[Content note for street harassment and strong language]
Do you know what really fucking sucks? Not being able to go about my day without being harassed. Not being able to walk down the street without being treated like a full human being, rather than a pair of tits on legs. It is not your right, no matter who you are and no matter how I am dressed to comment on my body. You don’t get to stare at me like I am an object that exists for your pleasure. You are not entitled to me.
Saying “hey sexy” to a stranger on the street is not a compliment. In fact, it pretty much ruins my entire day, because all of a sudden I am reminded that people don’t give a shit about what I think or feel and that as a woman I am public property. How do you want people to treat your daughters? Your sisters? Your cousins? Your nieces? Do you want them to have to feel less than human on a daily basis? Do you think that people are entitled to their bodies no matter what? Let us not give this diminutive names like “eve teasing” but call a spade a spade. If you participate in this, you are sexually harassing someone.
You might think that I am dressing a certain way which means that I am begging for this attention. That is a lie you are telling yourself to make yourself feel better about your vile actions. I have been harassed no matter what I am wearing, as have my friends, even wearing hijab is no antidote, so please don’t think that will protect the women in your life.
This is all part of the same mentality that makes people think violating a women’s right to bodily autonomy and consent is OK. It is what makes people think ‘creepshots’ are OK. It is what makes people think casually groping people on the train is OK, and fundamentally it is what makes people think consent to sex does not matter. It matters. It all matters. No one is entitled to my body in anyway unless I give explicit consent. If you think yelling things at a woman on the street, or staring openly at her breasts on the train for your whole journey on the train is OK then you are part of the problem and you need to take a long hard look at yourself.
I am tired to my core of the everyday little violations to my personhood that I have to put up with because “he was just complimenting you” or “he didn’t mean anything by it”. A man who is happy to treat women as objects for his consumption in the street is a man who does not value consent and not a man I want to know. I am saying that right now overtly because it needs to be said and I will keep saying it again and again and again until all women can go about their business in peace, without having to worry about what garbage they will be confronted with today. You know, like men can.