In my boredom this summer, I've taken to reading a lot of random stuff online. One site that's been popping up a lot on the DCBlogs daily links is called Holla Back DC. The basic premise of the site is that women who are harassed by strangers on the street can submit their stories as a means of catharsis and get some support from the blogoverse. By empowering these women to share their stories, perhaps the next time, they won't be so silent in the face of men harassing them in public.
Since I started reading this site, it got me thinking. As a male, I'm clearly not privy to what goes on in women's minds when a stranger makes rude or lewd remarks to you in public. Does it happen often? If it's happened to you before, does it make you paranoid that all men are leering at you?
It reminds me of an anonymous friend that liked to wear sunglasses while on campus, so he could check out attractive coeds without being noticed. Voyeuristic, yes, but at least he had the decency and manners to not openly harass strangers based on appearances alone. Do guys like this eventually fall into the catcaller category?
I'm beginning to think that it happens more often than I witness, as most women on the street barely raise their eyes to meet a stranger's. Smiling at a perfect stranger is looked at with contempt instead of a return smile. I just don't get it.
I doubt any readers of this web rag are catcallers or harassers in question. If so, have any of your opening comments about a woman's appearance actually worked?
I thought not.