Generation Z—made up of people who were born between the early 1990s and 2010—is so accustomed to everyday sexism that most of us do not even notice when demeaning language is used, let alone call it out, when we hear it in songs like “Blurred Lines.”
Dear Caribbean men: We do not have to smile for you. We do not have to answer you. We do not have to dance with you. And we do not dress for you.
In 2008 I launched the website www.StopStreetHarassment.org where people around the world share their stories. I now have 15 correspondents who write monthly articles about the issue from seven countries.
Rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and any other form of violence and abuse directed at those the perpetrator wishes to control all come from a place that will continue to exist as long as we let it.
“I came to tell the truth. All I want is for justice to be done,” Gabriela Chacón said just moments before Luis Enrique Sossa Maltés was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. A few months prior to that victorious day, Luis sexually abused the 25-year-old woman on the street of San Jose, Chile. Unlike most men who harass women in public, Maltés was held accountable for his actions.
People who are regularly subjected to harassment-–most, but not all of them female–report increased stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.