I Never Thought I Would Have To Deal With Street Harassment In Front Of My Daughter
I wish I could say that I turned around and told that man off. I wish I could say that I grabbed his picture to post on Hollaback, so that the world could see this man who felt it appropriate to harass me in front of my child. I wish I had shown my daughter, a little girl who I want to grow up knowing that she deserves respect from those around her, how to shut down a guy who thinks that a loud, public comment about a woman’s ass is somehow a compliment.
More than anything, I wish that we didn’t live in a culture where I’m upset and shaken by this event, but the man who harassed me probably never gave it a second thought. He has no idea just how offended I am. He never even thought about the little girl I had with me and how she would perceive a man loudly makes comments about her mother’s appearance.
That night, I had a talk with my daughter. I had to sit down and explain to a child who still didn’t understand what harassment, or sex for that matter, even was, that commenting about another person’s body like was not okay. The words that man used when he spoke to us were not okay. And when my little girl asked why he would say such a thing, why he would use bad words with us, I had to explain that some people don’t respect others like they should. Unfortunately, I fear that this will be the first of many talks about bodily respect that I’ll have to have with my daughter.
It turns out, motherhood is not a protective bubble. My child does not protect me from the harassment that millions of women experience as they’re simply trying to go about their day, running errands or walking to work. Just like it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or where you’re at, children will not stop men who have no respect for the women they cat-call and jeer at.
I guess I’ll just have to consider this a wake-up call. And next time, I’ll be much more prepared to tell some guy exactly what he can do with those comments about me and my ass.