We must first warn you all, that this will involve a massive trigger warning.
This is our story of the harassment that we receive on a daily basis, walking down the city streets.
Yesterday morning we needed some food, so we got dressed to go to Safeway like we always do when we need such things. Thankfully it’s only a few blocks away so we don’t have to travel far down the terrible streets of this city.It really cuts down on the harassment we have to suffer through for being black and a relatively young male.
We kept it simple, only to a pair of casual sweatpants and a plain grey t-shirt.Nothing that would advertise any kind of sexual signals to people, and went out to but the supplies that I needed for my day off.
Within the first block of our trip we ran into an elderly woman from the neighbourhood who looked at us and actually said “good morning”. Ugh, can you, believe that? Less than a block and already some perverted old dirty woman was trying to hit on us. In broad daylight even. We were a little worried at what she might do, because you never know with old perverts like that, so we just gave a small,nervous smile and nod, and brushed past her quickly.
Along the way another woman we passed commented to us on what a nice day it was while she reclined on a bench, no doubt ogling all of the men who passed by.
By this time we was feeling more than a little unsafe and insecure, we mean if a man could be harassed so often and so frequently only going a few blocks then we could only imagine what most men have to deal within our society today.No one has the right to make a man feel unsafe just walking down the street in the middle of the day. How,we thought, can society tolerate this level of catcalling and harassment?
We saw another woman when we got to the store struggling with a heavy load to get it into her car. And would you believe that she actually looked at us and asked us if we could help her carry the heavy stuff. Can you believe that? As though we exist only as convenient objects to be used by women for our strength. We had never felt so cheap and objectified in our life. probably due to all of the small micro-aggressions we had already experienced that day. But,we knew our enforced gender role in society and helped the woman, playing the part of the pack mule for womens’ benefit. Even though we died a little inside and the sheer degradation was almost too great to bear.
Already feeling afraid and degraded just for being a man walking down the street we walked into the supermarket and someone else called out to us to have a good day as we entered the store. Apparently there is no end to the harassment one can experience here in Edmonton.
As we walked through the Safeway we heard a young mans cellphone go off, playing the theme song from Super Mario Brothers. As we looked over out of reflex we saw a young woman come up to him and exclaim in delight how cool that was and that her friend had a Legend of Zelda ringtone on her own cellphone. How terrible, we thought, here is a man just minding his own business and innocently receiving a call on his cellphone when this desperate woman comes over to hit on him. Worse, she actually adds to the harassment by telling him things that he never requested her to tell him about other people. This woman forced unwanted information into this young mans head. She practically raped his ear.
What kind of society do we live in, people?
Ok, that’s enough of this shit.
I was about to talk about the cashier who was coming onto us.
Yeah, but if I have to listen to anymore of this,I think I’ll vomit.
I’m sure they get the general point by now. Right people? You see all of that shit up there? What you’re thinking about that pretty much sums up our feelings about this video on “street harassment” put out by Hollaback. An organization with a name that sounds like they’re trying to appropriate black culture. Which I thought these kinds of people were against, but that would be expecting consistency from them, so whatever.
Essentially a woman walked down the streets of New York for ten hours and they videotaped all of the harassment and catcalls they got. Which they then distilled into a two minute video clip. So, just to make this clear, out of ten hours of footage the best they could manage was two minutes of useable material. The majority of which is just men handing out basic human greetings. Because far be it that anyone should react to a woman as a person and greet them like a person. Far better to ignore them and treat them like a piece of animated monkey-meat that just so happens to share a section of space-time relatively adjacent to you.
Hey, maybe if women really are so often objectified,it might be because people like this get all pissy anytime you treat them like actual people.
Are you finished?
Not remotely, but go on.
My opposites irritation aside, this does seem to indicate a rather disturbing line of thinking. One that really does not bode well for women.Let us assume for a moment that the majority of these comments really are objectionable for some reason or another. This woman dressed herself in tight clothes which show off her, rather splendid, curves and figure.This was a choice that she made, and it’s rather likely that she knew the statistically most probable effect that would result in what she did.That is,she dressed in such a way that was very likely to garner male attention. Then,when she got the attention that she had been actively seeking, she and her friends scream about how terrible and common it is.
Perhaps it has something to do with my continued failure to understand the thought patterns of the average feminist, but I fail to see how this is either surprising, or problematic. Or even how this is a meaningful experiment. They went in looking to prove a specific result,then got the result that they wanted,apparently to their great surprise.
The disturbing thing that I find is that even though they were deliberately provoking a reaction, they do not take any of the responsibility of that upon themselves. The responsibility is not on the provoker to not provoke a result they do not want. It is solely on the provoked to not be provoked. The woman in this scenario is given no responsibility, thus no agency, and subequently no use.
In other words she’s being portrayed as such a sexual objectified she may as well just be a blow up sex-doll.
…..Yes. If you want to be crude about it. They are really using this women and her attractiveness, exploiting her sexuality, just as much as any pornography would. It’s just that they’re doing it in the name of their cause, as opposed to doing it for money and profit. More specifically, they are doing it to just drum up outrage against men (also exploiting the men sexually,I might add). Provoking men to sexual interest, and then pointing the finger and crying foul when men do it. And without a hint of shame or self-awareness of what they are doing,and this is what I find so disturbing. Their desire to create an entire class of people who have no responsibility, no accountability, and no effective use in society. Yet give them the power to do whatever they want without consequence all the while claiming that they are powerless and oppressed.
What buggers my buggerer is how this trivializes and demeans real harassment and real sexual violence. Placing petty, idiotic shit like this in the same category as actual harassment only serves to muddy the waters and dilute the meanings of the word. We have words so that we can express clear thoughts and meanings.If you start taking words, especially legal words, and making them vaguer and more nebulous to the point that they mean whatever you damn well want then it only hurts everyone in the long run,but especially the victims of the real thing.
If just saying hello to someone on the street is harassment because they felt it was, then how the flying fuck is anybody supposed to know that? How are people ever going to communicate like adults, or human beings if even the act of a basic greeting can be interpreted as a sexist attempt to keep women fearful and oppressed. I see only two possible options to solve this problem of theirs. Either we stop interacting with women at all,or we stop caring about their feelings and claims of harassment entirely.
Well there is the option of growing the fuck up and being adults, but feminists will never go for that one.
Maybe women wouldn’t be so afraid of catcalls a male attention if feminists stopped treating everything men do in regards to women as the equivalent of a rape spree. And I mean a real rape spree, not a feminist rape spree;which would likely amount to walking through a shopping mall and turning your head around the room.
To be continued……(time constraints,sorry)