We have public transit. We have busses, trains, and planes that can get us to where we need to be at any given time. Unfortunately, harassment runs rampant on these modes of transportation. When it comes to street/public place harassment, women speak of “widespread indifference” or “silent approval” from witnesses who continue their journey, even though victims sometimes seek their help with a glance.
Lets end tolerance and trivialization.
Street harassment is far from a compliment. Women speak of fear, intense discomfort, humiliation, helplessness, anger, disgust, anxiety. Women are not at all complimented.
Many women are constantly alert, hyper-vigilant, on their guard, about the possibility of being again the target of an act of street harassment.
In surveys, most people who have experienced public harassment have said that they wish someone had intervened on their behalf. Indifference seems to prevails on the side of witnesses of street harassment. Yet witnesses are aware of what is happening. This demonstrates the social banality, which keeps the stalkers in impunity.
Many feel bad because they did not react, but the truth is that reacting can be dangerous. If you are lucky, those who retaliate are only treated as “badly fucked,” “fucking bitch,” “frustrated feminist”, but often they become victims of violence.
Even those who avoid avoidance while attempting to ignore the harasser are entitled to insults.
To file a complaint with authorities after the fact where there is no evidence and the perpetrator can not be found is in vain.
Some women put on hoods or/and take a more aggressive or masculine steps to be sure no one will want to target them.
How do you change someone who always believed that unwanted advances were not an assault? We need to start educating our children that street harassment isn’t acceptable, it isn’t a compliment and you aren’t entitled to anyone’s body.