We’re sure at one time or another every female has come across unwanted, harassing attention while walking down the street from men. From the cat calls, to the “baby can I talk to you for a minute” and the dreaded touching, we really don’t know why men think that they have a right to leer at us and utter degrading comments on a whim.
We recently came across this story from crunkfeministcollective.com, and had to share with our readers. The article written by former Vibe writer Elizabeth Mendez Berry prompted NY city council member Julissa Ferreras to holding a hearing on the issue in December.
I was 13 when I was sexually harassed for the first time. On a sunny summer day, two men in a pickup truck followed me for several blocks, yelling obscene things they wanted to do to me. When I was 18, a catcaller chased me home from the grocery store; he tried to force his way into my apartment.
My experience is not unique: street harassment is an everyday problem, but one that’s rarely acknowledged. According to several studies cited by Holly Kearl, author of the new book Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming for Women, between 80 and 99 percent of women have been the targets of aggressive, unwanted attention from male strangers. When she polled 800 women, Kearl found that 75 percent had been followed, and 57 percent had been sexually touched or grabbed in the street by male strangers, some when they were just ten years old.
Have you ever been harassed on the street? Share your story with us.