street harassment

22 Dec

This article is about sexual harassment in public places. The author of the article actually talks about her time abroad and how she considers street harassment to be “sexual terrorism.” I think that a lot of people would be skeptical when they first heard that term, but it really does work. The author points out that women are often told to limit the places they go (stick to well-lit areas, don’t stay out too late), to stay with another person at all times, and even to change the way they dress. If they don’t do these things, people will say when they get harassed that they were “asking for it.” The definition of terrorism is simply “the use of violence or threats to intimidate or coerce.” Harassment in the streets is often terrorism, and often men don’t understand, because they rarely feel threatened when complimented in public. They see it as harmless and flattering, whereas many women see it as creepy or intimidating.

The other thing that I thought was particularly interesting was that someone in the comments posted that they enjoyed being hit on by men in the streets. She discussed the possibility that it might be because it only happens to her in broad daylight, but said that she felt she needed to post something because so many women are coming out about how much it bothers them. The difficult thing about street harassment, another comment brings up, is that it is different for different people. For example, if someone yells at her, “Nice hair!” she just takes it as a compliment, whereas the poster before her took it as harassment. The thing that people need to understand about street harassment is that it isn’t black and white. It could be a harmless comment taken in the wrong way, or it could be a genuinely threatening comment. But either way, if it makes you uncomfortable, it is counted as harassment, and no one should be forced to deal with it.


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