I tend to ride my bike in the city, but a few times a week I take the bus. I generally like the bus as it is more convenient for me than the metro. The one thing I loathe about the bus, however, is waiting at the bus stop near my house. There have been three incidents in the last few weeks at my bus stop that have left me angry, frustrated, and upset and feeling even more loathsome towards my bus stop than I have ever felt before. One happened around 8 pm and two happened while waiting for my bus around lunch time near my house. The 8 pm incident consisted of a man slowing his green Jeep Cherokee down to a screeching halt and then saying “hey beautiful.” I told him sternly that I was not interested and that he should keep driving. The incident left me just annoyed but not scared for some reason.
Then a little more than a week ago I was waiting at my bus stop on Rock Creek Church Road when a man in a white truck drove by and beeped at me. This is nothing out of the ordinary as most women in this city are exposed to this sort of thing on a regular basis (waiting for the bus on 16th St in Columbia Heights is when this happens most often to me) so I ignored it. A few minutes later I see a white truck come up the road in the opposite direction. I realize it’s the same truck. He stops in front of me and then proceeds to convince me that not only is he going in the same direction I’m traveling, but that I should get in his car. I tell him sternly that I am waiting for the bus and in no way would I ever get into a car with a complete stranger. He continues to try to coax me in for a few more minutes and me telling him that I’m going to call the police, he leaves.
The two incidents involving the vehicle were, for some reason, not as violating to me as the incident I experienced today. Shortly after lunch time while waiting for the bus, I was looking at an email on my cellphone. I started to hear what sounded like two teenage boys yelling. As they got closer I was able to discern what they were saying “OH DAMMMMMN GIRL!” “OH HEY SEXY! HEY SEXY GIRL!!!!!” I looked up from my phone and just gave them a stern look as they rode by on their bikes. When they realized that I had no interest the sexual comments became hurtful. “WHATEVER BITCH!” and “F—–G CRACKER!!” were what they shouted at me as they rode away.
I got on the bus and started crying. As a rape survivor I know how it feels to be violated but pride myself on having a lot of strength and often being able to put such crap out of my mind. But today it was really bad. Today is one of those days I wish I hadn’t left the house.
Location: at a bus stop
Submitted by KE
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