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Last week, I shared a story – and my personal reaction to that story – about the experience of a friend. Amelia is one of my very oldest friends, dating back more than 20 years, and I left any identifying information out of that post in case she felt she wanted to stay out of the conversation entirely. Her experience prompted quite a range of reactions, and over the weekend she decided to chime in, and to write a full response from her perspective. We’re sharing her piece here because the conversation is a valuable one, because we should always be willing to question our own truths, and because her experience is equally valid - please keep this in mind and be respectful in any comments. Thank you so much, Amelia! –Kate
I choose to Hollaback! a different way.
My friend Kate was kind enough to protect my anonymity in her initial post, but I’m generally an open book, as my story makes clear, and the guy in the pick-up maneuver in question is now a confirmed NO in the boyfriend department so there’s no reason to distance myself from last week’s post. In fact, I welcome the opportunity to share my side of the story and encourage the Hollaback! audience to perhaps take a different approach. My experience, especially after Kate chose to share it with the universe, has been the subject of a lot of thoughts and soul-searching on my part and so I’ve chosen to collect those thoughts in this post and see where the Hollaback! adventure takes me next. I’m looking forward to becoming a part of your community.
I do feel the need to start this by identifying myself as an ally. Partially out of loyalty to my friend, but also because I support it and find it interesting, I have been following Hollaback! Boston’s online presence and recently donated to the Pride fundraiser. I am one of you (although I do not live in Boston). A man has no right to look at you, say something to you, or touch you in any way without your permission, which you furthermore have the right to revoke at any time. And I do recognize how seemingly mild comments and behaviors are a part of a larger broken system whereby women are still (mind-bogglingly enough) seen as objects, weaker or lesser in some way, and thus become victims of harassment and violence, along with lower pay and a host of other less violent but equally unjust circumstances. Please try remember these things if you get very frustrated or disgusted by what I’m about to say. I think it will result in a more meaningful conversation moving forward.
First I’ll give you the full play-by-play.
Picture this: I’m sitting on a bench smack dab in the center of my university campus, in front of my office building where many people I know and trust are toiling away in the name of academia. It is a sunny 2pm on a Tuesday. I am reading my Twitter feed while waiting for my male friend to come meet me to go to lunch. He is expected to approach at any moment.
-Rather than my friend, a tall, dark, handsome-ish young man (henceforth TDH-ish) carrying a backpack and wearing sunglasses approaches the bench. TDH-ish says, “Excuse me, is this seat taken?”
-It’s not, so I say “no.” My overstuffed backpack is on the bench between us.
-He sits down. I go back to Twitter (@ameliajane).
-TDH-ish: “I’m sorry, actually, can I borrow your phone?”
-I look at him incredulously because who borrows cell phones on a college campus in this day in age? Don’t we all have them already?
-He says, “I know, I’m sorry, it’s just mine died. It will just be a second.”
-Now remember, he’s cute-ish, so I open the door for him a bit, perhaps, by saying (after noting his accent) “It’s not going to be long distance, is it?” I’ve been accused of being naturally flirtatious. I guess I can’t help myself.
-TDH-ish: “No, no, and it will just take a minute.” I decide I’m zooming in on the part of the world he’s from. I give him my phone. If I were in a bind and needed a phone because mine were dead/lost/stolen I’d like to think people would help me out.
-TDH-ish dials. His pocket starts ringing. He hands my phone back to me and says, “I’m so sorry, I’m already late for a meeting so I have to run, but now I have your number.”
- I say, “Nice to meet you, my name is Amelia.” TDH-ish puts out his hand to shake mine and says, “Hi, Amelia, I’m TDH-ish. Have a lovely afternoon.”
-An hour later, presumably when he finished his meeting, he texted me and after a few exchanges correcting the spelling of my name and questioning the veracity of his we decided to meet for coffee the next day.
So now my thoughts on this:
I don’t think what happened to me was street harassment.
