How to be an ally to people receiving street harassment – oppressionisyucky
1. Do not say that it is flattery, acknowledge that for many, street harassment is trauma, it’s words and touching and things that let that person know they are NOT allowed to walk around safely.
2. Do not minimize the stress of street harassment. For some, this is a daily occurrence, every day that person dares be outside without someone accompanying them, they are getting yelled at, whistled at, grabbed, and for many people in this position they can’t “just ignore it”. They have to be alert and notice when it has gone from, this person is shouting at me and that sucks but he won’t hurt me, to this person is about to grab me/molest me/hurt me.
3. Do offer resources, hollaback and Meet Us on the Street are two. You can be a resource by being someone to call or walk with if things are scary.
4. Do not ask why the person did not call the police. Most of us have had way too many experiences of the police being condescending, hostile, or dismissive. And some of us have actually been street harassed BY the police. Not everyone sees police as an ally.
5. Do not ask why they didn’t say something back. Often the street harasser is in a group and or physically stronger/bigger than the person being harassed. Asking why they did not do something puts the blame on the person who has just been harassed.
6. Do not suggest that they wear different clothes, like the last one, this puts the blame on the person who has been harassed rather than on the person who did the harassing. Many of us have experienced harassment no matter what we wear.
7. Honor that they’ve told you something important.
These can all also apply to sexual harrassmet/violence in general- great list!
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