I just found a very interesting article on The Daily Mail. It’s titled “How Many Women Find Street Harassment Flattering: None”. Women talk about walking down the street and feeling threatened and violated because men think they are being complimentary. A website has been established to spread awareness of the sexual harassment that takes place on a daily basis in the most benign of places.
This was actually a HUGE problem I had while living in Little Rock. Guys thinking they could talk to me, proposition me, harass me. It was constant every time I walked out the door. It’s no wonder I have such major anxiety issues. It’s no wonder I was crying in my car, unable to even go to the grocery store because I was afraid of the aggressive men. They never said anything to me when Crazy Jay was around, but I read stories in the above article with women saying that it doesn’t matter if they are holding their boyfriend’s hand, they will still be verbally sexually harassed.
And that’s exactly what it is. It is harassment. Harassment is defined as “threatening or tormenting behavior”. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel threatened when I walk past a group of men (or one man…or boys) and have to listen to them make noises at me, comment about my body, and proposition me. Because of my experience in Little Rock with the constant sexual harassment, I now carry pepper foam (Not a spray – FOAM to stick to your eyeballs!) and a keychain I like to call “Punchy”. Punchy looks like a bulldog. Upon closer inspection, one realizes that the fingers slip through the holes where the eyes should be for a nice solid grip, and the ears are actually solid, pointed plastic that will puncture a person’s neck in a second. I accidentally knocked it into my thigh when I was shutting my car door once. I was bruised for over a week. Imagine what it would do with some guided force…
The world today is not doing much to try to stop this unwanted behavior. In fact, the media, television shows, movies, and even many other countries portray men as beings brimming with so much sexual energy they just can’t contain themselves. I’m constantly seeing movies with men drooling and transfixed over a female, and it seems they can do nothing but stare. They just can’t help themselves when they see a pretty girl. It seems acceptable that men are so overwhelmed with the desire to have sex that they can’t keep their mouths shut when a female – any female – walks by. The article mentioned that it doesn’t matter the woman’s age or appearance, she is likely to be subjected to verbal harassment by men who do that sort of thing (not all men do). Other cultures and countries punish the female if she is raped. They say the attack was triggered by her clothing, her words, or even her gestures. They say she didn’t try hard enough to stop the attack; even if the female is 11 and the attacker is a grown man. Some cultures make women cover up from head to toe to avoid being objects of lust by the men who can’t seem to control themselves.
The article ended by saying, ‘We shouldn’t face a battle when we go out in public, hiding our bodies and averting our eyes. . . I wish I could understand why these men feel we would respond to their attention.”
For those who missed it at the top, here’s the link to the article. Definitely worth a read, male or female.