emmelinemay: (Default)
Article in the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12771938

Text under the cut )

I should note that the founder of Hollaback!, named as "Emily May" is not me, but I am pre-disposed to like her!

I will also highlight this quote from the article, as it's relevant to a number of debates that have occurred here on my LJ before

"Not all men impose unwanted attention upon women, and Kearl agrees that it's important for these men to join in the movement to stop street harassment."

Edit: I find it very interesting that a lot of the comments there are similar to comments on my journal in those previous debates, from offended men going HEY not ALL of us do this THIS ARTICLE IS SEXIST. *sigh*

Edit: my word, some of these comments are anger-making.

Edit: the comment from "Emmie" is not me either.

Edit: THE COMMENTS ARE MAKING ME WANT TO BREAK THINGS
emmelinemay: (Magic 8 Ball)
Following a number of debates that my posts on street harassment, the objectification of women's bodies in the media and 'male priviledge' have prompted here on my journal, this article pretty much says everything, only much better than I could manage.


Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] miss_soap for the link.
emmelinemay: (Eddie - psychotic bastard religion)
Geek guy suggests an 'Open Source Boob Project¹, based on the premise that women like to have their boobs touched as a compliment, and therefore it will be empowering for the women if men go up and ask if they can touch their boobs at geek conventions. In a totally non creepy, non sexual way, of course. It's spiritual.

This is met with, well, you can probably imagine what it was met with. A handful of geek guys going, hey wow, great idea. A handful of girls going YOU CAN TOUCH MY BREAST! LOOK AT ME!! LOOK AT ME!!!! and then hundreds of ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? comments from everyone else.

Then a response is posted. Pretty much everyone goes YES. THIS. A handful of people can't understand that asking to touch someone's breasts might be considered a violation. After all, women like having their breasts touched, right? It's a compliment.

In my opinion, it is NOT OK to ask a woman if you can touch her breasts. It's not ok to ask women if it's ok to ask them if it's ok to touch her breasts.

Her breast are HER BREASTS and if she wants you to touch them, she'll let you know in an appropriate time, an appropriate place, and an appropriate context.

It's NOT a compliment. It's CREEPY. It's not a compliment when people whistle at me in the street, slap my arse when I'm cycling, yell 'OI DARLING' as I'm walking home, try to chat me up on the night bus.

It's CERTAINLY not a compliment to be verbally abused when I'm 'ungrateful' for the above.

If you're the sort of guy that feels he is unlikely to ever touch breasts legitimately, then the way to go about it is NOT to dress up some puerile lech-fest and dress it up as female empowerment. The way to go about it, to be honest, is to stop being the sort of guy that thinks it's ok to ask a total stranger if you can touch her breasts. That's a start anyway. If you need more help, allow me to direct you to this handy guide to talking to women you don't know.

Women are not going to throw off the shackles of media-influenced low self-esteem, body issues and centuries of sexual repression by having a bunch of desperate geeks ask to grab their knockers.

[1] The original 'proposal' is underneath the large edit which is a potent mix of back-pedalling, some desperate justification and claims of being 'misunderstood' with a dash of self-pity
emmelinemay: (Fuck u)
I got harassed again last night, this time by 2 boys, probably between 14-16, on bikes. I was walking to Angel with SL, who'd come to check out Brownies with a view to helping out, and they deliberately swerved towards us (they were cycling on the pavement) meaning we had to jump out the way.

Funnily enough¹ we'd been talking about harassment as it happened, as SL herself was bothered by a bloke last week. He'd come up to her as she walked home at night, and tried to talk to her. She, feeling rather nervous about the attention said something along the lines of 'why do you think it's ok to talk to a lone woman when she obviously doesn't want to talk to you?' to which he responded with something rather rude in Arabic, and was horrified when SL responded in Arabic, and left her alone. It left her really shaken though. We were talking about our experiences of this sort of thing, when the kids on bikes came back, this time from behind us so we didn't see them, and yelled 'BANG' as they cycled right through us, almost knocking us both over.

Made brave by daylight and the busy street, we yelled obscenities at them, they returned, and tried their best to intimidate us and claim 'we's only doing it cos you's beautiful. what's the fuck is wrong with saying 'bang' to someone? we're not doing anything wrong'.

Not doing anything wrong. Well, apart from cycling on the pavement, which is a pretty obvious one. They don't see that they are doing anything wrong in harassing two people minding their own business, and then threatening them when the two people don't just take it. But then, the first time they did it we did nothing, which only seemed to encourage them to do it again. They eventually buggered off following a combination of SL screaming at them, we calmly telling them that street harassment was illegal (it's not, not in the UK anyway, but it bloody well should be) and that I was calling the police. 'Did we scare you?' they ask. No. I say. You've fucking pissed me off you little shits. Who the FUCK do you think you are? I then pretended to be talking to the police, on the phone, at which point they shot off and didn't bother us again.

Were both left rather shaken, and full of rage, and talked about how dreadful it is that this sort of thing goes on and no one ever does anything about it. It also occurred to me that I wasn't even sure I'd want to write the incident up here, because every time I do talk about This Sort Of Thing the comments always go ridiculously epic due to a small minority of idiot men who can't understand that gender specific street harassment (that is males harassing females in a public place) is a real problem for women, and shouldn't be marginalised or swept under the carpet, or invalidated with comments like 'my arse got grabbed in a club once/some women like it and therefore it's the woman's fault'.

