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, January 11, 2008

What Brown Shouldn't Do For You

I have no control over the creepy old guys who feel the need to tell me how pretty I am, but I do have control over how I react to them. For the past few days I've been acting like the ones on the street don't exist. Walking past them like they're background noise. For instance, some man bumming for money on the street completely ignored two couples that walked by him (probably because they were couples, not solo like me), but when I walked by he says "Hello, my beautiful angel." Ewwwwwww. Next.

It's one thing to get hit on by creepy guys on the street, but it's another when it's a man in uniform---our regular office UPS guy to be exact.

I was getting on the elevator and he was about to get off it. He puts his arm in the doorway to keep it from closing on me (polite) but then says, "There you go, beautiful" In.That.Tone. Sigh.

I tell him "That's unprofessional. You're in uniform. You shouldn't be hitting on me on the job. That's not cool." He acts professionally when he delivers our packages, so why should he change his demeanor when we're alone? Luckily for me he apologized and was polite about it.

Here's a response blogger Aileen left in my previous post:

I have to admit, I've had thoughts of worry about you personally on more than one occasion. It appears you are consumed with this issue (I hope that's not the case). But it seems like you are filled with rage and frustration and I know you are trying to "gain control" over the issue with this blog and with the movement you've started, but is the price too high to you personally?

DBS was formed as a replacement for HollaBackDC, which is now a "spam blog" (thanks to HollaBack Talk for that term). It was a way for harassment recipients and I to vent about dealing with street harassment. Because only street harassment is discussed here, many people misconstrue that as being "consumed" with it. Trust me, I'm not. When street harassment happens to me, yes, I'll post about it. The rest of the day I'm thinking of other things: work, martial arts, my online class, my favorite music and TV shows, meeting with friends, etc. So no, street harassment does not take up my life. It happens to me too damn frequently, yes, but it's not my main focus in life.

Also, I became an unofficial "street harassment activist" --- it fell into place, I guess. I get questions from people asking me what to do in this situation or that one. I honestly don't have all the answers and am learning myself. This blog is an educational experience for not only for the readers, but for me as well. And in my unofficial role, I have been starting to get the ball rolling on making the DC streets safer for women, like with our idea-exchanging meeting last month.

So for those who think I spend too much time on street harassment, look at it this way: If someone doesn't step in and do it, who else will?

(PS: Don't worry for me. . .I'll be fine.)

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