Archive | April 2015

News Article: April 20, 2015, Take a Stand Against Street Harrassment

http://www.nyunews.com/2015/04/19/take-stand-against-street-harassment/

Take stand against street harassment, Larson Binzer, Senior Editor, April 19, 2015

Every day, women around the world share stories about being harassed on the street. Men yell at these women, screaming about their bodies, whooping and hollering at their walk and threatening them with attacks and rape, sometimes even escalating from verbal assaults to physical ones.
Sixty-five percent of American women have experienced this kind of street harassment, according to a study last year. In our society, it is commonplace for women to hear “Come at me, baby,” and “Take off your clothes,” and women are expected to prepare themselves for this unacceptable treatment. Women are told never to walk alone at night, to cover up their bodies and to ignore these threatening comments. They are expected to live in a state of fear and accept nothing can be done about it. Some people even blame the women, citing the common characterization of men as not being able to control themselves.
The specifics of what a woman chooses to wear vary between religions, cultures and individual people. But a man does not have the right to threaten a woman’s physical safety, no matter what the situation is. A video surfaced online in October showing a woman being harassed 108 times just walking down the street in New York City. The woman was not harassed 108 times because what she was wearing was disgraceful or because men could not control themselves. Harassment continues because it is often unaddressed by society, which enables men to get away with this rampant
disrespectful treatment.
NYU has taken huge steps to try to combat sexual assault on campus through a revised sexual assault policy and mandatory sexual misconduct training. However, while the policy prohibits “any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical or otherwise,” there is still a fight that needs to be fought against street harassment for women’s safety. The new mandatory online training works to prevent sexual assault between partners, but fails to address harassment of strangers.
The main goal currently is for a woman to remain unharmed in a society where threats and advances will inevitably be made against her. This might include taking steps that she ideally would not have to take, such as not fighting back against a perpetrator or making sure she does not walk alone at night. However, once she is safe, the stories of threats and catcalls need to be told. Whether it is through a university policy, federal law, individual action or a dialogue with friends, others need to take the steps to make sure the harasser is stigmatized rather than the victim. Street harassment is contemptible, but choosing to ignore the problem or blame the victim is the true disgrace.
Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 20 print edition. Email Larson Binzer at opinion@nyunews.com.

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…At an Airport Earlier This Year

…at a small Michigan airport, a Black “Christian” male Attempted to Knock Me Down

Earlier this year I was returning from the northern midwest back to Maryland. I was to depart from the same local airport I had arrived in a week earlier.

As I entered the automatic external sliding doors eyeing a kiosk to print my e-ticket, there a small unrelated line about two feet away. This line had a black male and what appeared to be a South Asian or Arab standing behind him.

As I proceeded to conduct my transaction via the kiosk the dark skinned black male “Christian” made a point to turn fully around and began speaking to me randomly about his flight is delayed how they are waiting for their matters to be straightened out.

As it was between 6 and 7 a.m., that this odd STRANGER made it an unnecessary point to attempt to engage in an unwanted, unprovoked and unusual communication, especially when he was further away from the kiosk than the guy standing behind him. After I looked up briefly, and I immediately noticed the gentleman behind me said nothing but gave me an emphatic look, I continued to focus on the kiosk screen and followed its instructions. I never responded to the black male and just walked away.

As I arrived to my gate and was awaiting boarding announcements, the same black male out of no where intentionally and harshly “bumps” into my right shoulder with his left and knocks half my body forward. Most of the other airline patrons looked shocked as was. But when I saw it was that same Black ‘Christian’ male I realized that is who most of them are and apparently see women of color, especially Sunni Muslims as property and objects to be disrespected and harmed for their whimsical amusement. This was apparently his irrational revenge for me not engaging in unwanted communications with a Black male stranger.

I can only rationally arrive at one conclusion for the majority of my experiences when I attempt to go about my daily business and routine with the hopes that I can have one day without being sexual harassed and taunted by Black male “Christians” that they have inherent hedonistic and demonic proclivities.

I used to be sympathetic when whites called Black males monkeys–because it is racist in some ways; especially when the reference is about appearances or lineages related to Africa. But I see the validity of this reference with regards to Black “Christian” males not in physical appearance but based on observation: the majority of them today display illogical possessive, simian behavior towards total strangers ie., act like ‘apes in heat,’ yet expect sympathy from the public including women of color, innocent Muslim women and society in general, who they continue to put in unprovoked danger on a daily basis.

I am truly appalled that wherever I am in America, there is one constant: that Black male “Christians” refuse to leave me alone. I am a Sunni Muslim and have no interest in you bothering me.

One thing I do notice is Black ‘Christian’ males go out of their way to violate a Muslim woman’s boundaries and rights. What normal and decent people do, that is mind their own business, conduct their own affairs–Black males feel the need to hinder when it is a Muslim Black woman. One example is when I go to get an oil change at the Valvoline in Glen Burnie, Maryland (Anne Arundel County) and am waited on by a Black male worker and he stares and even moves his head to attempt uninterrupted glances when I look away to be modest. Black males ALWAYS do this to me and fellow Muslims but would not dare engage in this inappropriate behavior if I was a white nun or Amish.

For the most part white men attempt to ensure that they don’t even accidentally trespass in my personal boundaries while Black ‘Christian’ males go OUT OF THEIR way to violate them. From this one can only deduce that Black males believe Muslim Black woman have no rights and are not to be treated as humans–yet they are the same ones yelling about abuse and police brutality when they actually did or are reasonably suspected of doing something wrong or illegal.
More tales from the harassment crypt are on their way, especially in my attempts to avoid Black male “Christians” harassing and attempting to assault me STILL in Howard County, Maryland.
*A Sunni Muslim Black American Woman