Tag Archive | October

The Pitt News: Pitt students condemn catcalling

https://pittnews.com/article/127683/arts-and-entertainment/pitt-students-condemn-catcalling/

Pitt students condemn catcalling
Joanna Li | Staff Writer
February 14, 2018

As a 12-year-old, Sophia Marshall stepped out of the house feeling confident in thePA map
outfit she had picked out that morning. As she waited for a friend by the local high
school, she heard a sharp whistle from out of the window of a passing car — her
first experience with catcalling.

Marshall, now a junior business administration major at Pitt, recalled feeling conflicted at the time — a mix of validation and violation.  It wasn’t until she came to college that the instances of catcalling became more frequent for Marshall — happening on the bus, her nightly walk home in Central Oakland and during her summer abroad in Paris — causing her to feel fed up.
“I’m not your baby, I’m not your honey,” Marshall said. “You don’t know me.”
According to a Cornell study, 85 percent of women experience street harassment before age 17 — and some women in Oakland are in that majority. Walking in groups of three or more, carrying pepper spray at all times and knowing a few self-defense techniques are all tips in the back of the minds of some women who have experienced street harassment at Pitt.

Marie Skoczylas, a visiting instructor in the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
Program, offers a definition of catcalling and its effects.
“Catcalling is singling out a target for sexual objectification and commenting publicly on
that person’s appearance,” Skoczylas said. “It requires a sense of entitlement to pull a
stranger into that kind of situation, knowing the advance may well be unwelcome and
insulting.”

Catcalling is part of the larger issue of street harassment. According to “Stop Street
Harassment” — a nonprofit organization focusing on ending gender-based street
harassment — street harassment can range from unwanted whistling to sexual assault. As Skoczylas explains, there’s a fine line between a pleasant interaction with compliments and harassing words that are disrespectful in nature.
“Rather than taking the route of trying to criminalize behavior, I think we need to focus on a cultural shift, changing attitudes so that we see each other as individuals to be respected rather than objects to harass,” Skoczylas said.
Sophomore finance major Casey Maher experienced catcalling in Oakland one night in
August. She walked to upper campus to meet with friends to watch a movie, but a friend
made a last-minute cancellation. Maher found herself alone in an unfamiliar place.
“Some guys pulled up next to me in a car and started yelling things out the window, like,
‘hey girl, get in the car, let us give you a ride,’” Maher said. “It made me feel really
uncomfortable and I had my hand on my phone to call the police.”

Carolyn Helenski, a sophomore communication science and disorders major, has
experienced catcalling in multiple cities. She recalls an instance with her mom in
Philadelphia that was particularly memorable, saying it was very degrading.
“One time I was in Philly with my mom for the afternoon, and a young guy was with his
friends on the street,” Helenski said. “When my mom and I walked by he said, ‘look at that nice, tight pussy in those pants.’’’
In this uncomfortable position, Helenski had an urge to stand up to the man, but her mom told her to act as if nothing had happened and just continue walking.
“Catcalling isn’t pretty when someone is trying to embarrass or harass you,” Helenski said.
“I went to say something, but [my mom] told me to just keep walking — which frustrated
me because a woman I look up to more than anyone didn’t feel comfortable standing up for herself or me.”

Other women in Oakland have experienced harassment from older men, not just fellow
college students.  Close Morgan, a junior who asked her last name be omitted for privacy, was walking back from her class in the Chevron Science Center when she stumbled into one such case as she passed a few construction workers on the sidewalk.
“As I got closer to them, I noticed that the one guy was staring at me,” she said. “Right as I
walked by, the guy who had been looking at me a little too long turned his head and said
‘hey beautiful,’ and watched me as I kept walking down the street.”
Morgan said she didn’t think much of the situation — she just smiled and continued
walking down O’Hara Street to Fifth Avenue, enjoying the compliment she was given.
“What was initially nice became super creepy when I was stopped at the crosswalk by
Thackeray,” Morgan said. “The same man popped his head out of the passenger side of a
white pickup truck and said, for the second time, ‘hey beautiful’ as his buddy kept driving.”
To avoid another encounter with the man, Morgan ended up taking the longest route
possible to get to her destination — an inconvenience for her to feel safe.
While Marshall continues to take her chances striking up conversations with strangers, she said she draws the line between friendliness and street harassment at a stranger’s ability to read context clues on a situation.
“I’m not trying to say that no one should talk to anybody else,” Marshall said. “I am saying that you need to respect my privacy, and that includes no shouting, no name calling.”
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Huffington Post article: When Black Women Die From Street Harassment

