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Seven Stories of Ways to Stop Street Harassment

Wheatpasted image says "women are not outside for your entertainment"

Street art from Stop Telling Women to Smile.

Street harassment has been part of my existence since I was a young teenager, but it wasn't until I was in graduate school in 2006 that I even learned the term "street harassment." I found the term on the website of the Street Harassment Project (founded in the early internet days of 1999). When I learned the phrase, I was so relieved: there was a name for what I experienced. There were other people who hated it, too.The book cover

Now, years after finding support from that site, I've started an anti-street harassment site and have put together a book that collects stories about street harassment. Coming out this Monday, September 23, 50 Stories about Stopping Street Harassers features women and men in 16 countries who use creative, entertaining, and empowering techniques and strategies which readers can consider trying out, too, when they feel safe.  Bitch asked me to pull together excerpts of seven stories from the new book to share with readers.

The collection has its roots in that personal stories thousands of people read on that old Street Harassment Project website. It was the first place where women could share their stories and their archive contained hundreds of them. I read them all.  This is one of my favorites, though I do not encourage violence, it always makes me chuckle:

"A friend of mine worked nights at 7-Eleven and a creepy little guy browsed around the store until he was the only customer, then brought a can of creamed corn to the counter. She turned aside a bit to ring it up, and when she turned back, he'd taken his willie out and laid it on the counter. She panicked, and did the first thing that came to mind…she smashed it as hard as she could with that can of creamed corn. Split it down the middle. She called 911, totally freaked, and one of the policemen said to her, as they hauled this pervert away in the ambulance, 'You did a good thing here. Don't feel badly, he had it coming. I'll bet next time, he buys marshmallows!'"

There is no "best" way to deal with harassers, but too often we are told only to ignore it. While there are plenty of times when ignoring harassment may be necessary because we feel unsafe or have no time or energy to respond, I think it is essential that everyone have a repertoire of various types of responses she or he can choose from. Ultimately, whatever we choose to do is the "right" response. But first, we have to have the ability to make a choice.

I hope these stories will help readers have a choice, starting with these seven stories.

 

1. "Bald head!"

As Jane was leaving work in Bristol, UK, and rushing to an appointment, a man in a white van who was stuck in traffic near her, tooted his horn and then leaned out of the van window to wolf-whistle and shout "Nice bum!" at her.

Annoyed and upset that he had intruded on her space so inappropriately, she stopped, glanced back at him and shouted, "Bald head!"

He looked affronted, she said, so she quickly responded with, "What? I thought we were just exchanging observations?" and kept walking.

She said, "It's one of the few times I've been pleased with my immediate response to harassment, and I hope it made him think twice about how invasive and inappropriate his cat call was."

 

2. "Stop it now!"

Nour is a teenager living in Alexandria, Egypt. While she's experienced street harassment for years, the idea of responding to a harasser had always scared her, so she kept quiet until this incident.

As she walked along a busy street, a young street vendor near her on the sidewalk said to her (in Arabic), "Hey baby, look at me. What's up honey, you're so pretty," and then he followed her. That's when she couldn't take it anymore.

She said, "I stopped walking and I shouted (also in Arabic): 'Stop it now!' and looked him straight in the eyes. To my amazement, and his astonishment, he did.

"He froze and swiftly turned his head away so bystanders wouldn't realize I was addressing him. And finally, for once, I felt vindicated…So simple and quick were the words I uttered. It took me eighteen years to summon the courage and power to yell it out, to defend myself."

 

3. "You probably have a daughter older than me"

"You've got great legs, baby!" a forty-three-year-old man told Brittney, a fifteen-year-old girl, as she waited for the subway on her way to school in New York City. 

"Excuse me, you probably have a daughter older than me," she said.

"Sorry, you just look so sexy in that schoolgirl outfit I couldn't help it, and you do have great legs," he told her.

Unwilling to let him off the hook for his lewdness, Brittney said, "Sexual harassment is a crime. Leave me alone or I will report you."

Then the harasser hurried away!

Brittney said, "I count that as a win for me because I hear things like that all the time and I finally stood up for myself and said something."

 

4. "Police! Police! Help!"

Nayana was walking down a very busy road in Anand Vihar, Delhi, India, talking to her young son on the phone. Suddenly, she felt a man "feeling up her front" with his hand. She was shocked! When she saw him smirking because he felt sure he was going to get away with his crime, she said, "Something snapped in my head."

