and-I'll-knock-you-out-look." In order to feel safe.

And it works better than nice.

It sucks that a few bad apples spoil the batch, but, yeah.

I'm way more lax in formal or social settings, though. Guys don't act the same.
quote:
And some can get very aggressive.


This is what it boils down to (and probably why men have a difficult time understanding why women do this). It is not being hit on by a man, but how so many men choose to hit on a woman that makes it a very uncomfortable experience. Loud, lewd comments. Reaching out to touch your person. Asking invasive, inappropriate questions. Entering your personal space. Refusing to leave you alone if you decline their advances. Etc. It feels like being attacked. Add to that the fact that most of us know the high number of women who are eventually attacked by a man, and it can be a frightening experience. Some men can hit on you in such a way that will make you want to immediately take a shower afterward (and NOT to cool your hormones). You just feel so incredibly violated. Some men will hit on you in such a way that will actually make your heart start to beat fast out of fear.

Once you have gone through it enough times, it is just better to send out the "Do NOT approach me with whatever bullshit you're on" message around men who are strangers or in an unfamiliar setting.

Men are not hit on in this way repeatedly, if ever. Men are not usually at the same physical disadvantage. Men are dangerous. You can't smile-up with every man you see on the street all willy nilly. They will find you in a dumpster somewhere.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
Brothers, the responses on this thread are one of the reasons why I advocate ignoring strange women. If they have any interest in interaction, of any kind, they'll initiate it (usually with eye contact, at least).

Wise-man say...

It's always better to let them come to you. bsm



My question wasn't about approaching strange women... or getting a date... that really wasn't the point of bringing up the issue...

I think it's very sad that relationships between black men and women have gotten to the point where the women presume we're dangerous and/or uncivilized...

If we were healthy as a people, shouldn't we at least be able to greet one another in the streets?

Keep in my mind that I started off this thread noting that white women are more likely to acknowledge me than black women... I.e., I don't notice the same degree of active avoidance from even white females...
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I'm sure all of us are familiar with how blacks (especially in the south) acknowledge one another (even strangers) on the street as they pass. But I've found that black women more like than not will refuse eye contact. When I lived in Athens, Georgia in fact - a small college town - white women were more likely to acknowledge you than black women.... In Athens, black men would insist on making eye contact and black women would be cold as ice... It seems that in many formal social/professional settings, black women will hardly acknowledge your presence...

I'm curious about how many guys have also found this to be the case.

And I'm also curious if the ladies are aware of themselves or others doing this... and if so why?


HB,
Thanks for bringing this up! I have found this observation to be true right here in Cleveland. I understand that in cold climate areas, the local folks tend to be cold and reserved. But geez, I don't think an occassional wave or smile would be so unwelcomed. Ok, maybe it's the gap in my teeth that is scaring folks away. The guys give the obligatory nodd...but the sistas....hmmm?
Interestingly,I have been told that I say hi too much by a sista at work yet she asked me why folks seem to think of her as being cold and antisocial. She however felt that there was nothing wrong in not saying hi to folks. I felt that the statement spoke volummes about her personality and her willingness to respectfully relate to others around her. Scary revelation, I say.....
Personally, I think it is the sign of the times when a simple greeting of folks during the day is seen as being something bad or crazy. To me, it is more reflective of a cold/insensitive and self-centered person. Why, because the very fact someone would the question the wholesomeness of just exchanging simple pleasantries with others at work or elsewhere speaks to the condition of the questioner's personality to some degree...cold as ice.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
Brothers, the responses on this thread are one of the reasons why I advocate ignoring strange women. If they have any interest in interaction, of any kind, they'll initiate it (usually with eye contact, at least).

Wise-man say...

It's always better to let them come to you. bsm



My question wasn't about approaching strange women... or getting a date... that really wasn't the point of bringing up the issue...

I understand HB. But, look at the responses you got! Every woman's reaction so far has been generally, "Because I don't want to be aggressively hit on". Now, it's not a fair assumtion that every man that smiles at them is about to turn into a drooling baffoon, but it obviously happens enough that they are more than willing to cut their losses and avoid all contact period.

quote:
I think it's very sad that relationships between black men and women have gotten to the point where the women presume we're dangerous and/or uncivilized...

