sweetie, how are you?"
from the moment I stepped off the airport bus. Innocuous-sounding
enough, but poison in its context. Wherever I went, whatever I
did, there he would be, in my face. Asking me questions, making
comments. I could not lie on the beach alone, walk down the street
alone, sit at a cafe alone. It was constant, unceasing, without
mercy. And without consequence.
start with me," I cautioned the first two. "Whopa!"
they said, simultaneously impressed and entertained by my response.
They left me alone after that; but usually I was not so lucky.
men, creepy old men, and everything in-between. They saw female
flesh and went for it: "Hello, how are you today?"
to be alone," I replied. He kept coming towards me, still
talking. "I said I want to be alone." He did not stop.
"Get the fuck away from me! I don't want to talk with you,
and I don't want you near me!" He called me crazy. He started
prancing about, yelling about what a nut I was. I moved to a different
part of the beach. I moved.
sweetie..." The jogger talked at me as he ran by. He ran
past me again, talking again. He stopped and came over to me.
I tried the ignoring technique. It didn't work. "Can't you
just leave a woman alone? Can you deal with the concept that I
don't want to talk with you? I am really sick of this! Get away
I had been
thinking for a long time about the idea of hitting men who harassed
me. The prospect was looking quite delicious at this point. I
was close, very close...
how are you?" I was lying on the wide low wall bracing the
stairs down, listening to music on my walkman. The sun was shining
on me, and I was feeling good. The idiot kept talking. I opened
my eyes a slit to see who he was. His face was temptingly close
to my foot. I considered the possibilities. The moron kept talking.
"Hello?! Hellooooooo?!" he said, waving a hand back
and forth, as if to wake me up. I jumped up and verbally devoured
him. "I'm not answering you because I don't want to talk
with you! Get the fuck out of here!" I was right in his face.
He freaked out and retreated, whimpering. I wished I had kicked
him. I was getting closer.
at the Jerusalem bus stop, to meet a friend for lunch. We chose
a tasty falafel/shwarma restaurant halfway down the block. I placed
my order and looked around, only to see one of the two young soldiers
near me staring at my chest. I pretended it was not happening
and tried distracting myself. I went over to look at the wall-to-wall
pictures of Mizrahi rabbis. How often, after all, did I have the
pleasure of seeing pictures of non-Ashkenazi rabbis, even in restaurants
owned by Mizrahim (Middle Eastern/North African Jews)?
you from England?" the soldier asked when I returned, still
staring at my chest. "What are you looking at?" I challenged.
"He's looking at your backpack," his friend answered.
As I struggled to think of what to say next, the friend added,
"He's staring at your breasts." "What are you,
chauvinists?" I replied. Damn! Just didn't sound as good
in Hebrew. No punch. "G-d forbid!" the friend said in
mock offense. They giggled with delight, thoroughly amused by
the friend continued, "is it a sin for a guy to look?"
I practically jumped up his nostrils, shouting at him. "Yes,
it's disgusting. Women are not slabs of meat for men to gape at."
I had an idea. "How would you feel if women talked to you
while staring at your dick?" I leaned over sideways in front
of the guy, placing my head squarely in front of his penis. "Would
you like it if women talked to you this way?" They both laughed,
in a way that was partly disconcerted and partly amused. "Oh,
you think it's funny?" I asked. There was no stopping me
now. "What about if I hit it?"
my hand under his penis.
back, startled, confused. A woman started running around in circles,
yelling, "What is it? What's happening? What's going on?"
The man behind the counter calmly kept making my falafel. "See,"
I shouted at the soldier I just hit, "that's what it feels
like when men stare at my chest. It's feels as violating as being
hit." By this point, the guy who originally stared at my
chest had run out of the store. I ran after him. I was on a roll.
I found him outside, laughing uncontrollably, with his penis partially
erect. "Oh, you think it's funny?" I asked. "What
about if I hit yours?" I slammed my hand under his penis,
grabbing his balls. He stopped laughing. I gave him the same speech.
I ran back
in the store, yelling god knows what. "Hey," I said
to the soldier inside, "You've got a cute butt!" Slam!
I hit it. The soldier outside came back in. "In fact, you've
got a cute butt too!" Slam! This guy was really upset by
now, shifting back and forth, unsure what the hell to do. I was
ready to take him on. He just stood there shifting on his feet,
looking thoroughly distressed. I was having a blast.
