Dudes: it is NOT a complement. Unwanted and unasked-for attention is actually kind of threatening. YOU may not turn violent if we fail to respond to your catcalling, or fail to respond positively… but 1) WE don’t know that. 2) We may not be as lucky with the next guy.
I got hit on and chatted up by a guy while waiting for a bus at 1am on a less-than-lit street corner in the city ages back. He was probably a foot taller than me, and even though I’m not a tiny girl, he was big enough he could have tossed me over his shoulder, and I’d have been in trouble. I am sure this guy meant nothing by it. He may even have truly wanted to date me. And I was still fucking terrified.
What do you think street harassment is about? Sex? Benign flattery? Attraction? Women who can’t just suck it up and deal?
It’s power. Catcalls, sexist comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking and assault: gender-based street harassment makes public places unfriendly, frightening and dangerous for many girls, women, and LGBQT people.
It’s power to control public spaces. Power to alter paths. Power to shame, scare and intimidate. Power to define what is safe and what is not. It’s the power to say: “I’m entitled to touch you, comment on your body, coerce you to smile, control your movement.” Even when women perceive catcalls as flattering, they are nonetheless aware that it’s an unpredictable degree away from possible harm. ”
I think it needs to be clearer, though, that this initiative isn’t about “hollaback” and it isn’t advocating confronting harassment head-on. I wouldn’t want anyone to think—as i initially assumed—that this project is based around pressuring women into confronting those who harass them (i.e. pressuring women into putting themselves in an even more dangerous position). It’s not. It’s about raising awareness and using a variety of community-based methods to achieve goals. You can find out more here or by clicking through on the photo.
I just can’t understand what makes someone compelled to scream at a woman walking down the street. Clearly, nothing has ever happened as a result of cat calling. I’m almost positive no woman thought “Omg, he said i was sexy…. I’m gonna have sex with that random man in a car.” No. This never happened. So men, stop wasting your time. Keep your fucking thoughts to yourself because one day, I will punch you in the face. Yes. I have breasts. This does not mean you should almost break your neck staring at them. Holy shit, its kinda sad that you’re so empty, that body parts are so entracing to you. Now, I’m attracted to all kinds of people as well. But, I’m able of controlling my “urges” so I don’t look like a moron with pieces of my brain missing. The thing that bothers me is that never do they ever imagine the lives these women have. In my personal experience, I am walking to the bus at 8am to go to class. It seems obvious to me, that I don’t want to be bothered by gross men. I have other things to deal with. Is it so hard to believe that I’m a human with a life? I am NOT a pair of tits for you to jerk off to (unless I tell you to). I don’t want to question their intelligence because I am aware of the larger cause of this issue. But its also hard to sympathize with men who are eyeing me to the point where I become scared. Its a matter of being capable of being attracted to someone and not making them feel anxious because of it. Of course, I am making lots of generalizations. *Not all men are like this.* Another issue I have is the inability to connect sexual attraction and some level of respect for a person. You can be sexually attracted to someone, think about them sexually and still respect that they have feelings. It’s getting absurd to believe some girls are just ‘sluts’ and some are girlfriends. Stop this right now. That “slut” you’re talking about, maybe wants a guy to respect her and love her but no man has ever given her the chance. Also, you can be someone’s girlfriend or wife and want to be treated like a “slut”. This is possible. I can be two things at once. A respected person and a sexual person. Hard to believe huh? Well, its true. This also goes back to the whole cat calling thing. RESPECT the fact that I’m trying to live my life. I do not care about you nor your penis. Think whatever you want, but don’t ever believe its okay to scream those thoughts at me. I wish there was some way to reteach men. I want them to know this is wrong, and also understand it must change. There are men who do comprehend the issue and strive not to act this way. But then again, as I experienced this morning, there are a lot who don’t. I sat on the bus, feeling uncomfortable because this one guy wouldn’t look away. I should have told him to stop. Next time, I fucking will make sure he knows to stop.
In societies across the world, women are still openly harassed on the streets and in other public spaces. Leering, lecherous ogling. Harassment in the work place. Unsolicited physical, or non-physical sexual contact.
The world is watching. Join the movement and stop street harassment.
