Two days in a row now I’ve logged onto to Facebook and read about two of my friends being violently harassed on the street by men they did not know while others simply looked on.

Like many of us who have experienced street harassment, these women were merely moving through their city (both happen to live in New York), minding their own their business when they were accosted and berated for not wanting to be bothered.

Yesterday, one friend rode the subway and was reading a book when a man asked if she would read to him (huh?). She politely declined, but the man, now upset, argued he was just “trying to be a gentleman” and proceeded to call her a slew of ugly names. Their encounter continued as he ranted about “females” who “call the cops when we beat the shit out of you and rape you.”  Their horrific interaction finally ended when he got off at his stop, but not before kicking her on the way out.

The second incident occurred when a stranger harangued my other friend, a lawyer, after asking for money to get a burger. Like most people, she shook her head and kept walking, but that wasn’t good enough for the man. According to my friend, he followed her for a block, calling her nasty names and yelling about how no man will ever want to sleep with her.

These two incidents are not unique. In the comments section of both status updates, several women shared their own stories of being harassed—more than a few times—in public by men they did not know while others simply watched. The stories were painful, scary, and sadly, familiar.

I’ve written extensively about street harassment in the past, and inevitably, some men argue that if women would just be polite, respond respectfully, or smile, they could avoid being screamed on in the first place.

But we know this isn’t true. No matter how sweet or cordial you are, some idiot will go off on you when you deny his request for a dollar, your number, or to read to him on the subway (I’m still asking, WTF about this one).

If street harassment is to end, we need MEN to put a stop to it. Or as one of the women said on Facebook, “Men need to check men for this sh-t. And most don’t.”

So how can men put a stop to street harassment?

First, stop feeling entitled to a hello—yes, even if you’re a nice guy. No matter how charming or cute or “together” you may be, no one is obligated to speak to you, at all.

Next, if a woman doesn’t return your advances (or acquiesce to your requests) keep pushing. No need to get in your feeling or reach into your misogynistic bag of tricks. Just keep walking; she wasn’t the girl for you anyway, right? Right.

Finally, if you see a man (including your boys) harassing a woman SPEAK UP. Tell him to chill, protect her damn honor, and remind him that she is a human being worthy of respect. Don’t just sit back and chuckle while a stranger badgers a woman on the street. I mean, would you let someone treat your mother, sister, daughter, or aunt like that? I didn’t think so.

Fellas, street harassers are giving you a bad name and it’s time for you to do something about it. If you see a woman being harassed, say something, it’s the least you could do.

  • noirluv45

    With the two cases above, it seems as if both men were mentally ill. What stranger asks another to read to them? Some men have a chip of entitlement on their shoulders, and perhaps the “men” (I say that lightly) who don’t check another “man’s” nonsense, are of the same ilk.

  • geenababe

    This would be great if men did this but most likely they won’t. Peer pressure is something else and most men or even people don’t want to do something that would make their group turn on them. Also even if the men isn’t friend with the guy doing the harassing he might feel that “it’s not his place” for him to speak against or defend the woman. Some men feel like since women want these equal right they should know how to handle the situation on their own. I swear the situation of the girl on the bus brought back memories for me. One time something like that happen to me when I was going to school on the public bus. It resulted in the kind of forcing me out my seat not one of the guys said anything or even the adult bus driver (which is why I hate bus drivers to this day) only other girls but not in a defending way.

  • Denver

    Male persons who harass women on the street or in any public place are a lost cause. They aren’t ever going to check their peers because they cannot relate to how women feel when this horrible behavior occurs. And, they think the problem are the women and girls and not the men and boys.

  • OSHH


  • OSHH

    Too many males and not enough men, men have gotten to be rare birds, sadly.

  • Alyce

    The abuse your friends suffered is disgusting.

    Street harassment seems to take place in cities. Has anyone had this take place in a suburban area? I think most suburbs require cars and the limits interactions.

    I wonder why parents don’t teach their sons to be better people? I understand that in some instances, aggressive behavior might be the result of mental illness, however, street harassment seems to be a global phenomenon. I’ve read about similar instances in Paris, France and Cairo, Egypt. Cairo’s Tahir Square is infamous for the danger women face making their way through it.

    It’s really depressing to think about how some men are this vile.

  • Denver

    The reason why (I think) that man asked your friend to read to him is because, like many men, he lacks the ability to communicate with women as human beings. For whatever reason, these men are so desperate for a woman to even look their way.

  • MimiLuvs

    I share your sentiment.
    I had mentioned before, I carry a concealed weapon with me at all times. I had to use it twice. In both situations, both harrassers were in the companies of their friends. The friends did not say a d*mn thing, when these men harrassed me and followed me. But once they saw their homeboys get stabbed (in my situations), they were very vocal.

  • Denver

    “Street harassment seems to take place in cities. Has anyone had this take place in a suburban area? I think most suburbs require cars and the limits interactions.”


    I live in the suburbs and am harassed all of the damn time. In addition to that, I ride public transportation, which actually increases the amount of harassment I receive.

    If you are a black woman or girl and there are black boys and men around, it won’t matter where you are.

  • Knan

    I understand how women feel about street harassment and how men should step up but I’d like to offer another point of view as a man. I think we forget that men are also just ordinary human beings with the same fears everyone else has. The reason the women in this post did not speak up was because of fear. Isn’t it reasonable to think that men didn’t speak up for the same reason? I would be lying if i said i didn’t turn my head a couple of times when I saw a woman being harassed. I have and I probably will in the future on occasion. The reason is because usually the guy doing the harassing is with a group of other men who look like they would beat my ass! I think maybe we should come together to find a solution rather than say men need to do this or that because yes ladies we’re just as afraid of him as you are!

  • 1Love

    I will stop a “street harassing” man as soon as I see a sister stop a “street disrespecting” woman (ladies who clown men that approach them with respect).

    Stop with the black men versus black women posts. We are in this together.

  • Britni Danielle


    Please show me where I mentioned anything about Black men specifically. I wrote MEN.

