She Exposed a Whopping "5 Inches" of Her Legs — But That Didn't Stop the Street Harassment

She Exposed a Whopping "5 Inches" of Her Legs — But That Didn't Stop the Street Harassment
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Women have gone to great lengths to show people that street harassment is real and it happens every day. In November, artist Mirabelle Jones stood in a window display for eight hours to illustrate the pervasiveness of catcalling. A Parsons student even designed a virtual reality experience for men to see what it's like to be harassed themselves.

But sometimes, a picture says it all.

When New Yorker Christen Brandt was harassed on her morning commute, she didn't just strike back at her harasser — she struck back at anyone who would be quick to blame her for what she was wearing when it happened. 

Brandt, the cofounder of She's the First, a non-profit organization that sponsors girls' education in poor countries, posted a photo of her outfit to Facebook.

In the caption, Brandt wrote that a man passing by her said, "'Damn, you have some great legs,'" and followed it up with, "'Did you hear me, honey? I said you have nice legs. Damn! Thank you,'" when she didn't respond. 

Brandt said she was surprised by the harasser's "thank you," because it suggested that her body existed for him to look at. But the real shock was that her "great legs" were barely visible: That day, Brant was sporting a long winter coat, high boots and leggings.

She estimated all of five inches of her (clothed) legs were peeping through. 

"Next time you wonder whether your skirt is too short, next time you ask your teen daughter to change her clothes, or the next time you hear about school dress codes in the news, remember this photo," said Brandt. The post has already gotten more than 80,000 likes and 43,000 shares.

Other women have taken more drastic measures against their harassers, publicly shaming them or knocking them unconscious. You know, just girly things. But Brandt's message is that women shouldn't have to do these things at all, and the onus should be on men to stop catcalling and street harassment.

"All women have these moments," said Brandt. "All of us. And yet the world acts as if it's still our problem to fix. Get your shit together, guys." 

"I, for one, am sick of dealing with it." 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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