Like most women, I currently live in a society where violence, harassment and scary shit can break out at any moment, just because I told some random asshole “no” without bothering to be nice about it. Doing that is so dangerous that most women don’t dare; after a few scary incidents, they learn to make up excuses, to smile, to be sweet and welcoming, to act as if every single random asshole on the street is a precious new friend that they would just LOVE to stand outside of the Chipotle and chat with FOR HOURS, if only cruel fate had not intervened. That’s what it’s actually like, being a woman: Playing nice with every random asshole, because this random asshole might be the one who hurts you. And then, if he hurts you anyway, they’ll tell you that you led him on. ”
I was 12, and this car pulled up alongside me as I was walking home from school … the driver looked a little older than my dad, at least 40. He leaned out, and I thought he was going to ask me for directions, but instead he asked me how old I was. When I told him, he laughed. ‘Damn, you got some big titties for such a little girl.’ He made this gross smacking sound with his lips, and sped away. I ran all the way home. ”
I was maybe 10 when it started & I still remember feeling so ashamed & scared. It’s a disgusting thing to do in general, & a terrible thing to do to children. Sure, it’s technically not a crime, but it should be.
(karynthia) Yeah, I was 10 when the creeps started…
This video, found via @colorlines, goes through a series of frustrating, dehumanizing instances forms of street harassment unique to Asian American women.
1. Asian women are not equatable to Asian food. Even if you’re hungry. 2. You’ve cultivated an impressive catalogue of 80′s war movies. Well done sir. But the sidewalk is not your mother’s basement and I am not an internet forum. Keep the movie quotes to yourself. 3. Pop culture references that invariably suggest someone is foreign, submissive/docile, or willing to service you sexually should always be avoided. In other words: find a new fetish. 4. Seriously, when has anything referencing the Vietnam war ever gotten anyone laid? (Stanley Kubrick, who knew your legacy would be Asian female street harassment?) 5. If the first thing you think of when you see an Asian woman is “I should ask her to feed me,” you should know you’re not fit for human companionship. Period. Get a rice cooker. It won’t care if you fetishize it. 6. This is America; assume the Asian female you’re chatting with is American. Talk to her about red vs. blue politics, her favorite type of pie, who is better: Katy Perry or Ke[s]ha, or at the very least, baseball – not about foods that use chopsticks. Your ability to feed yourself is an accomplishment – but she doesn’t need to know that.
[Image description: Jo brand, a fat, older, white woman is looking to the right of the camera. She has short hair with a pink ribbon in it.]
Jo Brand: As a woman, I’m sure other women will back me up on this, at least once if not many more times in your life you have to suffer abuse shouted at you on the street. And it’s really difficult because nine times out of ten you can’t fight back. And in fact, the only time I ever did was, I was in central London and the obligatory white van came past, you know, and some bloke shouted out, oh, I don’t know, “show us your tits you ugly…” whatever it was. And luckily for me, A, I had PMT and B, they were stuck in a traffic jam. So I went up to their van and pulled the windscreen wipers off. And actually I was very pleased about having PMT because I would have been too scared otherwise. But the most rewarding thing was the look on their faces. They could not believe that I’d done it, you know, it was great.
HarassMap aims to empower Egypt’s women in ways similar to the role played by Twitter, Facebook and the like in all the uprisings that together constitute the Arab Spring of 2011. To the purely social aspect, it adds the visual impact of cartography.
HarassMap is a website that amasses reports of sexual harassment, texted in by phone , and then plots this data on a map. The data can be traced historically (via a timeline), divided by type (from touching and stalking to indecent exposure and rape), and parsed geographically.
At a glance, this location-based angle shows which neighbourhoods are safe, and which type of harassment is most likely where (and when, thanks to the timeline feature).
Rapes, for example, are reported in the city centre, in the northeast and in the south of Cairo. As the reporting is voluntary, requires knowledge of the project, and has no immediate impact, it is likely that the data presented by HarassMap is incomplete, This raises questions about its practical value as a guide to separate “go” from “no-go” areas.
But the mere fact that HarassMap is tallying up incidents of indecency (and worse) in itself is a signal to Egyptian society at large. By quantifying these cases, the website is empowering women to take action where previously their options were to give ‘less offense’ by staying in more, or veiling up more. It also lays the issue on the doorstep of the government - and the men - of Egypt, underscoring the necessity for a change in laws, and in attitudes.
I love it when cartography gets used for things like this.
This blog is about the endeavors of women. I feel there is a growing need for activism in the current political climate. I will showcase: LBGT rights, body positive imagery, pro-choice, birth control, reproductive rights, safe sex, sex positive, media literacy, news about women worldwide, gender roles, women throughout history and current badasses, feminist literature, and other general women's issues. And of course, what you can do to fight the good fight.