So this question popped up on my TL

I would have answered it on Twitter, but I like it a little too much to limit it to 140 character. First I’m going to answer this question in favor of doing so then I’m going to present my counter argument.

First I think it’d be a good idea in case it is repetitive. Whether or not it is punishable in most jurisdictions, harassment is still illegal. I believe that if law enforcement received multiple complaints from women about the same man then he may get tired of being slapped by fines.  Maybe it’ll make him realize how he makes a woman feels when he makes comments towards her like she’s a piece of meat. I also don’t believe a man likes to be embarrassed. Also I think that taking pictures in a public place is actually legal so there’s no way one of those smart asses can try to counterargue “invasion of privacy”. He also would not be able to argue “freedom of speech” because the First Amendment only protects speech that doesn’t cause harm. It may change his attitude if certain areas treated street harassers like they do deadbeats. Back home pictures of deadbeats are shown on a local channel and some even have their pictures on billboards. It’d be hilarious to see how many spouses actually participate in this harassment, but that is a topic for a different day.

The same time it could be harmful for the woman in the event that the man takes revenge. Unless a woman has taken some type of self-defense class, we’re typically physically powerless against a man. I’d hate to see a woman get stalked, mugged, or raped because her taking a picture provoked him. I’m not saying a man would do that. At the same time if he is careless enough to talk to you any kind of way then there is no telling what else he’d do. Also depending on the jurisdiction, law enforcement may not want to support a woman’s decision in taking pictures. They may also basically victim shame her by telling her to walk in numbers, don’t be in that area at the wrong time, or something else stupid.

Overall I’d see no problem with taking a picture of a man that is brave enough to come at you any kind of way, but you’d have to prepare yourself for whatever he may be brave enough to do. Men for some reason have the tendency to think that if a woman is resisting him, then it’s an invitation to accept a challenge. Check to see if your area hosts RAD classes just in case, invest in some pepper spray (unless you’re in DC where it is illegal), and I just thought about another question.

What if a woman snapped and whooped a man who constantly street harassed her? 🙂

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