Category Archives: Advice

End Street Harassment

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End Street Harassment

Hollaback!

A friend of mine brought this web site to my attention and it needs to be shared.  So often, women (sometimes men) are victimized on the street by men under the cover of anonymity.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that the women are raped or physically contacted.  Strangers commonly shout things at women as they walk in public, make obscene gestures, or even just stare at them.  Contrary though it may seem, this is “socially acceptable”, because they can get away with it without any of their acquaintances ever finding out.  It is normal and tolerated.  Their mom will never know that they cat-called a woman as she walked by, their girlfriend will never know that they took pictures of a stranger all while wearing a suggestive smile, their boss will never know they solicited obscene favors from a woman who was clearly perturbed by the suggestion.  The streets of a major city are perhaps even more anonymous than the internet, in that there are no IP addresses or other cyber crumbs to follow.

No more.

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Let go of time.

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Let go of time.

A lot of people choose not to ride the bus because of the exorbitant amount of time it takes to get from Point A to Point B.  There’s no argument from me.  A trip that should take 30 minutes easily takes two hours.  This sometimes really bothers me.

However, recently, I’ve started coming to a startling conclusion.  I’ve begun to appreciate the delays.  Even if it’s just a little tiny bit, and in fleeting moments.

Maybe it’s a stereotype, but I think Americans are way too obsessed about time.  We’re controlling about where every minute of the day — conscious or unconscious — goes.  We’ve become obsessive-compulsive about it.  A delay of 10 minutes in line at McDonalds unacceptable.  It’s infuriating.  It causes annoyance, conflict, stress, anger, aggression, rage.  And yet, it’s only 10 minutes!

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Stay out of the meat aisle.

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Stay out of the meat aisle.

Many of you are undoubtedly unaware of this, but if you are a man, public transportation can serve a double purpose.  It’s your meat market, too.

For some reason, being in the system is a free pass to evade all social norms regarding standard male-female interactions.  It suddenly becomes appropriate to shout crude things at women, honk horns, offer rides to strangers, and ogle.  I am selected, cut, wrapped, and sold on nearly a daily basis.

Here are a few tips to the ladies to stay out of the freezer:

Meat on a barbecue.

Who put Barbie on the barbie??

  1. Forget tight clothing.  Don’t even bother wearing clothes that fit at all.  Stick to baggy attire, leave the belts at home.  If you have leftover maternity-wear, try that.
  2. Wear your hair up.  Even better, just shave it all off.
  3. Use make-up appropriately.  Cosmetics don’t just have to be for looking beautiful.  Use eye shadow on other parts of your face to make you appear dirty.  Lip stick can be used to resemble open wounds.  I recommend acquiring a small Halloween face paint kit and getting creative!
  4. Don’t make eye contact.  In fact, just pretend you are blind.  And deaf.  And mute.
  5. Learn an exotic language.  Sometimes it’s best to just pretend you don’t speak English.  Take care to not accidentally speak to a native speaker of that language!

Ok, perhaps this post would better serve the male population.  How to interact with women while using public transport: Read the rest of this entry