Street Harassment from NY to France to Japan

Exploring the blogosphere, I came across the following street harassment post on the blog Pomp and Circumstance:

“Heat and mating season make New Yorkers let it all hang out. I am pro sex yet have always had mixed feelings about street harassment. A woman whose weight fluctuates from average to a little extra, a globe trekker approaching 30, I’ve developed an international view on the issue.

Growing up in Philly after I lost my baby fat and had a growth spurt I got a lot of attention on the block. I chuckled, flinched sometimes. After a few years, I took “White is right!” “Can I get a ride? and “Pssst, snowflake” for granted. Yet I was always self-conscious, wearing overalls over my miniskirt to waitress one summer.

In France, I starved myself more to almost French size, sticking out only to my matronly host who said I was a little plump. Still, I was the victim of both friendly Bonjours and a teenage ass grabber.

I moved to Japan and gained 20 pounds. My teenaged students shouted ‘I love you,’ and girls grabbed my breasts in clubs. I was the victim of chikan-subway molestation. A crime so common authorities told me to carry hatpins.

I moved to New York five years ago. In the big city, women and men, cultivate the blank, sidewalk face, which I wear more often than I’d like. Sometimes, a ‘God bless you, beautiful’ is a relief.


An interesting and global take on street harassment, huh? Do you feel glad to hear from people on the street sometimes?

I’m also interested in how she perceives the role her weight plays in the kinds and volume of street harassment she experiences. Have you ever felt your weight impacts the type or volume of harassment you experience?


One Response to Street Harassment from NY to France to Japan

  1. My weight totally affects the street harassment, when I gain twenty five pounds I am invisible, lose twenty five and I am harassed. No doubt about it. Sometimes I think I stay heavier to be invisible. And then that makes me so mad! But I feel safer when I am heavier.

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