The man behind the counter finished making my falafel. The woman
still was running around frantically, trying to figure out what
was going on. I paid for my falafel and thanked the man, beaming
with delight. I walked out of the restaurant, laughing with my
head thrown back. Deep, unbridled laughter from my belly. Chortles
of freedom and power. It was one of the greatest moments of my
life, and I was in absolute ecstasy.
thought they could get away with speaking to and looking at me
however they pleased, regardless of how I felt or what I said.
Our interaction occurred in a social context where women usually
do not confront verbal or visual assault - or physical assault,
for that matter. We usually look away; try to ignore the men;
pretend that what is happening is not actually happening; or become
brain dead and giggly, deluding ourselves that the men actually
are flattering us. At best, we tell the guys to leave us alone;
or in more colorful terms, we tell them to fuck off.
barely any significant consequence to male assault of women. Men
can and do assault women in various forms, with absolutely no
physical, economic, political, or emotional ramifications whatsoever.
In fact, men can gain more social power by assaulting women than
by refraining from assault. By verbally assaulting women in the
street, they can score points with their pals. By raping women
in a fraternity, they can score points in the old boys' network.
Considering the patriarchal social context where women are used
as mere instruments for male existence, assaulting women is all
part of the game plan; and there is far more incentive to assault
than there is deterrent.
factors, women's verbal resistance is all part of the power trip:
You can say no, and I will continue anyhow. You have no power
whatsoever, girly girl. You have no impact. I, to the contrary,
clearly DO. For this reason, the soldiers got even more delight
out of our interaction when I verbally resisted their assault.
How titillating; she's so cute when she's angry! And look - we
can keep assaulting her, and nothing will happen to us!
Or so they
of women think it is big deal and strong enough to verbally resist
male visual/verbal assault. I propose that to see it as such is
to operate from a place where we perceive the men as being above
us, stronger than us, like parent or some other "authority"
figures; and to perceive ourselves as children, underneath them,
so that it takes tremendous courage for us just to say anything
at all. Saying something - anything - is perhaps better than not
resisting at all. But let's go beyond the bare minimum already.
Let's do something that has impact, consequence; something that
will deter assault, something that will turn the assaultive energy
around - in the heat of the moment - and give us power instead
of taking it from us. Let's go beyond merely resisting what they
are doing to us; let's start doing something to them...
women happens every day, every hour, every minute, every second,
multiple times a day in every woman's life, in many different
forms. None of this assault should be happening, period. And I
think it is time to stop it, whatever it takes.
is street harassment? How far does attention from strangers, specifically
male-to-female, have to go to be considered harassment? I suppose
it’s fair to say that uninvited attention ranges from mild
to extreme and women have different opinions on how far it has
to go to be considered harassment. After all, the world places
so much importance on female beauty that we could be led to take
virtually any wanted or unwanted sexual attention barring direct
physical aggression as good attention. While harassment has been
a big focus of my own life for the past year and I have much to
say that will not fit into this small space, ultimately street
harassment has to be examined in light of the myriads of assaults
on women’s human rights that occur around the globe daily,
and Khazzoom herself says something along these lines in her book."
Feminist Response to Pop Culture
"bracing and courageous call to fists"
"Hey girls! Tired of harassment? Wish you didn't take that shit?
Ever feel like punching out one of those guys?" reads the advertisement
for Loolwa Khazzoom's new book, Consequence: Beyond Resisting
Rape. It's a challenge and an invitation to re-examine our attitudes
about sexual assault, and to find creative solutions in battling
More than likely, you have already read something written by Loolwa
in the pages of Clamor. If you are like me, you were inspired
and challenged by her don't-take-shit stance to harassment and
sexual assault. Consequence, then, is no letdown. The pages are
filled with stories recounting day-to-day encounters with sexual
assault, and more importantly, her calculations on how to deal
with this harassment.
A major theme in Consequence is freedom, how we define freedom
and how it is defined for us, and also what it means when we reclaim
our lives as free individuals. Loolwa speaks to the daily experience
of being a woman in a patriarchal society that is horrifyingly
accepting of violence against women. She describes numerous situations
in which she attempts to simply take up space, to do whatever
the hell she wants to do, but constantly comes up against men
infringing on her will, whether verbally or physically.
Beyond Resisting Rape, though, suggests something more than self-defense.
