Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sexual Harassment Sunday

Here's a new one. I'm in my front yard, working in my garden. Wearing normal gardening clothes (knee-length shorts, t-shirt, garden clogs, hat), right? And I'm adding topsoil to a bed, which will be followed by mulch. It's a lovely spring-like day, my yard is looking nice, I put in some new plants yesterday, and I'm pretty relaxed, in my own little world.

Which all comes to a screeching halt as a car drives up and I hear this:

"You bend over much more and somebody's gonna stick something in your ass."

Here's the kicker: it's a WOMAN. Two women in the front seat, a guy in the back, driving with all their windows open, looking for people to harass on a Sunday afternoon. Holy crap. I stand up, give her the stinkeye, and lift my middle finger in salute.

"Oh holy crap, she's turning around," think I. "She and her friends are going to jump out of her car and beat the crap out of me for flipping her off."

No. She goes up the block, turns around, so that her female friend in the passenger seat can say the same thing:

"You better not bend over any more because someone is gonna stick something in your ass."

Again with the middle-finger salute, because I can't think of anything to say but I'm not just going to stand there and do NOTHING. This time, however, I'm backing towards the front door.

Then she follows up by pointing to the guy in the back seat and says, "You need some black dick." He leans forward like he's going to say something and I just turn around, go get my keys that were hanging out of my car door, and head to the front door to get my phone & camera. I hear "Look at her...something something something," as I shut the door, and lock it.

MotherFUCKER. I get my camera and cell phone, come outside, they're gone. I sit on the porch, fuming, seething, shaking, and about ready to cry but determined not to. Part of me hopes that they come back so I can take their picture and get their license plate. I've got the phone ready to dial 911 if they get out of the car. I sit there for like ten minutes, adrenaline pumping through my veins, furious, terrified, indignant, outraged.

They never come back, but as I finish in my yard, I cringe every time I hear a car come down the street. I give any number of people the stinkeye just because it looks like they might be slowing down to look at me. My adrenaline is high the whole time. I can't bend over without wondering if somebody driving by is going to threaten me with anal rape. AGAIN.

MotherFUCKER. I can't bend over to pull a weed in my own fucking yard on a sleepy street in a sleepy little town without being sexually harassed - by WOMEN? WOMEN are doing this. Holy fucking crap. Did they do it to impress Mr. Black Dick in the back seat? Did he put them up to it? What would have happened if I said anything? I mean, THEY KNOW WHERE I LIVE.

So now I guess I have to carry my phone & camera in my pockets whenever I go out front to work in the yard, in case I decide to bend over. I'm mad at myself for thinking I'm no longer safe in my own home because the reality is, I was never safe in my own home. Nobody is. I'm depressed that women will do this to other women. It's bad enough when men do it, but when women do it, it's also a betrayal.

Boy, complacency, it'll do a number on you. My guard was down because I thought I was in a safe place, and those women just fucked up my whole goddamned day.

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