Now that the weather is getting nice, I have been walking to and from work. Unfortunately, it also means a lot of harassers who think that women exist for their pleasure and entertainment are out and about. Walking up 14th Street from P to Park is like going through a gauntlet of sexual harassment. When one man wished me “good afternoon,” I foolishly replied with the same, thinking he was being polite. He then proceeded to tell me how much he appreciated my ass and recommended I take a long bath when I get home. I was able to ignore him and walk on. I also managed to ignore the man who called me “mami” two blocks later. By the time I reached Columbia Heights and met up with my boyfriend, Ryan, I was exhausted. So when a man looked me up and down and told me how gorgeous I was, I had no self-restraint. I whirled around to face him and yelled “what the fuck?!” and stormed off, leaving Ryan standing next to the bewildered harasser. Apparently Ryan then tried to explain to the man that he had just committed “sexual harassment.” I don’t think it stuck, but I appreciated Ryan’s effort and the fact that he used the term “sexual harassment” for probably the first time in his life. It was also a good opportunity for him to see first-hand what women have to suffer day in and day out. The fact is, the streets aren’t the same for us as they are for him.
Submitted by E.L.