Vicious Cycle of Sexual Harassment

13:30 Oct 21 2011 Off Jaffa Road heading into Ramallah Tata

Walking to a friend's house what started out as the usual "welcome" and "what is your name?" turned into a disturbing incident.

A young boy of around 15 years old was selling produce to passing cars with his little brother/friend who was no more than 11 years old. On noticing that they were selling things I thought it best to cross to the other side of the road to avoid hassle. However, they persisted with shouting after me -- "welcome,welcome", "where are you from?" and any other questions they had learned in English class. In such incidents I had learned it is best not to engage. However, as I proceeded up the hill I heard the boy shout out "bitch". It was at this point I turned and told him not to be so rude, in the hope that you could reason with two young boys on their own. I was responded to with "suck my dick". It became apparent that reasoning was not an option, that the boy knew exactly what he was saying and that the best course of action was to continue on my journey while they continued to shout obscenities at me.

I was infuriated more than anything and sad that the younger boy was being taught through actions that this is supposedly how you talk to and treat women. This is a clear case of the vicious cycle that exists -- young boys learning from their older supposed 'role models' by what they are witnessing on a daily basis on the streets of Ramallah.
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