Georgia Ave

After reading a submission to your site last week about a woman getting harassed multiple times on Georgia Avenue, I had to steel myself for what was to come when I had to head out that way today for a hair appointment.

Since I was over a half hour early, I decided to try to find a place to get a bottle of water because it was hot. As I walked up Girard to Georgia, two men across the street did the “how ya doin’?” greeting to me and I said “fine.” They ask if I wanted a flyer and I decline saying “No thanks.”

“Have a nice day,” they say. I return the greeting. Seems normal, right? I continue up Georgia.

Unable to find a small store that wasn’t Starbucks or McDonald’s, I started heading back towards the salon since my appointment time was coming close.

A guy hanging out in front of a barber shop spits on the ground, then says “How ya doin’?” Gross.

An older man tells me to “Give me a little smile,” and I continue on like I hadn’t heard him.

Then I come across the two men with the flyers again. “You sure you don’t want one?” they ask. “No thank you,” I said again. “Have a nice day.”

Then get this…the one guy tells me to “stop being so tough on life. Ain’t everyone out to get ya.” Who to the what now?! We had an interaction that lasted how long and he’s judging me by that minute interaction?! Unheard of. They go on and on and I once again act like I hadn’t heard anything.

Granted, compared to what the other contributor went through all this is benign, but one incident was definitely in aggressive harassment territory.

As I left my appointment and headed west on Girard, I saw three teenage boys sitting on a porch just giving me the evil eye. All this hatred was just piercing right through them and onto me for no reason. At the time I was on the phone with a relative, and I said “These boys look like trouble.” My relative thought I was making a mountain out of a molehill but when you’re constantly dealing with men and boys on the street who are up to no good, you’re always on guard.

I was safely past them but turned around to see what they were up to. The ringleader, a kid in a red shirt with the Batman logo on it, stood up, still looking at me, started laughing like a lunatic then pounded on his chest and screamed. His boys laughed. I have no clue what incited him to do that other than my being a solo female walking down the street, but I acted like I was too into my phone call to give him a reaction. I didn’t know what he and his friends could’ve or would’ve done, and I didn’t want to find out.

I’m sure people are going to tell me that I’m overreacting, that those men just wanted to start a conversation with me (mean-mugging then screaming and pounding your chest is starting a conversation?!), but I know what makes me uncomfortable and those men and boys made me uncomfortable. I’d like to be able to walk down the street without worrying what every Tom, Dick and Harry I pass is going to do or say to me.

Submitted by Anonymous on 6/1/2010

Location: Girard Street & Georgia Avenue

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

2 Responses

  1. cathy

    you’re not overrreacting, they didn’t want a conversation, they wanted to assert their power over you. it’s that simple, you’re not wrong and you’re not the problem.

    • Golden Silence

      Yup. If it feels like harassment to you, it’s harassment.