    As in all y’all.


  • MimiLuvs

    That statement by 1Love reminds me of the same sh*t that white feminists use during the #solidarityisforwhitewomen trend.

  • Denver

    1) As a Black woman, nearly all of the street harassment I receive comes from Black men and boys.

    2) Is it possible to respectfully harass someone?

    3) We are not in anything together.

  • michael

    Men want free sex, and women want a free bodyguard. Its not going to happen ladies and gentlemen. Its not going to happen.

  • Whitney’s Receipts

    The point….

    Your head….

    A woman does not owe a man anything, no matter how “respectfully” he approaches her. And you’re on your own if you all don’t stop with the anti-black misogyny. Check yourself.

  • Whitney’s Receipts

    Women want to be left the hell alone.

  • Whitney’s Receipts

    It would be nice if more men would speak up to stop street harassment but I doubt it would happen. It would also be nice if parents would teach their sons to treat human beings with respect. I think the whole “that woman is someone’s mother, sister, etc.” is ridiculous. Damn that, treat women like human beings. Treat women how you would want to be treated. With respect.

  • Ask_Me

    Trying to shame other men into stepping up to the plate isn’t going to solve the problem. As one man here pointed out he, as a man, is just as afraid of the guy doing the harassing as the women who are being harassed.

    If you want to avoid this problem avoid predominately black surroundings.

    People want to be politically correct and say this is a “man” issue when truthfully it is not….at least not when it comes to black women.

    I have lived in mixed race neighborhoods and predominately white neighborhoods. I have worked in mixed race neighborhoods and predominately white neighborhoods. I’m from L.A. but I’ve lived in D.C. ATL and NY.

    I can tell you with a straight face the one and ONLY time I ever find myself being street harassed is when I’m in a predominately black setting. This is not to say that non-black men don’t street harass too. I’m sure they do. However, I have not experienced it from these men. As a black woman, my chances of being harassed are far more likely in a black setting.

    So, calling men to step up is a no go. The bold and brave men of your father’s generation are either dead or old. Today there are too many punks, misogynist, and angry men walking around to actually think they will be of some aid.

    The only men a woman should call upon for this type of support is her husband and family.

    In the long run, black women will have to look out for themselves in this world. Looking out for yourself should include avoiding certain environments and settings. I know this is unlikely for some black women due to socio-economics however for all others I suggest you let your wallet take care of this problem.

  • SayWhat

    I think street harassment has to do with lack of respect and a huge sense of entitlement, add to that the fact that bw are often left to defend themselves, by themselves, and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Trust, even if a bm is with 10 of his friends, he will think twice about harassing a ww because he knows that there are consequences to his bad behavior, and most importantly, because society places her on another level, he most likely won’t approach her the same either. I personally think that harassment is a big reason why bw ‘mean mug’, sort of as a defense mechanism, except that it is now being used as another reason to call us angry and bitter….. Sometimes you can’t win.

  • Nirvana

    “Men want free sex, and women want a free bodyguard. Its not going to happen ladies and gentlemen. Its not going to happen.”

    I don’t get why Michael was thumbed down, because this is the most basic statement of the problem. Why would anyone ask a random observer to step in and check a random aggressor in public? He has absolutely nothing to gain, and everything to lose.

    The only men you can logically expect to step in during harassment are men accompanying the culprit, or men accompanying the victim. Why? Because in our modern society, mitigating public harassment is the function of the police. Asking men to perform this function inextricably demands men to assume a role to police women. If this solution is not your goal, then your argument is in conflict.

  • Nirvana

    Black men are more likely to harass Black women, much then same way white women are more likely to die in the hands of white men.

    This is common sense to a person of average intelligence, and does nothing to compel the thinly veiled hatred you just spewed. Advocating that Black people flee Black settings (and transfer their wealth) as a solution is not only obtuse, but implies a unique and incorrigible defect within the community — a common rhetoric of the KKK as well blacks who truly hate themselves.

  • scripttease

    Do Black Men street harass White Women, or do they treat them with the upmost respect? I often wondered this.

  • Ask_Me


    Sorry, but this isn’t about your hurt feelings. This is about black women, like the author, feeling SAFE. If that means leaving black settings where they are more likely to be harassed then that seems like common sense as well. Only a fool would continue to live and travel some place that is UNSAFE and threatening.

    Also, you must be living in a cave or something, black people don’t even own the businesses in predominately black communities so they wealth is being “transferred” anyway. At least in a mixed race and even white community black women can avoid the rampant nonsense of being harassed and insulted. Again, that too seems like common sense.

  • Nirvana

    There’s a reason why the women suffering this abuse come from the same reality as the men perpetrating it. Genders aren’t socialized in a vacuum. I can assure you that all those “disrespectful sons” that you mention also have “disrespectful sisters.”

    It’s all about nurture, period. Fractured parents and communities produce fractured people.

  • Nirvana

    This isn’t about feelings. I stated fact, and used your own line of reasoning to highlight how vacuous your argument is.

    “Looking out for yourself should include avoiding certain environments and settings. I know this is unlikely for some black women due to socio-economics however for all others I suggest you let your wallet take care of this problem.”

    If you’re speaking English, then that implies wealth transfer.

    The question then becomes: What communities should all these unsafe Black women flee to? Certainly not white communities, given that White men have a long and unatoned record of violating and raping Black women in this country. But I somehow doubt that’s what you meant to imply lol.

    The bottom-line is that you seem to have a supremely poor view of Black people (and yourself) in general, and I wager that you don’t even have a care in the world for Black women.

  • Kenan

    I agree with this comment %100. If I step up and get shot or stabbed now my mom has a dead son. I agree with teaching children about respect but getting involved with a stranger…never going to happen.

  • Ask_Me


    Your “reasoning” is garbage.

    “If you’re speaking English, then that implies wealth transfer.”

    Please show me exactly where black wealth is NOT being transferred today!

    Again, black people don’t even own the businesses in predominately black communities so your “reasoning” makes no sense.

    The wealth is being transferred regardless.

