Beth Ditto on street harrassment

// 9 June 2007

Yet another reason to heart Beth Ditto: her advice column in The Guardian this week features a spot on feminist analysis of street harrassment and how to respond to those who tell us we should just put up with it:

If you find yourself feeling powerless after someone has shouted at you, you need to remember that this is the masterplan of sexism. The guys in question may not know it, but every time they “catcall” a girl they are reminding her of her vulnerability in a system designed to do just that.

If a friend or partner tells you that catcalls are a fact of life and to “just get used to it”, it’s worth recognising that they are fuelling the harasser’s fire and extinguishing yours. It can be particularly annoying when a boyfriend does this – it’s not fair for someone who has the privilege of taking a risk-free stroll in the park, day or night, to dismiss your reaction. The next time he says something like that then you should arrange to get some of the most annoying, frightening women, young and old, ugly and beautiful, thin and fat, to stare at him for a week, pointing and remarking on his body. He’ll just have to get used to it!

If only all advice columns were written by feminists… Did I mention I love Beth Ditto?

Image by dizzy-eyed, shared under a Creative Commons license.

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