We’ve all been there. You’re walking down the street when a car slows down and the guy inside winds down the window and delivers what he presumably believes to be some charming chat up line. Or perhaps you walked past a building site in your new denim shorts and were subjected to countless cat calls. You’ve most certainly questioned what these men think will result from their behaviour. A date? A hook-up? A relationship? No thank you. Being harassed in the street just for being a woman is nothing new, but it seems women have finally had enough.
#NoWomanEver is taking over Twitter right now as women take to the social media site to share their experiences of wolf-whistles and sexual comments from passing strangers and other examples of street harassment. While the issue itself is an alarming problem that impacts women of all ages, the #NoWomanEver posts being shared are very witty and extremely sarcastic.
Sara Petty, @_spetty wrote, “He screamed sexual profanities from a moving car as I was walking from the bars, and that’s how I met your dad” said #NoWomanEver, while @mariamjxde shared, “I wore shorts today because I WANT to get stared at and hit on in the streets, by all means just follow me home #NoWomanEver”. One that really made us chuckle was @ImaniBoyette’s: “He honked at me while I was walking & yelled out the window. I liked the way he wasn’t afraid to tell the world about our love #NoWomanEver”. Soon, all types of harassment examples were flooding Twitter with women sharing stories of everything from being sent unsolicited sexual texts to being followed home.
Interestingly, the hashtag caught the eye of some male Twitter users, who were appalled by the women’s stories and called for more respect for women. Kon Karapanagiotidis, @Kon_K, was particularly outraged, tweeting twice:
According to Refinery 29, Stop Street Harassment, an advocacy organisation, defines street harassment as “unwanted comments, gestures, and actions forced on a stranger in a public place without their consent and is directed at them because of their actual or perceived sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation.” The organisation’s 2014 survey found that 65% of all women have experienced street harassment.
It’s a shocking statistic, and one that we hope campaigns like #NoWomanEver can help to change.