• i complain a lot about street harassment. it's not because i like complaining, it's because it happens all the time and it's absolute crap. in my experience, it happens more to female than male riders, and not to all female riders at that. i seem to get it all the time - at least once or twice a week, and more in the summer - and it's horrible. it links into unbelievable misogyny like this and consists of things like*:

    • wolf whistling or cat calling as you cycle past, or shouting "ding DONG, mmm"
    • comments like "give us a ride love", "bend over a bit more darl" and my favourite "ooh, i wish i was your saddle" (bro, trust, you don't)
    • asking for your number while you stop to take a windjacket off
    • squeezing your back tyre as they walk past then laughing and continuing to walk away when you ask them what the fuck they think they're doing
    • slapping your bum when you're out of the saddle (this has happened TWICE to me from the passenger side)
    • generic "alright love" or "pretty bike for a pretty girl" etc comments which quickly sour to "fuck off then","you fuckin slag" etc when you give them the finger and cycle past, or even just actively ignore them

    (*not an exhaustive list - just the ones which first came to mind)

    however: i don't want to just be sad that it's shit and it happens. i'd like a thread where people can share the outrageous crap someone tried with them on their commute, because i think it serves a dual purpose. people who are subjected to it feel like they're not alone, and people to whom it never happens get to see how commonplace and unpleasant it is. i don't want to gender stereotype, but it happens a lot more to women than men (aware that i am citing only personal experience) and the knock on effect is that sometimes i have to actually convince people that it's happened and that i'm not blowing it out of proportion. mental.

    a friend of mine started the London Hollaback campaign - you get to share your story and report it. she's done so much work for things like this that she's now behind TFL's brilliant campaign to report more sexual harassment. just wanted to share the Hollaback link as a resource if anyone wanted to use it as a cyclist or a pedestrian.

    to anyone who thinks it's somehow a misguided compliment to be subjected to catcalling/similar, i've got two things to say:
    1) i'm gonna hedge a bet to say it's never happened to you - please dispute if you think i'm wrong
    2) please read this it will take about 90 seconds

    unsure whether this thread will die on its arse (i kind of hope it doesn't get any posts?!) and i couldn't see a similar/duplicate thread

  • a friend of mine started the London Hollaback campaign - you get to share your story and report it. she's done so much work for things like this that she's now behind TFL's brilliant campaign to report more sexual harassment. just wanted to share the Hollaback link as a resource if anyone wanted to use it as a cyclist or a pedestrian.

    A friend of mine just shared your mate's video on Facebook and one of his girlfriends is so angry about it she's been sharing a petition: https://www.change.org/p/transport-for-l­ondon-reconsider-your-report-it-to-stop-­it-slogan

    I disagreed with her executive summary of the campaign and she shouted at me :(

  • mmmmmm, okay. i can see her point in a way, that anyone should report sexual assault they see on tfl, rather than the onus being solely on the victim, but i think she's phrased it a bit poorly - it sounds like she wants to scrap the whole campaign, and hasn't offered any alternatives rather than "reconsider". but perhaps if i shared her POV and found it as structurally damaging as her, i would feel the same way.

    personally i think she is overlooking the very basic, positive aspects of the campaign - that, should someone want to report something, they now can with much more ease and speed and less stress than previously, because it was terrible before - but i'm basing that on my experience, and for me it's an unspoken corollary that i can use these channels to report anything i see and want to report, not just things which are happening to me, but if i see it happening to someone else. i don't feel like tfl IS putting all the onus on me as the victim to do the reporting and i don't need a marketing campaign to tell me to speak up if i see that shit happening - to me this is all about publicity around the fact that tfl is listening now, making support easier, and that's very positive. but if someone has a valid critique like "this is damaging and here's why" then they have every right to bring it up - i suppose it can only improve the service and support for victims of harassment.

    that sucks she shouted at you though! :(

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