Blurred Boundaries: 14 Female Actions That Navigate the Gray Areas of Harassment

By Krystal Brown

When it comes to dating, there are some things that women do that cross the line between being friendly and sexually harassing someone, as we see here. 

Invading Personal Space

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Just as women do not want their personal space invaded, neither do men. We teach our children that they should gain consent before touching someone who you would think that adult women would be able to respect. Unwanted touching can be anything from taking a man’s hand without permission, running your fingers through his hair, or feeling his beard. 

Unwanted Touching

Woman saying stop no
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The invasion of someone in the above circumstances can be very casual, and people may not realize they are doing it. Unwanted touching can be deliberately overstepping the line by touching someone in a more sexual way. When a woman thinks it is OK to touch a man’s muscles and make sexual remarks, it is very inappropriate. 

Not Respecting Boundaries

Man saying stop
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We all have our personal boundaries that need to be respected, something not all women do. If women are in a relationship, then they need to have open conversations with their partner about both sets of boundaries. If a woman is not in a relationship, then she should ask for consent, as we have discussed. 

Being Culturally Insensitive

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Women should be culturally sensitive to others; for example, if a man attends a wedding in a kilt, then women should not see it as a free pass to invade their private space. Looking up someone’s skirt is never appropriate. 

Workplace Harassment

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Harassment is never OK, but it is astonishing that some women think they can overstep their mark in the workplace. Many men have reported that women at work will grab their behind or stroke their backs every time they walk past them.

Making People Feeling Uncomfortable at Work

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Women do not have to touch men inappropriately to make men feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, women making inappropriate comments or constantly staring at a colleague they are attracted to is enough to make men feel uncomfortable. 

Double Standards

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Women often complain about men being sleazy and coming on to them, often not taking no for an answer. It is unfair, then, for women to hold double standards by showing the same behavior to men. Nobody deserves to have their personal space invaded or to be humiliated. 

Inappropriate Behavior in Professional Settings

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Some women are inappropriate in professional settings, such as a doctor’s surgery or a job interview. Any physical contact in professional surroundings should be avoided, and women should never flirt to get what they want.  

Being Disrespectful in Public

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Some women have the audacity to walk up to total strangers and make inappropriate gestures. Touching or making sexual comments to someone in public is not appropriate. Women may try to explain away their inappropriate actions, but they should think about how they would feel if the shoe was on the other foot. 

Behaving Badly at Parties

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While parties are a good place to get our hair down, they do not give you permission to act inappropriately. People should feel safe and comfortable having a night out without worrying about being touched up by women who think they can do what they want while everyone is in good spirits. 

Harassing People Online

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Another place where women think they can be inappropriate is online. As online life can feel less accountable than speaking with someone face to face, lots of women overstep their boundaries. Being online should be safe for all, and there needs to be more done to protect both women and men online. 

Unwanted Flirting

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Lots of women make excuses when they say that they are only flirting with a man. Whether there is an attempt to blur boundaries or it is done by accident, it’s still wrong. Women should read the signs, and if a man is not showing signs that they are interested in them, they should back off. Respect works both ways, and if a man was flirting with a woman who wasn’t interested, they would not be happy if he continued. 

Inappropriate Proposals

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Some women think that they can make inappropriate proposals and will get annoyed if a man says no. If a man is in a committed relationship and a woman comes on to them, promising them that they won’t tell their partner, it shows a great deal of disrespect. It is important for women to respect when others are in a relationship. 


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Women often label men and make assumptions about their personalities, which is unfair. For example, a woman may see that a man is good-looking or that he world out and thinks he will enjoy women flirting with him. While this may be the case occasionally, it is never ok to stereotype men or assume you know what they want.

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