Loolwa asks what our tactics are for dealing with (or not dealing
with) harassment. Avoidance, silence, and politeness are all too
common strategies that women choose when confronted by the odd
stare, grope, or nasty comment. What she suggests, and actively
demonstrates in her experience, is a strong reclamation of our
space, our sense of peace, our bodies. Loolwa fights back, not
just with words but with fists. She encourages women to find whatever
tactics they are comfortable with, whether that is hitting, running,
yelling, laughing, singing, talking, or dancing. By "living in
the threshold of possibility," we have at our disposal a variety
of methods with which to address harassment.
The act of re-examining what our options are for dealing with
those who assault us is an acknowledgment that the daily shit
that happens to us, as women, is unacceptable. Being leered at,
being afraid to walk alone at night, being talked over and talked
down to, having to explain to strange men why being whistled at
is not a compliment, being physically violated, etc., is simply
the daily experience of a woman.
And Loolwa says it's high time we start taking matters into our
own hands. Instead of "legal self-defense" which calls for a certain
amount of violence to already have been achieved, why shouldn't
we rely on our own judgment and intuition? We need to set our
own limitations on what is acceptable, when it's time to fight
back and what tactics we will use to defend ourselves.
"Let's do something that has impact, consequence; something that
will deter assault, something that will turn the assaultive energy
around - in the head of the moment - and give us power instead
of taking it from us...Assault against women happens every day,
every hour, every minute, every second, multiple times a day in
every woman's life, in many different forms. None of this assault
should be happening, period. And I think it is time to stop it,
whatever it takes."
Loolwa kicks a lot of ass, both on paper and for real. It gives
me courage to know not only that there are women out there actively
and creatively fighting back against assault, but also that I
have the option of doing the same.
Sarah Stippich, for Clamor
Diane DiMassa: Author
& illustrator of Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist
This book bashes back! Look out for Loolwa!
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Lori Dobeus: Founder,
Women's Safety Project
Consequence is a detailed examination of the connection between
sexism and violence against women. Loolwa Khazzoom thinks and
acts outside the strictures of so-called "acceptable" female behavior...with
thoroughly interesting results!
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Ophira Edut: Editor, Body
Loolwa Khazzoom's Consequence takes a daring look at young women,
violence, and power. In an age of backlash and increasing passivity,
Khazzoom talks about a controversial "girl power," unveiling the
stigma against women who fight violence with violence. Consequence
exposes the restrictions that everyday violence imposes upon young
women, and challenges women (and men) to explore new ways of respecting
and sharing each other's space. Through her own experiences, Khazzoom
pushes readers past the possibility of women responding physically
to violence. She shares the solitary (and often frightening) "outlaw"
experience of a woman who makes her own rules in the name of freedom.
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Kimmel: Author, Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the U.S.,
To the daily torrent of indignities and assaults, both trivial
and traumatic, Loolwa Khazzoom dares to take the outrageous step
of fighting back, challenging, and even hitting her harassers.
Some will say that she "goes too far," others will cheer her courage,
and still others will stare incredulously that a woman has the
nerve to use men's weapons against them. But few, if any, will
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Mor: Author, The Great Cosmic Goddess
Consequence is a 21st century Grrrl Scout Handbook!
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Jill Nagle: Author, Whores
and Other Feminists
After getting rejected from a number of publishers, one who described
the book as "too controversial," author, educator and performer
Loolwa Khazzoom decided to publish Consequence herself.
This short, powerful book follows the author from place to place
as men leer, follow, touch, invade, threaten, assault, insult,
and rape. Most days, in most corners of the world, women get so
treated, with queer women statistically experiencing more violations
than non-queer women. Few if any legal measures exist that support
women defending themselves against these most pervasive "minor"
forms of violence and assault, and women themselves often do not
retaliate in their own defense. Hence, the harassment continues
unchecked, and male dominance over women prevails.
Khazzoom calls for the laws permitting such assaults to change,
and in the meanwhile, to empower women to consider physical retaliation,
i.e., hitting, as a possible response. If women provide a palpable,
injurious consequence for harmful, oppressive behavior, Khazzoom
argues, the basis for sexist oppression will wither away. The
alternative is to continue living in the small spaces of fear
and avoidance produced by a "realistic" (i.e., accepting without
challenge) view of menÕs danger to women.
After two decades of experiencing and witnessing similar encounters,
I found it hard to resist KhazzoomÕs response to being harassed
by a group of men. She singled one out, told him to leave her
alone, and he mocked her cruelly. Rather than flee, ignore or
crumple, she recounts, "I will never forget the strength, rootedness,
and pure, radiant glee that filled me, as I witnessed the play-by-play
follow-through of choosing to raise my hand and give that fucker
what he deserved." Now, I wonder if I have been, as Loolwa suggests,
shortchanging myself by ruling out hitting as a viable option.
