aquila_black: Grell, smiling. He looks almost sane and put-together, here. Colorful, but not out of control. (Grell: Happy)
( Sep. 25th, 2014 09:48 pm)


[Cut for length.]

I’ve always been told that misogynistic abuse from strangers is something that happens to all women [...]

In some ways, I’m grateful that I seem to have been “spared”…but I’m also confused. Because, since I know this happens to all women, has been that street harassers, dick pic dudes, etc. don’t perceive me as a woman. And that doesn’t seem to make sense either. While I’m certainly not “traditionally feminine,” I don’t typically pass as masculine-of-center unless I really try to. And so it’s always left me with this feeling of, like…apparently, I’m so ugly/unappealing/worthless that I don’t even deserve street harassment. And that’s a fucked up way to feel. Especially because I’ve always felt so alone in it.

Anyway, I guess my point is just that it really helped me to hear a) that I’m not the only woman who doesn’t experience this and b) some helpful critical analysis about what might be going on with that. Thanks. <3

I think there are plenty of women who don't experience street harassment. I've never been mistreated in the ways that the comments you were responding to talked about, either. I went through a scary period when I was just hitting adolescence, somewhere between 13 and 14, when men were bothering me and paying a lot of uncomfortable attention to the fact that I was becoming an adult woman. With the ... skinny and the curves and shit. Then I got mild acne. I can't swear to the fact that it filters out guys who are are just going by what I look like, but I had to deal with random, I-like-the-look-of-you based hassles for less than one year. (And that was long before fucking me would have been remotely legal.) I'm still skinny and curvy. I can't tell for sure what it is about me that makes me not get street harassed, but I'm a lot older now and it's never been a problem. Unless you're counting that one, short window of yuck. 

The idea that a problem is only a real problem because it happens to all women is innately flawed. It's rooted in the invalidation of women. We should be arguing that women have this problem, and just as a result of that, it's worth taking seriously. I don't care if it's only happening to conventionally attractive women, or even women who wear makeup and skirts. It needs to stop. The relevant question is how do we create a world where all people are treated with respect and can be comfortable in their skins? How do we create sufficiently serious social consequences for being an entitled dick that guys cut that out? And I also think we need to lay it at the feet of mainstream feminism that, with as long as it's had to address street harassment, that problem has lingered decade after decade. 

I was reading an interesting article a couple of days ago in Arab News, the less tendentious of two English language newspapers in Riyadh. Here's the crux of it:

"With Saudi Arabia's changing economic environment, higher costs of living, inflation, and a population of over 25 million -- over 50 percent of whom are women -- women's participation in the workforce is no longer a social issue; it is an economic one. Single income families can no longer afford to accommodate the needs and wants of an average-sized family."