My best friend is a man and often hears me and my girlfriend complain about the constant, degrading harassment (both verbal AND physical) we’ve experienced while living in DC.
I know he struggles with how he can be an effective ally and I think this spontaneous exchange was a pretty good solution:
We were walking in Adams Morgan one afternoon, a few steps behind two women. An older guy yelled at one of the women:
“You look sexy in that white jacket!”
I cringed and the two women didn’t respond and kept walking. Immediately my best friend dramatically throws his arm into the air and exclaims: “What about me?”
The older man responded:
“You…..you look like a diamond in the rough.”
We both laughed and by this time the two women were at least a block away. I thought this was an effective way to deal with harassment in this situation because it immediately took the attention off the two women. It also nonviolently called out the older man and made his comments appear ridiculous. I’m not sure this sort of interaction would work in every situation, but I think more men need to (safely) interject themselves into these instances of harassment.
Location: 18th Street NW, Adams Morgan
Submitted by Mar on 9/16/09
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