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Holy shit. I think the thing that bothers me the most is that this kind of approach must work for these assholes at least a good percentage of the time. I can't imagine they'd need to take more than a couple knees to the balls to realize this goes way past rude and straight into restraining order territory.

Seriously ladies... quick jab to the adam's apple. They'll never see it coming.

Not to defend the offenders, but I don't think their comments have much at all to do with the poor, innocent womyn who are only trying to get to work or the bookstore as they pass these vile monsters of construction workers lazily casting harassment. It's similar to workplace homophobia, which has nothing to do with honest sexual preference or lifestyle. These guys are doing "manly" work with a crew of mostly, if not entirely, men. The oft-touted specter of Male Bonding rears its ugly head. Like office folks gathering around the proverbial water cooler, taking pot-shots at any easy target, these workers are aiming their pellet guns of wit at the grey squirrels of womyn passing by. Their comments are rarely directed at any wommon in particular, and certainly have nothing to do with her as a person, as you've pointed out above. A ponytail is enough for these guys to say something that will impress the other guys. It's just cheap humor. If the feminists of the world want to fight these tendencies in male-dominated fields like construction work, I think the best solution lies not in weapons like mace or violent responses like nut-kicking, but in proactive action - namely, joining construction crews. You'd be amazed at how well most of these men are behaved in their homes and in other social situations where they actually interact with womyn. Hell, most are married with children, and are prepared for fisticuffs with anyone who'd act toward their beloveds as they do to perfect strangers walking by. They don't need negative reinforcement, which will only encourage them, as it will be funny for the whole crew to see any reaction from the target. They need company that's a little more feminine, or at least more sensitive. If a wommon were to walk into their construction zone, they'd most likely have their hardhats off with polite smiles for her. If she were working with them, she'd probably be just as crude. Maybe it's some sort of coping mechanism for dealing with a job that requires a lot of hurry up and wait, and hard physical labor when the hurrying up happens. I guess I'm trying to say that these guys aren't usually assholes. They're nice guys who work in an environment that encourages bad behavior. Of course, this line of thinking makes me wonder if any womyn working in offices still get their asses pinched or secretaries still get calls to take dick-tation. Am I making sense?

luckydave, I like your idea about mixed-gender work crews. Almost as much as I like Kevin's idea about a jab to the windpipe.

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