Street Harassment Selfie
To everyone who actually buys that myth that looking “too hot” and walking alone late at night on the street is the reason women get harassed: below is a picture I snapped of mysself less than 50 feet from where, on Sunday, March 22nd at 5:57pm, a strange man brushed himself against my arm as he passed and whispered “Hey baby…beautiful eyes” :
What really, is the proper response to street harassment? Have we figured this out yet?
The way I see it, there are three options:
1: Succumb. Smile and say “Thank You” and risk being made late by unwanted conversation at best, followed home and continually harassed at worst.
2: Fight Back. Which puts you in danger of worse harassment or even violence. Remember! Rebuffing an unwanted advance will get you killed. Do a quick Google search on women killed by the men they rejected the advances of and enjoy scrubbing that off for the rest of the evening you’re welcome.
3: Ignore It. Let it sit on the top of your belly all greasy and sickening like oil on top of water, making you silently furious because you can’t do anything.
Ignore it, and marvel at the possible motivation behind it. Was it intended as a kindness? Or was the harasser aware of the fright it illicits and maliciously lashed out with the sole intent of making me feel pathetic, boxed-in, hunted, and worthless? Are all the “well-intentioned men” who “just want to let you know you look good” out there playing dumb, and purposely exercising their power over women to make us feel afraid because they know they can, and they can claim good intentions, and they can get away with it?
Ignore it, and wonder what I could possibly be doing to send the signal that I want this sort of thing. Is it because I dared walk unescorted by a male to the laundromat? I never get this sort of thing when my boyfriend is walking by my side. I know he’s sympathetic to it, but he can’t understand it because he never sees it happening. Sorry to all the #NotAllMen out there, but until you’ve been hissed at by someone double your size alone on your own street, let alone every time you set foot outside, you can’t really know what it’s like to feel like a mouse in a cat’s claws.
Wonder, wonder, wonder the reason. Because I’m certainly not getting harassed because I look “too hot.”