May 30, 2020
When I started walking from the North London suburbs into central London last week for my first lockdown friend-date, I had many mundane thoughts in my head. Will my phone battery last long enough to maps my route? Have I remembered how to carry a conversation? It was a hot day and I was content in my plod across the UK’s new Black Mirror set, watching people shout conversations from two metres apart. The last thing on my mind was my safety. Maybe it should have been.Related... We're Only Allowed Outside Once A Day, But Women Are Still Being Harassed “Alright love?” came a shout from a bench on a curb where three men sat (and not two metres apart). Out of practice, my brain dusted off its muscle-memory powered guide to street harassment as I quickened my pace and mentally scanned for crowds of people or shops I could hide in. Oops. “Wow look at that!” another said as I tugged at my shorts willing them to cover my whole body and make me invisible; nervous that this barely perceptible reaction could be mistaken for engagement in their calls. Later, I was rattled again as a man on a bike slowed down to wink at me.
Even Social Distancing Hasnt Saved Women From Sexual Harassment
The culmination of these experiences made me think only one thing – seriously? We are living in a global pandemic in which it is even dangerous to stand too close to my mum. Why am I still being harassed on the street?While I automatically looked for crowds and shops I could hide in, there were, of course, none – with only essential shops open and pairs of people walking down the street.Catcalling has always felt threatening because it breaks social convention. When a man shouts at a woman on the street they show that they disregard their boundaries and are willing to make them feel uncomfortable. And every time a man does this, it raises the question: what other boundaries are they comfortable shunning? With the best will and gym-routine in the world, if a man decided to physically assault me – I would not be able to stop him.  Overreaction? Last November, a man raped and killed a 19-year-old American student after she ignored his catcalls. Street harassment is dangerous. It’s invasive. It’s embarrassing. And its utterly intractable from power dynamics. If anyone still thinks catcalling is funny, or a compliment – please think again. It’s objectification.
In the five second period in which I walked past those men who stared, enjoyed, and then commented on my body, I became non-consensually complicit in their sexual gratification. Wanting desperately for this not to be the case, I wished I was wearing something else. It was 25C. Why should I have been?
Now, amid a global pandemic where any social contact is unacceptable for other reasons, this crossing of clear lines feels more shocking. While I always wonder if men who cat-call believe they are being charming and will successfully initiate a sexual encounter, or are merely vocalising a deep-seated entitlement, those potentially wanting the former in a global lockdown seem more bizarre than ever. Not only is it scary to think they could assault me – what if they have Coronavirus and pass it on?Related... 50 Years After Equal Pay Act, Women On Coronavirus Frontline Are Undervalued And Underpaid Opinion: Boris Johnson, Mothers Will Be Left Behind Without Investment In Childcare I Quit Watching Porn For My Wellbeing. Lockdown Is Testing My Resolve As A Survivor Of Sexual Assault, The Pandemic Is An Unexpected Break From Trauma I’m not alone in my worries. Last month a study by charity Plan International UK found that 20% of women aged 14 to 21 had suffered street harassment since the government implemented social distancing measures. A quarter feel in danger when exercising alone and a third fear going to the shops. 
20% of women have even said street harassment has got worse. And while women like me felt that fewer people on the streets would equate to fewer people sexually harassing women, in practice this has meant there are fewer places of safety to turn to when it happens. While I automatically looked for crowds and shops I could hide in, there were, of course, none – with only essential shops open and pairs of people walking down the street. And if something physical had happened, would I have been able to rely on people to break social distancing measures and help, risking spreading coronavirus? The Plan International Study corroborates these fears with 40% of people reporting fewer shops to go to and a third believing the police would be too occupied with other issues to help.
How then can women cling onto some sense of safety in our already increasingly baffling world. While a 2018 law in France made street harassment illegal, the UK benefits from no such protection and catcalling is not an offense. Through their campaign OurStreetsNow, sisters Maya and Gemma Tutton hope to change this – and their petition calling to make it illegal has been signed over 200,000 times.
As night fell and I walked back from central London to the suburbs I was more cautious and less naïve. Even though we’ve seen growing community cohesion and unity against the virus, it hasn’t melted away all other risks faced in day to day life. But if lockdown hasn’t given women respite from Sexual Harassment – what will?
Kate Plummer is a freelance journalist.Related... We're Only Allowed Outside Once A Day, But Women Are Still Being Harassed Race Hate Crimes Against East And Southeast Asian People Have Quadrupled In Wake Of Coronavirus I Work In An abortion Clinic. Abusive protesters Outside Make My Job Impossible
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Lisa Barlow claims Meredith Marks slept with ‘half of New York’ | Page Six
January 24, 2022
N3iYmGso2uA
Julia Fox takes Kim Kardashian’s silver boots for a spin with Kanye West | Page Six
January 24, 2022
yfT1cIOluVQ
Alex Rodriguez is ‘enjoying life’ amid Kathryne Padgett outings | Page Six Celebrity News
January 24, 2022
e_vD2utAwh0
‘The Bachelor’ Host Jesse Palmer on Why Men Love the Show and if He’ll Return for Another Season
January 24, 2022
zqtWHnfxLlA
'You Won't Be Alone' Director Goran Stolevski on Macedonian Folk Thriller | Variety Sundance Studio
January 24, 2022
kc11dJavWPY
'The Princess' Reexamines Princess Diana's Life Through a Different Lens - Variety Sundance Studio
January 24, 2022
tXedAjEQT3w
"90 Day" Underwear, "Too Hot to Handle" & "Kandi & The Gang"
January 24, 2022
qil1w33lZz8
Adele's Superfan, Ye's Funky Feet & Shawn's Slip-Up
January 24, 2022
-_H5fJpZXM8
Taylor Swift CLAPS BACK at "F--ked Up" Comment
January 24, 2022
UcVj4p4tHlE
Kim Kardashian Spotted Near Black-Owned Coffee Shop, Filming New Show | TMZ
January 24, 2022
kCzotJr2xuo
Adele Cancels Her Las Vegas Residency Due to COVID Setbacks on Crew | TMZ TV
January 24, 2022
JcBHMBnIluA
Arnold Schwarzenegger Involved in Brutal Car Wreck | The TMZ Podcast
January 24, 2022
f0mFMP3Crf8
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.