Location: Langley Park, Silver Spring (MD)
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)
As a guy, street harassment is something I haven’t always noticed a great deal. I grew up in Boston, and it just wasn’t something that I saw very often. I can remember maybe one or two instances, and I’m sure that it was very annoying and possibly frightening for the female victim. However, if my sister or mother or girlfriend isn’t being targeted, most likely I wouldn’t have felt much responsibility to act. That all changed after I moved to DC to attend grad school.
I got a cheap apartment in the Langley Park area, and pretty much the moment I got there I noticed a lot of strange behavior. It was common to see a car roll up to a girl walking on the street and then follow her for a while. On a number of occasions I’ve seen guys walking behind women for a few blocks, staring at these women’s backsides.
Eventually I got pretty sick of it and began to yell at these guys, but either they didn’t understand what I was saying or pretended not to understand. It was infuriating. What was frustrating to me was the feeling that in the area I lived, this was more than simply acceptable. It felt as if staring at women’s bodies and making suggestive comments was encouraged. Many of the harassed women did nothing to suggest any displeasure, which I interpreted as the complete domination of their spirit. It certainly looked that way to me.
Anyhow, I’ve moved away and find that I’m very conscious of sexual harassment. I wish I wasn’t so conscious of it, as it would allow me to enjoy my day more at times, but I guess it isn’t such a bad thing to be aware of something so many women have to deal with daily.
Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 5/21/13 by “Erik K.”
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