This, changes things.
I was walking home from a gig by myself, at not particularly late on a Sunday night. Walking up St-Laurent, someone walking the other way stopped to talk at me. Someone asking for change is more passive. I stopped to listen. They wanted to go get a drink somewhere. I declined, and continued to walk, they continued to talk. Decline, decline, decline, leave me alone.
Still following me, a couple blocks from where I live, people walking on the sidewalk towards us, I said, “Do I need to make a fuss in front of these people for you to leave me alone?”.
Several steps further along, with a group of people milling across the street, I yelled at him to fuck off. Apparently that makes me a bitch. But, really, I feel extremely lucky that name-calling is all he did, and that he walked back away in the opposite direction – because what if he hit me for having the audacity to yell, and to not do what he wanted. You know?
I did get the rest of the way home, uneventfully. Although the saga continues.
Skip forward a couple of days, and I was at dork-Xmas party at a bar. There are many dorks. Who are generally polite. There was also a bouncer who was less polite. A half dozen sentences of small talk, and they had the audacity to squeeze at my belly/waist in a how-ripe-is-this-fruit kind of manner. Bad Touch. That, was a little easier to deal with – filthy look with an “I’m going over there, now”, because, y’know, what could he do about it?
Although when I left the bar, he was standing outside at the front door; and I had a what-if-he-follows-me-home freak out, which doesn’t seem rational.
Skip forward a couple of days, and I was going to be meeting someone at a metro station. I got to the foyer at street level, and there were a bunch of guys milling around. Rather than standing around inside, in case one of them started to bother me, I waited outside, which doesn’t seem rational.
Skip forward a couple of days, and you get to today. I have a ticket to go to concert tonight. And I now have an expectation that by being a woman who isn’t walking around with a guy, that I will be considered fair game, and that unless I am defensive, another man will feel that it’s appropriate to touch or squeeze at me.
I’m not sure what I can do to change that. I am, at a fundamental level, someone who is polite, and nice, and pleasant, and open; and I don’t know how I can become someone who is closed. I do not like being a person who is overcautious to irrationality.
I really do not like being a person who is being evaluated almost entirely on how I look – Neither man who touched me uninvited had any information to suggest that I am the crazy-freaky-interesting person that I am.