Published on May 13th, 2014 | by Rayne


Street dismissal: The misogyny towards being “unattractive”.


We all know what street harassment is. There are books and websites dedicated to calling out street harassment and fighting against abuse. On the opposite side of the spectrum is what has been dubbed as street dismissal. Street dismissal happens to women who don’t happen to fit the mold for “attractive” or “sexy” in modern society. Street dismissal isn’t about plain women moaning about how they don’t get attention – street dismissal is a phenomenon where men or women feel the need to subtlety yet deliberately announce that women who don’t fit  the Western standard of attractive aren’t worthy of respect, time or value due to their perceived unattractiveness. Which furthers the ideal (promoted by some) that women are only worthy of attention and respect if they are considered attractive.

This isn’t about not getting attention, this is about blatantly being ignored or aggressively abused because of how someone looks. This is about being rendered invisible because of your looks and alienated because you’re not “hot”. While women who get street harassed are getting abused because they are considered attractive, women who aren’t considered attractive are getting just as abused for not being considered attractive.

Some examples from Tumblr include:

“Many guys at parties will arrive or leave, give all the men handshakes, give the attractive women hugs, but won’t even make eye contact with me. I am not a guy or a hot girl so I don’t exist.”

“One time I was walking behind a group of attractive women. A guy spotted us. Opened the door for the three women and shut the door in my face. I am not worthy of his time because I am not attractive.”

“I once went with my gay male friend to a straight guy’s house he knew. The first thing out of the straight guy’s mouth was “I was totally excited when you had a chick with you. Nevermind!” The whole night he offered my friend drinks and didn’t offer me a thing and seemed frustrated when I asked where the bathroom was. The only other thing he said that night was “Do you have any hot single friends that would come over here?””

“I’ve been sexually harassed, fat shamed and invisible depending on how someone decides how valuable I am to them. It cuts at you.”

“I hear stories like this mostly from big women or women who used to be a lot bigger than they are now. A woman told me she was once straight up punched in the face, after the guy told her she was disgusting and fat, and he just walked on and laughed. And the saddest part is that she told me, a lot of women harrassed her as well :(

OP is right, women are not left alone or “ignored” just because men dont find them attractive. And as the OP says, ignoring someone can be done in a rude and aggressive way.”

Misogyny affects everyone.

What about you, dear readers? Feel free to leave comments with your own stories of street dismissal.

If you like some of the things I say – feel free to add me to your RSS feed, comment or email me: rayne@insufferableintolerance.com. I now have a facebook page! Feel free to like my page by clicking here!


Share Button


About the Author

Goth. Metal music. Tea. Books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 + six =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