How Street Harassment is a Rite of Passage for Black Girls

Street Harassment: The Black Girl’s Bar Mitzvah

Ask any Black woman you know, and she’ll probably tell you street harassment has happened to her. Ask any teenage Black girl you know, and she probably thinks it’s supposed to.

Street harassment, in its own sick way, was the way I figured out I wasn’t a little girl any more. Even though, at 15 years old, I was very much a child. It’s almost a rite of passage. The Black girl’s Bar Mitzvah.

If you’ve ever followed the conversations on Twitter, you’re probably pretty versed on what street harassment is. It’s when some mouth breathing asshole decides that a great way to get a woman’s attention is to honk his horn at her. Or make passes at her while she’s walking down the street minding her own damn business. Or physically stop her. Or call her a bitch when she doesn’t give him the response he wants. He “deserves.” Or worse.

There are, of course, levels to this shit. Some of these idiots are harmless. But — and fellas please pay attention — when it’s dark and/or you’re alone, it can be very hard to differentiate between harmless idiot and f*cking criminal.

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

When you sign up for the EBONY newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about all the latest news and updates that are important to you. Gain access to exclusive interviews, videos, special events, and product giveaways delivered right to your inbox!