Friday, May 1, 2015

SMILE JACKASS! An Idea...

Photo by WildandWestern

Okay.  Let's talk about catcalls.

First, a shout out to Hollaback.

Thank you for all of your efforts to end street harassment!

With my blog, Sadie's Gathering, I would like to do what I can to help.


      There may already be this out there, but I would like to suggest an idea; entitled "Smile Jackass."  It would be a site where people can post photos and videos from their smartphones of the actions of offenders/harassers as they happen.  Have them listed according to area of city and state, date and time.  Realize that every offender has at least a parent, a spouse, a kid, and/or a boss that their (the harassers) actions affect, and from that draw consequences.  I imagine most employers would not want that kind of press.

Most days, I look somewhere between Cindy Crawford and a troll on a bad day.

Doesn't matter.  I still get comments that can send me up the wall and cause me to pull my jacket closer to me.

      What prompted this post however, was recently, my 10 year old daughter and I were leaving a medical office building.  A man, coming into the building, looked at my daughter, with a look that I noticed; then added, "Now there's a great smile!".  His comment brought on a confused look from my daughter.  Then she said to me, "THAT was weird."  The man was in his 30s or 40s, a complete stranger.  The statement was harmless enough, I guess meant to be a compliment, but it was said in such a way that my 10 year old daughter took notice and was confused.  So, something, was not harmless.

     Years ago, I remember having dinner with a with a straight male friend.   A few days before, we had discussed the difference between how men and women check each other out.  I had said that contrary to most men who in my opinion were always obvious with their leers, women could totally check out a man, take it all in, all with an extremely subtle glance- even while having a conversation with another person.  During our dinner, which was at an outside patio dining area of the neighborhood cafe, I was telling my friend about something in the day that had bothered me, I noticed a handsome young man passing by- without turning my head I checked him out, continuing chatting about the peeve.  When I concluded, my friend made some observations about what I was complaining about, adding..." by the way, about 3 minutes ago, a man passed, and you checked him out didn't you?"  I smiled and confessed.  My friend was pleased with himself, thinking he had unlocked a peephole into the female psyche.
      I had theorized that the reason that many men were more overt, was due to them seeing their overture as the first step in a conquest.  Whereas women's looks were more for mind candy for just that moment. 

One thing to be subtly checked out; another to hear, "hey baby, you look goooood."

      Many of them may be harmless; but here's the thing and there's no getting around it: WHO KNOWS?

      Verbal harassment is not just for women.  However, since I am a woman and I'm raising 2 future women, that's where my concern predominantly lies.  But street harassment happens to the LGBT community and straight men as well.

     Even though I've been married for a while, I remember well, that the dating world is not easy.  Still, it's important to realize the difference between trying to make a connection with another human being and trying to prove... something.  For trying to make a connection, "You are beautiful" will suffice.  Shouting from the mountain tops and is rarely appreciated, so it should only be said if you know the person and you are one on one.  Not when you are with a group of friends.

For more clarification, read this post, written by Jamie Utt about the -> 3 Ways To Tell The Difference Between Appreciation of Beauty and Objectification

Did you see this video?
On flight harassment

FACT: There are only 24 hours in a day.   Yet some need to factor in alternative routes, and other actions to stay safe.
This Is What Women Are Forced To Do To Avoid Street Harassment

My wish with Smile Jackass! is that it would put all of the attention and consequences on who it belongs: the harasser.  If it's fame they seek-
Think how proud mom, (or spouse, child, employer) would be.

And for any that wish women would stop playing the "victim card" or any other bulsh...
From the internet

If you have comments, ideas, or questions, about this idea, please email me at sadiesgathering@gmail.com

Have a good weekend.