There’s an advert on tv at the moment and the more I watch it the more it concerns me.
In it a girl gets on a cable car and sits next to a chap and after a while she asks where he’s getting off “four stops ago” is his answer. It seems like a perfectly romantic and nice scenario and to the general public it may well be. (the only version of it I can find is cropped so she has the agency)
But to me, it reminds me of things.
It reminds me of the chap who followed me almost to my front door, only to do a swift 180 and walk back to where he was originally, when I got a friend on the phone.
The chap who sat down next to me on the bus and continued trying to talk to me even though I was obviously not interested and indeed he had to pull my headphones out my ear.
The numerous chaps who will tell me “you’d look prettier if you smiled”, really? Who for?
The guy who refused to leave me alone unless I gave him a hug to prove I wasn’t mad.
The men I ran into when working in a bar who assumed that we were part of the service, there to be groped, propositioned and generally treated like pieces of meat.
The chap I thought was my friend until he revealed himself to feel entitled to my body.
And with these and other chaps comes a lot of baggage. Such as not feeling safe even within my own home if I am on my own at night, panicking if I have to walk anywhere in the dark, even to the Council Chamber for meetings. Trying to make sure that I have a friend who knows where I am going and when I should get there.
Some of these chaps may sound flattering, after all it’s nice to be told you’re pretty. But the way in which they do it and the attitude of possession creeps me out. Really it’s a form of street harassment and one which needs to stop. http://feministing.com/2013/01/18/it-takes-a-village-to-silence-street-harassment/
- Hollaback- The Site and App That Hopes to Put an End to Street Harassment (epiphanysolutions.co.uk)
- Stop street harassment with your cell phone? The latest City 2.0 award winner shows how (ted.com)
- ‘Safe city pledges’ (shakhti.wordpress.com)
- Shouting back: how women are fighting street harassment (guardian.co.uk)
- Ode to Street Harassers (feministactivism.com)