Street harrasment | For once, let the words speak (personal)

For once, I will share a post that is out of my writing style and out of my comfort zone. This is a very personal post I am sure many can relate to. It is partially a hateful one too and something I know I need to put it out there for you to think about. It was a completely ordinary day on a bus station when I heard "Hey! Hey you!" I mentally rolled my eyes because I knew what was coming. I looked up and saw a man. A situation that, as much as I am in town, happens actually quite often. For no reason. First, I was required to share my name to this man. He did not introduce himself. Let me put one information forward first: he was actually retarded, the way he walked and he talked slowly, but he was aware of everything around him. And as a good Christian, I was polite of course. I answered, thinking he might need help with the bus schedule. We shook hands and he completely surprised me when he brought my hand to his lips. That is when I knew right away where this was going. I tried to retrieve it but he clunched it in his grasp. Up until here, if you were raised in a household such as mine, your mind is torn apart. Should you bring attention to you and start yelling at the (remember, he is retarted) man or continue with this bizzare game such as it is and hope to get rid of him? I had 5 minutes to the bus I was waiting for and let me tell you- 5 minutes is too long. Then as he lowered our hands, he lifted them to me as in 'now it's your turn'. I was shocked. Can you imagine the fight I was having in my mind? Just because he was mentally 'challenged' I should be nice to him? The guy was pushy! Raise your hand if you were raised to respect the poor, old and ill! I retrieved my hand instantly and by this time I was mad. Who are you to force me into anyhing?? There were people around and no one seemed to be looking at our direction except a teenager who actually seemed amused. Then the questions came. "Do you have a boyfriend? I don't have a girlfriend." etc. I was speechless but luckily saw the first bus coming and without any hesitation, jumped on it. All this happened in under a poor minute and it was enough to awaken anyone's anger.

It hasn't been the first time something like this happened. I am tired of annoying men, too desperate to get attention. How many times have I walked through the city (midday, let's not forget that), minding my own business and got stopped by such pathetic creatures? I may be standing alone on the bus station but that does not mean I am lonely. I may be dressed elegant (I repeat, elegant or just more classy than usual) but that does not mean I dressed for you. I may looked in your direction but that does not mean I seek your attention. 

I hate to not being able to walk in my own city without being disturbed or bothered by someone. What do I have to do to be left alone? I don't look around and I only look where I am going (I am usually that busy). I can be mean, I can start screaming and my actions can also cause violence from the other side. Because in the end, a truly mentally dangerous man can really cross my path (I am convinced everyone so far were). So where do we stand? Back at the beginning. I can't do this and I can't do that. It pains me that I even have to consider my actions who are in fact clear. I can be harrased but I can't defend myself? Because in the minds of my parents and grandparents, I would have to act how it seems appropriate and not right or straight forward. I am sure many of you were raised like this (I hope not though). 

I know the answer to the obvious 'why' but my question is different. Why women need to go through such situations in the first place? Don't give me crap such as 'well if you dress with all the skin showing, no wonder you attract such people' because nothing in this sentence points to me, for example. And I am sure in most cases, it points to such no other women too when facing mentioned situation. But I wouldn't mind to tap into this topic as well but it would require just as many words I have written so far (maybe some other time). 

I guess, I wanted to bring to you two main issues- first, having the ability to react however I want according to the positon I am in. And second, the problem that there even gets to this situation. We should all have freedom we rightfully deserve and be allowed to walk freely, wear what we want and not being judged or attacked for it. There are all sorts of harrasments out there and most victims are women. If you see someone who is being harrased or bullied or you know someone who stands on the other side, please act. Think carefully who is in fact poor and ill in such situations and help them. Or report the other guy. 

I would really love to know your opinion on this. Do you have a similar story to tell? Please share it in the comments below. 

xx Maja

1 comment

You don't say? Tell me more :)

xx Maja