Talking about Street Harassment

Image from HollabackLDN

I was supposed to start writing this blog post hours ago, but predictably I got distracted on the time zapping compendium that is Internet.  However, it wasn’t the latest Internet cat meme that got me distracted, it was what is fast becoming my favourite reading material; descriptions from women of their daily encounters with catcallers.

Hollaback LDN is the latest site to allow women to post these encounters and in the short space it has been up and running, has already amassed quite the collection of perverts who think its their duty to make women feel uncomfortable in public spaces as they go about their daily business. Like the rest of the Hollaback family, Hollaback LDN helps women to share their experiences and stand up to these men who use sexual comments as intimidation. It  decrees “London is not a playground for pervy dudes to call out at us when we’re going about our daily business. So stop walkin’ on and ignoring it and Holla Back: Submit your stories and share your experiences”.

Similar to Hollaback LDN, LASH (London Anti-Street Harassment), previously blogged about here, has, due to the success of its campaign now gone national with the slightly less catchy acronym of UK ASH. Which will act as an umbrella organisation to support local level anti-street harassment initiatives.  Further, London Mayoral candidates Oona King and Ken Livingstone have pledged their support to LASH. King has written street harassment into her policy, promising to commission a police report into the matter, a poster education campaign and training for local councils on the issue.

Thanks to LASH and HollabackLDN street harassment has moved from being talked about in the pub on Friday night to the being talked about in the mainstream media. Both The Independent and The Guardian have published pieces on the issue, with the vast majority of the comments being supportive, helping to raise the profile of the growing anti street harassment movement.

More talking is taking place on Monday the 18th, as  HollabackLDN and LASH team up for a discussion night at WAH nails, which promises to be interesting evening (details above). It definitely seems the long held onto belief that street harassment is just one of those things women have to put up with is on the way out. Whodathunkit; turns out slapping a strangers bum is not appropriate!

By: Dearbhaile Kitt, 10.10.2010 | Comments (3)
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