Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Catcallers beware!

Ever felt like you can't take one more man (and I use the term loosely) shouting after you "Hey baby, what's your name?" or some variation?

Fear not - HollaBackNYC is a blog started by a group of men and women in New York City last October, that has inspired more than a dozen sister sites across the United States and Canada. Many women say street harassment is a national problem - and they're not going to walk on and ignore it anymore.

We've all experienced this in one way, shape or form. Maybe my attitude has changed (or maybe it's just because of my age) but I do find these occurences happen less often now. Not to say they don't happen. They do. It's never a comfortable situation but at least now I'm old enough not to be intimidated by this kind of behaviour. I have even had my wits about me to respond to a few of these morons. My most memorable experience was actually walking up to one offender and asking if he would speak that way to his mother, wife, sister or daughter. The other guys standing in line (they were queuing up to buy football tickets) all sucked in their breath and looked away, suddenly finding the cracks in the pavement very interesting. As you can imagine, he had no response other than to look down abashedly. "Yeah, that's right, look away, you coward", I said to him. It was quite empowering to walk away that morning hearing the guy's friend say to him "You stupid bloody prat. You couldn't just keep your mouth shut, could you?" Maybe it was the power suit I was wearing, or the high heels - whatever it was something gave me the power to meet that confrontation head on. Score 1 for me.

I say go for it ladies. Check out the various sites in San Francisco, Boston and Texas. And for us Canadian women there is HollaBackCanada.

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