Street harassment disproportionately impacts women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and young people every day. Women are targeted more so than any of the other demographics – and the harassment almost always has sexual undertones.
What starts with a simple hi from a passing or standing male on the street has escalated to physical attacks on women that chose not to acknowledge the “cat call” or shaded reference to her looks. In other words – women are being victimized for choosing to mind their own business.
This is wrong on all fronts, unacceptable in any venue, and needs to stop. Guys have we become so recklessly enthralled by mind numbing testosterone that we see women as mere sex objects to be subjected cruel and demeaning dialogue. Is this how we want our Mothers, Daughters, Wives, and Girlfriends treated when they walk down the street?
I didn’t think so.
So how about think about your Mother, Wife, or significant other when you encounter a woman in passing that captures your attention. Remember she’s a person and deserves the right to be treated as a person. There is no moral or ethical law that requires her to acknowledge you or anything you have to say. That is especially true when that something coming out of your mouth is anything short or respectful and courteous.
Guys, we’re going to have to get this stopped. If you’re not a guy that does this, that’s great. If you have friends that do it, don’t co-sign the barbaric behavior by giving it a pass. Speak on it. And for God’s sake let’s make sure our sons aren’t buying into this misaligned perception that this is the way to meet women.
Before I go I’ll leave the men with this hypothetical perspective to ponder. What if we were harassed by women in demeaning and cruel ways when we walked down the street?
- “Hey, short man I’m having a party up here – get a ladder and come on up!
- (To Mr. Receding Hairline) I like the ear muffs – why don’t you pull them down over your ears?
- Hey, man when is the baby due?
- Your shoes are so beat you must be able to taste the gum you step on
- You want to do what to me? You mean there’s something below all that belly?
- Hey, you there in the sweatpants! Shouldn’t there be another thigh in one of those pants legs.
- Why are your eyebrows gray and your moustache black?
- Hey, bi man with the thick neck. Is your head that thick? That explains why you can only say “Damn” when looking at me.
- You ain’t even got enough **** to hold your pants up.
- Hey, there’s some dog hair stuck on your cheeks -oops my bad that’s a beard?
Don’t dismiss it as blog rhetoric men. If women decided to up the ante and turn the tables, it would be a lot of bruised egos and hurt feelings sharing beers with their “boys”.
Let’s do our part to stop street harrasment.