The wonderful anti-street harassment activists in India over at the Blank Noise are holding a special survey/discussion on their site through August 15th about being a spectator of street harassment. Of their website visitors who take their poll, 13% reported being a spectator of street harassment.
This is what they ask: “Blank Noise Spectators Special asks members of the public, both men and women, to share what they witnessed. What was your first reaction? Was it to intervene? Was it to ignore? What did you do? What would you rather have done? Can you share your thoughts about being a spectator. If you have been a ‘special spectator’ , that is, intervened in the situation, please tell us how! Was it with wit and humor? Or did you physically assault the ‘perpetrator’? Did you walk away? Or call the cops? Or gather a crowd? Or see another spectator take charge of the situation and participate in any way?”
I admit I’m not much of a confrontational person and it’s something I’m working on but there was one time I almost did say something. I was on the Washington, DC metro (I live in the DC area and take it to/from work etc) on a weekend and it was crowded and there were two young women standing near me dressed to impress and on my other side were a bunch of young men pointing and whispering crude things about the women. The women had their backs to the men and seemed oblivious of what was happening and that is what kept me from intervening. I think if the women had noticed I might have intervened. However, I wish I had anyway because they were being extremely crude and just talking about the women like they only consisted of body parts etc.
Anyway, check out Blank Noise and also feel free to leave your comments on this blog if you’re so inclined 🙂