It continues to blow my mind that men remain dismissive of women’s complaints about street harassment, insistent that they’re “only” giving compliments and flirting, as if it’s completely irrelevant how such “compliments” actually make women feel. Brooklyn-based artist Elana Adler — like many, many, many, many women – was also sick of being catcalled and decided to turn some of the remarks she heard from strange men on the street into a bad ass collection of needlepoints. As she writes on her blog, the contrast between the sweet femininity of the cross-stitch and the ickiness of the words themselves is purposeful:
“You read one sampler. Perhaps you are amused, but as you continue reading and consider the body as an entire collection, the response changes. The inherent filth emerges. It is a beautification of an assault. Perhaps in the moment these statements are meant to compliment, but most don’t find vulgar, highly sexualized statements whispered or screamed at them by random strangers complimentary. Rather, they are an invasion of personal space.”
Click through to see a few more samples of her work and check out the rest on her blog. [Elana Adler via Cosmopolitan]
Last week, I had a stalker experience that left me feeling very uneasy. I frequent a Starbucks about a mile away from my house and sometimes just spend the entire day there writing. On one particular afternoon, a young man came into the cafe. I just happened to look up at that same exact moment and we made eye contact. I politely smiled, then returned to my work.
The following day, I was walking my dog on my street, when a very familiar guy approached me.
“Hey, what’s your dog’s name?” he questioned.
“Um, it’s Sam,” I responded casually then noticed his face look very familiar.
“Hey, didn’t I see you yesterday at Starbucks?” I asked the stranger. He haphazardly nodded, responded, “Yeah, I think so.” Then we both said goodbye and parted ways.
I didn’t think too much of it at first. I figured the guy just happened to live on my street. A coincidence, right? That was until I got home and checked my Facebook inbox and noticed one unread message in my “other” folder. Keep reading »
I guess the New York Post is voting pro-harassment this election season, because they’ve gone a step beyond Doree Lewak’s now-sort-of-infamous “Deal With It!” pro-catcall manifesto by asking a nigh-professional New York subway harasser how he works his magic (and by magic, I mean misogyny). Here are the main takeaways from their profile of Brian Robinson, Middle-Aged Man Who Obviously Isn’t Self-Aware: Keep reading »
Before the movement to end street harassment really gained steam, I penned an essay about my childhood experiences as a poor, Black girl. In the piece, I detailed an interaction I had, at 11 years old with a group of men more than two times my age, where they publicly sexually harassed me while on my neighborhood street. The piece expressed the hurt, anger and rage that is buried so deep within me after decades of feeling unsafe in this world just because I am woman. This was the story of how I learned that my entire being was defined, in this society, by my sexuality. Not my intelligence, not my humor, not my wit, but access to my body.
I looked back on that piece and felt all the fears and anxiety that I have so long tried to cast aside and dismiss. Fears that resurfaced because of stories that two women were brutally attacked within the past couple of days (one of whom lost her life and the other who thankfully is expected to survive), by men who sought to gain access to their sexuality but were denied. Men who invaded the personal physical and emotional space of those women, without any permission or invitation, and murdered them simply because they were made aware of the fact that their advances were not welcomed. Keep reading »