Street Harassment(Again)

Actually, I’m not sure if I’ve written about street harassment here before. I’ve done so in various other places over the course of my life because street harassment has been a fact of my life every summer as an adult. I’m not even going to say that much about what happened this particular time, other than that this was the first time this year because it is 85 in March in Chicago(so no jackets to androgynize my form and make me less vulnerable).

The thing that sucked the most is Braden asked me what happened(because I’d been walking to meet him at a coffee shop), and I found myself saying “the usual stuff” and wincing. There’s something so wrong that there is a “usual” category of what happens when I walk alone. Fuck. that. shit.

No one deserves to be cat-called, made to feel unsafe, hollared at, or sexually propositioned just for walking down the street. It doesn’t matter what they are wearing, how much thigh they show, how much cleavage they have. It’s not a compliment.

If you hear from a ladyfriend that she’s been harassed on the street, don’t suggest to her that she take it as a compliment. That’s callous advice. What she wants to hear from you is that you will call out anyone that dares to treat her that way(Braden asked if I wanted him to you know, *gestures at throat* which made me laugh and feel a bit better). Because nothing a woman does in response to street harassment is a safe reaction: doing nothing can be just as dangerous as thrusting a middle finger in the air(which is my natural impulse to people who are driving past as they harass me).

Erika Moen shared this youTube video yesterday, and I encourage y’all to share it as much as possible. My life would be so much better and my summers so much easier if more men spoke up:

Share, share and reshare. Because this shit…this shit needs to stop.

(Hopefully back to outfit posts and happier things soon).

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7 thoughts on “Street Harassment(Again)

  1. Oh, Tia, I am so sorry. This happens to me fairly regularly while on my bike and I hate it. My response is usually the same as yours, a middle finger. Which I know isn’t the best plan, but I don’t feel I have any other recourse. If they’d stop their cars, I’d curse their fool asses out, but they just keep going.

    Big hugs, Miss. You’re not alone. And if you want me to come to Chicago and fight someone, I totes will.

  2. I practice the “F-you” walk that my dad taught me when I’m walking downtown. I make myself look as unapproachable and bitchy as I can. At first, it took concentration, but now I do it without knowing it. I don’t remember any harassment like you describe. I’m not sure it’s the best approach, but it works for me.

    Positive thoughts, MiLady! We love you!

  3. I’ll admit that, upon consideration, I rarely receive harassment on the street. At first I thought it might be because my height = some intimidation, but Gracey has to deal with that nonsense…Maybe I’ve had the good fortune to live in polite cities? Regardless, I’m royally pissed off that you, and so many others, have not had the same good fortune. And angered that I even think of it as fortune, when it should simply be the expected and demanded standard.

    I second Gracey’s offer to have your back, and am now giggling at the idea of a girl gang made up of Amazons, roaming the city streets and giving all harassers, cat-callers, and oglers a good thrashing.

  4. I’m HIGHLY annoyed by this. It is commonplace in The Bahamas. It’s one of those things that women are just expected to “deal with” on a daily basis. It seriously happens to me EVERY time I have to walk somewhere. It happens in the grocery store, on sidewalks, entering/exiting vehicles… There are no limits. There are some guys who will even continue yelling after you as you ignore them, as though it’s a conversation. “Hey, MISS?! MISS! You hear me?! I said you FIIINE! Come over here!” Some of them attempt to follow women. I carry pepper spray and a stun gun with me at ALL times. Whenever a guy makes ANY advances, I hold it up, silently daring them to try.

  5. The “usual stuff” is definitely wince-inducing. That’s terrible and I’m sorry you have go through it. You’re right that there’s no safe reaction, and one of the worst things is there’s really nothing you can do to prevent street harassment. It’s awful in New York, too.

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