“‘At Notting Hill Carnival yesterday a man in the crowd grabbed my arse. When I told him not to he did it again. I pushed him away, exercising my right to tell a man to stop touching my body without my permission, so he took a swing at me and punched me in the face…
A woman should be able to leave the house without fear of being sexually assaulted. And she should be able to defend herself without being put in hospital.” – Mary Brandon in the UK.
She was in the hospital for 9 hours after the attack. Read more here.
One of the many reasons why we need to pay attention to street harassment and not just dismiss it as a compliment, no big deal, or, as Fox News recently said, “let men be men” is that it can escalate into something worse. Particularly if the men don’t like women’s responses to their harassment.
I saw this when I conducted focus groups for the SSH national study. For example, in Brooklyn two women shared scary retaliation stories. One said, “I’ve seen a guy knock a girl’s head into a brick wall that she was leaning on behind them because she did not want to talk to him. She was gushing blood. It’s unacceptable.” Another woman said, “My cousin’s friend got shot in the back as she walked away because she didn’t want to talk to the guy.”
We saw this recently too when a man in Philadelphia told harassers to watch what they were saying to the women and one got out of his vehicle and punched him. He hit his head on concrete and went unconscious and had to be hospitalized.
It’s past time to start taking this seriously.Share on Facebook