To be really honest, I don’t want to be talked to at all in public. (There are times where I do have pleasant conversations with strangers, but they are usually children [I am a baby magnet for kids 18 months-6 years old…I don’t know why], women, or much older men.) I don’t go outside looking for a man. I go outside for fresh air, to photograph, to take care of errands, to attend an event, or to go to a public library. I don’t view the entire world as an open bar or a night club. (Not to say that harassment is okay in the latter two settings, but that the cultural norms and expectations of those spaces differ from a store or a park.)
Some men then ask me, “well how are men to meet women then?” I don’t know. I do know that a good day for me is one where I am not bothered AT ALL in a public space. On Saturday, I tweeted:
I’ve just had an hour of public silence and solitude. I could cry right now. :) I found a new spot. Hee hee. #INTJ— Trudy (@thetrudz) July 21, 2012
Yes…it is so rare to have a quiet moment but also be in public that I had to share that moment. It was…wonderful.
What’s really interesting is that I am 32 and now and again gray hairs sprout up in my head. Then, I see men, also with gray hair, yelling out “ay girl” (and then proceed to other harassment statements) to me. Really? We’re…old ya know. And, this is not to say that age itself teaches men how to respect women or prevents street harassment. It just feels extra stupid hearing “ay girl” or “what’s yo name girl” the older I get. Girl?
I wonder why some men are deathly terrified of the word “hi” to start a conversation? To them, I guess it’s better to start off “conversations” with aggression and disrespect, and be rejected, and then reply with more harassment, than to be sincere and be rejected. The former upholds patriarchal masculinity anyway, and not violating that code seems more important to them than actually trying to be liked or loved.
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