Feminism | Posted by Elizabeth B on 11/25/2015
Violence Against Women Isn’t “Culture”: My Experience Studying Abroad
During the first week of study abroad, my program offered an informational session about street harassment to the 35 students enrolled (29 of whom are women). The area of the city in which we were studying is renowned for its conservativism. Few street lights illuminate the endless maze of narrow alleys that lead to our homes and there’s virtually no police presence, so the session seemed warranted.
I could talk about the content of this orientation, but I feel it is most important to acknowledge my disappointment with the program’s choice to label what women in Morocco experience as “street harassment.” In actually, this experience is a form of violence against women and should be acknowledged as such. Walking down the street and being unwontedly touched is a …
Feminism | Posted by Amanda G on 09/7/2015
From Girl to “Princess”: Experiencing Sexual Harassment for the First Time
It happened a couple of weeks after my 12th birthday. I hadn’t entered high school, I didn’t have my period or a crush on anyone. I was too young to experience the best, empowering parts of my sexuality, but was apparently old enough to experience one of the worst: sexual harassment.
Even though it was a few years ago, I still remember the first incident like it was yesterday. Brace-faced and bespectacled, I set out (with my mother, no less) on a routine trip to the grocery store. It happened not even a full minute before we split up to get different items.
I walked by a man who appeared to be in his thirties. He whistled and said, “Hey there, Princess.”
My immediate reaction was surprise. Before this …
Feminism | Posted by Chelsea C on 08/19/2015
How I Took A Stand Against Catcalling
Chelsea’s anti-catcalling project
He whistles. “Hey beautiful, look at that ass. Damn, can’t you at least smile?”
I have faced plenty of unfair, gender-based double standards in my life. I’ve been told from a young age to never be alone in public. I’ve been forced to wear skirts down to my knees and shirts that cover my shoulders in school so as to not distract others. I’ve seen too many examples of the sexual objectification of women in the media and, of course, real life.
The double standard I’ve been dealing with most recently, though, is the way I feel I have put effort into dressing a certain way in order to avoid street harassment. Every morning as I’m getting ready to attend my summer classes in NYC, I have …
Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 08/4/2015
It’s Time To Stop Publicly Judging Women’s Bodies
Every form of public harassment has got to go
One evening last week, I stopped at home after work to change my clothes before dance class. It was a hot day and I wanted to shed my workplace-appropriate pants in favor of more comfortable attire before heading downtown. Wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals, I boarded the subway.
Although there were plenty of open seats on the train, a man quickly sat down right next to me. Even though I was clearly listening to music, he decided to ask me a question. He asked how to transfer to a different train — was a typical one for tourists or people new to the city. I gave him a brief explanation and inserted my headphones back into my ears, thinking nothing …
Feminism | Posted by Martha H on 07/22/2015
The Case for Criminalizing Street Harassment
Stop street harassment.
This is my thought process before leaving the house: I want to look nice and appreciate fashion, but also know that if I’m going to be on public transport or walking down the street, I must actively check my outfit to be sure it won’t subject me to catcalling.
As a politically-minded, strong person, I would ideally like to make my own choices about everything in my life, including what I wear. I would love to be able to rise above threatening perpetrators of harassment. But in reality, I do regulate my outfit to conform to society’s pressure and avoid the consequences of other’s behavior. I moderate my choices because I’m scared that I will not only get verbally harassed, but that this harassment could lead to …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 10/17/2014
Street Harassment: It’s Not A Compliment
It was a hot Los Angeles Saturday and I decided to walk my dog down my usually quiet residential street. I was sixteen at the time and wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Three men, probably in their late twenties, pulled up to the curb next to me in a black BMW sedan. The driver, who was wearing black Ray Ban sunglasses, opened his window. “Hey,” he said, raising his eyebrows at his friends. “We should check her for STDs before we f*ck her!”
He smirked and his friends laughed and hooted. I stood frozen. My mouth fell open slightly, in shock. The driver revved the engine and zoomed down the street. For a few minutes, I couldn’t move while my dog tugged anxiously at her leash. What just happened? …
Feminism | Posted by Camille E on 06/3/2013
I Will Not Be Scared Off The Streets
So, the other day, I was walking downtown on my own (or as I like to say, “independently”), and this guy in a truck hooted at me while I passed the Shell gas station. I shrunk a little, turned around, trying to determine whether it was aimed at me, and meekly flipped him off.
Resuming my walk downtown, I immediately thought about what I was wearing. Hoop earrings, shorts, a tank top. I was testing out this new bra clip that hides the straps, and when I stepped out of my house I felt excited and a little bit proud. I didn’t have to worry about the straps, and I felt good in my skin, not so afraid of people looking at me. But as soon as that guy hooted, …
Feminism | Posted by Talia on 04/22/2013
My Name is Not Baby
My name is not Baby. I have not been an infant for about 17 years. I am not an immobile, helpless being incapable of taking care of myself, dependent on others to ensure that my basic needs are met. I am, if not a grown woman, getting to be a young adult. Certainly not a baby.
My name is not Shorty. Yes, I am a mere 4”11, and I have always been happy to be a short person. However, my height or the pride I take in it does not determine what nickname I go by. Even if it did, you are a stranger, and have no right to be so familiar with me.
My name is not Bitch. The last time I checked, I was human, not canine. And …