Last evening, I was walking to meet friends for dinner on 14th Street. As I rounded the corner from U St, headed south, I saw a group of men hanging out on the right. One of them seemed to be chasing after another, about to throw something, while a third man was yelling at second, telling him to “stop the violence.” I happened to walk in between the second and third man just as the third man was shouting. As I passed, he said, “Hey, baby, I’m just trying to stop the violence.” I gave him my tight-lipped “whatever, man” grin without breaking my stride, but in my move to get past him, I turned my body slightly, trailing my arm behind me for a second.
On my right wrist, I have a tattoo of a sun in green ink. I got it many, many years ago and have noticed and been told many times since that it can look, at a glance, like a marijuana leaf.
I am guessing that’s what the man saw that prompted his next comment:
“Hey baby, you look like you got a tattoo of a marijuana plant on your behind. Can I smoke it?”
I kept walking south on 14th, somewhat pissed and somewhat stunned. I know street harassment happens a lot in DC, but it doesn’t happen to me very often at all, for which I am grateful every day.
I crossed T Street to encounter another group of men on the corner, a couple on each side of the sidewalk. As I passed, I heard a small, muttering chorus of “hey baby,” “that shit is fat,” and “damn, you know you look good.”
As I crossed S Street, a man stopped at the light began to wave as if he knew me, and when I looked at his face, he licked his lips and made kissing noises.
I was dressed for a nice dinner in slacks and a sweater – same thing I wore to work–and I was wearing sunglasses that I like to think of as some sort of armor. I didn’t have my headphones in, which I almost always do when I am walking around DC, so I am not sure if last night was just really out of the ordinary, or if I usually don’t notice.
Location: 14th NW
Submitted by Mazzi
Do you have an experience you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All stories will be posted anonymously unless you specify.