I agree. But, it's becoming more obvious that the behavior of a few is poisoning the reputation of the rest.

quote:
If we were healthy as a people, shouldn't we at least be able to greet one another in the streets?

Quite right. But, we are not healthy people.

quote:
Keep in my mind that I started off this thread noting that white women are more likely to acknowledge me than black women... I.e., I don't notice the same degree of active avoidance from even white females...

White women have a lot less to fear. If a Black man acts in the ways described by the women above toward a white woman, all hell breaks loose. The police will actually come to the rescue of a white woman being harrassed by a Black man, and white women know it. The same is not necessarily true for Sistas.
I don't care if I come across as cold on the street.

I don't think guys really understand what women go though.

I'm sure if you ask your male friends how many times they were complimented on their ass by complete strangers and compare the answer to your female friends that you'll find a difference.

Some of you guys might think it'd be flattering to be hissed and gawked at from strange women. Or get told all of those lame lines. But it actually gets tired and being that women are usually smaller than men, it can get scary.

You don't know if it's going to stop at looks and words or if it's going to go further.

There isn't much we can do to stop all harassment.

We can walk down the street in a parka and still have men telling us about our bodies. Getting close in attempt to be flirty. Following or maybe even trying to touch us.

It's as if some men think women are on the street just for their pleasure.

Street harassment is very real.

You might be thinking that you aren't one of those creeps, so why can't we just wave back.

Because that triggers creeps.

Some guys think that our responding means that we want attention.

So just ignoring strange men is a reasonable first step in our defense.

Yeah, it's a shame. But should we disregard our own safety and hello every guy just so we don't hurt your feelings?

For you we're being rude. For us we're protecting ourselves.
I have found that respect is the key... Generally, I say "how are you my sister" and that gets a much more favorable response. The responses range from "very well, my brother..." to a look of utter shock and surprise that I did not try to hit on them or "holla" in any way - as opposed to treating them like a piece of meat...
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
I have found that respect is the key... Generally, I say "how are you my sister" and that gets a much more favorable response. The responses range from "very well, my brother..." to a look of utter shock and surprise that I did not try to hit on them or "holla" in any way - as opposed to treating them like a piece of meat...

That's pretty strong. I'm going to use that and see what happens. fro
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:

White women have a lot less to fear. If a Black man acts in the ways described by the women above toward a white woman, all hell breaks loose. The police will actually come to the rescue of a white woman being harrassed by a Black man, and white women know it. The same is not necessarily true for Sistas.


Excellent point! Smile
Hb You mentioned how blacks in the south acknowledge one another...........i agree to a point. The older blacks speak, etc.....but not the younger ones.

Also i've been told that im unapproachable (is that a word? lol) anyway, because i never smile. So as i walk, i've been trying to smile more.

Not only are black women/men going through this........whites are also.
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Fabulous:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I'm sure all of us are familiar with how blacks (especially in the south) acknowledge one another (even strangers) on the street as they pass. But I've found that black women more like than not will refuse eye contact. When I lived in Athens, Georgia in fact - a small college town - white women were more likely to acknowledge you than black women.... In Athens, black men would insist on making eye contact and black women would be cold as ice... It seems that in many formal social/professional settings, black women will hardly acknowledge your presence...

I'm curious about how many guys have also found this to be the case.

And I'm also curious if the ladies are aware of themselves or others doing this... and if so why?


Perhaps it indeed depends on the area involved. . .I have yet to experience the same type of harassment from black men that some of the ladies here have mentioned. . .although I have several black female friends who speak of the same negative experiences. In my case though, I generally smile back or acknowledge most greetings in some way--out of habit. However, if a man is too pushy or out of hand, I will simply show him my gun and tell him to back the hell off. Smile

Just kidding, folks. I never pull my weapon during that first initial contact. LOL
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
I have found that respect is the key... Generally, I say "how are you my sister" and that gets a much more favorable response. The responses range from "very well, my brother..." to a look of utter shock and surprise that I did not try to hit on them or "holla" in any way - as opposed to treating them like a piece of meat...


