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This is what goes through a woman’s head when she’s catcalled by a stranger…
Stage One: Surprise!
Jesus H Christ. You would think I wouldn’t actually be surprised when some [guy] yells a lewd comment at me at 11pm on a Tuesday. GUESS AGAIN. Normally when I’m commuting I’m in my own world, wondering what I’ll have for dinner (ramen) or what my bank account looks like (empty). That’s usually when someone breaks my train of “productive” thought and shouts that I’m “sexy” or wants to know “where I’m going.” This shock quickly turns into the next stage.
Stage Two: Anger
Fury. I mean pure, unadulterated FURY. HOW DARE YOU, SIR. ARE YOU AN ANIMAL? CAN YOU NOT CONTROL YOURSELF? CAN YOU NOT KEEP YOUR DICK IN YOUR PANTS OR YOUR GODDAMN TONGUE IN YOUR MOUTH? THIS I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND. DO YOU REALIZE THAT YOUR ACTIONS REPRESENT AN ENTIRE GENDER? THAT YOU MAKE ME THINK ALL MEN ON THIS EARTH ARE THE WORST AND THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE IN HARMONY IS IF YOU DID NOT EXIST? I DO NOT WANT TO THINK THESE THINGS. I DO NOT WANT TO SAY THEM. I DON’T EVEN WANT TO TYPE THEM RIGHT NOW. BUT GODDAMN IT I AM FURIOUS THAT SOMEWHERE IN YOUR TINY SKULL YOU THINK YELLING AT ME WHEN I AM ALONE AT NIGHT IS A REALLY GREAT IDEA. NO. REALLY DUDE. SUCH A GOOD IDEA. THIS ACCOMPLISHES SO MUCH. IN ONE FELL SWOOP YOU MANAGED TO SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF ME, AND MAKE YOUR ENTIRE GENDER LOOK LIKE A BUNCH OF ANIMALISTIC PREDATORS. GOOD. REALLY. GOOD.
Stage Three: What Am I Wearing?
I love this stage. I love that it exists still. I love the fact that after my anger subsides, I immediately turn to place the blame on myself. What am I wearing? Can you see my arms? What about my legs? Can you see my face? Oh my god my face is showing; I asked for this. I WOKE UP AND DECIDED TO SHOW MY FACE TODAY. STUPID RACHEL. THINK BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE. THAT FOREHEAD SKIN IS SO PROVOCATIVE, NO WONDER HE COULDN’T HELP HIMSELF. PUT YOUR FACE AWAY, YOU STUPID, STUPID SLUT.
Stage Four: Should I Be Flattered?
What a horrible thing to have in your brain. Should I be flattered? Well, he called me sexy? That’s not so bad, that’s kind of nice I guess. I mean, I’m sweating and my makeup is running and that guy still thinks I’m sexy. Wait, no. So, so incorrect. This is [messed] up. This is the [messed] up truth, though.
Stage Five: Anger…Again
DID I REALLY JUST THINK THOSE THINGS? WHERE ALONG THE LINE WAS I TAUGHT THAT SOME A-HOLE’S APPROVAL WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO ME THEN MY OWN SELF WORTH? Flaws. This is all filled with so many flaws.
Stage Six: Feeling Trapped
What was I supposed to do? Did I handle that correctly? My parents taught me to control my emotions, to not say anything, for my own safety. But how can I just not say anything? Doesn’t that perpetuate the cycle? If no one stands up to these people out of fear that only gives them more power doesn’t it? But what about my own personal safety? How do I make them understand, how do I make them realize that what they think are just tiny words are actually doing so much damage to me? How do I make them see that their actions affect everyone around them when no one around them even flinches? You can’t reason with people like this, you can’t have an educated political debate about women being equal and how harassment like this dehumanizes them, making them feel like a lesser person, so what’s the point? Why say anything at all?
Stage Seven: The Feminist Rant
Why say anything at all? Because, progress. Because I’m still figuring out how to deal with a-holes like this. Because I truly don’t believe that in my lifetime I will ever know what it’s like to walk the streets without fear, without my fist clenched around my keys, without a face on that looks like it’s ready for a fight if it had to come down to it. And no, Mom and Dad, this isn’t because I live in NYC. This is EVERYWHERE. This is in my hometown, this is in every single country, it’s happening, to far more severe degrees, all over the world. I’ve always been asked that silly question by my friends, what would you do if you had a penis for a day, and my answer has almost always been, “I dunno I would probably pee on everything I could.” But you know what I’d really do? I’d see what it was like to live a day without the fear of rape or murder that comes from just standing in a subway station.
