This article contains explicit language. 

Before reading this post, please watch this video I found on UpWorthy:

(A full article on this video can be found here )

The Issue, But No Solution

While this video reveals the stressful and downright terrifying nature of catcalling, a.k.a. verbal harassment, 10 Hours does not provide a solution or advice for women in these situations. The actress remains silent. No reaction. Let’s the men continue to do or say whatever. While this allows the video to achieve a disturbing tone, it left me feeling frustrated and powerless. What am I supposed to do in this situation?

street_harassment

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Nothing?

After a few minutes of fuming, I looked up ways to respond to ‘cat-callers,’ and complied a general list below:

Know Your Situation

While in every instance I wanted to scream ‘f*** off’ to the harassers, some situations are too dangerous, and a victim should not engage a cat-caller. When being harassed, a woman (or man, who are also victims) should assess her situation and decide for herself whether a situation is safe. For example, if a woman is walking at night and being harassed by a group of males, she should avoid engagement and possibly locate a police officer. Better safe than sorry.

Confront the Per(vert)petrator

If the situation is safe, a woman should confront the harasser. Most perpetrators believe women won’t retaliate and they won’t be held accountable for their actions. Hollaback, a non-profit against street harassment and creator of the video, states that street harassment is “about power” and “teaches [women] to be silent.” Make eye contact, and inform the cat-callers that their words are unsolicited/unwanted/unattractive in your own (colorful*) words.

*While sometimes effective, swearing can cause a situation to escalate to a dangerous level. Use your sailor’s mouth carefully.

 Move on & Share Your Story

After confronting a harasser, walk away. It is best for the man (occasionally woman) to know that retaliation is not an invitation for conversation. If you feel like it, as I did after one of my own confrontations with cat-callers, enjoy the empowerment of knowing you stood up for your right to walk freely. Also, share your story with others. Telling others about your experiences with street-harassment brings more attention to this issue and help bring about change.

If you have ever been/witnessed harassment, please share your experience below. Or if you have further comments on the video or comic, please comment as well.

(The information above was taken from Business Insider and the Hollaback! Website)

Featured image retrieved here