I need to be able to walk on the street without having to endure catcalls from the fellas on the corner or random men walking down the street. I need to be able to not have to worry that if I don’t smile, nod, or reply to them, they might start to insult or physically threaten me. I need to be able to look at a guy’s face in passing or meet their eyes without worrying that they will take it as a sign of interest and try to proposition me.
I need to be able to go out at night or travel home from work without having to worry about my physical safety. Nothing I do, say or wear gives anyone the right to approach, accost or touch me in a manner that I deem inappropriate. That should be the end of it there. No means no, not yes because “surely no woman could be telling you no”.
I need the authorities and others to take me seriously when I say that I am uncomfortable or feel threatened by what someone has said or done to me. I need them to not wait until something serious happens before they take me seriously. I need them not to shrug me off or say that I am being emotional or ‘out of place’ when I express myself.
I want the right to decide what I want to do with my body without having to worry that society will condemn me for my decisions. I will do my best to abide by my own morality and make ethical decisions but I reserve the right to the final say with regards to anything to do with my own body.
I am a woman and these are the things that I want and need.