To be female in this world is to constantly be targeted for unwanted sexual attention. The first time I was groped on a train, I was 13 years old. I never saw the man’s face, but I can still picture his hand wrapped around my thigh. I still remember the fear that I felt once I realized what was going on. I obsessed about this incident for months, naively believing that if I were just more careful, that I could avoid another incident like that in the future. The truth is, as long as one is female, there will always be men who feel that we are prey. No matter how careful one is, it is impossible to avoid public assault.
There is a video that is currently going viral that I would like to share with you. A woman is on a subway train and a man decides to expose his condom wrapped penis to her. In true hollaback fashion, the victim decides that she is not going to tolerate being used like a glorified sex toy and fights back, telling this man in no uncertain terms that there will be a penalty for his actions. He tries to deny what he did but she presses forward and assures him that if she has to walk him to the police station that he will be charged.
Please share if you are comfortable recent incidents of street harassment and how you either fought back, or refused to assign the blame to yourself. The more we tell our stories, the easier it is to realize that the victim is never at fault and the our patriarchal society is.