Welcome to the It’s Not A Compliment online community!
We at Witness Project intend this to be a safe space where both men and women can share their experiences with and thoughts about the epidemic of street harassment in Guyana in a constructive and respectful way. We also want to hear your ideas on how to end this culturally accepted form of gender violence.
But what exactly is street harassment?
Street harassment ranges from leers, whistles, catcalls, kissing noises, sexually explicit and non-sexually explicit evaluative comments, to more insulting and threatening behavior like vulgar gestures, sexually charged comments, flashing and stalking, to illegal actions like public masturbation, groping, sexual touching, assault, and murder.
This video shows a few examples of what everyday street harassment looks like:
It’s also important to note what street harassment is NOT. It is not a compliment. It is not just ‘boys being boys’. It is not flirting. Street harassment limits people’s mobility and access to public spaces. It’s a form of gender violence and it is a human rights violation.
So we, along with our partners Help & Shelter and the Ministry of Education, invite you to share your stories to shed a light on this issue. By speaking up you let others know that this behavior is not ok, that is not a ‘small thing’, that is a violation and will no longer be tolerated.
We don’t want to set a lot of rules, but we do want to ensure that our conversations maintain this tone. WITNESS Project International therefore asks that you:
- Be nice. We can disagree on issues without personally attacking someone. Let’s keep our exchanges courteous and respectful of each other’s points of view; and
- Be as positive and constructive as you can. We hope one of the major benefits of this blog will be its usefulness as a tool for encouraging collaboration and developing solutions to Guyana’s street harassment issue.
Some things that we specifically discourage include:
- Offensive or violent language;
- Hateful or discriminatory comments regarding race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation or political beliefs;
- Links or comments containing sexually explicit content material;
- Violations of copyright or intellectual property rights;
- Commercial solicitations, other forms of spam, link baiting or files containing viruses that could damage the operation of other people’s computers or mobile devices; and
- Attacks on specific groups or any comments meant to harass, threaten or abuse an individual. (Thanks to Social Bankers for this list)
With that out of the way, let’s get the conversation going! We look forward to sharing viewpoints and stories with you.
Share Your Street Harassment Story
Entries may be lightly edited for grammar/spelling.