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 …
Feminism | Posted by Talia on 02/11/2013
Why I’m Rising
When I was at the 2012 NOW Conference in Baltimore, I had the privilege of hearing Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and women’s rights activist, deliver the keynote address. She discussed One Billion Rising, her campaign to end violence against women on the global level. It is so named because one billion women – that’s one out of every three women in the world – will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. On February 14, 2013, Ensler wants the world to rise, end the violence, and create a better, safer, happier world.
After hearing Ensler speak, I was rallied to action. I decided on the spot to rise along with her and millions of other women across the globe. One of the many reasons I …
Feminism | Posted by Amanda P on 12/5/2012
On Learning More About Sexual Harassment
This past summer, I wrote about street harassment and highlighted my own as well as my friends’ experiences concerning this matter. Since then I have learned, grown and have more to say on this matter.
I went to a colloquium style lecture over the weekend concerning the rhetoric surrounding sexual assault and rape. During the session, a number of misconceptions and myths were discussed and the facts, as far as the research is concerned, made very clear. The discussion was lead by a prevention specialist at the rape crisis center in the Cleveland area. I want to share what stuck out the most to me:
1) 8 out of 10 men are not comfortable with words like “bitch” or “slut” being directed at women. I know what you’re thinking; because …
Feminism | Posted by Bryan N on 07/9/2012
The Role Of Men In The Fight Against Sexism
There has been something I have been wanting to get off my chest for a while. As a man active in the fight against sexism in every form, I find myself looking back to my days in high school, middle school, and sometimes even elementary school. I think about how men are programmed constantly by society from a very young age.
Growing up as a teenage boy, I entered the sadly common environment where sexism prescribes that we prove our masculinity through violent behavior. Even in elementary school I would feel quite marginalized by my male peers who were into sports and being “tough.” As we got into the 5th and 6th grades “jokes” about women became more common, and disgusting things were said. l preferred the arts and writing …
Feminism | Posted by Amanda P on 06/29/2012
On Street Harassment
I vividly remember the first time I ever experienced street harassment. I was on my way to class and saw in the distance a group of young men drinking and carrying on in a very loud and obnoxious manner. A young woman, who was a great distance ahead of me, lowered her head, tightened the grip on her shoulder bag, and walked by as quickly as possible. As I approached, their attention quickly turned to me and they shouted, “HEY…HEY, YOU…HEY…!” Now, ladies and gentlemen, I could have easily lowered my head and just ignored these comments but it’s hardly in my nature not to respond to such idiocy. I didn’t even have to say anything — my mere middle finger in the air sent these three young men into …