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Columbia, Missouri, United States
We are a forum for women and the LGBTQ community to stand up against street harassment, both physical and verbal. You have the right to feel safe and happy in public spaces without being the target of objectifying, homophobic or plain offensive speech. Don't walk on, Holla Back!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hiding doesn't make the harassment stop.

I am Saudi, I grew up in a strict Muslim home. Here is a bit of information about the faith that a lot of people don't know. The practice of hijab, or wearing the veil was actually a measure designed to protect women from harassment and molestation when they left their homes. Back in the day, on the Arabian peninsula, female infanticide and the like was pretty common, and the veiling was supposed to keep the perpetrator accountable for their actions so they couldn't pull the whole "she seduced me" crap. Well, I don't really believe in this method, and I do not now nor will I ever practice hijab. I live in a town in Missouri in the 21st century, every night I take precautions. I walk a familiar way home, I walk very briskly, looking ahead so it is hard for someone to approach me, I keep my headphones in even when I am not listening to music so I have a reason not to respond to the yells out of cars or across the street. But even doing all these things street harassment happens to me on a regular basis and I do worry that something worse than the yells and occasional arm grab will happen. It is frustrating to me that these people have so much control in my life.

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