War Zone

// 8 September 2009

I just came across this great documentary on Feministing, in which a woman films and confronts the men and boys who harass her on the street:

(For a better quality version of the trailer, click on the link to the documentary above.)

It’s interesting to see the range of reactions she gets, from embarrassment to a complete lack of understanding that there’s anything wrong with voicing an opinion on a stranger’s appearance. The lack of any kind of attempt at an apology is very much conspicuous.

The aim of the film is to ‘take the power back’, and it’s certainly empowering and uplifting to watch.

Incidentally, I’m still getting comments on the blog post I wrote last year asking readers whether they’d experienced street harassment; you might like to direct people to it next time they claim street harassment isn’t that common / is harmless fun / should be taken as a compliment.

Comments From You

sianmarie // Posted 8 September 2009 at 4:26 pm

i blogged about this (www.sianandcrookedrib.blogspot.com) too, street harrassment drives me insane, and i had a really horrendous episode that has spurred me on to shout and scream about it!

i have determined to always shout back, give the finger, do anything i can think of to tell whoever is harrassing me that it is NOT ok to do so. the horrible experience i had left me feeling so powerless, and now i am determined to never feel so unempowered and silenced again. admittedly, the first time i yelled back i shouted “ridiculous” which came over as just that (!) but now i have had a bit more practise. women are socialised to be non confrontational and as a human being i am very unconfrontational anyway, so it is scary for me to shout back at harrassers, but each time i voice my own protest i feel a bit stronger and that i am not someone who can be put down and silenced on the street, simply because i am a woman.

Catherine Redfern // Posted 8 September 2009 at 5:48 pm

Can I strongly recommend a book called Back Off! by Martha J Langelan for anyone angry about this. It is an incredibly empowering book which sets out a simple method called ‘confronting’ to deal with street harassment – a great tactic empowering rather than ignoring or swearing/shouting. Full of really inspiring stories of tackling harassment, including a lot on street / public harassment.


Jennifer Drew // Posted 8 September 2009 at 6:34 pm

I second Catherine’s recommendation in reading Back Off. I’ve recommended this book on a regular basis and the methods Martha J. Langelan recommends really do work. Her recommendations totally disrupt male presumption women are men’s sexualised objects and without resorting to insulting or swearing at the male perpetrators.

saranga // Posted 8 September 2009 at 9:43 pm

that’s a great video! I especially like the guy running away up the escalators, I lol’d!

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