Melody Thomas has an excellent long post on Scoop about the real extent, nature and effects of what's often dismissed as completely harmless - street harassment:
"At first I couldn’t believe that such a thing could be happening all the time, and yet despite my initial instincts of disbelief it quickly became obvious that I could not discount the prevalence of sexually harassing (and often frightening) acts towards females. As the days wore on and I read more and more stories from fearful or angry women who had been followed home, ejaculated on (yes, unfortunately there are many of these), lewdly stared at or otherwise infringed upon in public – incidences where I had been harassed came tumbling back into my consciousness..."
"...what it seems to boil down to is this; sexism doesn’t just harm the targeted individual, sexism harms everyone. It harms any female witnesses. It then harms all men as a group when any victim of sexism and its witnesses experience modified emotions and motivations towards all men for some time. And the reality is that while Western women are working in traditionally ‘male’ environments (where funnily enough, incidents of sexual harassment are often at their highest) and do have choices to follow paths that differ from mother and wife and so on and so forth, over half of our population is scared to venture freely into public places."