When I watched British Transport Police's recent Report It to Stop It video, posted on Transport for London's YouTube channel on 13 April, I felt a chilling familiarity with the ordeal portrayed. I identified strongly with the victim's sense of powerlessness as she is being assaulted, unable to speak out or use any force to deter her harasser.
Mothers, daughters, women, they're not objects for your sexual gratification but people and anyone who doesn't treat them as such, well you're the ones who don't deserve any respect. I just don't know what goes through the minds of these men. Who thinks this is okay, then kisses their wife and daughter goodnight, and doesn't see the problem?
People who are deeply hurting inside, lash out to their environment... Catcalling is one of those 'lashes' and until we see that the men who do it have a need for something essential that they have missed out on or are damaged in, be it love, care, trust or lonelyness, ... this disrespectful behavior will continue.
Whether it's campaigners receiving death threats, an actress being harassed for hours in New York, mass kidnappings, genital mutilation, unequal pay, or a programmer receiving death threats over a false allegation of attempted media influence, women seem to get a raw deal in life. It's puzzling that there are so many guys out there that still have such a warped view of what it means to be a man.
For those of you who think I've lost my sense of humour or am being a hysterical, angry feminist, know that sexual harassment is no laughing matter. The reality is that every single woman has been sexually harassed at some point in her lifetime - and that includes you mothers, sisters, daughters and friends.
Instead of being quiet and saying nothing in return, which was how I handled the situations out of fear, women should tell the harassers that what they're doing is wrong. Maybe if these men hear it enough times, they'll get the hint; things will begin to change. And young women won't grow up with a twisted sense of where their value lies.
I'm disgusted. But I'm not disgusted at Newmark, whose behaviour with supposedly consenting adults is his business, and does not merit being splashed across red tops. I'm disgusted at the despicable 'journalism' that was carried out in my supposed interest... Because the truth is, I have never experienced less harassment than I have in Parliament.
"It's now time for there to be an official place to say if you have this problem, you can come here," says Thorpe. "We will be able to challenge the powers that be, no matter who you are, be you a lecturer, be you a president, we'll be able to take you to task. Once we begin to name and shame people, that would be an achievement."