The first time I experienced street harassment I was an 11-year-old kid, so (sadly) I've grown used to having strangers comment on my body (and what I should do with it). When I got pregnant, I thought, "It'll be nice to have a reprieve from that crap for a few months." Ha. Oh foolish, naive Past Me, unaware of the fact that the kind of dudes who feel fine objectifying you under normal conditions don't let a pregnancy get in the way of their aggressive, macho bullsh*t. In the moment, it's hard to come up with amazing responses to pregnancy street harassment, but that's what I'm doing here today. This is part catharsis, part vindication for my past self, and part a recognition to other pregnant ladies to assure you that a lot of us have been here. It sucks, and you're not alone.
Street harassment can take many forms. Sometimes the men are smooth and soft-spoken. Sometimes they're vulgar. Sometimes they're threatening. Sometimes their aim is only to humiliate. Some get really close on a subway. Some shout from moving cars. However, no matter the method, the aim is always the same: assert dominance over a person and situation on the basis of your gender and theirs. Pregnancy in and of itself leaves many women (certainly yours truly) incredibly vulnerable in myriad ways — in many cases, street harassment only fuels that anxiety. And, of course, it's just really, really annoying.
Like I said, in the moment street harassment can often catch you so off-guard you either choose to ignore it, or are left in a flustered and sputtering string of inarticulate obscenities. But what are some dream ways a gestating gal can respond to inappropriate and unsolicited comments hurled in her direction? Here's a list of some things you may (unfortunately) hear and how to respond: