The Pixel Project is proud to contribute to and support International Anti-Street Harassment Week (7 – 14 April 2013) by featuring the best anti-street harassment stories throughout the week. These stories have been kindly collated by our partner Stop Street Harassment to showcase how street harassment happens and the measures various women have taken to stop and prevent it. We hope that this series gives you some great ideas for how to prevent, stop and intervene in street harassment in your communities. The sixth story comes from Sarah in Buffalo, NY, USA.
I was visiting a friend out of town for the weekend and arrived to a Friday evening concert event where we were meeting up. As I was walking alone from the parking area to the event entrance, two men sitting in a truck rolled down their windows and began shouting at me as I passed them.
I ignored them and kept walking — my usual response to this — but when they persisted I had a change of heart. I turned around and walked directly to the window, looked them both in the eye and calmly said, “I just wanted to let you know it is really rude to shout at someone like that, and most women do not appreciate it.” They apologized and said they were just trying to be nice and say hi, and I told them how that behavior can be perceived as threatening.
I walked away feeling so positive and empowered, and I hope what I said had some impact on those men and their future behavior.
I have said it before but I completely credit the SSH community for empowering and encouraging me to take on street harassment in this productive way. The conversations that stem from this community allow me to think about appropriate responses to street harassment before they happen in my daily life. That way, when an instance does arise, I already know what to say and do. The difference between confronting someone for their bad behavior instead of sadly or fearfully hurrying away is monumental. Thank you to everyone who contributes to these meaningful discussions and supports each other in standing up to harassment.