I sent this to Lela earlier this week:
It’s a conversation about street harrassment and how often it happens. The comments are just as disturbing as the actual article itself.
What stuck me the most after reading all of it, was that… there is only one instance where someone’s mother explained or showed how to handle this type of problem. Unfortunately, most of the females seemed to have stumbled into this blindly until some asshole decided to make them a prt of their own public spectacle spankbank, at worse is at extremely young ages. If this starts when girls are in middle school, shouldn’t we be educating them on this?
I was having this discussion with someone who takes the subway into work each day and how this is something very real that she has to deal with while getting dressed in the morning. And how the male members of her family in turn asked her to tone down her dressing (not wearing skirts to an office) if she didn’t want attention…..
(If you don’t know Beth Ditto, you should, she’s the lead singer of “The Gossip”.
click here to fall in love with her voice:
Beth Ditto :
If you find yourself feeling powerless after someone has shouted at you, you need to remember that this is the masterplan of sexism. The guys in question may not know it, but every time they “catcall” a girl they are reminding her of her vulnerability in a system designed to do just that.
If a friend or partner tells you that catcalls are a fact of life and to “just get used to it”, it’s worth recognising that they are fuelling the harasser’s fire and extinguishing yours. It can be particularly annoying when a boyfriend does this – it’s not fair for someone who has the privilege of taking a risk-free stroll in the park, day or night, to dismiss your reaction. The next time he says something like that then you should arrange to get some of the most annoying, frightening women, young and old, ugly and beautiful, thin and fat, to stare at him for a week, pointing and remarking on his body. He’ll just have to get used to it!
Aside from all this, I was pointing out that I work in a satellite office for a company. The main office is however, not in a wonderful area. Whenever I have to go there I always end up dressing in a different way than I would at my own office. At my office it’s all skirts, heels and patterned tights and when I have to go to the main office…. well, it’s all hair pulled back, a bag that crosses over my chest (not a purse) that leaves my arms free and flat boots. I told someone once that this was so at the least I could run away easily, at the most I might have to kick someone and make it hurt.
It was funny to me how preparing to go down to my companys main office is very similar to preparing for a zombie apocalypse.
The first thing everyone needs to do it talk about this. If it happens, tell someone, even if it’s just blowing off stream. Don’t brush it off, call attention to it. Let the young girls know how to be aware of their surroundings and of course, what they can do or say in their own defense!
“I experienced car creepery at thirteen. I was walking home from middle school past a place called the World’s Largest Aquarium—which, legally, I don’t know how they could call it that, because it was obviously an average-sized aquarium. Maybe I should start referring to myself as the World’s Tallest Man and see how that goes? Anyway, I was walking home alone from school and I was wearing a dress. A dude drove by and yelled, “Nice tits.” Embarrassed and enraged, I screamed after him, “Suck my dick.” Sure, it didn’t make any sense, but at least I don’t hold in my anger.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants
If more people hear about it, more people might see this is something where people’s attitudes need to change.
And I do want to point out that this isn’t just to women. I remember going out one night to a gay friendly bar and two guys coming over to me and my friends. They seemed harmless enough, if not a bit bland although nothing we would have wanted. Suddenly, they started talking all kinds of smach to a transgendered patron and I remember turning around and getting pissed and saying,”They have been coming here for months. You two walk in one night and feel like you can dictate who’s allowed to be here? They have more a right to be here than you.”
I think I may have also done a little of this:
So I’m off my soapbox now.
thanks for reading!