Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Street Harassment Is Part Of The DBR War Against Women

Since many seem to be confused about why it is WRONG for a man to approach or speak to a woman he doesn't know in public spaces here's a primer:
Street Harassment refers to disrespect women receive daily in public spaces: streets, busses, and parks. Acts of street harassment can include lewd sexual comments and solicitations, stalking, touching and grabbing, demands to smile, cat calls, whistles, glaring, and remarks. Feminist Guide to Street Harassment
Surely you men can find other methods of meeting women in a respectful manner or getting a date. There's a huge difference between simply greeting another person as one human being to another using normal social graces and what goes on when saying hello is seen as an open invitation for sexual advances. So it's not okay to call a woman "baby" or demand that she give you her phone number or "compliment" her when you are:

a) Invading her personal space
b) Taking up her time unsolicited and usually UNWANTED
c) ASSuming that because you are male you are entitled to anything at all - even an acknowledgment

Part of my recognition of how degenerate many would-be DBR (damaged beyond repair) black males are was the insistence of some of these so-called "good" men that "talking to" a unknown female was their right and privilege. That it's a normal everyday occurrence and not a big deal. The thought that women have forced themselves to go along with this culture of intimidation is as foreign as eating meat is to a vegan.

There are numerous men who bother women in public spaces and it cuts across race, ethnicity, religion and income. This is why certain Islamic countries force women to burqas. They already blame women for being temptresses and excuse the lack of respect and discipline of men by claiming it restores equilibrium. We should all just wear potato sacks over our heads and all the vulgarities would simply end. Not! As if the male species cannot control themselves from wanting to take by force any woman (or girl) they merely look at.

I remember the year I turned twelve. It was the end of my life as I had known it. With puberty came the sudden realization that I was under siege by older boys and unknown men anytime I left the house. I used to be shocked and saddened by some of these men who would not leave me alone even after I told them I was twelve (and still a baby in my eyes). There was never any joy in it for me! There was this sense of unspoken danger. It's not as if I'd had any preparation for this and I resented not having had any advanced warning from the women in my family. There was this resigned acceptance that this one-sided violation was "what men do" instead of CHOICES being made. I quickly scrambled for anything that would offer me relief.

This is about CONTROL and HUMILIATION. It's a dirty fight and power play. Men may be dense, obstinate or insensitive but nobody is that clueless. I posit men know exactly what they are doing when they engage women (and young girls) in this manner. Some are profiling for sexual assault. Some lie in wait for the women who protest so they can hurl expletives at them. They are trying to shame and scare women back into submission. They want to be kings of the castles "again" and the easiest way to do that is a gender-based attack. As women have gained more equal footing across the board these men are using guerilla war tactics to chip away at it.

We know these incidents are not isolated or simply a mere inconvenience. They now lead to murder.

The Stop Street Harassment Project calls for women to document all situations where they witness or have endured these attacks. We MUST file police reports and be prepared to enact consequences. It's the only way this will change. Compliments are not supposed to be offensive. We should not be objectified. What we wear should have no bearing on some stranger looking at us, talking to us or touching us. We have the right to FREELY move about in public.

Resources -
Holla Back New York
Holla Back San Francisco
Street Harassment Project

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I remember the year I turned twelve. It was the end of my life as I had known it. With puberty came the sudden realization that I was under siege by older boys and unknown men anytime I left the house. I used to be shocked and saddened by some of these men who would not leave me alone even after I told them I was twelve (and still a baby in my eyes).

I remember going through the same thing. In the sixth grade, I suddenly went from having a flat chest and no hips to having to wear a bra and filling out my shorts overnight. Boys around me noticed right away. The first thing they want to do is touch you. Suddenly every adolescent age male around me (including one of my cousins) was trying to rub my breasts or butt. The boys had lots of moves they would try to get to touch girls. They’d try to get you alone or maybe with another girl they’ve already “taught” one of their “touching” games. If he had a girl he had already indoctrinated, the other girl could sometimes help talk the new recruit into going alone with the sexual activity and not tell.
A lot of little girls were molested in these situations. I did not play that way. I never went into a space where no adults were present or I was the only female. I had learned my lesson from an earlier incident and did not trust boys at all. I was eleven years old in the sixth grade, but had known since the age of eight years old that boys would try something if they got you alone and thought no one would find out.
These males have no regard for females as human beings. Females are two breasts and a butt to them. The predatory male feels that if you have the female equipment he wants has a right to take it. This male predatory behavior can start at an early age, so parents need to always be aware of who is spending time with their children whether they are adult or child, male and female.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Ethereal Lady: Hello. Well every girl doesn't go through this because they are surrounded by people who use common sense and police others around them. Hopefully the more black women divest and enact standards they will surround themselves with men who do not behave this way and are fully present to protect them and their children!!

Anonymous said...

Women should be warned that some countries and neighborhood are off limits to us in that forget about ever setting foot there ever, for you physical well being and mental well being.

I live in a patriarchal country and I don't see things changing any time soon. I have no patience to wait it out for change to come so I'm going get out of there fast. Unfortunately women are not yet free and i realize that I am privilege ,because I can leave.

We have to be shrewd and smart, and always on the look out as where we go. No it's not our fault,but some people have little control over their sociopathic tendencies. They will kill and assault you. I don't think women have the luxury to not be smart about this and not learn how to defend ourselves. We must teach our young girls. if we are to survive. There is war upon us, our bodies and our right to exist as human being. Look what is happening in the Congo. it defies anything human.

ak said...

Faith your life starting from 12 years old sounds like mine entirely, although my mother never internalized or gave me these excuses about 'boys will be boys'.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh puberty. You ladies are fortunate that this happened to you at 12. For me it was at 9, I had no one tell me that boys would be this disgusting, or predatory.

I remember in 5th grade being surrounded by 5 boys (who had all tried to touch me at one point or another) well they were tired of me resisting their attempts so they beat me to the ground and continued to beat and kick me until i couldn't fight back and then proceeded to touch me. Everywhere.

I was given the boys will be boys speech by the administration, actually I and my parents were. We were told that the boys couldn't possibly understand at that age what they were doing. They couldn't understand trapping a girl out of adult eyes, beating her to the ground, and forcing their hands and fingers in places they didn't belong.


At 16 I was walking to church and some guy was trying to talk to me.”Damn girl you’re sexy, what’s ya name thickie” (girl, thickie, never miss, or acknowledging me as a whole person) when I ignored him, because any word from my mouth would be taken as an invitation to keep talking, to stalk me and more, he grabbed me and in a threatening tone said “I’m trying to talk to you!” I’d crossed the line apparently, how dare I not acknowledge him and accept his harassment, I mean compliments.