Advanced #4: If You See Something, Say Something

Intro: My goals for this essay were to make sure that I was able to incorporate my quotes in my essay, make sure that I stayed within the word limit and making sure that I was able to develop my larger idea throughout the whole essay. I wanted to have the format of the essay be something that's different from what I have done in the past, and this time I did a question-answer format. At the start of writing this, I wasn't sure where I was going with my topic, but then I found more sources to uses and I was able to develop an idea.


Street harassment is an issue in society that not only affects women, but it also affects men. When thinking about street harassment, you have to ask yourself questions like what is considerably good or evil, do you think that people are good or evil, and are people returning to their animalistic state. These can help determine what your view is like on the topic of street harassment. Street harassment doesn’t just affect people in the U.S., it affects people all over the world. We mainly hear stories about women getting sexually harassed and not having anyone there to defend them, and if there is a witness, they don’t do anything about it. We don’t normally hear stories about men being sexually harassed, but it is just as relevant a topic that sexual harassment is for women. When this happens, people are being disrespectful to both genders and degrading them. We should keep this in mind and try to answer the question what causes street harassment and how can we stop it?

Part of the problem lies in how the general public defines sexual harassment in public spaces. At work, there is a government-approved definition: ‘unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.’ There are rules to be followed, departments to hear grievances, and punishments issued to offenders.”, quoted by Emily Smith from CNN. She answers the question of what sexual harassment is and mainly where it can happen. People seem to have this idea that it’s okay to go up to a stranger and treat them in a disrespectful way, just because there is someone to mistreat. It is stereotypically said that men will just go up to women and start treating them in this way, but some women will do the same to men. The question that needs to be asked is why do people think they have the right to walk up to a complete stranger and just undermine them. This can also go into the topic of whether people become animalistic when they sexually harass someone.

“When I was introduced to catcalling, it was like a game, just trying to be funny or look cool. We saw older guys doing it, then started in ourselves around 13, 14. It was as easy as saying hi to your neighbor. If she looked developed, there was a comment for her. If a girl frowned across the street, it amused us. We weren't necessarily looking for a response.”, quoted from an NPR radio piece. This answers the question of why people sexually harass others and catcall. This also relates to the topic of whether there is good or evil in the world and what people consider to be good or evil when “choosing” a side in terms of sexual harassment.

“I think it depends on who you ask and where you are in the country. While there are many, many women who are vocal about how much they hate it, there are still a lot of people who dismiss it as no big deal, or who simply don’t understand how prevalent it is. I know that one of my male co-workers a few years ago didn’t realize how big of a problem it is until we started taking an afternoon walk each day, and he saw how often I got honked at. Even among the men who don’t do it, and who agree it’s shitty, I don’t think most are taking active steps to discourage it.”, quoted by Rachel Miller on Buzzfeed News. “I was on the metro on my way home this evening and a man sat next to me and began to loudly talk about how nice my legs looked. I told him to stop and he wouldn’t and I couldn’t get out of the seat. He continued to encroach on myspace so I turned my head, and could feel everyone looking at me but not doing anything.”, quoted from Hollaback. This asks the question of whether there is good or evil in the world and it also answers that question. The way you decide to answer this question or how you perceive the perspective of this, all depends on what you consider to be good or evil.

“Our research shows that as little as a knowing glance can reduce trauma in the face of harassment, but the wrong response can actually increase trauma. With so many eager to step up, we need everyone to be equipped with the right information on how to be an effective bystander in the midst of violence enacted within our communities. With ten years of this work already under our belt, we at Hollaback! are poised to arm you with the tools you need to respond to harassment and protect the rights of everyone.” This answers the bigger question of what to do if you or someone is being harassed.

"Hey Baby! Women Speak out against Street Harassment." CNN. Cable News Network, 6 Oct. 2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2017. <>.

Rossalyn Warren, Marie Kirschen, Lane Sainty, Jina Moore, Rachel Wilkerson Miller, Hannah Giorgis, Nirali Shah, Bibiñe Barud. "Here's What Street Harassment Is Like In Eight Countries Around The World." BuzzFeed. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2017. <>.

"From Online to the Streets,." Hollaback You Have the Power to End Harassment Home Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2017. <>.

"Radio Rookies: Reformed Catcaller Explores Roots Of Street Harassment." NPR. NPR, 23 Aug. 2016. Web. 17 Mar. 2017. <>.