    You must have missed that article about the black dollar leaving the black community within 6 hours. Sorry, but this is NOT enough of a reason for black women to simply put up with nonsense in predominately black communities where they feel unsafe and threatened.

    “The question then becomes: What communities should all these unsafe Black women flee to? Certainly not white communities, given that White men have a long and unatoned record of violating and raping Black women in this country. But I somehow doubt that’s what you meant to imply lol.”

    What’s funny here is that you have to pull on an “unatoned record” that has long been put to shame by black men.

    Sweetie, I hate to be the one to break it to you but we aren’t living in the Jim Crow era anymore. A black woman can more freely walk the streets of ANY predominately white neighborhood and NOT worry about getting rapped, mugged, robbed, beaten etc. I suggest you look up the numbers! They don’t lie. White men aren’t out here violating black women in today’s world. Sorry.

    So, yes, black women should think about fleeing to white and mixed raced communities. As I stated in my original comment, this isn’t something that I’ve experienced in those communities…not to say it doesn’t happen, but I’m willing to bet it doesn’t happen as frequently.

    “The bottom-line is that you seem to have a supremely poor view of Black people (and yourself) in general, and I wager that you don’t even have a care in the world for Black women.”

    I’m a realist. I see thing for what they are…not based on some twisted nonsense that we black folks are “in this together” as one man wrote in his comment. We haven’t been in this together in a long time and even then it was a forced togetherness.

  • Brad

    If I am walking with a woman even one that I don’t particularly know that well I always have spoken up.

    But, to be honest even growing up in an all black neighborhood, attending all black churches, going off to a black college one that was in an all black city. I can’t say that I have witness a a great deal of street harassment.

    I know it is major problem but, maybe what it was in the “communities” I was in everyone pretty much knew everyone. The families actually went back years together, fathers and mothers and siblings all grew up together.

    I do think I would have witness more of it in large metropolitan cities.

  • GeekMommaRants

    I think you the answer. WM harass WM and they for the most acquiesce. Look at college rape stats. Every community in the states has its own powerless men.

  • geenababe

    From here I have heard no because white women “don’t play that” and will call the police or scream. Also I have heard that some guys treat non black women with the upmost respect while black women get treated like they’re in a rap video.

  • Kam

    Why are people assuming it’s some random Black men on the street? How about Black men tell their Black male friends to stop doing it?

    Although I know the question is pointless. You’ll get many excuses but the truth is Black men are afraid of other Black men.

  • Denver

    I don’t think these men were mentally ill. Men and boys who street harass will do anything, including making themselves look like complete fools just to have a woman/girl look their way. And one of the reasons why they will say what they do is because ultimately, it is the women who will be thought of as wrong, because if only she gave that man what he wanted he wouldn’t have resorted to say/doing what he did.

  • Nirvana

    Nice try, but stating that the problem is uniquely Black, and the solution is less Blackness and more whiteness corroborates my assertion about your mindset. I think everyone with an iota of awareness in this country knows exactly how laughable your suggestions are.

    It’s painfully evident that I’m not dealing with an intelligent and well-adjusted person with a healthy self image, so whatever. Coming out and stating you self-hatred, obvious anger at Black men, and adulation of all things white is far easier than suffering through your belabored and patently stupid hogwash.

    Good luck.

  • Whitney’s Receipts


  • Nirvana

    @Kam, you seem to be missing the point.

    Sure, it’s a fuzzy warm and moral thing to do, but the fact remains that in practical terms, no stranger is obligated to “protect your honor” in public. That’s the charge of the police. Or your father, husband, brother or friend.. if they so chose. But not a stranger. We live in a modern society that purports the equality of all citizens — either you subscribe to this or you don’t. I strongly doubt you would advice your own son to take on such a risk for a perfectly capable stranger who probably has little regard for him. Ask yourself what incentive he has. That would be Zero, and even likelier, a negative incentive. We’re not talking about helpless old women here. The proper protocol would be to alert an authority. No more, no less.

    The point is either you want men to police women or you don’t. An even more relevant point is that respect begets respect. Marinate on that.

  • Ask_Me


    That’s what I thought. When slapped with a dose of reality your one and only defense is a load of ad hominems…typical.

    I’ll end my conversation with you with this: At the end of the day black women will look out for our SELF-interest.

    Your assertion that black women shouldn’t join other communities where we are not subjected to this nonsense
    because of your fear of wealth being transferred has been proven nonsense.

    You don’t even have a defense for it because truthfully it is LAUGHABLE given the reality that wealth is transferred even within predominately black communities.

    Your assertion that black women should fear the masses of white men waiting to rape them is even more LAUGHABLE given the crime statistics involving black women.

    Face facts, your argument…or lack thereof came up short. If anything it made my argument even more valid since you willingly admit black men are doing this to black women…not white/non-black men. So it makes sense for black women to avoid environments where black men are dominate and yes, it can be done with enough resources (i.e., money).

  • Ask_Me

    ^^^The irony here is that this “Nirvana” individual seems to think random black women (strangers) are obligated to keep our wealth in black communities where businesses aren’t even owned by black people. Seems to me he picks and chooses who/what is obligated to do something when it suits him.

  • vintage3000

    @ Ask Me, I agree with you but I wish it was as easy as avoiding Black communities.

    I have been harassed by Black males in midtown Manhattan in broad daylight, with crowds of White people walking past, where we all had to hear “b— thank she cute cuz she lookin all corporate & sh__” (in reference to me, not responding to their advances). Bright sunny day, me looking cute in my dress and heels, going to lunch just like all the White folks, now I’m being called all kinds of b’s just because two thugs decided to project their insecurities onto an attractive Black woman passing by. I consoled myself by thinking they were most likely stopped and frisked on a weekly basis, and felt much better. Anyone who wants to challenge me on that comment can fall back in advance, thanks.

    These kinds of black males see Black women as prey regardless of the environment, and you could not PAY them to approach a White woman like this. I actually had one guy on another forum say Black women should be flattered by this kind of attention, because at least it proves that these males find us attractive, and not the White girls. You are correct, there are tons of angry, violent Black men in the streets looking for someone to mess with. And we are the easiest target, no matter where we are.

