Please answer me this, why do some of you think it’s acceptable to target a woman walking on her own? What goes on in your head to make you think it’s ok to shout after her as she walks down the street on her way to work? And yes, I know it’s not all men, before the witch hunt starts….
Twice now in the last week I’ve been walking down the street and had blokes shout after me. No it’s not flattering, no it’s not a compliment. It’s creepy and unnecessary. The first time I was walking to get coffee before work and some guy shouts out (in a busy street) “go on shake that ass baby, I see you”. I WAS WALKING DOWN THE STREET. I had plain trousers and a blouse on, I wasn’t “dressed provocatively” I wasn’t acknowledging anyone – I was thinking how much I needed that coffee.
The second time I was walking through town on the phone to my friend when another bloke sat on a bench shouts “Oi blondilocks, I see you, get off the phone to your boyfriend!” I made my friend stay on the phone, literally just talking so that I didn’t have to lose that connection to another person who knew where I was. That in itself was stupid – I was walking through the town bloody centre! Also I have brown hair so god only knows where “blondilocks” came from! Again, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt this time, what made me stand out to this man, what made him think I was an easy target? Was it purely because I was the only girl in the area who was on her own?
I know for a fact that neither of these men would have even looked at me if Ben had been there – I’m not blaming him at all by the way, he was either at work or it was my day off on both occasions – but they wouldn’t have looked twice, let alone felt the need to say anything. The thing that got to me was that I didn’t say anything back. At the time I was almost too shocked to tell both these blokes where to go, lets face it – I haven’t worked in a bar environment in three years, I haven’t had to deal with those sort of comments in such a long time and it completely threw me. The last time a comment like that was made, I was walking into work and someone literally elbowed their friend as I walked past and said “look at that” Excuse me?! Referring to me as “that” is ridiculously degrading, I’m a human being! And no, I’m not posting these experiences as some sort of weird humble brag, like oh these men make comments about me when I walk past and it annoys me…. It’s me ranting that this sort of bullshit happens and we’re just expected to accept it!
If I’d had more time to think I probably would’ve sworn at them or just told them to do one, but I really would have loved to have gone over to each of them and asked why they picked me? Out of all the people in those streets, why the girl on her own? Did something go wrong in their brain and they reverted to neanderthal grunting or were they just genuine assholes who think women should bow down to them and accept their seedy comments and stares as a compliment?
Why should women be expected to take these things as compliments? I’m not exactly a raging feminist, I think everyone should be treated equally. For example if I threw a punch at a bloke I should damn well expect one back and be able to take it. Women aren’t these delicate little flowers that must be protected at all costs, but neither are we there for your viewing pleasure, not something to be stared at when you’re bored or pissed up. We’re our own people, we shouldn’t have to feel threatened walking down the street, or in a bar on a night out. And I know I’m not the first person to say this and I know I definitely won’t be the last.