“What would your mother think of you saying that?”

posted in: Petworth | 2

Photo by IntangibleArts via flickr

This morning I was walking past the Petworth library on my way to work and I caught up to two boys who looked about high-school age. I figured they were on their way to Roosevelt, and at first I was gratified by the fact that a high-school-aged boy was pulling his friend out of my way to let me pass more easily on the sidewalk. Until I heard him say, “Hold up a sec, let this bitch pass by.” And it wasn’t an “I call every woman a bitch” bitch, it was an “I’m going to call you a bitch to see if you say anything” bitch. And I didn’t say a thing. I can’t justify it, and it has been bothering me all day that I didn’t stop right there and say, “Excuse me? What would your mother think of you saying that? You think you’re ever going to get a woman to respect you with that kind of talk? You have a lot of growing up to do.” I know that might have just led to more smack talk from him (how likely is it that a 14-18 year old kid is going to back down in front of his friend when a woman calls him out on his behavior?), but I would have felt better about walking away in silence after that. I hate that I was too afraid to say anything. Did I really think he was going to throw a punch if I stopped and questioned him? I doubt it, but then again, it’s possible. I hate that fear like that can ruin my day. And I hate that I don’t know the best way to handle this kind of a situation if it arises again.

Submitted by Anonymous on 5/12/2010

Location: Iowa Ave NW & Georgia Ave NW – outside the Petworth library

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2 Responses

  1. Kelly
    | Reply

    I work as a crossing guard. Last Monday I was doing my job, two teen age boys walked past me. I didn’t think anything of it. One of the boys started singing about how much he loves fat chicks. I ignored it esp. since I know the other boys mother. The next day the boy did it again, I ignored it. On Wednesday he did it again this time really loud.

    I tracked down the mother whom I am friends with and told her everything. She read both boys the riot act and I haven’t heard or seen either one since.

  2. Golden Silence
    | Reply

    Don’t beat yourself up over the head about this. You never know how you’re going to react to certain situations. And with the way these teens act today, I don’t blame you for not saying anything.

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