I don’t even think it should be put under the same umbrella term. I think we are doing ourselves a disservice if we do that. I was actually sort of irritated that it was Kate’s reaction to label it as such. I sent the text to my girlfriends as a funny tidbit of “haha, isn’t it funny that this guy did this in this way? Isn’t it fun that I’m just recently back ‘out there’ on the dating scene and this is how I come across a dude? Lol” to break up the monotony of our days. I think it is essential for everyone to understand that I didn’t feel uncomfortable. At all. I didn’t feel bothered or threatened or creeped out. This may because I missed the memo about talking to strangers as a child and I make a regular habit of talking to anyone and everyone. It may be because I was raised in a small town and that’s how we do things. It may be because I travel alone a lot. More on that later. My point is, as Marléne pointed out, it’s MY choice to feel harassed or not. Not yours. Not his. And I don’t think this was harassment. He tread lightly, I didn’t shut him down. The “forceful” taking of my number I guess is the only place it might even come close to harassment, but how invasive is it, really, to have someone’s cell number? I mean, if I don’t want to talk to him, I don’t answer. That’s easy enough.
On the subject of being handsome…
Britni tweeted me the other day:
— Britni (@hopefiending) May 18, 2013
I will repeat and elaborate my answer here. I texted my girls and my sister right away and retold the story to my friends because it was a “hey look at me” moment. My sister’s response: “OMG! Like a movie!” and another friend said she’d probably sleep with him. To each her own.
If you don’t appreciate positive attention for your outward appearance from someone of the gender you generally go for who you also find to be outwardly pleasing, quite frankly, I think you’re either messed up or lying. Since he was tall, kind of cute, the type I usually go for and had a foreign accent (I study languages and linguistics, so I live for that), I tallied this in the win column. Also, I hadn’t showered that morning and was wearing men’s jeans. Bonus points. Get it, grrl. I realize that this is playing into an age-old issue within the feminist movement about whether reclaiming your own sexual power as a woman is feminism, or just feels like feminism but really reinforces patriarchal standards of beauty and sexuality by giving them what they want. I choose to see it as powerful. Then again I am also an unabashed Beyoncé fan, so judge away.
If he hadn’t been borderline handsome, I probably wouldn’t have bragged about it. Kate would never have received that text and none of you would have your opportunity to reflect. (FYI: Discovering that I was now open to such evaluations from my fellow feisty females of the Hollaback! crowd was more intimidating to me than the pick-up itself.) But I still would have let him sit down. The seat wasn’t taken. And I still would have let him borrow my phone if he had asked politely and didn’t appear to have a flesh-eating disease on his hands. I pride myself on being a kind person that believes in the good in others. I think if more people believed that, more people would be more good. I also like to collect interesting friends and experiences.
On meeting new people…
This brings me to perhaps my biggest personal concern about Kate’s reaction to this experience. She is lucky to be in a long-term relationship with a highly evolved man who respects and adores her. Some of us haven’t found that yet. I furthermore live in a small, college town where the most common way that people meet people of the opposite sex is at frat parties or in the seedy darkness of the one local nightclub. At 27 and almost done with a PhD, it feels a little gauche and not particularly productive to try and find a partner that way. Most of them are 21 and very drunk and we’re just on different planets. So if I assume that every man that approaches me in booze-free, daylight contexts, no matter how politely he does so, is bad or dangerous or is seeking to use his male superiority to victimize me, how exactly am I supposed to meet people? I know my power. I know my risks. I’m not giving him my social security number or my home address or even my last name. At the first feeling of discomfort I will disappear from his universe (in fact, I sort of already have). In this particular situation I am not at risk because I’m not letting myself be put there. I, too, have power, and I am using it.
Subsequent retellings of this story over beers with friends and colleagues and even other dates have yielded myriad replies. Men tend to either think it’s a really clever thing they wish they had the balls to try or that I’m ridiculous for falling for it. One particularly enlightened man friend I shared the story with immediately said, “What a dick move!” with a genuine look of disgust on his face. His reaction was so strong and so from the gut that he pushed me the closest to reconsidering my initial feelings about it. But on second reflection after we talked a bit more he, too, recognized that I wasn’t bothered by it and that was ok. Most women actually go more the way of Kate or Sabine and say, “euw euw euw creepy creepy creepy.” A couple expressed jealousy at my having handled it without nerves or fear.
So when do we Hollaback! and why?
