As you’ve probably read, there’s been a story going round about a girl walking down a street in New York and being hassled and heckled a countless number of times.
But we’re all used to that right? Women get cat called all the time, it’s nothing special, so we shouldn’t care about it. At least, that’s what we’re told we should think.
But it’s the comments on the video that really bother me, and really show how much work needs to be done.
“Most of those were compliments!”
“…Had those guys known how conceited that bitch was I’m sure they wouldn’t give her two fucks!”
(Apologies for the language)
As another reporter pointed out, the men in these comments seem to be taking the perception of these catcalls as a threat, as a threat in itself.
It’s like the saying: the comments on any feminism post justify the need for feminism.
I noticed the woman in the video kept on being told to ‘smile’ but even when she did it didn’t stop the harassment.
And it is harassment. If women bothered men half as much, then I’m sure they’d get used to staring at the ground and politely nodding when someone cat called them.
You’re never quite sure what to do in that situation. If you ignore them and keep walking then you’re told that you’re rude and a bitch. If you say thank you or acknowledge them in any way then they take that as an invitation to talk more or follow you and it can get quite scary.
But we get it from both sides too. If you are even slightly flattered by a whistle when you walk past someone then you feel guilty on behalf of all girls who would just like to walk somewhere without being bothered and harassed a lot of the time. It’s a no win situation.
To me it really just shows how much further we have to go to help women feel safe and equal in the daily lives. We’ve made some absolutely huge leaps in the past few decades, but that doesn’t mean we can stop now.
And it doesn’t mean that men have it super easy all the time, of course they have their issues too, but right now it does seem like women have more pressing issues that make us feel scared in our daily lives. Is that not worth trying to fix?
I probably won’t see a time when women are properly safe and equal in my lifetime, but hopefully we’ll get much closer.
That’s the goal anyway.