Mon. Oct 14th, 2019

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Letter to the editor: Crude harassment is degrading and dangerous

2 min read
I would like to voice my concern about a problem that I have noticed occurring frequently around campus. I am a woman, and I do not like to be street harassed.

To the Editor:

I would like to voice my concern about a problem that I have noticed occurring frequently around campus. I am a woman, and I do not like to be street harassed.

Street harassment is when a person, or a group of people, yells, whistles, makes lewd gestures or draws unwanted attention to another person. Usually, the harassment is directed toward female pedestrians by groups of young men in cars.

The comments range from annoying, wordless yelling to vulgar and unsettling shrieks like “Nice breasts, baby!”

Being talked to this way by a strange man in a car makes me feel vulnerable, angry and dehumanized.

Since the interaction is basically anonymous, there is no opportunity for the victim of street harassment to confront her harasser.

Some people will say that women invite this sort of unwanted attention by dressing a certain way. This viewpoint is not only ignorant, but it is dangerous. It puts the responsibility of avoiding harassment on the victim and excuses the harassers for their behavior. It does not matter what a woman is wearing, nobody deserves to be reduced to a piece of meat. In fact, I argue that street harassment not only reduces the victim, but the harasser as well, by turning men into anonymous roadside bullies.

Street harassment is not funny. It demeans women and, in the process, turns men into bullies. It is not flattering. I hope that we as a community can work together to eliminate this problem.

Lucia Morey is a senior.

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