Don’t tell me to ‘Smile' ~ Food for Thought
I get so angry about street harassment (cat calls) and rape.
NOTHING is funny about this. When will this shit end - can we stop this already?
- Don’t "...hey beautiful. How you doing … you look so sexy … you working that a** … can I talk to you? (as he tries to touch you) - (you pull away and say no thank you) fine you a b**** (and other profanity) anyway ...".
We need to teach more men and boys that this is not okay. This behaviour and treatment of girls and women IS NOT OKAY!!! E V E R !!! I am not a piece of meat to sexualize or fetish over that you dare to approach with 0 respect or decorum.
You really think, you sexualizing me and treating me like a piece of ass with no respect is going to make me want to acknowledge you, let alone entertain a conversation.
You coming at me in that way is not a compliment nor is it appreciation. Such misogyny, entitlement and privilege, have women dressing extra baggy, not wanting to walk outside or up the street to buy milk or get out the car, even have anxiety (me) with having to do any of these things where I know there will be a group of guys (or one guy) ready to pounce.
- Because of this harassment, and yes, it is harassment.
- It is exhausting and unnecessary.
- It is dehumanizing.
- It is a perversion.
- It is encroaching on another person’s personal space.
- It is disrespectful.
- It is control.
- It is intimidation.
- It is hyper-sexualization.
- It is terrifying.
When you get my number from a mutual person we know, without my consent, and proceed to inundate me with calls and texts, to the point where only a restraining order gets you to finally back off; When after I said no, you hang around to wait for me to head home; When you're following me all the way home, even after I told you no again, over 15+ times, walked in circles so you don't find out where I live and have to be on the phone the whole time with a friend or my mom so that if you make moves, she'll know.
Justifications of "...It's life, get over it..." are the problem, as well as that fact that this behaviour has been made the norm, and is accepted.
The complacency to expect me and other women to have to be okay with something that creates a fear because you refuse to listen to all the women telling you, this is a problem.
You refuse to listen, to understand, to care, to change the negative behaviour that directly affects our peace of mind and safety. Justifications by bigots and patriarchal misogynists who victim blame and police what we wear as the excuse. Even the "...I can't compliment you?!..."
No. You cannot.
It is not YOUR RIGHT to compliment me, if I look good or if I am good-looking, especially in THE WAY you do so. Tone and body language is everything. And when (or if) I politely turn you down or say, "Bye, nice to meet you, have a good day." This is the part where you say bye and leave me alone.
Having lived this for years on end, it’s the most terrifying and degrading thing to experience, and on a constant basis ... just because you were born a women with breasts and a vagina which somehow men declared was their right to determine the treatment and it’s respectability or lack thereof.
Your so called innocent cat-calling or "compliment" often goes from 0 to 100 real quick. "You should smile..."-How about you learn to leave people you don't know alone who are minding their business going about their day who are unconcerned about you, without commenting instructions on what they SHOULD do with their face, body and/or life. I don't hear you instructing men to smile. *crickets*
Having said this; Sadly, there are girls/women out there, who like this and/or live for this 'type' of attention. But from my experience, they are a handful, and most (not all) have deep insecurity self-worth issues who seek constant external validation.
My self worth is intact and not tolerating the b***sh** you’re handing out so (please and thank you) leave me alone. Go home and look at your 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 year old, etc. daughter, or nieces, or cousins - and say that shit to her. Tell her, "Hey sweet a**… shake them t******s for me… Hmmm, I’d love to get a moment alone with you… Let me halla at you right quick…-B**** why you acting all uppity… forget you then ****** ..." And then, come back and tell me if you still feel good about your macho complimenting self.
Question: Is it okay, that I, as a woman (or a 12 year old girl) in my community, among my peers and people who are my neighbours or part of my congregation, and authority figures I grow up around, is it okay that I don't ever feel safe when I leave my house?
Because I know I am going to see/run into you?
~Ky De Jager