And if that is hard for you to think about, know that it is harder to live in it.
I am so exhausted by people who do not think this is a problem. I carry a pocket knife, a whistle, pepper spray, and a very sharp self defense keychain with me where ever I go. I look around each corner with a tight stomach, and try to keep my eyes open and darting with consistent awareness. Staying vigilant when going anywhere is a part of every day life for me. And with good reason. The examples I have from just my life alone that support this cautious behavior are countless.
Saying it’s not a problem doesn’t make it go away. It keeps it alive.
Don’t tell me that I’m lying. That I haven’t been catcalled, whistled at, followed, pinched, prodded, felt up, mugged, and sexually assaulted. It is real and all too common and has affected more of my life than I’d care to admit, most of the time. And it is not and has never been my fault. I’m going to talk about it. I’m going to fight you on it. Because if you think it’s not an issue, you’re wrong.