For everyone who downplays the danger of street harassment, who thinks women should just accept it as a fact of life, take note: Mildred Beaubrun is dead. It was sufficiently horrific that this child was shot, but now she’s dead.
I have love and respect for the folks over at Hollaback, but we need to be doing more than hollering. If Mildred Beaubrun and her friends had taken pictures of the men in that car, would the men have been caught, or would more shots have been fired and would all three girls be dead today?
People got so excited early in the spring when the news hit about a creep who trolls the 4, 5 and 6 trains. So yes, this guy is temporarily off the street … but it was his fifty-third arrest. Does anyone really believe the 53-time-charmer is going to stop assaulting women? Dozens of arrests and barely two weeks after he’s out of jail he gets picked up for the same crime? Doesn’t sound like reform to me.
There is nothing benign about what happens to women on the street. Period. It’s not flattering. It’s not funny. It’s not enough for the people we tell to shake their heads and say, ‘Guys like that are such losers.’
So what happens? Mildred Beaubrun is dead. This 18-year-old girl is dead. Dead because some man decided that she deserved to be shot because she wouldn’t give him her phone number. She is dead.
Gotta do more than holla.