A few weeks ago, I was at a convenience store because I wanted to pick up some mints. While I was in the store, I saw a pretty young Black mommy and her son, who I would estimate was 4 years old, also in the store. They left the store slightly before I did.
As I walked out of the store to the parking lot, I heard a loud car honk and an “ay girl!” But…the voice sounded like a child’s voice. I knew I must have been mistaken because I am used to the low timbre of a baritone or bass voice of adult men harassing me as usual, daily.
I turned around and realized that the child got into the driver’s seat of the car as his mother was putting something in the trunk. The child seemed like he was going to say something else but was interrupted. His mother swiftly came around to the driver side and said “stop that mess, don’t be honking at a woman.”
What. The. Hell. Did this child really do this? Ah but, bad is not bad enough unless it is worse.
An older Black man (I would estimate over 50) came by on his bicycle (as he witness the whole thing) and said “that’s what he’s supposed to do!” Apparently, any male, even younger than five years old is “supposed” to engage in street harassment. It is a rite of passage, apparently.
The mother simply rolled her eyes at this man, put the child in the back and drove away. Why does this man think his word trumps the word of the child’s mother who thankfully scolded him? This child probably learned this behavior from the men in his life. This paternalistic and rude action from this older man (who by the way, has harassed me in the past but harasses so many women [I’ve seen him at other places] that I don’t think he recognized me this time) really disgusted me, especially since he seems to think his values trumps a mother’s, and especially because his values are a part of the bigger problem.
I have to say, I’ve seen A LOT where street harassment is concerned. I blog about it rather frequently. However, I never imagined a male child this young, not even a teen who feels the drive to perform patriarchal masculinity, would do this.
You never “see it all.” Never. There’s always something worse and more annoying and more disheartening that can occur, apparently.
Related Posts: A Tale Of Two Men, I Had To Curse A Man Out…., For Men Who Engage In Street Harassment While On The Clock, 6 Common Derailment Tactics Used In Conversations About Street Harassment and Sexual Assault