Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No, fuckface. Holler at you

Apparently most men do not understand the issue with "hollering" at women. When I say "hollering," I mean any of the following: whistling, cat-calling, yelling suggestively, that christ-awful tongue through the fingers gesture that makes my skin crawl. You know. Sexual harassment. And men--at least the ones I work with and therefore can poll the most easily--don't see any kind of problem with it.

You want to yell "Sup sexy!" as a woman passes? Congratulations, asshole, you've just made her feel like less of a person.

What you're really doing is telling a woman that she can't be seen out of doors without a male escort.* What you're really doing is reaffirming the fact that, although we like to call this the land of the free, some of us are more free than others.

Sexual harassment is scary. It's a man asserting his perceived dominance over you. As a pedestrians or a cyclist, the threat is even more real. There was a case a few years ago where a woman was nearly run down by an angry driver who hopped the curb when she ignored him. (Oh wait, I take it back. He hit her)

These are our streets, our sidewalks, our spaces too. We should not feel that the only safe way to move in public is head down, eyes on the ground, not daring to look around for fear of making eye contact and "encouraging" this. And on top of being harassed, there's always the threat that we're going to be followed or attacked, no matter how we respond.

So to the kid on the DART who will not leave me be: fucking stop. I know you think you're being sweet and flattering, but all you are is making me feel unsafe. I won't actually tell you to go away and leave me be because I'm worried about retaliation. I have to take that train with you every fucking morning. And you creep the hell out of me.

And to any men out there who may still think that street harassment is okay: it's not. It never has been and it never will be. We are also not flattered. There is nothing uplifting about some dirty smelly man yelling a passing "WHAT'S UP HOT STUFF" from his broken-down car as he goes roaring through the intersection. In fact, we just want to go get ourselves checked out in case STDs have suddenly become airborne. You're filthy, you're gross, and you're threatening. And you make America a little less like America every day.

*Yes, I just referenced the Taliban. Is this the new Godwin's Law? Did I lose?

1 comment:

  1. Crimeny, this isn't Saudi Arabia, is it? One of the few positive things about homosexuality still not being totally "in" in our society is that male cyclists rarely have to put up with such BS. Regular harassment of the cycling minority is enough. I salute you for putting up with the extra BS to experience what drives me to cycle without that.