    And as we see here, there are the apologists who inevitably excuse this misogyny; they put more effort into trying to silence Black women speaking up than anything else. Sometimes its a Black woman yelling the loudest about some “don’t blame the brothas” bs. I’m so glad for these online forums to read how women with common sense respond to this issue.

  • Deborrah

    No, only black women and girls are subjected to their insanely arrogant, rude, condescending, hateful litany of foul adjectives. Every woman should check her state laws and if legal, carry pepper spray AND a stun gun. Personally, I think a license to carry a concealed weapon should be on every black woman’s TO DO list These guys get off on terrifying women. And after they terrify you, they want to assault you either physically or sexually.

    My client sat on a jury last year where a young black woman was walking down the street in Oakland and a guy wanted her number. She declined because she already has a boyfriend. He cursed her out then punched her dead in the face. She ran into a nearby store with a security camera. The clerk called 911, and the guy chased this woman through the store. He finally caught her and hit her several more times before the clerk hit him with a baseball bat. She was unconscious on the floor and a bloody mess. All becasue this fool felt entitled to the phone number… to have access to a complete stranger and her time energy and body. For no reason other than he wanted it.

    The black males of today are for the large part sociopaths. People don’t like to hear me say that, but its true. Of course not all, but I will say this. Those that don’t speak up to stop sociopathic behavior towards females are by their silence, giving tacit approval. And that approval makes them sociopaths as well.

  • Ask_Me


    Sorry to hear about your experience.

    No matter what people like “Nirvana” say I never experienced it while living in predominately white communities or mixed communities. I didn’t experience this nonsense until my husband and I relocated to D.C and then ATL.

  • MommieDearest

    I think some men are just going to be pigs, period. It doesn’t matter if other men step to them or not- they are operating from a sense of entitlement and will do whatever they want. As someone mentioned upthread, the key is to work on the next generation of men. Little boys need to be taught and socialized in a way to respect women and girls and KNOW that women and girls are human beings who are worthy of respect. I’m doing my part by teaching this to my son and all other little boys in my sphere of influence.

    Maybe treating street harassment as a crime the same as sexual harassment (on the job) is treated, will deter some knuckleheads from acting a fool. Meanwhile, a woman is pretty much on her own with this so she must use whatever tactic works for her to deal with it. Personally, I find that my intuition and my appropriately applied “mean mug” does the trick.

  • Denver


    Last summer I was walking in the mall where a Black male pushed his pre-teen son into my path so that we could walk into each other and pretended it was an accident. You think he would have done that to a non-Black woman?

    A few months ago while at work, a Black male customer wanted me to pound fists with him. When I declined by putting my arm behind my back, he reached out and touched me anyway. You think he would have reached out and touched a non-Black woman? I informed the managers of this and they did nothing, because they said, “He didn’t appear to be harassing anyone else’.

    I could go on and on.

  • noirluv45

    Nirvana, don’t even bother arguing. Certain mindsets are set in cement, and no amount of logic can unleash them. It’s just like arguing with a racist. No matter how many truths you speak, they don’t or won’t have the ability to get it because they don’t want to. That’s the same thing with self-loathing Negroes.

    You are absolutely right in everything you said, thus, I’m hardly surprised at the thumb downs you got. Keep telling the truth.

  • noirluv45

    @Ask Me, I somehow doubt you are even Black. If you are, you sound retarded. Why wouldn’t we be obligated to support Black businesses. Look, if you want to support your slave owner, then go do so, but some of us choose to support our own like most normal groups of people do, you know, like the Jews, Mexicans, Koreans, and such.

    Moving to White neighborhoods and thinking you are safe is the same type of mentality that rabid racists have. They believe White folks are angelic and can do no wrong. Let me explain something to ya. There are White areas that even angels fear to tread. No one is safe – White or Black, so your sarcasm misses the mark, sweetie.

  • Nirvana


    My comments are being moderated for some reason, but thanks for your appreciation for logic and reason. I was under the impression that we were all adults here but I stand corrected. Apparently, Renisha McBride, Trayvon Martin, Jonathan Ferrell, Jordan Davis, and Oscar Grant.. etc all met their demise because the angelic white saviors of these self-haters were just having a bad day in their pristine white communities.

    The fact is that you’re addressing an embarrassingly dense character who is persistently embittered by the fact that she simply did not have the goods to land a decent Black man. That’s pretty much it. Hence why she was dismissed.

    I’m not here to interact with damaged goods.

  • Hero

    If the harasser is someone I don’t know, I wouldn’t get involved. At least not directly. If it was necessary or serious enough, then perhaps I might contact authorities. Nevertheless if it were a friend or family, then of course. But then again, none of my friends or immediate family brethren harass women. I usually avoid family members who display questionable or dishonorable habits.

  • Ask_Me


    If your comments were coming from anyone other than you I would probably be insulted, but the fact is you’ve proven yourself to be a moron a LONG time ago with your constant nagging about interracial relationships and black folks who have gone about minding their own business without your approval.

    “Why wouldn’t we be obligated to support Black businesses. Look, if you want to support your slave owner, then go do so, but some of us choose to support our own like most normal groups of people do, you know, like the Jews, Mexicans, Koreans, and such.”

    Like this “Nirvana” individual you are blind in one eye and can’t see jack spit out the other. The businesses in predominately black communities ARE NOT OWNED BY BLACK PEOPLE SO THERE IS NOTHING THERE TO SUPPORT.

    Furthermore, no, black people are NOT obligated to support anything. I am no more obligated to spend my money at a black owned Taco Bell than the one that’s white owned across town. You see just as “Nirvana” doesn’t feel black men (strangers) owe it to black women to defend our honor I (a stranger and a BLACK WOMAN) don’t owe it to you or anyone else to spend my money at a black business. It’s called freedom of choice and it comes with capitalism get it? I know you don’t. You still think you have a “slave owner.” SMH.

