I’m actually at my wit’s end with street harassment. It’s a form of abuse that no women deserves to undergo and no man should feel entitled to. Believe it or not, WE KNOW we are beautiful, we get enough attention at home and WE DON’T LIKE SMILING FOR YOU so stop fucking asking.
Street harassment is something that happens on a daily basis for women and the main reason I loathe it so much is because SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING TO ME THAT I DO NOT WANT THEM TO DO and I have absolutely no control over it. It matters not whether your intentions are good or bad. I do not walk around greeting ever man I see or tell them to “show me that smile” so therefore I do not believe that it is an involuntary thing or “human nature” to harass someone you’re attracted to.
I actually read an article a few months ago, I forgot where I found it. This article was actually explaining to women why men behave like animals in public and harass us. The article mentioned that this stems from men’s insecurities (doesn’t everything).” Long ago”, if a woman walked past a group of men and all of them but one reacted. Immediately that one guy who did not harass the lovely lady was ostracised and stripped of his manhood. So ultimately this is why men cannot help but harass you, because they fear being seen as less of a man by society.
I have always had a “stern and intimidating face”. It is in inverted commas because this is the perception I give off as a woman who does not smile. Therefore, does that mean I am stern and intimidating? No. Chances are if I told you to walk outside and take a close look at a man’s face, guess what you’ll see… BINGO. I was at the bank this week, sorting out a few things and while I was waiting in the queue for the consultant, he looked up at me and said “smile!”. To which I responded by shaking my head while I glared at him. Now I really looked “stern and intimidating”. Embarrassed by my reaction he then reverted back to helping his client. Like he should have done all along. When I finally got to his desk he apologised and said he did not know that asking me to smile would offend me. I asked him if he would ever ask a man to smile and he exclaimed “heavens no! “. In ever situation when you get confronted with stupidity or ignorance, an opportunity arises to either educate or walk away; this was my opportunity to educate. I left him understanding that sexual harassment is not ok. I taught a grown, MARRIED man how to behave. It is nothing to be proud of. The moral decay of our society is concerning.
Having been annoyed by this request, I took to the internet to find out more about why men do this. I wanted to know if it was actually a mental disorder and I was just being dick about it. My search results yielded this amazing video by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Click here to watch it and check out her amazing blog while you’re at it.
After watching the video I realised that mental illness or not, it needs to stop. Women go to the extent of planning their day according to the congestion of the streets, they plan their outfits according to what will be the least arousing choice, we do so many things to avoid being harassed when we should be doing nothing at all. We live in a world where we have to seek out ways that will prevent us from being victimised. What a world…