A Beautiful Spring Day

 

Women have to be on high alert at all times. “Is this person socially-awkward, friendly and harmless or should I be calculating an escape to stay alive and safe?”

It was a Beautiful Spring Day.

I was watching my step,

Carefree.

Careful with my camera.

Don’t fall. Don’t fall.

Suddenly I hear it,

That shrill sound. That whistle.

Call of the predator. 

Unwelcome.

Uninvited intrusion

into my Beautiful Spring Day.

Now I’m alert.

No longer focused on my steps.

Which escape route should I take?

Is this man harmless or unsafe?

Are his friend accomplices or amused witnesses?

I could fight him,

but could I fight three?

Why is this street so quiet?

Where is my phone?

Where did all of the pedestrians go?

Ignore his words while you calculate your escape.

Could my dog jump out to help if I needed?

Would I be heard if I screamed and–

I know that I’m pretty.

I don’t need your compliments.

I didn’t dress for your pleasure.

Finally at my car.

Lock the doors.

Drive away.

I just wanted to enjoy a Beautiful Spring Day.

 


 

I was outside at 4 PM this afternoon. It was a decently busy street. Several cars and pedestrians had passed by and I was just finishing up taking some photos for a real estate listing. I had just put my things into my car so that I didn’t have to worry about them while I took the last few photos that I needed. I walked about two car lengths away from my vehicle to get the right angle and as I was taking the shot, I heard someone whistle at me and the hairs went up on the back of my neck. There is an innate survival instinct that lives inside of women. We have learned to quiet it, “Don’t be such a crazy person, he’s just being nice.” But it should be allowed to roar.

This man stood between me and my car. He stood too close. He looked at me too eagerly. He asked questions that were none of his business. When I stepped back to reclaim my personal space, I saw two men standing in the area from which he had come. They were just observing.  I looked around. Suddenly, I was I was keenly aware of several details. My phone was in the car with my other belongings. The once busy street was eerily silent. I had opened the windows as wide as they would go for my dogs. I calculated best, worse, and the worst scenarios and started to envision my plan of attack. Would I throw my camera in his face, race around him and jump in my car? Should I tell him to shut up and risk angering him into violence? Was he just an awkward and harmless old man, brought up with the misguided belief that the way he was talking somehow pleased women?

Dear people who think that the world is “too sensitive” and that “you can’t even say hi to a pretty girl these days”,

Get over it.

We’re learning to listen to the lioness inside who roars to protect us, and she will not be silenced.

 

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