Beautiful Tuesday Blessings to you!!
Such a gorgeous day; perfect for a walk. I have walked a lot this past Spring and Summer. Mainly because I need the exercise, but partly because a new medication that I take gives me leg cramps. Walking alleviates them. I don’t walk far; just to a friends house or to the library downtown-total of 8 residential blocks in either direction. Or to the corner store….At any rate, I like to walk.
One thing that I have noticed on my walks that I have never noticed before is the increased amount of “male attention”. And it’s not like I’m walking around in a bathing suit. T-shirt, sneakers and capris.
Cat calls -which I thought went out in the 80’s, but apparently have come back with a vengeance. Dog whistles-again a form of communication that I thought went out of style when man began to wear shoes. This is when a man whistles to get your attention, like your his pet chihuahua. I never understood what made a man think that a woman would answer to a whistle…never got that.
But more frighteningly were the ones that followed me. Some would ride slowly by and try to chat with me while I’m walking-offering a ride. When I said “no thank you,” they normally rode on. So, they didn’t bother me much. But then there were a few that totally freaked me out. They would stop, pull into a drive way in front of me-blocking my passage, like I found it attractive that a man pulled over like that to pay me a disgusting compliment.
The other day, a guy followed me from the corner of my street almost to my destination. As I was walking, he drove up and asked if I wanted a ride, I said “no thank you” and kept walking. He continued to drive by me slowly, so I sped up my walk. He then drove on, as a car was coming up behind him, and he went down one street and came up and stopped at the corner of the next street I was approaching. Again, “you sure you don’t want a ride?” “No!” I yelled. He did the same thing again, meeting me at the corner of the next street I was approaching. I yelled to him while pulling out my phone that I was calling the police…he took off like a bat out of hell.
I’m sorry, but this is not the type of behavior that I am used to. Sure, I’ve had guys make a small comment or something; we all have. But it seems as though things have gotten a little out of control. It’s as though we have no social skills and the human courting language has become totally juvenile……..When did we go back to the stone ages? And how in God’s name does a man, any man think it is ok to follow a woman, and think she is going to find it attractive? You should have seen the look of shock on the guys face when I told him I was calling the police; Hello Idiot!! Do you not know the laws of harassment in this country? Do you watch the news? If you didn’t do anything wrong, numb nut, then why did you race away when I said police? Because he knew that he was wrong and in this country he could go to jail for such a thing.
Sometimes I wonder why God made us the superior species…..tree monkey’s govern themselves and treat one another better than we do.
What’s really disturbing is that this type of behavior has been increasing in the U.S. I’ve found that more and more women and girls are being approached this way than ever before-in light of the harassment laws. But why the resurgence of this type of behavior? We are supposed to be a “superior, fully developed, western country”, WTH?
Fortunately we do have laws to protect us from this type of harassment-if we speak up and use them as such. And I think we should. There are many women around the world suffering a similar and even worse situations. Sexual harassment in Egypt is one of the worst. Women and young girls are openly and beligerantly harassed in public by men and young boys. Here is a picture of a young girl being harassed by a group of youths as she and a group of friends simply walk across an intersection. (I purposely cropped out her face out of respect for this young woman.)
“Harassers seem to be more confident in groups and strolling down the streets during religious holidays and scouting out potential victims has become almost a tradition.” ~Hannah Edwar, http://www.bikyamasr.com
Fortunately, women’s rights groups, youth groups and other human rights organizations are springing up all over Egypt bringing awareness to the problem and fighting to make officials enforce laws to protect women. Read the full post by Hannah Edwar on bikyamasr.com to learn more about the conditions of sexual harassment against women in Egypt.
As I have said, the purpose of the Butterfly Bridge is to bring awareness of all women around the world, in an effort to bring us together as one. Isolation and ignorance are our biggest foes in the fight for our rights. We believe that our battles are ours alone; no other women of our particular “group” face them. But as you can tell from my story and from the story above, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You are not alone, and your fight is not yours to fight alone….
The problem of sexual harassment is a problem in all countries around the world. Regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, location or the legal parameters in place, women are still being sexually harassed. And, if we don’t do something about it, it will only get worse.
If you are still thinking that the worse case scenarios are merely in developing countries and the middle east, check out this article published this year by the Independent.com, a UK publication: “Catcalls, Whistles,Groping: the everyday picture of sexual harassment in London.”
And if you know of any specific causes on this issue that need support, contact us and let us know!
In the mean time, don’t let this continue. If are being just slightly harassed, call the authorities and report it. Don’t be afraid of pissing the guy off; make him afraid to piss you off!!
Be safe, try not to travel alone and don’t be afraid to yell!
Love to you!