Submitted to us by a concerned member of the community as an open letter to Congressman Jose Serrano.
I am hurt, outraged, and disgusted when my girlfriend comes home from work crying because she was sexually harassed and humiliated “more times than she can count one one hand.” Upon exiting the D train at the Fordham Road – Grand Concourse station, she is hissed at, yelled at, and otherwise the target of highly sexual and vulgar comments, all in the mere 6 blocks it takes her to walk home. 6 blocks! Imagine being a petite woman, harassed more than once per block, by men both young and old, in groups or alone. I am frankly sick of it, and am losing faith in the borough of the Bronx…I say this because this happens nowhere else to her!
This problem is familiar to many women (and even minors). It is sick that the overwhelming mentality among men (and boys) in these neighborhoods is such that women can be objects of derision, meanwhile those women feel helpless to defend themselves. What if my girlfriend were to stand up for herself one afternoon, walking home alone, and voiced her anger at the man that calls out to her? What else is that man capable of, who just went out of his way to make her feel uncomfortable and used? Must she also suffer the threat of physical violence?
I desire some change among the men of these neighborhoods in the Bronx. Their act of cat calling is actually a crime – Sexual Harassment – however they can get away with it too easily. How can I, and other members of my community, enact change, to reform the social atmosphere and reprimand cat callers, hissers, and other vulgar offenders? I just want my girlfriend and all other women in her position to feel safe walking around their own neighborhood.
Otherwise, I will move – to a part of the city where people act more civilly, more respectful, and more humane.