Grabbing hold of his collar, she was able to pin him to one place. Shivering with indignation, she said she screamed at the top of her voice, "Police! Police! Help!"

People gathered around her to help. The police arrived and she reported him. He ended up spending the night in jail.

 

5. "You've been looking at us for ten minutes"

One day Irem was riding a city bus with her sister in Izmir, Turkey. A man would not stop staring at them. She stared back to try to make him feel uncomfortable and stop, but he just kept staring. So then Irem stood up and said to him, "Do you know us from somewhere else because you've been looking at us for ten minutes."

She said he was very embarrassed and that the other passengers, especially the women, laughed at him. He looked down at the floor for the rest of the ride.

Irem noted, "It is a very small town that I live in so what I did was important and embarrassing for him. The one who must be embarrassed wasn't me, it was him."

 

6. "Who here respects women?"

After a group of men catcalled a man's female friend in Washington, D.C. USA, he noticed that she felt deeply uncomfortable. He asked her if she wanted him to help. She said yes. He turned and asked the harassers, "Who here respects women?"

They looked around confused and stopped harassing his friend.

He said, "It was quite a wonderful sight to see a group of harassers vexed about the answer to an easy question of respect."

 

7. "Operation Creep-Be-Gone!"

Lauren saw a woman on a busy road in London, UK, being hounded by a man. She said, "He wasn't being outwardly aggressive, but he was sliming 'round her like a slug in an overcoat, asking questions and ignoring all clear signals (headphones in, one-word answers, refusal to make eye contact) that she wasn't interested."

"Are you okay?" Lauren mouthed to the woman, to which she shook her head no.

Lauren decided to intervene by pretending to be the woman's friend. "There you are!" she said, hugging her. The woman said, "Hi!" as Lauren led her away from the harasser. They stood together chatting while "Slug Man stared, lingered, and eventually slithered off back to his cabbage patch."

The woman was grateful and Lauren said she then "disappeared off into the night, swishing my imaginary cape and feeling proud."

Lauren suggests launching the "street harassment crusaders! Operation Creep-Be-Gone! Bolshy builders, drunk leerers at bus stops, creepy guys who hang around asking you your name at train stations—all beware! For before you know it, a Fake Friend might leap out of the shadows and stop you in your tracks. Who's with me?"

 


If you want to purchase a copy of the book, it's available for $10. Fifty percent of the profits will go to Stop Street Harassment to fund work like the Safe Public Spaces Mentoring Program and International Anti-Street Harassment Week.

How do you respond to street harassment? Bitch and writer Deesha Philyaw hosted a roundtable discussion on street harassment last week that featured Holly Kearl. Check out the whole discussion here. 


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Comments

25 comments have been made. Post a comment.

I would love to see some

I would love to see some ideas on different ways to respond to unwanted requests to "smile" from men on the street! For some reason I'm always at a loss for words and sometimes I even catch myself smiling back and then get upset at myself for not responding more appropriately to make sure he knows it is him that is being inappropriately!

the response i saw mentioned

the response i saw mentioned on tumblr that was a win, was a person who observed a girl responding by propping up the sides of her mouth into a grin shape, with her middle fingers.

The response that has worked

The response that has worked best for me is something like, "I don't smile on command, thank you!" Then again, "No" is a complete sentence. lol

"Smile sweetheart"

I used to work in a cafe serving breakfast from 8 to 11 and it was always super stressful. There was one morning where I had a guy tell me to "Smile, sweetheart", and I just quickly replied with "I'm not your sweetheart, and I don't smile." and then I dropped his plate in front of him and walked away. I'd felt pretty great for the rest of the day.

along the lines of the

along the lines of the propping up a smile with middle fingers (that's good, i may try it);

I just bare as much of my teeth as possible and bug my eyes... and look as wacked out as possible. It's my fave.

goofy looking smiling dog

Bus Stop Creep

One day I was waiting for the bus, reading a book. A man was waiting in the shelter with me. I should mention that I am about 5'3" and he was around 6". He interrupted my reading to ask, "Do you need your pussy licked?"
"What?" I replied, flustered. He repeated himself.
Smiling my widest smile I said, "If you don't leave right now, I'm going to punch you in the throat." I was smiling because I was anticipating the pleasure of punching him in the throat. Instead he looked terrified and hurried away. I was exhilarated.

Harsh?

