“I am Not Your Fucking Baby”

The above quote is from a friend of mine, it was her answer to the question, “What do you want to say to street harassers?”

My response was “Go fuck yourself because no one else will.”

Another woman said, “Don’t tell me to smile” with a middle finger raised.

“Has cat-calling ever worked?” was a fourth response.

A woman, fresh from being harassed on her way to school said, “These fishnets aren’t for you.”

“You couldn’t handle me, and I refuse to let you try,” is what the last woman announced.

The other women who participated in this project and I were approached by a fellow student at my school who wanted “to empower women to hollaback against street harassment and harassment in general. It’s something we all face every day and people need to know that it’s wrong.” She asked us when was the last time we were street harassed, how we felt, what we wanted to say to our harassers and if we would like to have our picture taken.

All of our sentiments were edited because apparently all the women involved dropped a lot of “fucks.” Mine was ultimately changed to “You’re not getting lucky with me, stick to going solo.” Our pictures and statements were printed up and hung around campus because there are a lot of people out there who think that street harassment isn’t a real thing or that it is the woman’s fault because of how she is dressed.

Victim blaming anyone?

No matter what a woman is or is not wearing she should not be cat-called, followed, whistled at, have obscene things muttered at her, or have people honk their horns at her.

It’s 4:45 a.m. and I am walking to work, I am wearing non-descript clothing, in a caffeine-deprived funk listening to my headphones. I can’t really hear for shit, but the nod the guy at the corner gives me as he says something that definitely had “baby” in it makes me want to scream. I did not dress to give you wood, or please you, or make your day better.

My sister has told me I now walk with a “fuck you” stride and my posture screams not to mess with me. It’s self-defense, most people won’t mess with someone who looks like they know where they are going. You’re less likely to be stopped by people trying to sell you stuff and it makes it easier to avoid unwanted conversations, but it didn’t stop the guy on the train from pulling his dick out and jerking it across from me.

My fuck you stance also didn’t stop that limo driver from honking at me twice and asking me if I wanted a ride.

“No thanks, I’m only a block away from work,” I told him.

“Yeah, but it’s a block you don’t have to walk!”

How fucking rapey does that sound? It sounds like you want to get me in your car and kidnap me or murder me or rape me. It is 5:40 in the morning, the sun hasn’t even risen yet and you want me to get in your limo? Do I look fucking stupid?

When is it ever okay to holler out windows at people you don’t know?

Or how about the drunk at the subway station who kept putting his arm around me even though I told him no?

It needs to stop. Street harassers need to stop shouting and whistling and degrading people.

Check it out:

http://www.ihollaback.org/share/

http://stoptellingwomentosmile.com/

 

Stop telling women to smile

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