“Damn man, why are you so sexy?” This is something you have probably heard if you have been street harassed. Street harassment is unwanted comments and other actions by strangers in public areas. I feel like street harassment has been taken as a joke or a compliment in our communities. It is affecting huge amounts of people in our communities and nobody is really doing anything about it. Despite street harassment being sexual assault, it has somehow been accepted in our communities as normal.
Based on studies it shows that most cases of street harassment occur to women. According to Tara Culp, “65% of the women in the United States have experienced street harassment at some point in their lives, and 41% of those women experience physical aggressive forms of harassment.” This is incredible amount of women being either whistled at, followed, or even touched. I don’t understand why this is happening to some women, and not to other women?
Women are usually judged by what they were wearing when they got street harassed. According to Gothamist “ In some cases men say if she has a beautiful body why can’t I say anything.” In some cases we are seeing that men think that it is their right to say something to you. It is nobody right to disrespect another person. I feel like this issue is big and I don’t understand why authorities are not doing more to stop it.
I wish authorities could do more when it comes to street harassment, but in some cases they can’t do anything about your situation. According to Stop Street Harassment “ You can report street harassment when it’s assault or battery.” Basically the only way you can get the authorities involved in your case of street harassment is when they say something to you, or when they touch you without your consent. I feel like they should get in trouble, for every act of disrespect towards you like whistling which people don’t really take as harassment. I feel like they shouldn’t only report them, but set awareness in the harassers by speaking to them.
I feel like we need to talk to them to make them more aware because some of those harassers don’t even know what they are doing. We need to learn to turn around, and say to them what you’re doing is considered street harassment, and it is not a game. We need to explain to them it’s not a joke, or a compliment, and it shouldn’t be taken as normally in this community. We need to start caring. I personally care about street harassment because it’s not only affecting me, but thousands of people around me. I feel like men and women should care because you never know when it’s going to happen to you. Next time you see street harassment happening I want you to ask yourselves how can I help?