“I took a detour back to my house because I was so frazzled.”

posted in: WMATA | 5

Location: Green line toward West Hyattsville Metro (Maryland)
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

As I left the West Hyattsville Metro on my way home after work, I passed a man on the sidewalk. He acknowledged me, so I smiled (and by smiled, I mean pursed my lips and barely turned them up at the corners) and nodded at him as I passed. Immediately he turned and said, “Damn, why you got a pretty smile?”. Right then a bus was passing, so I figured I could pretend I couldn’t hear him over the bus noise and kept walking, but I could hear him repeat it again as the bus passed. Once the bus was past, it turned into, “Hey! HEY! HEY – why you got a pretty smile?” but I kept walking… until I could tell that he had turned around and started following me. So the next time he said it, I turned around and said, “Excuse me?” and he stopped and said, once again, “Why you got a pretty smile?”. I responded, “You’re asking why? I don’t know. I was born with it?” and then I turned around and started walking again. Again I could hear him following me saying “Hey!”, so I turned around again because I didn’t want him to see which way I was turning down the street from the Metro. I asked him to repeat his question, but instead he said, “You ain’t married, are you?”, so I said, “Yes. I am.” After that he said, “Damn.” and finally turned around and startedwalking back towards the Metro. I took a detour back to my house because I was so frazzled.

Submitted on 7/19/12 by Anonymous

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police: www.wmata.com/harassment; 202-962-2121.

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

5 Responses

  1. Caroline
    | Reply

    I get the smile harassment a lot. I guess some of these guys are savvy enough to know they could get in trouble for talking about other parts of a woman, so they pick a tamer subject.

  2. Dixie Normous
    | Reply

    Telling men you are married is a good way to avoid talking to them further.

  3. ht4rg3ef
    | Reply

    These men who think it’s appropriate to bother any good looking girl on the street are seriously jacked in the head.

    Most of these guys are just looking for sex. The few looking for an actual relationship are obviously so dumb, they shouldn’t even be in a relationship. It makes no sense to approach a girl on the street. You know nothing about her! The odds that you have the same hobbies and interests as some random girl on the street are infinitely small! That alone is reason enough for every girl to ignore you and call you a creep, because you are one!

  4. atFeministPrncess
    | Reply

    We shouldn’t have to tell them we’re married. What about the younger women/girls who are obviously lying if they say that?

  5. renee
    | Reply

    I agree, Feminist Princess. I’ve lied about having a partner many times before, but it’s just a bandaid and doesn’t address the root of the problem – that I don’t want to be harassed, whether I’m married, dating or single.

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