By Lauren Linhard – firstname.lastname@example.org
I was walking through the mall one evening with my 19-year-old cousin, her little baby in tow, when a group of guys started yelling at us to try the new “Stuffed Animal Ride.” Our turndown of their offer was not taken well, regardless that they didn’t work there, and they decided verbal harassment was the best response.
“So you might not want to ride this, but you can ride my buddy here for $7.”
“Make sure you shake that ass as you walk away.”
I love being afraid for my safety said #NoWomanEver, and yet 65 percent of all women have experienced street harassment. Men might think it’s no big deal – it’s just some words, after all – but of those women who have been harassed, 23 percent have been touched sexually, 20 percent have been followed and 9 percent have been forced to do something sexual.
It felt natural to me to feel for my pocket knife and make sure they didn’t follow us down the next hallway to our car.
But it shouldn’t be normal for a woman to fear for her safety because men think it’s acceptable to bark at her, follow her down the block or publicly degrade her because she turned him down.
In response to this disgusting behavior, thousands of women have taken to Twitter using #NoWomanEver to share their harassment experiences. The trend began on June 18 when @ImJustCeej Tweeted out, “‘He blocked me from walking to the register when I was ignoring him in CVS and we been together since that day! NO WOMAN EVER.’”
Unfortunately, many men aren’t picking up what these ladies are putting down, CJ said, and they continue to maintain that women are misreading their intentions.
Personally, I thought offering me sex for money was a great conversation starter, said #NoWomanEver.