Nothing ever gets easier. You simply learn how to make the best out of it.
I thought a lot about whether or not to share this. But it's so common in today's society that I think it's time to talk about it.
It was the morning. I was in a public track by my house warming up as usual, sitting on the bleachers. Then out of nowhere a guy who I do not know starts whistling as if calling a dog and starts yelling at me, commanding me to go to him. It was scary. He wouldn't leave me alone and the worst part was that there were people around, just walking by, staring at me and him and then looking away. With every minute that passed his yelling became more harsh and louder. I was insulted, frightened, humiliated, and upset. Of course I tried not to make eye contact and continued warming up. By the time I was done with my warm ups he left and I was able to get out of the track safely and go on my run.
This is ridiculous. First of all, I was nn a public track which happened to be inside a middle school-are you kidding me? You are ignorant enough to cat call a girl whom is inside a middle school track where there are kids? Secondly, what am I, some animal? You think I'm actually going to come to you and maybe start something. Oh yea, because I'd love to say “Ahh, I remember when we first met, He whistled for me and commanded I come over, and the rest is history” … How romantic... NOT!
That's just rude. It's embarrassing and cruel and it's harassment. Which leads me to my main point. Just because I may have looked attractive, this doesn't mean I deserved to be treated as an underdog. It was intimidating and made me uncomfortable. It was so wrong on so many levels.
Respect others. It doesn't matter what people wear. Even if they aren't wearing anything. Even if they are stark naked, it's no excuse to talk down to somebody like that. That is immature, disrespecting one's right to a safe environment, and it is sexual harassment, which is illegal in federal law.
Unfortunately, I didn't tell him off or report it. I gave him a look and then I simply walked (or ran in my case) away from it. Whether or not I did the right thing, it really opened my eyes to the dangers of being alone and being a woman. It's a sad reality. And it's frustrating.
I think the worst part in all this is that this was not the first time, and I know it will not be the last, nor will it get any easier, any less scary, and any less frustrating.
However, here is how I'm making the best out of it. I am sharing it with you all. I am sharing my story because unfortunately I am not the only female out there that runs or walks or does things alone. I am not the only one that gets yelled at or whistled at or gets unwelcome stares and advances. It's something that has always been in our society and somehow it's become accepted. Like how the people at the same track just stared and looked away, continuing their morning routine. I could be upset that the adults there did not say a thing, but I'd be lying if I did not say this is something we have all seen before.
I want to ask something of you. Please, talk about it. Voice your opinion on it. And if you see people being harassed by others, whether it's at school and someone is bullying another person, or if it's like my own situation where someone is being sexually harassed in a public place, call it out. Tell them that it's wrong, and that they should stop. Help the victim by getting them out of that place. Or even give the offender a look of disapproval. Everything and anything will help. If there are other people seeing you take action, than they will be encouraged to do so as well. One person can truly make all the difference.
Finally, out of all things, never feel that you are alone. There are so many wonderful people out there in this world. Yes, that mean person and many other mean people are living on Earth today, but there are so many good people and people that care and love you that are here on Earth as well. So many care and love you, you may not even realize who they are. But they do. Don't be embarrassed to talk about the things that bother you. There is no shame in wanting respect for yourself.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.