I am a woman

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 I am a woman.

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.

5 thoughts on “I am a woman

  1. With the use of ‘I’ in the article, I can hear your passion for women’s rights. In the second paragraph though, “nothing I do, say or wear gives anyone to approach…”, did you mean “nothing I do, say or wear gives anyone the right to approach…”?

  2. i agree 100% with this article. i actually wrote one just like it quite a while ago… its sad to think that verbal sexual harassment is so embedded in our society that men AND women think that this sort of behavior is “ok”

  3. This is really a sad story in which most young ladies have to endure. Many times I refuse to walk the streets just because of this annoying issue that seems to lack no attention. Paula, I am glad you wrote something on this as it would bring awareness to the men that “we” women HATE it…..

  4. The slide show – I’m assuming you want to show different faces of ‘woman’? I’m saying this very diffidently, but the full force of what you were trying to do wasn’t immediately obvious to me. Not sure if the pics drive home your point well enough by themselves. Something more seems to be needed. Maybe because the pics of women there aren’t diverse enough, and don’t provide enough context, to show that you mean ‘woman’ of all different backgrounds and experiences? (Only a suggestion, though)

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