A man driving by while I was walking to work honked his horn and I naturally looked up. He made a gesture of sucking dick at me and smiled. I felt powerless because he was in a car and got the attention he wanted, and I ended up sobbing to my mother on the phone afterwards because of my helplessness. What makes matters worse is that so many women will respond by saying, “Don’t let it bother you, that just lets them win”, but they already won because men know they can do that to a woman on the street with no consequences. He didn’t see my reaction, and it didn’t matter if he did, he already got the power he wanted. Even if I had not been upset by it, he still has the power. They profit off my beauty, regardless of what I wear. I’d have to be invisible for them not to have that power.
Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?
There should be a universal coloring agent that identifies people who harass or catcall on the streets, like when someone pulls a fire alarm and the non-washable fluid comes out to identify who pulled it. It could be part of a typical young American’s kit: with their pepper spray and rape whistle.
Location: Washington DC capitol hill neighborhood
Need support? Call the toll-free National Street Harassment hotline: 855-897-5910