In life, innocent arguments happen. People have disagreements. But our differences cannot and must not turn into something much more harmful: harassment.
While neither is good, the latter is a lot more dangerous and it's important that we establish a clear boundary between them, because the two can sometimes become intertwined or misused and ambiguities exploited.
In order to get a better understanding of why and how that can happen, WTF India took to the streets to ask women what they define as an argument and what they define as harassment. The general consensus is that while an argument can occur, it is crucial for us to understand the line we can never cross — both in terms of actually harassing someone and also in accusing another of harassment.
Throughout the interviews, we can begin to see how certain actions can easily be victimizing and how others are nothing more than bickering.
In the beginning of the video, WTF India sets out to understand what women define as harassment.
The first woman explains that if you talk to her in public, but she is not interested in speaking to you, yet you keep pursuing her, she begins to see that as harassment.
If a woman is simply walking along the street and you try to touch her, follow her or make her uncomfortable, you are crossing a line. It is not an argument if she refuses you. You have created the situation and should immediately cease your actions.
Next, the reporter seeks to understand the difference between harassment and an innocent argument.
One woman in the video points out that an argument is sometimes caused by the heat of the moment. Another interviewee notes that arguments are mutual and "two sides of the same coin" — meaning you shouldn't say things "you don't want to hear back." She did note though that if an argument gets out of hand, "boys do need to let go."
Another woman also mentioned that if the term harassment is overused, it might take away from the seriousness of someone who is actually being abused.
However, if one person continues to pursue an argument when you are trying to avoid the situation, that can be harassment.
Most of the women felt as though it mainly depends on the situation.
They did acknowledge that in today's world women's voices are stronger than in the past.
Because of this, it is crucial to speak out when necessary, but just as vital to exercise judgement before accusing someone of harassment.
How do you feel about the difference between harassment and arguing? Watch the video below and let us know in the comments.