The Street Games
In the Hunger Games world, after a tribute becomes a victor, she/he becomes the most wanted person in the city, sexually. They basically have no say, really, and their life is never really theirs after the Games.
Last week, my roommate was waiting for the cross walk sign to go on when a guy walked up to her to say she was beautiful, challenged her decline of a phone number, and after indicating she wanted to be left alone, he proceeded to force a hug.
The other day I was walking home when a guy walked up to me to tell me I was beautiful and he wanted my number. I declined, and his response was “oh, it must because you have a boyfriend. Damn, ya’ll must have fun.” I was grossed out, but did not feel safe enough to react as I normally would (it was getting dark out and not many people were around).
Sexual harassment has been normalized to such extent that is just another part of life all women deal with. Ask your girlfriends, I’m sure they have plenty of stories.
Violence against women starts in the streets, with the name-calling and whistling. It then escalates to blaming the same women that are being harassed for walking down the wrong street at the wrong time, wearing the “wrong” clothes, or being too drunk. We love to hate women. We love to watch them get raped and say she secretly wanted it, that she changed her mind, or she just wants money. We are torturing our women instead of defending their rights. Meanwhile, we are turning our men into sexual predators whose only goal in life is to have sex.
We all deserve to walk down the street peacefully, and we sure as hell deserve to not be looked up and down and commented on in a sexual manner. No means no, and whether or not I have a boyfriend should be irrelevant; leave me alone because I’m asking you to leave me alone, not because I went from being “up for grabs” to “taken.”
I’m tired of men thinking it is their God-given right to have a girl’s number or to harass women orally. I’m tired of men feeling entitled to women’s bodies.
Perhaps what I’m saying is clearer when we switch roles and look at the bigger picture a little different. So take a second, click on the link below, and watch this video. We all deserve to feel like humans, not victors.