Harassment = Not Funny

1st warm day of Spring. I didn’t want to ride on “Frat Row” but the main drag was completely shut down by partying students. When I was riding on a particularly dangerous segment, a car of boys came alongside and one grabbed my butt. If I had fallen (most people would have-I’m a very experienced rider) I would have been squished between the car and a 2 foot high curb. I memorized the license plate. The police considered it sexual harassment; male co-workers considered it funny; a lawyer friend said I should have approached it as assault with a deadly weapon (the car) because I would have been seriously injured or killed. The follow up investigation: I was shown a group photo of the fraternity whose member owned the car and I had to identify from that – as if I could. I sure wish I had more aggressively pursued the case.

Submitted by AS

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8 responses to “Harassment = Not Funny

  1. Can you tell us what gang- I mean frat it was?

  2. Its unfortunate that a few bad apples can give fraternities such a bad name. I was in a fraternity in college and while we did horse around a little bit (which based on stories I’ve read on this website could be considered “street harassment”), nothing we rose to such an obscene, and dangerous level.

    I’m sorry you had to experience that.

  3. Anon, I’m not sure how you can simultaneously argue that this is both an isolated incident and claim that you did it, too.

  4. My comment had two aims: (1) to express my compassion and sympathy for the poster for having been assuaulted; and (2) to note that men in my fraternity engaged in PG-rated boys-will-be-boys types of activities which, unfortunately and inappropriately, could be considered harrassment under the extremely broad definition employed herein (i.e., hitting on girls in the quad, telling smart girls they’re pretty and pretty ones they’re smart, asking girls if they wanted to have lunch etc. etc. ).

    • Do you really think that genuinely inviting someone to lunch constitutes harrassment?

      Putting it this way: if I, as a gay man, cruised you and hit on you as a random stranger, would you be flattered? I mean, really. There’s a difference that’s pretty obvious when you’re the one being stalked!

  5. Do you really think that genuinely inviting someone to lunch constitutes harrassment?

  6. jdhammond: Telling he never answered your question.

    If we were to turn the tables for just one day, Anon would be running home and starting blogs of his own about anti-male sentiments run amok in DC.

    Since he hasn’t experienced it, he continues naively insist this about sex, when in fact it has everything to do with power.

  7. AS: Why couldn’t the whole group have been brought to court? Is it too late for you to pursue this?

    This is stunning: You could have been killed, my God, and for them to get away with it is one crime atop another.

    And the harassment, even outside the context that makes this an assault with deadly weapon, was itself illegal. If interested, please reference excellent article in Harvard Law Review: http://pages.nyu.edu/~stc215/BowmanHLR.pdf

    It is by Cynthia Grant Bowman, a female law professor at Cornell who makes the point that we have to take this on seriously, and we have to take this on legally.

    My two cents is: If any chance remains, do something.

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