Harcèlement de rue

Femmes de la rue, par Sofie Peters-
Young woman with hidden camera on the streets of Brussels.

This short video is really disturbing, for me anyway! I am at a loss for words. It’s about a young woman who moved to Brussels and her experience of day to day subjected to harassment and insults by men when she is walking innocently attending to her own business. As women usually do, she blames herself at first, ‘perhaps I’m too provocative’ ‘perhaps it’s the way I’m dressed’ she thinks, but no, she discovered that only she but all young women who walk alone on the street are subjected to the same primitive behaviour by fellow men in Brussels! We’re not in Saudi Arabia here nor in Egypt or Oman or Baghdad, but in Brussels in the heart of Europe, so tell me someone what is going on here. And why do Europeans stand for this? So this young woman walked with a hidden camera to video her experiences. It is shocking. The video is in French, so those who understand French will understand the ‘names’ she’s being called as men pass her by, and the looks she gets from men, you can see clearly, no language barrier here. I am from the Middle East myself and I ran away to escape this half a century ago. Now it’s arrived on the streets of Europe. And if nothing is done about this it’ll probably get much worse. Are there no men around with brains and intelligence left in this world or is the old saying proving to be true even in 2014 – ‘that men have their brains in their penis!’ and ‘women are here only to satisfy their sexual pleasures’ I can’t believe I am writing this here on my blog but I am so upset at this. And one can see clearly also on this video its Moslem men mostly who are attacking this girl. I’ve had my fill of being politically correct and this has nothing to do with being prejudiced, it has to do with facts. Fact is also that many western men share the same disrespect for women. As I understand as of September such insults from men are going to be fined in Brussels. And about time too I say. Bad behaviour is just not acceptable no matter who from. Human rights is for everyone and not only for one part of the population! Perhaps when these people who have no respect for women and others are fined or punished enough then they will think again. To make things worse I just heard about the two girls who were gang raped and hung somewhere in India! Are men ever going to evolve to be intelligent human beings? Are they ever going to evolved to learn to control their sexuality? Or is it their God given right that they can flaunt themselves whenever they feel aroused and force themselves on whomever they happen to fancy? Again I can’t believe that I’m actually writing this but something inside me is just boiling. I recall only too well when I was seventeen walking on al Rashid Street in the centre of what once was modern cosmopolitan Baghdad, happy with myself and the world, and a young man passing me by pinched my breast! I was in shock! It happened so fast he was long gone before I realised what had happened and my whole world came crashing down on me. There were people all around us, I was to ashamed to react in any way except to freeze! In that one second I was so mad so insulted I could have killed! OK, now it’s out! I’ve kept this to myself for half a century! I have never mentioned this to anyone ever before and this video just brought it all up again – this feeling of rage – at being abused for no reason at all other than being a pretty girl. I wrote a book about my two decades born and raised in Baghdad in the 40s and 50s. Once Upon a Time in Baghdad. I did not include this little secret in my book. Why? Because I’d forgotten it, or so I thought until I saw this video and suddenly wanted to throw up as it all came back to me. It just seems like some things never change. Somehow I think women have to take some of the blame because after all, men are raised by mothers, my question is – what are the mothers teaching their boys? I strongly believe it is up to us women, each one of us, to make the necessary changes in this world and to educate the boys who will soon be men.
Here’s the video

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