I Too Have Been Harassed

One dark night in the fall of 2002 I was waiting for a bus. It was ten o’clock. I had been waiting an hour for my bus. Since I couldn’t see who was coming behind me I occasionally turned around to look instead of staring straight ahead at the oncoming buses.

Before I realized it a male teenager came up behind me inches close to my body and ran his fingers through my hair. “Hey, sexy!” he leered before walking ahead.

By this time I decided: “Screw it. Get on the next bus wherever it’s going.” I had to wait another half hour.

The bus that arrived was going to the ferry so I got off at the terminal. Hustled my ass to the taxi stand and took a cab home from there.

The lesson to be learned from this experience: always have in your wallet fifty dollars if you’re a woman and might have to make a quick getaway.

Over fifteen years later I remember this incident like it happened yesterday: the male teenager’s dark brown curly hair; his brown eyes; and the gray hoodie he wore.

There’s nothing that can be done about this according to the [white] [male] cop that blamed me for being a victim when I reported that a 300-pound guy told me he was going to kill me.

It’s not a real crime unless you’re actually physically injured that is punched in the gut or bleeding. That’s the penal code.

Anything else only constitutes harassment. And harassment is legal when you’re walking down the street or waiting for a bus in the dark.

The right to free speech allows a person to say he’s going to kill you. The privilege of a man allows him to run his fingers through your hair while you’re waiting alone in the dark for a bus.

It begs the question: how far is too far? When is a man’s behavior acceptable, and at what point has it gone overboard? Can we really as women and as a society expect that casual harassment is okay?

Allegedly, 86 percent of Republican women approve of appointing Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Women in America are on a mission to deny other women our rights.

I think it’s truly unlikely that 3 women would lie about being sexually abused.

Have you ever talked with a woman who’s been raped about her experience? It’s chilling.

Blaming the victim is all too common. Not believing that a victim is telling the truth is cray-cray.

I have no hope for an end to the lunacy that has become our government.

My niece is 13. She might become an adult in a society where white men on the Supreme Court have decided she has no say in whether or not she wants to get pregnant and have kids.

We have to think of the generations of women coming up behind us.

Once the Supreme Court decides women have no say in whether or not they get pregnant and birth babies it’s open season on denying women and everyone else whatever other rights the Supremes want to take away.

 

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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