I was taking a walk on my break from work and making a stop at the bank. There was a group of men gathered in the middle of the sidewalk. I thought about crossing the street to avoid them, but my bank was on that side and there was still space on the sidewalk. I was also worried that crossing the street would be racist: I am white and the men were black. I should have followed my instincts, because as I walked past the group, one man made a gesture with his hands as though he was running his hand up my thigh. Another in the group told me, “Man, you’re fuckable.” As I kept my head down and hurried to the bank, a third man spat on me. His saliva landed on the back of my knee and ran down my leg.
I didn’t really realize what he had done until I got in the bank and touched the wetness. I think I had thought he had spilled his soda on me or something. But as I wiped it off I realized it was saliva. I felt so dirty, so violated. They had examined me and decided I was simultaneously desirable, fuckable, and yet so repugnant that it was acceptable to spit on me. This was at lunch hour downtown and yet I was still harassed and physically violated by a group of men. I felt there was nothing I could do about it, for fear of violence; but by not saying anything it’s like I condoned it. By ignoring the first few remarks I caused the man to spit on me, but what was I supposed to do besides ignore them? I still feel awful inside.
Submitted by Anonymous on 6/25/2010
Location: 17th & K NW, a block from Farragut Square
Time of Harassment: Day Time (9:30-A-3:30P)
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