I would say the street harassment of women is getting ridiculous but honestly, its probably been out of control since dresses started showing a little ankle. I have to be honest. I do enjoy a slightly prolonged look in my direction after I work hard planning that outfit. However, the line between slightly prolonged and TOO LONG is thin and fading.
Basically, if your head starts to follow me in that creepy slow-rotating-fan motion, discontinue your visit to the outside world. If you even start to open your mouth to say something to me, it was time to stop 30 seconds ago.
Men come up with all types of excuses as to why they can’t control their eyes, mouths and sometimes their hands. They dare to believe–or maybe it’s a joke–that the harassment is a compliment and an effective way to approach a woman. It’s sweet talk. Embarrassingly enough, I often hear both men AND women say that sometimes the guys aren’t to blame because of the way a lady is dressed.
Hold up. First of all, womanhood usually isn’t a female’s first introduction to the outspoken men. I, along with tons of others started developing early. I’m talking C and D sized breasts by middle school. The body of a woman doesn’t make a woman. It does, however, tell a young girl that it’s acceptable for her body is to be cheaply lusted for and preyed after.
In the vulnerable years of youth, the same excuses men make are the false truths girls believe. The catcalls become a signal of worth, the way they once were to me. While my middle school peers teased me, honking horns and whistles on the streets assured me I had something worth paying attention to. This mindset is dangerous. These young girls are more likely to, as they say, “look for love in all the wrong places.” Then comes the attraction to this type of man who will later mistreat and undervalue the now grown up girl and her sexuality.
Second, an outfit has nothing to do with and should certainly not be the reason for harassment. If you and your pals want to silently disagree with a woman’s outfit choice and the skin it doesn’t cover, mention it in your prayers later tonight. What we should all agree on though, is the fact that whatever is showing doesn’t grant a free pass to harassment.
Let’s all be realistic and settle with the fact that catcalling and other forms of street harassment are disgusting, degrading, and sorry excuses for approaching a girl.
Him: Hey mama, come shake that thing over this way.
Her: *stops and considers* Hey, as a matter of fact I’ve been waiting for someone to make that suggestion all day. I’m gonna turn right around and give you my number sir! *shakes that thing over his way*