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6014092
WHEN BLACK WOMEN DIE FROM STREET HARASSMENT
Who cries when black women die?
October 20, 2014

I’m not asking that as some type of rhetorical, poetic question, meant to move you toward ferocious finger snaps. I want to know. Who cries when black women die?

Further, who cries when black women are killed?

Mary Spears was killed. The man who killed her did so because she refused to give him her phone number. She told him “I have a man I can’t talk to you,” and yet he persisted. Rather than respect her wishes to be left alone, he shot her.

Who cries when black women die from street harassment? 

I really do need an answer. Because Mary Spears’s right to move about freely in the world was denied to her, her life taken from her, and there are no marches. No one has broken out the bullhorns or their comfortable sneakers. There are no widespread calls to protect the autonomy of black women and their bodies. The community leaders haven’t deemed this unacceptable and a fate no one should ever face simply because they reject a man’s advances.

No, when black women die from that toxic mix of violent misogyny, male entitlement, and hypermasculine posturing, there is no movement to be born. There are condolences to be offered and “unfortunate”s to be uttered, but no tears to be cried. There is no anger that propels action.

You’ve read this piece before. You’ve read it a dozen times over. I’ve written it before. I could have written it a dozen times over. It’s the piece where someone complains about how little outrage there is surrounding something which deeply affects them, and then the reader is left to wonder, “Well, if it means that much to you, what are YOU doing about it?” You may have written that piece before. And we keep writing them because I don’t think any of us are quite sure what to do.

Where black women are concerned, we aren’t just talking about mounting the evils of misogyny, or even racism. We compete with the sacrifices black women make for their community.

I understand that there’s an impulse to not make black men the faces of street harassment, given all of the ideas that already exist around black male hypersexuality, as well as the disproportionate amount of police violence that black men face as the result of the constant criminalization of behaviors associated with black men. But black women have been allowed to suffer too much for the protection of black men. They have paid with their lives.

And here I am, writing another blog post wondering why no one seems to care.

Street harassment is vile. It makes women feel unsafe in public. But when black women die because we have failed to teach boys and men to keep their thoughts and hands to themselves, that they are not entitled to the sexual attention of any and every woman, or that their attempts at proving their masculinity through verbal and physical assaults on women are failures, the concern fades before it has a chance to actually surface. Black women are expected to keep sacrificing.

Who cries when black women die? Nobody. No damn body.

Mychal Denzel Smith is a Knobler Fellow at The Nation Institute. 

Black Male Stranger SLASHES  Woman’s Throat Because She Rejected His Sexual Harassment October 2014

http://www.myfoxny.com/story/26732943/woman-throat-slashed
Man slashes woman’s throat in Queens
Posted: Oct 08, 2014 7:01 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 15, 2014 7:09 AM EDT
By MYFOX NEW YORK STAFF
 
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) –
The NYPD is on the hunt for the man who slashed a woman’s neck in a building lobby in Jamaica, Queens after she refused to talk to him.

Police say it happened at around 5:17 a.m. on Oct. 1 inside 90-23 171st Street.

The man approached the 26-year-old victim and tried to engage her in what police described as an “unwanted” conversation. When she turned away, police say he grabbed her from behind and cut her neck with “a cutting instrument.”

The woman sustained serious injuries. She was listed in critical but stable condition at a hospital.

Security camera video shows the man approaching the woman. Police released the video in the hopes it will help them catch the attacker.

