I’ve been thinking a lot about my health and my body and I decided I need to exercise more.
I live close to this huge avenue that has a space in the middle for bikes and runners. A perfect 3km lane that everyone in the neighborhood uses for cycling, running, walking.
So yesterday, I hopped off the bus in the beginning of that avenue and walked the rest of the way. Le was with me, in a bike. He’d cycle by my side sometimes and, at other times, he’d go further and come back a while later.
Well, in one of these occasions, two minutes alone were enough for me to be the target of street harassment. Two men, who, like me, were there to exercise. But, for some reason, they felt like they had to be assholes and catcall me.
No need to say that, while Le was with me, no one said a thing. Of course not. This kind of men think they owe respect to other men, solely. They’d never hit on a woman that is “taken”. But if you’re alone on the streets, you’re obviously available and seeking men attention. Why else would you walk on the streets? To exercise? To go to the supermarket? Nah, all lies. The world revolves around their penises).
What they don’t know – or don’t care – is that they provoke fear on us. Ater the initial shock, I did yell some strong words. But after I calmed down, I began thinking “maybe I should avoid this place when I’m alone. What if some man stalks me? What if they try something?”. Good Lord. Not to mention they ruined my night, since I started to get anxious everytime another man passed by me – what if they were assholes too?
But then, I gave it a second thought and I was filled with rage. Why do those men think they can exercise freely on that avenue and me, I’d have do to worry and be afraid? Who the fuck are them to tell me where I can or cannot be in my own town? The sign says “pedestrians and cyclists”, not “men and cyclists”.
So fuck them street harassers.
I’ll keep exercising, occupying the streets, yelling bad words and making a hell of a scene if they try anything. This is my city too and those fucking harasser will have to deal with it: there will be free women in this town!
This damn sexist fear culture won’t keep me from living.
(And if you, dear nice man reading me, used to catcall women and never realised how inconvenient you were being, do us all a favor and stop. Catcalling is not complimenting; it’s harassment.
Photo: stupid BareMinerals campaign where men hold catcall phrases at a Nike women marathon in New York.