Street Harassment: Same Old Shit, 40 Years Later

[Content Note: Street Harassment]


[Image Description: Comic book opening splash page. A dark-haired white women walks down a night-time street, followed by about six white men.Narrative text box: "Diana Prince has a problem this night! And how many women get by without having to deal with this dilemma?" Harasser #1: "Hey, ain't that a pretty one?" Harasser #2: 'I'd like to put that one in my stable! Harasser #3: Wow! What a stuck-up dame! Who does she think she is?" Harasser #4: "You think you're something, huh sweetheart? But I'd like to put you in your place!" Diana thinks: "Here we go again! If I smile and try to be a good sport, they follow me and come on stronger! If I ignore them, and walk on by, I get-- static!" Narrative: 'What would you do? Diana Prince has other thing son ehr mind this evening...but when a problem persents itself as often as this... what can you do? .. But face it!" In an inset box, Diana, in confrontational pose, says "Hey, you guys...!"]

This image was published just over 40 years ago, for issue #203 of Wonder Woman (November-December, 1972). It's part of a "special Women's Lib Issue," that makes an attempt to connect the feminist issues of the day to the fictional adventures of Wonder Woman. There's a lot I could say about that issue, or even this panel, its successes and failures, etc.

But what strikes more more than anything is this: how little has changed in the United States, despite 40 years of feminist protest against street harassment. It's still ubiquitous. It's still a barrier to full participation in public life. There are still no good options. And it's still one of those things we're just supposed to put up with, like wind or rain.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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