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If You Watched Your Mouth, I’d Stop Screaming

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Sonoma chapter.

This article consists of the testimony of close women in my life and the obscene things that men have said to them directly about their feminine identity, sexuality and or self expression. Some of these women have chosen to remain anonymous. No one reading this article is a bad person and this article points no fingers. There is no hurt, only healing, and there are no dividers, only a bridge.

Some of these quotes are incredibly obscene and obviously inappropriate. You may be shocked that this was said to an individual who is similar to you in age, gender and or life experiences.

To the male readers, about the quotes that are impossibly unkind, I know you have not and would not commit the same misogynistic crimes. Let me reiterate that I firmly believe that the average man is a good person; that he has no desire to hurt or scare me, or any woman, at anytime for any reason. Most every man I have interacted with throughout my whole life has fallen under this category and I am very proud to have known them.

Keep in mind that not all of the quotes in this article are black and white.The flaws in these words may not be obvious at first. To many of these quotes, the issue within them can be argued, excused or perhaps be considered understandable to a degree.

Good men, male readers…when you read the quotes like this, I ask you to kindly reflect and ask yourself if you have ever thought or acted along these more subtle lines? The major issues in society is not, for the most part, due to the large scale horrific scenes, the ones that virtually everyone can agree are unfathomable and only executed by a small minority. Societies’ large scale problems are tied to the little everyday interactions and perceptions held by individuals. The culture of our society is run by the ways girls look at and interact with girls, girls look at and interact with boys, boys look at and interact with girls, and boys look at and interact with boys. The little things we say have a big impact on the world around us, and those words came from our ingrained thoughts and perceptions. If we can control and change these things that start and end within each of us, we can improve society in a way currently thought impossible. Most people agree that the worst of these quotes are wrong and would never say anything like them. The individuals who do and say these things, they will not read articles like this. They will not reflect; they will not listen; they are the oppressors. But you, good man, you are here. You are listening, learning, growing, empathizing and such actions by YOU, the good man, the majority, is the key to feminism aka equality.


Rebecca DeMent, age 19

“You need a pound of makeup to be pretty.”

Said the boy who dated her for almost a year.


“What kinda dumb bitch cares about height in 2018. You ain’t even cute.”

After hitting on her via social media for some time, she asked his height later in the conversation which had been going well.


Anonymous woman, age 19

“Wait… you’re not a feminist right?”

Said by guy she was “talking to” at the time.


Anonymous woman, age 21

“Oh sweetie… sweetheart…”

Said by male peer in an engineer class in the engineer concentration, after she told him before that she did not like being referred to as that in the classroom.

“Hey beautiful, which team are you here to watch?”

Man from a different robotics team at a workshop day for an upcoming robotics competition.


Eunice Jung, age 19

“Your voice is hard to understand because it’s so high pitched, maybe tone it down a little.”

Said a male debate judge after a round.


Aurora Frida, age 19

“I’d love to help with your article but I don’t have any experiences like that.”

She told me, after being asked if she had anything to offer the article.

I wanted to include this, because after contacting over 25 women asking for their testimony, it is only fair to be truthful about what they had to say. The fact that this was one of their responses is a wonderful thing. It is so great that she has walked her life around such respectful, well mannered, open-minded and kind men that she had nothing negative to add to this truthful article.


Anonymous woman, age 19

“I don’t see what’s desirable in a lack of skills.”

Regarding her choice to abstain from sex until marriage.


Zana, age 20

“Oh, do you want to be a teacher?”

Said by the majority of men who learn she is a Mathematical Sciences major.

“I would never pressure you to have sex,” followed by, “I don’t get why you’re waiting, you should just get it over with already.”

She is saving herself for marriage. This was said to her by the same boy who hit on her all of junior and senior year of high school.


Jennifer Schwegler, age 24

“When are you finally going to drop out and become a trophy wife?”

Right before she graduated, a guy she knew asked while she was reading articles for class on sexism.


Anonymous woman, age 21

“Wow you’re majoring in political science? Are you ready to get on your knees?”

Said a 60 year old man, not a peer, in her political science class.

“Understandable you have an A, you have a rockin’ body.”  

Same elder gentleman.


Annika Budde, age 15

“She was wearing that so what did you expect.”

“Oh I heard you were a hoe, but you actually seem pretty nice.”

“You might want to cover up, you might distract the boys in class.”

Told to her by her Spanish teacher during class.

“That’s cute. It takes a lot.”

After she told a boy she wants to pursue a law degree.


Anonymous woman, age 41

“You didn’t have to be such a bitch about it.”

Said by her male teacher, when she was in high school, after she kept forgetting her permission slip.


Julia Manini, age 19

“If you opened your mind as much as you opened your legs you’d be a scholar.”

Even though she was talking to her other friends and not this particular male “friend


Sam V., age 23

“I think you were put on this earth, just to please men.”

His drunk words, are sober thoughts. 


Anonymous woman, age 18

“Honey those shorts should be illegal.”

An old man who stopped at the light, rolled down the window to stick his head arm and shoulder out the window to yell at her and her friends. 

“You know what I could do with this paddle?”

A classmate, in her freshman year of high school said this to her when she was the only girl in the class. After she went to the administration and explained what happened and they told her, 

“sometimes in life, you’ll work with a majority of men. So it’s something you need to learn to deal with.”

“Just because you’re a lesbian you can’t make new friends?”

A male said over social media after hours of kindly rejecting his advances. 


AJ, age 18

“Don’t bother applying to college if you find a rich husband.”

Her uncle told her.

“You can’t carry that dresser, you’re not strong enough. That’s a man’s job.”


Michaela Budde, age 18

“I mean I just don’t like it. And it seems like you should consider my opinion. Armpit hair is different for guys.”

She regularly shaves, but hadn’t for a little. Her boyfriend had made numerous comments of this nature, despite her clear lack of discomfort with the grown hair. 



Name it. 


I would like to thank all the wonderful women who felt strong enough to tell me their stories and trust me to use their experiences in a public article. You are heard, understood and I am so sorry, on behalf of our society, that these words were spoken to you in order to hurt you and undermine your inherently high and untouchable value.

I would like to highlight one last thing, some of these women who testified, are anonymous. Let’s think about that. The victim could not even bare to have their name connected to something bad that happened to them. Let us help build a world where we can all stand up for such victims. Afterall, indifference only ever helps the oppressor.

This article is meant to be a bridge from speaking women to listening men. There is no division, only understanding for how our own thoughts and words affect others around us in a way we may not have realized before. If can say one thing about the binary for sure, it takes a real man to admit fault and try to change, and it takes a real woman to have the strength to point it out.


I'm Rebecca DeMent(she/her/they/them), a Buddhist Catholic vegan ecofeminst, and I am a junior at Sonoma State University studying Philosophy in the Pre-Law concentration with a minor in Business. 
Contributor account for HC Sonoma