With the weather starting to warm up a little – by which I mean it’s often above 4’C during the daytime, and the sky has white, rather than grey clouds – I’ve started taking to running some errands on a Saturday afternoon so that I can enjoy the more clement weather.
Of late, I’ve tended to run my errands after I’ve had an appointment with my tattooist, which often means I’ve been walking around without a jacket or coat – in part because wearing one would irritate the latest addition to my sleeve, and in part because I’m impatient for summer to arrive and am happy to pretend that 5’C is plenty warm enough to walk around in capris and a top, or a strappy dress.
Sadly, even though it’s 2015, many men still think it’s acceptable to loudly comment on me and my appearance.
Street harassment is something that is – sadly – an every day occurrence in many of our cities and towns, living in a small town it hasn’t really affected me that much: I can count one notable occurrence over the last ten or so years, and perhaps a handful of less noteworth; sadly the resource I linked to above is US-based, so I’m not sure how much applies in the UK and how much doesn’t, but it’s got some good ideas about how to deal with harassment.
I am here today to say that every womans’ body is her own, it isn’t yours for comment until and unless you’re asked; if you harass someone on the street she may respond or ignore you, but whatever our actions know that your words, noises, and opinions are neither complimentary nor desired.
If you still feel a burning desire to compliment someone – truly compliment them – there are ways and means to do so that are in no way shape or form harassing; otherwise, please go about your business, and let us go about ours.