I think this is where my real contribution, my real point in writing this somewhat lengthy response, comes in. Is your negative reaction to this quite benign act of flattery reinforcing the harassment rather than undermining it? I met TDH-ish for coffee the next day after “the pick-up.” He was very polite. Respectful. Did all the things I like in a potential mate in the early phases of dating, like asking me interesting questions, really listening to the answers, and at the end of the first date inviting me to go out again instead of playing that wait-to-call game for 3 days. Our conversation was only so-so and sans sunglasses and with more time to look at him it turns out he doesn’t inspire any butterflies in me, so I’ve passed on date #2, but I have no regrets about having met him once. I certainly am not avoiding him because he’s creepy. (And I’ve had every reason to convince myself that he is, what with all this Hollaback! dialogue I’ve been involved in this week.) I suppose I could apologize to the other women in the world who will be creeped out by this move the next time he tries it for having encouraged his “bad” behavior, but I don’t think it’s so bad. As a matter of fact, as I’m writing my response I’m realizing that when done in an appropriate way, as TDH-ish did, it’s a behavior that may merit celebration.
I do feel a bit guilty about having been placed here among people who are truly being insulted and violated by words and actions on the streets of Boston. I think that while the work you all do every day is valuable and important, you must not let it cloud your perspective to the extreme. Viewing everything through a filter of harassment is a terrible way to live. Being predisposed to perceive any unknown man who approaches as an aggressor probably won’t make any of them want to improve the patriarchal society in which we now live, it will just make them feel like they can’t win. And it certainly won’t make you feel better. The purpose of a holla! as I see it is to reclaim your strength, your rights, your sexuality if you so choose. It is to feel safe and comfortable, but also confident and hot when you wanna be.
I see my choice to be kind and welcoming to TDH-ish as a holla-ing back in its own right. I learned more about TDH-ish through his pick-up and our subsequent coffee than I could have reliably gleaned from less confrontational methods of meeting a total stranger. He’s ballsy. He’s clever. He has good taste. :) I don’t want to date him because I don’t feel that *spark* or whatever, but I wouldn’t be averse to being his friend because he seems to be genuinely not a bad guy. He’s new in town and he was looking for a way to meet people. So I chose to say, “Thank you for approaching me in a respectful way. Thank you for recognizing my beauty. Thank you for being more creative and forthright than just grinding up on me in a club or shooting me an anonymous message on OkCupid. Thank you for making me smile in the middle of a boring, busy day. Thank you for putting yourself out there in a world where women are sometimes so standoffish in an attempt to adjust gender roles that it’s hard for even a good guy to catch a break.” Our society needs not only to recognize the bad so that it can be wiped out, but also to recognize the good so that it can be proliferated. So to all the good, if unorthodox, men out there – Holla!
Have you caught the Harlow Project’s traveling Anti-Street Harassment video series yet? Consider yourself introduced:
For more of this series, head to the Harlow Project’s YouTube channel.
We’ve been talking a lot about bikes, I know – it’s my fault (that, and bike month/weeks colliding), but before the weekend, you really should read Tiny Fix’s guide to street harassment and potential assault on two wheels (trigger warning: violence). In the realm of worthy reads beyond bikes, don’t miss Olivia Cole’s brief but spot-on explanation of the effect of quotidian street harassment, Kimberly Matus’ discussion of the empowerment of signing her name to her groping experience, and yet another excellent post from Gradient Lair about her own street harassment observations.
And, if you have time on Sunday, come join us at Ula Cafe for HOLLA Offline!
Happy Friday, friends! Last night Britni and I had the chance to talk with an amazing audience alongside IMPACT Boston, discussing street harassment and gender-based violence, how to respond and how to intervene as a bystander. Thank you so much to Fenway Health for having us!
Before you go about your weekend business, be sure to read all of Brute Reason’s explanation of Why You Shouldn’t Tell That Random Girl On The Street That She’s Hot, consider Jessica Critcher’s plea to be left to read her book in peace, keep Jamie Utt’s suggestions for what men can do to end street harassment in mind, and accept Jae Cameron’s reminder that street harassment is an LGBTQIA issue, too.
Have a happy, harassment-free weekend!
image credit: Kate Ziegler
Days like today, I really wish we had overcome the glitch in our WordPress theme that prevents us from embedding video. (We haven’t – yet.)
Yesterday, Hollaback! Boston team member Jane shared Violence & Silence, a TEDx talk by Jackson Katz, on her personal facebook account – and it’s so worth a watch. Katz makes plenty of excellent points, but I especially enjoyed his discussion of reframing our victim v. perpetrator binary, establishing “the bystander approach,” in which anyone who is not a victim or perpetrator in a given moment is instead a bystander, regardless of gender, presentation, sexuality, history or relation to those involved.