Some of her claims are too universal: "women everywhere" are not
oppressed or endangered in exactly the same ways. I would also
like to have seen more autobiographical writing about how Loolwa
came to gather the chutzpah to actually throw those punches. But
these are small quibbles compared to the books gargantuan, and
long overdue contribution.
It is no small thing to suggest we stand up and literally, physically
STOP harassers from continuing their quest to keep us in our place.
Loolwa reminds us that we matter, we count, every single one of
us, and the ability to fight violence against women is in our
About two months ago a group of girlfriends and I went to a bar
for some drinks. This bar is conveniently located directly above
the off our backs office and we are familiar with the owner, so
it is a place we are comfortable to hang out at. This one particular
night, however, our comfort at a familiar place was compromised
due to a group of men who insisted on forcing themselves into
At began when one of the guys, the drunkest, would attempt to
sit in one of the stools at our table every time one of us got
up to use the restroom. Each time we asked him to leave. After
about the fourth incident we began to get aggravated and told
him that we did not appreciate the rude intrusion.
Apparently this defense of our space was as seen cute by the men
and it encouraged his other friends to join in. With his friends
behind him, the drunk asshole began to get bolder and started
talking at us‹at our backs actually. His first comment was to
my friend‹he said he liked her tattoo. The next comment was to
me: "Those are really nice jeans‹and you have a nice tattoo too."
We ignored him, hoping he would go away but ignoring him only
seemed to engage him more. He proceeded to ask my friend what
her tattoo meant as he touched her arm. This infuriated me, so
I told him it meant, "Don't touch me" in Japanese. His reaction
was to say, "What is your problem?" He had asked, so I told him‹I
simply said, "my friends and I are attempting to have a conversation
that is continually being interrupted by your rude behavior."
He had no comeback so he went to whine to his friends.
The result was that another drunk guy in the group began to harass
me for being "hostile." I couldn¹t believe I was the one accused
of being hostile to a drunken asshole when he was the one who
insisted on rudely interrupting our conversation and placing his
hands on my friend. If anything, I was being extremely polite
given the harassment my friends and I were undergoing.
I followed this attack by asking the asshole to define "hostile"
for me. He seemed perplexed (no surprise there). I then asked
if he had a mother or sisters -and he confessed that he had a
mother and three sisters. I then asked what he would do if he
witnessed the same situation happening to one of his sisters and
his response was-"I would probably hit the guy." My point exactly.
Perhaps it was the strength of off our backs beneath me, but this
was the first situation of harassment that I decided to handle
in a way that was empowering for me. I didn't back away and I
didn't get "hostile." But given the final response I kind of wish
that I did get "hostile" and hit him. The final insult was that
he tried to flirt with me, telling me he really likes intelligent
Such "hostile" situations happen to women on a daily basis. They
often make women feel weak and vulnerable, keeping them as caged
creatures in a so-called free world. It is this exact torment
felt by all women that is addressed in Loolwa Khazzoom's book
Consequence: Beyond Resisting Rape.
No matter what women do, it seems that men are always there making
comments and even violently attacking them. In this short, yet
extremely illuminating book, Khazzoom retells some of her own
experiences of harassment by men. Most of the incidents take place
on her vacation in Israel, but her experiences in no way are limited
to that country alone.
Khazzoom describes situation after situation, during her trip
in which men felt that they had the right to infringe upon her
space simply because she was a woman. She discusses all of the
frustrations that I and numerous women go through on a daily basis.
Throughout the book Khazzoom struggles with ways to confront the
men who harass her. Should she answer their rude and disgusting
behavior with violence? Or would that just be sinking to their
level? Or would she feel better by standing up for herself and
showing men that there are consequences for their actions?
After much internal debate, Loolwa was finally pushed to the point
in which she decided that violence was indeed the only way to
handle the situation. She decided to finally hit a man who was
harassing her. Interestingly, after she did it, her overwhelming
feeling was ecstasy.
I must admit that I felt a good deal of ambivalence while reading
the book. I kept finding myself thinking, ³Come on, you know if
you are dancing in the streets that men are going to harass you."
As I read on, I realized that it was precisely this kind of thinking
that the author is attempting to eradicate. I, like most women,
have been socialized to think that I must moderate my behavior
or else I should expect, and even deserve, any harassment I receive.
