23 5 / 2012
This blood-curdling article from Rookie Mag on Street Harassment has riled up a wealth of horrible stories from my female friends, each one worse than the last, making me want to curl up in the fetal position and never leave my apartment again. BUT this past year I made a vow to myself to quit being embarrassed when I got cat-called or harassed. To stop averting my eyes, running away, and giving them power over me.
What did I decide to do? When they make me feel weird. I make THEM feel weirder.
A guy on the train said “Mmm you got an ass that just won’t stop” I replied, with a big smile “Farting?!” Guy on the street said “I could f**k you so good.” I look shocked and replied “Ewe? As in sheep?! You seriously have sex with sheep? Aren’t you worried about barn animal STDs?” (Okay that one was a stretch, but I still weirded him out enough that he backed away from me.) When a guy exposed himself, I fought back the urge to cry or sprint the other direction and instead laughed as loudly as I could, pointed, and yelled for everyone around to “Look at the pervert with the small penis!” Alright, that’s not true. That’s what I WISH I did. What did I really do? Bow my head and pretend I never saw anything. I didn’t get a cop. I didn’t tell anyone. I felt ashamed.
Don’t give them the satisfaction of being the one in power. Make them think twice before they do it again. If they cat-call you, look them in the face and say something they’d never expect. If they flash you, get other people to notice and then find a cop. If they touch you, CUT THEM. The eyes are a lovely choice.
Also the dude with the giant scar will be much easier to pick out in a line-up.
(EDIT: Please note, I’m not encouraging ladies to carry a knife! I’m just saying, if someone touches you in a way that violates you, don’t be afraid to touch back, FORCEFULLY. Nails, even very short nails, can be quite handy.)
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