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Alarming Statistics on Street Harassment








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Bystander intervention is important! Is there a time when you witnessed street harassment and intervened? If so, share your story here.

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Don’t be a dick.

Comic Con in San Diego begins today and that mean’s COSPLAY. woooo!! Unfortunately, that also means harassment… specifically for female cosplayers. boooo.

However, one geek decided to take a stand and spoke out against his friends and fellow men who are misogynistic bullies. He writes:

This is my community, these are the people I love and the places I am whole. My truest friends have been forged in our love of Picard, of Reynolds, of Briene. I will fight for it to remain a place of safety, of openness and welcome. We will take in all. Those who just fancy Chris Evans and those who have read Cap since Issue 1, those who waited seven years for Dance With Dragons and those who have never seen it but love the Daenerys cosplay they see around.

There are no gatekeepers to this community, no test to pass or requirements to fulfill. Come as you are, let me show you what I love, show me what you love. This is my home and there will always be a place for you.

And so to the trolls I say this: Grow up or get the F off my lawn.

It’s good to know that allies can make an impact and that YOU CAN BE AN ALLY! So, Cleveland, take a stand and let people know that we will not tolerate street harassment! We’ve got your back.

We will leave you with wise geek Wil Wheaton’s famous words…


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Ways Men Can Combat Sexist Entitlement in Public

So here are some simple ways that men can combat sexist entitlement in public:

Don’t Act Like the World is Your Living Room, and Call Out Men Who Do

This one’s simple.  Be aware of the physical space you take up in public: on trains, in coffee shops, at the library, on airplanes.

Using Your Voice: Step Up and Step Back

Be aware of how much you’re talking, and if you are talking a whole bunch, step back.  If you notice that men are dominating the conversation, step up simply to point it out and to call men to reflect on that.

Work to End Street Harassment

A simple way to do this is not to harass women on the street.  And not all street harassment is a lewd comment about a sex act yelled at a woman.  Street harassment can be leering.  Street harassment can be asking a woman to smile. Street harassment can be hitting on a women with whom you have no context or relationship.

Refuse to Use Sexist Language, and Call Out Men Who Do

Sexist language really is pervasive.  From the common usage of bitch to referring to a woman as crazy, there are endless ways that sexist language makes its way into our vernacular.

Keep Your Clothes On

A simple thing we can do to push back on sexist entitlement in public is to keep our damn clothes on (yes even if we’re hot).

Be Publicly Trans*-Inclusive

How do I need to change my behavior to be more Trans* inclusive?  Here are a few ideas: Don’t assume people’s gender pronouns until they tell you, opting to use gender-neutral ones instead; make sure to call people by their preferred gender pronouns and preferred name, even if it’s hard for you to remember.

Demonstrate Clear Consent

Need to slide past a woman in a public place?  Don’t just put your hand on her back. Ask to slide by.  Ask before you hug someone.  Ask before you pick up that little kid or tickle them.  Ask before you kiss your partner.

Strive to Be an Ally to Women in Social Spaces

Party spaces tend to be some of the most overt areas where men exert entitlement.  Ask any woman whether they’ve been groped by a dude on a dance floor and you’ll understand what I mean.

Talk About Male Entitlement with Other Men

Whether it’s a call out or call in or a public conversation with your bros about the ways that men express entitlement, naming the problem can help you identify allies you never thought you had and help men consider a problem that far too often is invisible to us.

Talk to Boys and Young Men About Male Entitlement in Age-Appropriate Ways

What’s the best way to end male sexist entitlement? Keep it from spreading to the next generation! Pointing out to boys and young men the ways in which they are exhibiting entitlement and helping them understand why it is wrong is key to ending the entitlement that far too often leads to violence later in life.

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Things Women Avoid Doing Because We Fear For Our Safety

We all know that, as women, there are certain things we don’t do simply because we are women. Here’s a brief list…

  • Move into certain neighborhoods or live on certain blocks, because the harassment is too severe.
  • Travel solo, because there are certain places where it’s just not safe to be a woman traveling alone.
  • Run alone at night, because we fear attackers. 
  • Talk back to harassers, because you never know if the abusive words will escalate to violent actions. 
  • Walk home at night without holding our keys out, because you never know when you might need a makeshift weapon.
  • Wear flimsy clothing when we’re out walking by ourselves, because harassers see it as an invitation to bother us.
  • Wear loud or outrageous clothing, either, because that’ll invite comment from strange men too.
  • Wear anything that will expose our breasts or remind men that we’re women, because that’s seen as an invitation for leers.
  • Ride our bikes late at night, because we don’t want to deal with the harassment.
  • Walk around late at night with headphones on and blasting music, because we’re afraid attackers might come up behind us.
  • Walk directly home, sometimes, if we’re afraid someone is following us. Instead, we’ll stop at a neighborhood bar and pretend we’re meeting someone.
  • Engage in small talk with a man, because he may interpret it as an invitation to come on to us in a lecherous way.
  • Make eye contact with strangers, because it’s seen as an invitation to approach us.
  • Even smiling can be seen as tacit approval to talk or approach us.



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A No-Nonsense Guide to Street Harassment




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Badass Female Heroines from Television

There are few things better in life than a strong, empowering female character. So, let’s take some time and honor these awesome female heroines.

Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer


The obvious reasoning here is that Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, is a vampire slayer. She kills vampires in her spare time, when she’s not busy with school or her friends or her dating life. But here’s the thing: She’d be on this list even if she didn’t kill monsters. She’s strong physically and emotionally, she refuses to be underestimated, she’s the protector of her friends and family (and also, the world), and she’s dedicated to her principles.

