It was back in high school. I and my friend were going to school stadium to watch a football match. We were looking for empty seats as we kept walking, me behind her. Suddenly, I heard a guy right next to me saying, “Boohoo Nice ass”! I was shocked and I turned left. I saw him and his friends were laughing, staring at my friend. I was furious and stunned. Then the very moment, my friend dragged me and we walked far from those guys. As much hurt and angry I was, I knew my friend was far more hurt and enraged. Both of us were processing what just happened. Yet, we let it pass and didn’t do anything at that time. I always regret doing nothing. I should have reported it to the teachers or school counselors, which school girls should do if these happen to them. We should have fought back.
But that wasn’t the first time that my friend and I had gone through such, in the streets, even in schools. Also, it wasn’t just name-calling but it came, in a way more dangerous and disturbing.
Most of the girls and women experience these incidents, I did, my friend did, and almost every woman I knew in my life experienced these in their lives. These harassments came in a form of name calling to ugly, indecent and offensive remarks to brushing in public places to groping. This harassment has bad impacts on girls and women, especially adolescent girls. It gives rise to fear, self-doubt, trauma, insecurities and stress even when she did nothing wrong. Living in fear, without doing any harm to anyone, without having the slightest fault, that shouldn’t be the world we live in. Women and young girls need a world safer.
To girls and women, when you are victimized to street harassments, you should act accordingly. If in public places, don’t hesitate to ask for help from people. Report the incident to the police.
Speak out to your family, friends, schools, and workplaces.
You shouldn’t keep quiet, Speak out and seek help.
To all other people, when you witness a girl or a woman being victimized to harassment, help her!
To all the boys and men out there who insensitively comment on women and girls on the street, if you think it’s okay then you are completely wrong. It’s not okay. It’s not a joke. It’s abusive, it’s wrong and it takes an ugly turn. Sorry for those young school boys who are unaware of this being an offensive and insensitive behavior. Perhaps, they were never educated on such topics. Some even been or being encouraged by elders (that male chauvinist) at times. They don’t know that it is wrong and it has very bad impact not only on those girls and women but also on themselves. They grow up, with such mentality and often times committing serious crimes or violence against girls and women (including rapes).
Young boys and girls need to be educated on such topics rather than the schools focusing more on girl’s clothing style and hairstyles. Such harassment happening in street is one thing. But knowing that it happens even in school is saddening. The schools must work on educating students of harassments and bullies.
Girls and women shouldn’t ignore their harassments and seek help.
People shouldn’t take the so-called eve-teasing lightly because it’s harassment, a crime punishable by law. Everyone should work towards making our environments safe and healthy instead of neglecting such issues. Rendering help to the victims is one key role everyone could participate in. Another is creating awareness to people, to those uneducated and especially to youth (for better today and tomorrow).