Weekly Round Up – July 19

July 19, 2009

Stories:

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.

In the News:

  • The Chicago Sun Times had a front page (online) story about how women activists in Chicago prompted changes to the sexual harassment policies of the Chicago Transit Authority!
  • A group of women in Sudan were arrested and several were flogged for the crime of wearing pants in public.
  • An article in the Miami Herald about changing attitudes in policies in Saudi Arabia highlights the attitude that if women were allowed to drive, they would experience more sexual harassment in public, so it’s better not to let them drive.

Announcements:

  • In partnership with local activist, including the facilitators of Holla Back DC!, I am helping to organize a free, one-day summit on street harassment, to be held in October 2009 in Washington, DC. We are holding a photography contest right now for photographers who capture or depict street harassment, particularly in the DC area. Selected winners will have the chance to show/sell their work at a reception the evening before the summit.
  • RightRides in NYC recently has expanded their services of a free ride home from Saturday nights to include Friday nights too! They offer this service from 11:59 p.m. – 3 a.m. in 45 neighborhoods across four boroughs. To call for a ride, the dispatch number is (718) 964-7781 OR (888)215-SAFE (7233).

Street Harassment Resource of the Week:

Gardner, Carol Brooks. Passing By: Gender and Public Harassment (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995).


New Study on Street Harassment

December 23, 2008

The following is from a presentation given at the annual conference of the Association for Women in Psychology entitled, “Gender-based public harassment: Avoidance, objectification, and self esteem” by Tracy Lord.

“Limited research on gender-based public harassment suggest there are multiple individual and societal effects of this harassment: increasing women’s fear of men; decreasing trust between men and women; making women ashamed of their bodies; and contributing to women’s self-objectification. Women who are objectified by men begin to self-objectify. The theories of why public harassment occurs include the male bonding theory, the social-structural theory, the sociocultural theory, and the social control theory.

The current study addressed gaps in our understanding of women’s experience of and reactions to street harassment. Women college students (n=125) from the subject pool responded to questions regarding: their public harassment experiences; the frequency with which they occur; and the feelings women have about these incidents. Participants also completed: Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale; the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire – Appearance Scales; the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale; and the Mobility Inventory for Agoraphobia. Preliminary analyses indicated that street harassment in mild and moderate forms were common experiences. Women reported a range of reactions to street harassment. The complete data analysis will be reported.”

None of these findings surprise me. I look forward to reading the full report, especially the theories cited for explaining why it happens.