This Woman Reports Street Harassment—Only To Be Further Harassed Online

by Evelyn Chapman

The first few times Poppy Smart was catcalled by construction workers on her way to work in Worcester UK, she tried to ignore it: “I started wearing sunglasses so I didn’t have to look at them. I started putting headphones on so I didn’t have to hear them,” she told BBC news. But, after a month of street harassment, she decided enough was enough, and reported the workers to the police.  

Woah, the police?! That seems extreme, right? Wrong. As long as women are pressured to ignore and submit to their own invalidation through tactics made okay by a patriarchal system, things won’t change.

Smart says the men would wolf whistle, they would then come out of the building site to jeer as she continued down the street, and one morning a man even “got up in (her) face.” She was forced to walk around them as they blocked the pavement.

The owner of the building site apologized, and Smart was understanding of the fact that he could not oversee his employees at all times. And let’s face it: grown men shouldn’t need to be babysat, and they shouldn’t need to be reminded that the privilege they think they have over women is offensive and disrespectful—oh, and completely imaginary.

West Mercia Police are looking into it, but the matter is left in the hands of the builders’ employers.

Unfortunately, not all the attention this has gotten is good, and Twitter responses prove Smart’s harassment didn’t end when she got off the street:


But on the bright side, some of it is really good:

So is cat-calling really sexual harassment? Well, yes, it is harassment of a sexual nature, so… duh! Women, regardless of their attire or physical appearance, have the right to walk down the street without the fear of being sexually objectified. And the fact that this is still such a mystery to some is absolutely bonkers.

Images via Twitter and Telegraph UK

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.