I’m not going to tell you the rules of feminism because I have no authority on the subject. I feel like to speak pedagogically about anything, one would have to do extensive reading and historical study. I haven’t done that, but I do want to tell you a few stories that I’ve experienced as a female in a big city, or two big cities.
Last night I took an uber car home from Hollywood with a friend of mine. We were supposed to make two stops, one at his place, one at mine. But, then the uber driver started to worry me. He was older, maybe late 50’s or early 60’s. He interjected in our discussion about my sister. Then he aggressively tried to get to know me.
He told me he had a daughter in middle school, which, judging from the vagueness in which he talked about her, I doubt she was real. I thought this was a good topic, I wouldn’t have to tell him about myself, but he told me that he liked talking to young girls, such as myself because he wanted to get closer to his daughter or something like that.
I’m not a young girl. I’m a adult woman. He blatantly ignored my male friend and directed his focus on me. He asked about my hobbies, my childhood, where I was from, where I live now, and the one question that really alarmed me was that he asked me about my favorite movie, and then looked at me through the rear view mirror and told me that he’d like to see it sometime. I lied about all of the information. It was too weird.
I texted the friend I was sitting next to and asked if I could get out at his place and then call another uber. He texted back yes, that he felt like I was unsafe in the car if I went home alone. I left the car with my friend and avoided whatever could have happened, but it’s just one of the many times that I’ve felt uncomfortable as a female.
I’m average looking. I’m not ugly, but I’m the prettiest girl that you’ll encounter. That being said, I know this happens to a lot of women.
In both New York and LA, there are places that I have to avoid because men there harass me about my body. For example, in New York, I avoid two coffee shops. In LA I avoid one coffee shop and the public library (yes, really, I get harassed at the public library).
This is a problem. I don’t know the solution, but I do know that I’m tired of just rolling my eyes when I hear someone say, “mmm that ass” or “hey baby” “hey mami” “hey beautiful” “want to come with me?” No, I don’t.
This needs to stop. I do not dress provocatively. I don’t flirt with these people. I would never do or say those things to a man or a woman. What makes people think that they can do this?