There is one aspect of life in Colombia that is driving me crazy: street harassment. It might be an issue all over the world (although I’ve never had any real problem in South Africa), but here in Colombia it is unbelievably ubiquitous and is impossible to ignore.
In the short time I’ve been living in here, I’ve come to dread going anywhere alone. When I do have to walk down the street on my own, almost every man I pass feels entitled to stare, hiss, or call out to me. They whistle at you from their cars, hoot as you walk past, open their windows to make kissing noises and hiss “princessa”. Often the cat-calling is “harmless” – although clearly it’s not, since I feel so angry and violated – but sometimes the tone of their voice and glare in their eye is challenging and aggressive. And in a country where sexism and sexual violence are a major problem, it’s indicative of a mentality that will always dismiss the idea of gender equality.