I'm personally very interested in street harassment and preventing it so that women can feel safe in public, so overall I liked this article, but did anyone else find the first example (the story about the 7-11) cruel and harsh? I understand that it was a scary situation, and it might have been the woman's first reaction, but for the writer to say that the story actually makes her "chuckle", and for the cops to basically say that he had it coming just reminds me of the exact same violent stories against women in middle-eastern countries that we hear in regards to body mutilation. Assuming that the man in the story wasn't mentally ill in some way, he definitely stepped way out of bounds, but for his "punishment" to be amusing seems very hypocritical.

Because a Penis is Special?

Um no. If she were being threatened with a fist and she smashed his hand, would that be too too harsh? Maybe it would be too harsh if she smashed his foot when he was kicking at her?
But waiting until she was alone and using his penis to threaten and intimidate her is different? Because a penis is SOOO HOLY that even when it is a weapon it needs special treatment. Because the sexual violation against her meant nothing, obviously. She's a woman so she should know that men's penises are much more valuable than her safety and well being.
Harsh? Defending herself is harsh? Maybe she should have thrown her skirt over her head and begged for mercy? Would that be appropriately gentle and kind to the manliness he was proving by trapping an isolated woman with his dick?
No. It was completely appropriate. And funny in dark sort of way.
And of course, women in the middle east are mutilated because they wait around until someone with less societal clout is alone with them and proceed to intimidate them with rape threats by throwing their exposed body parts on the table. It couldn't possibly be the same misogyny causing the mutilation of women as a way to keep them in their place as the jerk in the story was full of when he decided to show her who had the real power by whipping out his penis.
Wow. The logic you are using escapes me entirely.

It's Not About the Penis

Um no. If she were being threatened with a fist and she smashed his hand, would that be too too harsh? Maybe it would be too harsh if she smashed his foot when he was kicking at her?

The first question to ask yourself is if she was being threatened, and what various levels of threat entail. Being threatened with a fist implies that physical violence will likely ensue unless some disagreeable alternative is met, such as giving the perpetrator cash from the register or engaging in some sexual act. So based on that level of threat, smashing his fist would be appropriate because of the direct and severe physical harm that might ensue if that fist were used against her. She was psychologically threatened, certainly, but to what extent I’m not sure. As to whether she was physically threatened – I’m also not sure. I’m more inclined to suggest that he was simply a pervert who enjoyed exposing himself to women and nothing more, but I cannot say with as diehard conviction and enthusiasm as you that he was hell-bent on raping or assaulting her in that incident. But whether her actions prevented that possible outcome is undetermined, because you’re making far too many assumptions about his intentions and what could have happened.

But waiting until she was alone and using his penis to threaten and intimidate her is different? Because a penis is SOOO HOLY that even when it is a weapon it needs special treatment. Because the sexual violation against her meant nothing, obviously. She's a woman so she should know that men's penises are much more valuable than her safety and well being.

You're making a lot of assumptions when using words such as "threaten" and "intimidate." But that's more about semantics than I care to discuss. As for the penis being a holy instrument - I did not say at all, nor even imply, that the penis is holy, requires special treatment, is more valuable than a woman's safety and well-being, or that the sexual violation meant nothing. You are stretching my words to their breaking point and pushing your rather biased agenda on me because you disagree with me. Please re-evaluate the extent to which you assess another person's argument, especially when it is an obviously opposing viewpoint. But back to the main point - the woman in the story physically assaulted a man, which probably resulted in permanent damage. You might think that that is worth celebrating, that a "creepy little man...got what was coming to him," but a person - not a sexual predator, not a monster, not a scapegoat, but a person - was physically assaulted and mutilated. Again, I'm not saying this because the individual whose penis was smashed was a man, or that he sexually harassed a woman by exposing himself in public - I'm saying this because he's a person, regardless of how much your rather strong biases might cloud your judgment to that fact.

Food for thought: if a creepy little woman walked up to a man in a convenient store after everyone left and exposed her breasts to him (after she put down a can of corn on the counter), would he then be entitled to smash her breasts because he was feeling threatened and intimidated, possibly rendering her unable to breastfeed in the future, feel pleasure from them, or might even require surgical intervention? If you think that is not appropriate, is it because the exposer is a woman, that the individual using the can as a weapon is a man, or some other factor?

Harsh? Defending herself is harsh? Maybe she should have thrown her skirt over her head and begged for mercy? Would that be appropriately gentle and kind to the manliness he was proving by trapping an isolated woman with his dick?

