“Not Ok, Dude”

I was walking home from visiting a friend at her bartending job and had dropped most of my usual guard after making it through the madness of Adams Morgan. I heard a polite “excuse me” coming from a car that out of the corner of my eye seemed to be braking for a stop light. Usually harassers aren’t polite, so I stopped, assuming this person was asking for directions. The guy in the driver’s seat motioned me to come closer, so I took a few more steps on the sidewalk toward the car but still left a good 5 feet between me and the car. He gave me a polite smile and said something like “I was wondering if I could give you my number and we could hang out sometime.” As soon as he said “number” I switched from helping-with-directions mode to fuck-you-asshole mode, gave him a mean look, yelled “not ok, dude”, and started walking in the opposite direction of this asshole’s car. I used to have long hair and dress more femme, but after I got a men’s haircut last year I’ve gotten much less street harassment, to the point that I’m a little surprised when I do still hear this shit. In this instance I was surprised I was read as female from that distance. But silly me, even in men’s shorts I’m still apparently public property. What on earth could this asshole possibly have thought might have happened?

Submitted by Anonymous on 7/25/2010

Location: Columbia Ave & 16th St NW

Time of Harassment: Late Night (12A-5A)

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