Shit Men Say to Men who Say Shit To Women on the Street


A lovely video, and a nice discussion from Shira Tarrant:

Street harassment teaches victims to be silent for fear of escalating the situation. While that can be the safest path for individuals, it has collectively led us down a dangerous road. Ultimately, perpetrators realize they won’t be held accountable and will continue to harass. That’s why male allies are key.
“The video encourages men to nonviolently intervene when their friend, for example, is harassing women or others on the street,” says Fivel Rothberg, who shot, co-directed, and edited the project. After watching the film, Ohio University graduate student Anna Wiederhold noted: “If I speak out against street harassment, I’m a bitchy feminist. If my brother, boyfriend, father, or male friend speaks out, he just might make a difference.”
This video is an example of male bystanders refusing to be silent–a welcome improvement. Speaking out against street harassment chips away at a culture of silence that enables anti-woman and anti-queer violence. Together, we have the power to end street harassment.


Lest we forget, awful deeds are being perpetrated in Syria, as the government forces rain down terror on protesters. This is Marie Colvin’s last report from Baba Amr before she was killed.

They call it the widows’ basement. Crammed amid makeshift beds and scattered belongings are frightened women and children trapped in the horror of Homs, the Syrian city shaken by two weeks of relentless bombardment.

Among the 300 huddling in this wood factory cellar in the besieged district of Baba Amr is 20-year-old Noor, who lost her husband and her home to the shells and rockets.

“Our house was hit by a rocket so 17 of us were staying in one room,” she recalls as Mimi, her three-year-old daughter, and Mohamed, her five-year-old son, cling to her abaya.

“We had had nothing but sugar and water for two days and my husband went to try to find food.” It was the last time she saw Maziad, 30, who had worked in a mobile phone repair shop. “He was torn to pieces by a mortar shell.”

For Noor, it was a double tragedy. Adnan, her 27-year-old brother, was killed at Maziad’s side.

Everyone in the cellar has a similar story of hardship or death. The refuge was chosen because it is one of the few basements in Baba Amr. Foam mattresses are piled against the walls and the children have not seen the light of day since the siege began on February 4. Most families fled their homes with only the clothes on their backs.

The city is running perilously short of supplies and the only food here is rice, tea and some tins of tuna delivered by a local sheikh who looted them from a bombed-out supermarket.

A baby born in the basement last week looked as shellshocked as her mother, Fatima, 19, who fled there when her family’s single-storey house was obliterated. “We survived by a miracle,” she whispers. Fatima is so traumatised that she cannot breastfeed, so the baby has been fed only sugar and water; there is no formula milk.

Fatima may or may not be a widow. Her husband, a shepherd, was in the countryside when the siege started with a ferocious barrage and she has heard no word of him since.
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Only themselves to blame

Two quotes, by one author, in the course of a single column.

A. Might the politics of women change if more women were in politics? Even now, fewer than two out of ten members of Congress are female. For this, women have only themselves to blame.

B. Perversely, a decade of high-profile role models has done nothing to make a political career more alluring. If anything, the experiences of the likes of Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and the former House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, appear to have produced the opposite effect. If the survey of nearly 4,000 well-qualified men and women is to be believed, the treatment meted out to these women confirmed the fears of others about venturing into the snake pit of politics. Two out of three of those surveyed thought that Mrs Clinton and Mrs Palin were the victims of sexist media coverage, including excessive reporting on their appearance.

Ah yes. Only themselves to blame.

US police can now strip search for any offence

Things aren’t looking too groovy in the US right now. The supreme court has decided that anyone can be strip-searched upon arrest for any offence whatsoever. (Cue sexual bullying by the police.) This comes after two recent pieces of legislation that (i) let anyone be arrested forever at any time (the NDAA), and the ‘trespass bill’, which gives you a ten year sentence for protesting near anyone with secret service protection, which presumably means anyone in power (HR 347). You can read more about these horrors from Naomi Wolf here.