“ It’s part of a culture of normalizing the idea that women exist solely for the sexual pleasure of men.” I think that would more honestly read “It’s part of a culture of normalizing the idea that women exist partly for the sexual pleasure of men, and men exist partly for the sexual pleasure of women.”

Sexual Harassment is only harassment if it is unwelcome, and repeated after it has been made clear it is unwelcome. Otherwise it is flirting, propositioning or seduction, but is isn’t harassment.

We are thinking rational human beings only when our emotions are in neutral. We are sexual beings and are subject to sexual attraction, and men do act in irrational ways when their blood rushes away from their brains. I’m not sure we can completely eradicate this kind of behaviour without eradicating the human race as well: how do you expect the parents of the next generation to hook up? Of course I reject utterly the right of men to grope, verbally abuse or expose themselves to women, but there is a grey area between sexuality and sexual harassment. Is a stranger asking you out, or asking for your phone number harassment? Only if it continues after you say no. No means no.

I do sympathise with women walking on the street alone, and feel awful when I am walking down a street while a lone woman is walking the same way ahead of me. It makes me feel that she will fear that I am following her. After all, that is the most common form of street harassment reported. I either pass the woman so she is then following me, or take the first opportunity to turn off. If I can’t reasonably do either — say it is the way to my car — then we just walk on feeling awkward. I wish I, and the woman, didn’t have to feel that way because some men are assholes.

I work in IT, Community volunteer interested in Politics, support Capitalism as the best economic system for lifting people out of poverty, Skeptical scientist.

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