don’t look don’t touch
Abby OReilly // 1 January 2008
I wrote a post a few weeks ago about my experience on the London underground, when I was followed and stared at by a man.
Firstly, I would like to thank all the women who so kindly shared their experiences with me. I will respond to you all individually, and I’m so sorry I have not had the opportunity to do so yet. However, what became apparent to me was that we are intimidated on a daily basis, but we don’t feel like we have a forum to discuss these incidents. It is only when this is exposed as nothing more than harassment and intimidation that we will hopefully begin to see change, and begin to be respected by men in public. Just because it’s become an accepted part of being a woman does not mean it’s right.
I have set up a blog called don’t look don’t touch, through which we can discuss these incidents. Hopefully we can talk about these situations, offer helpful advise and warn each other about places where women have been particularly vulnerable to intimidating male behaviour. Even staring can be an aggressive act, and this became even more apparent in the responses I received to my original post, so let’s try and expose this in 2008 and push for change! No more feeling intimidated in work, on public transport or when walking home!
If anyone has any ideas about how the blog can be developed, useful weblinks I could flag up, or would like to share their experiences, please do not hesitate to contact me, as hopefully this site will be a help to a lot of us. I’m also going to write about any news reports drawing on these issues, so if there’ s anything you want to see mentioned, don’t hesitate to contact me. I found that writing about the anonymous follower and receiving such kind emails from other women who could understand from first hand experience allowed me to realise that I would have been well within my rights to alert people to his behaviour in order to ensure my own safety, and we should all feel this way.
Hope to hear from you soon – firstname.lastname@example.org.