shannonl5
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Op-Ed: Street Harassment is not a Compliment

The is not a negotiation.

Following someone you don't know for several blocks, to their place of work or their home, is not a compliment. It's called stalking.
Screaming at a stranger because they won't talk to you isn't a compliment, it's crazy.
Grabbing someone you don't know because you wan't their attention isn't a compliment, it's assault.
Showing a stranger on the street your penis isn't a compliment. It's called Indecent Exposure and it's a sex offense.
And if you think these things are essentially different from catcalling, you're kidding yourself.

It's not about being 'friendly'.

If it was, then men would also get cat-called (and followed home, and flashed). Because it's friendly, right? I'm sure you've met all your guy friends when you randomly screamed "hey sexy nice ass" at them. That's how you show someone you want to be their friend right? No. Nobody does that. Because this isn't about making new friends. It's about intimidation.

And intimidation is about power.

When you scare someone, you take power from them. You now control their sense of safety. Street harassment and catcalling are a way of putting a target on another human being. Suddenly they're not just another anonymous person trying to get somewhere. They're an object of derision, attention, and shame. Tell me what part of that is supposed to make me feel good?

You are not entitled to me.

You are not owed my time or my attention. Demanding that I give it to you (telling me to smile, to say hello, to be nice, to take a "compliment", to look at me bitch) is not friendly. You're not my friend and you're never going to be. What you are is a predator. You steal peoples' time, safety, and self-worth. You are not entitled to mine or anyone else's. It doesn't matter what we wear, where we are, or how we identify.

We don't owe you anything and you don't own us.

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lt happens in my world too. l just find it crazy that these kind of people are all over the world. Apparently the women's rights are human rights sermon is not preached and heard all over the world. Still a long way to go.
I never ever was treated like this in San Diego, but when I moved to New York it happened more than once a day. It never made me feel good even if it was a "compliment." I honestly day dream about really ripping into those guys and trying to make them see the error of their ways, but I never did. One that REALLY ticked me off was when I was walking to work with my coworker who is Korean and a bunch of guys yelled ni hao at her. Like, if you weren't already going to sound ignorant for yelling at women, you're going to add blatant racism? Mhmm good job boys.
I'm just a weird girl. I actually like cat calls
@grapetoes2000 same here! There are a few places I've been where people know how to behave but it's not the norm. Definitely a long way to go!
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