Suck My Dick: Confronting Street Harassment
So I’m walking back home late last night after seeing my piano teacher perform at a bar. I’m alone. I’m in the last stretch, passing by the plaza a block away from where I live. The plaza is populated by the usual late-night crowd: beer sellers and a few stray men sitting on benches.
It’s tranquil and quiet, until a voice cuts through the air:
Hey. Rubia. (Blondie) Rubia. Suck my dick. Rubia. Suck my dick. Hey. Hey! Suck my dick!
Even though I don’t make the slightest sign of hearing him, the chant continues, ever more demanding. SUCK MY DICK.
I keep walking straight ahead as I take out my phone and get the camera ready. Then, calmly, I make a 180-degree turn and walk back to the plaza, stopping squarely in front of the bench where the voice came from, video rolling. This is what ensued:
The funny thing is, I know the man sitting next to the harasser, who I intentionally did not film, who you hearing trying to intervene. He’s a pretty rough-looking but rather sweet man who forms part of a group of between 5 and 8 street people who occupy strategic corners in the neighborhood, drinking beers all day long and generally keeping to themselves. For years I’ve walked by them, occasionally saying hello, and have never been bothered by them or seen them bothering anyone.
Once I turned the camera off, I continued my conversation with that man. You know what he did? He apologized for the asshole sitting next to him. Repeatedly.
“He’s drunk,” he said. “I’m really sorry.”
I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “I’m your neighbor. I live here. And I’d really like to walk in my neighborhood without being shouted at to suck someone’s dick. But you don’t need to apologize for him.”
But he kept apologizing, while the pig to his left sat there, ignored by the both of us.
Post: Shit like this thrives in the darkness, with the complicity of those who see it. If more men stepped up when this happens, like my neighbor friend did, it wouldn’t get rid of harassment. But it would make harassers at least think twice before doing this to women. And we women would feel a bit more safe and confident when walking down our own goddamned streets.