Why we need to start #Shoutingback
The Everyday Sexism Project, set up by English writer and activist Laura Bates, exists to ‘catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis’.
The hope is that soon everyone using Twitter in the UK will have at least heard of @Everydaysexism.
Via twitter and their blog the project aims to document stories of sexism from the normalised, through the minor, to the dangerously offensive.
One stand out topic relating to street harassment has now taken on its own twitter hashtag: #Shoutingback.
Within 24 hours of its creation thousands of female tweeters were contributing to the host of stories revealing incidents of street harassment.
Interestingly, many of these tweets made reference to the recent gang rape and murder of a 23 year-old student in the Indian city of Delhi. Tweeting that rape and harassment is not confined to India.
“There is nothing ‘Indian’ about street harassment”. Tweeted feminist writer, Soraya Chemaly.
There is a misconception that regular harassment and rape is a foreign problem, but endeavours like The Everyday Sexism project are bringing to light the fact that we need to wake up to the harassment and fear women experience every day all across the globe.
If you’re still not convinced then take a look at the stream of stories and support from both men and women generated by the hashtag.
Speaking to Stylist Magazine Bates said of the #Shoutingback movement: “One of the big problems with street harassment is that if you don’t experience it, you rarely see it, so there’s a huge lack of awareness about just how serious the issue still is.
“Many people have no idea how extreme women’s daily experiences are – how they are made afraid simply for leaving the house or having the audacity to walk unaccompanied down the street.”