Cat-call-gate: White men harass in OTHER ways

Cat-call-gate: White men harass in OTHER ways

[Ed. – I’m gonna harass someone if this endless high-pitched whine doesn’t stop.]

[W]hite men, on average, don’t catcall in the same way that men of color do—and oftentimes, as I’ve learned, they don’t do it at all.

That, of course, is not to say that white men don’t have their own predatory nature—one that is expressed in ways unique to their privilege. As we know from countless court cases, it’s not that white men don’t hassle women (or rich white men, as Joyce Carol Oates implied this week in a tone-deaf tweet), it’s that they do it in a different way. …

White men… marked their territory centuries ago. So…their sexual harassment is less invasive (“in passing,” as Bliss puts it) and harder to recognize—even when it’s staring you in the face. They do it in bars, at parties, on the frat row at your local college campus, in boardrooms, and other places men of color are never privy to, at least not in positions of power. As a biracial woman of color who, despite being half-white, likely “reads” black to many people, I’ve walked into parties thrown by traditionally white fraternities and bars with a diverse crowd, and white guys have gawked at me ever so slightly, engaging with me as they would an exotic animal at a zoo. Particularly when I’m in a group with other women of color, they circle us, giving off cues to dance in a way that suggests it’s nothing more than a social experiment for them; it’s as if they’re wondering, “what’s it really like to dance with a black girl?” And white men harass, sometimes most crudely, online—particularly, as I’ve experienced, when approaching women of color. …

The only universal experience I can glean from this week’s conversation about harassment is that all women get it in some form.

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