Twitter hashtag #NoWomanEver takes street harassment to task

Young woman walking away from young man standing with hands on hips

Photo via Tay Jnr/Getty

Men, take note.

There’s a story I’ve been telling friends over drinks about a man who catcalled me a few weeks ago. Having to cross Bourbon St. in New Orleans on my way to and from the gym breeds some seriously strange street harassment.

The man who literally squatted down so that he was eye level with my ass and proceeded to shout at it, “hey jiggly booty” takes the cake, though. It’s a pretty funny, remarkably absurd way to get a woman’s attention, but it’s still unwanted.

Making light of the systemic problem of street harassment is its own empowering tool in terms of raising awareness. The Twitter hashtag #NoWomanEver, which began trending nationally over the weekend, perfectly illustrates just how poorly thought out a catcall can be and why we shouldn’t stand for them.

At its most humorous, it’s a comedic exercise in what would happen if a woman accepted, say, a man berating her for not smiling. Many of the examples intersect with the threat of violence and intimidation, however.

#NoWomanEver is a necessary hashtag that should be seen by all, taking the private conversations of all who are tired of street harassment and making them public. Let’s hope this important dialogue continues.

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