“I Didn’t Disrespect You”

I was walking down M at 11am when I heard a man say to a woman walking in front of me, “looking good, baby.” She, as a good hollaback girl, responded “please stop.” He proceeded to get on his bike and follow her across the intersection of M and Wisconsin (very busy), shouting “Fuck you!”. Across Wisconsin, the sidewalk narrowed and he got in her face and screamed “I didn’t disrespect you, bitch!”

It was so disturbing to watch and his volume level was scary. I wanted to say something to him, but was honestly too scared that he would follow me on his bike (I was on foot). What’s worse is that none of the many men walking at this busy intersection stopped the man or said anything to the woman.

Submitted by J on 10/28/10.

Location: M and Wisconsin, NW

Time Of Harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)

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4 Responses

  1. Golden Silence

    Was the harasser in question an older man with a raspy voice and really jacked-up teeth? I had a similar encounter, where he says something inappropriate to me (looking me up and down and calling me ‘baby’), but he immediately started cursing me out when I stood up for myself. He also had a bike he rode away on.

    What’s worse is that none of the many men walking at this busy intersection stopped the man or said anything to the woman.

    I’ve gotten so used to the dismissive and indifferent behavior in Georgetown, so this sentiment doesn’t surprise me. All that power right there in numbers yet no one cares enough to use it.

  2. J

    Yea, that sounds like an accurate description of him. I shouldn’t be surprised by the men in Georgetown either, but the degree of the harassment was such that I thought someone might step up.

  3. FFF

    What a tool. “I didn’t disrespect you, so now to prove it I’m going to yell at you and call you a bitch!”

    I do have a question about this part, though:

    What’s worse is that none of the many men walking at this busy intersection stopped the man

    You yourself said you couldn’t step in because you feared for your safety if you confronted the (probably mentally unstable) loser. And you were probably justified in feeling that way.

    Do I, as a guy, have less reason to worry about confronting this whacko than you do? Is he less likely to pull a knife on me if I “get in his business” than if you did? I know we would all like to do whatever we can to stop this kind of thing, or we wouldn’t be on this site, but it just seems a bit… unfair to criticize men for not putting themselves in the path of an unstable psycho.

    I hate how it sounds like I’m saying “you’re on your own”, and I guess that doesn’t sound very masculine and chivalrous, but it just seems worth pointing out that. None of these predators are right in the head, and any time a bystander gets involved they’re taking the risk that comes along with that.

  4. J

    I chose not to step in not because I physically feared for my safety, but rather because I didn’t want to be harassed as well.
    I almost didn’t put in that part about men intervening because I agree that it takes all of us to combat harassment. I don’t agree, however, that “none of these predators are right in the head” and in many cases I’ve witnessed a perfectly “right-headed” man harass a woman while dozens of suits walk by without saying anything.
    Though this case might be an exception, I think we all need to take part in the “hollaback” – and sometimes a fellow man is just the person to confront the harasser. I know from personal experience that having a man step in and say something is comforting (more reassuring , I suppose).