I find it disgusting how normalized harassment has become. We’re taught at a young age not to walk alone at night, ignore any unwanted advances and to accept that this is how things are. This realization didn’t occur to me until I listened and shared stories of harassment with my fellow peers. While hearing everyone’s experiences, most of the girls explained that they felt as if they were being cornered. Which is understandable since it’s hard to act in situations where you’re being treated like prey.
When trying to explain this annoyance to one of my male friends he responded,”if you aren’t interested, why don’t you just say no?” Sometimes simply saying “no” isn’t enough, in many cases the approacher gets offended and angry. There’s a saying I heard that reminds me of these kinds of situations, “when a man says no that’s the end of the discussion, but when a woman says no that’s the start of a negotiation.” My body and my opinion are not your right, so you do not deserve an explanation. I am not playing hard to get, and what I wear is not “asking for anything”.
Although I understand that this isn’t the case for all men and women, I find it unfair how a majority of girls constantly face harassment to the point where it becomes a norm. There are plenty of real life horror stories where women get murdered for rejecting men. Saying no is not always effective, and many people don’t take this issue seriously. But when did the normalization of harassment begin and how can we properly educate people to understand that not all advances are welcome?