Isn't she a little young?

HollaBackBoston focuses on street harassment as part of the spectrum of sexual violence. This wide scope includes all forms of disempowerment, abuse, neglect, coercion, and lack of consent. We believe in order to combat one end of the spectrum, we must confront the other as well. When misunderstood, we try to explain that when we participate in a dismissive, permissive culture, everyone suffers. Negligent, harmful attitudes about sexuality and the objectification of women carry over in disgusting, abusive ways, and much of this can be traced to base beliefs and core values about the worth of self and others.

Street harassment isn't confined to adult women and the immature boys who yell at them. Neither is assault, coercion, or domestic violence. While there are grey areas we all must navigate, as a grey area survivor, I know firsthand why the slippery slope of this violent spectrum is dangerous.

Take as an example the Virginia campaign to end the apparent widespread problem of young girls having sex with adult men. Though this campaign first surfaced in 2004, it remains an excellent example of the issues that lie along this weaving line of consent and appropriate behavior. Because many people do not always know or respect proper boundaries, this campaign, while seeming silly, does address a serious issue as young women become more sexualized in our culture and older men prey on this subordination.

Some further reading is available on Salon.com and on the state of Virginia's website, as well as the typical shrug-off from Boston's Weekly Dig, VA Does the Unthinkable.

By Brittany Shoot, protected by Creative Commons License 2.5

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