This post is one that is about something I feel all women hold quite close to themselves. It’s about street harassment, and not only street harassment, but all the various other types of harassment women have to endure pretty much everyday.
This article is about street harassment, cat-calling etc, and how it makes women feel. I suggest if you’ve ever shouted to a woman (or if you’re a woman, been shouted at) on the street about how she looks or how her presence makes you feel ‘down there’ then you should read the article and watch the video and look at the consequences of your actions.
It seems to me, from reading the article and watching the video, that men who participate in street harassment feel as if they’re doing us a favour by letting us know what they think about how we look. They think that they’re giving us validation that we are attractive. As if their calls of “looking good, baby” and “beautiful” are boosting our self-esteem. Actually, I think you’ll find it makes our skin crawl with disgust from how creepy you are. Honest to god, they probably think that what we’re wearing is for their benefit instead of (surprise, surprise) our own.
You are not doing us a favour. We’re trying to go about our daily lives. I might be going to the shop, a job interview, to meet friends, to go on a date, and I know for sure that I did not go out dressed like this to impress some random men that I’ll see in the street. It’s probably a one-in-a-million chance that we’re even walking on the same pavement, so I sure as hell am not dressing for your benefit.
Another thing that this article brings to my attention is the notion that girls who dress ‘provocatively’ (take from that what you will) are asking for it. This is probably the most idiotic, disgusting, fucked up thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Nobody is ever, ever asking you to rape them. I don’t care if they are wearing the shortest, tightest, most revealing dress that they might as well be naked, if they have not given consent for you to have sex with them, you keep yourself outside of them. I feel so strongly about this, that I attended the 2011 SlutWalk in London. I don’t know how many of you know what the SlutWalk is, but it was set-up in protest of what happened in Canada. The rallies began after Constable Michael Sanguinetti, a Toronto police officer, suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” as a precaution against unwanted sexual attention.
I attended the SlutWalk with friends, and marched with thousands of women dressed in what ranged from underwear to Geisha outfits. Mostly we were doing this to put an end to rape culture, or speed up the progress which eventually will get to that end, but I suppose the main theme of the march was to highlight how a women’s clothing is not an invitation to sexual harassment or abuse. This is 100% a fact, not an opinion, that a woman’s clothing, appearance or personality is not an invitation for rape. I literally cannot stress that enough.
Here is a link to the SlutWalk Toronto site:
I also want to highlight, in spirit of the title of this post, how men and women react differently to acknowledging the opposite sex and their level of attractiveness towards us. I ask, why can’t men just keep it to themselves when they see a women on the street that they find attractive? Why do they feel the need to alert the woman and every single other person on the street too? Women, more often than not, do not do this. We see a man we find attractive, and we turn around and tell our friends so everyone can make sure to look at him and giggle about it afterwards. We don’t shout at the man, and if we did, it’s more likely that he’d shout something obscene back. To women, I say, the next time a man shouts something at you from his car, or just from across the street, shout something incredibly obscene back. It might just make him think twice about doing it again.