Archives for posts with tag: street harassment

JohnMayerDerpy

Like everyone else in Seattle, I’m still riding the Seahawks Super Bowl high. Our long-awaited football superiority was pretty much the only thing that anyone talked about for months prior to the game; green and blue were the only colors worn as far as the eye could see; Richard Sherman became a local hero much to the chagrin of the rest of the world; and I’m pretty sure I started murmuring “kakaw” and “beast mode” in my sleep.

So naturally, I was super hyped after the crushing total domination that the Hawks dealt the Broncos on February 2. I felt so much pride for our massively talented players and our state. It was a pretty amazing way for a team to win their first Bowl, even if I did feel kinda awful for Manning after all those sad puppydog looks he was giving…but hey, the dude’s already got one ring.

Everyone in the city was positively bouncing off the walls and going crazy – at least for Seattleites (see this hilarious twitterstorm of #HowSeattleRiots tweets making fun of the city’s polite raging). And like so many others, my friends and I rushed out into the streets, honking our horns, high-fiving strangers and chanting Sea! Hawks! between every sip of craft beer.

That night was a blast. Except for one thing.

At the only bar I went to, I was groped three separate times by three complete strangers.

The first (obviously wasted) guy put his arms around me, told me that I was beautiful, and then (as I attempted to push him off) proceeded to stick his hand into my jeans back pocket while simultaneously licking the inside of my ear. What. The. Funk.

Escaping from him, I eventually made my way outside the bar, where my friend and I chanted along with the crowd and sang We Are the Champions – right up until Creeper #2 walked up and grabbed me around the waist from behind. I turned around expecting to see one of my dude friends standing there and found instead a total stranger leering down at my chest.

NO – I told him.

Why? He asked, with an incredulous look of privilege and feigned innocence in his eyes.

Extremely aggravated but determined not to “make a scene,” I reentered the bar. A little while later, I saw two of my friends posing for a picture, and asked the cameraman (another unknown bar-goer) if I could jump in their picture. Sure honey, he cooed, as he reached his non-camera hand down and grabbed my ass and pinched hard.

Let’s just say, this all gets old fast, dudes. I never – or should I say we never, because I believe I’m speaking for a lot of my friends out there – asked you to touch us. We didn’t invite you to invade our space. We didn’t run around screaming “please grope me, I beg of you” or wear a sign saying “ATTN: I want you to innappropriately fondle my behind.”

John Mayor once sang a famous song that went a little like this:

Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonder (I’ll use my hands)
Your body is a wonderland

Well Johnny, that’s all good and well when it’s your consenting partner, spouse, friend with benefits, or one night stand. But groper dudes of the earth, please just listen to me. My body is actually NOT your wonderland. I am actually NOT here for your tactile pleasure. No, really!

I can’t think of a single woman who can honestly say that she enjoys random strangers touching her in this aggressive, sexual way.

It’s time to wake up and smell the mace people, because I think we are all goddamn sick of this bullshit.

 

*Disclaimer: I have nothing against John Mayer. But this picture is quite derptastic and relevant so I had to include it.

Cat-Calling Sucks

This morning two men in a truck honked, stared and yelled things at me as I walked to work.

Saturday a male stranger in the elevator called me sweetheart and another man on the street asked if I would go home with him.

Last week one of my male colleagues yelled out “va-va-voom” when I walked into a board meeting.

Last month a parking attendant outside my office building told me that he wanted to marry me and that he would stalk me until I broke up with the fake boyfriend I told him I had in order to ward him off.

Last summer three men walked past me on the stairs of a bar. One turned around and grabbed my ass, squeezed hard and guffawed. All three proceeded to laugh uproariously and continued on their way. I was too stunned to say or do anything so I just stared as they left me there on the stairs. A few weeks later a strange man in a club came up behind me while I was dancing with a girlfriend and pulled my waist towards him, pushing his crotch into my behind. I turned and demanded an explanation. His answer: “You backed into me.” Bullshit. Straight out lie.

These aren’t the worst examples of street harassment, just a few that come to mind. I am cat-called almost every single day of my life, no matter what I’m wearing or who I am with. But mostly when I am alone, walking to or from work or home.

Worse: I’m not an anomaly. This happens to most girls. All. The. Time. Cat-calling is not a compliment – it’s degrading, humiliating and demoralizing. It limits our ability to walk down the street without fear – even in broad daylight while wearing professional attire.

The featured quote says it all: I may be walking through a public place, but my body is not public property. I am a individual person with rights to my own body, not a sexual toy/object inviting your comments, stare or touch. Please consider this and apply it to ALL people as you move through your day.

Here are some great resources for people who are looking to learn more about how to identify and combat this type of harassment:

HollaBack! You Have the Power to End Street Harassment
Stop Street Harassment
Meet Us On The Street*

*Anti-street harassment week was April 7-13, 2013. Visit this website for news about next year’s event and additional resources.