I totally agree with you! Smile This is how I am normally approached by men. I speak to everyone who approach me. But like the women have said alot of men take it as flirting when I am just being friendly. Either way I still speak. But there are men who I have spoken to that have dissed me after I have smiled and said hello.
A couple of weeks ago while I was walking on campus a brotha was coming in the direction I was. I smile and spoke right away. He ignored me and keep walking as if I had not said anything! I was like okay what was that about. I am thinking brotha I was not hitting on you just trying to be polite!
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quote:
Originally posted by TruEssence:
This is how I am normally approached by men. I speak to everyone who approach me.


Same here. I generally do not give a greeting unless I'm offered a greeting first. I just don't think Black people are your "Hey, how's it hanging pal!" kind of people. We have a tight-knit circle of friends and family and we generally do not socialize with folks outside of that circle. But what I think Honestbrother really wants to know is why don't women initiate greetings. Why do men have to offer greetings first. The answer is gender socialization. Women are socialized to be chased, not to be the chasers. Going around smiling at men is chaser behavior, and in some traditional sense, the behavior of loose women. Another explanation is, often times, when a man smiles at you it's because he finds you attractive and wants to holla at you. Women are not stupid. We know that a smile precedes a greeting and a greeting is followed by conversation. And if I'm not attracted to a brother, then I definitely do not want to give him ANY indication that I'm interested in him by smiling. To me, smiling back at a man, when you're not interested, is misleading.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by TruEssence:
This is how I am normally approached by men. I speak to everyone who approach me.


Same here. I generally do not give a greeting unless I'm offered a greeting first. I just don't think Black people are your "Hey, how's it hanging pal!" kind of people. We have a tight-knit circle of friends and family and we generally do not socialize with folks outside of that circle. But what I think Honestbrother really wants to know is why don't women initiate greetings. Why do men have to offer greetings first. The answer is gender socialization. Women are socialized to be chased, not to be the chasers. Going around smiling at men is chaser behavior, and in some traditional sense, the behavior of loose women. Most times, when a man smiles at you it's because he finds you attractive and wants to holla at you. Women are not stupid. We know that smiling at us precedes a greeting and a greeting is followed by conversation. And if I'm not attracted to a man, I don't want to give him ANY indication that I'm interested in him by smiling. To me, smiling back at a man, when you're not interested, is misleading.


Rowe, I'm not sure if you're from the south.. but in the southern states it is traditional to greet those who you pass... So if you're in a southen city, it REALLY stands out when black women systematically resist this custom.

My question was not at all about mating behavior...
quote:
My question wasn't about approaching strange women... or getting a date... that really wasn't the point of bringing up the issue...

I think it's very sad that relationships between black men and women have gotten to the point where the women presume we're dangerous and/or uncivilized...

If we were healthy as a people, shouldn't we at least be able to greet one another in the streets?



This is HB's premise - it's not about a date or who initiates the greeting. It's about what happens after a sister is greeted.

I see you got here just before me HB.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
Rowe, I'm not sure if you're from the south.. but in the southern states it is traditional to greet those who you pass... So if you're in a southen city, it REALLY stands out when black women systematically resist this custom.

My question was not at all about mating behavior...


I'm not discounting your geographical explanation. There could be many reasons why some men do not get the responses from women that they desire. Other men could have a completely different experience with women, however. I doubt that men who are unusually attractive has this problem. Let's just keep it real. Women will smile back at men who they find attractive. I've done it. If I find a brother attractive, and he's giving me the stare down, I will let him know that I'm interested. Believe me.

Women know the difference between platonic greetings and greetings that express interest.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
Rowe, I'm not sure if you're from the south.. but in the southern states it is traditional to greet those who you pass... So if you're in a southen city, it REALLY stands out when black women systematically resist this custom.

My question was not at all about mating behavior...


