We recently stumbled on this blog – One Week of “Why?” and found it to be an insightful experiment that took place in 2014! The owner of the blog took one week and decided to focus on/challenge street harassment. If you are female, you know how scary street harassment is – male species thinking they can make remarks about you as you walk on your own on the road.
We don’t know who owns this project, but we are definitely grateful for it.
The owner of this was jarred into doing this when walking through London, on her own, one night, she was verbally harassed by two men making sexual comments. She found myself calmly asking “Why would you say these things, to a woman, on her own, in the dark?”. After a surprised pause, one of them finally said “Erm. I don’t know. Because you are gorgeous and I wanted to show off to my friend?”.
Then she found herself asking “You do understand that is not a kind thing to do?” There was a long pause. And finally, the man said “OK. Yeah. Yeah, I do… I’m sorry.” And he looked surprised. And she found herself saying “Thank you”.
As she walked away, the men sat in silence.
Afterward, she could not help but wonder if every single time someone harassed another person in the street, they were confronted with the opportunity to question their behaviour and the chance to even briefly contemplate its repercussions, maybe it could eventually plant the seeds for change.
Here are snippets of the project. You should check out the full experiment on the website.
— HeardinLondon (@HeardinLondon) December 7, 2014
— OneWeekofWhy (@OneWeekofWhy) March 26, 2015
— OneWeekofWhy (@OneWeekofWhy) November 30, 2014