Street Harassed by McPherson Square: “Women Don’t Like to be Spoken to Like That!”

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Street Harassment by McPherson Square: “Women Don’t Like to be Spoken to Like That!”

Location: 14th & I St NW (McPherson)
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

It was almost dusk, and I was walking towards the metro at McPherson along Franklin Square Park to meet my friend. As I looked down at my phone to text my friend know that I was almost there, a man was walking in the opposite direction past me. I didn’t think anything of him until, as he was nearing me, he moved his body in towards me as we passed and loudly stated, “goddamn girl, you’re fine.”

The invasion of my personal space, both physical and energetic, scared me so much that all I could exclaim was “god dammit” in surprise. As I walked down into the metro, angry and frustrated, I thought of all the articles and videos I’ve seen of late (Ed. note: CASS’s board member, Jen Corey, was recently featured in this viral anti-street harassment video by Vocativ), where women confront men like this. The line I always admire is “women don’t like to be spoken to like that.” I always want to be able to say that, but sometimes you’re so taken aback by the unwelcome and inappropriate attention that you become flustered like I did. I’ll never forget the man who was sitting on a bench at the edge of the park who heard my exclamation, and laughed. It wasn’t funny.

Submitted 8/3/14 by “Caitlin.”

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