Time to sound like a complete pig.
There seems to be more and more articles showing up about women talking about what has become known as "street harassment". I recently encountered one such article today, courtesy of one of my Facebook friends. And the common denominator among all of these articles is this: this is what happened to me, and we know the problem is pervasive in society.
And then skeptical people like me come along and ask one question that has yet to be answered: how pervasive is it, and what evidence can corroborate this alleged pervasiveness? Because the rule of thumb with most skeptically minded people is simply that the plural of anecdote is not data. Yet merely calling into question the pervasiveness of such harassment tends to get me labeled quite quickly: misogynist, rape apologist, victim blamer, and on from there. Hell even suggesting that women carry firearms, as it’s been shown that presenting a firearm to a potential attacker will get you out of that situation virtually every time, gets me labeled the same by much the same people.
On the mark of there not being really any significant amount of data backing up the claim that street harassment is pervasive, I have one question: given the pervasiveness of camera phones and smartphones, and smaller video-capable cameras also available on the market, where is the video of this occurring? I mean video cameras and their mere presence is enough to keep police officers at bay – mostly.
The author of the above-linked article noted that much of her harassment occurred while she was riding her bike. She doesn’t need to just merely put up with it, but why is her response to it merely complaining about it, either to her boyfriend or, now, online? Why are the subsequent events to this alleged harassment merely just writing about it or complaining about it? Why does it seem no one is actually doing anything about it?
I’d wager that if the author of that article had a small camera mounted to her bike that was constantly recording, with the blinking light clearly and plainly visible, she’d probably get left alone a good majority of the time. I’m not going to say 100% of the time, but it’d probably come pretty close as there are always going to be assholes out there who will be assholes even if a camera is rolling. And the harassment events she does capture will have clear and decisive evidence to back it up – possibly evidence that could stand up in Court.
Yet no one seems to be taking such a pro-active role in trying to combat this "epidemic" of harassment against women. And I don’t understand it. Instead it seems the programmed response to saying that women need to be pro-active is, "We need to tell men to not rape", or something along those lines. And the cycle continues, and the only thing women do about it is complain or wallow in secrecy.
Meanwhile people like me, who say that pro-active measures need to be taken, are called victim blamers, rape apologists and misogynists.
Let me put it this way: if merely telling or teaching people to not break into homes actually worked, home alarms and car alarms wouldn’t be necessary. If merely telling people to not kill was enough, concealed carry wouldn’t be a consideration. And if telling men to not rape – and telling women to not rape as well – was all it took, women wouldn’t have any basis for complaint. So why is it that women continue to want to take passive roles on this? Why do they continue to suffer, only to complain about it online or in secret, when there are proactive measures they can take to actually combat the problem?
It makes me wonder if they actually want the problem to go away. I’m not talking about the women who are actually being victims. I’m certain they want the issue to disappear. I’m talking about the women who seem to be fueled by each story of this happening, the ones whose livelihoods are funded by the fact this issue exists. I’m really starting to wonder if they actually want the issue to go away. If they did, they’d be calling for women to be more proactive. The means exist to be more proactive. We have the technology, yet it doesn’t seem to be getting used. Why not?
I really think it’s because there is a small group of women who need these victims to not only exist but for more to keep cropping up. And until women get more pro-active about harassment, they will not only be victims for their harassers, but will also be used by those who need them around for their own livelihoods.
And really that seems to be a problem, not just with street harassment, but in general. Too many people are making money or gaining political power from the victims of harassment and violent crime, meaning I don’t believe they genuinely want the issue to go away or become a very infrequent occurrence, because their power and money would then dry up in short order.