Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Fredericksburgh VA, Jacksonville NC, Los Angeles, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Palo Alto, Portland ME, Richmond VA, Rutgers University, San Francisco
I got off the bus at Ashmont station and walked through an empty parking lot. At the other end of the parking lot, where I had to walk to turn onto the street I needed to take, were two men sitting and talking. Knowing that I have no choice but to walk right past these men on a sparsely populated street, my brain starts thinking about how I am going to approach the situation.
I approach the men and they say hello. I smile and say hi back, adding, “Have a nice day.” Apparently that was the wrong move, because I have now given them the idea that I want to interact with them. One of the guys says to me, “Where are you going?” I put my head down and continue walking away from him. But he doesn’t stop. “Hey, where you going? Can I come with you? Come back here, baby!” For an instant I worry that maybe they’ll follow me home. Luckily, they don’t.
I pass three girls walking in the direction of the men that I just passed and I hope that they will not have to deal with the same thing that I did.
I’m left feeling like I can’t win. It seems that every choice is the wrong one and they all end the same way: with me dealing with unwanted harassment or attention of some kind.
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