with eyes open wide
Wow. This opinion piece in Ms. Blog (of Ms. Magazine) really hit a note with me.
I live in Latin America, so OF COURSE street harassment happens every single time I walk down the street. Almost regardless of how I’m dressed, someone toots their horn. I live in a conservative town, so whistling at strangers is not as common as in the big cities.
I typically think, “Men will be men. This is their way of giving a compliment to a woman they feel is beautiful.” And generally, that’s how I take these actions where I live.
But what Kitty Lindsay described in her article (linked below) is WAY over the line. In my opinion, street harassment in the United States is of a demented type. Often it’s crazy stories that involve groping and committing sexual acts in public.
We value our freedom in America, but this has caused culture to absolutely fall apart. Not to mention the United States is HUGE, so one unified culture is almost impossible. But what I’m getting at is our individuality has lead many people to really bad and scary paths. I’m not going to say that never happens in a Latin American country, but I believe it happens much much less because the culture is stronger. People’s family values and saving face are extremely important. Less children rebel from their parents out of respect of the overall culture. “No one else does it, so why would I?”
If you have ever been harassed in a way that made you feel uncomfortable, please talk to someone about it. Share your story through Hollaback! even. Anything so that this sort of behaviour is taken seriously and stopped before someone is seriously hurt (mentally or physically).