Cross-Posted by Faith at Acts Of Faith In Love & Life blog
Since many seem to be confused about why it is WRONG for a man to approach or speak to a woman he doesn't know (without her initiating contact or her expressed consent) in public spaces here's a primer:
Street Harassment refers to disrespect women receive daily in public spaces: streets, busses, and parks. Acts of street harassment can include lewd sexual comments and solicitations, stalking, touching and grabbing, demands to smile, cat calls, whistles, glaring, and remarks. Feminist Guide to Street Harassment
Surely you men can find other methods of communicating with women in a respectful manner and in seeking a date. There's a huge difference between simply greeting another person as one human being to another using normal social graces and what goes on when saying hello is seen as an open invitation for sexual advances. So it's not okay to call a woman "baby" or demand that she give you her phone number or "compliment" her when you are:
a) Invading her personal space b) Taking up her time unsolicited and usually UNWANTED c) ASSuming that because you are male you are entitled to anything at all - even an acknowledgment
Part of my recognition of how degenerate many would-be DBRs black males are was the insistence of some of these so-called "good" men that "talking to" a unknown female was their right and privilege. That it's a normal everyday occurrence and not a big deal. The thought that women have forced themselves to go along with this culture of intimidation is as foreign as eating meat is to a vegan.
There are numerous men who bother women in public spaces and it cuts across race, ethnicity, religion and income. This is why certain Islamic countries force women to burqas. They already blame women for being temptresses and excuse the lack of respect and discipline of men by claiming it restores equilibrium. We should all just wear potato sacks over our heads and all the vulgarities would simply end. Not! As if the male species cannot control themselves from wanting to take by force any woman (or girl) they merely look at.
I remember the year I turned twelve. It was the end of my life as I had known it. With puberty came the sudden realization that I was under siege by older boys and unknown men anytime I left the house. I used to be shocked and saddened by some of these men who would not leave me alone even after I told them I was twelve (and still a baby in my eyes). There was never any joy in it for me! There was this sense of unspoken danger. It's not as if I'd had any preparation for this and I resented not having had any advanced warning from the women in my family. There was this resigned acceptance that this one-sided violation was "what men do" instead of CHOICES being made. I quickly scrambled for anything that would offer me relief.
This is about CONTROL and HUMILIATION. It's a dirty fight and power play. Men may be dense, obstinate or insensitive but nobody is that clueless. I posit men know exactly what they are doing when they engage women (and young girls) in this manner. Some are profiling for sexual assault. Some lie in wait for the women who protest so they can hurl expletives at them. They are trying to shame and scare women back into submission. They want to be kings of the castles "again" and the easiest way to do that is a gender-based attack. As women have gained more equal footing across the board these men are using guerilla war tactics to chip away at it.
We know these incidents are not isolated or simply a mere inconvenience. They now lead to murder - and has been covered at this blog numerous times!
The Stop Street Harassment Project calls for women to document all situations where they witness or have endured these attacks. We MUST file police reports and be prepared to enact consequences. It's the only way this will change. Compliments are not supposed to be offensive. We should not be objectified. What we wear should have no bearing on some stranger looking at us, talking to us or touching us. We have the right to FREELY move about in public.Resources - Holla Back New York Holla Back San Francisco Street Harassment Project