On Saturday I suffered street harassment for the third time in two months.
The first time I was walking in the street one afternoon, minding my own business. A stranger cycled past me, leaned over and shouted, “Ugly!” I shouted back, “W@nker!” but I felt humiliated, and intruded upon. I was enraged – it is not my duty to decorate the street for the benefit of passing men, I exist beyond being an object to be gazed upon. That man knew nothing of me, but still felt perfectly entitled to pass loud judgement upon my attractiveness, and worth.
The latest incident happened again as I was walking home, this time after dark. I passed a couple, male and female, they heckled me, pointed and laughed and started singing, “Who let the dogs out?”
This is the second time this month that song has been sung at me in public. I feel totally humiliated. I cancelled plans to go out with friends this weekend because I don’t want to put myself in public situations where I will be looked at and judged. I feel my confidence is totally ravaged.
After thirty years of being called ugly, or “plain,” even by my own father, this doesn’t get any easier.
Location: North East England