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7 Oct

A rant about street harassers

Last year I wrote an article about street harassers and being catcalled, which you can read here. Since then I’ve watched a few videos about street harassment.

Here’s a video of guys watching their girlfriends being catcalled:

And one of dads watching their daughters getting sif comments:

If there’s so much talk about this on the Internet, why is it still so rife? Just yesterday I was walking to the Myciti Bus from work, and a guy started following me on Long Street. At first he was just asking for money, but then he started making comments about my body and the length of my skirt. After a few minutes of this, I got so angry that I actually told him to fuck off.

Swearing at street harassers is never really a solution, because some of them actually get off on it. Yesterday’s guy just said to me, “Ek sal jou weer kry.” (I’ll get you again.) A threat? I’m still not sure, but it made me feel sick.

A few things to note about this kind of behaviour:

  1. IT’S NOT A COMPLIMENT. I get so angry when people dismiss street harassment as “Guys just giving you compliments”. No, no, NO. It’s demeaning, and no guy who has any respect for a woman’s body would ever do it.
  1. Why aren’t there stricter rules about this? There are towns where you can get a fine for walking and texting, but there still aren’t any repercussions for street harassment? You’re kidding me, right?
  1. It’s NEVER about what you’re wearing. Whether you’re wearing a mini-skirt or a burka, you deserve to be treated with respect and no one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable in your skin.

I feel that it is our duty to educate our guy friends, boyfriends, husbands and sons about street harassment.

Years of hearing gross comments while just innocently walking somewhere have made me really suspicious of all men. The other day two guys walked up to me in the CBD, and I immediately assumed they were going to say/do something offensive.

It turns out they were actually just looking for the nearest police station.

How sad is it that I immediately assume the worst in all men because of a few scumbags?

I’m not sure if things will ever change, but I refuse to stop talking about it. I will not allow this kind of behaviour to just be swept under the “Boys will be boys” rug. Se moer.



Update: If you want to read a guy’s perspective on this, check out Ricki’s post here. (Written in response to mine.)

  • Douchebag

    So you attract homeless men eh?

    October 7, 2015 at 11:56 am Reply
  • Laura

    Wow. Just traveling through Saltriver and home every day on public transport and walking had me carrying a stun gun and a knife with me. I felt constantly aggressive towards men, dehumanized and ashamed to be a woman! All I wanted was to be they would just leave me alone. The funny thing is that you asked why there isn’t a penalty for this sort of behavior, well..when I’ve experienced it on more than several occasions from police officers, go figure.

    October 8, 2015 at 2:47 am Reply
  • Ricki

    @Douchebag – That’s not even mildy funny, man. If you’re going to troll do so as youself at least.

    October 8, 2015 at 9:26 am Reply

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