Looking good love? Oi sexy. Come here, come here. How much? These type of sexist comments are usually accompanied by whistles and sometimes even growls. They are something many of us have to experience everyday.
Street harassment is “a form of sexual harassment that consists of unwanted comments, wolf-whistling, “catcalling”, and other actions by strangers in public areas.”
The repercussions of this may not seem external but are indeed internal. It damages a woman’s confidence because it makes her out to be nothing but a piece of meat, an object to be judged by the men she passes on the street.
When I get dress I sometimes find myself thinking, is this too revealing? Will wearing this mean men will look at me more and make comments about me? These thoughts aren’t something any should have to endure.
Now, I know what some of you maybe thinking “if she is wearing something very skimpy, she probably is bringing it on herself”, but does that mean I should be forced to live in baggy clothing? Are we really in need of going back to a Victorian dress codes?
On a daily basis I tend to wear either a mini-skirt (put long enough to cover everything) and a high necked top, or skinny jeans and a rounded neck top. None of this, I feel, is provocative. It’s just what’s comfortable to wear. Yet still almost everyday I have to endure street harassment.
Women shouldn’t be forced into crossing the street to walk as far away from men as possible out of fear of being called sexual names or having comments thrown at them. Instead they should be able to walk tall and proud.
So how do we sort this all out? It’s going to be a long process, that’s for sure. One thing is clear, men need to be educated.
They are seemingly unaware of the effects their words have on women and that even just one comment like this can ruin and damage a persons feeling and confidence. It’s demoralising, degrading and makes women out to be chunks of meat rather than intellectual human beings.
Words: Amy Jo Taylor