On yet another mind-numbing segment of Outnumbered on the Fox “News” network, a panel of Fox women sat around with a token man, Arthur Aidala, to discuss whether or not street harassment is sexist or not.
Predictably, the women justified catcalls by saying that it’s just how men are and asked, “What are you going to do?” As if these men are unable to restrain themselves from inappropriate behavior.
Here’s what you can do – you can let it be known that it is inappropriate for men to harass women they don’t know on the street. Since *some* men are not aware of the difference between a sincere compliment and harassment, it’s best they only use their inside voices and not say sexist crap OUT LOUD!
Some men believe that saying “Hey babe, shake it for me,” is a compliment. These kinds of men think women are flattered when we are being spoken to as if we were animals in a zoo. Here’s a hint: It’s sexist. We are not your babes and our body parts do not exist to shake for you.
Maybe the women on Fox enjoy being objectified, but it might help to have some cold hard stats to throw out there for people who have brains and wish to use them. Yes, I realize that is asking a lot of Fox viewers.
In 2014, Stop Street Harassment (SSH) commissioned a 2,000-person national survey in the USA with surveying firm GfK. The survey found that 65% of all women had experienced street harassment. Among all women, 23% had been sexually touched, 20% had been followed, and 9% had been forced to do something sexual. Among men, 25% had been street harassed (a higher percentage of LGBT-identified men than heterosexual men reported this) and their most common form of harassment was homophobic or transphobic slurs (9%).
I am a woman and a feminist. I like make-up and I love a sincere and non-threatening compliment. I like skirts and jewelry just as much as any female Fox commentator, but I also recognize the harmful impact of street harassment. Women should NEVER be made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe because some asshole in a hardhat feels the need to make up for his inadequate penis and small mind by acting like a caveman.
|Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) is the author of AMERICAN WOMAN The Poll Dance: Women and Voting & The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or follow her on FB HERE.|