It’s sad that we live in a society that needs freakin’ public service announcements to tell men not to sexually harass women. (Ask me about the man at Starbucks last night who would. Not. Leave. Me. Alone.) But HollabackPHILLY — anti-street harassment crusaders extraordinaire — have made some of the best posters against unwanted perving that we’ve seen. You can check ‘em all out at HollabackPHILLY’s website. [HollabackPHILLY via Bitch Magazine]
After that mild controversy we stirred up over strangers telling us to smile, this graphic, from illustrator Kris Atomic perfectly illuminates my feelings on the subject. If you feel like this applies to you, Ms. Atomic even offers this illustration as a poster – one which could be easily stapled to your forehead, or worn as a hat. Click through to see the poster enlarged.
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Karma’s a bitch.
Last night outside my apartment in New York City, the street was flooded with lights, sirens and a cherry-picker? Yes. A cherry-picker, along with a host of emergency personnel, surrounded a gaping hole familiar (and clearly marked, for the record) to this stretch of sidewalk. Firefighters kept gawkers at bay and I asked other bystanders, “What the hell happened?” It was explained that somebody had fallen into the aforementioned sidewalk orifice. Come to find out, the man who took the tumble was fleeing after having groped a woman on the street. Keep reading »
How many zillions of times in you life have you been told by a random stranger on the street to “smile”? While the sentiment may at first seem harmless, the implication is that women only exist to be objectified by men — that by not smiling, we’re not fulfilling our end of the bargain. It’s a subtler form of street harassment, but no less a reminder that some men feel entitled to dictate what women do with their bodies. I mean, have you ever, ever walked up to a random man and told him to smile? Didn’t think so.
With that in mind, some anonymous anti-smile harassment vigilante has been putting up these awesome posters in the Bed-Sty neighborhood of Brooklyn. Thanks, stranger, for saying what I’m thinking but never remember to actually voice in the moment.
What do you do when someone tells you to smile?
Update: The artist behind the posters has been identified. Her name is Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and she also sells the drawings as tee-shirts.
I’m never really sure how I feel about concealed weapons, but in this case, I have to just laugh: A woman in Longview, Washington, was walking at Lake Sacajawea on Wednesday evening when a man “aggressively”came up to her while masturbating and “suggested she should watch him,” the Seattle Times reports. That’s when this woman whipped out her gun. Dudebro tucked his dick back in his pants and ran away. He wasn’t suspecting that, now was he?
Of course the sad part is that a woman shouldn’t have to produce a firearm to be safe from street harassment or sexual assault. But in this instance, it didn’t hurt. [Seattle Times]
When the Arab Spring hit in early 2011, no one could have guessed what it might have meant for women’s rights in Egypt. But as the country continues to feel its way through a revolution, there is one surprising outcome — several citizen’s groups are now patrolling the streets of Cairo, and taking action against men that perpetrate violence against women.
If anything, the uprising has made violence and harassment against women more visible, say officials, and that’s spurred residents into action. Teenage boys as young as 16 are even joining the patrols. The groups are in response to a culture of government and police inaction, bolstered in part by a former regime that touted that violence against women was a non-issue in Egypt.
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“Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell” is a show I keep meaning to start watching, especially because of skits like this. Kamau hit the streets to talk to talk about street harassment, asking women how it makes them feel and asking men why they do it. Surprise, surprise, boys: Yelling “Check out that ass!” at a woman just makes you look obnoxious (at best) and mad creepy (at worst). But the some of the men Kamau talked to don’t seem to get it. They think women “really like it.” There’s this one guy who insists that women “really like” being hollered at by strangers. Hmm, maybe he hasn’t considered he’s the one who actually enjoys making women uncomfortable? Oh, obliviousness.
When most people think about street harassment, they think about what women wear or about how women should respond to catcalls. But there are other, more subtle, effects of street harassment and how it affects women’s existence in public space. Recently, The Wall Street Journal noted that only 11 percent of the participants in India’s Delhi Half Marathon were female and one of the reasons they gave for why women in India don’t run is the “stares and calls from drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.” In other words, women don’t go outside to exercise when they live in fear of street harassment. Keep reading »