Are you rolling your eyes? You might be. That's OK. A lot of people don't agree that street harassment is even a thing.
"It's a compliment." People say it to me all the time. Or they think I'm "humble-bragging," pretending to be offended by cat calls just so I can talk about how I get so many cat calls. I even had a male "friend" tell me I was being "absurd" and that it was a result of my stupid American culture that I didn't know how to take a compliment.
That feels very wrong to me. But I am aware that it is how some people feel. I am not going to make this a rant post, but I do want to address the issue because I saw something on Twitter yesterday that really bothered me. (Actually, ever since I got back on Twitter about a month ago it's been bothering me...but that's another story).
This is Stop Sexual Harassment week, and yesterday I saw an argument erupt between several ladies on Twitter when one used the hashtag #stopSHweek in reference to cat calling. The other told her she was "gettin it twisted," that street harassment is not sexual harassment and that it's wrong to equate them and that she just needs to calm down and learn to take a compliment. Then another girl made it about how the hashtag user just must not be pretty so she's jealous of those who get cat called...
I could go on and on about why I think cat calling is a form of sexual harassment and how I think there are cultural norms that perpetuate it and help create the feelings of control and entitlement that lead to physical harassment and rape. But instead I am going to say this:
Women need to stop bashing each other for the way they feel/what they are afraid of/how they view the world.
We just need to stop. Whether it's about sexual harassment, cat calling, how we raise our kids, whether or not we stole someone's idea, where we live, how much money we make, how our boyfriends/husbands treat us and how we treat them...we just need to stop tearing each other down. There is a lot of insecurity among women, for good reason. But it isn't going to help anyone - even you, in the long run - if you spend your time telling others how their feelings, the way they view things, are wrong. Disagreements? Fine. But telling a girl she is stupid and "has it twisted" for simply stating that she believes cat calling is a form of sexual harassment is counterproductive, and it frankly makes you look terrible.
I hope that wasn't too ranty. There have been a lot of rants in Blogland lately. I just needed to get it off my chest, y'all!
I will leave you with this amazing video that gives me happy chills whenever I see it: