One Equal World

Why Street Harassment Is So Not Okay

Posted on: July 19, 2013

woman walking on street

Street harassment might not seem like a big deal–but it is.
Image: Shutterstock

“Hey baby, where are you going?” 

“Those are really cute shorts you’re wearing.  They make your butt look so good!” 

“Your eyes are so pretty.  Can I get your number?” 

These are all examples of street harassment.  It’s a serious problem, and yet it happens every day in every city around the globe.  Sometimes people don’t recognize the severity of the issue.  Men might think they are just being nice by giving a girl or another guy a compliment.  However, when directed at you, you should recognize it for what it is…an attempted hookup and harassment.

About 99.9 percent of people do not want to be bothered when they walk down the street.  And it’s annoying and disrespectful to be treated like a piece of meat, whether you are a male or female.  Not many people want total strangers making kissing noises or obscene gestures at them.

Almost all of the time men are the perpetrators of this type of behavior.  While it is wrong to make somebody feel uncomfortable, it can also lead to more violent or disturbing behavior under the guise of being flirtatious.

Some rules of conduct that everyone needs to know include these: One – It doesn’t matter what somebody is wearing.  They are not asking for your creepy, unwanted attention.  Two – Women and gay men are human beings.  Try giving us the most basic respect.  Three – Street harassment can lead to sexual assault, so make sure you help stop it whenever you see it!

In order to make sure everyone understands what it is, here’s a basic rundown.  Street harassment ranges from whistling to honking to making kissing sounds to making comments about somebody’s body or asking for digits.

So, what can be done about it?  Step one is to acknowledge that it is dangerous, hurtful and just that it exists at all.  Step two is to try reporting it or talking back.  Step three is to find male allies who stand up for what’s right.  Tell others that it’s not cool and not what we should do.

Kat, from the Kat’s Meoww vlog, says if all else fails, make grotesque gestures back at them.  She, only half-jokingly, recommends burping, farting or spitting on the street to distract them and gross them out right back.

There are some organizations working to change things such as Men Can Stop Rape, Meet Us on the Street, Holla Back and Stop Street Harassment.  Take a stand!

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