A few weeks ago my sister and I were at a gas station filling up our car. When I got out to pump, a car full of guys pulled up next to us. Immediately, some of the guys rolled down their windows and a couple others got out of their car. Standing there at the pump across the driveway, they began whistling and hollering at me.
“HEY SEXY, HOW’S IT GOIN?”
“YOU GOT A BOYFRIEND?”
“WHAT YOU UP TO TONIGHT?
WANNA HAVE A GOOD TIME?“
My sister rolled her eyes at me from the front seat of the car and went back to texting. I continued on with my business, trying to ignore the obnoxious men. Insert money. Unscrew gas cap. Insert pump.
I noticed one of them walking over to me. In a fit of rage even I didn’t see coming,
I totally lost it.
FUCK. OFF. FUCK THE MOTHER FUCK OFF. FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF!!!”
WHO THE FUCK TAUGHT YOU THAT A WOMAN’S MERE PRESENCE MEANS SHE’S INTERESTED? WHAT THE FUCK GIVES YOU A RIGHT TO ACT LIKE THAT? IT’S NOT A COMPLIMENT, IT’S NOT A TURN ON, IT’S A FUCKING DISGRACE! SO FUCK OFF. FUCK OFF AND SHUT UP! WERE YOU RAISED IN A FUCKING BARN?
A brave comeback by the driver: “You’re cute when you’re mad!”
I flipped them off and stormed into my car.
The expectation is that women just “take it”. Just shut up and let it happen. And when we fight back, it’s “cute”.
My sister was shocked. A huge smile spread across her face. “I can’t believe you just did that. Do you know how many times I’ve wanted to do that?”
Immediately I worried that I had set a bad example for my sister. What if she allowed her anger get the best of her when she was being harassed? What if it was with the wrong person and they retaliated back? What if she got hurt following my example? Why should she have to worry about that? Is this a legitimate concern? My thoughts raced.
I sped out of the parking lot and down the street. They followed. At the nearest stoplight, they pulled up next to us again, windows down, and began hollering. I considered spitting on them, but decided against it. We were off to dinner with my dad. My sister gushed in admiration over dinner to my dad about what had happened. He looked shocked. I felt uneasy.
This is just one of dozens of experiences I’ve had like this. If you follow my Twitter, I usually vent about it over twitter when it happens to me. Anytime I’m alone, without men, or in a strange area and present any cue that I’m lost, or any time I make eye contact with the wrong stranger….
Fucking frustrating. So. Fucking. Frustrating, peeps.
I’ve had enough, and I’m not taking it anymore. My frustrations will be flowing free the next time some entitled asshole decides to punish me for being alone while female.