“Leave Me Alone.”

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I wish these men would leave me the hell alone for once.

1. I was out of work for about a month, and never thought I’d have to see Examiner Guy again. And when I started back to work a few days ago, I’d seen another guy back in his place. Good. Well, it was bad enough that it was raining like crazy today, but I saw the Examiner Guy in front of the Metro station on my way to work this morning. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me. He said nothing to me, but just the fact that he was back unnerved me.  My reporting him was all in vain.

2. Leaving work today, I encountered a group of three guys. Through the corner of my eye I saw one of them look me up and down. Ugh. I turned around and gave him a dirty look. In Bizarro World, giving a dirty look to a sexual harasser means “Hey, I can talk to this woman more!” Sigh.

“How ya doin’, Boo?,” the ogler says.
“My name is not ‘Boo,’ ‘Shorty,’ ‘Slim,’ or any other name you have for me,” I responded.  I didn’t have the energy to add “It’s ‘Miss’ or ‘Ma’am'” like I normally do.
“Day-um!,” the fool and his friends said in unison.
“We didn’t mean nothin’ [sic] by it, baby,” another said.
Do they not get it?  “Don’t call me ‘baby’ either!,” I replied.

This causes the original ogler to act like a dumb-ass.
“BABY!” he said.
“I said not to call me that,” I said.
“BABY!” he said again, like a broken record.
“You want to act like a fool?” I said. “Then let me catch you acting like a fool on my camera.” I pulled out my camera phone and snapped his photo. I didn’t get his friends, but his photo was enough for me.

3. I was fed up. It stopped raining and the sun was shining, and all the fools were out. I immediately put my sunglasses on the avoid eye contact with anymore guys. I was lugging bags, worn out, and just wanted to get home.

Walking to the drugstore, another man looked me up and down. I felt my body tense. I gave him a dirty look also, but he also thinks this is a reason to try to talk to me.

“Hey, howya doin’?” he says. He then stands there waiting for an answer!

I felt my body get shaky. I tense up and shudder. All I could muster at this point was an “Ugh. Don’t talk to me.”

Street harassment wears me out. I can’t deal with it anymore. I am so tired of men ogling me. I am tired of men treating me like their public property, and tired of them talking to me in any way. I am tired of having to be on guard and having to have a shield up all the time. Being like that does nothing to deter harassers, and it only keeps nice guys away from me.  It’s also distanced friends from me (they tell me they’ll see me around DC and say “Hi,” but they can’t get my attention because I’m in harasser-ignore mode and I don’t hear them) and has caused friction in my relationship with my family, because they don’t get it.  Hell, my body’s worked up just relaying this story.

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