    “Moving to White neighborhoods and thinking you are safe is the same type of mentality that rabid racists have. They believe White folks are angelic and can do no wrong. Let me explain something to ya. There are White areas that even angels fear to tread. No one is safe – White or Black, so your sarcasm misses the mark, sweetie.”

    Actually my “sarcasm” (which was not sarcasm…smh)is right on point. Most crime is INTRracial…not INTERracial. Therefore, a black woman is far safer in a white community than almost any black community. You and this Nirvana person can try to pretend that the masses of White and non-black men are just waiting to kill and rape black women but again STATISTICS paint a different picture.

    The reality that a black woman is safer in a community that doesn’t look anything like her should be a sense of SHAME. Instead folks like you want to deny this obvious reality that can be backed up.

    Instead of claiming “racism” why don’t you sit back and examine the components that have made it impossible for black women to find peace in predominately black communities. Seriously…get your head out of 1814 and start looking at 2014.

  • Ask_Me


    I knew your other persona would come out front and center eventually. It’s too easy to spot you, “BlackMalePrivilege” “Really?” “Huh?” and every other dumb persona you have on this site. This is a dead giveaway…

    “The fact is that you’re addressing an embarrassingly dense character who is persistently embittered by the fact that she simply did not have the goods to land a decent Black man. That’s pretty much it. Hence why she was dismissed.”

    In your attempts to stalk me on this site you failed to see that you REPEAT the same old tired ad homimems over and over again when backed into a corner. Any black woman with the gall to challenge you is met with the same deflection. “We don’t have the goods to land a decent black man” while ignoring the reality that I’m actually married to a great man and race was NEVER an issue for me. I was never looking for a “decent black man.” My goal was to land a great man regardless of his race.

    If this is the only thing you can come up with to defend your nonsense you need to find yourself another blog site. Clearly, we are not all adults here. You carry on like a child. So, it’s not rocket science why your latest persona is being moderated.

    “Apparently, Renisha McBride, Trayvon Martin, Jonathan Ferrell, Jordan Davis, and Oscar Grant.. etc all met their demise because the angelic white saviors of these self-haters were just having a bad day in their pristine white communities.”

    And we’ll pretend that these incidents somehow or the other scratch a dent in the long list of black on black crime committed mostly by black men against other black men and black women happening in places like Chicago, Omaha, and Detroit. We’ll pretend that the masses of black women should live in fear of that leering white man standing outside of Wal-Mart. Whatever makes you feel better…

  • Ask_Me


    Reading comprehension doesn’t appear to be one of your strong points. I’m not going to bother to argue the point you made that was NEVER stated by me you seem incapable of addressing a subject that doesn’t involve you spewing hatred against interracial relationships.

    Have a good day.

  • geenababe

    I understand the women are not entitled to a bodyguard and that men fear for their safety too but I am just having a hard time accepting it. I think accepting it would make it ok for some black women to think black men are weak and it would also build resentment. Here is another example black woman having to stand on her own and defend herself because the black man (some not all) will not defend her because they are worried about their own self-interest. When this happen to you and no one steps in and you may not be the type to “tell someone off” you feel so small and like a black cloud is over you. Sometimes I wonder if there a community or there a bunch of people looking out for themselves? Also I don’t hang around a lot of people who aren’t black so can someone tell me if other races of men feel this way about their women? I am not with this I don’t owe the black woman/man anything.

  • 1Love

    No one addressed my original statement… Feel free to do so:

    “I will stop a “street harassing” man as soon as I see a sister stop a “street disrespecting” woman (ladies who clown men that approach them with respect).”

    As a man, I have been disrespected by women several times. A kind “Hello How are you?” is turned away with a laugh in the face or a Mary J. Blige death stare followed by a “Why did he even think he could talk to me?” No women stood up for me.

    @Britni Danielle:
    The Black men and Black women together comment was in reference to the struggle of living in an world especially toward people of color.

    You must have used the product that Whitney has receipts for because you completely misunderstood my post. Moreover, if you think we as a Black community are not in anything together then you are sadly mistaken.

    @Whitney’s Receipts:
    If women don’t owe men anything no matter how “respectfully” he approaches her, then men don’t owe women anything when they decide to approach women.

  • Me

    i don’t think it’s just black men. all people get scared when they see something dangerous happening. i don’t remember what study that was that showed that people tend to stand around thinking something should be done but expecting somebody else in the crowd to do it b/c they figure they’re not the 1st or only one to notice something bad is happening. i think it’s called the bystander effect. and the reason i don’t think it’s all the way fair to just ask men to stand up in those situations is if there’s a bunch of women standing by & watching, they should be just as guilty, right? cuz they say “strength in numbers” so one dude harrassing one woman can be stopped by a gang of women jumping on him — he might be big enough to pick on one, but not necessarily 2 or 3 or 4 all at the same time. but women sit by and let other women get harrassed too. i think the real problem is that so many people believe in the “me & mine” philosophy instead of the village community. everybody fighting the same fight on an individual level and we getting nowhere instead of everybody choosing to be part of the whole community and making real progress. even this article basically says “hey guys, fix yourselves” but i think it woulda been more powerful if they invited a guy to ***write*** an article about how we can stop street harrassment, maybe even partner with a guy’s website on a street harrassment series from both sides of the issue. but instead we standing on the other side of the street telling each other what to do.

  • OSHH

    ITA with the comment left by Debborah.

  • Ask_Me

    Interesting comments.

    I would like to know if stand your ground can be cited when black women start popping caps to defend off street harassment?

    I bet this whole “I’m also afraid of other black men” meme being said by black men would do a 360 degree turn when black women start using that law to defend ourselves. At that point it will become “Black women are using the white man’s law to attack and oppress black men.”

  • Brad


    I think some people are sociopaths and some people are mentally ill as well. I think what happen to your client was done by a criminal a violent criminal.

    He should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But, for the large part black males are not sociopaths no more than black females are irresponsable baby making machines.

