Since moving from Edmonton to Vancouver, I am astounded by how polite strangers are here. I have been here almost a year and have only experienced street harassment twice, both very mild incidents. Often, I will be walking down the street and I’ll see a group of young men approach. I will feel wary, because I’m used to harassment from groups of young men. As they pass me on the street, one of them will say ‘hi’ and then they keep walking.
Before I moved here, I had become desensitized to street harassment. I had given up on telling people about my weekly, often daily, experiences with harassment, because they’d always make it sound like my fault. “What were you wearing?” “What did you expect to happen?” “You’re so flirtatious, of course they felt they could say that to you.” “Why were you walking alone after dark?”
When I moved here, I experienced for the first time since puberty, how nice it is to walk around alone in public with nobody bothering me. That was when I started to feel really angry about street harassment. Every woman deserves to be respected in public and we should never settle for anything less.
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada