You know, sometimes I think about how nice it would be to walk to work, or home, or the store, or really do anything in life without a deranged asshole leering/clicking his tongue/licking his lips/gyrating his junk/commenting lasciviously at me. Weird, I know.
As women, we have to experience this shit on the daily just because we happen to have been born with a set of hoo-haws and a va-jay-jay. I’ve noticed this “commentary” pretty much my whole life – or at least since I was probably about 12 and a doucher decided it would be “flattering” to yell out his car window that I was a slut as I was skipping home with my violin in one hand and my M.U.D.D. pastel pink MIDDLE SCHOOL purse in the other hand. Because, you know, I was clearly dressed as though I was headed to a blow job bonanza.
Now, there are a whole lot of people out there who believe harassment doesn’t exist. Or rather, they’re in such a high state of denial that they’d rather turn a blind eye and pretend it never happens than admit that the world is anything but “pleasant” for women. They try to cover it up and throw out all sorts of bullshit reasons why women are “basically asking for it.”
“Did you see what she was wearing? I mean, come on, it’s like a magnet for rape.”
Oh, right. I’m sorry that my professional attire of a conservative pencil skirt and blouse suddenly makes you get all rapey. I’ll try to wear a sheet next time.
“Girls like it. It makes them feel good about themselves.”
Golly gee! You would fuck me?!? Well hot damn, yes I will blow you right here on Nicollet Mall! In fact, let’s get married! Wait…that’s not right…hey asshole, do me a favor – the next time you decide I “like” your comments on how “tight” my “cat” looks, take your hand, ball it up into a fist, and shove it up your ass. Thanks.
“Well, what do they expect? If they’re gonna tempt us, they’re just being teases if they don’t let anyone act on it.”
Seriously? Here’s a thought – how about you take your misogynist head out of your anal cavity for about a minute and a half and take a good hard look around you. See all the gentlemen acting like normal fucking humans, somehow managing to hold back their “natural urges?” Yes. That’s called respect. Rein it in big boy (and by big I’m certainly not referring to your genitalia – because with the small man syndrome side effects you’re so clearly portraying, I would bet you’d need a magnifying glass and a SWAT team to find little Johnny).
Now, for shits and giggles, let’s take a look at a few of my more recent interactions with the scum of the Earth:
- The Homeless Man Who Asked To Pet Me A few weeks ago, my friend Aubrey and I were taking a walk with my dog and simultaneously taking photos – we were photographing a friend’s wedding and were doing some last minute equipment prep before the big day. As we stood just outside my apartment door, a scruffy homeless man stood a few feet away digging in the trash. He kept staring at us and starting walking our way. So we changed locale. We walked around the corner and lo and behold, he followed. After suggesting we take pictures at some other spot to get “a good view of the city” (Ok, maybe he’s just being nice?), he proceeded to lean down and pet Barkley (STOP, STOP, PLEASE STOP…OH GOD I JUST WASHED HIM…IS IT SAFE TO BLEACH A DOG?). Heartless though my thoughts may seem, I was simply thinking practically. I cuddle with my dog. He sleeps in my bed. This man smelled like he had just taken a swim in the local garbage landfill. No fucking thank you. The man then proceeded to say, “I love petting dogs.” Then he looked up at us (both uncomfortably shifting and trying to exit the situation) and said, “now, if only someone would let me pet them…” What. The. Fuck.
- The Man Outside Work Who Informed Me That I Do Indeed Have Breasts Walking into work one day (mind you…wearing a conservative work dress and a jacket), a man leaning against the bus stop looked me up and down, blew smoke towards me, and yelled out, “DAMN, YOU GOT A RACK.” Yes, I’m aware. Thank you Doctor Go Fuck Yourself.
- The Drugged/Beaten Man Who Decided It Was Completely Appropriate To Touch Me See previous post: IN NEED OF CONVERSATION, AM FRIENDLY, WILL TALK TO ANYONE AND MAY EVEN DATE YOU
- The Man Who Followed Me Home In His Car I was walking across the street about a block from my apartment, when a man in a silver car waiting at the red light to go straight leaned out his window and yelled “you are GORGEOUS girl!” Nice enough, not anything repulsive. But I had my headphones in you see, so he yelled again, “HEY GIRL! YOU! I SAID YOU’RE GORGEOUS!” “Oh, um…thanks.” He then proceeded to take a left instead of continuing straight to drive the direction I was walking. He slowly followed me all the way to my door, attempting to date me the entire way. “Can I take you to coffee?” “Um, uh, no thanks.” “Come on – just a cup of coffee!” “No, sorry I can’t. I’ve got a busy schedule.” “Aw come on…I’m sure you could fit me in!” “Uh…sorry…(insert uncomfortable laugh).” “What you got a boyfraaaand?” “Yes, I do (nevermind that at the time I was referring to my dog).” “Oh, damn.” MAGIC WORDS. He peeled out from the curb and drove away like a mad man. But here’s the thing – I shouldn’t have to make up excuses, dude. I’m clearly uncomfortable, clearly not into it, and I want you to leave me the fuck alone. For the amount of time I just spent nicely trying to get away from you, I could have read a kindergarten class the Bible from cover to cover.
- The Man Who Swiped My Ass Because I Wouldn’t Hug Him When I was studying abroad, a few friends and I (guys and girls) were going out one night – and we were running to try to catch a bus to get to a different club. As we rounded a corner, a few guys were standing together and as soon as my guy friends passed them, they blocked myself and another girl’s path. (In french) “Ladies! Girls! Give us a hug!” They then made to wrap us in their arms. I pushed one guy away and tried to laugh and say “no thanks.” But as I was walking away, one of the men ran after me, reached out and put his hand under my dress, swiping between my cheeks. I gasped and spun around just as he ran back to his friends, laughing and high-fiving them. Boy, did I feel hot and sexy and WANTED. I’d been waiting all night for a little bit of reassurance that I was beautiful! Are you fucking kidding me?! This is MY goddamn body, not yours. Get your sleazy, slimy hands off of me.
- The Man Who Groped Me At An Outdoor Concert The one and only time I went to the Basilica Block Party was summer of 2012. It was hot as hell, so I was wearing a strapless top and a high waisted black flowing skirt. I also happened to be wearing black shorts underneath because I didn’t want the wind to blow my skirt up by accident and flash hundreds of people in the process. And thank God I was wearing those because as my friends and I were walking near several food trucks (NOT in the throngs of people watching the band), a man walked past me, looked at me, and stuck his hand up my skirt and squeezed my ass. I whipped around and screamed, “get the fuck off me asshole!” To which he simply smirked, raised his eyebrows and walked away, as though saying “what are you going to do about it?” I wish I had kicked the fucker.
And this concludes my depressing rant about daily harassment. I’m gonna go stare at some Ryan Gosling GIFs about him respecting women. Or maybe I’ll go watch some stand up or something. Or the new Mindy Project episode. Yes. That’s exactly what’s about to happen.
Girl power, bitches. Be safe out there.
- Why Just Telling Street Harassers “No” Doesn’t Necessarily Work For Everybody – And Can Even Be Dangerous (clutchmagonline.com)
- “Smile, Baby”: The Words No Woman Wants to Hear (alternet.org)
- Harassment of a Subtle Kind (connie0036.wordpress.com)
- Tips For Avoiding Sexually Harassing or Assaulting Runners (Or Just About Anyone) (whenyouwishuponastarcharityrun.wordpress.com)
- Amazing Craigslist “Missed Connections” calls out creepy street harasser (salon.com)
- Silence, Shame, And Sexual Harassment (glynisrankin.wordpress.com)
- I’m Not Your Baby: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and World of Business (moinaturale.com)