Street harassment lives ! Ladies, some of you ask where you can find a man? I’ll tell you where. The City !
I have laws about what I wear in certain areas because experience has taught me that some areas are more prone to harassment than others. Brixton and Hackney and Tottenham and Peckham: Sideeye to all of you and your nonsense street shenanigans. I can’t even wear leggings to your hoods any more.
Yes I know we should be allowed to wear what we want where we want to but, ‘low me. I don’t want to be harassed! I’m mitigating the risk.
I’ve written about Street Harassment before but, the City Though?
So imagine my surprise when today I was in the City and looking to get to Shoreditch for a Cottons lunch after an pre interview. I’m not going to lie, the whole of the City looks the same to me. I come out of Cannon street or Bank and it could be Monument or Mansion House. . It’s a nightmare! I start following my gps but I think I was walking too fast for it so I stood there like a tourist waiting for it to catch up.
Enter a helpful random white dude with dry lips, teeth that need to be the before ad at the back of the Metro and heart attack worryingly overweight.
He asks if I’m lost and I tell him I’m trying to get to Shoreditch. He tells me it’s far. I tell him I’d like to walk. He licks his dry lips and tells me I don’t need to walk. I look fit to him. His lips are somehow still dry. I tell him to direct me and he says lets walk together. I say no because he’ll slow me down. I’m thinking; Clearly it’s been a while since his last walk and now is not the time for a new year’s resolution. I don’t want him passing out on me.
He directs me and he gives me a compliment. He tells me I look good as I am and he likes what he sees. I say thank you and march on. I don’t understand as I’m wearing jeans and I’m in the city. I’m usually ignored because I’m not in uniform (a Next suit with M&S hosiery and an ill fitting pair of heels.)
I carry on and all is right with the world as I listen to my music.
Then it happens again and I out walk the gps on a turn. Damn these streets. I just want to get to Cottons and have lunch! I stop suddenly and a dude stops right behind me, ploughing into me. He’s slightly out of breath and seems surprised that he’s bumped into me. I apologise thinking he’s trying to get to work and he instead informs me that he’s been trailing my arse for a while. I ‘urgh’ in his face and storm off. He’s left standing there looking confused as to why I don’t want to talk. His penis was up against my arse. WE are more acquainted than I ever want to be. He looked to be about 15. You never know with black men. He’s probably 51. But stalking is weird.
When I get to Cottons I breathe. I order my lunch (curry mutton with extra plantain) and the dude working there is humming at the music and I’m humming at the plantain and all is right with the world again. This is all I want. A man who is happy and leaving me alone whilst I hum over food. We don’t want the street harassment. We don’t want your penises in our arses. We just want to be left alone. Everywhere. Let’s leave the street harassment in 2018 shall we?
© Chelsea Black 2019