Defending herself is appropriate, but defending herself in the way that she did was harsh. Again, you are very much rolling with inappropriate and unfounded assumptions on my part. For example, if a kid was being bullied in school, and one day comes to school with a knife and stabs the bully, was the kid who was being bullied in the right? After all, according to your logic, it is appropriate to defend yourself by any means possible when being threatened or intimidated, even if it means physical assault and mutilation. But if you disagree with this example and suggest that it would be wrong for the kid to stab bullies – why?

No. It was completely appropriate. And funny in dark sort of way.

On this point we will have to simply disagree. And it is very disturbing that you find comedy in the suffering of others, regardless of what kind of justification mechanisms you might use to rationalize that woman’s act as appropriate.

Wow. The logic you are using escapes me entirely.

Ditto.

But Addie the point you're

But Addie the point you're missing is that it is NOT about your in-a-safe-place-armchair-quarter-backing assessment of the situation.

It is ENTIRELY about how the woman felt at the time. The fact that this woman was 'panicked' and 'freaked out' suggests that SHE felt threatened. The fact that he waited until she was alone in the store, and at a disadvantage being stuck behind the counter, points to the fact that he intended for her to feel threatened - and frankly, even if someone cares to argue that he meant it as some type of sick so-called joke what remains important is that SHE felt scared - YES 'panicked' and 'freaked out' mean that SHE felt scared.

And since when does feeling 'only' psychologically threatened not count? Studies show that most assaults begin with something less threatening than physical violence. Are you really arguing that a woman must wait until she's actually be physically and/or sexually assaulted before she's allowed to respond?!? Ridiculous. Should someone being mugged only defend him/herself when the mugger actually stabs or shoots them?

Addie, YOU were NOT there. It is no way whatsoever your place to sit at your computer and judge whether or not she felt scared or threatened (especially as the story indicates she clearly was). Nor is it your place to decide whether or not is was reasonable for her to feel reasonably scared or threatened (and again, the story clearly indicates it was entirely reasonable). The woman gets to decide. SHE is the only one who had all of the information about HER situation. SHE is the only one who was forced (by him - his choice, and the story indicates his well-thought-out and planned choice) to make that decision.

Shame on you Addie for dismissing this very real threat. Especially as this was never your judgment to make in the first place.

Because a penis is special? NOT!

Beverly -
I agreee with you 100%! The clerks actions in the first story were completely appropriate. If that pervert would have kept his penis in his pants he wouldn't be hurtin'! Us Bitches need to take a srong stand against these perverts who think they can say or do anything to a woman and we will just take it. Well, We're Not Gonna Take It! and we need to show these harassers the door!

Not harsh at all!

I don't think she did anything wrong. Let's say she didn't smash it, what do you think the guy would have done? Zippered up and walked away? Probably not. He probably would have made an attempt to use it. Good for her!

I Think She Did

I don't think she did anything wrong. Let's say she didn't smash it, what do you think the guy would have done? Zippered up and walked away? Probably not. He probably would have made an attempt to use it. Good for her!

Any discussion of intention is always a tricky one. In this case, you are assuming the worst possible intent in his behavior - that he would have attempted to rape that woman if she hadn't done anything. However, consider the possibility that he was simply an exhibitionist (or "pervert" if you will) and he got his rocks off by exposing himself and nothing more. Does that make the situation any better or worse? Not sure.

The problem with intent is a slippery slope of "well, if she didn't do something, then THIS or THAT could've happened." If she hadn't smashed his penis, might he have attempted to rape her? If she hadn't smashed his penis, might he have done it to another woman, or possibly children? I do not know. However, consider some positive alternatives: if she hadn't smashed his penis, might he have learned that his behavior was inappropriate and not done it again? If she hadn't smashed his penis, might he not have possibly had difficulties in conceiving children, whom he would had raised very well and been an excellent father? We cannot make broad, sweeping generalizations about someone based merely on one act like this, as that leads to very callous and erroneous trains of thought, as evidenced by Beverly (another poster who responded to my initial post). We can make certain assumptions about him, most definitely, but to the extent that we can condone and promote physical violence against him, probably because of the mere fact that he's a man?

Overall, by automatically assuming the worst in that kind of situation, you are demonizing the man who is exposing himself (and whether the demonization is warranted is another discussion entirely). Please refer to my response to Beverly - it is very disconcerting when physical assault and mutilation are cheered on because of strong biases toward highly negative outcomes that might not have even occurred.

