I was walking hope around 1pm on saturday. As I was crossing 14th street, a car barreled through the pedestrian crossing right in front of me. It really bothers me when drivers disobey the rules of the road – so I signaled to the sign and said to the driver ‘this is a pedestrian crossing!’ There was a man walking towards me on the other side of the street. He looked older than a teenager, but definitely younger than me (say 21). He said “Why you so angry?” I just kept walking, because I was so incensed by him. But he kept talking “Its a beautiful day. You’re beautiful. Why you look so bad?” I’m sure there are people (idiots) out there who would say, oh what a compliment. But this guy did not know me from Adam. Plus I am several years older than him. It is extremely condescending for a random man on the street to start telling me what to do because I’m female. If I had been a middle-aged man, you bet he would not have said anything. But because I’m a young-looking black female, he felt entitled to scold me for being upset. Whenever a man tells me to ‘smile’ on the street, I want to respond with “Say no to drugs.” That message is as insulting, presumptious and inappropriate as telling a woman you don’t know to smile. I could be coming from a stressful job, or thinking about a situation with a family member. But all that doesn’t matter because I’m female aren’t I? And wasn’t I born to smile for random shitheads on the street?
Submitted by Woman Allowed to Be Angry on 6/28/2010
Location: Upper 14th street, near Takoma
Time of Harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)
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