Most women can attest to the sad and ugly reality that street harassment is a global epidemic and everyday sexism is ubiquitous. Yet there are still some men who don’t buy that any of it is happening. Case in point, a random guy who tweeted stand-up comedian and New York Times bestselling author Jen Kirkman just to let her know that he didn’t believe she got harassed in Melbourne the other night “cuz he’s never seen it.” So Jen, our new WYSKy hero, used his mind-numbing ignorance as a wake-the-f-up-doubters teaching moment by giving women a platform – her highly visible Twitter feed – on which to share their personal stories. A social tidal wave ensued and Tweets are still flooding in.
Here’s how she started the conversation rolling…
I will now RT every woman who had experienced street harassment even in broad daylight by "normal men". Dudes. Don't mute this. Begin!
In a nanosecond, women from all over the world took over, filling Jen’s feed with short descrips of the countless levels of verbal and physical harassment they’ve faced on the street, on the job, on the school bus, at a bar, in a department store, (fill in the blank), etc. Women shared experiences and memories, all of which made our skin crawl and/or blood boil, from different stages of their lives, including childhood.
@JenKirkman was waiting for a bus and a man came up and grabbed my hands. When I recoiled he said "he couldn't help it" & walked away
A number of men who clearly had their eyes opened wide to the scope and reach of the issue shared their shock and disgust over what the women were posting, which inspired Jen to Tweet, “How. How. HOW don’t men know how widespread it is. It’s WORLDWIDE EVERY GODDAMN DAY. GETTING WORSE NOT BETTER.”
@JenKirkman I always knew about the lack of respect some men had, but I never knew it was to this scale. All of these stories are sickening.
Of the social storm she whipped up, Jen noted, “If I were a man my Twitter would get press be called genius and revolutionary and have it’s own TV show as a feminist ally.” About 9 hours later, she added…
I've lost 1,000 followers. If I were a man I would get written about as a feminist ally and people would quote me and follow twice.
You may have seen Jen on her regular appearances on Comedy Central’s @midnight. She’s done stand up on many late night shows: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,Conan, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.
She was also a long time writer and round table guest on Chelsea Lately and is well known for her roles as the narrator in many episodes of the Emmy Nominated TV series “Drunk History” on Comedy Central.