I’m posting today because I feel like society is kind of fucked. I feel like a lot of men feel very entitled when it comes to trying to get laid. I’m not talking about all men (not that I really have to tell you that, ya’ll know what I mean), but it seems like a lot of guys just do not give a shit if they make you uncomfortable or scare you when it comes to trying to get you into bed. It’s like they think they have a God given right to proposition you.
I’m quite a night owl and usually go to the grocery store at night. I’m not afraid to because I don’t live in a terrible area and I’m always careful (I lock the doors as soon as I’m inside the vehicle, I try to be aware of my surroundings, I park near the store doors in a well lit area).
Guys try to chat me up sometimes, but they’re usually harmless and back off when it’s obvious I’m not buying what they’re selling. Last night, however, was a different story.
I felt like every creep in Flint had crawled out from under his rock to go to the store. I wasn’t too bothered by the guy who followed me from the produce section to the chocolate isle and walked by five times, never picking anything up and shooting glances at me. He was about my age and I think he was probably just trying to work up the courage to talk to me. I didn’t mind the few guys who did the whole, "How you doin’ tonight?" with a cheesy wink and smile routine. I didn’t mind the guys who wax the floors and haven’t realized the mullet went out decades ago checking me out and talking about me as I walked by.
I wasn’t even bothered when a man twice my size and more than twice my age who I had noticed giving me a weird look in the chocolate isle a few minutes previously stopped in front of me and said, "Those look nice." as I was on my way to get hair ties. I get weird comments like that sometimes, all women do, so it wasn’t a big deal to me. I muttered something to him and went on my way. I didn’t know if by ‘those’ he meant my ratty sweatpants, my glasses, or my tits, but I really didn’t care either. I just went about my business.
I really only started to feel uncomfortable when the man began following me all over the store and giving me pointed looks. He kept popping up everywhere I went and just stared . The make-up isle, the perfume isle, the frozen food section, the baby isle. I called my mother and asked her to talk to me while I finished my shopping hoping people would leave me alone if I was on the phone. I went to the self-check out, and surprise surprise, Creepy McGee decided to check out at the same time right next to me. I tried not to look at him. It took me forever to check out and by the time I was done, he was gone. I didn’t mind that a bit.
I loaded up my car and started to drive off. However, I thought as I was about to leave the parking lot that I might have left my hair ties in the cart. I parked and began rifling through my bags looking for them. After a few minutes a car pulled up next to me facing the opposite way and it was that man, the creepy fucker who followed me all over the store. He looked at me questioningly. I shook my head no firmly and drove off quickly. I realized later that he must have actually waited outside the store for me. Otherwise, how would me know which car was mine?
I saw in the rear-view mirror that he was turning around and somehow I just knew he was going to try to follow me. I sped up hoping to lose him around a corner before he got too close. No luck, I got stopped at a red light and he caught up, pulled into the lane next to me. He honked once and I ignored him. I called my mom again and explained the situation. He honked two more times and I tore off like the motherfreakin’ Batman when the light turned green.
He followed me for a couple more streets, but at some point, he turned off somewhere and I didn’t see him anymore. My mom waited outside our apartment complex anyway to threaten the shit out of him just in case he did follow me home (my mom can be very scary if she needs to me). When I was inside, safe and sound, I asked my mom why the Hell someone would do something like that.
"He was probably just trying to get lucky. When I was your age I had a cop who pulled me over look up my phone number from my license plate to ask me out."
What gives someone the idea that this kind of behavior is okay? IT’S NOT OKAY. It’s not cute, it’s not funny, it’s not a compliment, it’s not acceptable. IT’S SCARY. It didn’t happen because I’m good-looking (ratty sweats, no make-up, hadn’t even bothered to shower that day), it happened because that guy was an asshole and thought it was just a-okay to stalk me all over the store. One of my friends jokingly said, "Wah, wah, people think I’m pretty, wah!", but it has nothing to do with being pretty and everything to do with a twisted sense of entitlement.
And part of me just feels wimpy for not doing something, yelling at him, telling him what he was doing was fucked up and assholeish, but what could I have done? If this happened to some of my male friends I know they would have stopped the car and cussed the guy out, but I don’t think that’d be a good idea for me to do…
Because society has taught me men are physically stronger than me. Because society has taught me to always be aware that rape is a very real threat (and it is). Because I’m a woman.