Reclaim the Night 2010 - The Fight Against Sexist Idiots

A couple of months ago, in the bowels of the UTS Students Association, the RTN collective began their fortnightly meetings where a group of women began organizing the annual ‘Reclaim the Night” rally. This event which takes place in different forms around the world essentially is an awareness raising activity about women who suffer in silence due to various forms of abuse and/or negative activity directed at them.

So if you haven’t already come for a meeting of the collective and are worried it’s too late, fear not! We still have room and would love to see a new face or two chucking ideas around.

Anyway this article is in reference to an interesting conversation that we had during the last collective. Somehow we got on to the subject of being heckled by men (both at night and in broad daylight) and one of these lovely ladies posed an interesting question that got me thinking. What, she asked, is the best, most effective and appropriate response to give these idiots who make women feel uncomfortable, unsafe and just plain unhappy with their crude whistles, catcalls and jeering?

The initial suggestion was that “F*** OFF” is usually all one has time for if it’s a brief encounter and personally I think that in a 10 second span it is a good way to assert yourself. Then the suggestion also arose that a ‘good lecture’ would also be an option if the time were available. This conversation eventually led to one of us mentioning that all these ideas could only be practiced in daylight/amongst people as in an isolated area at night, angering these morons could have nasty consequences.

And THAT is what got me thinking. In this day and age, it seems appalling to me that not only do these jerks (man there are plenty of adjectives that I can use here), have the ability to make women feel uncomfortable just by using words, but that we can’t even assert ourselves and our right to fight back without severe fear of being put into an extremely dangerous situation. We are forced to remain silent, bow our heads down in submission and are rendered simply unable to even use our voices to assert ourselves out of sheer fear. Not fair. Not fair at all.

Women should have the freedom to walk the streets at anytime, dressed in any way we are and not have to worry about the fear of ‘something awful happening’. We should be able to respond to these dickheads in an appropriate way, after all if they make us feel unhappy, uncomfortable and unsafe, then they should get a taste of their own medicine.

And this friends, is what Reclaim the Night is all about. We have rights and it is about time we stood up and showed the world that we are taking back something that should never have been taken away to begin with. So come along and show your support!

Comments

Girl power, etc!!!! How great!
Sharanya :) xx said…
Thanks guys! I'll post an update about the rally and some pictures soon :)

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