  • Whitney’s Receipts

    As a man, I have been disrespected by women several times. A kind “Hello How are you?” is turned away with a laugh in the face or a Mary J. Blige death stare followed by a “Why did he even think he could talk to me?” No women stood up for me.

    Are you serious? Did you bother to read the article? Did you read some of the comments here? Women are being harassed and PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED. And you’re upset over your hurt feelings? WOMEN.DO.NOT.OWE.YOU.ANYTHING. Let me type it out one more time.


    These are encounters that YOU started. Just because you’re “nice,” that doesn’t mean that a woman has to respond kindly back to you or at all.
    Your entitlement is showing. You really need to look into that.

  • Denver

    YOU are sadly mistaken if YOU think ‘we’ are in ‘this’ together, whatever this is. Let me know when you feel that you can be in something with the very people who have been harassing you for 16 years and going, who don’t allow you the decency to exist in public without being subjected to constant disrespect, objectification, dehumanization, and lecherous behavior.

    It’s very telling to me that your problem is with women laughing at you, when for women – our problem is fearing being stalked, raped, assaulted, or even murdered by the very men who approach us.

  • Ivory


    ” I think accepting it would make it ok for some black women to think black men are weak and it would also build resentment.”

    It would not make it ok.

  • Stacey

    Men’s fragile egos won’t allow them to simply move on when a woman isn’t interested. “Can I have your number.” “No, I have a boyfriend.” “What’s your man got to do with me”…how many times has this happened in my life.

    A woman is not obligated to be nice, acknowledge you or respond to your advances at all. Particularly in a bustling city like NYC.

  • Lyssa

    I know this is not PC but for this reason, amongst a few others but it was near the very top, I moved to an all white neighborhood when it was time to shop for an apartment. I never have to deal with this in a white or mixed neighborhood. Its extremely bothersome and makes me resent black men as a whole even though logically I know its not all of them. I’m polite to people when they speak to me but I don’t know what I would do with aggressors like the ones mentioned in the story.
    When I was a teen, a black ex – he was older – berated and beat me in the street because he was drunk. I was not from his lower class background, I was scared and that I was my first taste of the world. Not a single soul helped me and there were so many people for blocks and blocks. I will never talk down to people of any background but I do everything I can as a woman to never be in that situation.

  • G

    I feel one of the reasons the media depicts us soooo poorly is because our men treat us soooo poorly.

    There was a dating show that was very popular during the late 80s. Singles of every race appeared on this show, but it was the appearance of Black singles (I should add these were “normal” people, not celebs) that always bought in the highest ratings! This was due to the fact that a constant array of insults were exchanged between the male and female contestants. After seeing several shows of this nature, I could no longer watch . . .

    It doesn’t help that some famous Black men (performers, rappers in particular) use images and lyrics that reduce us to being subhuman . . . then blame this image on us!

    But that being said, I must address the Black women of reality TV! Of which no activity IS TOO LOW!

    But I digress.

    All of these things can lead to the “brother on street” (never mind Male Entitlement [not White Male Entitlement]), feeling he has the right to say and maybe do anything!

    Don’t think this is new. I remember being in junior high preparing for a Christmas Concert, just minding my own business. When out of the blue a boy called me fat and ugly! Everyone laughed, except me of course and thankfully the teacher who overheard his remarks. It suddenly hit me, he did this because he felt he had the right to do so.

    We as Black women, sometimes turn a blind eye to Male Entitlement. But it is there nonetheless, just think what would happen if any of us insulted a Black man for no reason, as we are sometimes insulted?

    We have got to teach Black male children to respect us and other Black women, this is the only way to possibly put an end to Male Entitlement and stop the brother on the street.

  • Menless Homes

    It’s unfortunate black women can’t see that this is just one of the many broken social symptoms and end result of communities without men in the homes. You then complain about….. black men. What did you all expect was going to happen?

  • Brad


    Off the point but, was the show you were referring to “Blind Date” with Chuck Woolery?

    It ran from (1983–1994).

  • NLW

    Thank you for posting this. This has enraged me for many years. With a sad heart I have to admit that I have only experienced this kind of behavior from Black men. Like others who have commented I of course do not want to put all Black men and in the same category and I won’t. I’ve never seen my father, brothers or other black men who I knew to be respectful behave in such a way. A sad reality is that this kind of behavior seems to be linked to an intersection of race, gender AND class. I have not experienced this type of behavior from all Black men just some of those who appear to be low-income (young and old alike). These are the things that we don’t talk about (the role of class and class identity) when discussing what is going on in communities of color. This silence, though, is painful and violating multiple times over- when no one says anything in the moment and when we don’t address it afterwards. Thanks for opening up the conversation.

  • Barbara

    Is there a “don’t” missing in this sentence? “Next, if a woman doesn’t return your advances (or acquiesce to your requests) keep pushing.” Shouldn’t it be “Next, if a woman doesn’t return your advances (or acquiesce to your requests) don’t keep pushing.” I don’t mean to be picky, but your message is important, and I don’t want anyone to misunderstand because of a typo. Feel free to delete this comment once you’ve had a chance to check.

  • SuperXtar

    This is the result of that “empowering” feminism that you ladies love so much. While I don’t like to see anyone treated poorly… I understand what is going on. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.
    Notice how the writer plays both sides of the fence: Looking down on Men and then asking for the benefits that they can provide her. She said:

    “Stop feeling entitled to a hello—yes, even if you’re a nice guy. No matter how charming or cute or “together” you may be, no one is obligated to speak to you, at all.”

    Notice how, no matter how gentlemanly a man is her prerogative to disrespect him by not even acknowledging his presence and saying hi. But then she turns around to that same gender and says “Why arent you protecting ME!?!?!?”

    Let me turn your statement back on YOU: “No matter how charming or cute or “together” (OR SEXY) you may be, no one is obligated to PROTECT you, at all.” Especially not One of the ones you just IGNORED by not even saying HELLO.

    Since you feel so empowered and “dont need a man” and feel ok with disrespecting us then protect your own DAMN self.