I'm not discounting your geographical explanation. There could be many reasons why some men do not get the responses from women that they desire. Other men could have a completely different experience with women, however. I doubt that men who are unusually attractive has this problem. Let's just keep it real. Women will smile back at men who they find attractive. I've done it. If I find a brother attractive, and he's giving me the stare down, I will let him know that I'm interested. Believe me.


Rowe, are we on the same thread?...

I'm talking about custom - not mating -

I'm saying that in this setting (Athens, Georgia) black women systematically - as a GROUP - resisted this custom that even white women observed... and I'm not the only one who has noticed this...
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Honestbrother, you want to make it seem as if Black women in general are just a bunch of angry, pist-off bitches who hate Black men and I'm telling you that is not the case. There are MANY explanations for why some men get the cold shoulder from women.


I'm not saying this, Rowe. Read the frickin thread.... The situation in Athens was really extreme...

You seem to be saying that black men are self-serving oafs who can't make reliable observations about the world... and who are in constant need of female correction...

I'm done...
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I'm saying that in this setting (Athens, Georgia) black women systematically - as a GROUP - resisted this custom that even white women observed... and I'm not the only one who has noticed this...I'm not saying this, Rowe. Read the frickin thread.... The situation in Athens was really extreme...


If it's that obvious, then what is wrong with the men in Athens, GA.? Are the women in Athens, GA gay, bisexual? Have the women claimed to have a lot of bad experiences? What is your explanation for why those women in Athens, GA won't have anything to do with the Black men there? I'm very much interested in your response.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I'm saying that in this setting (Athens, Georgia) black women systematically - as a GROUP - resisted this custom that even white women observed... and I'm not the only one who has noticed this...I'm not saying this, Rowe. Read the frickin thread.... The situation in Athens was really extreme...


If it's that obvious, then what is wrong with the men in Athens, GA.? Are the women in Athens, GA gay, bisexual? Have the women claimed to have a lot of bad experiences? What is your explanation for why those women in Athens, GA won't have anything to do with the Black men there? I'm very much interested in your response.


Rowe, I don't know... that's why I started the thread... I didn't have an expanation... but the phenomenon seemed sufficiently widespread that it seemed worthwhile to seek an answer... and perhaps there is no one answer...but the thing that surprises me is how uniform the responses to this thread have been...

I.e., that women feel that it invites unwanted sexual attention... and I'm not disputing what they say... although it does surprise me.... I've never personally taken a passing greeting as flirtation (unless it was really obvious).... but as just that: a passing greeting...

Actually, the response to this thread has me feeling bad about the bad behavior of black men that would produce this (seemingly) collective female response.
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quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
Perhaps there is no one answer...but the thing that surprises me is how uniform the resposes to this thread have been...


I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but perhaps in all of this "uniformity" lies your answer.
quote:
I've never personally taken a passing greeting as flirtation (unless it was really obvious).... but as just that: a passing greeting...


THAT IS BECAUSE YOU'RE A MAN! Women are chased, men are chasers. One hundred percent of the time, whenever a man has smiled at me, it was because he wanted to holla. It was not because he wanted to "just be friendly" or "be my friend." It was because he was interested in me and he wanted to know if I was interested in him too. Again, women know the difference between general "Hey, what's up" greetings and "Girl, damn, you fine as shit" greetings.

quote:
Actually, the response to this thread has me feeling bad about the bad behavior of black men that would produce this (seemingly) collective female response.


I don't think you should feel sad about this. This is just the way women and men have been socialized. Men have been taught to approach women and women have been taught to standby and be approached. I NEVER smile at a guy that I think is unattractive, because I don't him to come near me. If I smile at him, he may be mislead into thinking that I'm interested when I'm not. Often times, you don't even have to smile back at dude, he'll come up to you anyway if he really wants to holla.
Again, Rowe, I'm speaking from within the context of traditional southern society... in which a passing greeting even between men and women is not seen as an occasion for enticing a date... it was expected behavior... a matter of good manners like saying 'excuse me' when you sneeze...

When I was growing up, failure to observe the custom was something people noticed... My mother would reprimand me for not 'speaking'...
quote:
When I was growing up, failure to observe the custom was something people noticed... My mother would reprimand me for not 'speaking'...


