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.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


For the past week and some change I've been trying to act treat the men on the streets like the non-entities they are to me. I'm sick of having screaming matches with these losers and stooping to their level. I started this new tactic the last day I was in NYC.

After heading back to my hotel from leaving the Papaya Dog on 42nd & 9th (it's okay, but not the genuine NYC hot dog taste I was looking for) and walking up 8th Ave. to get back, I walked past what looked like a sleazy lingerie shop. I rolled my eyes and some man who was standing in the doorway of it said "You're too sexy for that stuff!" It took all in my power to act like he didn't exist.

Back in DC, it's been a chore as well. I've found some dead days where the harassment didn't happen which is a sigh of relief to me, but when it Most of these instances were benign, but it's aggravating to not be able to leave the house and go from point A to point B undisturbed. Men, talking to a woman on the street is not a right you have -- it's a privilege, if that.

I was walking to the train station to head to work on Wednesday, and the man in the passenger side of a garbage truck stuck his head out and waved at me (why do these clowns always try to "holla" from the passenger side of the car?!). As usual, he was old enough to be my father. I ended up reacting.

"No...No...NO!!!!!" I yelled. Maybe if they did their jobs instead of trying to flirt with women half their age, then there wouldn't be a rat infestation from the piling-up garbage!

I went back to ignore mode on Thursday. I was waiting at Farragut North Station to go home and this man comes up behind me and says "Hey, pretty girl" to my back. I know it was addressed to me since there were no other females in that vicinity. It was easy to ignore him because I never respond to those who don't have the courtesy to address me face to face. I walked to another section of the platform, and noticed that once again this was a man old enough to be my father. It leaves a sick feeling in my stomach that these old men think it's appropriate to talk to younger women. Who's encouraging them to do so? I guess I look forward to getting older because these men will finally leave me alone, but they'll find a new crop of 20-somethings to mess with. Gross.

Coming home from tae kwon do yesterday, I descended one escalator and spot this guy. He was bugged-eyed, buck-toothed and I knew he was going to try to talk to me. We learn about "telegraphing moves" in tae kwon do sparring class, and that's exactly what this guy was doing. Instead of going up the other escalator, he stays at the bottom of it and watches me come down it. I felt like I was under a was uncomfortable.

When I reach the bottom of the escalator, he says "You are so purty." I am tired of getting unsolicited compliments from these pitiful men. I'd really just rather be left alone. And the staring at me like I was an object really unnerved me. No wonder good guys are afraid to approach women...creeps like this ruin it for them.

The last straw was walking home from the train station. A dark car pulls up to me and the driver says "Girl, d'you need help? Need a ride?" It took all in my power to act like he wasn't there...that creeped the mess out of me. It was 8 in the evening -- not late, but rather dark.

The guy finally got the hint that I didn't want to be bothered with him and drove off. But I kept looking behind my shoulder to make sure he didn't try to follow me home.

So today's been harassment-free, but that's because I didn't leave the house. I don't plan on leaving the house at all this weekend. It has nothing to do with being afraid to leave the house, but because after a long, busy week at work, tae kwon do and other things I just need rest. But when I leave back out again this week, I really for once just want these men to leave me alone.

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