I wanted to thank you for your blog regarding street harassment. I deal with it so much. I am also a black female and am an attorney. I work at Judiciary Square but live on 16th Street so have to walk numerous blocks to get to the U Street/Cardozo Metro. It sucks that when I see black men on the street, I immediately try to move to the other side of the street to avoid them. I try not to make eye contact and sometimes will go as far as to put my phone to my ear and pretend I'm talking so that they will not say anything to me. In one embarassing incident, my phone actually rang when I was having one of my imaginary conversations with someone.
They don't realize how ignorant it makes them look and it really turns black women off towards their own. I do notice however, that it is mainly black American men though - not Africans or Carribeans. Have you also noticed a difference?
The HollaBack sites say not to bring up race unless something (for instance, racist comments) happens when being harassed. I feel it's impossible to ignore the intersection of race, class and harassment. Issues within the Black community are important to me, and for me to ignore that there is a problem with the way these specific Black men treat Black women would be a disservice.
Most of my harassers have been Black males, as to why, I honestly cannot say. I strongly feel that a lot of the Black males that partake in harassing women on the streets never had positive male role models in their lives, and they look up to the rappers to fill that void. They see their friends doing it, and it has a chain effect on them. In order to stop this cycle, I feel that intelligent Black men who are active in bettering their community need to step up and be the guiding light that these misguided men need.
These harassing males that happen to be Black need to realize that we Black women are NOT chickenheads, pigeons, loudmouth, sassy neckrollin' stereotypes. We are not ones to be treated so lowly. And I cannot respect these men as Black men until they respect me and others as Black women.
I open this forum for constructive discussion on this matter.