Street Harassment

It has come to my attention that a lot of women are openly speaking out against their daily nuances with street harassment. I, as well as most women can definitely concur that sometimes just going about your daily routines can be a hassle knowing that you can be approached inappropriately while about. My only issue with the street harassment movement is, of course, how many men responded. Some of the responses I saw in defense of stress harassment was “Women like compliments, it’s not harassment,” “If women don’t want to be talked to a certain way, they shouldn’t dress a certain way,” and “If women were attracted to men who were respectful, our attitudes would change.” Most of the other comments implied that women exaggerate when it comes to street harassment and that it is not as big as a deal as we make it. Do I even have to explain how frustrated I was reading these sexist comments? It always seems like whenever a woman is a victim of anything, it’s always somehow her fault. I’d also like to add that no matter what a woman is wearing, if encountered by the wrong guy, she will be harassed regardless. First and foremost, and I’m speaking for a majority of women when I say this, while we do like compliments, we don’t want to hear them from aggressive strangers in public when we’re just trying to get from point A to point B. To elaborate on that argument, being whistled at, called sexy or being told to come here is not at all flattering, it’s annoying. Women (and young girls) shouldn’t feel intimidated when they see a group of men walking down the street, nor should we have to change our route to avoid being harassed for our numbers. Women don’t feel sexy when they’re hearing suggestive comments about themselves, they feel fear. They don’t know who they’re speaking to, so in order to avoid confrontation of being followed, a lot of women pretty much grin and bear it, especially seeing that some men are notorious for harshly insulting the women who don’t give them the time of day. To add my personal experiences, I have been grabbed when I chose to ignore the harassers, I have also been followed by men in cars while walking home to or from school or to work, I’ve been hissed at and interrupted from my daily routines just to deal with harassers. No incident that I can recall has made me feel better about myself or flattered, but rather fearful, annoyed and enraged. Men, when you see an attractive women in public, do what women do when we see attractive men, keep your comments to yourself.



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