Street Harassment

And now for something completely different…

I had a bit of an unpleasant experience on the streets of Brussels recently. It was beyond the usual name-calling, propositioning and car-honking that many women experience (myself included) when they walk alone through the streets of many towns in the world. Unfortunately street harassment is too regular an occurrence. I never quite understand it: what do these (usually) men think they can achieve by shouting at a women or honking at her or (as in this rather unpleasant case) spitting at her?


Anyway, my distress after the event turned to anger, and I decided to find out more about street harassment generally. I wanted to find out about its causes and about how to combat it. So much of the problem of street harassment is related to the respect for women in society (or lack thereof), and hence related to issues of gender equality. Deep-rooted issues that take time to repair!

In my search, I stumbled upon this website: I quickly learned that street harassment is a global phenomenon, but there are positive actions that can be carried out! This organisation tries to improve awareness of the issue and allows people to share their stories related to street harassment. I contributed the story of what happened to me in Brussels on their website. If you are really curious about what happened (you should be), you can read my story here.

And do read more of the stories (both the positive stories promoting change, and the negative experiences) on the stopstreetharassment blog. One step to improving the situation includes raising awareness, so why not start with raising your own awareness of this issue?



22 October, 2012 · 09:56

2 responses to “Street Harassment

  1. Since writing this post, I’ve come across an entire community of people in Brussels that suffer from, and are trying to combat against, street harassment in this city. Please check out the website of Hollaback! Brussels:

  2. Pingback: Extra reading: Vagina and the End of Men | Puh-hud

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