Saturday, 27 July 2013

Stop street harassment. No, really.


Two things:

Thing one: a couple hours ago a teenage boy yelled "I WANT TO EAT YOUR PUSSY" at me in the street. I pretended I didn't hear him but was prepared to go over if he said anything else and see what he actually had to say to an angry thirty year old tattooed woman who was sick of his shit and was ready to teach somebody a lesson.

Thing two: a truckful of young guys drove past Ryan and I when we were walking Tank last night and the driver yelled "fucking bitch" at me? Us? I don't know. But anyway Ryan took it as them yelling at me and stared them down until they drove out of sight.

I was angry that he was reacting to them and maybe drawing further attention to us. I heard myself saying "Don't! It's fine, it doesn't matter!" and thought "WHY AM I SAYING THIS? It's not okay."

But I wasn't prepared for him to take on a truckful of monster truck loving 20 year old douchebag fratboys either. I found myself being angry with him for trying to protect me from them...because I don't want him to play that game either. I want to feel like they have no power over me, and by that logic he should not acknowledge their existence.


So you get this kind of thing very often? I sure as hell do. And I'll be honest. 80 to 85 percent of the time it scares the shit out of me. It doesn't matter how "harmless" or "innocuous" the comments that are said to me seem.  I hate it. It scares me so much I carry a knife. It scares me so much I always plan escape routes and ways to hurt people when I pass groups of men. It scares me so much I can't breathe sometimes. And I honestly don't think I'm overreacting one iota .

You know that feeling of terror when you see a face at your window at night? That feeling when someone grabs your ankle when you're lying in bed? That feeling where you turn around and somebody you weren't expecting is standing right behind you? Yeah. That's the terror I feel when a truck pulls up beside me as I walk down the sidewalk and then drives in reverse beside me while the passenger just stares at me not saying a damn word. (This happened last week.) WHY would you ever do that?

Dudes out there, do not, I repeat DO NOT, comment on somebody's appearance in public. Ever. Do not get in somebody's physical space. Ever. Do not physically approach a girl who is alone at night. Do not physically block anybody's path ever. Do not insinuate sex with your words or your actions unless you know the person well enough to not scare the shit out of them. Physical intimidation is not funny. Just like rape is never funny, neither is the non-verbal threat of it.

Disrespecting somebody just because they are a woman is horrible, and shows how little confidence you have in yourself. Threatening somebody with physical or sexual violence by your words or your actions is even worse.

I actually read a quote on the adulting blog a couple days ago that is so relevant. 

Street harassment is NOT A COMPLIMENT

Still not sure what I'm talking about?  This comic says it all.This is what it's like. Really.

Here's the definition of street harassment. Here's how to deal with harassers. 
And guys? Just stop it. Please. Just stop.

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