Sexual Harassment On the Steets of Portswood

It is a well known fact that Portswood is synonymous with scum. I think we’ve lost count of how many female students have been the victims of sexual attacks here […]

It is a well known fact that Portswood is synonymous with scum. I think we’ve lost count of how many female students have been the victims of sexual attacks here over this past year. The majority of those attacks occurred late at night, and let’s face it, you must know that there is a possibility that some drunken local might shout derogatory bullshit at you, especially if you’re wearing something short or revealing. Sad, but true. Since the slew of attacks took place, I, like many other female students made sure not to ever walk alone in the dark. But hey, that didn’t stop them. I want to shed light on something which I haven’t heard any one else address; sexual harassment in broad daylight.

Before I go any further I’d like to clarify that I don’t dress provocatively by any means, I know better in this neck of the woods. But even if a women does show some cleavage or wear a short skirt she does not deserve to be disrespected and verbally attacked. I definitely make an effort to “cover up” even more on my way home from Highfield. Yet I have now come to the point where I dread walking the streets of Portswood in case I find myself either being approached or walking towards those dodgy Portswood specimens. I’m not just talking about men shouting at me from across the street, nope, they get much closer than that, which makes it even more uncomfortable. In fact, if I have the opportunity I always cross the street so I can try to avoid any kind of scenario of this nature. Fortunately I’ve never been physically assaulted, but have experienced repeated verbal harassment over this past year. The first few times I simply brushed it off after hearing it, even though it was unpleasant. But I have recently hit my breaking point, and feel that I need to say something.

Hearing two middle aged men talk about how much they want to fuck you in the ass is not how I want to start my day. Nor is having some chav tell me he can see my nipples and then tell me to suck his cock. Yes, I have several other examples, but I won’t list them all, you get the idea. Oh and some of them were also racist. Charming, right? I’ve never considered telling them off, because in the moment I completely freeze and all I’m thinking about is getting away as quickly as possible. Even if I did, it’s not like it would do anything and they’d stop harassing women, and the last thing I’d want to do is provoke them to take things further.

Now some men reading this may think that I should just “man up” or take it as a compliment, but I assure you that if you were in my position you’d feel small and worthless, especially when it happens time after time.

I’ve lived in a few different countries and visited several others, and nothing remotely close to this has ever happened. In Italy it’s very common for men to do the whole “Ooooh, ciao bella!” spiel, but it’s completely harmless, and sort of charming. I never thought that I’d be living anywhere where I’d repeatedly experience getting harassed out in the open during the day. This was certainly the last thing on my mind when I decided to move to England for university. Am I just naïve? Is this a normal thing here? I know that it would most likely not happen if you’re in a posh neighbourhood, but no matter how scummy the area this kind of thing is completely unacceptable. Some people really don’t have any respect for women, and it makes me physically sick and livid.

I know that if I’m experiencing this then there must be several other girls who do as well. All I can say is that I’m really looking forward to moving away from Portswood, and I have a feeling that the grass is greener up in Highfield.