Street Harassment Essay Example
I, just fourteen years old, have always thought men and women had equal respect. This lasted until I had been stared at by an older man at the grocery store. My mom pulled me to her side as we both stared back.
Disgusted, I had no idea how to recover after being studied from head to toe. My mom told me that I had to adapt to it, and I still don’t know why. Over 99% of women encounter some form of street harassment, according to Stop Street Harassment. We have ignored this issue for so long, and we need to put an end to it. Disrespect aimed towards women in public has never been wanted or welcome. People need to recognize why we don’t appreciate their inappropriate whistles or names.
At a young age, girls learn that this type of behavior is normal. Why exactly? Well, nobody knows. Often, our parents say we have to ignore them, even though the comments make me gag. The type of things said to women in public makes them feel awkward and uncomfortable. According to ABC News, one woman states that these sayings “make me feel belittled and afraid”. This is just one of many women.
Thousands of women get called out in public. Why? Some men claim they do it in order to impress someone. They explain that they see it as a competition to see who could receive a reaction out of the most people. Others don’t believe they have been doing anything wrong. Atlanta News Now shows that “one in three men said they don’t think catcalling is sexual harassment” while “two in three men said they don’t think repeated unwanted invitations to dinner, drinks, or dates is sexual harassment”. Clearly, the majority of men don’t realize what they have been doing or saying. We need to educate them about why we don’t appreciate the comments.
However, girls have been fighting back to the negativity. In a New York Times article, high school students, who have been catcalled multiple times, have shared their experiences on the streets of New York with sidewalk chalk. These quotes contain vulgar saying such as, “I can get you pregnant for $20” and “It’s not harassment if there’s nothing to grab”. Seeing men walk past quotes they have said to strangers truly makes them embarrassed.
Walking in public should not be this stressful for young girls and women. We really don’t appreciate the neverending and irritating attention. If you happen to be one of the people saying these comments to women, please stop. It really ruins our day, and I guarantee you won’t receive any special treatment besides a little sigh or look of disgust.