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I have a pair of thigh high boots that I love. They make me feel like a superheroine, these boots. I put them on and I instantly feel kickass. It’s such an awesome feeling. Some days, these boots are my shield against all the terrible, shitty things in the world. They’re my reminder that I have the power to make a difference just by being me.
They also attract a lot of negative comments.
One day, I was getting on the bus when an older man started muttering to himself about how I was dressed. You know the drill – hooker, streetwalker, skank, whore, slut. For a few moments I felt utterly paralysed. This guy was old enough to be my grandfather. What was the play here? What should I do?
I turned around, I looked at him, and I asked, “I’m sorry, did you have something to say?”
He couldn’t even look me in the eye. He turned away, muttered something about me minding my own business and shut up.
It was the greatest feeling in the world.
I’ve experienced a lot of street harassment no matter how I’ve been dressed. But that one time, on that one day, I was able to stand up and do something about it. I was in a safe space (a bus full of people in broad daylight going down a very busy main street) and I was able to say something that disarmed the person harassing me. And goddamn, it felt so good.
I’m sharing this story in the hope that people will read it and feel like when the time is right, they can stand up and say something too. You don’t have to endure people’s rude comments – you totally have the right to holla back! And when you’re able to do it, it feels so great.
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