How To: Avoid Street Harassment

It’s not about what you wear.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something (Aaaayyy, Princess Bride reference, who’s with me?!).

Not looking pretty isn’t an option. Because you’re naturally pretty (male and female alike) and because prettifying yourself and checking yourself out in shop windows is just too much fun.  Long story short. I like looking pretty. I like being pretty. I want to be proud of that without feeling like I’m giving creeper assholes ‘permission’ to beep that horn/call that cat.

So there are a lot of ways to avoid street harassment.  Some involve normal behavior. Some involve very strange behavior, and these are generally the most efficacious.

WITHIN THE REALMS OF NORMAL

  • Walk like you have fucking important places to go and no time for their bullshit. STRIDE DOWN THAT SIDEWALK.  Nothing is more threatening than a woman who looks like she knows what she wants.  If you are walking leisurely and enjoying the air, that’s when you need to be afraid.  A female with no concrete destination is a female ready to hop into a bed/the backseat of a car.
  • Keep a dead zombie face.  DON’T LOOK PISSED.  The RBF has become a fetish all it’s own and it’s an invitation to men who think it’s their place to demand that you smile. DON’T SMILE EITHER or they’ll compliment your smile and think you’re open to friendliness. NO, GO AWAY.
  • Keep those earbuds in/headphones on.  Why does this work?  Because they don’t bother you if you can’t hear them, or because you can’t hear them so it doesn’t bother you?  It’s Schrodinger’s Cat really.  Schrodinger’s street harassment.
    Similar: be on the phone. All the time.

SLIGHTLY STRANGE

  • You see someone watching you, getting ready to beep that horn and call that cat?  Stare at them straight in the eyes and through to their dirty dirty souls like the demon that you are, ready to claw their heart into tiny shreds.  Usually they’ll look away.  More specific: furrow and lower your brows and widen your eyes at them intensely.  Watch horror/suspense movies and imitate the villain’s facial expressions in the mirror.
  • Adopt a man.  Yes, fight fire with fire. A man by your side will prove that you’re already taken, because a woman is only not available when she is another man’s property (because a woman can’t be her own property, DUH).  Think of your man escort as a professional dog-walking service.  Without the dog walker, the dog catchers are just doing their job when they capture those puppies off the street. Right? RIGHT?!
  • Take a different route. One unpopulated by man nor beast. I suggest swinging through the tree tops like Tarzan.  But without the alluring leopard skin loincloth.  That would be asking for it.

COMPLETELY WACKO

  • You know Jenna Marbles? The youtube personality? Follow her advice and make a completely horrifying face if anyone approaches you.  For extra insurance, make said face all the time.  Then no one will even approach you to begin with. Unless they’re behind you and looking at your ass. Maybe draw a horrifying face on the seat of your pants.
  • Scream like a hungry pterodactyl.  As the above, this can be selectively employed when you are threatened by street harassment, or it can become your trademark language.  Just walk around making said noise ALL. THE. TIME.  You might get other kinds of unwanted attention though.
  • Be heavily armed.  Everything that you wear and carry should be able to kill a man in five or more different ways, and at a range of distances.
  • Enter religious/non-religious seclusion/hermitude.  It’s a valid life choice, and there are no street harassers where there are no streets.

Enjoy your walk.

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