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.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Don't Touch Me!

There were no BéBé's or other obnoxious people on my train ride home from dance last night and it was a relaxing ride home. Regardless, I sensed something would happen.

As I walked up the steps to exit the station, some teenage kid was coming down the stairs. I thought he'd pass me and keep on going, but no. He thought it'd be cute to pinch me in the crook of my left arm with his two knuckles and go "'Ey ma, whaddup."

You don't go around touching women you don't know in that intimate way...hell no! He got cursed out.

"I don't fucking know you," I said. "You don't touch me like that. You don't fucking know me! What gives you the right to touch me like that?!"

This kid seemed shocked that I was angry. I hope it eventually gets through his head that you need to get to know a person first, then decide if it's okay to get physically intimate. He definitely crossed a personal boundary with me.


terpman said...

Hello, Golden Silence. I'm Terpman, a 28 year old African American male. I've been reading your blogs since July, when I first saw the Street Harassment article on the cover of the Washington City paper. I have to say your very passionate about the subject of street harassment, which you should be. You've definitely made me see street harassment for the problem that it is. In fairness, I never really saw it from a woman's perspective. But reading your blogs has helped enliven me on the subject.

Every woman has the right to go about her business without being hassled by anyone. I commend you on your effort to get the word out that aggressive, beligerent behavior towards women won't be tolerated. However, I disagree with some of your methods.

For example, in your last post(Oct. 5), you said the teenage kid touched you inappropriately, and you cursed him out. Then you "hoped it eventually gets through his head that he needs to get to know a person first, then decide etc." Do u really think he'll get the message after you cursed him out? I'm not excusing his behavior because he's a teenager. He was wrong. But why not explain that to him in a more convincing, subtle way?

The one common denominator in all your responses is cursing somebody out. Why stoop to their level? I understand that your upset. I grew up with 2 younger sisters, so there were times I had to stick up for them when guys in the neighborhood would come at them in a disrespectful way. If I come across as being critical of your methods, I apologize. But from what I've read of your blogs, you seem too intelligent to re-act in such a demeaning way. Again, in no way am I telling you how to handle uncomfortable situations. Your a grown woman; you handle it how you see fit. I just think your too classy to succumb to anti-social behavior.

Golden Silence said...

Terpman, thanks for your comments.

The problem with these men is that they don't respond to rhyme or reason. I can recall many times in the past where I've responded more calmly and coolly, but it didn't work. And in my case, silence does not work. I feel that since I'm a smaller-framed woman these men will have even less regard for me than they already do, so I have to get loud.

Also, when someone randomly touches me out of nowhere, I don't even have time to analyze or rationalize it. The first thoughts going through my head are anger, and I act on that anger.

"I just think you're too classy to succumb to anti-social behavior."

It'll be a lot easier to not succumb to that behavior when I'm away from those tacky losers. Thank you for the compliment.