“Look, I don’t know you, so please don’t talk to me”

I was walking back from the U street metro station, just having returned from a trip home for Christmas. I was dragging my suitcase, was tired and hungry, and was pretty oblivious to my surroundings (especially since this walk is also part of my daily commute). I had just passed the Rite Aid and was walking towards T on 13th when I noticed a man get out of his car. No alarm bells went off (and I have very good alarm bells). I barely made eye contact – to judge if I should let him pass – when he grinned and spoke: “Hey there pretty girl, where you goin’ today?”. He kept speaking but my rolling suitcase drowned out the words. If it hadn’t been for this blog I probably would have rolled my eyes and ignored him, while feeling objectified, because even though the comment was innocuous, as these things go, what gives you the right to talk to me? But I decided that he’d probably said something worse to someone, somewhere, or would if I didn’t speak u p. I turned around (he was watching me) and said, perhaps more firmly than I intended: “Look, I don’t know you, so please don’t talk to me”. I turned around and continued on my way. Any vestigial fear that I might have overreacted (I know, I know) was gone in a heartbeat, because sure enough: “Hey, FUCK YOU, BITCH! I’m just tryin to talk to you! Who the fuck do you think you are?” The comments continued for a good 3 minutes as I walked down the block – he must have been really surprised and embarrassed that such an easy target would reject him. His parting shot, shouted as I reached the end of the block and he was fully in the alley behind the Rite Aid: “Hey, why you walking alone, huh?”. Ouch. Got me there!

Thank you for empowering me!

Submitted by M on 12/30/2010

Location: 13th and Willard St NW

Time of Harassment: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

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5 Responses

  1. FFF

    His initial comment was well into the creeper zone – “pretty girl”, asking where you’re going – so even if he hadn’t said another word you were entirely justified in telling him to back off.

    Still, it was thoughtful of him to go ahead and confirm for everyone that he is an insecure, sad excuse for a human being by continuing to harass you after you told him off. Now you don’t have to wonder.

  2. Golden Silence

    “Hey, FUCK YOU, BITCH! I’m just tryin to talk to you! Who the fuck do you think you are?”

    Oh yeah, he’s “just tryin’ to talk to you” and resorts to cursing you out to do that. What a loser! These men are so pathetic that the only way to prop themselves up is to insult women they don’t know when, like two-year-olds, they don’t get their way.

    You handled him pretty well.

  3. Vee

    I always love the “WHY ARE YOU ALONE?” attempt to insult and embarrass because it is always used by a LONE MAN. Next time someone tries that one on me, they’re getting a big fat “WHY THE FUCK ARE *YOU* ALONE, MY FRIEND?”

  4. anoymous

    You did good. Nobody has to talk to anyone they don’t know. But for some strange reason ignorant and mentally underdeveloped males think they have this tight. I’ve been cussed out in U street as well, but it was because I just acted like I didn’t see/hear they guy. One thing I do sometimes is, insult them right back, since they insulted me. What’s fair is fair, no one asked them to speak.

  5. a thé

    …thank you for empowering me?

    I hope that was a sarcastic comment

    I’m sorry but if you want to be empowered so much maybe you should move to Paris….