I know this video has gone viral (see posted link below) and so many of you have probably already viewed it, but if you have not, it is a must. I think there are still a lot of men who do not realize that this is a woman’s life every day that she steps foot outside of her house. I watched this with my husband and he was horrified. I told him that this is every time I leave the house without him or my daughter, and oftentimes it happens right in front of her as well. I have been called derogatory names when I do not respond. I’ve had people say, “Oh, whatever _____! Dumb lesbian.” I’ve had people say, “What? You’re not feeling friendly today?”, or “What’s the problem? You don’t like the ____?” So on and so forth. My personal favorite is when someone says, because I have tattoos, “Oooh, I bet you’re a freak in the bed!” These are all the most common ones I have heard over the years, but there are many, many more. Sometimes the comments are less aggressive, but they are still dehumanizing, “Ooo, girl, you got fries with that shake?”, “Damn, Girl, look at that little body in them jeans!”, or just a “Okay, girl! Where your man? Is he at home? Does he appreciate you the way that I would?” I’ve heard about a thousand more lewd versions of this that ask questions that are no one’s business in the world.
I’ve seen a lot of people responding to this video like, “Geez, what are we supposed to do to meet a woman these days?”, “Is there anything we can do to compliment a woman that’s not offensive?”, “Everyone’s a whiney PC person who needs the world sugarcoated for them.”
No. We need to live in a world where we can go to Walgreens in yoga pants and not have 5 people in 15 minutes make us feel like we are on a serving platter. That is all. It puts all our senses on alert and it makes us nervous in our own environments, no matter how mundane they are. And yes, you CAN compliment a woman. You can do that easily by opening a door for her and making friendly eye contact, taking the time to politely and genuinely introduce yourself and strike up decent conversation. You can treat another person with respect by seeing them as humans. It’s really simple. As I told a friend of mine who posted this and had a great deal of people commenting the aforementioned statements I typed above, “This does not affect those, and is not a threat to THOSE, who do not want to change their behavior.” Think about it.
See street harassment video here: 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman
~ Heather Angelika
Owner/Founder of Gallant Girls