Ben Schwartz, the San Francisco man stabbed nine times for confronting his girlfriend’s catcaller, has demanded an end to street harassment.
Schwartz, 31, is recovering from wounds that came very close to severing his spinal cord and arteries.
From his hospital bed, the victim is speaking about the importance of making sure both women and men feel safe. And that means an end to catcalling.
He told SF Gate his passionate stance comes from personal experience, saying,
One of the saddest days I’ve had with my girlfriend was when she came home and told me that some guy had thrown cigar shavings in her face because she wouldn’t talk to him.
Schwartz also believes catcalling merits the same degree of press as bullying. If each of us kept one other in check, harassment would soon come to an end.
In the future, I hope that when some guy hollers at some girl, his buddy will pass him and say, that’s not cool.
And though Schwartz’s ideas, while optimistic, seem a bit on the sentimental side, it’s important to note he’s using his 15 minutes of fame to draw attention to the severity of catcalling.
Any woman could tell you how unsafe she feels when catcalled, but I think it’s men who need to hold one another accountable.
And to critics who say Schwartz shouldn’t have been walking through the Tenderloin, one of San Francisco’s most dangerous areas, at night, the victim has a response. He said,
It’s not a crime to be at a friend’s house late. I shouldn’t be scared walking home six blocks. I live here.
Schwartz’s GoFundMe account, designed to cover his medical expenses, has raised almost $31,000 of a goal originally set at $25,000.
Police reportedly have no suspects in connection to the stabbing.