Cat call, sexists comments, sexual touching, and the list goes on. Women deal with harassment daily and sometimes multiple times in a one day. Society gives men the idea that women are part of a restaurant menu and they are welcome to sample off of it. I started receiving harassment in my early teenage years. At the time I didn't know it was harassment, I just thought they were compliments. I was going through puberty and I didn't really feel secure with myself so the harassment that I thought were compliments made me feel good about myself. When I became an adult it happen more often, sometimes multiple times a day. That is when I realized that the compliments were harassment. The men became more aggressive with their words. It made me feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid. The catcalling doesn't quit when you get older and have a boyfriend, or a husband. It is never ending. This is something that has been going on for centuries. A lot of men just don't respect women. Not all of them but theres are a lot out there who don't.
In all the cultures around the world the women are placed beneath the men. The women roles are to be the home makers. In traditional America the women are suppose to stay home and take care of the children while the men work and pay the bills. In traditional India culture the women are suppose to wear veils over their heads and take care of the household while the men provide. This happens in Chinese culture and in Japanese culture. The women all around the world are not seen as equals to men. Women empowerment programs and equality laws have been put in place but women still have to work harder to be noticed.
The reason why women have to deal with cat calls, sexual harassment, abuse, sex trafficking, and many other issues is because no one respects women not even other women. When a woman stands up to a man for being a sexist, or for harassing them they are often accused of lying. There are so many people that are suffering inside from dealing with harassment but they won't report it because they are afraid that no one will believe them.
The reason why I know is because I am a victim of sexual harassment. I have been sexually harassed multiple times and no matter how many times I have spoken with the harasser they would often deny it or tell me that they are joking or I was beefing too sensitive. I would discuss the encounter with a female and she would tell me the same thing. How do you report something when no one takes the report serious. Its kind of hard but when I look back on the incidents I wish I would have reported them because there is another woman out there that might become the next victim from my harassers. Cat calling, sexual comments, whistling, unwanted physical touch is sexual harassment. Women go through it everyday and its not always easy for some of them. There are scars left from the damaged that has been caused from unwanted attention. To some this might seem small but to others it is a tough issues. Women shouldn't have to worry about being harassed when they go to the store, the gym, or even work.
According an online survey conducted in 2008 by the Stop Street Harassment organization 811 women out of 916 women admitted being a victim of street harassment. "Ninety-five percent of females respondents were the target of leering or excessive staring at least once, and more than 68 percent reported being a target 26 times or more in their life."Nearly 95 percent of female respondents were honked at one or more times and 40 percent said they are honked at as frequently as monthly. "Nearly 94 percent of female respondents were the target of whistling at least once and nearly 38 percent said it occurred at least monthly." "Over 87 percent of women said they were the target of a sexist comment, and about 45 percent said they’ve been a target of a sexist comment in public at least 25 times in their life." The survey was conducted in 2008 and though that was over ten years ago these issues still exist.
I had a man tell me once that I was only acting like I didn't like compliments and that I liked the attention. I was speechless. What do I gain pretending to not like unwanted attention? Nothing. I don't need attention as a woman. I need respect. When I go to the store, gym, or even work, I'm afraid that I will have to deal with harassment. As women we shouldn't have to deal with sexual harassment or unwanted attention.
Sometimes we are too nice but when it comes to our safety we have a right to stand up for ourselves. Cat call is sexual harassment and we shouldn't have to deal with it. We should feel safe whenever we are alone and not constantly wonder if a creepy man is going to try to hurt us because we decide that we are not interested. Remember today don't allow someone to makes you feel uncomfortable. If you are dealing with harassment you have a right to stand up for yourself and report it to the necessary people. You don't have to feel uncomfortable at work, school, or any organizations that you attend. Though you might not be able to report every men on the street, you can report the ones that you have to deal with daily. You don't have to suffer in an uncomfortable environment. I had to decide that I wasn't going to allow another man comments to make me feel uncomfortable because I know if I do I was only allowing him to hurt someone else. Cat call is not going anywhere and though there are laws in place to protect women from harassment, and to make sure that we are treated equally, these problems are never going to stop. As long as society place men as being more valuable than women, these issue will always be around.
“Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men's eyes when deciding what provokes it.” ― Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
Further reading on Harassment : http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/sshstudies