What is it that gives men the license to slowly follow a woman in their car and call out to her? Why do they think its attractive? Does it even produce results? I was walking in Rabia last night, and no it was not late, when this happened to me.As I was looking for a cab, in my baggie red pants carrying a big bag and a laptop, not one but two men in their cars circled round twice. Clearly I was not dressed as a working woman looking for a trick. Nor was I walking provocatively or even showing any skin. So, in theory, all the usual reasons for this to happen were absent, aside from the fact that I have boobs of course. In fact if anything I crossed over to the other side of the street and walked away from the cars when ever they came close to indicate that I want to be left alone. Yet the two men seemed to think my lack of interest a come on and just kept trying harder. I was very aggravated by this behavior. What to me is noteworthy is that this happens more in the affluent neighborhoods of Amman. I am more likely to be followed and harassed in Swefieh, Abdoun and Rabia than my favorite neighborhood Jabal Amman, where I have no qualms walking at 1 am in the morning. These men have no problem following women around, calling out to them and they are protected by the law. Why? Well I called a friend who works in our PSD and asked him what I can do about this. His response was “Well, they didn’t break the law”. That in of its self aggravated me even more. The fact that I couldn’t do anything about it. I would love to have given them an earful about their behavior, but initiating any conversation with them would only have put me in a possibly dangerous situation. Why cant a woman walk down a street in peace without being cat called at or followed. It is a simple act, a simple freedom. I wish for one day these same men are on the other side of this equation and are harassed, followed, molested, pinched and made to feel that they are nothing but a walking sex body, and perhaps they will then understand the effect of the “harmless” gawking they do.
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