Clair Huxtable, The Cosby Show

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When we were younger, Phylicia Rashad’s Clair was the ideal mother; now, she’s just the ideal woman. Brilliant, compassionate, strong-willed, and social-minded, this lawyer is the boss at home and on the job.

Lt. Abbie Mills, Sleepy Hollow

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You don’t want to cross Nicole Beharie’s Abbie Mills, the real hero in Sleepy Hollow’s fight to save the world. It’s not that she’s fearless as she takes on the demons looking to bring the apocalypse; it’s that she shows remarkable strength in the face of that fear. And she’s got the best quips in town.

Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars

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Veronica Mars, played by Kristen Bell, is similar to Buffy in that her accomplishments are made even more impressive for her age. The quick-witted teenage detective starts out searching for her best friend’s murderer but her talent leads her on a trail toward the darkest secrets of her hometown. She’s wise beyond her years but still undoubtedly a teen, with all of the crushes, school drama, and occasional naiveté that come with it.

 Nyota Uhura, Star Trek


Nichelle Nichols originated the role of Chief Communications Officer Uhura — groundbreaking for a black woman in 1966 — and continued to portray her through the first six Star Trek films (as seen above). She proves herself a canny and heroic leader, manning the helm when necessary, and rises through the ranks to ultimately become a commander.

Tina Belcher, Bob’s Burgers


Yes, Tina is technically voiced by a man (the hilarious Dan Mintz), but we’re glossing over that detail because she is currently one of the most empowering depictions of a young woman on television. She oozes a confidence that doesn’t rely on external approval, she’s self-actualized as a pioneering writer of erotic friend fiction, and she’s a self-proclaimed “smart, strong, sensual woman.” Our collective new mantra should be: “What Would Tina Do?”

Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

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leslie 6We’ve seen the highly motivated Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, achieve her goals — both in her relationships and her career — and, more importantly, we’ve seen her jump back when she’s come up against failure. She’s an ally of all women everywhere, an incredibly loyal friend, and an overall unstoppable force.

Blanche Devereaux, The Golden Girls


Rue McClanahan’s Blanche is ahead of the curve when it comes to sex positivity, celebrating her sexual appetite and refusing to be ashamed. She’s passionate, confident, open-minded, and the best friend a girl could have.

Sophia Burset, Orange Is the New Black

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Orange Is the New Black is filled with tough and inspirational women, so it takes a lot for just one to stand out. And yet Laverne Cox does, as transgender inmate Sophia who refuses to allow the state to govern her body. She’s complicated for sure, as are her fellow inmates, but she’s brave enough to stick up for the new girl, confident enough to run for a position on the Advisory Council, and strong enough to maintain a sense of self in the face of rampant transmisogyny.

Detective Olivia Benson, Law and Order: SVU


Detective Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay, is a voice for the victims and an advocate for women everywhere. She’s experienced her own trauma, and channels it into the often demoralizing fight to bring down criminals as a Special Victims officer. She’s brave, empathetic, resilient, and would make you feel safer than even her partner Stabler could.

Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones


Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys starts as a pawn in her brother’s power play, but she becomes irrepressible when she decides she that wants that power for herself. She proves herself a powerful, rebellious, yet compassionate leader with an army of thousands (and three very loyal dragons) behind her.

Donna Meagle, Parks and Recreation


Who doesn’t want to be Donna? Played by Retta, she is confidence embodied, casting an irresistible spell on everyone she meets. She’s smart, steadfast, more empathetic than she lets on, and she isn’t afraid to indulge in the occasional fine fur.

Sydney Bristow, Alias


Jennifer Garner’s Sydney is almost a machine — a highly trained, kickass spy machine. She’s a master of martial arts, can transform herself into any identity, speaks dozens of languages, and is a real danger to anyone dumb enough to be her enemy. But the best part is that she isn’t a machine. She’s a human being with real relationships, emotional depth, and relatable humanity.

Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

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Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon is a victory for the everywoman, showing that you don’t have to be a superhuman master of your career/love life/closet to be a badass boss. She struggles as creator and head writer of The Girlie Show, just as she struggles in her dating, but it hardly ever gets her down. She’s tenacious, sympathetic, hilarious, and — most important — ever unapologetic.

Olivia Pope, Scandal

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Played by Kerry Washington, Olivia is a high-powered political problem solver with the weight of the country on her shoulders and a team of gladiators behind her. She’s complicated and flawed — in other words, human — but still strong, confident, and decisive. She’s also got killer style.

Dr. Martha Jones, Doctor Who


Freema Agyman’s Martha spends just one season as the companion to Doctor Who, which makes sense since she hardly seems the “companion” type. She meets the Doctor when she’s already found success as a medical student, and after leaving him because she finds their dynamic unhealthy, she finishes her degree and lands a job for a paranormal military organization.

Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, Battlestar Galactica


Katee Sackhoff’s Starbuck is as tough as they come, a cocky captain fighting bravely for the survival of humanity. She’s also an impressive example of personal growth, though; the abrasive and nihilistic pilot whom we meet at the beginning opens up to those around her without ever losing her edge.

Arya Stark, Game of Thrones

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In the brutal, ruthless universe of Game of Thrones, young Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, has it particularly rough. She battles gender expectations from the beginning, pursuing her interest in swordsmanship and battle over needlework, and it’s these skills that have allowed her to survive on her own for as long as she has. She’s got her sights set on vengeance, and she’s bound to get it.

Jessica Pearson, Suits


Jessica, played by Gina Torres, is the boss, heading a law firm that’s in charge of some of the country’s most influential clients, and she runs the show with apparent ease. She’s quick-witted, cutthroat when she needs to be, and demands the best out of those around her.

 Check out the full list here.

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