Debate Magazine

International Anti-Street Harassment Week

Posted on the 19 March 2012 by Starofdavida
International Anti-Street Harassment WeekThis week is InternationalAnti-Street Harassment Week! The organization Stop Street Harassment, which was created by Holly Kearl, defines street harassment as "Unwelcome words and actions by unknown persons in public which are motivated by gender and invade a person’s physical and emotional space in a disrespectful, creepy, startling, scary, or insulting way." The most common victims of street harassment are women and LGBTQ individuals, but they are far from the only ones. This is a feminist issue that’s often glossed overand not given the proper attention, even though it's endemic to pretty much every urban center in the world, so I think it’s really great that there isa specific week that activists have set aside to raise awareness.
Holly Kearl has a number of suggestions about how toget yourself involved:
  1. Sharing your stories online (here and here) or offline, as well as by reading/listening to other peoples’ stories.
  2. Tweeting stories or messages with #EndSHWeek.
  3. Changing your Facebook profile picture for the week. Here is an image in English. (There’s also one in Hebrew on the Meet Us on the Street website, but the words are backwards, so until that’s fixed I don’t want to link to it.)
  4. Gathering a few friends together to create fliers to post or hand out in the community (schools, houses of worship, community centers, etc.) or write sidewalk messages. Here are ideas for messages and a fact sheet with statistics to pull from. Here are fliers you can print and pass out: 1 | 2. Or visit the tools page and download an 8.5 x 11 size flier in five languages.
If you want to participate in anevent in your area, you can find if anything’s happening here.If nothing is being done to raise awareness, then you should definitely try tohook up with local feminist organizations (NOW, college groups, etc.) and seeif they’re doing anything. If you still come up empty, then start something ofyour own! Americadepends on grassroots activism. If you don’t do it, who will?

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