Click through for the full video on YouTube – you won’t be disappointed.
image credit: TEDx, via Upworthy
Before you go about your weekend, stop by Jamie Peck’s spring street harassment reminder at The Gloss, watch the moving This Is My Body, read a teen’s take on street harassment, brush up on why criminalization is not the answer, and consider stopping by the City Heart art show to benefit homeless and low-income artists in Boston this weekend.
And, for a reminder of why sharing your stories of street harassment – no matter how mundane – is important, read Cary Carr’s take on why silence won’t help, and check out this graphic based on the research of Hollaback!’s own Jill Dimond (click through to view full size):
Have a lovely weekend!
image credit: Hollaback!
I’ve written about my own experiences with harassment as a cyclist before, repeatedly, but as I read Wanna’s piece I couldn’t help but recall an incident that occurred years ago, before Hollaback! was on my radar at all – and it seemed only fitting to share.
My daily commute takes me through Chinatown, via Kneeland Street. On the day in question, it was warm – early summer – and still light when I left work to ride to JP to meet friends. I stopped at a light on Kneeland, and heard another bike stop behind me. When the light changed and traffic started moving, I found myself momentarily overtaken by a man on an ill-fitting mountain bike, pedalling madly and swerving into traffic to stay beside me.
“Where are you off to?” he wanted to know; I declined to share. “Aw, come on – can’t I ride with you?”
I asked if he could keep up; he assured me he could even as his speech became staggered between breaths.
“I’m not slowing down,” I warned. “I’m running late…”
“Why you gotta be like that, bitch?”
And then, the part that is always my favorite by bike: the getaway. Like the cyclist in Wanna’s column, I was equipped with a much more efficient machine; on a mountain bike next to my fixed gear, he didn’t have a hope of keeping up for long. I knew this, so I felt safe enough. I was amused as he ate my dust, not angry as I often am after a harassment incident. He, however, was angrier than some harassers as I left him behind rather than silently trudging past – there’s something to that machismo, the rage that the loss of the position of power brings out when “beaten by a girl.”
image credit: Nathaniel Fink for Cycle Style Boston
During our Anti-Street Harassment chalk party last week, Anthonine and I spoke to guys, young and old about why it’s wrong to harass women in the streets. It was both entertaining and sobering to hear the many different ways they defended their right to engage in this behavior. More importantly however, it was enlightening. It made it clear that there is a huge disconnect on what is and isn’t appropriate language to use with strangers. Men seemed genuinely shocked and confused that the way they spoke to women in the streets was considered harassment. It made it clear that we have our work cut out for us and that ongoing inter-gender and intergenerational dialogue must be the cornerstone of our anti-street harassment work. This article is an attempt to address that confusion.
Almost every man we spoke to felt the remarks made to women in the streets were “harmless” and were an attempt at being neighborly. When we asked whether they were similarly neighborly to other men, their defense fell apart. They pointed out the absurdity of infringing on someone’s personal space in public in that way. Yet when we pointed out that these gender-based unsolicited remarks are street harassment by definition, they adamantly disagreed. While they were difficult, we realized that each one of these conversations was a step towards a harassment free neighborhood.
Here are a few of the most common arguments we heard and how you can break them down.
Relax! It’s just a compliment.
Merriam-Webster defines compliment as “an expression of esteem, respect, affection or admiration; a formal and respectful recognition.” There is nothing respectful about commenting on a woman’s ass; nothing affectionate about staring at her breasts. Things like “Hey beautiful” or “Hey Sexy” are no better. Commenting on a complete stranger’s features is NOT a compliment.
By remarking on a woman’s body parts you’re not only sexualizing her as a collection of parts rather than a whole person, you’re also fucking up her day. It does not feel good to be consistently and persistently sexualized on my way to the grocery store or to pick up my son. We’re not here for your inspection. We didn’t ask for your opinion on our appearance. This is not a car show and I’m not here for your viewing.
Seriously though, women should smile! It makes the world a nicer place.
As my colleague, Anthonine Pierre, eloquently wrote, “We are women who, like men, are just going about our lives and are not particularly interested in walking around wearing inane grins for the sake of entertaining our male neighbors and random strangers.” Women are expected to walk through space embodying a feminized gender representation that conforms to patriarchal ideals. The idea that women should be constantly pleasant and always smiling, lest they be considered bitchy is oppressive and frankly, tired. You don’t know me, or my life. You don’t know where I’ve been or where I’m going. We’re not dolls damnit.