He assumed the risk

I don't think it matters what his intent was. When he put his penis on the counter in front of her, he assumed the risk that the woman my be stunned and react the way she did. I don't think she did anything different then any other reasonable (quick thinking) woman in her situation would have done.

How about no.

Your comment is edging dangerously close to the "remember, ladies: it's your job to keep men from harassing you but don't be too mean to them!" crap we hear every single day.

He whipped it out. That is beyond "harassment," that is an overt threat of rape and she was entitled to defend herself.

Hate to be the one to break this to you, but agreeing with the MRAs won't make them respect you.

How About Yes

Your comment is edging dangerously close to the "remember, ladies: it's your job to keep men from harassing you but don't be too mean to them!" crap we hear every single day.

It's not even remotely close to that train of thought - you are only allowing it to inch up to that territory because of your own strong and highly skewed biases. It's not about being mean, it's about appropriate responses. Was the man who exposed himself in the right? Not at all. Should he have been persecuted in some way for indecent exposure/public indecency? Yes. But to suggest that smashing his penis in half was an appropriate response is simply too much - that is condoning what I would argue as unwarranted violence. And ultimately that is what this discussion is about - when is violence warranted, and when is it not? We don't know what would have happened had she not used that can as a weapon, but what is scary is that some people, such as yourself, are very much blurring the line of what is appropriate and inappropriate courses of actions merely because of assumed possible outcomes.

He whipped it out. That is beyond "harassment," that is an overt threat of rape and she was entitled to defend herself.

I disagree. I interpret his behavior not as an overt threat of rape so much as an overt breach of social norms (i.e., exposing himself in public to someone who probably doesn't want to see his penis). We cannot know what other behaviors, both verbal and non-verbal, he was exhibiting while exposing himself, so we cannot be so quick to assume that he intended to use his penis in any other way than to show it to her. If there were other cues that lead her to believe that she was in immediate harm, then she was entitled to defend herself. But it speaks much more to our extremist feminist culture if we believe that an immediate response of physical mutilation is acceptable, with the only things we know being that the perpetrator was male, the victim was female, they were strangers, his exposure was premeditated, and they were alone in a public setting.

Hate to be the one to break this to you, but agreeing with the MRAs won't make them respect you.

This has absolutely nothing to do with Men's Rights Activists, agreeing with them, wanting their respect, or wanting to get in their favor. It has to do with appropriate responses and the fact that so many people are making light (and laughing at) the suffering of another person, merely because he's a man and that everyone is assuming such malevolent intent and potential outcomes from his single action.

1. True, we can't be so quick

1. True, we can't be so quick to assume that this dude intended to use his exposed dick to sexually assault the woman in the story. But WE--and that includes you--are not the ones who were cornered by an exhibitionist (possibly a rapist). That dubious distinction goes to the woman who smashed her harasser's dick with a can of creamed corn. Clearly, in the interest of her physical and psychological safety, she assumed that he DID intend to use his exposed dick to sexually assault her, and she took immediate action to prevent that from happening. I think this dude's behavior is similar to someone exposing the gun they're carrying: maybe they don't intend to shoot whoever they've shown the gun to, but the threat of THE HARM THEY CAN CAUSE WITH THE GUN IS STILL EVIDENT IN THEIR EXHIBITION OF IT. When someone is threatened with a gun, we don't blame them for feeling threatened; in fact we tend to applaud them if they can disarm the person threatening them. I'd say that's what the woman in this story did. Maybe she did not take a peaceful, compassionate course of action, but she was cornered and alone. She took decisive action to protect herself, and the dick-shower suffered the consequences.
2. In your scenario of a female customer showing a male employee her breasts, it seems that you assume the dynamics of physical strength and social conditioning would also be reversed: in this scenario, the male employee would have grown up hearing the message that he should watch what he wears, where he walks, and who he talks to, lest he be harassed or assaulted, as well as the message that his body is public property. He also would be conditioned to be be gentle, accommodating, and nice to the opposite sex at all times. The female customer in your scenario would have grown up hearing the message that she was entitled to sexual attention at all times, and would be conditioned to see men's bodies as public property. The male employee would, in most cases, have to be smaller and weaker than the female customer. But the reality is that most men enjoy a combination of greater physical strength and a sense of entitlement to women's bodies and attention, while most women possess less physical strength and have been conditioned to either accommodate or avoid male desire. Because of this dynamic, I have a hard time imagining a male employee smashing a female customer's breasts because he felt threatened. In the case of the woman in this story, the threat of sexual assault was immediate and, ahem, nakedly obvious.

