My Hellish Four Block Walk To The Coffee Shop
Number of times honked at: 3
Called 'baby': 1
Whistled at: 1
Hollered at: 1
Number of blocks walked: 4
Before my walk I was feeling great. By the time I got to the coffee shop however, I was so infuriated that I was shaking. It was then that I saw a bunch of dudes I was acquainted with... so I told them the story of my 4 block walk to the coffee shop (my mistake?).
They collectively shrugged and one said 'well.. you still got it'.
At that point, my heart was beating outta my chest.
I saw red! Like, really? I still got what? Sexual harassment?!
Dudes -- when I'm telling you about a bad experience, I don't need to hear I still got it...I know I got it! Instead, I need you to listen to how fucked this kind of harassment is...and to try to understand...and to let it seep in and make you rethink or even change your own behavior.
The pathetic collective shrug from the oh-so-hip-dudes was a perfect look into many men's awkward indifference and misunderstanding of women's issues. It's not that these guys are anti-woman...they just don't see the big deal. The fact that women have to walk through life accepting this kind of harassment isn't a big deal to someone who is allowed to walk freely.
But if it isn't a big deal, why did it happen so much in such a short distance? And why was I was shaking in an anger that infiltrated my whole day?!
I ignored the first horn.
The second horn I was like 'yah I get it'.
But by horn 3...I yelled, 'they're honking at me because I'm a woman,' to the mechanics who were staring at me tryin' to show them that their gaze, like that man's horn, was ALSO unwelcomed.
I know that people read this kind of story and get annoyed hearing about 'women's issues' or bring up that there a lot worse that could be happening...but you know what else is debilitatingly annoying...not being able to walk in peace.
P.S. if I was a woman of color this type of harassment plus other forms of institutionalized violence would severely increase.
Question is...how can we do better?
*image by Maarten van den Heuvel
Like this story? Thank Lori.
You can find Lori LeChien songwriting, producing, recording & singin' her heart out in LA. She is a strong session vocalist and professional harmonizer who aims to heal the world with music. Follow her on instagram here.