To the Asshole on 3rd Between Folsom and Howard, Thank You

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.)


    1. Yeah. I was walking back to my hotel from dinner last night — one block! — with Kathryn, Alison, Derek, and JJ (Derek’s wife). It was creepy and menacing and totally unacceptable, and thank goodness for a12s.


  1. What an asshole! I’m so sorry you experienced that. What a terrible thing.

    I’m sure karma will catch up with him real soon. Because you’re so awesome, I suspect it already has. After all, the universe demands balance!


  2. I was once walking down the street, and a guy grabbed my check. When I turned out around and asked him what the hell he was doing, he told me that chests like mine were made to be grabbed. I wish this wasn’t true, but I’ve dressed very differently since then.

    I’m really sorry that happened to you. It makes me feel icky all over.


    1. The following and lurking was definitely the creepiest part, although I can’t say I particularly enjoyed the breast-grabbing either. Plus, I walk down that street all the time, and now I can never relax.



  3. Oh jeez. Sorry this happened to you. I’m so fed up with this crap. I don’t go for a walk unarmed anymore. I have a stun apparatus and a whole lot of ill-tempered attitude and I’m not afraid to use them. I’ve scared the hell out of a couple of dudes. And laughed about it. You gotta get mean, unfortunately.


  4. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, it really sickens me how vile some men can be (unfortunately it’s a lot higher then “some” as evidenced by the internet- I say internet because most websites, news sites and YouTube are filled with chauvinistic and degrading comments towards women). and how self-righteous they act when questioned.

    @Jen and Tonic, I’m really sorry that you had to deal with such a pig that would make such disparaging comments and act in such a horrible way. I’m sorry that you had to change your life because of such a vile act. I wish the tables could be turned so that these chauvinistic pigs could see how much damage and pain they inflict on women. Unfortunately I cannot fathom what women go through, but I can relate as I am mentally ill (bipolar type I, mixed episodes, severe social anxiety, agoraphobia, severe OCD and drug abuse) and have gone through some very similar situations, being judged constantly because I’m “insane”…after the sandy hook tragedy, my life became quite miserable as people would think I would just fly off the handle and cause pain and suffering, or do something similar to the aforementioned tragedy.

    I just hope our society would change, and it’s sad that we are still stuck in the past when it comes to the objectification of women.

    Again, thank you for posting this and hang in there, it will get better,



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