As of today, I have been bothered about the stories that have been told about harassment. Each of us in this world has a different story and a view about harassment and this is about mine.
Harassment can happen everywhere, sometimes in the streets, maybe in a workplace, in the academe, or at home. There are also different types of harassment like catcalling, pulling sexually motivated jokes, sexual harassment in a workplace and so on and so forth. The main thing is, as long as it violates a persons feelings, offending a person through verbal or non-verbal acts with or without sexual inuendo, I want to call it harassment already.
In the streets, whenever I walk my way to school, drivers of tri-wheeled vehicle called “pedicab” would call on to me to ride their cab but with additional words like “beh” which is an endearment, or even yell “sexy ka man” translated as “you are sexy”. I opt to walk fast just to avoid hearing them speak such words. As girl, I find it demeaning and degrading to be spoken to that kind of level. I cannot fathom how such men who are fathers themselves, brothers, boyfriends, uncles, or even grandparents would allow themselves to harass a woman on the street.
Sometimes, I am proud of myself for not stooping so low on their level and just ignore their words. Sometimes, I even want to stop, turn my back and ask them what exactly is their point in calling me names, yelling at me, or even whistling at me like I am some kind of an animal that would pay attention to them. It is awful.
I am not asking for such kind of treatment. I deserve to be respected. I am a woman. The way I dress, the way I walk and the way I carry myself is not anyone’s business. Everyone deserves respect from all the people. Apparently, not everyone has been taught about respect.
I am wondering how these people would react if they see their daughters, wives, sisters, aunts or even mothers subjected to such predicament. Would they even learn?
My dad has taught us to respect people even if for me they ought not to be respected at all because of their acts towards me or some other thing that I dont like about them but in my life, I have never seen or hear stories about my brother direspecting a woman. We may fight at times but never have he disrespected me in a way to offend my being a woman. I cannot even imagine him doing such acts of harassment to any person.
I guess that these harassing acts can be done by anyone. Different factors can contribute as to why a person does these acts.
1. A person’s peers can influence the way he or she acts. And as the saying goes, “birds of the same feather flock together”.
2. Lack of proper knowledge and instruction whether in school or at home.
In our lives, the first place where we are to be taught is home. Before we go and attend primary school, we are first taught by our parents. Our parents teach us the basic values. They are the ones who mold us to be good people. Without their instruction, we will not be who we are today. They are the one who has a great influence in our lives. What they do we may pr may not imitate in the future. What the father does to the mother or vice versa, positive or negative, affects the well-being of a person.
At school, we interact more with people our age. The children engage in play and learning with the second parents called teachers. Our teachers can influence us also for the way we treat other people. If a classmate is being sexually harassed through sexual messages coated with a joke, if not addressed to properly by proper authorities, a child may think it is okay to act in such a way.
3. Social media.
Social media can affect how a person perceives things. Social media is now a contributing factor to the well-being of a person. It may affect him positively or negatively. Sexually explicit contents on the internet can cause a person to sexually harass another. What a person sees on social media, he may do it with the thinking that it is okay.
There are many factors to be mentioned and I cannot discuss them all here but I want my readers to know that it is not okay to allow yourself to be subjected to any form of harassment. Be it outside your house or not, speak up. Tell your friends, parents, siblings, everyone you encounter because this is not something that should be allowed to live. Harassment should stop. Do not allow yourself to be destroyed and disrespected. The struggle against harassment is real. Man or woman, adult or child-harassment does not choose a victim. It does not even choose a place.
Thanks for reading.
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