Then the the only reasonable explanation that we can deduce (based on your observation) is that Black women in Athens, GA lack manners. They require special training in social etiquette and Georgia customs. I'm also curious as to why if your mother, who I'm assuming is a southern woman, passed these great customs onto you, why didn't other Black mothers residing in southern areas pass these same customs onto their Black daughters?
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
When I was growing up, failure to observe the custom was something people noticed... My mother would reprimand me for not 'speaking'...

Mine too....I was raised in the South..... this is very much true...... when I moved to DC it was somewhat of a culture shock..... I spoke to everyone I saw.... only to get unwanted responses (mostly negative)....

quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Then the the only reasonable explanation that we can deduce (based on your observation) is that Black women in Athens, GA lack manners. They require special training in social etiquette and Georgia customs. I'm also curious as to why if your mother, who I'm assuming is a southern woman, passed these great customs onto you, why didn't other Black mothers residing in southern areas pass these same customs onto their Black daughters?

Many reasons.... especially now that I'm back I can see a stark difference...

**influx of northerners bringing their mores....
** lax parenting in general.....
**feminist negative coloring of the practice....
**culture that's male dominated (including hip hop).... where "courtesies" are seen as weak or white...
**no continuity in learning... (read--not as much intergenerational transference of culture)

etc.....


Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
When I was growing up, failure to observe the custom was something people noticed... My mother would reprimand me for not 'speaking'...

Mine too....I was raised in the South..... this is very much true...... when I moved to DC it was somewhat of a culture shock..... I spoke to everyone I saw.... only to get unwanted responses (mostly negative)....

quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Then the the only reasonable explanation that we can deduce (based on your observation) is that Black women in Athens, GA lack manners. They require special training in social etiquette and Georgia customs. I'm also curious as to why if your mother, who I'm assuming is a southern woman, passed these great customs onto you, why didn't other Black mothers residing in southern areas pass these same customs onto their Black daughters?

Many reasons.... especially now that I'm back I can see a stark difference...

**influx of northerners bringing their mores....
** lax parenting in general.....
**feminist negative coloring of the practice....
**culture that's male dominated (including hip hop).... where "courtesies" are seen as weak or white...
**no continuity in learning... (read--not as much intergenerational transference of culture)

etc.....


Peace,
Virtue


Sorry, I had to get this... just in case you decided to erase it Razz

I need at least one witness to confirm that I'm not crazy and making this up lol
Frenchy......

I was speaking to an attitude I ran into when I returned to Atlanta among the young sisters here.....

But admittedly this is just personal experience... certainly not a study done of ATL women.....

yet, I'll still share it with you.....

In conversations..... the sentiment seems to be that to be "competitive" a woman must take on the characteristics of men (or at least what one generally perceives to be)....... some of the characteristics are "not open".... "less emotional" or "non-emotional"... "survivalist stare" on the street (though-Frenchy, I believe this one has merit).... there seems to be an attitude that one must take on the gruffest of mannerisms from men ...... sort of like an actor practicing for his role.....

This whole concept was new to me....

and frankly frightening....

I never heard anything like this.... at least not spoken with pride.... even in DC.....

So, this is what I was referring to..... these young ladies refer to themselves as feminist....



Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
Many reasons.... especially now that I'm back I can see a stark difference...

**influx of northerners bringing their mores....
** lax parenting in general.....
**feminist negative coloring of the practice....
**culture that's male dominated (including hip hop).... where "courtesies" are seen as weak or white...
**no continuity in learning... (read--not as much intergenerational transference of culture)


I was raised in a large city, and I guess I would take offense if a southerner assumed that I lacked morals simply because I don't go around cheesing at everyone in sight. I think those from the south should accept that customs will and do change from one location to the next. In the city, especially cities that are wrought with crime, going around smiling and acting silly is a sign of vulnerability. You put yourself at risk when people intending to do you harm suspects that you are "nice" and easy to manipulate. In these hostile environments, being "friendly" will get your ass killed. Therefore, both women and men existing in these environments learn at a very early age that they must put on their "mug face" just so no one will try to jack them up. That's just reality.

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