Why I No Longer Say Hello

posted in: Uncategorized | 2

I know this does not compare to other stories you have published, but this is a great annoyance of mine. I am not a fan of talking to people I don’t know on the streets, but the insistence that I should respond to any random guy who tries to talk to me is a pain in the butt.

Photo by takomabibelot via flickr
Photo by takomabibelot via flickr

Earlier this morning I walked to the train station, and these rowdy teenage boys were walking on the other side of the street and in the opposite direction.

“HOWYA DOIN’?” they yell at me. I ignore them.
“WE SAID, ‘HOWYA DOIN’?” they said again, even louder than the first time.

The fact that I wasn’t interested in giving them a reply didn’t stop them. They then start yelling “WOO! WOO!” at me. Finally I said something.

“Stop yelling at me from across the street!” I said. “That is tacky!” After that they left me alone.

Location: NE DC

Photo by aliciagriffen via flickr
Photo by aliciagriffen via flickr

I arrive at Farragut North Station and wait outside for a Circulator amongst a bunch of people. This silver van was in queue at a stop light, directly in front of me. I peer out to see if there’s a Circulator in sight, and the driver, this older man who looks like one of my great-uncles (he is not), thinks I’m looking at him. He starts waving at me and I ignore him.

The silver van pulls up a tidge, and the driver once again waves at me. I shook my head in a “No” gesture.

The light turns green and the van drives off, but not before the driver rolled down his passenger window to talk to me. “You have a nice day!” he says.
“I don’t know you! Leave me alone!” I snap.

I am sure people are going to respond and say that I was rude to these men, but let me explain. It is not my obligation to respond to every single Tom, Dick and Harry that greets me on the street. And what infuriates me even more is that I never see these men greeting other men on the street with a “Hello.” It’s always women they’re trying to talk to. They can’t just let us be solo women trying to commute. They have to impose themselves on us, and they refuse to be ignored. They’ll keep trying to say something until they get a response, like in both my stories. In the past I used to respond to the “Hello Guys” in kind, and they usually feel they can take it to the next level with a sexual comment about me (you give an inch, they take a mile).

Photo by JamesCalder via flickr
Photo by JamesCalder via flickr

For instance, back in 2005 (when I was new to the DC area), I was walking up 14th Street (past Thomas Circle) and this guy says “Hello” to me. I respond back with a “Hello.” That then turned into him saying “Is your p***y big enough for my d**k?” to me. I was disgusted and responded back with a lot of cursing.

So that is the reason why I no longer respond to any “Hello Guys.” I feel that the “hellos” are a very thinly-veiled version of what will end up being harassment.

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2 Responses

  1. Heather

    Yes, exactly. I feel like I could have written this post.

  2. ali

    yeah, me too. i had a guy talking about my legs in the metro and when i didn’t respond, he started yelling, “hey miss i said your legs are nice! hey miss!”