Please note. . .

Don't Be Silent DC has been inactive since March 2008 and has not been accepting entries since. If you are in the DC area and have a harassment story to share, please go to HollaBack DC. If you are outside the DC area and want to submit your story, go to Stop Street Harassment. Thank you.

As of 3/1/08, I will no longer be working on this blog. Please read this post for more details.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Keep On. . .

This one's from J.J. in Seattle:

Hey there. I have been reading your blog for months now. I live in Seattle, and lucky for me, we don't have to deal with much shit around here. Every once in awhile, I get some dude screaming out of car window about my tits, or some guy on the bus wanting to "get to know" me... It's annoying enough, but it doesn't hit me every time I'm trying to go to work, or just trying to come home after a long day. Lucky for me and my friends, Seattle (or at least my neighborhoods) are pretty safe and as harassment-free as a city will ever be. But I feel compelled to tell you, I think it is SO IMPORTANT that you are doing what you're doing... recording your experiences, and refusing to be silent, refusing to just take it. I know so many women who have been through countless experiences like those that you describe (mostly in East Coast cities, not sure why that is...) but they feel that it's just part of being a woman on your own, that there's nothing to be done about it. I tell them about your blog, and tell them to talk back, to not be afraid, to own their power. Knowing that there are women like you out there fighting makes me so proud. Keep it up, girl, and never let them get you down. They can annoy you, but those little pieces of shit can never touch your strength, your power, or your beauty. Fight on!

Thanks for the kind words. I truly appreciate it.

I've been researching different cities, and the consensus is that street harassment happens less there than it does in places like DC. I started posting at a forum for the US cities, and left a message about street harassment for a specific city I'm thinking about. They reacted as if they didn't know it existed. Also, they said that since it's more of a car environment than public transportation one that there aren't too many men hanging out on street corners harassing women.

I wonder if DC were a car culture if it would happen less. The men would be in cars as opposed to hanging out on the streets. Women would be in cars and wouldn't have to walk past a battery of insults from these losers. But in the same token, as stated in J.J.'s note, there are losers that like to yell from cars.

I know that there is a place safer and more female-friendly than DC --- I just need to find it!

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