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As we wrap up 2012 and embrace 2013, I’m sure we’re all making New Year’s resolutions. Okay, so maybe as it turns to February we’re forgetting them, (was it really realistic to go to the gym every day, anyway?), but here’s a few resolutions we at Hollaback! Boston think are worth keeping:
1.) Remind yourself (and others) that street harassment is not “just something that happens.”
Street harassment is sexual harassment. You wouldn’t brush off someone chiming in about the way your ass looks in a skirt on the job, so why accept those comments on your way to and from?
2.) Remember that street harassment is not caused by anything you did, wore, or looked like, etc.
Street harassment, like any other kind of sexual harassment or sexual violence, is not because you were so pretty that the perpetrator couldn’t resist. It’s because someone made a choice to harass you, and 100% of that blame falls on the person who harassed you. It doesn’t matter if you have differnt hair colors, wore a short shirt, were covered in piercings and tattoos, or wore a face full of colorful makeup – don’t let harassers or negative bystanders convince you that you were secretly begging for attention. It’s not about “pretty;” it’s about power.
3.) Stand up for yourself, and for others.
Whenever you feel safe, let harassers know their behavior is innappropriate. Women/LGB & T* folks – show solidarity with others who, like you, probably are harassed on the street so often they have accepted it as normal. Stick up for and support these people. They’re the people that get what you go through every time you leave the house. Fellas – let men on the street know that yes, you’re a man, but no, you don’t support their harassment. You can help set the example that men do not and should not use their privelege to make women feel unsafe.
Sound like a complete list? What are we missing? Share your resolutions for a harassment-free 2013, and as always, keep sharing your stories!
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