I have been hooked on your website for months now, and have been thinking for weeks how to organize my thoughts and experiences into some kind of coherent form to share with you and the other readers. My boyfriend has become an avid reader of your site too and needless to say, has been disgusted by the stories and angry about what he sees me (and women like me) go through on the streets of DC. (I had to keep him, a respectable and articulate guy, out of a fight this summer on my behalf.) I too want to do something, more than just vent - I mean, I want to organize a coalition, talk to Mayor Fenty - anything. You are right - it is too much for one woman, but we all need to get together and let these creeps know the street is public property, and we should not be targets of their "interest" by virtue of the fact that we have places to go. Word.
Since moving to DC from California a year ago I have been stunned by the effect the street harassment has had on my everyday life. I too procrastinate running errands, and sometimes even leaving the comfort of my apartment, because of the constant, scary harassment from men. You have this everywhere in the world to some extent, but in this country I have never experienced anything like DC harassment and men calling attention to me, invading my space, and being nasty while I am minding my own business. I see these loitering punks on Irving Street NW by the Columbia Heights Metro on the way to work every morning and every night when I return home. I see them in the park at the triangle intersection of 16th/Mt. Pleasant/Columbia NW. They pop out when I'm shopping, or walking in Adams Morgan, grabbing at me, trying to get my attention, staring, shouting questions. I am a well-dressed, well-educated person - do they think I am going to walk over and say hi when they act like that?? Dream on. Men don't have to be totally deferential or keep their eyes down in the street, but there is a difference between expressing interest in a woman and making her fear for her personal space and safety!!
I just bought a digital camera today - don't be surprised if you get some shots of the aforementioned punks sooner than later. I commend you for what you're doing. You're not alone - don't be discouraged on the days that you don't get positive feedback. And I'm on board to take the next step and get elected officials involved, if possible, because the right place for street harassment is nowhere, least of all in our nation's capital. Keep on keepin' on, and assert yourself when you judge that it won't jeopardize you further...
Contributor, thank you so much for your message. Each time I feel down about street harassment, someone speaks out and makes me realize that I'm not alone. And feel free to send those photos of these losers to DBS. Those punks need to be put out there and embarrassed. I'm also glad that you're another ally in the fight against street harassment.
I'd like to arrange to have a meeting some time next month...I'll keep everyone posted. Enough is enough when it comes to dealing with this mess on the streets.