Is It Okay For Men To Harass Women On The Street?
Is It Ok For Men To Harass Women On The Street? Girl’s ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be the victims of sexual assault. Girls will begin to feel uncomfortable and ashamed of their own bodies if they are sexually harassed even once.
Not to mention that the harassment is very rude and degrading. It’s not okay for men to harass women on the street, ever. Girls are harassed way too often. 80-90% of women report being sexually harassed aggressively by men. That means that almost every woman has experienced some sort of sexual harassment, whether it be catcalling or actual rape.
More than 50% of them have been physically assaulted, being grabbed, touched or followed. This is the amount of women that have had been physically assaulted. Nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had come close with almost being raped. Half of female victims said they had been raped before they turned 18. So basically in a room of 5 girls at least one of them has been raped. Some people say the harassment occurs because of what you wear.
Honestly it doesn’t matter what you wear because you will be harassed. Often, the women reporting note, that they were dressed in a sweatsuit or a T-shirt and Jeans. There are personal stories from girls that were wearing simple everyday clothes and still get harassed. Julia Gazdag of Hello Giggles also shares her story,”I figured that, for once I wouldn’t get catcalled from every car that drove by on my walk home because awkwardly fitting khaki pants and an oversized grey sweater were sure to render me invisible.” “I was coming out of my apartment and walking out of the alleyway when a guy started driving slowly behind me.
As he passed, hanging out of his window he said, “hey girlfriend, you lookin’ good today.” Unnerving distance between that driver’s window from me. I regretted wearing a skirt that day, and that just isn’t right. It’s not a compliment, it’s rude. Gazdag states her feelings towards street harassment, “I have never once felt any sort of primal sexual urge after someone has objectified me in a public place, whether I was walking on a sidewalk, in a club, or in a car. It’s not flattery, it’s harassment.
” Some people would definitely argue that catcalling was some sort of compliment, but commenting stuff like “Hey baby, nice chest.” is not a form of empowerment by any means. Gazdag also adds, “And the thing about street harassment is that it’s not meant to be a compliment, but, in fact, an aggressive assertion of male dominance by dehumanizing and hypersexualizing someone.” Compliments are things like, “Hello, you’re very beautiful, or You look very nice today,” not things along the lines of making a woman feel uncomfortable. It makes women feel very unsafe. Even when a woman is in her own car she will feel threatened.
Walking alone at night is nerve-racking already but when some random stranger yells things or makes crude gestures at you, it’s even worse. “What women are actually dealing with are verbal attacks that make us feel unsafe, that make us feel threatened. “Street harassment is a gateway to physical harassment. If that’s true then women have a legitimate reason to be afraid. Catcalling can escalate to actual physical harassment. 45%, of women said they don’t feel safe walking alone at night, compared to the small 27% of men.
Women compared to men do not feel safe. Men might feel unsafe for different reasons but for women they have a constant fear of being attacked or raped at any moment. It causes constant body shame. Women will start to feel uncomfortable with their own bodies and that isn’t right.One University of Connecticut study found people who experience street harassment tend to have more body shame. Girl’s start to become more self-conscious of their own bodies.
Even though your body is being “complemented”, it’s still very uncomfortable for women. Those are not the kind of complements you want so it makes you feel bad about yourself. When someone comments on parts of you, it makes you think you’re doing something wrong or your body is attracting too much attention. It’s never a woman’s fault that someone comments on her body, it’s the fault of the person doing the commenting. Girl’s shouldn’t ever think that it’s their fault for attracting attention.
Some people would argue that catcalling is okay because it’s a compliment, but it’s not a compliment at all. “For me, it’s nothing short of exhilarating, yielding an unmatched level of euphoria .” This woman Doree Lewak believes that catcalling is ok because it’s just a harmless compliment, but it’s much more than that. It’s a way for men to show dominance over the female gender. A simple ” You’re Beautiful,” might not be harassment but it’s the things that can lead up after that.It’s not uncommon for women to be assaulted for turning a man down and ignoring his sexual and romantic advances.
So the ” Hey Beautiful,” can turn into something much more dangerous. The point of this whole article is to show that we need to pay more attention to street harassment and not just brush it off as nothing. Harassment affects so many women in many different countries around the world and most people view it as girls not being able to take a compliment or feminists over-reacting. You have to look at it from the point of view of a girl alone on the street at night or a girl in her car with people making rude and sexual gestures at her. The simple catcalls and wolf whistles can lead up to so much more. It makes girls feel like they’re just nothing more than things to look at or objects to please men.
Girls might enjoy a compliment but they do not enjoy being grabbed, yelled things at or looked at as a piece of meat ready to be pounced on. No one likes to feel like nothing.