Driving Instructor calls male student a 'predator' and tells him off for beeping the car horn at two female strangers
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Earlier this month Harvey Alexander, going by the handle @harvalexanderr, tweeted: “Beeped at two fit girls on a driving lesson only for my instructor to pull me over and give me a 10 minute lecture calling me a ‘predator’”.
The tweet - which was liked by over 30,000 people - received plenty of responses, many from people pointing out that his driving instructor was right to criticise him because his behaviour was a form of street harassment.
Beeping at someone you don’t know or shouting at them from your car is disrespectful and creepy, but more seriously it makes people - women in particular - feel unsafe.
A 2015 study published in the journal Sex Roles found that women who are repeatedly sexually objectified - such as through street harassment - tend to have an increased sense of anxiety toward their personal safety.
Street harassment isn’t a trivial issue. Earlier this year research by the University of Melbourne in Australia revealed that a group of women they studied were on the receiving end of a sexually objectifying event at least once every two days.
When it’s happening that frequently and causing genuine distress women should be being listened to and not belittled when they call out this kind of behaviour for what it is: harassment.
If you wouldn’t want your mum or your sister to feel threatened, objectified or scared when going about their daily life then why is it appropriate to make a random woman you don’t know feel like this? The simple answer is it’s not.
These Twitter users responses to Harvey's tweet perfectly sum up why beeping your horn at random women is not okay:
It's objectifying, pure and simple.
Intimidation is not a form of flattery, never has been and never will be.
Car horns are to alert people of danger not to make people feel in danger.
No ifs, no buts, being harrassed daily and feeling in fear of your safety is a serious issue.