*updated on May 24, 2019* [originally posted on April 17, 2019]
(I’m referring to cishet men in this blog post [meaning that I’m talking about cisgender heterosexual men that ‘go after’ women (all women, cis, trans, whatever)] just a heads up.)
Ladies, we’ve all been through it. Walking down the street, minding your own business and all of a sudden you hear
Every woman in the universe knows the feeling.
Street harassment- let’s talk about it.
Let’s break this down. Just like rape isn’t about sex, it’s always about power; the end goal of street harassment isn’t to score a date or to let a woman know she’s beautiful, street harassment is purely to intimidate and to make women uncomfortable.
The difference between paying a woman a compliment and harassing her is all about voice tone, approach, and intent. There’s a huge difference between:
“Excuse miss, you are [non-sexual compliment here].”
Newsflash to men: There are ways to approach a woman WITHOUT being disgusting, vile, and just plain disrespectful BUT a woman does not owe her time to someone who ISN’T being gross.
Lets set some things straight here.
1.) Women don’t owe men ANYTHING.
Even if you approach a woman in the most delightful way possible and she still doesn’t want to talk to you, that’s okay. This patriarchal society has bred men to believe that even if you approach a woman nicely that she should speak to you just because you’re being NICE. Think about how insane that is. Most men think women should talk to them just because they’re being NICE. As in treating another human being (who happens to be a woman) with respect (AS YOU SHOULD) means you are entitled to their company. WHAT?!
2.) Women dressing in a “provocative” manner does not mean it is okay to make lewd comments toward them or think that they’re ‘easy’.
In a recent interview, Rev Run told Amber Rose “Dress how you want to be addressed.” LOL BYE! Not only is that extraordinarily sexist but it’s also super-duper ignorant to think that you should judge someone based off of what they’re wearing. If we apply that same logic to everyone, then Trayvon Martin deserved to be shot because he was wearing a hoodie. Do you see how insensitive that sounds? People only apply that ‘rule’ to women, and slowly, it refers to female rape victims. Often asking questions like “Well what were you wearing?” or saying in hindsight the woman who was assaulted deserved it because of what she was wearing.
A woman cannot be deemed easy based off of what she’s wearing. Where’s the logic in that? Seriously? You can take a woman who has never had sex and dress her “provocatively,” and people will be calling her a whore or a slut BUT you can take a sexually active woman and dress her in a “modest” way, and people would be like “oh, she’s a good girl” or “THAT’S the type of woman I want”. I hate the term “looks can be deceiving” applying to people, but in this context it’s accurate.
3.) Nice guys are WORSE than ‘normal guys’.
If you ever meet a self-proclaimed “Nice Guy,” RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN. EVERYONE should be ‘nice’, that shouldn’t be something you claim as if you should get a prize for being a DECENT human being. If you’re an actual nice person, then YOU WON’T HAVE TO TELL ANYONE!!!!!! Just don’t be an awful person, and you’ll get far in life. “Nice guys” are manipulative with their ‘niceness.’ They’ll do the whole “I’m not like other guys, so I deserve [enter sexual act here]” or “I’m a nice guy, NOT a douche bag, you should give me [whatever he wants].” It’s frightening that there’s this entire subculture of men who feel entitled to women BASED off of them treating women as equals AS WE SHOULD BE TREATED. If you have to continually remind people of how nice you are then you’re probably not as lovely as you think you are (Like not as sweet AT ALL.)
Newsflash: You don’t get a medal for being a good person?!?!?!? I’m genuinely perplexed about how men seem actually to believe this.
This ties into street harassment because some men will approach woman ‘nicely’ and if they get turned down, ignored, or rejected, then they become ANGRY. Like “How DARE she not acknowledge me when I was NICE?!”
Translation: “I treated her as a human being should be treated, and she still didn’t want to talk to me! I’m not thinking about whether or not if she’s married, has a boyfriend, if she’s not attracted to me, if she’s not attracted to men, or if she’s not in the mood to talk to anyone. THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS MY EGO!”
Nice guys are only nice when you give them what they want with no hesitation.
4.) Women don’t have to be receptive to men they don’t want to talk to.
“Well, I can’t even get a hello?”
“You just gonna act like you don’t see me?”
Um, yes & yes.
Women don’t have to be joyful rays of sunlight and happiness all the time…or ever for that matter. If I had a dollar for every time SOMEONE has told me to smile or to ‘look happier’ or ‘not dead-eyed’ I’d be a billionaire. I’ve never hit on a guy or seen other women hit on a guy by saying “Smile, handsome.” or “You’d look even hotter if you smiled.” BECAUSE THAT RULE DOES NOT APPLY TO MEN. Women are expected to be emotionally available for men at all times whether that be talking to random men or being friendly at all times, so we don’t bruise their egos.
5.) Women can look good…FOR THEMSELVES.
On the series Ask A Black Man on YouTube, one of the men says:
“Women spend hundreds of dollars to look really good and I have a problem that when you look really good that YOU have a problem with me complimenting you because you look really good. And as a hunter, I’m gonna hunt. Where you at, I’m coming.”
YOU’RE GOING TO HUNT?! WHAT?!?!?! Not only do you sound like a beast with no home training and like a misogynist piece of trash BUT that’s beside the point. Women do not get ready in the morning FOR MEN. We don’t! When I am in the mirror contouring, I am not thinking “Wow, I can’t wait for random men to gawk at me and make lewd sexual comments toward me as well!” Women aren’t meant for the male gaze. We’re not. Like at all. Stop.
6.) Women do not have to be related to you in order for you to respect them.
I am SO sick of the topic of street harassment being brought up and people saying, “What if it was your [mother, sister, daughter, or cousin]?” HUH? Why do people only feel sympathetic for women getting harassed that are related to them? Why is it that we can only feel bad for a woman being made uncomfortable only when WE know the woman? There is something seriously wrong with someone who cannot empathize with another person when they are being harassed or being made to feel uncomfortable just because they aren’t related to them.
I think the craziest thing is that you can go from “Hey Beautiful” to “Whatever, you’re a bitch anyway” in 2.6 seconds. It’s insane how fragile the male ego is! I don’t understand how you can call a girl beautiful or gorgeous but automatically call her ugly or a cunt when she doesn’t return your advances… Lord have mercy.
Do men actually think women are going to fall into their arms when they speak to us like trash? Like…
Men: “DAMN, I’D LOVE TO TAP THAT!”
“WOW! You’re really the man I’ve been waiting my entire adult life for!”
Men: “Damn baby, you sexy as shit…” *While grabbing us in an aggressive manner*
“I love the way you value me!”
Like are we expected to have these reactions?
Even after all this, people will still find a way to excuse the harassment women go through with statements like these.
“Well if you don’t like it then why don’t you say something to them or ignore them.”
This woman tried that and she’s dead.
So did this woman.
So did this woman.
“They won’t get violent when rejected.”
This woman was beaten severely by the men she rejected.
This woman was beaten AND raped when she refused to have sex with a man.
These are only a handful of these attacks that happen DAILY.
You cannot get upset at women not wanting to talk to random men no matter how nice the approach is just because women rejecting men is what gets us killed. Plain and simple. Street harassment makes women uncomfortable. Period. There is no spinning it around to make it seem like a compliment or anything of the sort. ITS. HARASSMENT.
STREET HARASSMENT ISN’T CUTE.
STREET HARASSMENT ISN’T PAYING SOMEONE A COMPLIMENT.
STREET HARASSMENT IS HARASSMENT, PERIOD.
Thanks for reading!