As a relatively low trafficked blog, I’ve had the luxury of dealing with few rude people. It looks like that may be changing. Earlier this week I received a fake story that simply said “I got raped hahaha jk.” Not funny. Today I received three prank stories in a row. Two of them sounded like legitimate stories until the last sentences. Both posts ended with a “ha ha ha ha jk bitch.”
I love how the internet lets people who may not otherwise have a voice have one and lets us find obscure stories, up-to-the-minute news, and people with similar interests. I don’t like how the internet facilitates bullying and harassment and allows people to anonymously write rude, demeaning, sexist, homophobic, racist, classist, abelist comments to news stories and articles and in messages to people who have their contact info online.
I expect when my book on street harassment comes out in a few months I’ll receive a lot of hate mail and a slew of hateful comments that will make these “story submissions” look tame and sweet. Honestly, I’m dreading it.
I don’t know what these people want to accomplish by sending fake stories and calling me a bitch, but if it is to spur me on to continue speaking out against street harassment and sexual violence and providing people with a place to do so, then good, they are accomplishing their goal.
Street harassment and sexual violence impede women’s equality to men and limit their access to public spaces. Women too often are told to ignore such behavior or that it is complimentary or that it is their fault because of how they look or what they wear. Men who harass and assault are at fault. Men must stop. Our society must stop supporting aggression and violence and rape jokes and must take sexual harassment and violence seriously.
Share your (real) street harassment stories. How does street harassment make you feel? How does it impact your life? Help raise the societal consciousness that this is a widespread and unacceptable problem. Talk about it. And men, don’t harass.
Note: I’m home from work now and can see that the forum “men are better than women” (a site blocked at my office) encouraged people to send me fake stories. thanks guys. i’ve enjoyed reading your 9 stories (and counting).