This is not a post I expected to write any time soon. But after a frustrating conversation a couple of weeks ago I thought it was necessary to talk to you about sexual harassment.
Let me start by telling you a story. A month ago I was walking to the store in my jogging outfit (without any makeup on). I was not looking that great but I was too lazy to change and put makeup on just to go buy ingredients for the risotto I was going to make. But apparently to certain men that outfit was an invitation to sex. In the 15 minutes I walked to the store, and back, several men catcalled me. The worst one was “I see you are wearing sweatpants. Will you fuck me now?”. I am not a cat. I am a young woman and I deserve to be respected.
You can compliment me by respecting me
However, according to some people I should be okay with sexual comments and inappropriate touching because I cannot do anything about it. Apparently objecting to inappropriate touching or even saying something back to the catcallers, would make the situation worse. To the people that said that I’d like to say: don’t you even get how wrong that way of reasoning is?
I did respond and told him how inappropriate he was and then walked away. But lots of girls and women will not say anything and it might make them seem even more vulnerable. Because according to some men not saying anything is the same as agreeing. And let me be very clear, not saying no is not the same as agreeing (and saying no, does not equal yes either btw). I am a woman and I want to be respected. Is that too much to ask?
Some men state that I am not allowed to defend myself because I am a woman. I am not allowed to speak up because men are superior. I am sorry I have to be the one to tell you this, but they are not. We are, in my opinion, all equal. Men as well as women should be respected. We should be able to defend ourselves against sexual harassment without being accused of being a feminist.
Because feminism is not a bad word. I am merely defending myself against horrible comments. By making the word feminism sound like a curse you are saying I should not be allowed to stand up for myself. You are saying strange men are allowed to touch me whenever, wherever they want.
I can only hope that some day you realize that being a feminist is not a bad thing. It is not something you should declare, it is something you are. Men AND woman are allowed to stand up for themselves. And to the guys catcalling women: Being nice and respectful will get you way further, there is absolutely no need to be disgusting. I am sure you would like to be respected as well. So please pay it forward. Respect goes a long way.
Note: Please be respectful when commenting