“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

    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

    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

    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

    Men give men a bad name. Goddammit its disgusting.

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

  5. emrez49

    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

    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

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

  8. Maureen

    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

    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

    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

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

  12. Anonymous

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

  13. Daniel

    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.