Whistles, arm-grabs, flashing, random sexual comments and insults, thrown objects, or even just what pretends to be an innocent “hollla” that turns into physical assault…the list of what young women (and for that matter old women and some men) can face while simply walking down the street is endless. It’s happened to almost everyone, and anyone who’s experienced it knows that street harassment isn’t just “boys being boys.” These interactions leave victims feeling powerless, unwelcome, and wear at feelings of safety and self-esteem over time. And it happens everywhere, every day.

International Anti-Street Harassment Week aims to change that by setting aside March 18 – 24 to spread awareness, share stories, and ask men to join women in solidarity against the problem. The event’s organizer, Holly Kearl, is an expert on gender-based street harassment. She has organized over 100 groups in 18 countries for events this week, ranging from marches to discussion groups in every major city across the country. All of these events focus on allowing women to share their stories to help others understand how damaging it is to address people this way and how unacceptable it is for any of us to remain silent on this issue. This is not a women’s problem, it is a social problem.

International Anti-Street Harassment Week has already yielded this brilliant video created by a bunch of New Yorkers spreading the message that harassment can only end if we —  and especially men — say something when we see it. Watch:

Do you want to get involved in International Anti-Street Harassment Week? Check out the website to learn about events in your area, pass the word along to your circle of activist friends, or take a moment to be candid about how having been harassed on the street has made you feel. Dialogue and awareness makes all the difference.

While we’re on the subject, how has your experience with street harassment made you feel? Will you join this week of awareness to help prevent it in the future?

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  • jamesfrmphilly

    myself and the other “alpha” males that i have hung with do not “holla” at women on the street. in philly those making the noise are usually losers without a pot to piss in. they are losers because if the woman ever answered back they would not be able to handle it.

    i have never approached women. women have approached me. i would never holla at anyone for the reason that what am i going to do with her when she wants to hook up?
    i am usually pretty busy and i don’t have time to play. never have. the women in my life have never left me with much time or energy to play on the side. they get there first and they drain every drop.

    the brother who is out on the street annoying women is out there because nobody wants him. when he opens his mouth he brands himself as a reject. with all these women out here anybody who don’t have a full plate is defective.

  • apple

    lets see the two most worst experiences.. was being grabbed by a grown ass man on the street at age 15 because i didnt want to talk to him

    the other one was being called STUPID B*TCH while him and his friend grabbed their d*cks at me

    • LAD86

      I am glad that I have been able to avoid being touched or grabbed by a harasser. I don’t even know how I would deal with that, but I do carry mace that is always visible on my person.

    • iQgraphics

      these things have happened to me too
      and I didn’t hold it against myself at age 15 when bottles were thrown at me.
      I used to keep my head down

      Then I changed. I started looking people in their face. Directly.
      After I adapted that, everything changed for me.

      I get hi’s and hello’s but no more cat calls.

      At least not from any applicable amount of space, If you’re going to be an idiot from 50 feet away… I’ll let that battle pass. But if you’re going to be crude in my face, I’m going to have you explain yourself.

  • LMO85

    INCORRECT. Women want men to hold so-called men ACCOUNTABLE period, point blank. As much time as you spend on this blog, it amazes me how you and your cohorts stay missing a clue and constantly want to whine your little ‘woe is me’ and the burdens I bring commentaries. Pathetic.