A man who does not “get” street harassment and one who does

I saw the above image a few times via twitter and Facebook and thought I’d comment. A coworker just told me it’s making the rounds via the Privilege Denying Dude to make fun of guys who believe this. Unfortunately there are many who do and I’ve heard this very comment before. Men who have this belief do not understand (or care about) issues like:

  • how quickly street harassment can turn nasty, demeaning, and violent;
  • how frequently many of us experience it and thus how annoying it is;
  • how triggering and frightening it can be for survivors of rape or of a bad harassment incident (like groping or stalking);
  • how it reinforces a societal message that women are supposed to be pretty objects for men and that it’s men’s rights to remind them of that whenever they want;
  • how it assumes all women are heterosexual or bisexual and are interested in men’s attention;
  • how it ignores the underlying racial dynamics that might be at play; and
  • how presumptuous and disrespectful it is to talk to a complete stranger in a familiar, sexual way. There is a reason most men never experience this. They are respected enough to be left the hell alone.

Here’s one of the many guys who does get gender-based street harassment. Thank you, Barry Deutsch!


3 Responses to A man who does not “get” street harassment and one who does

  1. Molly says:

    I was thinking about this issue today. It happened after a guy walked past me and said “I’d love to fuck you”.

    I have been dealing with this level of comments from random men since I was around 13 years of age. Going to school, work and just out and about living my life at all hours of the day. I am pretty thick skinned so I normally say something back and have on many occasions told them F’off. I see it from the perspective that they will carry on doing this and think it’s ok until someone speaks back to them. What about all those youny women who feel intimidated or rape surviours. Men need to know it’s not acceptable and randomly comment on women in a sexual way.

  2. Three Ninjas says:

    I thought I understood, but when I found this website I realized that I didn’t really understand. It’s probably a bit arrogant of me to say I understand now, but I am at least closer to understanding than I was before I started reading this blog.

    I just wanted you to know that you are making a difference in people’s perceptions.

  3. @Three Ninjas, I appreciate your comment. I hope you can become a strong ally for the women in your life who deal w/street harassment and can be a positive influence on any men you know or see who may harass women to not!

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