May 30, 2012

STOP: Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment and how frequent it is in London (as well as other cities in the UK and across the world) is a hot topic at the moment. 

The stats are not cool: over 41% of women are harassed at some point in their lives in London. 
Public transport harassment: A third of the 1,047 respondents reported unwanted sexual attention on trains and buses, with 5 per cent saying they had been groped. 

My question is this - WHY do men feel they have the pre-ordained RIGHT to sexually harass us? Don't even give me the bullshit of 'we asked for it by wearing a short skirt'. We live in a society where showing flesh here and there has become the norm..... without fear of being harassed. Well, that's what I thought anyway. Apparently the norm has become... show some flesh - get attacked. Cat-calling demeans us, and instills a fear of walking the streets alone just in case it suddenly goes from 'alright beautiful, look at those legs' to 'come here you' and it becomes assault.

Goddamn, this frustrates me so much because we should be able to WEAR WHAT WE WANT. Do women start abusing men when they strip off and walk around half naked? Some might, yes. But the majority don't. Because we RESPECT YOU. But we're losing that pretty quickly due to your disgusting actions. 

That's what this is about. Where did the innate respect for the 'other half' go? What did your parents teach you in regards to not touching women inappropriately? What has society and education taught you? Apparently that it's ok and that 'we asked for it'. 

I'm so sick and tired of hearing that it's our fault. NO, it's not. Please leave us alone. You think we look good, sexy, beautiful? Thanks, I appreciate it. Just keep the thought in your head. And if you're tempted to come over and start touching, then please... ask might be your lucky day and we might say yes. I doubt very much that you'd enjoy it if a woman came over and just grabbed your penis? Imagine if that happened frequently, would you Really enjoy it? Think about that for a second...

Laurie Penny sums it up perfectly in my opinion:

"What street harassment tells women is that we should expect to pay a price for being female in public. Many young women, growing up, learn that it is up to us to "fend off" sexual harassment in public places – by dressing conservatively, taking the shortest route home, not travelling alone after dark. We learn, in short, that public sexual harassment is our fault. It's time we change to record."


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