Check out the original post here.
Many women, at some point or another, will experience sexual harassment on the street. Between the catcalling, the aggressive comments, and the lingering stares, 51% of the population lives in a world where their bodies can be transformed into public property in an instant.
The Huffington Post decided to start the hashtag, ThatsWhatHeSaid, in which women are sharing direct quotes from their catcallers to give the world specific examples of what we endure.
Never forget that your body is under inspection.
Check out the original post here.
And don’t forget to share your story. We’ve got your back!
I was running in a park by my house and a man was standing, facing the trail in a wooded area. I rounded the corner and noticed his wang hanging out. He pretended once I made a loud, “eeeww yuck,” that he was just urinating. He said, “aww I’m sorry I’m sorry,” but made no attempt to cover his erect weiner. I kept running & called 911 to let them know about it. I’m glad I did, but I felt bad as I couldn’t give a great description as all I could remember was his thingy & his voice.
While it may seem relatively innocent, street harassment does have detrimental effects. Immediately after the incident, targets report feeling annoyed, angry, embarrassed, threatened, or scared the situation will escalate. They contemplate how they “should have” reacted.
Assess your safety.
Because every situation is different, there is no perfect response. If it’s nighttime and you’re walking in a desolate area, or your harasser is in a group, the best response might be not engaging at all.
Make eye contact.
Strong body language, particularly eye contact, will surprise your harasser. “It tends to work well because then they’re too shocked to retaliate,” says Holly Kearl, founder of Stop Street Harassment and author of ” Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming For Women. “It forces them to think about what they’ve said or done.”
Use a firm voice.
In an audible, unwavering tone, tell your harasser that his or her behavior is not okay. Try negative statements like, “No, leave me alone.” “I don’t appreciate it.” “What you’re saying is disrespectful.” “Go away.”
If you’re feeling bold and the situation allows it, you can turn the tables on your harasser. Ask them to repeat what they said or loudly repeat it, comment on how they look, or take their photo.
It’s hard to resist, but cursing can backfire. “While it may work in some instances, this type of reaction is the most likely to make the harasser respond with anger and violence,” Kearl says.
After you’ve made eye contact and said your negative statement, keep moving, Roy says. “Keep it short so the harasser doesn’t think it’s an opening to a conversation.”
Fake a phone call.
If your harasser is still following you, cross the street and pretend to call a friend. Tell her you’re just down the block and will be there soon. Or threaten to dial 911. And if you fear the situation is escalating, make the call!
Watching street harassment happen is almost as painful as being a target of it. Hollaback suggests using one of the “four D’s” of bystander intervention.
If you’ve assessed the situation and decided it’s safe for you to become involved, you might approach the harasser and tell him or her to “knock it off,” or loudly say “ugh, that is so gross” as you walk by.
Create a distraction.
There are a few ways to disrupt the harasser’s antics without actually addressing the harasser. Approach the target and ask for directions, offer your seat, or act like you know each other. Say, “I’ve been looking everywhere for you. We have to meet our friends!”
Find a delegate.
If you’re by a construction site, seek out the foreman. In the subway station, find a transit authority worker. Rally people standing around you who look like they would be more confident approaching the harasser. “You have the power to de-escalate the situation,” Roy says. “When other people get involved, usually the harasser backs off.”
Intervene on delay.
When the situation has passed, ask the target if he or she is okay. Simply validating their experience by telling them “I’m sorry that happened” or “ugh, that happens to me all the time,” creates solidarity and makes a huge difference.
Remind yourself who’s to blame. Being harassed can bring up confusing feelings. “We feel very ashamed about the way we responded,” Roy says. Rather than harp on what went wrong or right, remind yourself that it is your harasser’s job to feel guilty, not yours.
Tell a friend.
Talking about the incident and how it made you feel helps you gain support, give a voice to your experience, and realize you’re not alone.
Check out the full article here.
Men seem to think that harassing women online is ok. It isn’t. I can still be triggered online and this is not ok!
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Check out the full list here.
One woman decided that she had enough of street harassment and started confronting and filming men who cat called her. She posted those video’s online.
Have a similar experience? Share you story here. We’ve got your back!