Isaac’s Story: It’s my sidewalk, too
I walk 2km to the library at least once a week, going past a park, some stores, and a few busy intersections. Usually no one bothers me, which is amazing, because I’m androgynous and short, which seems to give some peope the impression that it is safe or okay for them to comment on my appearance. But mostly I worry about getting hit by people who are driving their cars with their butts.
Not anymore! Some people can’t leave well enough alone when a genderbent person has the temerity to use the sidewalk.
“Hey, *giiirl*, gimme a smile.” It is lewd and leering and said right in my personal space. Being called “girl” makes me see red at the best of times—I’m an adult person and it’s deliberately misgendering.
“Mind your own business!”
He laughs, I flip him off and yell “F**k you!” and just keep walking, furious. I’m scared he might be following me, or some other creep will appear, so I call a friend—who immediately gives me a huge line of bullshit about “taking a compliment” and “not a big deal” and “that’s how men are”.
It’s minor in the grand scheme of things, but I walk this way all the time, I’m a recovering depressive and I need the library. And it’s my god damn sidewalk as much as anyone elses’! I already can’t go places after dark or past the clumps of loitering men that surround the grocery store. If I get harassed on this route again I’m going to flip my shit. Thanks for this site and its tip-of-the-tongue techniques for dealing with sexist aggression and the people who enable it.