I honestly don’t know what to classify this as. It’s not street harassment, not catcalling, because the guys never actually talked to me.
I’m 18 years old, and was sitting at a table at a public library getting some homework done. I heard a couple of guys come and start a conversation with someone sitting behind me, but I didn’t think much about it. When I realized that they weren’t going away any time soon, I got my earbuds out so that I could listen to background music instead of their voices.
Before I had plugged them in, however, it seemed like they were wrapping up their conversation when one of them said, “Hold on a minute, I want to sit on this couch here first,” and went to sit at the couch by my table.
That didn’t surprise me, unfortunately, so I rushed to plug in my earbuds and get them in my ears, and while I was doing so the first man, who I’ll call Chad, said something to his friend about that “beautiful lady sitting in that chair” as he walked by me. I was grossed out. This normally lovely word had been twisted when used by Chad in regards to me, and I was NOT flattered. Chad continued to comment on me to his friend, “Isaiah”, who would also refer to me as “beautiful”, and was constantly turning around to glimpse at me.
I kept my earbuds in as a good excuse to ignore them and pretended that my music was too loud for me to hear what they were saying. Twice they had a friend drop by and each time Chad would mutter to them, “The chair. Look in the chair. Right there. See that pretty girl?” Their first friend, “Horace” stuck around while “Vanessa” left very shortly after she came.
I knew that I was relatively safe since there were other people on the floor, but I still didn’t dare to get up out of fear that if I did Chad would start talking to me, and who knows how that would’ve gone down. I felt like I was being treated like a dog.
A “man” spots a cute dog and can’t stop talking about it to his friends and points it out to everyone that he meets. But never does he actually talk to the dog, he just talks about it while it is sitting right next to him. If he did approach this seemingly mild-mannered dog it would tear his skin off, although he could probably knock it over.
I was constantly on edge around him, I felt humiliated and scared. I was running through my mind what would be the best way to leave: get up and risk grabbing Chad’s obsessive attention, or wait for him to leave and risk the possibility of him waiting for me in the parking lot. I found my chance when Isaiah started lecturing Horace about the good life decisions that he needs to make now that he’s out of prison. I packed my backpack and left, never looking back while they were still in sight. Even then I still didn’t want to be alone, and didn’t even chance going to the bathroom by myself.
“Beautiful” is not a compliment when coming from a guy that I don’t know in a solitary setting such as a library. This is not a club and I was not dressed as a clubber. That is less of a complement on me than it is a comment on his character.
Location: Public libraryShare on Facebook