All we want is for women and girls to be able to exist in peace. Is that too much to ask? (Apparently it is.)
I watched this video – of a grown man hassling a girl – and began to seethe with rage.
Do men know how angry we are? Do they know how much we hate men like this? Men who will not leave us alone?
I’m not hassled much these days. I’m older and I’m not going out of the house much.
But I have been this girl.
Haven’t we all been this girl?
I watched the girls at the smoothie shop who stood up to the (now-fired) Merrill Lynch investment advisor who screamed and threw something at them. He tried to get behind the counter.
He could have hurt them.
He has been arrested.
I am so proud of these girls for standing up to him. But why should they have had to? He never would have dared to treat another man like that. Never.
Girls today have tools we didn’t have. They can record these interactions.
But all that does is help us identify the perpetrators.
It does not prevent them from preying on girls and women.
It does not prevent the assaults, the rapes, the murders of girls and women.
It doesn’t help any of us feel more safe.
What can we do? I felt so helpless last summer when I watched that grown man hassle the girl in the coffee shop. Some of you gave me some great scripts and I appreciate that.
I also saw this site: Hollaback, which offers suggestions for how to help when you are a witness to harassment of any kind.
Notably, it’s not until the last option that you get to direct confrontation – of telling the harasser to stop.
Why shouldn’t we confront the harassers about their behavior?
We all know why.