My male partner once asked if I could share more stories on this blog about men who don’t street harass women and who work to end it. I would like to, but I don’t have very many. So today I am happy to have this story, from a male ally, to share:
“A young woman was on a metro train and a couple of teenagers started to tell her in explicit and profane language what they wanted to do to her. I told them they needed to leave her alone and stop using profanities in my presence. They did and moved on. I was happy to see that a couple of other men surrounding us on the train told me that they had my back should things have gone violent.”
Fortunately, these harassers did stop. By-standers run the risk of having harassers turn on them, which can deter many people – men and women – from intervening. It makes it all the more inspiring to read about those who take that risk and intervene anyway. Men, have you ever intervened or done something to distract a harasser when you’ve seen a woman being harassed?
I am writing a book on street harassment. In the second half of the book, I focus on various ways that women and men can – and are – fighting this issue and working to stop all street harassment.
After attending a panel yesterday for work on organizations that are engaging men as allies in ending gender-based violence around the world, I was inspired to write a short, informal, anonymous survey for male allies where they can share their thoughts specifically on how best to reach men on this issue and engage them in ending it.
Male allies, please take a few minutes and share your thoughts on this topic:
Also, feel free to share any stories on by-stander intervention in the comments of this post or via an anonymous form.