  • Zoe

    I thought the same thing at first, but a second look shows that the author used the slang term “keep pushing” to mean: keep it moving, move on, forget about it, or leave it alone. Adding don’t to the sentence would be consistent with “don’t keep pushing IT.”

  • Aria Wilson

    @Menless Homes…

    Yep, all these Black women need to SERIOUSLY take the gun out of these men’s faces and forcing them to not be in the home!! The nerve!

    The plague of Black women cruelly making Black men leave their homes and children in droves must stop!!

    I mean, I see hordes of them every day trying to bash down the doors of Black women’s homes to get in and provide support…and Black women bringing down the boot on their necks! SMH.

    The men have NO control over their leaving the home or not being there… Their actions as grown ass men CLEARLY is entirely the fault of the Black woman! Poor things.

    Maybe one day Black women will stop forcing these poor helpless creatures to walk out on them and their responsibilities! We can only hope!

  • Aria Wilson

    “then protect your own DAMN self.”

    As we have been doing for YEARS and YEARS when our men have failed to do so?

    That is absolutely nothing new for us, darling. We will just have to KEEP doing so, leaning on each other as Black women (as we have HAD to do for years), and continuing to succeed…with or without your protection.

    Still we WILL rise. “Empower” THAT.

  • Boom Boom Belinda

    I think you should re-read the article. It’s true no one is obligated to protect anyone,but it would make you a decent human being, to you know, stand up for someone when you see them being harmed male or female. The article mentions both circumstances where a woman’s personal space and livelihood is threatened with either physical harassment or stalking. I would LOVE to see how you can defend or justify that. I’ll wait.

    P.S. What does feminism have to do with a woman no being threatened because she refuses to say hello?

    It would be great if you could lose that giant chip on your shoulder that you have with women or feminism or whatever.

  • SuperXtar

    Quite honestly…I W O U L D intervene but its kind of futile. The whole point of the article is the author ASKING for MEN to protect Women. Things go both ways…the author was VERY CRASS when she declared “she doesnt OWE (a man) a cordial HELLO”…even if he is a gentleman. So why in turn would you seek that mans protection…or else now you want to shame him for not being a human…when in reality the Female wasnt being HUMAN by even acknowledging him. Why must everything be so ONE-SIDED with females. You disrespect…but want respect in return. You take, but dont want to give. This is the legacy of feminism. I dont hate women. I just wish they would think, be FAIR and OBJECTIVE. Women get upset when I open the door for them and then get upset if I dont. This is the type of thing of which I speak. So I can agree that female deserve protection…can you agree that they should be respectful?

  • Aria Wilson


    No, but what we can agree on is that every person who was born with two XX chromosomes are not the same. “Females”, as you call us, DO have different personalities and demeanors…so please stop with the generalities…I HIGHLY doubt every damn woman you have opened a door for got upset with you, or have “taken” but not given. Give me a break.

    Oh, and if someone does not speak to strange men on the street…it has nothing to do with her “not being HUMAN”…WTF? There are numerous places in the USA and plenty of foreign countries where speaking to strange folks on the street is simply NOT the norm. It doesn’t mean they are acting inhuman…and using hyperbole like that only has a detrimental affect on your argument.

  • sad truth

    Thank you for admitting this.

  • Boom Boom Belinda


    At least stop throwing feminism in your argument because a woman you perceive as being a rude or “not needing a man” has nothing to do with feminism. Feminism at it’s core was created so that women would not be treated like second-class citizens. Please do yourself a favor and educate yourself on what feminism actually is before you use the “I don’t need a man” trope to denounce feminism.

    It is very convenient for men to throw feminism out there as the scapegoat of everything that is wrong with women Have you actually read one book on feminism? Do you know at least three feminist scholars or experts?

    Stop blaming everything on feminism.

    I don’t see it as disrespectful if a person doesn’t acknowledge my greeting. I’m not entitled to that person’s anything. You also haven’t addressed the fact that a woman not acknowledging a man’s catcalls, greetings etc. does not give them a pass to put anyone in harm’s way.

  • Boom Boom Belinda

    I am not going to go into a dissertation on feminism but I suggest people actually READ something on feminist thought and theory and familiarize themselves before getting on a soapbox in the comment section and denouncing it. Although I know some people will continue to be purposely obtuse because the idea of women having independent thoughts and being free bothers them. Here are some good places to start:

    Bell Hooks
    Crunk Feminist Collective (not sure of the url but please feel free to Google)


  • SuperXtar

    I do believe that you have define feminism in your own terms. I definitely know what its about…and its not “very well defined” I can point to feminists who say that ALL SEX is rape…but thats another story. I dont fear women having independent thoughts..(that is standard mantra that women trot out when they cant force a man to agree with them).Just dont be Rude and then ask the one who you were rude to to help you. Simple enough? No debate…dont try and place moral equivalencies on it. If I said good morning to a female on a bus stop and she ignored me…and then some thugs come up and she does the same to them (and they dont like being disrespected any more than I do) so they commence loud talkin and disrespecting her….why do you think that the one who she does not even acknowledge the presence of(ME) should put my LIFE on the line to protect her? The one whom she respects should be there to protect her..RIGHT?????

    Read Dr. Warren Farrell WHY MEN ARE THE WAY THEY ARE
    then lets talk

  • Boom Boom Belinda

    @SuperXtar By no means am I trying to force you to agree with me, merely pointing out the many holes in your vapid statement.Your whole argument fell apart for me when you blamed a woman not speaking back to you and not needing a man on feminism (the two are not related although I know you want them to be so you can have an easy scapegoat) but I will leave that one alone.

    Now, let’s talk about your false sense of entitlement that a woman HAS to speak to you. Did it ever occur to you that: 1. Maybe that woman is having a bad day (God forbid! Aren’t we supposed to smile all the time?) 2. After being harassed again and again, and being polite the first few times that maybe she is fed up! I have said hello back and politely declined men approaching me on the street many times only to be continually harassed because no is never good enough. Sometimes being RUDE from the jump is the only way to get your point across, because if you are polite many men see it as an open invitation to keep bothering you. I’ve even been followed for several blocks after “politely” declining advances. Your argument seems to assume that most men are perfect gentlemen when approaching women on the street and that women are just rude to them for no reason. I can assure you that’s not the case.

