Women have it hard. Everyday we navigate the streets, attempting to get to from Point A to Point B without being bothered, but many times it doesn’t work out that way.
I’m sure you’ve heard the comments before, “Hey ma, why you so mad? Put a smile on your face.” Or, “Ayo, can I holla at you for a minute?” Many times these interactions can seem innocuous at first, but can quickly spiral into something very dangerous and scary.
Street harassment is a big deal. It can range from leering and unwelcomed advances to sexually lewd comments, groping, and assault. While some try to brush it off as harmless flirting, many women have called it “sexual terrorism.”
Today, women are no longer just grinning and bearing it, they are beginning to fight back. Websites like iHollaBack and StopStreetHarassment implore women to call out harassers and share their experiences with others.
Yesterday, I saw a video that I thought was both hilarious and poignant. In it, three African-American women discuss their experience being harassed while coming home from a friend’s get-together in the Bronx, NY. Not only do they share their experiences about being disrespected, they also put the “Corner Boys” in their Brooklyn neighborhood on blast.
Stopping street harassment is extremely difficult. It will require that people change how they interact with one another, and alter the way in which men view women—not as “females” to holler at, but as human beings deserving of respect. No matter how difficult, stopping harassment is enormously necessary so that half of our citizens can move freely without having to constantly watch their backs.