While brainstorming everyday texts for this project, I felt that the ones I actually chose and analyzed successfully captured the variety of how women are sexualized in today’s world through Body Policing, Body Shaming and [Sexual] Harassment, which all have similar definitions. Some people might see one of these three terms as worse than another, but when they’re broken down, they all serve as a purpose of intentionally making someone (in this specific case, women) feel uncomfortable in terms of sexuality.
According to StopStreetHarassment.com (2015), Street Harassment, a specific form of Sexual Harassment (displayed in Bliss’s YouTube video), and is defined as, “Unwanted comments, gestures, and actions forced on a stranger in a public place without their consent and is directed at them because of their actual or perceived sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation”.
Take a few seconds to read that definition to yourself, and wonder… have you ever been a victim of street harassment? I have been a victim and I wasn’t even aware of it.
In my specific incident, I was walking in West Humboldt Park where I am a Research Assistant through DePaul University, and two men walked past me and said, “Damn!” and started giggling. Exactly like in the video. I have had a few other minor incidents like that we’re I’ve been whistled at as well. What I don’t understand about the people who make the unnecessary and inappropriate gesture, is that, did I ever ask to be whistled at or have a comment thrown at me? No. No one ever asks for that, but it still occurs.
Having said that, anyone can be a victim of any sort of harassment, weather it’d be shaming, policing, or anything else; White people, Black people, Purple people, Green people, Male, Female, big people, skinny people, short people, pear-shaped people, apple-shaped people, hour-glass shaped people, muscular people, anyone. There is only one person that is in control of your body, and that is you; not your boyfriend, girlfriend, or the person who whistled at you on the street, or the advertisement you see that urges you to lose weight. It’s you, and only you in control. Lets keep it that way.
“What you allow, is what will continue.” –Unknown.
***** If you or anyone you know has been harassed there are resources available. RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization, which offers confidential, and free services.
They can be reached at 1-800-656- HOPE (4673). *****