When and Where We Enter, Male Chauvinist Pigs Follow: Is 'Purdah' the Answer to Male Privilege?

| Tue Jan. 29, 2008 7:11 PM EST

Or does it simply justify assaulting any woman who rejects seclusion?

If you're a woman and have spent any time in urban centers (i.e. lots of walking and public transportation) you know whereof you speak when it comes to street harassment. It is a measure of how entrenched male privilege is that men can sit down to dinner with a house full of female loved ones without having to know that someone masturbated onto her coat that day or whispered disgusting things in her ear. It's so pervasive, so dismissed—boys will be boys, heh, heh—it goes unmentioned and unredressed.

This explains why nearly naked, hysterical women got turned away by uniformed cops during the 2000 Central Park wilding and why the police will do little about street harassment that stays this side of bloodshed. I shudder for the day my 4 year old baby has to walk the streets alone. She happens to be gorgeous, much better looking than your daughters, but all that matters is that she's female. In fact, God help the ugly, fat or disfigured ones; they catch pure, unadulterated hell for daring to walk around being unasthetically pleasing to Joe Bob with his beer belly and no job or Joe Corporate with his comb-over and pointless Dunder Mifflin gig. I once spent four months profiling a prison inmate and being escorted to and from, like all visitors, by trustees at the minimum security facility. I swear to God, those guys spent the entire time (profil-ee included) hitting on me speed-date-from-hell style, with all the finesse of Lothar of The Hill People. THEY WERE IN PRISON but still felt totally free to harass me. Think I'm overreacting to the supposed prevelance of male privilege? Check this lede for the piece linked to (below) on female-only trains in Japan:

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