What you can do to help end street harassment

Street harassment teaches girls that public places are male territory and they are prey to male predators of all ages. The harassment restricts their access to public places and impedes gender equality. Street harassment—including scary amounts of violence—also disproportionately and negatively impacts LGBQT individuals.

March 18-24 is International Anti-Street Harassment Week in 2012. Participation suggestions (as easy as tweeting) and more information are at the link. 

To The Woman Who Stood By Me As I Confronted Street Harassers: Thank You
via @SafeSpacesDC
Source: http://ow.ly/jXNhG

“Location: 7th Street, outside Verizon Center
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I was walking back to the office from lunch today, enjoying the beautiful, sunny weather. I walked by a group of three men who were talking with one another on the street; as I was walking by, one of them made an inappropriate comment to me about my body.

At first I felt really uncomfortable and a little bit threatened, but I stopped and asked him why he thought he had the right to speak to me that way. We actually ended up having a fifteen-minute conversation (sometimes a fairly heated discussion, though it stayed polite) about why street harrassment makes women feel uncomfortable and why women don’t like having their bodies talked about by strangers. While I’m not sure I changed any minds, the men listened to what I had to say and said they’d think more about how their comments impacted people.

What I really want to add is a huge thank you to the woman who saw the beginning of my conversation and stopped and asked me if I needed backup, and then joined the discussion and stayed with me until the conversation ended. I really hope she reads this so that I can say thank you again – it makes me so, so happy that there are other women in DC who will stand up against street harassment and who are willing to stop and help out other women when they’re faced with situations like this. I’m so proud to be a part of a supportive community of women who have each others’ backs.”

Is it still Anti-Street Harassment Week? Three hours left? Oh good.

Things men have said to me on the street in the past 48 hours:

• (Gesturing at his crotch) Hey, baby, want to eat Mexican?
• (Out of nowhere, coming very close to me, whispering in my ear) Hey beautiful.
• Check out that ass!
• Hey, white girl! Hey, white girl, over here! Hey! Look over here!
• (Coming up to me) Hey, beautiful, buy my CD! (No thanks.) Come on, help a brother out! (Sorry, no.) Come on! (I said no.) Where you from? (not answering, walking on) Fine, bye, chunky!
• Pig. Pig. 
• Hey, babe, smile!
• Over here! Come on, smile!
• barking
• whistling
• hissing
• hissing to get my attention, then winking and blowing a kiss
• spitting near my feet

And I think there’s been more, in languages that I don’t understand. But I’m pretty sure those shouts were directed at me.

Let me repeat, this is in the past 48 hours

I’m in New York alone for the weekend, and this is only my second time in New York, so I probably do look like a target. This is a more frequent level of street harassment than I usually get in Boston, where I live, though it certainly happens there. It happens everywhere.

A few months ago in Boston, a man followed me, then asked me,

“I’m about to finish. Do you want to watch me come?”

He’d been masturbating the whole time he’d been following me.

I reported it to the police. They were very nice to me, but I felt like they thought I should be more upset about it than I was. Don’t get me wrong; I was shaken, I was scared, but it felt like it was just two steps further than all the other shouted comments and come-ons; just one step further than groping hands in a crowded bar.

Really, it wasn’t anything new.

A week ago, I visited my little brother in Nashville. I went to a record store he’d recommended, a record store I’d heard of and wanted to go to. It was a little hard to find, and I kept texting him for directions. Six different men shouted at me as I was walking to the record store. One of them followed me until I got to the record store. I texted my brother about every incident.

My brother was blown away. He had no idea this happened. He had no idea that street harassment existed beyond the occasional frat boy whistling from a crowded car.

And that blew me away. That my 2-years-younger brother, with the same childhood, the same parents, the same economic status, the same genetics, had such a completely different experience with the world. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that street harassment exists. It is not a compliment. It is a method used by men - and often groups of men - to intimidate women. 

And it fucking works.

It’s 9 p.m. and it’s Saturday night in New York and I don’t think I can make myself leave the place I’m staying to go see a movie or go to a coffeeshop or a bar or whatever because I don’t think I can put up with any more men shouting at me, propositioning me, commenting on my body, demanding that I look at them, demanding that I smile.

And yes, there is a difference between a stupid frat boy in a car whistling at me and a man following me masturbating, but it is all street harassment and none of it is okay.

And somehow, it needs to stop.

PRESS RELEASE AND STATEMENT: Street Harassment Is Not A Game #endSHweek

April 12th-18th, 2015 is Meet Us On The Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week. On Tuesday, April 14th, Safe Hub Collective is inviting residents of Boston who routinely feel unsafe in public spaces to join us in holding space in Boston Common. We invite women, people of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, queer folks, and disabled people to bring their jump ropes, balls, sidewalk chalk, and favorite playground songs to send the message that street harassment is not a game. It is violence. And it is hurtful.

The playing of games traditionally seen in elementary school yards is significant for another reason, too. When women and girls are asked how old they were the first time they experienced street harassment, the answers they give can be as young as 8 or 9 years old. One study found that 1 in 4 girls have been harassed by age 12. And, as the Twitter conversation around #FastTailedGirls*  reflects, for Black girls in particular, the freedom of childhood ends when this gender-based violence begins. Our goal is to make evident that Boston’s most cherished public spaces are not safe for the majority of its residents. We are not able to enjoy, let alone exist in our city without fear of these assaults. We hope that holding a space where those most likely to be targets of street harassment can be present and carefree gets across the message of how chilling this reality is and the urgent need to address it. We hope that the juxtaposition of children’s playground games and a conversation around street harassment serves to show the harrowing nature of the world that many people live in.

Help us build the world that we want to live in by creating a no-harassment zone with us. We all deserve to live and work and play safely. We’ll be meeting at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, April 14th, by the fountain in Boston Common. And be sure to join us using the hashtags #endSHweek and #SHNotAGame.

*#FastTailedGirls is a hashtag started by Mikki Kendall to reflect the experiences of Black girls in America. This statement has been edited to clarify that.

Meet Us On The Street ! International Anti-Street Harassment Week : April 7-13 2013. Have a look at our album : https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.497258826958496.123131.255323551152026&type=1

C'est la semaine internationale contre le harcèlement de rue du 7 au 13 avril 2013.
Jetez un coup d'oeil à notre album :

#EndSHWeek #Stopsexism #harcelementderue #stoprapeculture

Join me on 4/13 at 2pm EST for an #endshweek discussion on Twitter. I will be tweeting as @NoStHarassWeek. We will be discussing practical solutions to handling street harassment. Hope to chat with you then! To follow my constant rants about street harassment and all of the things that I do regarding the issue follow me @maliykaishealth! Talk to you soon!

#Repost @zuzumag
Vem conhecer o projeto @stopstharassmnt campanha gringa com a mesma finalidade da amada #ChegadeFiuFiu Ensinar que a famosa “cantada” é assédio, é crime. Há alguns dias está rolando a Semana de Combate ao Assédio Sexual em Locais Públicos, e dá pra participar também pelo Instagram postando uma foto dizendo não ao Assédio em espaços públicos! Participa lá! #AntiSH #ChegadeFiuFiu #endSH #endSHWeek