Hi there! I hope you got home safely last night. By which I mean, “I hope someone sidled up to you as you walked down the street, high on friendship and Thai food, then grabbed your genitalia, followed you down the street, and lurked outside your building.” This glorious nightcap to an otherwise lovely day shouldn’t be available only to women, am I right? Let’s spread the love!
Actually, I don’t hope that at all, because unlike you, I’m not an asshole.
I did want to take a moment, though, to acknowledge the experience and say thank you.
Thank you for ruining my night.
Thank you for making my friends feel unsafe and vulnerable as they continued their walks home.
Thank you for reminding me that as a vagina-owner, I am available for raping despite my height, weight, and appearance.
Mostly, though, thank you for nothing. This experience, while deeply troubling, is a blip in the otherwise beautiful landscape of my life. Your power to harm me doesn’t extend nearly as far as you’d like to think. Sorry!
I use my sharp deviation from accepted beauty standards to convince myself that I’m insulated from this kind of “attention” and can move about the world more freely than most women. I’m not. I’d like the reminders of that to be less physical and hateful, but I do need a reminder. Not so I can moderate my behavior, but for the visceral memento of how much work remains to be done.
Maybe now I can get some sleep.
(To all the women whose landscapes are more deeply scarred: I’m so, so sorry.)