Chelsea’s Story: They laughed at my discomfort

I am 22 years old and have, like most women, been verbally harassed since I hit puberty. When I hear a “God damn you’re hot,” or a whistle, or even a simple “Hey” from men, I sometimes smile, always feel awkward, and continue on like it didn’t happen. But today, I was walking the block from the lot I park in to where I work in Detroit and had to pass by a construction crew. I couldn’t see the men. Perhaps they were behind a large green plastic sheet that blocked my view or standing within the building on which they worked. But I heard them. They whistled, and yelled. I felt uncomfortable, they could see it in my movements, my lowered head, and quickened pace, and then they laughed. It was the laughing at my obvious discomfort that I find the most disturbing and that I can’t stop thinking about.