Street Harassment

Street harassment is something that’s quite common in today’s society. Most women will experience some form of street harassment at some point in their lives, whether it’s being whistled at, called a name, or just being looked at in a sexual way.

One example of street harassment that I’ve experience was when my cousin and I went to New York City for the day. My cousin and I are both around the same age and prime victims of street harassment. It was summer and a particularly hot day so we did both have shorts on but nothing revealing or out of the ordinary. As we were walking through the city we did notice a few men giving us weird looks, but we decided to ignore it for the most part. However, when we were walking across the street a man, probably in his forties,  was staring at us from across the street and when he passed us he looked us both up and down and said something like, “damn you girls look good today”, and continued to look at our bodies, not our faces, when saying this. This comment completely disgusted both me and my cousin. A man around the age of our fathers was looking at us as a piece of meat.  I felt violated that a man so much older than me was making a sexual remark for no apparent reason and it upset me for the rest of the day, and actually still bothers me to this day.

This wasn’t the only time I had been harassed and I know it probably won’t be the last. Unfortunately there is not much a young girl can do to stop street harassment; it could be dangerous if she were to confront a man much older than her about a comment or look he gave her especially if she was alone or not in a very populated area.  I personally feel like if there were enough people around me to ensure I would be safe I’d have no problem saying something to someone harassing me. I don’t think it would really do too much if I did, the man would most likely continue harassing other girls anyway, but at least I would feel like I stood up for myself and other women and who knows maybe it would make the man realize what he’s doing is wrong.

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