Whistles, arm-grabs, flashing, random sexual comments and insults, thrown objects, or even just what pretends to be an innocent “hollla” that turns into physical assault…the list of what young women (and for that matter old women and some men) can face while simply walking down the street is endless. It’s happened to almost everyone, and anyone who’s experienced it knows that street harassment isn’t just “boys being boys.” These interactions leave victims feeling powerless, unwelcome, and wear at feelings of safety and self-esteem over time. And it happens everywhere, every day.

International Anti-Street Harassment Week aims to change that by setting aside March 18 – 24 to spread awareness, share stories, and ask men to join women in solidarity against the problem. The event’s organizer, Holly Kearl, is an expert on gender-based street harassment. She has organized over 100 groups in 18 countries for events this week, ranging from marches to discussion groups in every major city across the country. All of these events focus on allowing women to share their stories to help others understand how damaging it is to address people this way and how unacceptable it is for any of us to remain silent on this issue. This is not a women’s problem, it is a social problem.

International Anti-Street Harassment Week has already yielded this brilliant video created by a bunch of New Yorkers spreading the message that harassment can only end if we —  and especially men — say something when we see it. Watch:

Do you want to get involved in International Anti-Street Harassment Week? Check out the website to learn about events in your area, pass the word along to your circle of activist friends, or take a moment to be candid about how having been harassed on the street has made you feel. Dialogue and awareness makes all the difference.

While we’re on the subject, how has your experience with street harassment made you feel? Will you join this week of awareness to help prevent it in the future?

  • LAD86

    “…How has your experience with street harassment made you feel?”

    It has made me loath a certain group of men, because about 99.9% of the harassment comes from them.

  • Greg

    Jeez, women will do anything to politicians looking for ways to avoid uncomfortable questions posed on the “Street” by their constituents. ONCE AGAIN MEN will be used in an attempt to make censorship possible to avoid uncomfortable questions posed in the public square.

    Video: Female Democratic lawmakers refuse to speak out against Bill Maher’s misogynism

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ikW7ljSm3Fs

    No different than censoring public establishments with dress codes and Burqas frankly!
    How socially backwards. Let’s review:

    The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

    FREEDOM of SPEECH is uncomfortable for radicals. But that’s one of the greatest things this country has to offer. You’ll hear uncomfortable things with this Freedom, maybe even on “The STREETS” egads. SO WHAT?

    We wouldn’t have it any other way!!!!
    God Bless America

  • Greg

    My Bad:

    “Jeez, women will do anything FOR politicians looking for ways to avoid uncomfortable questions posed on the “Street” by their constituents. “

  • Yb

    The f*ck does freedom of speech have to do with people speaking out against women AND MEN being assaulted, groped, flashed and intimidated while walking down the street?

  • LAD86

    @Yb – Nothing! This was just another opportunity for him to rant about nothing. Since this site is doing nothing about these crazies, we just have to ignore them and let them find another blog to rant on.

  • Greg

    Don’t switch-up on the sexism now Yb. You’re hatred and exclusion of men is well known:

    “Not hetreosexual men who are less drastically less likely to be abused and assaulted in every form than women of color, and members of the LGBT community. ”

    Neither YOU, the author or the campaign founders care about heterosexual men. All ATTACK, ALL the TIME.

    “This is not a women’s problem, it is a social problem.”

    Wouldn’t know it from this feminist piece, would ya!!?

    Why would I or anyone else speak-up on already passed laws against assault, battery, indecent exposure or intimidation?

    It’s redundant because America already does.
    Fine country. Go to court already.

    Hollaback now. LOL

  • omfg

    so many dumb*ass men post on clutch. lol.

  • QoNewC

    @Greg

    Dont listen to Miss. LAD “Men and boys cant be raped because they have erections” 86. We already know her stance on sexual assaults a rape.

  • LAD86

    Wench of Newcastle:

    You are just one delusional, twisted individual. You LOVE to misconceive the comments here from others to promote your agenda.

  • Greg

    Yeah I know Q and they know i know.

    Huge soldiers in Democratic “The War on Men” these two.

    When the courts don’t or won’t work to their approval, start a astro-turf fake “grassroots campaign” and LOWER the standard of proof and criminalize as many men as possible. A Dominican politician in the Bronx has been at it the last 3 yrs (when it came to my attention) but it’s actually a 8 yr. old plot. Democratic women/LGBT are indeed engaged in a Hate Movement against ALL heterosexual men and Nuclear families. Democratic men (oxymoron) are catching on though.

