Men’s Intrusion, Women’s Embodiment

A critical analysis of street harassment



  • Routledge
  • July 2016
  • 978–1138951594
  • 234 × 156 mm
  • 196 pages


Essential reading for academics and students interested in feminist phenomenology.

Research on violence against women tends to focus on topics such as sexual assault and intimate partner violence, arguably to the detriment of investigating men’s violence and intrusion in women’s everyday lives. The reality and possibility of the routine intrusions women experience from men in public space—from unwanted comments, to flashing, following and frottage—are frequently unaddressed in research, as well as in theoretical and policy-based responses to violence against women. Often at their height during women’s adolescence, such practices are commonly dismissed as trivial, relatively harmless expressions of free speech too subjective to be legislated against.

Based on original empirical research, this book is the first of its kind to conduct a feminist phenomenological analysis of the experience for women of men’s stranger intrusions in public spaces. It suggests that intrusion from unknown men is a fundamental factor in how women understand and enact their embodied selfhood.

This book is essential reading for academics and students involved in the study of violence against women, feminist philosophy, applied sociology, feminist criminology and gender studies.


  • Foreward
  • Introduction
  • The Importance of the Ordinary
  • The Situated Self
  • Living Men’s Intrusion: Part One
  • Living Men’s Intrusion: Part Two
  • It’s All Part of Growing Up
  • Embodying Intrusion
  • Inhabiting Ourselves
  • Afterword


Vera-Gray’s book offers a significant contribution to feminist philosophy as well as a timely scholarly addition to the bourgeoning public attention to violence against women. I highly recommend this book for those studying violence against women and for anyone interested in feminist phenomenology.

Debra L. Jackson · Professor
California State University