Pedestrian Crossing

I was walking hope around 1pm on Saturday. As I was crossing 14th street, a car barreled through the pedestrian crossing right in front of me. It really bothers me when drivers disobey the rules of the road – so I signaled to the sign and said to the driver ‘this is a pedestrian crossing!’

There was a man walking towards me on the other side of the street. He looked older than a teenager, but definitely younger than me (say 21). He said “Why you so angry?” I just kept walking, because I was so incensed by him. But he kept talking “Its a beautiful day. You’re beautiful. Why you look so bad?”

I’m sure there are people (idiots) out there who would say, oh what a compliment. But this guy did not know me from Adam. Plus I am several years older than him. It is extremely condescending for a random man on the street to start telling me what to do because I’m female. If I had been a middle-aged man, you bet he would not have said anything. But because I’m a young-looking female, he felt entitled to scold me for being upset.

Whenever a man tells me to ‘smile’ on the street, I want to respond with “Say no to drugs.” That message is as insulting, presumptious and inappropriate as telling a woman you don’t know to smile. I could be coming from a stressful job, or thinking about a situation with a family member. But all that doesn’t matter because I’m female aren’t I? And wasn’t I born to smile for random shitheads on the street?

Submitted by Anonymous

Location: Upper 14th street, near Takoma

Time of harassment:  Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)

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2 Responses

  1. Omega

    I get so tired of the ‘smile’ or you’d look so much prettier if you smiled comments. I could have gotten news that a loved one died for all they know. But see for some reason so many men feel they have the right to dictate to a woman. And that a woman should be grateful.

    I’ve had strangers come up to me to ‘holla’ and in doing so touch my arm, shoulder, hand. When I pull away they are the ones that look offended. I’ve even had a man tell me I should be grateful he came over to talk to me. I said to him did I ask you to come over in the first place — and does it look like I’m impressed?

    And to the poster — I’m a 40 something black woman with a youthful appearance. However, now that the gray has started to come in I’m hoping that acts as a deterrent. Who knows — I’ve had young guys tell me they hit on older women because its the chance to have a ‘sugar momma’. Sad isn’t it?

  2. Danielle (@VeggieTart)

    I might have said, “Gee, I was nearly run over by some asshole who doesn’t know what a crosswalk is. That would make even the cheeriest person a bit cranky. And it makes me even crankier when someone tells me to fucking smile.”