Street harassment is a real issue with real consequences. Although not every instance of street harassment is as ‘serious’ as this, many are worse and almost every single one leaves a lasting negative impression on the person it was aimed at. In this case, a woman not only has to shell out to repair her vehicle, but she feels so unsafe she’s had to leave her home and move back in with her parents, all the while the man that attacked her and kicked in her windshield has thus far not been found or held accountable for his actions.
To me there’s little difference here between a man feeling entitled enough to make vulgar comments about my body when I walk past him down the street, to the countless men who have followed women home, to those men that have inflicted physical and mental damages such as this and to the stalkers that have killed their victims. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, smaller instances of sexism that people so often brush off, such as everyday sexism and street harassment, pave the way for the ‘bigger’ things with more severe consequences and women and nonbinary people ending up dead.
‘I have a boyfriend’ or ‘I’m gay’ shouldn’t need to be used to reject someone’s advances – ‘I’m not interested’ should suffice. It seems funny to be saying this when almost everyone in the circle that I’m posting this in would agree, however street harassment is SO prevalent in every country in the world, that very clearly (and very unfortunately) these things still need to be said.
In my personal experience, and that of many other women’s, often men will only stop hitting on women once the woman tells the man that they have a boyfriend, to be read as: they’re already another man’s property. Only then will the man hitting on you relentlessly respect another man’s perceived right over you, more than your right to say no, and leave you the fuck alone. How this is still happening in 2018 is beyond me. How 90% of people are still allowing this to happen in 2018 is beyond me.
The headline shouldn’t mention the woman’s sexuality and shouldn’t describe what the man has done in retaliation to her denying him – it should read that an entitled and unstable man has attacked a woman and damaged her vehicle after not respecting her right to deny a stranger’s unwanted advances.
It’s just the icing on the cake to hear later in the article that people have criticised this woman for her retaliation to the attack. If someone was stood on the bonnet of your car, kicking your windshield in, I’m pretty sure most people would take the same course of action: firstly, reversing to try to knock them off and then getting the hell out of the car when that didn’t work. To hear criticism of the WOMAN’s actions in this article and not the MAN ATTACKING THE WOMAN AND HER VEHICLE is just baffling. Yet I can’t say that it’s surprising, because we all know two lovely words beginning with V and B that rhyme with bictim vlaming. (That’s ’victim blaming’ for those of you that aren’t sure.)
Misogyny is a hate crime in Nottingham. Misogyny needs to be considered a hate crime across the globe. It doesn’t matter how many #metoo’s, #timesup’s, protests, strikes or marches it takes; women and nonbinary people all over the world are going to make this happen.