I live in Chicago, Illinois.

I live in Chicago, Illinois. I was riding the commuter train home one night (a train generally free of creeps) when the man sitting next to me started making small talk. I wasn't rude but didn't encourage him to keep talking. Then he said "Your pink jacket is beautiful against your skin" as he brushed his hand creepily over the top of mine. I responded loudly "Keep your hands to yourself!" and made a big stinking deal about getting up and moving to another seat. This was a quiet train and everyone turned around to look at him as he cowered in the corner. I wish I would have made an even bigger stink about it with the conductor but at least I managed to humiliate him to a certain degree. I was about 38 at the time, he was probably in his early 50's.

Creep Be Gone-More woman should utilize this!

My favorite is #7. When I was a freshman in college I had a "slug" sitting next to me on a New York City train. The man must have been almost 20 years older than me; he would not take the hint and became too personal. He was telling me the things he would do for me if I were to go with him (claiming he was wealthy). A woman was sitting in front of us on the train heard the conversation, noticed how uncomfortable I was after he became too intrusive. Just before we arrived at the last train stop, she turned around and pretended to have just recognized me. She started talking and we had a completely improv conversation with fabricated details, as if we were age old friends. She walked with me until I found my father waiting in the car a block away. The man would have followed me off the train and to this day I will never forget that woman

Things like this don't always end well. I hope more woman recognize when a peer is in need and help out the way she did.

Interesting

The really interesting part of this is how women seem to have the inherent silent communication necessary to pull something like this off. It's an undercurrent of conversation that the harasser is oblivious too but is apparently universal enough that a rescue can be dispatched.

A friend and I were walking

A friend and I were walking down a street at night when a car full of young men went by, whooping and yelling foul comments about what they'd like to do to us. We started getting nervous when we saw the car do an illegal u-turn further down and slowly come back. As the car stopped, and one of the guys actually opened the back door and started to speak, I held up the small billy club that I always carry and said, "Keep your butt in the car and get out of here now, we're dialing the police." I then yelled to my friend "Did you get a photo of their license plate?" They scuttled off like scared roaches into the night.

Another occasion stands out for me because of how scary it could have ended. Some friends and I were out celebrating a birthday. As we were leaving the nightclub, we noticed a woman in her twenties who seem highly disoriented and intoxicated. What struck a friend and I was that she was the only woman with this group of 3 guys - and that the guys were talking crudely and foully about sexual activities. It's hard to pinpoint why, but a couple of us had the feeling that she really didn't know these guys, hadn't come with one of them that evening. She gave us a look, as if she wanted help, and my friend went and mouthed to her, "Are you OK?" The girl shook her head, and my friend suddenly pretended to be acquainted with girl, making random chit chat and steering her closer to us. Over the guys' protests, we said that we would help her home. She thanked us, because in fact she didn't know these guys at all - she met them at the club, and one of them had been trying to get her to go off with them.

That's terrifying

That girl is so lucky that you were sensitive enough to notice her predicament and step in. That could have been the worst night of her life. I'm only sorry that there were no negative consequences for those guys. This is why I like to believe in karma.

How to stop street harassment:

Don't harass people on the street!

#6 and #7 are my favorites because they don't imply that it is the duty of those who are targets of street harassment to stop it or educate people how not to do it. They didn't do anything to deserve that unwanted attention, why should they have to be responsible for dealing with it?

Looking out for other victims of street harrassment

I was at a New Year's Eve party at a bar in my city and noticed a girl, who appeared to be pretty drunk, looking nervous and confused. An older man was leaning in close to her and asking her questions. She kept shaking her head, but didn't seem to be able to articulate that she wanted to be left alone. Another girl standing nearby, whom I didn't know, caught my eye and without saying anything, we both approached the drunk girl like we had been looking all over for her. At that point we could hear that the man was trying to get her to go "crash at his place". As soon as we entered the picture, he got out of there pretty fast. It turns out she was from out of town and her friends had lost her. We were able to get her friends on the phone and they had already jumped in a cab to head home, leaving their friend intoxicated, alone, in a city she didn't know! They came back for her and I was sure to give them an earful when I met them at the curb to deliver their friend safely to them. I was just as disgusted with their behavior as I was with that man's!

What I love is all these

What I love is all these stories about women supporting each other. We don't need men to stand up for us, we have each other. And that is more than enough.