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Stop Street Harassment

November 3, 2010

I stumbled onto Stop Street Harassment a bit ago, a website that chronicles not only essays about the affects of street harassment, but also horror stories of every day encounters.

The website defines street harassment as “… inappropriate, rude, scary, and insulting speech and behavior from men directed at unknown women… in public places, simply because they are female.” This includes cat-calling, whistling, sexual comments or gestures, assault, and leering.

Let’s look at some horror stories:

Then because I didn’t say anything he screamed out, “Did you hear me?” Then he screamed, “I could just Fuck your ASS all night long.” He was screaming things to me all the way down the street until I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but he was still saying stuff.  He looked like a normal, good-looking nice guy, but he was so disgusting with his words.  It really did shake me up.” Excerpt from here.

“He got up and proceeded to lean in and maul me with his face and hands. My fighting instincts kicked in and I stood up, pushing him away. “Get the fuck away from me!” I screamed. “Don’t fucking touch me!” “What the fuck,” he slurred. “I was trying to apologize.” “Oh, that’s how you apologize? By invading someone’s space? That’s acceptable behavior to you?” I was shouting at this point, and I really didn’t care. “Well, whatever, it was a joke,” he said, coming in again to touch me.” Excerpt from here.

“I was very shaken after this. He almost got hit by a CAR, but he kept going! We were only 13 at the time. Sure, we looked older than our age, but even if we were older, that is just not appropriate at all. It did not feel good at all. We didn’t laugh. We weren’t flattered. All of a sudden, it wasn’t funny anymore. We felt threatened and uncomfortable.” Excerpt from here.

“Whatever,” you may say. “Women appreciate the attention/are asking for it/should know its harmless and all in good fun!”

  • NO ONE appreciates being dehumanized by being reduced to body parts or uses from vulgar words and gestures for another’s pure enjoyment. Saying “I wanna tap that booty!” is NOT the same level of “flattery” as saying “You an intelligent person”.
  • Whether you are 13 or 103, in sweats and a hoodie or a little black dress, walking alone at night or a with your family during the day, no one is ever asking to be harassed and should never be blamed for someone else’s wrong actions.
  • Street harassment is far from harmless. It is the reason I can’t walk my dog after sun down. It is the reason young girls feel like they have to both cover up their “shameful” bodies, but also keep them appealing to men. It is the reason millions of women feel uncomfortable, unsafe, threatened, and disgusted when simply walking to get their morning coffee.
  • Street harassment can lead to sexual assault. If someone does not have respect for your personal space, privacy, and dignity, what’s to say they’ll have respect if you say “no” or “stop”?

I know some of you may think its funny, or harmless, or a “boys will be boys” thing to yell lewd words at people or play grab-ass on the train, but its not. It’s fucking stupid and disrespectful, bottom line.

Check out Stop Street Harassment for more stories, resources for self-defense, and ways to deter and defend against street harassment.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2010 11:11 pm

    It’s like those men who see women that are “snotty,” “stuck up,” or “bitchy” and they need to be “fucked” into submission. It’s disgusting and there is this pervasive idea of male entitlement to physically control women.

    Every single one of these pricks should have been maced.

  2. njking permalink
    November 4, 2010 7:36 am

    I am uncertain of leaving a comment, being a member of the male gender “species.” But I must. Being a newly relocated male in the college sanctuary and dating younger college age girls, as I prefer them (18-21); I have discovered that (most, not all) loath the women’s movement for equality. These individuals love to be ridiculed and spit upon any chance they can get, or face the dire consequences of demasculating their man. In other words, treat them like a princess and get hot-carled, or put them in their third-world place and have a girlfriend. Then again, that may only pertain to bimbos (the vast majority). There to far and few in between who deserve the respect of an equal and not equated to level of Bitch or my favorite word %#*?. And I am only speaking out of my personal experiences, so that propably makes me culpable of being a bitch, bitching vicariously through every keystroke I have provided.

    • njking permalink
      November 4, 2010 7:52 am

      I wish to submit a 2nd revision of the comment I have just posted. (There [are] to far…) and (…equal and not equated to [the] level…). I am sure there are more syntax, grammatical and mechanical errors. That what makes me so paranoid about…never mind. I’ve made my point.

    • November 4, 2010 7:35 pm

      Many people (not just young women) ‘loath’ what they think is feminism/sex equality because they believe its some horrendous anti-male ‘feminazi’ movement set to destroy masculinity and tradition. It’s not, and you’re stupid if you believe that. Now this:

      “There to far and few in between who deserve the respect of an equal and not equated to level of Bitch or my favorite word %#*?”

      is what feminism is about. You, nor anyone else, does not get to set a ‘standard’ to which an entire gender must rise up to meet. There is no ‘standard for equality’ that a person must meet – that defeats the entire the sense of the word. To believe that because someone chooses to not date you, or date a ‘jerk’ and is therefore labeled a bitch and is unequal to you is wrong. You do not get to decide what women are ‘worthy’ of being equal to men and which ones are too stupid, too ‘bimbo’, too ‘womanly’ to ever be seen as human.

      Get it together Nate! People are not puddles of barely-there personality traits that are easily pushed into one sopping category.

    • November 5, 2010 5:40 am

      Your comment hardly makes sense. This is a blog post about sexual harassment in public places, and you’re complaining that the girls you date who are significantly younger (I assume from your statements) than you are immature, and are therefore subhuman. Maybe if you weren’t such a weird misogynist you’d have a shot with woman your own age who are more established at understanding what they expect and want from a relationship. Instead, you pray on girls who are still trying to figure out how to balance a boyfriend and school work. You are just as bad as the men you claim they leave you for if you think they don’t deserve to be treated with respect.


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