Unbelievable Behavior

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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6 Responses

  1. cathy

    you didn’t cause any of them to do anything, okay? there isn’t anything you can do to stop them from doing what they are doing to do. your reaction, in turn, is only what you think is best to protect yourself and your feelings. they’re disgusting, and there’s nothing wrong with you, inside or out. take care.

  2. Golden Silence

    I agree with cathy. No matter what you did, those idiots would’ve done something. They’re the repugnant ones, not you.

  3. Grace

    I am so furious that they did that to you!!! This is so appalling… what is WRONG with some of these men?! Not only the one that did that to you, but the ones that let it happen! I pray that if that ever happens to you again you’ll call the cops!

  4. hb

    If this happens again, call the police immediately. Spitting at, let alone on, another person is a crime–it’s an assault and the police will come, and will take it seriously, especially when it’s in a situation like this.

    Don’t be afraid to call! This is what the police are here for.

  5. anonymous

    Is this something you call 911 for? Or is there a different number? I honestly would feel ridiculous calling 911 but I have been so passive for so long that I am finally ready to call the police when something like this happens. How do you go about it?

  6. Be Responsible

    This is something you should probably call 311 (DC non-emergency) for instead of 911. But definitely report stuff like this! This story appalls me and I’m sorry you had to go through this.