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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Response to my last DBS entry

I know that by having blogs, I open myself to judgment and criticism. I got a letter in my inbox that I needed to respond to. The letter is from a male reader named Rick:

Hi, I've been reading your blog (which is great) and there are some things I wanted to share with you. You really shouldn't be traveling alone, locally or to other cities. It's not safe, especially if you continue to verbally provoke every man on the street who looks at you.

I might as well stay home with an apron on baking cookies and giving my husband his pipe and slippers. I felt that statement of "you shouldn't travel alone" was a little harsh. I realize it's not a woman's world, but I'm not one to stay home because I lack travel companions. And your comment of "if you continue to verbally provoke every man on the street who looks at you" was a strong judgment. I only respond to those who try to hit on me, get too close, or make inappropriate comments. As I walk down a street, lots of people look at me...I only respond to the ones who don't know how to respect a woman's space.

Also, after reading your latest post it felt like you were inviting trouble. You went to a concert alone and actively looked for a band member after the show. It also didn't help your cause that you were so angry when you found out that the band member was no longer there. Anger is not a logical response to that situation.

Once again, do I, as a woman, not have the right to travel solo? I would like you to pick up A Woman Alone: Travel Tales From Around The Globe from your local library or Barnes & Noble. Feel free to tell those women they shouldn't travel alone. And as for "being angry"? I feel I have every right to have whatever emotion I please. It was more of an annoyance and frustration than rage.

Finally, some writing advice. "Hell hath no fury on a Duranie scorned" is inaccurate. The quote you were looking for is "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". The way you wrote it doesn't really make any sense.

Well, forgive me for my grammatical error of using "on" instead of "like." But please understand what it means to play with words...substituting "Duranie" for "woman."

I hope you can take this criticism constructively. If I wanted to flame you in public I would have done it on the blog comments. After reading your blog I worry about you because of your tendency to put yourself in dangerous situations and to lash out at strangers on the street. I'm not condoning harassment but one woman's actions will not change the way men behave and will only endanger you. Writing the blog is a great way to get guys to think about their actions on the street.

I took the constructive criticism and destructed it, analyzed it, and put it back together again. I know I'm going to have many critics and naysayers in the up-and-coming months, so I better develop a thicker skin.


Emily said...

You know, that guy can shove it.

Blame the victim. It's your fault if something happens to you because you DARE to fight for the right to have sovereignty over your own body. Because you DARE to challenge men who try to put you in your place by reminding you what your worth is to them.

Of course it is. That is the way that men can sleep at night. If she didn't want it, why was she wearing that? Why was she out in public?

How about you blame the men? Maybe they shouldn't be permitted to be out in public if they don't have the manners to treat other human beings with respect and dignity.

Just thought I'd share.

Emily said...

Also, I wanted to add, how very parental of your emailer. Thank goodness that men like him are around to take care of us women. I mean, what WOULD we do without them?


kate.d. said...

"verbally provoke"! wow, that's a good one. they're always coming up with inventive ways to say "put a sock in it, woman, if you know what's good for you."

it seems logical to me that the verbal provoking came from the perfect strangers who saw fit to address you on the street, but what do i know?

M.Dot. said...

Don't be Silent is To the Gristle for me.


I don't think GOD, nor Zora or any of my other angles WILL allow me to be silent.

However, it is affirming to know that you are the same.