The simplistic view of street harassment portrays men as apples and women as oranges.
It then goes on to highlight problems and differences in terms of a “battle of the sexes”.
My view is different. I believe that all men can be described as follows:
- Oranges are men who are NOT sexist to women.
- Apples are men who ARE sexist to women either knowingly or unknowingly.
The Apples can be further divided into Good Apples, Bad Apples, and Rotten Apples.
- Good Apples are sexist. They don’t realize it and are unknowingly harmful to women.
- Bad Apples are sexist. They know it and are knowingly harmful to women.
- Rotten Apples are sexist, perverted, and dysfunctional and thus harmful to women.
The world is a giant fruit stand with Oranges on the left side, Apples on the right, and with women walking in between. The problems are as follows:
1. The fruit stand is packed with Apples on the right and only a few Oranges on the left.
2. The Good Apples think that women’s objections to street harassment only refer to the actions of the Bad Apples and the Rotten Apples, but not to them.
3. The Bad Apples don’t care about women’s objections.
4. The Rotten Apples are too far gone to care.
5. Most women are annoyed or angered by the Good Apples, afraid of the Bad Apples, and disgusted by the Rotten Apples.
6. Sometimes Bad Apples disguise themselves as Good Apples.
7. Sometimes Good Apples unknowingly act like Bad Apples.
8. Good Apples can turn into Bad Apples and into Rotten Apples.
Therefore, the problem can be summed up as follows:
There are too many Apples and no enough Oranges.
The solution is therefore a multi-part action plan the does the following:
1. Educates the Good Apples on how street harassment is harmful to women and converts them in to Oranges.
2. Controls and stops the behavior of the Bad Apples.
3. Removes the Rotten Apples.
4. Provides women with methods to differentiate the Good Apples from the Bad Apples.
5. Provides women with methods to protect themselves from the Bad and Rotten Apples.
6. Provide women with a means to talk about their experiences with Good, Bad, and Rotten Apples as part of the healing and educational process.
I believe the rise of blogging and mobile reporting technology provided by Hollaback, Stop Street Harassment, and other websites serve the purpose of the following:
1. They make society aware that street harassment is a major problem for women. That the mere existence of harassing behavior, even if unintentionally harmful, is a major problem. Therefore, the majority of men will no longer be able to claim that their harassing actions were unintentional. They need to either take responsibility for changing their actions or be identified as intentional harassers.
2. They use mobile reporting technology as one method to control and stop the harassing behaviors that women find to be both fearful and disgusting.
3. They provide an outlet for women who have been previously victimized by street harassment.
4. They provide meaningful education to women on how to handle and deal with street harassment when it occurs.
5. They provide meaningful education to men on how to both eliminate sexist behavior in their own actions and the actions of other men.
6. They provide meaningful education to both young men and women on how to be respectful and how to communicate effectively with each other.