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.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Defending Her Honor

Mark sent me this story:

First off, thank you so much for taking the time and effort to create a website such as this one. I think it takes a level of dedication and commitment that has become a rarity.

As to my story, I think I may provide a more unique perspective to your blog. I am 26 year old male that experienced street harassment, albeit indirectly, through my girlfriend and I opted to say something about it.

My story: My girlfriend and I were walking down 14th Street between around 11:15pm this evening when we saw an older white man wobbling as he was walking towards us. As he passed us he said something obscenely lewd (which I will withhold for my own sanity, but the comment included acts, himself and specific body parts of my girlfriend). After hearing the comment a million things were running through my mind. My girlfriend had said nothing, but I felt as though I would remiss if I did not address this indecency. My response was only to say "Watch it man" in a loud but casual manner. What surprised me was the response from the man: He actually asked "what I was going to do about it". We both continued to walk in opposite directions (my walking away significantly tied to my desire not to be incarcerated), but the mild altercation did leave an impact on me, which is why I am sending this now.

My thoughts are simply that this type of indecency cannot be tolerated. I believe that allowing acts such as these to continue increasing the level of degradation of society as a whole. I do not know at what point the reverence of women ceased to exist, but I believe my silence would only have exacerbated the situation.

The events of this evening created a rift between my girlfriend and I, her saying that she didn't need defending and me saying that I still believe in defending the honor of the woman with me. Nonetheless, I believe I was right in saying something to this person...maybe I'm old fashioned, traditional, etc. or maybe I just hold women in a higher esteem than others.

Please let me know if you have any questions or clarification that I can help with...also, please let me know when/if you post this story. I would like to follow the comments if possible


Mark, I felt you did the right thing by speaking up against that idiot and then walking away. It's not really an issue of a man "being chivalrous to a woman" but more of human decency. More people need to step in when they see someone being harassed---friend, significant other, stranger, or anyone.

In the same token, many women are capable of handling themselves. I don't know why she said she didn't need you to defend her if she took no action (maybe her tactic was to ignore him altogether), but I'm sorry that some ignorant loser has caused a rift in your relationship. Talk to her, open a discussion, and hopefully things will work out in the end. Best of luck to you---and we need more guys like you in the world who respect women.

1 comment:

avocadoinparadise said...

I'm glad you said something to the jerk.

I agree with you that it does signal a lack of decency in society that men feel they are entitled to make lewd comments toward women. Why didn't they learn from childhood that this sort of thing is unacceptable? Whey do they feel entitled to do this??

The only thing I can imagine is that they are disgruntled with life and threatened by pretty women who appear to be successful and have money. Most of the creepy guys on the street are old poor men. So they know they can't get with us and feel like we therefore shouldn't be happy? They're just mean spirited and a drain on society. We need some sort of reprogramming. Like in 1984 but just picking up those guys off the street, reprogramming them, and setting them free.