Harassment is unwanted pressure and intimidation from others directed towards you. Sexual harassment is harassment of sexual nature which includes comments and physical contact. To quote the National Women's Law center, "Sexual harassment is widespread in the American workplace, and has a profound impact on women. Sexual harassment ranges from derogatory comments to unwanted sexual advances and threats to sexual assault, and rape," ( http://www.nwlc.org/our-issues/employment/sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace).
"In 2014, SSH commissioned a 2,000-person national survey in the USA with surveying firm GfK. The survey found that 65% of all women had experienced street harassment. Among all women, 23% had been sexually touched, 20% had been followed, and 9% had been forced to do something sexual. Among men, 25% had been street harassed (a higher percentage of LGBT-identified men than heterosexual men reported this) and their most common form of harassment was homophobic or transphobic slurs (9%)," ( http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/).
Men do get sexually harassed; however, in this post I will be talking about women and sexual harassment. Do not give me "not all men" and "men get sexually harassed too" statements in the comments.
When I was in the fifth grade, going into sixth, I was on a bus at a camp with a friend. We were seated next to each other, and in front of us were two boys, seated opposite each other in two aisles. These boys were older than we were, possibly by several years. The boys began to taunt us, mainly me. They were verbally harassing me, and I had asked them to leave me alone several times. This verbal harassment went on for minutes, and then in progressed into physical contact. One of the boys told the one seated directly in front of me to grab my leg. The boy in front of me proceeded to grab my leg and rub his hand up and down my leg; I was wearing shorts. The boys then kept making unwanted derogatory comments at me. I was eleven years old. This was sexual harassment.
I find that sexual harassment rarely gets talked about. First of all, it is an uncomfortable subject by itself; it's unfathomable that someone could touch you without your consent in the first place, and talking about it can be difficult. Also, many girls are labelled 'attention-seekers', or told they were 'asking for it' because of what they were wearing. So an eleven year old girl in a tee and shorts was 'asking for it'? This is an effort on society's part to invalidate the experiences of these young women and to allow sexual harassers to get away without punishment and guilt-free, letting them sexual harass more people.
Sexual harassers: These are our streets that you're making us feel uncomfortable on. These are our bodies that you're making us wish we weren't in. We aren't toys for you to play with, we are human beings. You have no right to touch us without our consent. You have no right to make us uncomfortable. You have no right to hurt us. You aren't 'cute' for doing this, you aren't 'cool' for making us scared, you aren't 'hot' for making us afraid to walk our own streets during the day. Stop it.