So today, I've had a guy follow me all the way down a road, constantly pestering me "Hello! Where are you going? Etc."
And just now a guy stops, looks me up & down and says "Oh God. Oh shit."
Are women not allowed out on their own in Greece? Or do I just look really bad today?🤔
I'd hasten to add that these 2 incidents were in addition to the standard level of street harassment that I anticipate everywhere I go... it doesn't just happened in Greece: it's endemic across Europe. And it's not OK. Because it intimidates women out of public spaces... 2.
People have expressed genuine shock when I've told them I am travelling alone. Likewise: I've had numerous emails/messages from women saying they think I am "brave" for travelling on my own - AND THIS IS THE WORST THING: they would be too scared to travel alone. 3.
Perhaps i'm "brave" or perhaps stupid, maybe I'm just determined to deliver on my project & sit in the street & sketch in all EU28 countries regardless of unwanted attention from guys. But it pisses me off that it changes my behaviour & stops other women from living freely. 4.
For example; my Dad offered to pay for my little sister to come on 1 of these trips with me during her school summer holidays. But she decided not to: because she was scared. And i'm not gonna lie - the prospect of travelling alone scared me to. But I decided to anyway. 5.
Nothing terrible has happened on my travels: But it pisses me off that I believed it was my fault because of what I was wearing & went back to my hotel to get my jacket - But the harassment continued, so I didn't stay out after 5:30pm when it got dark. Because I was afraid. 6.
This situation isn't okay. Actually, i'm furious about it. Women's lives shouldn't be dictated by the behaviour of men.
So maybe after the #StopBrexit campaign is over - my next mission will be to change the inherent misogyny that leads to harassment of women in the street. 7.
And the defenders (sometimes very intelligent & liberally minded people) of this behaviour, who claim it is just "instinctive" & "to be expected" or tell me I should "take it as a compliment" also need to addressing for legitimising & condoning casual harassment. 8.
Because I will tell you how it makes you feel; Scared, intimidated, annoyed, vulnerable & self-conscious. It's not a compliment. It's not acceptable. And it has to stop. #NoWomanEver #NotJustHello #TimesUp #MeToo 9.
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