Warning: This post is not grammatically correct and may not make perfect sense at all times. It was my stream of consciousness directly following an incident that pissed me off. And profanity is present. Thank you.
Wednesday July 10th, 2013
People hate on feminists because we’re “angry all the time.” Well you know what? FOR FUCKING GOOD REASON.
This evening I decided to go on a run. It was 8:30 and the sun doesn’t set until 8:50 (even though I shouldn’t have to take that into consideration but I do as a female runner who doesn’t want to put herself in unnecessary danger). I got about 5 blocks into my usual run when I noticed a man in non-jogging clothes running towards me. I thought it was a little odd, but hey, people are weird so whatever. I didn’t look at him as he passed. Then right as he went by me he turned around and grabbed my ass.
He continued to sprint the opposite was I was running. I was shocked. I couldn’t stop running but I couldn’t turn around to look at him because that meant this actually just happened. Soon I turned around after a few seconds and he turned around at the same time I did. So I shouted at the top of my lungs, “Fuck you” and flipped him the bird. I wanted to chase him. Maybe find a good stick and hit him upside the head. Ask him what his problem his and tell him to learn some fucking respect. Sadly, I had to let the “always thinking” side of me kick in. Had I chased him and caught up to him, he could easily have hurt me badly. He was twice my size. The neighborhood was not that populated and it was getting darker by the minute. Then I thought what if he would have attacted me? The discription I would have had to go on was a red and blue collared stripped shirt, and maybe 5 foot 10?? But I’m not too sure. My point is, he perfectly anonymous to slip through the cracks and not be held accountable for anything even if I could have reported it.
My point of this whole story is I felt so angry yet so helpless. All he had done was slap my ass right? No, wrong. He demonstrated his power as a man in our society and kept me in my place as a woman. He reinforced that even though I am a strong, educated, motivated, empowered female in my community; in that moment I was robbed of all power I have earned in society. The patriarchy that has laid the building blocks of thought told this young man that it was okay to physically harass a female stranger on the street. He believed I was an object and an object only. No face, no name, purely a woman with an ass to grab.
This incident made my world smaller. It seems as though women simply have fewer freedoms then men do past sunset, or in a bad neighborhood (not that I am in a bad neighborhood at all and mind you it was still plenty light out). He changed my running route. I decided to go to the busy street and not listen to music anymore to be fully aware of my surroundings. He made me furious for hours following, when he probably forgot within 30 minutes (“Oh hey man I got quite a rise out of this runner chick! Haha you should’ve seen her face, pissed bro”). He made me angry at all the men I ran past for the rest of that run. All I could think was, “fucking try me dude, I dare you.” Which, I realize is unfair to these men who didn’t so anything. However, this man who harassed me caused these feelings and if there weren’t many incidents like this happening all the time maybe I wouldn’t be such a “man-hater” (as people like to put it).
Its things like this that some people may say are “small events” and it “could have been worse.” Yes, I am perfectly physically fine; if not healthier because I ran so fast out of rage for the rest of my run. However, mentally okay? Not so much. Sure it could have been a lot worse, but does that mean that it is okay for a stranger to grab another stranger’s body? It is not just OKAY to harass people. Luckily, this incident inspired me to write to all of you. Thanks for listening.