    And in many instances these are teenage girls who are being approached and harassed by men on the street who have no business looking at 14 and 15 year olds. Still okay not to intervene because she wasn’t polite enough, right?

  • Boom Boom Belinda

    We could debate all day but street harassment is a serious thing. This is beyond a man trying to “holler” an then getting rejected. It can quickly turn verbally and physically abusive. This kind of behavior would not be acceptable in any workplace in America, in fact there are laws against it.

    It’s incredibly dehumanizing to be told you have to smile or be well behaved and polite in order to deserve protection from street harassers who are so obviously int he wrong. Comments that try to turn the issue around and make it the fault of the victim of the harassment are very infuriating.

    If the thought of looking out for a woman is too much for you, and you would rather find fault than lend a hand, then this article clearly wasn’t written for you.

  • SuperXtar

    I COULD go on with this but I wont.. but I WILL point out
    that you employed several “common tactics” which are underhanded. Your last line: “If the thought of looking out for a woman is too much for you…”

    That is called “shaming” (it only serves to try to attack ME and not the issues)

    Your comment “to be told you have to smile or be well behaved to deserve protection…”

    That is called “lying” (because i didnt say that {smile was first said in YOUR comment but you put it off on me})

    Your comment “Now lets talk about your false sense of entitlement…”

    This is called “presupposition” (everthing after that statement hinges on your presupposition being true–which it is FALSE)
    I dont care if a woman says hi to me…its her choice…just dont ask me for help after ignoring me.
    You frame it as ME not being human…but its HER not being human. And perhaps im having a bad day myself and just want to be left alone and not have to fight for a woman who will in turn not even so much as say THANK YOU.
    (If she would not say hello because I am not worth it…do you think I would get a THANKS?? I doubt it.)

    Now from here…I already know whats going to have some other ready made tactics that
    you use to try to turn the tide in your favor by
    shaming or name calling or dismissing. You have yet to even say ….hmmm maybe he has a point about *anything*

    I *truly* am fair minded…and was raised in a house FuLL of women…so I truly was given a quadruple dose of female perspective…but women *can* be their own worst enemy sometimes. Respect yourself..respect others and when you *need* something, it will be there for you.

    I love an intelligent woman (I think you are intelligent, but misguided) do this, watch this vid:

    I previously did not like this guy because I felt like he disrespected women..only to see this and say WOW he went through the S-A-M-E thing that I did and realized that women dont respect you when you are Kind to them.
    If MEN got the message that being KIND was the way to a womans heart…thats what youd get….but please prove to me that I am not correct about that statement

  • Anthony

    As a man who has a position of respect (professor at a university) I am in a position to check young men on campus. I could do the same with young men from my church. I would be more careful dealing with some of the fools I see on the streets! Some of those brothers need to have the police turned loose on their butts since they have no manners.

  • Why?

    Why on earth would a man stick up for a woman he doesn’t know being harassed by a man he doesn’t know in today’s society? I’m not being facetious. I’m asking a serious question. Give me one good reason.

    The shaming tactic of bringing up men’s mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, etc is weak and irrelevant. Men have no problem defending and protecting the women they know, love, and care about with their lives. Some strange woman walking down the street is just that, a stranger. You are NOT included in that protected class. Being born with a vagina does not afford you blanket protection by men. Who really has an unfounded sense of entitlement?

    The paradigm of society has shifted and there is no going back. The entire concept of chivalry is nothing more than benign sexism and misogyny. The socially transmitted behavior patterns we label chivalry are an offshoot of patriarchy, which women despise and want to see destroyed. Therefore, chivalry is dead. Equality and chivalry are mutually exclusive propositions.

    Men not swooping down to save you is equality in the truest sense of the word. That is what women fought for, and that is what you are seeing today. Men see women today as equals.

    And as equals, men don’t owe women jack. No stranger of any sex owes another stranger jack. You are fully functional, autonomous human beings capable of making your own decisions. The protection of public safety and social cohesion is the job of law enforcement, not Joe Blow walking down the street minding his own business.

    Now is it right or fair that women have to deal with street harassment? No. No one should have their personal space and humanity violated and be subjected to verbal and physical abuse. But unfortunately the world isn’t fair. A-holes exist in all sizes, shapes, sexes, and colors. Their sole purpose in life is to ruin your day. That is who they are. That is what they do. It is your personal responsibility to protect yourself.

    Men know this and are minimally prepared to protect themselves from threats because there is no expectation of help from others. I suggest women take the same steps to protect themselves, because no one is coming to the rescue this time.

  • SuperXtar

    You tell em!! Truer words have never been spoken!

  • erica

    it’s called being a decent person. i guess some people are just born without empathy.

  • Catarina

    Who is talking about chivalry?

    We are talking about decency. MEN like YOU harass women they don’t know on the street.

    They do it because they are MEN.

    They feel ENTITLED to do it because they are MEN.

    You, as a man, should do something to stop your fellas. Unless you are like them.

    I think you are.

  • Besa Acua

    they don’t.

  • SuperXtar

    I hope you ladies are happy now…. a woman was getting robbed in Detroit and a man tried to save her and he was shot to death…Happy now?? The gal is off living her life and having fun and the poor guy is D E A D. Hmmm I wonder if she even attended his funeral…lol

  • SuperXtar

    Women’s inflated egos wont allow them to understand why a woman gets so upset when a man wont protect her. How many times has this happened to me in my life. I know one thing…that guy who is DEAD now who go shot trying to protect that woman in Detroit…its not ME. Ill protect the women who treat me with respect and no one else. A man is not obligated to be nice, acknowledge you or PROTECT YOU at all. Particularly in a bustling city like NYC.

  • Catarina

    I’m very happy. Thanks for the happy news.



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