The suspect is described by police as Black or Hispanic with brown eyes, short black hair, approximately 20 years old, approximately 6′ tall and about 180 lbs.  He was last seen wearing black sneakers and blue jeans.

Police ask anyone with information to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers at any of the following:

1-800-577-TIPS (8477)

WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

The NYPD says all calls/texts are strictly confidential.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

The NYPD is on the hunt for the man who slashed a woman’s neck in a building lobby in Jamaica, Queens after she refused to talk to him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Black Man Kills Black Woman Because She Rejected His Advances October 2014

Like I said black males are sinister and believe Black woman’s primary purpose on earth is to satisfy their inordinate sexual needs. A Black woman already in a relationship which she disclosed. Quite frankly it is no one’s business whether this or any other woman is in a relationship if she is not interested she’s not interested. Back off. Here’s the article:
—————————–

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5945518
Woman Shot, Killed After Saying No To A Man’s Advances, Detroit Police Say
Kate Abbey-Lambertz The Huffington Post 10/07/14 02:06 PM ET
Police say a man shot and killed a woman after she rejected his advances at an event in Detroit over the weekend. Five people were also injured during the incident.

Mary Spears, 27, was at the American Legion Joe Louis Post No. 375 on the east side of Detroit when the 38-year-old suspect allegedly approached her and began talking to her, according to WDIV.

When the suspect asked for her number, Spears, whose fiancé was also at the event, told him she was already involved with someone, WJBK reports. The suspect, however, continued harassing her, family members told the station.

Police said security took the man out of the club through the back door and escorted him to the front. After a fight broke out, the suspect allegedly took out a handgun and began shooting, killing Spears around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Some on social media were horrified by the news.

________________________
This is an op-ed about her death:
Who cries when black women die?

I’m not asking that as some type of rhetorical, poetic question, meant to move you toward ferocious finger snaps. I want to know. Who cries when black women die?

Further, who cries when black women are killed?

Mary Spears was killed. The man who killed her did so because she refused to give him her phone number. She told him “I have a man I can’t talk to you,” and yet he persisted. Rather than respect her wishes to be left alone, he shot her.

Who cries when black women die from street harassment? 

I really do need an answer. Because Mary Spears’s right to move about freely in the world was denied to her, her life taken from her, and there are no marches. No one has broken out the bullhorns or their comfortable sneakers. There are no widespread calls to protect the autonomy of black women and their bodies. The community leaders haven’t deemed this unacceptable and a fate no one should ever face simply because they reject a man’s advances.

No, when black women die from that toxic mix of violent misogyny, male entitlement, and hypermasculine posturing, there is no movement to be born. There are condolences to be offered and “unfortunate”s to be uttered, but no tears to be cried. There is no anger that propels action.

You’ve read this piece before. You’ve read it a dozen times over. I’ve written it before. I could have written it a dozen times over. It’s the piece where someone complains about how little outrage there is surrounding something which deeply affects them, and then the reader is left to wonder, “Well, if it means that much to you, what are YOU doing about it?” You may have written that piece before. And we keep writing them because I don’t think any of us are quite sure what to do.

Where black women are concerned, we aren’t just talking about mounting the evils of misogyny, or even racism. We compete with the sacrifices black women make for their community.

I understand that there’s an impulse to not make black men the faces of street harassment, given all of the ideas that already exist around black male hypersexuality, as well as the disproportionate amount of police violence that black men face as the result of the constant criminalization of behaviors associated with black men. But black women have been allowed to suffer too much for the protection of black men. They have paid with their lives.

And here I am, writing another blog post wondering why no one seems to care.

Street harassment is vile. It makes women feel unsafe in public. But when black women die because we have failed to teach boys and men to keep their thoughts and hands to themselves, that they are not entitled to the sexual attention of any and every woman, or that their attempts at proving their masculinity through verbal and physical assaults on women are failures, the concern fades before it has a chance to actually surface. Black women are expected to keep sacrificing.

Who cries when black women die? Nobody. No damn body.

Mychal Denzel Smith is a Knobler Fellow at The Nation Institute.