Harassment: A Rant

If I haven’t made this clear before, harassment is a thing that I care pretty deeply about. I care about it because myself and other femme folks that I care deeply about face harassment on a daily basis simply for the act of being outside. Or being on the internet. Basically, we are punished on the regular for daring to enter areas where other people might have contact with us.

It’s not going to stop any time soon. I know that. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to talk about it.

So here’s some stuff to think about when harassment comes up in conversation.

1. Don’t belittle our concerns.

I legit do not give a flying horses enchanted hooves if you have had your ass pinched by someone before and you thought it was sexy. Good for you! I’m glad the threat level of someone grabbing your ass is so minimal that you can think something like that is some kind of adorable, sexy joke. Odds are, if someone is complaining about harassment, it’s not a joke to them. It’s certainly not a joke to me. And your insistence that it’s somehow funny will result in the sound of me charging up my eye lasers.

giphy (1)
No one will be spared.

2. Don’t act like it’s a compliment.

I don’t know how many times I have to say this before it finally sinks into the heads of the general population.

HARASSMENT IS NOT A COMPLIMENT.

Not now. Not ever. Having someone harass you when all you want to do is talk to your friends on Twitter or walk to the shops or get on a bus is not fun. It’s not something that people list as a turn on on OkCupid or FetLife. I cannot say that I have ever heard of an instance where a stranger telling a woman she’s got tits he’d like to use as basketballs resulted in a full and frank discussion of their likes and dislikes followed by an hour long hump at the local Motel 6.

3. Don’t tell us we’re being “too sensitive.”

Not for nothing, but I’m a pretty hard ass bitch, all things considered. Yes, I love puppies and bunnies and I cry at touching films, but you would be hard pressed to find a social situation that I would balk from on a given day.

That said, there have been days where I did not leave the house because I couldn’t put up with the harassment I was experiencing. I would sit in the house and wait for Frankie to get home so that I could go out with someone that presented masculine and be left alone because I was already “spoken for.”

Being exhausted and freaked out at the constant litany of harassment that one faces on a daily/weekly/whateverly basis is not a sign of sensitivity. It’s a sign of being human. If you got a sunburn every time you walked out the door, I bet you would spend more time with the shades drawn, wouldn’t you?

4. Shut the fuck up and listen when people talk.

Seriously. Just shut your mouth and listen. When people who experience systemic issues like sexism or racism or whatever the topic of the moment is, you can learn a lot by just keeping your mouth shut and listening to what they have to say. The world isn’t the neat little thing that you think it is. Your point of view is just one of TRILLIONS. Try opening your ears and you will be surprised at how enriching the things you find out will be to your life.

Huh. That’s the nicest thing that I’ve said this entire post. That was fun, wasn’t it? Honestly, though, I’m done being nice about this ever to anyone. I used to do this thing where I would try to explain why it was that this was an issue and how and all the sociological things and let people into my head to see my fear but honestly, it’s too much work. Fuck it. If you can’t take a slight re-direction in the form of me telling you not to be a shitheel when people are expressing fear and concern, you can kindly fuck off directly into the largest body of water you can find. Because fuck you.


And if you doubt for even a second that this stuff happens all the time. You can read other things that I’ve written about it. Here. And here. And also here, here and here. And that’s just the shit that warranted a blog entry.


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11 thoughts on “Harassment: A Rant

  1. Yes to all this. I have to say that one of the great things about aging as a woman is that the harassment drops off significantly. Of course, now I get dismissed as unimportant but it is wonderful to walk down the street without hearing something crude. Thanks for putting this out for others to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many years ago I worked at a job where all the women were harassed, at a time when no one spoke of these things. The business was owned by a husband and wife, and the husband was the harasser (also a raging alcoholic). When I went to talk to the wife (she was the boss of the ‘girls’ she told me I was a liar, and if I complained again she would fire me. There was a lot of shame involved… eventually I quit.

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  3. This reminded me of a time in high school when a guy friend pinched my butt in the hall and I turned around in a split second reaction and punched him full force in the stomach. He never did it again.

    I am also beyond having to deal with this, thank god, but my daughter is beautiful and 22 and gets her fair share of harassment, unfortunately. She’s a bit of a spitfire also, and has been known to shout down groups of guys in parking lots. (Though as her mom, I’m not sure about the safety of doing that.)

    Great post.

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  4. Yes.

    It is beyond irritating to share an experience of harassment only to have it dismissed and belittled by others. The one that sends me through the roof the most is the “oh why don’t you take it as a compliment?” approach.

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  5. Hi! I’m so glad you tracked me down! Your writing is great. Are you still in Philly? What have you been up to? What kind of pets do you have? I’ll include my email so we don’t have to have a whole conversation via comment.
    đź’–,
    Jack

    Like

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