Saturday, May 17, 2008

Street Comments

The ladies love street harassment!

Sound like a funny title, right? Well it's a blog entry on Broadsheet written by Judy Berman which tries to take a critical look at catcalls. apparently some women like them and feel like they must not be attractive if no men yell out to them from therir cars or on the sides of sidewalks.
Well, it makes sense that us women can enjoy these stupid comments, seeing that our identities as women is fundamentally tied to being beautiful and on being look at. I'll be honest- of course a comment like that has occasionally made me feel a little better about my appearance (II've been socialized well after all).

Although the author is quick to point out that there are different kinds of catcalls. A calm hey Sweetie may be welcome, but there are some hostile and dangerous situations where a comment can turn into a threat. I, for instance, just yesterday was walking in my neighborhood yesterday alone as it was getting a little dark, when a two men who had been looking me up and down said te van a robar (someone's going to kidnap you). The implication being that a young woman should not be alone on the streets or she is inviting violence. And a couple of weeks ago as I was walking home from the train, a man stopped his car and invited me into it and got mad when I politley told him I was not interested, accusing me of racism (because he's african-american and I'm not, I guess). Couldn't he figure out that it was just a creepy proposition that I wanted nothing to do with?

The truth is that the streets can be a dangerous place for women, which means that we have to be careful about our coming as goings, which is an issue that has bothered me for years. I have one of 2 options- either succumb to the latent and overt sexism and just stay at home so I'll never be scared, or try to live my life as the free person that I want to be, knowing that it is a dangerous thing to do. It's just another contradiction that modern-day women have to face and there are no easy answers.

Well, it something that I have to think about increasingly, seeing that these kind of situations only get more pronounced in the spring and summer when everyone is out.

3 comments:

Jesse said...

Hey, its me, Jesse.

Once again, I was honored you reprinted and commented on the Reader letters battle last fall. I thought your recent look at catcalls was interesting, and reminded me of chapter 3 in a book Im reading about gentrification in DC called Turf Wars, by Gabriella Gahlia Modan. Check it out. And say hi sometime. Im still at jessemumm@mail.com. Later.

Jesse

Jesse said...

Hey, its me, Jesse.

Once again, I was honored you reprinted and commented on the Reader letters battle last fall. I thought your recent look at catcalls was interesting, and reminded me of chapter 3 in a book Im reading about gentrification in DC called Turf Wars, by Gabriella Gahlia Modan. Check it out. And say hi sometime. Im still at jessemumm@mail.com. Later.

Jesse

Jesse said...

Hey, its me, Jesse.

Once again, I was honored you reprinted and commented on the Reader letters battle last fall. I thought your recent look at catcalls was interesting, and reminded me of chapter 3 in a book Im reading about gentrification in DC called Turf Wars, by Gabriella Gahlia Modan. Check it out. And say hi sometime. Im still at jessemumm@mail.com. Later.

Jesse