This study is part of a PhD research project being conducted at London Metropolitan University into women’s experiences of male strangers in public space.

Though there is research available on women’s experiences with criminalised encounters such as being followed or being assaulted, there is little available information on what it is like in the most everyday, commonplace way, to be a woman in public space.

The title of the research is The Great Problems are in the Street, which is a quote taken from Friedrich Nietzsche, a 19th century German Philosopher but one that helps us think about how we often downplay our everyday, commonplace encounters when in reality they really are what makes up the majority of our daily experience.

The research comprises 3 parts of which women can opt in or out of. First there will be an initial conversation which is about providing a space for women to talk about their experiences of male strangers in public space, both in the street and in arenas such as public transport. We currently don’t know enough not only what happens in encounters with male strangers in public but moreso about how different women experience what happens. As such there is no right or wrong response. The research will be looking at how you, as the particular individual women you are, experience, think about, react or respond to and feel about the ways male strangers respond to your daily movements in public space. You will be invited to talk about how you experience how they respond during the day, during the evening, when you’re alone, when you’re with others, when there’s one male stranger, when there’s a group, and all forms of their responses including but not limited to verbal responses, physical responses, contact responses and the gaze or the way they look at you.

The second part of the research involves taking a notebook with you and using it over the following weeks to records your thoughts and experiences.

The third part is a final conversation where you will be invited to talk through your notebook and what the experience of participating in the research has been like for you.

The project is developing a new methodology which is about allowing space rather than interviewing as I believe there is very little space for women to talk about experiences such as these. As such we will be having more of a conversation than anything else. I won’t have a series of questions I’ll be asking you, you can ask me anything you want to and we can both choose to answer or refuse any line of conversation at any point.

There is no age limit and you can withdraw your consent at any time. If you are interested in finding out more, without committing, please contact me on





2 responses »

  1. Hi Fiona, excellent topic, and something that I personally feel very strongly about. I experience, as do so many females I know, unwanted comments from strangers on a regular basis. I have had debates with my male friends about this, and all too often I have been made to feel that I am over reacting, that I should feel complimented etc. etc. I’m very interested in your study and would like to provide some input where I can.


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