Dear General Public,
There is a major issue that women internationally have been dealing with for the longest time now. It is called street harassment and it needs to be put to an end.
For those who are unaware of street harassment, here is a short rundown. Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that consists of unwanted comments, wolf-whistling, “catcalling”, and some other actions performed by strangers in public areas. The reasons why this issue should be stopped is because it’s disrespectful and it objectifies women who are just trying to live their lives.
For example, a woman may be walking down a street by herself, trying to reach her office building, and a group of men see her and find her to be attractive. The men could just leave her be and appreciate her beauty from afar, but no. It seems to be most appropriate to yell obscenities at her and to share their unwanted personal desires with her.
You may think it's not that big of a deal, but it is. In 2014, a survey (interviewed 2000 people) was commissioned in the USA. The survey found that 65% of women had experienced street harassment in general. Also, among the women, 23% of women had been sexually touched, 20% of women had been followed, and 9% had been forced to do something sexual. To make matters worse, most women had been catcalled for the first time between the ages of 11-17 years old. Being 15 years of age, hearing that information disgusts me and it concerns me for other girls who may have already experienced this issue.
Also, to avoid being harassed, women adjust the way they dress, talk, walk, and even how they behave. Women shouldn’t have to change who they are to avoid getting approached. They should be able to present themselves however they want and be safe. Instead of hiding who they are to avoid being attacked, men should learn how to keep their perverted comments to themselves and be respectful about the fact that the woman is a human being, not some object to fantasize about. I believe in order to end street harassment, men should be taught respect and there should be punishment for it. Though I’m not saying that all men do this, a staggering amount of them do.
However, I could see why some men may not mean for it to be sexual harassment. What I mean is, a man could see a pretty lady and compliment her on how she looks nice. The woman could possibly take it the wrong way and think of it as catcalling.
But, the grotesque and explicit things some men have said to women in my research I’ve found (I don’t think it’s very school appropriate for me to quote), is extremely belittling and demeaning to the woman. Compliments and filthy pick-up lines are two entirely different things.
In conclusion, street harassment is something that happens way too frequently and it definitely needs to be stopped.
Dear General Public,