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May 2014

Street Harassment Is Violence (Essay Compilation)

Below is an updated compilation of my essays on street harassment with the most recent essays and ones included in previous listings. I also included links to other types of posts that are relevant and on my street harassment blog tag. 

This is not an “abstract” “social justice” “opinion” on some activity that I heard about. I have experienced the abuse that is street harassment for 22 years, as it started when I was 12 years old, primarily by, but not exclusively by Black men. I have been insulted, yelled at, cursed at, threatened and touched without consent. I have experienced street harassment at a rate of 10-75 incidents per week for over two decades. I live with PTSD because of this violence. The fact that I have several behavioral science degrees and I am a writer does not make this experience any less mine and just “something” to “write about,” nor does it make my experiences with intersecting oppressions as a Black woman something for mainstream feminism to exploit and build a platform on for cis White women while erasing how my identity impacts my experience. (I’m dealing with an ongoing problem of White organizations and White feminists exploiting my work.)

A variety of women and other people experience street harassment and a variety of primarily men engage in street harassment, even as the narrative remains “delicate” cis White woman accosted by “brute” Black man/man of colour. My space Gradient Lair is for me and other Black women so if you aren’t a Black woman and share this list, respect the fact that I am a human being and this is my life. The fact that I also know about street harassment beyond my personal experience does not invalidate my experience nor does it make my experience some sort of “abstract” case study removed from my life. Respect that lived experience (at multiple intersections where “ignoring” and “not noticing” things aren’t options), shared experiences within same generations and passed down as oral history, and research are relevant to Black women’s epistemology. Below represents 2 years of work regarding almost a lifetime of experiencing this violence.


  1. Don’t Use Gay Black Men Just To Educate Heterosexual Black Men About Street Harassment
  2. Who “Doesn’t Care” About Intraracial Crime?
  3. Race IS Relevant In Street Harassment. But Not In The Racist Way Regularly Assumed.
  4. Yes, People Engage In Bigoted Speech/Actions Against Me. No, It Is Not The First Time.
  5. 7 Conversations That I Am No Longer Having With Black Men
  6. Recent Street Harassment-Free Walks
  7. Black Men’s Abuse of Black Women and A Call For Radical Love (Or At Least A Truce)
  8. Things Street Harassing Black Men Actually Have Said To Me…
  9. Street Harassment and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  10. "You Come Here Often?"
  11. On Street Harassment: The Incident Count
  12. Addressing Excuses Made In Reference To Street Harassment
  13. White Women’s Clueless and Callous Responses To My Experiences Dealing With Street Harassment
  14. Why Some Black People Don’t Want Me To Discuss Street Harassment
  15. I Don’t Discuss Street Harassment As A Leeway To Dating Advice For Men
  16. What The 20-Year-Old Tupac Song “Keep Ya Head Up” Means To Me As A Womanist
  17. Street Harassment: Fear On Both Sides of The Street
  18. 10 Common Ignorant Replies Made To Women Who Discuss Experiencing Street Harassment
  19. Ring Shopping and Street Harassment
  20. Men Standing Up Against Street Harassment? Good. Men Not Engaging In Street Harassment In The First Place? Better.
  21. When Men Who Engage In Street Harassment Are Police Officers
  22. NOT Interested In ANY “Pick-Up” Lines. At All.
  23. Escape Artist: The Toll That Being On The Run From Street Harassment Takes
  24. Demanding Others Be Flattered By Unwanted Attention Can Be A Tool Of Oppression
  25. I Don’t Want “Advice” On My Body From Men
  26. I Hate Nightclubs (They Feel Like Street Harassment To Music)
  27. When The Target Of Street Harassment Is Age 12-17
  28. The Beauty Binary, Street Harassment and Rape Culture
  29. Race, Gender and Emotional Policing
  30. Introvert Seating Assignments
  31. On Being A Black Female Engineering Student: Street Harassment and Microaggressions At School
  32. Street Harassment and Repeat Harassers
  33. Stop Calling Women Liars When They Write About Experiencing Trauma
  34. Men Who Use Music As A Weapon During Street Harassment
  35. Street Harassment Reduction: The Gear
  36. Another Way To Explain Street Harassment
  37. What Ignorance Looks Like…
  38. Street Harassment…Local Edition
  39. Street Harassment “Prevention” Shouldn’t Have To Exist
  40. Different…And The Same: Thoughts About Moving “Away” From Street Harassment
  41. That Awkward Moment When A 4 Year Old Boy Attempts Street Harassment
  42. I Had To Curse A Man Out….
  43. I LOVE When I Am Not Bothered In Public
  44. 6 Common Derailment Tactics Used In Conversations About Street Harassment and Sexual Assault
  45. Me. Black Men. Street Harassment. White Audience.
  46. Street Harassment Observations

Tweet + text posts:

  • Myth that misogyny is okay because men are “hunters” [X]
  • Difference in humor about pick up lines as introverts versus street harassment [X]
  • #MaleProverbs, including some used to justify street harassment [X]
  • #CommonRacistResponses, including the hypocrisy of White women who touch Black women’s bodies without permission yet decry same thing is wrong when White men do it to them [X]
  • Male privilege and the dissemination of unsolicited triggering information, including on street harassment, as their “allyship” [X]
  • #FastTailedGirls: Examining The Abuse And Stereotypes That Black Girls Face [X]
  • Black women do not have “easier lives” than Black men [X]
  • For men who engage in street harassment while on the clock [X]
  • Interrupted while listening to music just to be harassed [X]


  • Tatyana Fazlalizadeh on why we shouldn’t be asked to smile [X]
  • Hawley G. Fogg-Davis on Black men as oppressed via race but oppressors with street harassment [X]
  • Cynthia Grant Bowman on men finding pleasure in street harassing [X]
  • Jessica Williams on her “default” face of sternness [X]
  • Opal Palmer Adisa on why many Black women don’t smile in public [X]

Other posts:

  • Queen Latifah’s song “U.N.I.T.Y.” critiques street harassment and other intracommunity violence [X]
  • Anti-Blackness and erasure via co-opt by non-Black women on Black women’s experiences with misogynoir, including street harassment [X]
  • Why street harassment is not really about smiling anyway [X]
  • His view: flirting; my view: street harassment [X]

Related Essay Compilations: Womanism, Black Feminism and Race In Feminist DiscourseBlack Men and Patriarchy, Intraracial Sexism and Misogynoir

Related Post: Explanation Of Misogynoir 

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    This is an amazing resource. A large part of my own academic and activist work is on street harassment so I am always...
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