One of the comments on the article’s page is that arguments like this “fuel the fire against feminism,” that “men explain to everyone.” But that’s the damn point, and this article names a phenomenon that creates a culture around women’s confidence, credibility, and human-ness. This is important.
“Every woman knows what I’m talking about. It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence…
Credibility is a basic survival tool. When I was very young and just beginning to get what feminism was about and why it was necessary, I had a boyfriend whose uncle was a nuclear physicist. One Christmas, he was telling–as though it were a light and amusing subject–how a neighbor’s wife in his suburban bomb-making community had come running out of her house naked in the middle of the night screaming that her husband was trying to kill her. How, I asked, did you know that he wasn’t trying to kill her? He explained, patiently, that they were respectable middle-class people. Therefore, her-husband-trying-to-kill-her was simply not a credible explanation for her fleeing the house yelling that her husband was trying to kill her. That she was crazy, on the other hand….
Even getting a restraining order–a fairly new legal tool–requires acquiring the credibility to convince the courts that some guy is a menace and then getting the cops to enforce it. Restraining orders often don’t work anyway. Violence is one way to silence people, to deny their voice and their credibility, to assert your right to control over their right to exist. About three women a day are murdered by spouses or ex-spouses in this country. It’s one of the main causes of death in pregnant women in the U.S. At the heart of the struggle of feminism to give rape, date rape, marital rape, domestic violence, and workplace sexual harassment legal standing as crimes has been the necessity of making women credible and audible.”
The naming of this act, as well as its continuation in parallel with a culture working toward equality, is vital in its recognition on the spectrum of international gender inequality.
“For all these women, the harassment does not end with the “eve teasing.” The state’s home secretary said the call center employee from Barasat was divorced. The head of a TV channel tweeted that many girls who go to pubs are prostitutes. In Gurgaon city officials said women just shouldn’t work after 8 o’clock…
But the real protest is a quieter one. I don’t know a single woman who has stopped going to work. My mother’s cook, a young woman, lives in the same town of Barasat where the hoodlums accosted that call center worker. She, too, takes the local train back and forth. This year my sister, a college professor, just got her new posting — in Barasat.
They cross paths every day on their trains — one coming to the city, one leaving it — women on the move, going to work, resolutely claiming their space in what used to be a man’s world, eve teasing be damned.”
Brut Commercial: Late
I suppose the direct inference is supposed to be the he is so manly, he impregnates all around him. So many things wrong with that, but the shock value is high on this one.