Because as much as feminism has helped women gain parity with men in the workplace and at home, there are still a lot of subtle but very real ways that women are required to police and monitor themselves. The public sphere is still a very fraught and frightening place for women to navigate — especially alone, and especially at night.
It's worth thinking about how much you alter your life — whether it's by taking a different route home, going home early, changing the way you dress or walk or wear your hair — in order to feel safe. These are things that men often don't have to think about, that men take for granted, that men simply don't have to consider as they go about their lives. And they're things that take up a shocking amount of time, strength, and emotional bandwidth to negotiate.
Talk back to harassers, because you never know if the abusive words will escalate to violent actions.
When I have the energy, I do talk back to them...but it NEVER ends well and I look like the crazy person because, you know, the guy was just trying to give me a compliment! Last time I talked back to one, it wound up being a shouting match...Another time I confronted a harasser, I got quarters thrown at me...lovely...
Most of the time, though, if I respond to street harassment at all, I just give 'em the middle finger(s)...I'm often too stunned by what they said to be able to react at all except to hang my head...
Wear anything that will expose our breasts or remind men that we're women, because that's seen as an invitation for leers.
I used to wear low-cut tops, but after living in NYC for 5 years, I've noticed my wardrobe growing ever more cleavage-concealing...
Eat food in public — like ice cream cones — that might attract unwanted male attention.
I always thought I shied away from eating in public because I was weird, but perhaps it's because I don't want some sick fucks gawking at me as I'm sucking on a popsicle...
Ride our bikes late at night, because we don't want to deal with the harassment.
Though I do get harassed on my bike and people are bigger assholes to me on the road because I'm a woman, I have to say, riding my bike at night is the best way to avoid harassment. Because I'm NOT on public transit, which is a haven for harassment and groping, and because I'm not walking on the street, it's a LOT harder to harass me.
Walk around late at night with headphones on and blasting music, because we're afraid attackers might come up behind us.
As much as I would LOVE to block out all the verbal harassment I experience, I can't out of fear for my safety...
Anything you'd add to the list?