  • QoNewC

    @Greg

    Miss. Rape apologist 86 has ZERO credibilty on this issue. She should have been banned after her grotesque comments about minor male victims of rape. This is the society that our boys have to live in. Killed on the streets with impunity. Rapes with impunity. I know for a FACT that there are more male victims of sexual assault both inside and outside prison because of attitudes like Miss. Rape apologist our boys our hiding their pain, shame, and the CRIMES committed agains them.

  • iQgraphics

    This is some weird sh!t.
    If we adults took some time to teach our children how to act, this kind of ridiculousness would die.

    How about a PSA to teach women to not teach their daughters how to twerk or the meaning of what “appropriate” is.

    How bout a PSA to teach men to not foster the incoherent babble that is considered “game” to their sons and nephews.

    All this stuff starts at home.

  • QoNewC

    @iQGraphics

    Game gets a certain type of girl. Twerking gets a certain type of man. There are incentives for all of our behaviors-good or bad.

  • iQgraphics

    reaping, sowing and complaining…

    I don’t get cat called. I don’t twerk.
    My son does not cat call… his wife won’t twerk.

  • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com Perverted Alchemist

    Absolutely, iQgraphics- but here’s the problem from the way I see it. Most American parents are terrible and to make matters even worse, don’t really care about their children until something happens to them. In short, everyone wants to be a parent, but no one wants to deal with the responsibilites that come with it.

  • LAD86

    iQgraphics, I get cat called A LOT! It’s ridiculous the length that some of us women have to go to avoid interaction with certain men.

    One of the many things that bothers me about street harassment is that these men will go after young girls. For me, the harassment started when I was about 12-13. I’ll be 26 in July, but am always being mistaken as a teenager (15-16) because I have what people would consider to be a ‘baby face’. The fact that I look so young has not been a deterrent for men to harass me.

    There are women like me who posess much respect for themselves (I wouldn’t dare to tweak), but that doesn’t stop the harassment.

  • iQgraphics

    @PA
    YES! responsibility is key
    from the cradle.

    At the bus stop on Saturday, I saw a woman teaching a little girl to bounce her butt. Not her mother… probably her mothers friend or sister. She promised to take her to da club when she turns 18. This was at the bus stop. I found myself wondering what she was allowing at home.

    I can’t do anything for that little girl, but I can teach my son to want a female that has an ounce of self respect.

  • iQgraphics

    @LAD86
    I don’t know your path. I don’t know what you are doing or not doing.
    But men will look at me and say “Peace Sister” or call me Queen or Empress, and look at another woman standing next to me and say “what up shawty” The same man, the same breath.
    I don’t have my head wrapped. I am very attractive and fit. I wear clothes that fit.
    I carry myself with an air of respect that took me some time to master.

    Take time and master the energy you give off.

  • OSHH

    I agree with PA and IQ.
    Proper guidance starts from the cradle. Instilling things like self respect, respect for others, manners, not so common courtesy etc.etc etc.

  • LAD86

    I am not giving off any type of energy that says I am open to be approached. My body language is usually very closed off and I mostly have a neutral look on my face that some people have mistaken as me being lost.

    I think what is happening is that these guys are associating my youthful appearance with being a naive, attention starved girl. Likewise, a lot of these guys who cat call me are colorists.

  • iQgraphics

    self mastery
    looking lost will not help your cause.

    meditate on that.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    what does “twerk” mean?

  • jamesfrmphilly

    myself and the other “alpha” males that i have hung with do not “holla” at women on the street. in philly those making the noise are usually losers without a pot to piss in. they are losers because if the woman ever answered back they would not be able to handle it.

    i have never approached women. women have approached me. i would never holla at anyone for the reason that what am i going to do with her when she wants to hook up?
    i am usually pretty busy and i don’t have time to play. never have. the women in my life have never left me with much time or energy to play on the side. they get there first and they drain every drop.

    the brother who is out on the street annoying women is out there because nobody wants him. when he opens his mouth he brands himself as a reject. with all these women out here anybody who don’t have a full plate is defective.

  • apple

    lets see the two most worst experiences.. was being grabbed by a grown ass man on the street at age 15 because i didnt want to talk to him

    the other one was being called STUPID B*TCH while him and his friend grabbed their d*cks at me

  • apple

    @LAD86 i’m on yourself its probably that your attractive but its sad you have a certain expression to not be harassed, you have to police yourself against men who can’t police themselves, it doesn’t matter what i wear, how mean or how happy i look.. i will be harassed and thats the problem. its not our faults men can’t control themselves because no one gave them a verbal/written invitation to harass us..

