This was my post tonight on facebook: For as many times as I get cat-called, wolf-whistled and hollered at in the street is another confirmation that I live in a patriarchal society where power is still being exerted over me as I’m walking and minding my own fucking business… and you can quote me on that one.

I know my tone is angry and I know I might be pushing people away who may think I’m being too forceful or too ‘feminist’. I know that perhaps my complaints aren’t important enough (with all the other problems feminists have to face in this world) but I have to say that I am DONE with the cat-calling and the whistling and the invasive remarks that make me uneasy.

Since moving to Halifax, I can count at least 5 separate times when I’ve been approached, whistled and ‘noticed’ on the street. For each of these times I’ve let the man know that I am not impressed or happy with his behaviour by shooting him my “I am disgusted by you” face. Though I wouldn’t recommend approaching the men, I would recommend being proactive in reporting harassment. For instance, last year a man was calling me over to his car saying “hey sweetheart, why don’t you come over here for a little bit?” and I called the police. In another instance I called the garbage collection company here in the city after three men in a garbage truck wolf-whistled me on the way to school in the morning. It was as simple as telling them the day, time and street that the truck was driving down so they would know who was working that day and tell them that their behaviour is appalling.

I have to wonder how common street harassment is? I am just one woman and I can count up to 5 clear instances of street harassment in the past year and a half. I know that a lot of women just ignore it and shrug it off as something that just happens every once and a while but I want everyone to know that this shouldn’t happen. It really does confirm the underlying patriarchal society that enables men to exert their power over us by getting away with remarks that are sexual in nature. They may think that it’s flattering or harmless but it’s none of those things when I’m walking by myself at night whilst being hollered at in a sexual nature. It makes me sick. I AM sick of it.

What does everyone think? I’d like to create some discussion on my blog so please leave a comment.

In the meantime, check out these women who are trying to combat street harassment: Hollaback!

This sums it up nicely:

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