Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hollaback and the myth of gender equality

Most sensible people understand that there will never be genuine gender equality for two reasons:

1. Most men are pigs.
2. Most women are not.

As a guy who has successfully resisted his piggish instincts, at least most of the time, I am therefore bemused by the attention garnered by the latest publicity stunt from Hollaback, a well intentioned NYC advocacy group.

Their latest bit of street sociology shows Shoshana B. Roberts being harassed 108 times in a ten hour walk around New York. That's over ten harassment events per hour.

Here's the problem. When a woman walking alone on the streets of a big city, small city, small town, whatever, is sexually harassed by men, the experience gives rise to anxiety and fear.

When a man walking alone on those same streets is sexually harassed by women, the experience gives rise to a boner.

Sorry folks. You can do all the theorizing you want, but that's pretty much the way it is.

Which is not to say it's the way things should be. In a perfect world, guys would know they can just think it and not say it... let that gal walk home without your creepy attention. That's what I want for my mother and my daughter and the woman I live with.

Alas, we're not yet anywhere near a perfect world.

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