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.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Short...But Never Sweet (7/5/07)

"Short...But Never Sweet" will be the new title to shorter blurblike posts.

I'd like to thank CHIC NOIR for sending me the link to this New York Post article. It has the most ridiculous and outrageous catcalls that happened in NYC.

Also, here's my deal with harassment today:

I was catching the bus to my tae kwon do class, and there was some fool sitting at the back of the bus. He sneaked sips of his 40 which was in a black plastic bag, and he kept snapping and bopping his head to a song that only he was hearing (and dude had no headphones on). His skin was ashy and he was in dire need of an Afro pick or corn rows.

I pulled the chain to signal my stop, and he's like, "Scush me, can I talk to you fo' a second?" Usually these men want to "talk to me" as in try to ask me out, and I don't want to be bothered. And besides, didn't he see me pull the chain?

"I'm not in the mood to talk," I say. "I'm getting off right now" (I proceed to stand near the back doors) "and am not interested in talking to some random fool on the bus." Especially not one who sips 40s on the back of the bus...ew.

"So you don't wanna talk," the guy says.
"No I don't," I say, and get off the bus.

Why do these men even try? Do I look like the type that talks to roughneck types?! Hell no!


Cosmo1980 said...

You need to lighten up.

Sure, I agree some approaches may be inappropriate, but what's wrong with just saying "hi" back to somebody on the street, and smiling? If people were a little friendlier and less paranoid DC wouldn't be the terrible place to live that it is.

I have traveled all over the world and women are far more receptive to flirting (and often initiate it themselves) in places like Europe. The anger and the xenophobia I've witnessed on this blog are pretty much unique to American women... Why don't you dig deeper and ask yourselves why that is?

What is it that you fear? Why are you in such a lousy mood as to never smile? European women flirt on the street without anybody asking them or catcalling them, just because they enjoy being sexy and they like flirting!

Golden Silence said...

Cosmo, I don't want to be bothered when I walk down the street. I want to make it from point A to point B without issues. Most of these men have a different agenda than a simple "hello," and I don't want to be bothered with them.

And BTW: this is America, not Europe. Sorry we can't be flirtatious like European women. We have to be cautious.

Jeff Deutsch said...


Golden Silence and Cosmo both have good points.

Golden Silence has an absolute right to refuse to talk with anyone she doesn't want to talk with, especially a complete stranger. I do not agree with her that most (as opposed to many) men have a broader agenda when they just say hello, but that is her prerogative. She did the right thing by making her refusal firm and direct.

On the other hand, Golden Silence did not need to go so far as to personally insult the man. If she had contented herself with "I'm not in the mood to talk, and I'm getting off right now" or even failing that, just used "person" instead of "fool," that would have been just fine.


Jeff Deutsch

Soul said...

As a woman who lives in Europe erm Cosmos1980 you are talking pure bollocks

Thing is, nobody owes anybody an obligation to smile. When you approach someone you do so at your own risk.
You are not a woman. You do not have any idea how soul destroying and scary it is sometimes when someone won't take no for an answer.

I don't know why you want to paint a ridiculously bizarre picture of European woman, maybe you are talking about the women who walk the street, maybe you are talking about the feeling of freedom people get in summer, but I'd dare you to stand in the middle of London and start approaching women going about their day to day business and think you won't get a bad reaction.

Maybe you've been flirting with 'streetwalkers' (tourists sometimes can't tell the difference and you obviously were a tourist)

Soul said...

@Golden silence,

The only thing I can think to say to you, is you gave too much of an explanation.

Usually, when you explain yourself or offer too much of an explanation when saying 'NO' some men see it as a conversation starter.

This particular guy was not worthy of an explanation cos quite frankly your description of him makes him sound borderline like a tramp.

In future, refine your answer to one word.. 'No' and that's it.
In this case, I wouldn't have even responded. Not at all. I would just have ignored him completely because quite frankly he sounds like he is to biscuits short of a full packet.

The way I operate is this, I owe nobody anything.
I have approached men and women alike on the street to offer a compliment, because I think one should sometimes lift the confidence of their fellow humans, in the same way I would sometimes tell a pregnant woman that she is absolutely glowing and must be carrying the most gorgeous baby in the world.

If I am approached on the street by someone who is respectful, I smile and keep it moving. If I don't want to talk to the person, then I don't. I don't even have to acknowledge them if I don't want to.

You were not obligated to respond to this man, don't feel like you have to.