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Heavy blog: Street Harassment

April 22, 2011

I just read two articles: Just A Smack On The Ass: A Tale Of Sexual Assault, Vengeance And Nervous Swearing, and “Hey Baby:” Enduring Street Harassment. The first is a WONDERFUL read, the second very poignant.  Here’s what I had to say to the author after reading the second:

Excellent article, thank you.

I’ve had it on my mind lately about countries where women are considered sinful temptations, and not people…places where wearing nail polish or showing a bare arm is punishable by emprisonment or death. 

We are extremely lucky to be in a country where that’s considered outrageous, ridiculous, and illegal, but your article about street harassment echoes of the same attitudes. “I’m a man, I like to look at women and touch them, I can do and say what I want.”  And so we’re ashamed, I guess, to be looked at that way, to be powerless against men who could do whatever they wanted, given the right circumstances.

A lot of people don’t understand, and so we get “aww, get over it!”  But it’s true: Men, at heart are afraid that women won’t like them, while women, at heart, are afraid men will kill them. (Paraphased from Gavin de Becker; see his book The Gift of Fear.)

To hopefully forestall the idea that I’m a man-hater: I’m happily married, have two brothers, two sons, and many friends, both men and women. I’ve never been raped or abused, and rarely encountered this kind of street harassment.  I just agree that it’s a problem.

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