What is Street Harassment?

Gender-based street harassment is inappropriate, rude, scary, and insulting speech and behavior from men directed at unknown women (cis and transwomen) in public places, simply because they are female. In countries like India and Bangladesh, it’s termed “eve teasing,” and in countries like Egypt, it’s called “public sexual harassment.”

It includes:

  • whistling
  • leering
  • kissing noises
  • sexist comments
  • sexual comments
  • vulgar gestures
  • stalking
  • sexual touching
  • masturbating and flashing
  • assault

Learn more:


While women also may harass men in public, gender inequality means that the power dynamics at play, frequency of the harassment, and the underlying threat of rape is rarely comparable. For these reasons, this blog focuses on men harassing women.

Also, while public harassment motivated by racism, homophobia, transphobia, or classism—types of deplorable harassment which men can be the target of and sometimes women perpetrate—is recognized as socially unacceptable behavior, men’s harassment of women motivated by gender and sexism is not. Instead it is portrayed as complimentary, a joke, or “only” a trivial annoyance. Plus people tend to blame women for its occurrence based on what they are wearing or what time of day they are in public.

4 Responses to What is Street Harassment?

  1. […] is; women of all ages, all ethnicities and all backgrounds have experienced street harassment of one form or another, often repeatedly, day in and day out. The continuous bombardment of what is a disturbing form of […]

  2. Trumpetgirl says:

    I did live in a college town in Florida there were some awful things that happened to me & people I know. It’s not just men who do it, some girl crusing with a bunch of her friends though it would be “cool” to yell fat at me while I was trying to take an exercise walk outside in a t-shirt & shorts. It hurt a lot!!! I still can’t shrug it off, and I wish this type of shit would just stop. I was actually out trying to exercise & I it made me question if I really wanted to be outside & be the target of this crap. I’ve been honked at, shouted at…the list is longer than I want to admit outloud. It’s not just someone hanging around on a street corner, and it has to stop. Frankly, I’m so glad that I have finally left that town for a larger city. People have (so far) been surprisingly more kind, but I certainly think twice when I put on my shorts now & I have been able to shed a few pounds along the way since the first example above. I’m trying as much as I can to be strong & not let it stop me, but it can be a bit of a stretch(pun intended).

  3. Jenny says:

    I dont mind it.

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