Open Letter to That Asshole on St. Mark’s Place

My friend Mari and I had been discussing how placid our lives have become since school ended, now that we have traded the emotional highs and lows of college life for steady paychecks, steady relationships and predictable routines.

Fortunately, however, you appeared with pleasingly ironic timing to shake us out of our complacency. We were just placidly browsing along St. Mark’s Place when you suddenly told Mari and me about that very naughty thing you wanted to do with us. And not just you, but the guy who was working with you, too! Thanks!

We hurried into the store next door, and I thought about you for a few minutes (oh yes, I did). I finally decided to preserve the experience for my Internet scrapbook (i.e. my blog) by taking a photo of you with my handy camera-phone. I don’t understand why you looked so surprised. How could I let this precious moment slip by without taking a photo?

I also don’t understand why you didn’t answer me when I asked you why you said those things to us. After all, you did initiate the conversation, and I genuinely wanted to know. And I don’t understand why you got so angry when I mused out loud that it might be because you’re an ugly pervert who gratifies himself by harassing random women. After all, I thought you might also want to know how it feels to be treated like a piece of meat.

I think you should be honored to know that you’re the first man I’ve ever snapped back at. Over the three years I’ve lived in New York City, I’ve had many strange men do and say extraordinarily nasty things to me. In fact, some of the things they’ve said or done have been even nastier, and even more degrading. But you, dear sir, are the first.

I’ve been told that I should just get used to it; that, being a woman and all, I need to take it for granted that I will be harassed on the street. But while I have become a bit complacent, I like to think that I haven’t yet mutated into a doormat.

Hugs and kisses (not really),
Catherine

P.S. By the way, if you’re going to sexually harass someone, try not to do it while you’re at work. I think that sock store deserves more attentive employees. Plus, with all those frilly anklets in stock, your boss might not be happy if you start scaring away the lady customers.

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