Speedwalking in a nice dress to my ushering gig at a downtown theater this afternoon, I encountered a carful of grinning guys, who courteously slowed down in the middle of the intersection to greet me with some semi-intelligible but almost certainly charming commentary on my body and movements. Accordingly, I flipped them off and went on my way.
Afterward, the guys almost certainly forgot immediately. I, on the other hand, spent the rest of the walk mulling over the incident, wondering: “Was I too harsh in flipping them off? Maybe they were saying something useful and I was a total jerk. I should check my purse for items that might have been falling out, and see if my dress had ridden up (no on both accounts). On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I heard the word ‘ass’ once if not multiple times . . .”
What’s wrong with this picture? While flipping the bird isn’t perhaps the most constructive response, it was an expedient way to express my displeasure about the uninvited aggression, which is essentially what street harassment is whether its practitioners are aware of that or not. I just hate that I spent so much time afterward wondering what/if I had done something wrong, when I was really not the one who needed to be doing the reflecting.
Location: Thomas circle (Mass & 14th NW)
Time of harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)
Submitted by Anonymous
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