The Day After: International Anti-Street Harassment Day

As Chloe has covered, yesterday was the first annual International Street Harassment Day, where people around the world engaged in various forms of activism and awareness-raising to fight street harassment, challenged its social normalization and simply reminded folks that spring is no excuse to street harass.

It’s incredibly awesome this was created into an actual day, as street harassment is actually degrading for all folks involved – Hugo points out, this isn’t about what a woman is wearing, but about this social myth that women’s bodies are simply too irresistible to hetero men’s natural desires that they simply “can’t help themselves.” The reality is that street harassment has  nothing to do with sex, and all to do with power. Here are a few highlights of activism around the day:

What did you do for International Anti-Street Harassment Day? Share in comments!

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5 Comments

  1. Posted March 21, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    While street harassment is a huge issue, I don’t think awareness days do much more than serve as a sort of pep rally for activists for a specific issue. But that is a valid purpose.

    http://stuffqueerpeopleneedtoknow.wordpress.com

    • Posted March 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jamie,
      In the case of street harassment, I think an awareness day is absolutely necessary. Within our activist circles it may seem obvious that street harassment happens and is bad but most of the interactions I’ve had with people outside those circles reminds me over and over how many people have no idea how vast the problem is and how few ever talk about it.

      I encouraged people to simply talk to someone about street harassment as a form of activism to break the silence so many of us feel on this issue. And I think that small scale awareness is important, especially with men.

      I work on this issue every day and I know one day doesn’t solve anything but the response to this one day has been amazing as far as getting people talking about street harassment and thinking about what they can do about it. Next year I’ll start the planning process earlier and I think it will have an even bigger impact.

  2. Posted March 21, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you Chloe and Vanessa for the posts about Anti-Street Harassment Day!

    Considering I woke up on Feb. 20 and decided to organize this for March 20, the response was amazing and really speaks to the groundswell of interest and activism in addressing and ending street harassment. The support of sites like Feministing were instrumental in getting the word out.

    You can visit this page of my website to see a slideshow of pics showing activism from March 20, ideas for what you can do the next 364 days of the year, and check out the media roundup!

    Next year will be even bigger :)

    And I can’t wait to read the new Hey Shorty book!

  3. Posted March 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link and for the coverage — such a vital issue that needs all of us involved.

  4. Posted March 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, I was harassed on the street yesterday (the man appeared to be mentally ill, but it was upsetting nonetheless). However, it was some consolation to read this now, particularly in light of my experience(s) with street harassment, and know that there is an effort to promote awareness and action about this issue. When I consider that my earliest memories of street harassment date back to middle school, I find the boundaries pertaining street harassment–or complete lack thereof–deeply troubling. How wonderful would it be if a generation of young women had the opportunity to live in a harassment-free world? It seems unfathomable, these days, but I know that progress is possible.

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