Street Harassment, or the Idiot's Guide to Not Being an A**hole
OK, now do you understand that this is what women are subjected to every day of their lives for having the nerve to walk down the street in the cities where they live and, you know, go about their business? They might be walking to work or school or the grocery store. In other words, living their lives.
Now I need anyone who is reading this, man or woman, who might be thinking something along the lines of “It’s not that bad” or “It’s a compliment! What’s her problem?” or anything else like that to listen very carefully:
I am not telling you that you aren’t allowed to interact with a person that you find attractive. I AM telling you that it is absolutely unacceptable to call out to women as they are walking down the street having absolutely nothing to do with you; it is unacceptable to make them feel unsafe, to shout out orders like, “Smile!”, or to comment on their bodies or looks.
And before someone tries to tell me the men in this video (or maybe they themselves) weren’t “being” threatening let me tell you, as a woman who walks all over my city by myself, I would have felt threatened by every single man in this video. I am not a shrinking violet. I am independent, I do things for myself, I do not need to be taken care of. But with every single one of those comments I would have felt like I might be grabbed or assaulted in some way, and have no way of stopping it. Oh, men don’t feel that way walking down the street in the city? That must be completely amazing. Good for you guys. Tra-la-la.
Here is a good guideline for you – if you wouldn’t say it to your mom or sister, don’t say it to a woman you don’t know. Let me help you to see if you can follow the logic here and if it’s easy to understand. Maybe it will clear things up for people who are still having a problem.
Example 1: Holding a door for a woman as you leave a building. Would you do it for your mom or sister? Sure. You’re good. You can even smile politely.
Example 2: As you are holding the door, looking the woman up and down and saying, “Damn!” Would you do this to your mom or sister? No? OK, then not acceptable.
See how easy that is?
You’re welcome. Now share this with everyone you know because people need to get it through their thick skulls.