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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