I’ve been harassed on the street many times since moving to DC this fall, but one incident that sticks out in my mind happened in front of the Chop’t restaurant on 12th St. near the intersection with H. It was in September, I had just gotten a salad at Chop’t and had taken it outside to eat while waiting for my boyfriend to meet me. I was wearing a dress and flats. I had just sat down to eat and had my ankles crossed in front of me in a very ladylike way, when a man walking by stopped and sneered at me, “Miss, close your legs.” I stared at him, agape, fork in mid-air, until I could sputter back, “Mind your own business.” He then went on to say, in an aggressive tone, “I’m just trying to HELP you. You need to close your LEGS.” I was disgusted and humiliated, even though I didn’t have my legs open and he was just trying to get a rise out of me. I resisted the urge to hurl an obscenity at him and instead retreated into the restaurant to eat my salad, which made me sad and frustrated.
Apparently a woman sitting alone at an outdoor table is an easy target for sleazebags.
Submitted by Steph on 1/8/2010
Location: Chop’t on 12 &H
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