I know a lot of the people reading this blog are doing so because they’ve reached a point at which they’re completely fed up with being fearful when they walk out of their homes. But I’ve been reading a lot of stories today – and their comments – and there are so many people defending the harassers. Let me just clear up what is and what is not okay using my own experiences:
Crossing guard who told me in a nice manner that I looked really pretty today – that made me feel good, and I smiled.
Teenage boy who started air-humping me in H&M, then ran back to his posse of snickering friends when I turned around – You’re a sick little coward. If I’m worthless enough that you can publicly molest me, why is it that you run to the safety of 11 other young men when I notice you?
Huge bouncer-type guy that remarked “Cute hairdo” while passing by me – That was actually a compliment, and you pulled it off pretty nicely.
Van full of guys that rolled slowly alongside me as I slipped treacherously on the icy sidewalk carrying heavy bags (of Christmas presents, it was Christmas Eve!), heckling me relentlessly – that was cruel, and I hate that you made me so full of rage on a holiday.
Some nice incidents of bystander help:
When my crazy boyfriend was chasing me around the neighborhood, the guy that came out of his house to intimidate him into leaving me alone made me promise myself to step in if I ever saw that sort of thing going on.
When I was in a huge fight with my husband and he left the house, I sat alone on the front steps, shivering and looking hopeless. To the nice man that stopped, leaned over, smiled nicely and asked if I was cold – I couldn’t be more grateful for the kindness in your voice and in your expression. That actually changed me.
It’s true that talking to a woman on the street is usually harassment, but sometimes its not. Sometimes it’s been really nice that a strange man interacted with me.
But it all depends on the level of respect you show. We can tell when you think we’re objects. We can tell the difference between a nice guy, and a guy who is acting nice so he can get something out of us.
Submitted by anonymous on 8/14/2011
Time of harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)
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