Instead, Khazzoom asks: Why can't women walk around with the freedom
that men do? Why can't women walk around at 1:00 am and not fear
being mugged or raped? Why can't women dance in reverence and
celebration of a beautiful moon without being harassed or called
crazy? The answer is: we can¹t only to the extent we shy from
challenging the patriarchal order. Sure we may put ourselves in
danger if we decide to dance in the moonlight or walk the streets
at night but as Khazzoom suggests, this is no more dangerous than
the state of being a woman in our society. Given the fact that
women are subject to countless acts of harassment and violence,
Khazzoom asserts that taking risks for our freedom by acting in
ways out of the script for women is no more dangerous than simply
living. Khazzoom suggests that if we don't take risks and refuse
to moderate our behavior we will never experience true freedom.
After reading this book and after doing some extensive thinking
on the author's points I am not sure that there is ever a "right"
way to handle situations of harassment. What makes it the right
way is that the choice is empowering and affirming and is a conscience
and autonomous choice on the part of the woman to stand up for
herself, and therefore, for all women.
Vanessa McMullin for Off Our Backs
Loolwa Khazzoom is the revolution in motion. Fed up with constant
male harassment, sexual invasion and rape, Khazzoom has decided
it's time for women to assault men who threatn us. And she's started
doing it. The first half of *Consequence* chronicles her very
successful physical attacks against men. On page 1, she's minding
her own business buying herself lunch when two men--soldiers no
less--invade her space with the usual come-ons and leers. Her
attempts at verbal self-defense garner nothing but derisive laughter.
And she's had it. She writes, "Women's verbal resistance
is all part of the power trip: *You can say no, and I will continue
anyhow. You have no power whatsoever, girly girl. You have no
impact. I, to the contrary, clearly DO.* For this reason, the
soldiers got even more delight out of our interaction when I verbally
resisted their assault. How titillating; she'd so cute when she'd
angry! And look--we can keep assaulting her, and nothing will
happen to us (p.4)!
is time for consequences. Khazzoom hits the first soldier in the
penis. Soldier #2 thinks this is funny. In fact, it gives him
an erection. So she slams him in the balls. And suddenly--what
do you know?--it isn't so funny any more. She slaps soldier #1
around some more, and walks away, falafel in hand. It's *Thelma
and Louise* come to life, except Khazzoom doesn't end up dead.
In fact, nothing bad happens to her. Her point is simple and compelling:
Saying something--anything--is perhaps better than not resisting
at all. But let's go beyond the bare minimum already. Let's do
something that has impact, consequence; something thtat will deter
assault and give us power instead of taking it from us. Let's
go beyond merely resisting what they are doing to us; let's start
doing something to them (p. 4).
she has a plan. In the second half of Consequence she addresses
the philosophical and political considerations that any liberation
movement must face regarding the use of violence. "If we
are going to fight for our freedom, we must be willing to risk
as much as our lives. Let us not forget, however, that if we are
not going to fight for our freedom, we *also* must be willing
to risk as much as our lives. What woman, after all, can be certain
she will come home alive or even stay home alive? (p. 67) Burning
questions, asked by a woman who has proved herself by fire.
She ends with an eight-step strategy for revolution. She suggests:
Discussion Groups to swap ideas for fighting back.
2. Visionary Art to create alternative models to inspires us
3. Research into how dangerous or successful different fight-back
4. Creating Books to spread the word about revolutionary self-defense.
5. Training Camps to prepare women for battle.
6. Community Patrol Groups to protect women, with guns if necessary.
7. Underground Railroad to help women who have killed in self-defense
get to safety.
8. Legal Networks including feminist lawyers to defend women who
9. Guerilla Groups to introduce the "terror factor"
to men. These groups would beat up, castrate or kill perpetrators.
This is serious stuff, but Khazzoom is a serious woman. She writes,
"For anyone who ever questioned why more Europeans did not
hide Nazi prey, here is your chance to prove you would have done
differently. We need to think seriously and act subversively,
and we need to do it now."
Buy this book. Better yet, gather your friends together and have
a good, long talk about the price of freedom and whether in the
end we are willing to pay it.
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Trina Robbins: Author
& illustrator of The Great Women Super Heroes
Whether you agree with her proposed methods or not, Loolwa Khazzoom
brings up an extremely important problem and one that has yet
to be solved. No matter what country we're in, no matter what
the race or color of the man, no matter how liberated we are,
he still has the power to transform our day, anger, or worse,
frighten us, and steal our energy. Loolwa Khazzoom's anger over
this situation is palpable, her indignation is valid. Consequence
is only one step in ending the war against women, but it's a big
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Rivka Solomon: Editor,That
As always, Loolwa Khazzoom is on the cutting edge, writing real
and raw, about the stuff that makes up our female lives.
