Sur­veys will not keep us girls liv­ing in a state of fear

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS - BY LARISSA NOLAN

It’s un­likely you’ll be ha­rassed or at­tacked on a bus repack­aged as ev­i­dence of the en­tire male race be­ing men­aces of so­ci­ety.

Most women – 93% – feel more vul­ner­a­ble be­cause of their gen­der. I’m sur­prised it wasn’t 100% – we are more vul­ner­a­ble be­cause we are the phys­i­cally weaker sex, and be­cause, as we know, men com­mit the vast ma­jor­ity of vi­o­lent crime. But only a small per­cent­age. Just as all women aren’t mass hys­ter­ics, all men are not sex crim­i­nals. It is un­help­ful to both sexes to prop­a­gate this dan­ger­ous myth, de­stroy­ing trust be­tween them and rob­bing them of be­ing free to en­joy ro­mance, de­sire and lust in all its free­dom.

The sep­a­rate sur­vey – which creep­ily asked girls if they’d ever been cat­called in their school uni­forms – also threw up more ques­tions than it an­swered.

It found one-third of girls had been “sex­u­ally ha­rassed” in their school uni­forms, a tit­il­lat­ing head­line if ever there was one.

But how did they de­fine sex­ual ha­rass­ment? It can be any­thing from a wink or a wave to a wolfwhis­tle and on to some­thing more sin­is­ter. It can also be cat­e­gorised as sim­ply “un­wanted at­ten­tion”, which re­ally takes in a va­ri­ety. One per­son’s friendly be­hav­iour is an­other’s un­wanted at­ten­tion.

We don’t live in a utopia. In a pub­lic place, free­dom of move­ment and ex­pres­sion means peo­ple can do and say what­ever they want, within rea­son.



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