Well, having read through a lot of the blank noise posts, I wanted to respond to two themes that seemed to keep cropping up.

The first one is one I talked about yesterday too – referencing GreatBong’s post. And the theme of “you can’t blame a man for looking” seemed to recur in many of the posts I read. At the same time, so many posts talked about how a look can make you feel violated and dirty. So I just wanted to add one thing to what I said yesterday: make the effort to get your point across. When we talk, we do that. We even do it when we don’t talk – when I look questioningly at the person sitting beside an empty seat, when I stop a chit passing through class with a glance, I do it. And I’m sure men do it too. So when the meaning of a look is appreciation and not possession, get that point across. You have to adjust the style of communication to the recipient – something you do as a matter of course in all communication. Why is it so dificult when it’s to a woman? Or is it difficult because the message is sexual? ‘Appreciation’ can be, will be, about sexual attraction. That does not make it ‘bad’. When what you mean by sexual attraction is cruelty, a denial of my personhood, that hurts.

Which brings me to my second point. So may of the posts/comments talked about how this was in some way connected to the harasser’s repressed sexuality. Sending the feminist in me wincing, of course. Because no part of street harassment – not the groping, not the letching, not the flashing or the masturbation – is about sex or desire. It’s about a sexual response to a power high. And that’s sick.


2 Responses

  1. It is partly about a power high but it can also be sexual perversion…but whatever their reason may be, why should a girl who didn’t ask for it suffer?

  2. ‘Perversion’ is a difficult word – isn’t it perverted to get a sexual high from the fact of being able to exercise power? And ‘ask[ed] for it’ is even more difficult to stomach – probably because of all the Shiv Sena-ish associations that has!

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