I decided to go walking to get my steps in. The area near my therapist office was a good place to get a little workout. I was more than happy to walk on flat land because where I live has a ton of hills and it discourages me from walking. The weather was nice and I had plenty of time to get some steps.
As I started walking I had a few problems. The first problem was there wasn’t a sidewalk. I had to walk in the grass, but it was better than walking on a hill. I got a few good steps in before I passed this guy.
He was carrying his laundry and had his sunglasses on so I couldn’t see his face. I said hello to him. I always say hi to people because you never know when you’ll make their day. I refuse to be rude. I mean the sun was bright and it was an amazing day.
The man said hey back. I kept walking and was done with the conversation, but he kept going.
“I never seen you before. Do you live around here?” he asked.
“No. I don’t live around here,” I told him. I was trying to get away.
“Where do you live?” he asked.
“Not around here,” I said.
Why was I going to tell him where I live. I didn’t know him and really didn’t want to. After I said hi, that should have been it, but he kept going. I was inching away. He was kind enough to keep his distance. We were about twenty feet apart.
“What’ your name?” he asked.
“No, no,” I said. I was waving my hand at him telling him both verbally and physically no.
“I’m Lawerence,” he said.
“Hi, Lawerence,” I said.
“What’s your name?”
“I just want to get to know ya,” he said.
“Yeah, no, no,” I said.
I got away, but the exchange was more than uncomfortable. I don’t want to be mean to every man I pass on the street. I shouldn’t be mean because some guys make me uncomfortable. But I made it clear that I wanted to end the conversation several times. The worse part about it was that the man was old enough to be my father. I really didn’t like that.
As I continued walking I was hoping to have no more uncomfortable conversations, but when I got to the gas station a group of men asked me to come over and talk to them. I denied them. I didn’t know what they wanted, but them calling to me for more than fifty feet away did not make me feel good.
I told myself, maybe I should have worn something different. I should have this outfit on and I should just rush back. But that was the problem. I was blaming myself for men not knowing how to control themselves.
I had on a t-shirt, shorts, and slides. My hair was in a basic ponytail and I had my purse across my chest. I was basic. I was trying to blame myself. No one should ever blame themselves. I was shaming myself and I had done nothing wrong.
No women should be shamed for what she wears, what she wears doesn’t decide if a man should make her feel unsafe.
While I was still walking I was scared a guy would come out of the brushes and assault me. That, unfortunately, no far-fetched. When I got back to my therapist office, I sat in my car with the doors locked.
When I was in my therapy session I told my therapist what happened and she called the men tacky. They were tacky. Men should not influence the way you dress. I will not dress differently for them. They should not over-sexualize me, I’m not a sexual object, but a human being.