What is Street Harassment?
Stop Street Harassment, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending gender-based street harassment internationally, defines street harassment as “unwanted comments, gestures, and actions forced on a stranger in a public place without their consent and directed at them because of their actual or perceived sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation.” Street harassment can take many forms from whistling to groping. Because it limits the harassed person’s ability to feel safe in public, street harassment is ultimately a human rights issue.
By The Numbers
iHollaback, a “global, people powered movement to end harassment” teamed up with Cornell University to conduct a study on underage harassment. According to the study conducted between iHollaback and Cornell University, 85% of females have been catcalled before age 17 and 67% have experienced harassment before age 14. Even more frightening? 13% of females have been exposed to street harassment by age 10. Only 1 out of 10 women will not encounter harassment before leaving their teenage years. It is time to put an end to these actions. Street harassment is no longer nor has it ever been a “minor inconvenience,” it is a problem rooted deeply in our society.
Street harassment is not something to be taken lightly. It is not just “annoying” or “bothersome.” It is psychologically damaging. Findings from a survey conducted by Cornell University are nothing but alarming:
“57% of women under age 40 felt distracted at school or work due to street harassment.”
“More than half of the women surveyed changed their clothing, refused a social event, chose a different transportation option or felt distracted at school or work due to harassment.”
“More than a third of the women surveyed said they were late for school or work due to street harassment.”
Putting An End to Street Harassment
Realizing the extent to which street harassment is damaging is the first step in instituting effective change to stop it. The solution is simple: do not harass others. However, until society fully understands this, these are some ways to deal with harassment.
Respond: If you feel safe enough to respond, address the harasser assertively. Let them know their actions are wrong and not welcome.
Step In: Do not simply be a bystander especially if you are a man. If you see someone is being harassed, respond to the harasser assertively. Then, ask the victim if they need anything.
Report the Situation: If you are harassed, report the situation to the harasser’s workplace or the police.
No one should have to feel unsafe whether it is on the walk to school or the workplace. Use your voice to speak up when something is wrong. Let others know that their behavior will no longer be tolerated. With enough education, awareness, and advocacy, it is possible to #StopStreetHarassment.
The time to act on climate change is now; not tomorrow, or in a week or even a day.
I decided to visually depict the absurd and problematic thinking behind the phrases and words used today that need to be erased from our language.
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A poetry series on the growth past the impeding efforts of society to restrict a woman’s progress.
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With ride-sharing apps developing an established presence all over the world, some innovators are seeking to ensure that women are both safe and comfortable when using the service.
But over time, I realized that it wasn’t about appearance or pleasing others, it was about feeling good in what I was wearing—even, and sometimes especially, if no one could see it.
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A lot of my artwork focuses expressing thoughts that I've absorbed in feminist movement building spaces in Chile and Argentina. Abort Like Animals was a chant that Chilean feminists came up with, at a protest I participated in.
“So you can’t even eat pasta ?”
To be a woman
Is a political statement
What better way to move away from the couch and computer screen than to move to a slightly different side of the couch with a good book?!
At first I thought I was just lonely. I felt like I wanted someone in my life, but I also felt like I didn’t have time to properly nurture any budding developments, which led to spirals of anxiety about wasted youth.
One lie that we have always been told is that acne is part of some “geeky pre-cool phase” you need to go through in order to GLO-up
This poem serves to put words to a common feeling among underestimated young women, who are too often mistaken as weak and feeble when they really contain powers much stronger than physical size.
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Woman, like nature, have been carved into the shapes societal tells them they should fit into, until the natural part of us kicks in and we realize that maybe, we do not have to be so straight, so cut, so small.
Defensiveness, anger and embarrassment: the negative reactions when one is catcalled.
Many people see bisexuals as overtly sexual, untrustful, unable to make a decision or not gay enough, inappropriate for children. It is therefore incredibly important for bisexual representation to debunk those rumors.
As much as I love summer nights and longer days, there’s one aspect in particular that I don’t look forward to: shorts.
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Caption This: I Unfollowed Half My Instagram Feed
If I had a dollar for every time I hear the phrase “boys are intimidated by…” Bitch… I would be a rich, rich woman.
…It follows women wherever we are, wherever we go. It’s the looming presence over the shoulder at the grocery store, or down a dark alley, or pumping gas.
What upset me was that the same fashion media outlets and influencers who will don a $710 “feminist” t-shirt or wear a pin at Fashion Week in support of Planned Parenthood were also reluctant to acknowledge the well-documented complexities of an industry icon
I see self portraiture is a revolutionary act of self love.
Author: Melanie Rodriguez
Melanie Rodriguez from Miami, Florida is a rising college freshman at Florida International University majoring in Journalism. In addition to her love for the written word, Melanie is also an avid performer and producer. She combines her passions with her dedication to political activism to approach these topics in a creative manner; she hopes to create a non-profit organization in the near future to address these issues through youth interaction. Melanie is eager to work with Make Muse to enact social change through creative means.