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San Francisco Weekly
Putting the "grr!" into grrl power: At the Ladyfest Bay Area press
conference several weeks back, Loolwa Khazzoom explained the driving
force behind her new book, Consequence: Beyond Resisting Rape,
this way: "I go up to men who harass me - and hit them!" The crowd,
composed mainly of women save for me and a couple of other guys,
let out a huge cheer. I sank lower in my chair, hoping no one
noticed me. "Harassment isn't about fighting," she continued.
"If men wanted to fight, they'd hit other men. I'm not afraid
when I hit them." Another cheer. Khazzoom went on to say that
physical and verbal abuse contribute to a bland wardrobe, a lack
of public singing, and horrible back problems from constant slouching.
By this point, I was trying to slouch my way under my chair.
Despite my reaction, Khazzoom's attitude at the podium - confident,
righteous, even a tad amused - was invigorating, and I found myself
dying to know what happens when you go up to an Israeli soldier
who's staring at your chest and sock him in the balls. It was
then I realized Khazzoom's book is what Ladyfest is all about:
education meets entertainment, with a visceral smack."
Dan Strachota for San Francisco Weekly
CONSEQUENCE throws quite a punch - literally. It opens with a
typical day of street harassment which results in Khazzoom's atypical
response: a physical retaliation against the men who are visually
and verbally assaulting her.
Whether or not one agrees with her proposed methods is up to the
individual woman, and is almost irrelevant. The main drive of
Khazzoom's point, however, is one that most women (and hopefully
men) can agree with: There are no consequences for visual and
verbal assault. (Khazzoom is very careful to make the distinction
that, for the sake of this book and this particular argument,
she is specifically and only referring to male-to-female heterosexual
interactions.) Through various examples of her experiences, Khazzoom
works through the many issues and complexities that arise by experimenting
with methods of reacting and creating consequences for the men
attempting to objectify her body and usurp her right to be left
Since CONSEQUENCE does raise so many complex issues, it is bound
to be controversial, both between men and women, and amongst women
themselves. But the fact that Khazzoom has been brave enough to
fiercely raise the question should prompt us to read this book,
and, at the very least, consider how we live our lives and how
we would like to live our lives. Are our actions (or non-actions)
truly choices or are they forced upon us as we grow up in a patriarchal
society and made to look like choices? If Khazzoom can convince
them of nothing else, readers will not walk away without a new
sense of awareness of their own choices, decisions, actions, and
the reasons behind them.
Alexandra Devin, for The Street Harassment Project
I'm a pacifist but I can't stop feeling that men who sexually
harass women deserve to get the shit kicked out of them. Harassment
is horrible enough by itself but we have to take into account
the fine line between verbal and physical abuse of women. It is
hard to deny that we need to give men consequences for their actions.
Everything conspires against our acknowledging our instincts but
deep down we know when something is wrong and in particular we
know when a situation with a man is getting dangerous. Unfortunately
women are taught to never stand up for themselves and to never
deny a man's wishes.
Loolwa does women's self defense classes and an important part
of self defence is unlearning this stereotypical feminine passivity.
However, Loolwa wants to take self defense further. This book
puts across a new radical feminist thesis including: Men
need to be less violent but women need to become more violent.
All non-violent responses to sexual harassment only reinforce
the harasser's position of power. In sexual harassment situations
women should be aggressive and should be the first to act with
Consequence is Loolwa's account to a trip to Israel where she
decided to test out her theory. She attacks Israeli soldiers,
calls the police after boys in her hostel and pursues a rapist
ex-lover. Loolwa is creative and fabulously powerful at dealing
with the many men who try to give her trouble, and she is a terrific
I have not made up my mind how I feel about this particular aggressive
approach but this book has certainly influenced me. Quite soon
after I finished reading Consequence I got a man verbally harassing
me on the street. This never happens to me so I was not particularly
seasoned at dealing with such things but nevertheless I stopped
immediately, turned to face this guy and gave him a barrage of
verbal back for about 3 minutes finishing with the words "and
you should have respect for women". He was too shocked to
speak after that and I felt pretty good. I think most women would
feel pretty energized after reading this book. Have a look at
Loolwa's website as well for more examples of her excellent writing.
Laura Wirtz for Synthesis