Ladies, you know what it is. Summer is almost here and aside from warmer weather, rooftop parties, and family barbeques, summer also brings an unfortunate uptick in street harassment.

Street harassment: the annoying, offensive, and sometimes violent words, actions, and gestures hurled at women as they try to move from Point A to Point B.

Although being harassed has less to do with how attractive a woman is or what she is actually wearing, and more to do with the harasser’s need to assert power over her, summertime can get especially dicey for women.

Despite their overwhelming ability to suppress their urges, some men act like the sight of a woman is just too much for them to handle.

Instead of leaving women alone, or even approaching them respectfully, some men quickly devolve into hurling lewd remarks and vulgar come-ons in attempt to control women as they go about their day.

Make no mistake about it. Street harassment isn’t about a man trying to meet a nice woman. If that were the case, “Damn ma you got a fat ass, can I hit that?” wouldn’t be the first words out of their mouths. Instead, street harassment is about control.

A while ago I saw the short film, “Walking Home,” directed by filmmaker Nuala Cabral, which takes a look at what women really go through when we traverse the streets. Although the film’s subject matter is nothing new for women, it serves as a stark reminder about the challenges many of us face while we are out in the world.

Dear Clutchettes, How do you deal with summertime street harassment?

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  • Shawna

    When I am holla’d at, I holla back: I submit the story to the site (or use the free phone apps) and it tags the location on a map and collects sharable data so that others know this is not just ‘some bitches problem’ – it is real and it is not acceptable. I also like to snap a cell phone photo of the harasser and load that onto the website, too! It gives them an instant consequence to their actions (“uh-oh, my wife might see that”) and takes the focus off of you and onto their bad behavior!

  • Momobyon

    I’ve noticed that these same pitiful excuses for men don’t dare to harrass women when they’re in a stationary state I.e waiting for the bus or sitting on the train. Sorry but let’s be real, the black male has been told from slavery that his most valuable asset is his penis. Which is why the black male is constantly in a state of ‘divde and bang’. Its sad but that’s all they think they’re good for. Men of this earth have failed us.

  • Maria

    I deal with alot of street harassment daily. Its caused me to feel scared walking around in my neighborhood, and I’ve stopped taking the subway to avoid street harrasement. I bike to work now and its helped but other bikers and motorist harass me. depending on whats said, I either ignore the remarks or I get mad and curse back and I get called a bitch for not taking a liking to the harassment. I think men need to realize that their actions will have consequence. For me the problem is that the remarks usually come so unexpected that I’m always on gaurd and it drives me paranoid. I feel its like post tramatic stress disorder where you have flash backs and anxiety. I wish I could speak calmly and say things such as “is this how you want your sister or mother treated” but the anger inside me prevents a composed response. Then I fear violance and its a never ending cycle

    • Lion

      this is exactly how I feel. leads to anxiety and paranoia. I’ve trained myself to shout back as soon as any guy starts saying shit on the street and hopefully i can train myself to just fucking hit these motherfuckers. It’s not just words, men try to touch me and have burped and shouted in my face too. Taking no shit no more.