Well, I don’t recall anyone dressing up in odd costumes or try to pick up 12-year-olds in record shops…
I suppose my point was twofold:
a) The line between banter and verbal abuse depends an awful lot on context, intent, and the actors involved. The average resident of Stoke-on-Trent (the location of which I speak) was neither a master of eloquent verbal seduction nor - in the case of those on the listening end - a big fan of that approach. Everyone was quite happy to keep things at a simian level.
b) People seemed a lot more able to deal with things on the spot back then. As Hamletintaiwan said, an inappropriate remark would either be met in kind, or with a good solid slap. And the man involved would be suitably chastened. Despite their preference for the direct approach, nobody would ever, in my world, have followed up that sort of response with more provocative remarks or an attempt at a grope.
It seems to me that, despite endless wittering about ‘empowerment’, women are less empowered in this regard than they ever were - they seem unwilling or unable to take control of the situation and put the offending party in his place. This is weird, because back in the day, men would (sometimes) have been given a free pass if they actually did cross the line to assault, while today they’ll be tarred and feathered for an overly long glance at some cleavage. You’d think this would make women more confident about drawing their personal line in the sand, but it appears not.
I do realise that endless comments from men, or getting prodded like they’re a piece of meat, can get right on women’s nerves. Especially in (say) South America where it’s happening all the time. Things go downhill fast, I think, when the men involved actually do see the woman as a piece of meat and therefore won’t be stopped by a sharp retort, and would respond to a slap with violence.