Farrell calls for consideration of city bylaw against street harassment

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Some other Canadian cities have rules to deal with street harassment. In London, Ontario, you can be fined for using “abusive or insulting language” in public space.

Street harassment takes many forms, from unwanted sexual comments and whistling to blinking or fumbling, and it is based on a person’s perceived gender or sexual identity. It’s a point of interest to advocates of gender equality, as an example of how control tactics make people feel unsafe in public spaces.

Sagesse executive director Andrea Silverstone said on Monday that the street harassment could not be seen as one-off comments or isolated incidents.

“It’s a structured pattern of behavior that occurs in society that makes some people feel unsafe,” she says. “Whether it is women, 2SLGBTQ people or visible minorities who feel unsafe on the street.”

Jake Stika, executive director of Next Gen Men, said street harassment is a symptom of how boys are absorbing the message that being a man is about power and domination, and they are starting to define their interactions. in this way.

Street harassment, he explains, is largely perpetuated by men, but men are also key to ending it.

“It’s not a women’s problem. Women are affected by this… but what we have to do as guys is see it as our problem, ”he said. “We are the problem, but we are also the solution.”

Stika’s organization is working to redefine manhood and masculinity with youth and community programs as part of “upstream” work to end gender-based violence and improve men’s health and relationships.

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