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SSH will not publish any comment that is offensive or hateful and does not add to a thoughtful discussion of street harassment. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, disabalism, classism, and sexism will not be tolerated. Disclaimer: SSH may use any stories submitted to the blog in future scholarly publications on street harassment.

“I don’t owe any guy out in the street anything”

In Stories, street harassment | on 01.27.13 | by | Comments ( 0 )

Just a few months ago, maybe in November, I recall planning to cook a hearty dinner for my daughter and her father. I had to go to the store to get a can of vegetables. My daughter’s father suggested that I go to the supermarket, which is like, a good five minute walk from our apartment. It was rather nippy that day, so I was in no mood to walk there. I decided to go to the discount store, which is just around the corner from us. When I got to the discount store, I walked to the aisle that has the paper and plastic products and grabbed a box of aluminum foil. Afterwards, I walked down the canned goods aisle. Halfway down, a man in maybe his early to mid-forties said to me, “How you doing” very suggestively.

Now, usually when this happens, I speak back but only if the person is sincere with his greeting. I am not the kind of female that never speaks, but if a guy is just merely being a creep, then I just ignore him. That is exactly how this gentleman, no this ass hole was behaving, so therefore I didn’t speak back. He didn’t deserve a nice hello, in my opinion. I just simply didn’t say anything back. I didn’t roll my eyes, suck my teeth or anything. But this guy had then replied, “Oh well, right back to you too!”

I then turned around and said, “Excuse me, sir, but I didn’t say anything ignorant to you.”

That’s when he answered, “Well, you the one thinking you too good to speak to somebody!” I was at this point very offended and replied, “I don’t think I’m too good for anything, but you’re a pervert and don’t deserve a hello from me, so you need to leave me alone.”

I then turned to walk away, but the guy pushed me down from behind. I started to get up, but he then pushed me back down and said, “Well, fuck you then, bitch!!!” I leaped up angrily, stormed out of the store after him, but once outside, he threatened me for coming out of the store. Another guy tried to hold him back from hurting me, all while cursing him out for his conduct, as well as everyone else that was looking on. Oh, and I forgot to mention that he had a little girl with him at the time. A terrible way to act in front of a child.

Anyway, that experience just showed me that while it’s okay to be polite and speak to someone once in a while, I don’t owe any guy out in the street anything, especially if I don’t know him. Period.

- Betty Miller

Location: Philadelphia, PA

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