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Street Harassment.

This has been a HUGE issue as of late.  Women everywhere have been giving their stories about simply being, and men’s unwanted advances and attention. The danger of these actions became even more evident (recently) once stories started popping up of women literally being killed and attacked because they weren’t interested in a man who was trying to get at them.

Here is a video that was intended to show how common and uncomfortable street harassment is.

Now.  Everybody isn’t taking so kindly to this.  Some are saying that most of these men were simply speaking, and she was the one actually being rude by totally ignoring someone who was simply acknowledging her presence.

Of course, the men who followed her were COMPLETELY out of line. SMH. How awful. And terrifying.

I saw this posted on Facebook and found some comments to be interesting:

“I did hear a lot of “hi how you’re doing?” And “have a nice day.” I know that there are going to be some creepy dudes who do not know how to interact with women but all in all this video did not show this huge underbelly Society of disrespectful dudes.” 

“This is ludicrous. Aside from the stalker creep, id hardly call any of this harassment.”

“As a woman, I experience these things ALL the time. Almost everyday. It makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like to be called mami, mama, red, baby, sweetheart, sexy … I don’t like to be beeped at by strange men in cars when I’m walking from my car to my front door … it’s not a compliment. It’s inappropriate. It makes me feel objectified. Because you’re right, Johnathan, I know where the conversation is going, and I know their intentions.”

“Here’s the bigger question. Because not every man has a one track mind. What is a guy supposed to say to a young lady that he’s interested in? All those brothers were respectful and cordial.”

“So a nigga can’t say hi to a bitch in New York with out it being harassment huh? Now them dudes that was walking with her and stuff was reaching for real. Other than that, how is saying hey or wuzzup or God bless harassment?”

“None of which happens in this particular video except for the guys that followed her. No one got physically aggressive. Tell me then how should someone say hello to a stranger? How should one try to get the attention of the opposite sex? If me saying ” excuse me what’s ur name” or hey can I talk to you for a second is harassment then there will be no new friends or relationships made whatsoever. Everything guys seem to do these days makes us sexist or Misogynists. Honestly I’ve got more attn from women by being an asswhole… Ijs”

“That’s harassment??? C’mon now! And how u know everyone’s intentions. I speak to women all the time in passing with no intentions”

“She just lookin for attention! And I think she is rude for not speaking back to anyone like she too good to speak..I hate females like that”

“And yeah she should smile and say thank you if someone tells her “have a nice day” .. She shouldn’t respond to the whistles and shit but if someone gives you a respectful compliment then a smile would be the least she could do!”

“I think they said she stayed silent as part of the experiment so I’m letting her make it on that. But be real, those dudes that were just saying good morning would not be as friendly towards a man in the same situation. Wouldn’t even look his way. Can’t speak for all the dudes, but the intentions looked obvious. This is coming from my own experience lol”

“Okay aside from 3 knuckleheads the rest of those guys were gentlemen and I get her silence was apart of the experiment but she just came off rude.”

“I deal with this everyday. It’s annoying which is why I wear my earphones and block everyone out. Music on or off I don’t acknowledge anyone.

I’d love to not be “rude” and wish people a lovely day as well but the MOMENT you say it back that opens the
door. They should have let her say “thank you” or “good morning” and the. Everyone would see how THAT plays out. Lol. I made that mistake a few times.

Now, I’ve also said nothing and gotten a “fuck you” quite a few times.

I only tend to let someone know what they’re doing is not cool if they get in my personal space which results in another “fuck you”. Gotta love NY!”

I am aware that there are women who simply want to be left alone.  They don’t want to hear a “good morning,” or a “how are you,” or a “you look nice today”….NONE of that, while they are walking around and minding their own business.  They don’t want to hear it. They want to be left alone. Period.

Do I think these women have the absolute right to be left alone? YES.  Do I think this is going to happen? NOPE. I don’t know how one could stop all men from saying anything to any woman ever. I don’t ever see that happening.

Here’s my position.  I don’t see anything wrong with a “hello.” I just don’t. That is just MY opinion. What I DO see as the problem is continuing engaging a woman after she has made it clear that she is not interested in ANY type of conversation or interaction with you.  If she ignores you, you may consider it to be rude.  Okay. SO? Move on.  And like someone mentioned, some women don’t say hello back because there are times when men use that as an open door to bother her.

I’m not sure if it’s a realistic expectation to want men to give some type of phrase after the initial “hello” to see if a woman is okay with him talking to her further.  Like, “Do you mind talking?” or something. I don’t know.

No, I don’t think men should bother and harass women. But I’m also not comfortable with telling men don’t speak to women at all ever. No, don’t follow her.  No, don’t call her names.  No, don’t whistle at her. No, don’t comment on her body. No, don’t comment on her ignoring you. No, DON’T BE A CREEP. But saying no, don’t speak? I’m just not comfortable with saying that.

I don’t have the solution for this.  I think there was (is?) an effort to get some type of law passed against street harassment.  Annnnnnd EH. That’s….tricky.

Here are some interesting things I found through some street harassment websites:

 

 

 

^^Um. I actually don’t recommend these things. If you are being harassed and feel unsafe around a strange man, why would you antagonize him?

Anyway, for more information, you can go to StopStreetHarassment.org.

What do you all think?  Do you think the behavior displayed in the video is considered to be street harassment?  What do you think is the solution?

{featured image via stopstreetharassment.org}

UPDATED: October 30, 2014, 10:30am

I TRIED to not bring this up yesterday, but it seems like I didn’t have to.

Soooo did y’all notice that ALL of the men in the video above were men of color? So is this video saying that it’s only men of color who harass women?

These are (important) questions and observations being asked and pointed out:

The one dude who turns around and says, “Nice,” is white, but the guys who do the most egregious things—like the one who harangues her, “Somebody’s acknowledging you for being beautiful! You should say thank you more,” or the one who follows her down the street too closely for five whole minutes—are not.

This doesn’t mean that the video doesn’t still effectively make its point, that a woman can’t walk down the street lost in her own thoughts, that men feel totally free to demand her attention and get annoyed when she doesn’t respond, that women can’t be at ease in a public space in the same way men can. But the video also unintentionally makes another point, that harassers are mostly black and Latino, and hanging out on the streets in midday in clothes that suggest they are not on their lunch break. As Roxane Gay tweeted, “The racial politics of the video are fucked up. Like, she didn’t walk through any white neighborhoods?”

The response?

At the end they claim the woman experienced 100 plus incidents of harassment “involving people of all backgrounds.” Since that obviously doesn’t show up in the video, Bliss addressed it in a post. He wrote, “we got a fair amount of white guys, but for whatever reason, a lot of what they said was in passing, or off camera” or was ruined by a siren or other noise. The final product, he writes, “is not a perfect representation of everything that happened.” That may be true but if you find yourself editing out all the catcalling white guys, maybe you should try another take.

{source}

So. The instances where white men were involved just so happened to get edited out?

Interesting.