*Caution, explicit content below.
Today’s post topic is showing a different side than what I normally talk about on here. Yesterday though was a day that took a toll on me and I have had enough and am taking a stand. Living in New York I have witnessed and experienced things that I would never have seen living anywhere else. Sometimes it can be exciting, shocking, and downright disturbing. Ever since moving to New York I have noticed a few precautionary actions that I do now to protect myself. When I’m walking home from the subway, I catch myself walking closer to the street side of the sidewalk, keys in hand, and no music playing so I’m aware of my surroundings. I know for a fact that I am not the only woman who does this. It’s a sad reality the things that we have to do as women to protect ourselves.
On a day to day basis I get catcalled walking around my neighborhood. Usually, I have my headphones in and just ignore them or try my best to brush it off. Yesterday it went too far, and I have had enough. The other night my iPhone charger broke for the hundredth time so I was in desperate need for a new charger the next morning. There is a Walgreens just a few blocks away from me. After going back and forth on getting a charger, discovering it’s the wrong one and having to go back and exchange for a new one I was catcalled five times. This time span was all just one hour of going back and forth between my place and Walgreens. During those five times, men used explicit, derogatory language and obscene gestures. Every single time it happened I could feel my face turning red, my anxiety level sky rocketing, and my anger slowly building up. None of the times did I say anything back to defend myself as a woman because part of me doesn’t want to give them the satisfaction of a response. To help shake it off, I went for a long run and then attended an outdoor movie showing of Dazed and Confused in Greenpoint.
Heading home after the movie my mood level was back to being happy and my day turned out to be a pretty decent day. Excitement of almost being home overcame me and my stop arrived on the subway. As I got off I noticed a stream of people running down the stairs to catch the subway that was still waiting. The kind citizen I am I stood next to the stairs to allow all the people running down to get through to catch the train. As I was standing there, I all of a sudden felt a squeeze on my ass and then a man pass by giving me a kissy face as he proceeded up the stairs. At first I was in absolute shock by what just happened but then anger fumed through and I lost it. I called the man out, yelling at him and standing up for myself. During my entire rant of yelling at him no one else stood up or defended me who saw it happen. Everyone just looked at me like I was the crazy one.
Thank you, though,
Thank you to everyone who saw it happen and said nothing.
Thank you to everyone on the subway platform for making me feel like I was crazy and in the wrong.
Thank you to the man who grabbed my ass and finally giving me a voice to stand up for myself.
Thank you to the man for making me feel more violated than I have ever felt in my life.
Thank you to society for making men think it’s okay to make women feel uncomfortable and proud for doing so.
I have had enough with the catcalling and sexual harassment. Women should be able to walk around and not worry about men making them feel uncomfortable or overstepping their boundaries. It is no longer acceptable and from now on I will not look the other way and ignore them.
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*I understand not all men are like this and in no way am I trying to generalize. This is a personal experience/opinion post.