I’m Allowed To Be Angry!

Photo by Matt Seppings via Flickr

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)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

5 responses to “I’m Allowed To Be Angry!

  1. – “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.”

    So true.

  2. Golden Silence

    I love the name you’re using for this story. Yes, women are allowed to be angry and to feel whatever emotion they please!

    Another thing I hate about those guys on the street is that, like in your situation, they always come at the most inopportune times. I remember I had a bad incident with guys trying to holla at me which ended with me cursing them out, and some fool who was watching had the nerve to try to talk to me and “hey, baby” me! Apparently my being visibly irritated didn’t faze him!

  3. What I’ve said is “You want a smile, look in the mirror”.

  4. I was just complaining about this to my friend. I am so SICK of random dudes telling me to smile. I have the right to not smile. I have the right to look any freaking way I feel like. I’m sick of male strangers telling me how I should feel.

  5. I feel ya! Some days I feel like I can’t be tired/in a bad mood/angry because every creeper I walk by has a comment or a look, when all I really want to do is stomp by all of them. If I’m in a bad mood, dont ogle me as I walk by, it only makes me angrier!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s