“Are you a natural redhead?’

I am not proud of this story, but I will share it anyway. Sunday afternoon, I was walking past the bus stop construction at the Silver Spring Metro, and this man started calling “Hey, Beautiful! Hey, Beautiful!” I ignored him and kept walking, and he turned around and ran up to me and said “Hey, I have a question for you. Are you a natural redhead?”

(As a natural redhead, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this question in a sketchy manner, and I knew what the followup question would be.)

I kept walking. He persisted, and finally I told him to go to hell, but he continued. “So, if you’re a natural redhead, is everything red?” he asked, gesturing towards my crotch. I told him to get the hell out of here, and went to pull out my cell phone to take a picture of him for this site. He reached for me and I freaked and swung the back of my hand at him, smacking him on the shoulder.

Not the best idea. I know. I thought he was going for my breasts, and I freaked.

He laughed it off and said “You know I could call the cops on you? You know that’s illegal, right?” I just kept walking, very shaken, both at what had happened and at my reaction. Thankfully, he just kept walking to the metro.

Location: Silver Spring near the bus stop construction

Submitted by Anonymous

13 Responses

  1. Mkp-hearts-nyc
    | Reply

    Please – you have nothing to be ashamed of. He was verbally harassing you and made a physical motion in your direction. His threat of “calling the cops” was utterly without grounds. I’m sorry that happened to you.

  2. Melissa
    | Reply

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. Do not doubt that you did what you thought was right at the time it was happening. I imagine I would have reacted in the same ways and tried to defend myself; there isn’t anything you did that you should feel you should have done better. HE is the one who ought to be ashamed and regretful.

  3. Golden Silence
    | Reply

    He laughed it off and said “You know I could call the cops on you? You know that’s illegal, right?”

    That’s what I hate about harassment! Harassers say whatever they please, but if we retaliate, then we can get hurt or in trouble. Makes me mad!

  4. matt
    | Reply

    Men give men a bad name. Goddammit its disgusting.

    Don’t let this creep or any man make you feel lesser.

  5. emrez49
    | Reply

    If it had been me in your shoes, I probably would’ve done the exact same thing. I don’t believe violence ought to be used to “solve problems” so to speak, but if you’re in a situation where you feel your safety is at risk, then you do whatever you need to do to defend yourself. Trust your instincts; I think most women in your situation would’ve felt threatened by his invasion of your personal space after he had made those comments to you.

  6. Anonymous Redhead
    | Reply

    I think that what bothered me was that I could have really put myself into harms way by introducing physical violence into the situation. I could have just dodged out of his way, but my first reaction was to swing my arm. I think that I’m just lucky he laughed it off and was an idiot. I could have gotten myself into real trouble. And I think that’s why I’m so shaken by the incident.

  7. Eric
    | Reply

    Good for you for resisting the urge to (justifiably) beat the living shit out of him.

  8. Maureen
    | Reply

    Just appalling. I hope you are regaining a sense of normalcy but I know it’s hard to do after an incident like this.
    What I want to add to this discussion is that I think you should have called the police. If not there, as soon as you got to a safe area. Taking a picture renders some amount of public shame, but the point is this behavior is illegal. The burden is not on us, as victims, to bring justice.
    I think we need to start being more aggressive on the civil justice level.
    Doe anyone agree?

  9. Erin
    | Reply

    As a natural redhead myself, you have my complete respect. I know how hard it typically is for ‘us’ to control our redhead tempers. 🙂 I can promise that I wouldn’t have had the control to walk away from him. I absolutely love my hair and I love being a redhead; the compliments and looks never get old, but I’d have to say the biggest annoyance with being a natural redhead is getting asked ‘the question’ by every man you meet. I swear.

  10. Amy Hudson
    | Reply

    I too am a natural redhead. Fortunately I have never been harrassed to that degree. That guy was a total asshole! I wouldn’t blame you if you had kicked him in the crotch! What a stupid jerk!!! Hmmmmm, I guess your story pissed me off a little. Sorry you had to deal with someone like that.

  11. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Wow I’m really sorry for that I would hv kick him in his balls

  12. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Wow k hope u hv a gr8t day sorry for wt happened k bye

  13. Daniel
    | Reply

    im so sorry that happened to you, my hair is not red rather brown but there is no dreson for that mans actions.
    I admit finding this was due to the fact I like red hared women but i dont think this action on his part is in any way acceptable. you did everything pirfict. if he was reaching for you at least you had defence.

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