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Have you read Erin’s Story or Ursula’s Story or Kristin’s Story? Each of these stories have two major things in common: First, they’re experiences of street harassment. Second, they’re three of the many stories of people who felt very aware of what they were wearing and how it related to their experiences of harassment. In our research with Cornell we found that 66% of women change the way they dress in order to try and avoid harassment.
Our partners at ModCloth think this is absurd because they know just as well as we do, we dress for ourselves (or at least we should be able to). We love their new video campaign that hones in on this message:
In a world that perpetuates the myth that our clothes are an invitation, it is so important for us to speak up! By telling your stories you are transforming an experience that is lonely and isolating into one that is sharable. You change the power dynamic by flipping the lens off of you and onto the harasser. And you enter a worldwide community of people who’ve got your back. Your stories are inspiring legislators, journalists, academics, and the guy on the corner to take street harassment seriously and create solutions that make everyone feel safe.
So wear what makes you feel good about yourself, and join the movement to shut down street harassers who think your smile or your awesome outfit is an invitation to invade your space. We know that you dress for yourself, and we’ve got your back. Share your stories online or through our new app and participate in the conversation to help us end street harassment.
Published on August 26, 2015 at 11:04 amno comments
Today I went to my local (mixed) gym in Brussels.
An older man came up to me while I was on a cardio bike. He asked me if he had seen me before. I told him that I didn’t remember him so probably not (staying friendly but not engaging in the conversation).
At the end of my 1 hour cardio session he comes back telling me he likes my thighs and that my shorts made me show too much leg and that I should wear something else the next time I would come to the gym. Because he could “control” himself but maybe other younger men in the gym would not be able to”control” themselves. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told him it was not my job to dress to his “standards” (less eloquent because my french isn’t that awesome). I blocked the following of the conversation and the man left.
When I was done (ten more minutes of anger pedalling and not believing this happened. I went to the desk and asked the employee if there is another female-only gym in the neighbourhood (they have it for a reason). She replies nicely and then I explain I will not be coming back and explained what happened.
I went for my bag and the head-employee storms towards me with her sandwich steaming. She was not-amused something like that happened and wanted to know who had said such a thing. I pointed out the man by saying what machine but told her I didn’t want a confrontation.
her colleague told her to confront the men when I left (which I was about to) and she almost stormed toward him. She also confirmed me that I was in my right and that being properly dressed wasn’t up to the man to decide. the short was good enough.
So I am sad I am leaving this place though.
Published on August 26, 2015 at 3:58 pmno comments
I just finished volleyball practice and I was walking to the front of the school to be picked up. I was walking past a bunch of doors the led into the school and one of them creeped open. I looked over and there was the old man just looking at me and he asked me what my name was. At first I didn’t see any harm and thought he might of had a question and just by instinct told him my name ( yes I know that was stupid). He then looks me up and down and says yourrr’e cuute. I was disgusted and gave him this dirty look and walked away as fast as I could. He is a janitor that works at a high school! I didn’t know at the time and I wish I would had reported it as soon as it happened.
Published on August 25, 2015 at 11:05 amno comments
Honestly, today’s experience of verbal harassment is nothing new to me. I am so tired. I was walking into my place of work (which I love and always feel safe at) when a group of five men that were by a moving truck started barking at me and said “we see what you got and we like it.” I was grabbing stuff out of my car and trying to hurry into work as they continued barking. I turned to them and just said “can you not” and they all laughed. I can’t tell if they were moving into the building next door (God I hope not) or just helping someone move. I work in the vicinity of the University of Michigan, where verbal harassment (and sexual assault) are huge issues. I feel so powerless and sad. I came into work and texted my supportive, feminist boyfriend. I am sitting at my desk trying not to cry. This happens to me weekly, at the least. I am sick of not feeling safe. My boyfriend suggested calling the non-emergency police line and reporting verbal harassment. I wasn’t even sure if I really should…will anything be done? This happens to me all the time. It’s nothing new. But that doesn’t mean that I am immune to it. I hate it, I resent it. I feel sad and helpless. I preach being a strong, independent woman. But nothing makes me feel smaller or weaker than being verbally harassed. I. a.m so. tired.
Published on August 25, 2015 at 10:55 amno comments
I was walking by Balcony Bar minding my own business when a creepy, dirty man (about 48-49 years old) wearing a blue bandana around his head says to me “beautiful body.” I stopped, turned around and said “please don’t say that, I don’t appreciate it.” He then went on to call me a “fuckin bitch.” Thankfully I was in a public space because this man looked like he could’ve gotten physically violent. It’s definitely something to be aware of when fighting against this verbal abuse. The man was drinking and looked like he was intoxicated, which could’ve elevated the situation.
Published on August 21, 2015 at 9:33 pmno comments