Ya’ll are just being way too sensitive.
Seriously? No, being harassed doesn’t feel good, but this isn’t about feelings. The charge of sensitivity is particularly frustrating when it’s used against women. It’s the same ole’ bullshit sexism of women being overly emotional and weak. Men have the privilege of taking street harassment lightly. One in five women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetimes. Rapists have admitted to using street harassment as a form of “rape testing”. They harass a woman and then decide whether or not to rape her based on how she responds.
The average man does not walk around afraid of being grabbed, followed or attacked. The average man is not considered open and available for public consumption and critique.
What’s wrong with saying “good morning”?
There is nothing wrong with saying “good morning”. Unfortunately, 5 minutes before you said good morning, another man commented on my ass… and 5 minutes before that another man followed me in his car, and last week, I said “good morning” to a man on my block and he followed up by commenting on my breast… also last month a man grabbed my butt as I walked to the train… etc. etc. etc. Try to understand that this is not about your attempt to be polite. Women are at war in these streets.
We have no way of knowing what a simple, innocent, ” good morning” will lead to. On the spectrum of sexual violence, rape lies on one end and street
harassment on the other. While much less severe, it leaves emotional scars on those who bear it on a regular basis. Misogynistic and sexually explicit language perpetuates rape culture. Black women’s’ bodies, in particular, have been hyper-sexualized for hundreds of years. We have to protect ourselves. Sometimes we appreciate the “good morning”, but not the “baby” that follows. And, sometimes, we just don’t want to be bothered. And that should be okay. But so many times it’s not.
But I’m one of the good guys!
Men are often quick to declare how wack rape and sexual assault is as a way to distance themselves from the “bad” behavior of other men. We appreciate your empathy. But it’s just not that simple. This is not about good or bad people. Calling a woman you don’t know “baby” or “sweetie” contributes to rape culture. It perpetuates the idea that women’s bodies are open for inspection and commentary.
To be clear, this is not about demonizing men. On the contrary, we want nothing more than to feel safe and supported by the men in our community. In addition, we recognize the history and struggle our men have had with the police state and have no interest in criminalizing them further. This is why dialogue and community building is such an important part of this work. Ending street harassment and transforming our community will be an ongoing struggle. We must begin to dialogue with our male neighbors and dismantle the thinking that normalizes this behavior and makes it a rite of passage for our youth.
image credits: Brooklyn MC
Yesterday, we shared a link to a PolicyMic article regarding the launch of a US version of the global Everyday Sexism Project, a site aiming to provide an outlet for victims of sexism – mundane, daily incidents or outrageous – to anonymously share their experiences with the world.
At its core, the Everyday Sexism Project shares quite a bit with Hollaback!: an emphasis is placed on sharing day to day experiences, sparking discussions and confirming that the problem does exist outside victims’ imaginations. Says London-based founder Laura Bates, “You can’t tackle an invisible problem … we need to get more communities mobilized and to get women, through a sense of solidarity, to realize that they can be supported if they have the courage to speak up.”
Here, here! We wanted to know more, so we reached out to Laura with some questions, and she gave us the scoop:
You started the Everyday Sexism Project, and it’s gone international – tell us more. What else are you into? Well, we’ve received 25,000 entries from women all over the world, including recently a huge number of kick ass success stories from women who stood up to harassment or sexism as a result of reading the project and realising they didn’t have to put up with it. We’re also really into education and outreach, so doing a lot of work in schools and universities exploring and questioning these issues with young people before they become too normalised and ingrained.
Define your style: Feminism with humour
Your superpower is… Speaking with the voice of 25,000 women!
What are you excited about in 2013? The brilliant film being made about the Everyday Sexism Project by a BAFTA winning director as part of Chime for Change!
What inspires you? Every woman who finds her own individual way of standing up, whether it’s posting her story on our website, printing off her employer’s sexual harassment policy and distributing it to every desk in her workplace, or standing up for a friend. And I’m also incredibly inspired every time a woman posts her experience to our Twitter feed to see the amazing solidarity of the hundreds of women who contact her and offer their support.
