Monday, September 10, 2012

some days

There are days when I really love living downtown.  I like being able to walk or take the bus everywhere, being able to just run across town for a drink with friends at a new restaurant.  There's so much to love about being in a city.

But sometimes, there's so much to hate about being female and in a city too.

Sometimes, there are days when Philly just does not win me over.

Sometimes, I'm waiting for a train, by myself, on a mostly empty platform, just trying to read my current issue of Time and get where I need to go.  And I'm interrupted by "Miss, how are you miss?"  Followed by, "So whatcha reading, hmm?" and "You know, you'd look really pretty with a smile on your face."

Really, I'd like to tell him to leave me the hell alone.  But because I don't like to engage with men I don't know when I'm waiting on a train platform all by myself -- and I especially don't like it when they start to get in my personal space -- I take a step away and ask, "Do you need something?"

Which then prompts a very angry, "I was just saying how are you."

"I'm fine." And I go back to reading my magazine.

And the eventual outcome -- several more minutes of attempted ignoring later -- is that I'm yelled at for being racist.  And I want to yell back, No you asshole, I'm not refusing to engage with you because of your skin color, I'm refusing to engage with you because you are strange man getting in my personal space while I'm all alone underground and I care more about my safety than about your pathetic ego.

And then sometimes, there's the trip home, going the other direction.

I'm sharing the platform this time with Genuine Crazy Man who keeps talking about about "I'm Marvelous Mick" and "I'm Benny the Bum" and literally yelling "HA HA HA" like a demented Santa Clause. 

But you know, that I can deal with.  Genuine Crazy Men are everywhere in the city, and usually I can just ignore them.  But when I'm all alone and he starts getting closer and closer to me and instead of talking about Mick and Benny, he starts talking about "the pretty little girl in the blue dress" (which is, of course, what I'm wearing) and goes on to start describing in detail exactly what he's going to put where and how much the pretty little girl is going to enjoy that...

Well, then, even though there are other people on the platform this time, I get the hell out of there an walk the half mile to the trolly instead.  And then I get home and curl up on the couch and cry to Brian, and he looks miserable because he knows this is something he will never actually see --  it does not happen when there's a man around, of course -- and can never prevent it from happening to me.

And I just have to give up on people for the day and hope that tomorrow will be better.

Edit: Schrodinger's Rapist.  The post says it all.


  1. :( Tomorrow will be better. I'm sad that you have to deal with this, but sadder even that it is something women go through every day. Moving to D.C. has been quite a transition. I actually read this post ( the other day and, while quite a scary read), it reminded me of what you described. Sending good thoughts and a hug your way! Miss you and Brian!

  2. It is sad that between the early 1900s and now we have replaced paternalism towards women with objectivism of them to the point that this is now the type of thing that bystanders don't even react to. Tomorrow will be better. And most likely the criminal justice system will eventually catch up with crazy guy. I say criminal justice because we have defunded all of our mental hospitals.

  3. I was in a store run by one woman just the other day. A man came in looking for a Bank of America ATM. (We are in a strip mall that is difficult to get in and out of and clearly there is no Bank of America anywhere close.) He said his phone GPS told him there is one there. He needed to get to BofA to make payroll for his crew. She directed him to the nearest Bank of America. He continued talking about his GPS taking him to McDonald's and other randome stuff instead of going to the ATM. He finally left and the store manager thanked me for not leaving. She thought he was "over the top" with his story.

    My response: No way a woman leaves another woman alone with a nut case.

    Much love to you, Kay!