I don't think I've ever got quite so angry about anything like this before, to be honest. I feel like my feelings aren't taken seriously, or the feelings of the many women who reply to my entries about this with anecdotes of the countless times it happens to them.

I guess I'll have to get used to the fact that some people just Don't Get It. I'm half expecting some replies like this to this post, perhaps I'll just need to get a thicker skin about it, before I write about things like that in a public post again.

The incident above was, granted, more of an 'fucking kids' incident, it was a busy day time street, so the rape-fear wasn't there, but the thought that either of them might stab us was very much at the front of my mind.


[1] - or 'ironically' if you are a fan of Alanis Morisette who has managed to popularise the idea that 'ironically' means 'coincidentally'
emmelinemay: (80s attack)
It's still happening, but as I now have Obvious Headphones, I can pretend it isn't happening, and ignore it most of the time.

Here's what I wrote last year
(link is to the tagged entries, so scroll down past this one!)

Someone on [livejournal.com profile] 2wheelsbetter linked me to an article I thought fit quite well along with those rants, so those of you that were interested in those (which was broadly split between the women that understood, and the men that got offended and said BUT I'M NOT LIKE THAT to which I'd reply read this)

"Why do you think it's OK to harass women?" I said calmly, loudly. The man froze, then a look of fear washed over his features. He shrank like a worm. "What?" he snivelled, his eyes sliding to the floor. "I didn't say anything bad ..."

"It doesn't matter what you said, I didn't say that you could speak to me. It's not OK to whisper in a woman's ear when she's going about her business.



There are also some 'but WOMEN DO IT TOO' and yes, but 'I'M NOT LIKE THAT' comments to the article there too. I sincerely hope I don't have to explain to anyone reading why this makes me cross.

from one of the comments:
It would be great if, instead of claiming we're making a fuss about nothing, the decent men out there accepted that this *is* a problem for a lot of women and make it clear when they see it happening that they don't think harassing women is funny or acceptable.
emmelinemay: (Pirate)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] littleangel_103, who has brought my attention to this site, which, while being one of those horrible little frame set websites, seems to be about the exact same thing that's been getting me in a right rage lately - 'casual' street harassment.

Particularly interesting are the stories from women who have experienced it - it's the same story pretty much over and over.

It seems that somehow, a large proportion those of you with a Y chromosome seem to feel it's ok to shout and leer and approach women in the street. Well, IT'S NOT. And I'm not going to go on a big rant about why, as I've already done that once recently. As the week has gone on since I wrote that, I'm increasingly coming to the opinion that it doesn't actually matter why it is unacceptable and just plain wrong - what matters is that it is unacceptable and just plain wrong.

under a cut, as it accidentally got long. again. )

Why, with the enormous amount of (albeit anecdotal; and we already know that anecdote =/= singular of data) evidence out there that this is a huge, and totally endemic, problem with society, is it not MORE IMPORTANT?

Answers on a postcard.

If i start wearing dungarees, stop washing, and start singing protest songs in parks, someone please kill me. Especially if i start talking about burning my bra.
emmelinemay: (Fuck u)
2 days ago, i wrote this.

Last night, on my way home on the night bus, a man kept rubbing his arm on mine, so i moved away. He put his hand on my back and says something like 'you ok?'. I say 'fine thanks' and move as far away as I can (not very far as the bus was crowded). He then grabs hold of my arm and says, 'oi. you ALRIGHT?'. 'Look,' i say, 'you don't go round touching women you don't know? ok? don't touch me. It's rude.'.

At which point, he says, 'why would i want to touch you, you fucking filthy lezza?'

Yes. Well done. Any woman that doesn't want your attention is clearly a lesbian. What other sort of woman would resist your manly might?
emmelinemay: (Dandy Highwayman)
<Rant>

Dear Men, )

</Rant>

EDIT: I'm adding this in, to the guys reading this who are saying 'hey, we're not all like this...'

Men don't get it, because they're either too nice to understand why other men would behave like that, or they're the fucktards doing it in the first place.

EDIT: A small number of women have said they don't fear rape per se, more attack. I'm not going to change it, because I think it's the fundamental difference between women and men walking home at night - men might fear attack/theft/mugging, but there's something much more basic, more primal, more personal about the fear of rape than the fear of attack. And these men that say 'allo darling' - well - these are SEXUAL ADVANCES. And we don't respond badly to them because we think these men are going to take our phone or our wallet. I'm not telling you 'YOU FEAR RAPE'. I'm explaining WHY women react badly in those situations. I would go as far to say that some of you have misunderstood my point, zoned in on one part, thought 'she says i fear rape! no i don't!!' and not taken into account the *context*.

If you do still take issue with the use of the word 'rape' - please feel free to re-read substituting the word 'rape' for 'hurt'.

EDIT: 'To Men' - it will stand. I know there are exemptions, but it's making people read it, and if it wasn't controversial, who'd bother? ;) I do accept some of you have valid reasons for taking issue with 'To Men', and I agree with those points, but again, it will stand, mainly because I think it's funnier. I will also direct you to this excellent comment which is written better than i managed.

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