Debate Magazine

Some Experiences With Street Harassment - I Did Not Ask You

Posted on the 04 March 2014 by Starofdavida
Some Experiences With Street Harassment - I Did Not Ask You
I did not ask you to say good morning to me. I was in a bus station at 8:30 AM alone; all I wanted was to grab a coffee and get back to campus. I certainly did not want you to say “goooood morning” to me in that tone of voice, nor for you to give me that up and down look. I don’t know what you were looking at, anyway; I was wearing a pair of off-label Uggs and a long, brown, shapeless coat.
I did not ask you to say “smile, it’s not Monday!” when I walked past you right outside of the main hub of campus. I have a calendar, thanks. I know it’s not Monday. I’ll smile when I damn well want to smile, and only then. Your encouragement is not going to make me want to bare my teeth in any positive fashion.
I never ask you to say “good morning, young lady!” or “hello there, pretty girl!” whenever I forget to cross the street parallel to the main hub of campus before I make it to the block that you’re always on. And yet, you always do. I always turn away and ignore you, and you’re never unpleasant about my complete disregard of your existence. But the fact that I have to constantly remember to cross the street, and that I have to tolerate your unsolicited comment to me, is unfair. This should be my street as much as it is yours, and I resent that you are taking it away from me.
My friend and I did not ask you to yell “come home with me!” and assorted other, more graphic requests for sexual favors at my friend and me while we were walking on a street in Haifa on a Saturday night and you were drunk with your friends. Neither one of us were, are, or ever will be interested in going home with you, and I am glad that I had the presence of mind to ask “does saying that to girls normally work?” instead of just storming off or ignoring you. I wish you had responded, instead of just getting nasty. I would have been interested to learn if harassing women on the street actually has ever gotten you a date. I think that your lack of response gives me all the answer I need to know, though.

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