Dealing with the Comments

#1
Hello. I am a young woman like many of you, and like many of you, men say things to me 24-7 in the street. I don't live in the nicest of barrios, I don't know if that makes a difference....but the comments are out of control and I don't know what (if anything) I can do about it. Literally, I go to drop off my sheets at the lavadero a block away and hear 4-5 comments in that one block. In the US, I'd have no problem shouting out "You mother *bleep*!" or flicking him off, but here I don't know what to do. I don't want to end up doing something that is so culturally out there that I get myself into a jam, for instance, my safety is at stake. But I am done keeping my mouth shut. What are your thoughts?
 
#3
The comments come from different people. Several months ago, there was a group of about 3 guys that would hang out on my block and always shout stuff to me. It bothered me so much, that my husband approached one of the guys at 2 am one night and was like, "Don't be a jack ass, we're "gente del barrio", cut it out".... thankfully, the comments did stop and they no longer hang out by us. However, that's just one example.
 
#4
Best thing to do is nothing. No eye contact, no shouting back, nothing. Unless you have perfect Castellano with a Porteno accent, as soon as you open your mouth it will be obvious you're not from here, and it will just encourage it more.
I live in a similar location -- I have a lava-auto and a mechanic on my corner. There's up to 15 guys hanging around at the lava-auto always asking if they can help me etc.
If you start listening carefully you'll realise the large majority of the comments are harmless -- yes occasionally you get some grossities but usually they are cheesy -- You're a Goddess, What Eyes you Have, God must have pulled the Stars from the Sky etc etc -- it's not often that I've actually heard something disgusting.
If the guys are actually following you at all, then there is cause for concern -- do you know the porteros on your block? I know most of the ones in my street by sight and they'd all tell the guys where to go if I was being bothered.
Start saying hello to the porteros and shop people etc in your area -- if someones following you, go into one of the stores or talk to a portero -- they are usually very nice and would walk you to your building if you needed it. If the guys are following you go to the closest building and ring the bell for the portero -- tell them you are from next door and having a problem etc. Whoever's bothering you should get the idea and go away, and if not tell the portero of the building that your having aproblem with the guys and they should be able to look out for you.
 
#6
Syngirl-- thanks for the suggestions about saying hi to more people in the neighborhood, porteros, etc. That's not a bad idea; however, I imagine that they'll think I am coming on to them.....
I do get some "que lindos ojos", but equal amounts of let me "chuparte el cuerpo", which is totally nasty and offensive. I speak and understand fluent Spanish.... maybe I just need to buy a discman and wear sunglasses.
 

tinto

Active Member
#7
just a quick comment about the word portero: it can be a tad derogatory or limiting because it basically means porter or doorman.
(i realize that the word is sometimes written on the grid with all the ¨timbres.¨)
¨encargado¨ is a more politically correct substitute because it means the person in charge.
 
#8
Isn't "encargado" the man who runs a building, i.e. the head "porter"? My understnding was that the other staff members were "porteros" under the suprevision of an "encargado".
 
#9
"sheridan725" said:
Syngirl-- thanks for the suggestions about saying hi to more people in the neighborhood, porteros, etc. That's not a bad idea; however, I imagine that they'll think I am coming on to them.....
I do get some "que lindos ojos", but equal amounts of let me "chuparte el cuerpo", which is totally nasty and offensive. I speak and understand fluent Spanish.... maybe I just need to buy a discman and wear sunglasses.
Not a good idea to buy a discman(or Ipod, MP3 player) in a bad neibourghood

 

Bill

Active Member
#10
Perhaps a good defense is to have your husband with you when you go out although the real solution is to stop paying attention, since this is what these guys are after. All part of adapting to life here because (sorry to say) this sort of thing is part of the culture isn't going to change.
As a lone male, the threat is with guys that try to pick fights or street people trying to get money in some way. You have to develop a thick skin to live here and also know when to smile and keep moving.