Have you experienced/witnessed street harassment? What stood out most in your memory? Being grabbed hard from behind by a boy pushing his hand up between my legs. The feeling of being dirty and violated for days afterwards and the idea that he probably forgot about it before he turned the corner.
What’s your signature response to street harassment – your go-to Hollaback? You know what’s really sexy about men who shout at women in the street?… Nothing.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be? Look after one another. It can be the hardest thing in the world in the moment of suffering harassment to speak up – victims can be frozen, ashamed, afraid. But so often, we hear that there were other people around who didn’t do anything, who looked out of the window of the bus or walked on by. If each one of those people stopped and stepped in when they saw street harassment happening then they might find there was someone there to watch their back next time too. I really believe we just need to keep people thinking about it, to create a cultural shift away from the normalisation that currently allows the problem to flourish.
The US site of the Everyday Sexism Project is up and running, and the Project is present in 15 other countries around the world – for more background, we highly recommend the PolicyMic piece. Submit your own story of sexism in daily life, and follow the Project on twitter; while you’re at it, share your street harassment experiences, too.
Laura, thank you so much for your time, insight, and all that you do!
image credit: Hollaback! Boston (Kate Ziegler)
It’s International Anti-Street Harassment Week! What is that, you ask? From the website:
What’s the Problem?
Catcalls, sexist comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking, and assault: gender-based street harassment makes public places unfriendly and even scary for many girls, women, and LGBQT folks. It limits their access to public spaces.
What is It?
Meet Us On the Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week is an opportunity to collectively raise awareness that street harassment happens and that it’s not okay.
There are thousands of people from around the world participating this week. You can take a look and see what all the events that are happening are. Or you can join us at one of the three events we will be at and participate that way! We’ll have posts going up all week, as well as posting things on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to check it out and let us know if you participate!
Oh, for fuck’s sake. Here we go again, in which I have to explain to some dude AGAIN that women are not objects. We’ve been over this so many times, and yet this problem keeps coming up. This time, the editor of Esquire UK “honestly” admitted that the women in his magazine were totally objectified:
“The women we feature in the magazine are ornamental,” he said, speaking on a panel at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Tuesday. “I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified.”
“[Esquire] provide pictures of girls in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars,” he said. “It is ornamental. Women’s magazines do the same thing.”
Douchecanoe (Alex Blimes, for those of you curious to know his name) went on to add that “men ‘see women in 3D’ in many different roles in life ‘but at certain times we like to see them sexy.’” *deep breath*
I don’t care how “honest” you’re being, Mr. Blimes. The fact of the matter is that what your magazine is doing is reinforcing sexism and perpetuating violence against women. Yes, even if the photos themselves do not depict violence, the objectification of women contributes to violence against them. When you encourage men to view women as objects and not people, they see them as “less then,” or as objects for male enjoyment. When women are viewed that way, they are treated that way. When women are seen as objects for male enjoyment, men feel entitled to attention from women or they expect women to behave in a way that aligns with their worldview. When we do not conform to that ideal, these men often react aggressively or violently to their worldview being shattered. They may become angry at us for not knowing our place. They may respond with verbal harassment or threats, or even with actual physical violence. This can occur in homes, in intimate relationships, or on the streets and in public places. When you use words like “ornamental” or state that you are not interested in our brains, you give other men permission to treat us like shit.
As for your point that “women’s magazines do the same thing,” well, it’s horseshit. This statement is problematic and inaccurate for a number of reasons. First of all, women’s magazines may show shirtless photos of men, but in nowhere near the number or explicitness that male magazines do. Futhermore, it’s not just male magazines that objectify women in this way. Objectifying images of women are everywhere you look. Photos of women as possessions, in compromising positions, as submissive accessories, as victims of violence, as props… these are everywhere. They consume the media. Do you see these kinds of photos of men anywhere? No, you don’t. And is violence against men by female perpetrators a worldwide epidemic? Are men being threatened, harassed, assaulted, and killed by women on a near-constant basis? No, I didn’t think so. Therefore, your argument is invalid.
And so, really, what I want to say to you about your comments, Mr. Blimes, is this: women are not objects. We are not “cool cars.” We are people. We expect to be treated that way, and as someone who has an influence on the media that is consumed in our culture, I dare you to step up and really reevaluate the message that your magazine is sending to its readers. You have a platform that could change the way a large number of men view the women in their lives and on the streets. I challenge you to use it.