  • apple

    @LAD86 oops *SIDE

  • LAD86

    I am glad that I have been able to avoid being touched or grabbed by a harasser. I don’t even know how I would deal with that, but I do carry mace that is always visible on my person.

  • LAD86

    That’s what I was thinking too, Apple. Like, why should I have to change who I am to keep men from hitting on me? It’s going to happen no matter what, and I know this because I’ve had guys stare at me as they drove by when it was the middle of winter time and my face was partially covered by a scarf. Even once I was crossing a street and it was raining, so I had my umbrella up and some guy waiting at the light opened his car door and leaned out to see me under my umbrella.

    Not to toot my own horn, but I have definitely had many people tell me I have a cute face or am pretty. And other women have told me I have an innocent looking face.

  • iQgraphics

    @apple and LA86
    Lets examine

    “I mostly have a neutral look on my face that some people have mistaken as me being lost.”

    You really think that your lost looking, cute self is not inviting some form of commentary?
    Walking the streets, any streets, with no direction in your face and no look of any type is just stupid.

    “do I have to change who I am”

    By your own definition, you are no one. You have no feeling, no desernment and by your own definition you look as if you lack direction.

    When I asked you to meditate on it, that’s me asking you to think of who you really are and what you want the environmnt to preceive about you.

    People are going to be who and what they are and you have no control over that. What you do have control over is yourself.

    Take my advice with a grain of salt and continue to look lost.

    You can’t do the same things and expect a different outcome. Thats just silly

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @iQgraphics,

    You be slaying me with your comments! You are my witty path to heavenly glory!

  • iQgraphics

    these things have happened to me too
    and I didn’t hold it against myself at age 15 when bottles were thrown at me.
    I used to keep my head down

    Then I changed. I started looking people in their face. Directly.
    After I adapted that, everything changed for me.

    I get hi’s and hello’s but no more cat calls.

    At least not from any applicable amount of space, If you’re going to be an idiot from 50 feet away… I’ll let that battle pass. But if you’re going to be crude in my face, I’m going to have you explain yourself.

  • LAD86

    As I said before, my body language is usually very closed off. I have had many people tell me they thought I would be a mean person because I don’t show a lot of expression on my face. Now, my neutral appearance may be alluring to some people, but my closed off body language should be a deterrent, but sometimes it isn’t because people choose to overstep their boundaries with others.

    When I asked why I had to change myself, I was reflecting on things in totality, which is being around people who were uncomfortable with my introverted, reserved personality and thinking something is wrong with me for not being outgoing like them.

    I know who I am really. Believe me, I do. I want for people to perceive me as the person who I am, who is shy, reserved and an introvert, not the something must be wrong with her because she isn’t smiling, talking to me, giving me the attention I want or needs my help simply because I am a man and she, a woman.

    I don’t take it lightly when someone tells me that I am doing something to cause street harassment when all I am doing is being me, walking down a street or being in public.

    My face at rest naturally has a neutral expression. Smiling invites attention. Looking upset invites attention. A man recognizing me from walking in the neighborhood or being at my workplace invites attention. Me being ‘cute’ to them invites attention. Me looking a lot younger than I am invites attention.

    I swear, sometimes I wish I never had to leave me house.

  • iQgraphics

    your issues are beyond my pay grade.
    meditate
    all that you said is not what i said.

    At all.
    You don’t want the truth.

    be a victim

    go ahead…

    and before you talk about having been abused or molested, hunny… Im a card carrying member of that club. But I had to change my thinking about everything else to survive.

    The world is not what you want it to be., It is what it is.
    Control what you can and get a therapist

  • iQgraphics

    Thinking differently does not change who you are as a person.
    It just showcases your survival skills.

    gurl…
    pshhh

  • LAD86

  • LMO85

    INCORRECT. Women want men to hold so-called men ACCOUNTABLE period, point blank. As much time as you spend on this blog, it amazes me how you and your cohorts stay missing a clue and constantly want to whine your little ‘woe is me’ and the burdens I bring commentaries. Pathetic.

  • apple

    Fine you win, we deserve to be harassed because we can find a proper expression that keeps assholes from publicly assaulting us with their hands or voice. Because being in a business suit isn’t enough,shit dressing like a slob ain’t even enough,lookin mean ain’t enough and god forbid you look happy (sometimes I forget I’m smiling then harrassmet reminds me) . So yes please harrass me men accept my nonexistent invitation!

  • Coral

    I’m so right there with you. I instinctively flinch when I see most of them now, because I know what’s coming. I’m nearly always right.

  • Liz

    YO! The Wench of Newcastle comment SLAYED me.

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