Laurie Penny: Why do so many men harass women on the streets? it might seem funny, but it's not
STREET harassment? What are the ladies complaining about? It's just attention, isn't it, and women love attention! They'd probably complain more if they didn't get catcalled, groped and followed home! I've heard this sort of argument from men so many times that it's impossible to dismiss as wilful stupidity.
A lot of men and boys don't understand what it's like to be a woman in a public place. The feeling that you have less right than a man to your own space, without being hassled, groped, or worse. Not every time you go out, but any time you go out, and that's what's important.
The man who yells "give us a smile!" or "nice legs!" at a passing teenager often doesn't understand that what he might think is a harmless compliment is part of a total atmosphere of threat and invasion of privacy, where any man has the right to comment on your body if you choose to go outside with it.