Please note. . .

Don't Be Silent DC has been inactive since March 2008 and has not been accepting entries since. If you are in the DC area and have a harassment story to share, please go to HollaBack DC. If you are outside the DC area and want to submit your story, go to Stop Street Harassment. Thank you.

As of 3/1/08, I will no longer be working on this blog. Please read this post for more details.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Can't walk down the street without being leered at

This comes from reader Sarah:

I had a couple of mild cases of harassment this weekend, nothing out of the ordinary except that for the first time ever, I did something other than glare at the offender. Normally I get harassed when I'm walking, and the last thing I want to do is slow down and go back to confront the asshole. But this time, I was waiting to cross a street near Dupont Circle, and a truck slowed down and then stopped in the intersection (he had a green light, so he should have been going, but there were no other cars around to honk at him). The middle-aged man in the passenger seat leaned out his window and just leered at me. I looked the other way and pretended not to notice them, but when they didn't leave, I turned around and gave him the finger. The truck lurched forward, as if the driver had been startled (good!), and then stopped again. The passenger tried to explain, "hey, no, no, I was just admiring your beauty." I just shook my head and looked away, and they drove off.

Maybe he really did mean no harm. He seemed surprised by my reaction. But I should be able to walk around on a beautiful day without being turned into an object for someone else's enjoyment. I love people-watching, and of course I admire attractive people, but my god, I don't STARE at them. This seems like common sense to me.

There are better ways to "admire someone's beauty" without leering at them and making them feel uncomfortable. These people really need to learn that.

Note: On my original blog, I was questioning whether or not making this blog was a good idea. I'm going through a process in my life where I'm trying to be a better and happier person, and avoid negativity as much as possible. Since starting the anti-street harassment blog I feel I've gotten a lot of support, but have encountered dumb-ass idiots and their gratuitous "who cares?" and "I would've laughed at you too!" comments. That's not only counterproductive to me and my self-progress, that's counterproductive to the mission of this blog. You can feel free to disagree all you want with what I or anyone else has to say (and if I didn't believe in "freedom of speech," DC Idiot---I mean, DC Lifecoach's post wouldn't have been allowed), but be an adult about it and show some maturity.

Carry on!

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