Lizi’s Story: Pizza wielding bystander
I had stopped for a slice of pizza on my way home from seeing my boyfriend at the bar where he works in downtown Orlando. I grabbed my to-go box of pizza and started walking towards my car when I found myself behind two guys. A woman was walking towards them and they immediately invaded her space. I’m not sure what they said to her at that moment but she kept walking and said, “No, I’m good,” with her entire body bending away from them and her hand in the air, palm up towards them as if pushing them away without touching them. They then started screaming at her as she hurriedly continued walking.
“You’re f*cking ugly anyway!”
“I wouldn’t even f*ck you!”
“You got a flat ass, you need a f*cking pizza, bitch!”
They stopped at the next bar and as I got close enough for them to hear me, I chose to stand in solidarity with this woman, intervene as a bystander, and said, “So disgusting.” One piped up and said, “What’s disgusting??!” Straight up, I said, “You. You are disgusting.” The barrage of insults then ensued in my direction.
“YOU are fucking gross!” (Good one.)
“You’re wearing glasses, what the fuck?!” (Umm…?)
“I would never fuck you!” (To which I responded, “I couldn’t care less.”)
And then finally I got what is apparently one of the guy’s go-to lines, “You got a flat ass!!”
At this point, I turned around (yes, I was still walking away and was fairly far away as they continued to harass me) and knew it was time #iHollaback. I said, “Well, at least I’VE got a pizza then, right?!!”
Fortunately, this made me laugh and was clearly a bit too clever for them to process so they shut up. It isn’t to say I wasn’t worried they were going to follow me, I was worried. But I felt at that time that it was appropriate for me take one for my ladies and femmefolk and not let these types of men perpetuate the idea that all spaces are men’s spaces and those that don’t identify as “one of them” should just shut up and be harassed. Nope, not gonna take it.
P.S. Officers from the Orlando Police Department were across the street the entire time watching this, outside of their vehicles, arms crossed, seriously WATCHING this go down, and did nothing. Absolutely nothing.
#StopStreetHarassment #catcallingISNOTacompliment #iHollaback