Traveling While Female

Posted in Uncategorized by macktivist on April 15, 2010

Even though I had been hospitalized on Sunday, and for the subsequent day since have felt like shit, (both due to my physical health and other dramatic goings on) yesterday I tried going to the one class I’m taking to graduate. Now this class is across town, so I need to take public transit to get there. On the best of days, when I’m feeling at my best, this hour plus long commute is draining.

I realized quickly on that I wouldn’t be able to stay through class, so I left very early. However, because of the way the transit system works, it took over an hour just to get to the transit center where I catch my second bus which can take up to forty minutes to bring me back to my neighborhood.

So, yesterday I’m sitting on the bench near where my bus is taking forever to be ready to leave. I have a pounding headache, and I am wondering if I am going to pass out then and there. Then, some guy gets in my face and starts asking me all these personal questions, clearly trying to chat me up. I respond with short, clipped, three-word-at-most sentences while wishing he’ll go away.

He seemed to realize I wasn’t having any of it and his face scrunched up in annoyance. “Hey, I was just trying to be nice…” He protests.

“I’m sorry, but I am not feeling well and I would rather not talk.” I say as firmly as my sick self can muster.

Obliviously annoyed, he stomps off. This has happened before at this bus station, where some guy continually tried to chat me up, first by charmingly screaming “Hey you!” while I was trying to get some water from the fountain, then him telling me his friend Phoenix knew me (I have never knew any one by that name ever) from, uh, that place, and, uh, do I want to, uh, hang out with him. In the bus depot.

Once-upon-a-time, I would have felt bad but now I don’t. Just because I am female, that does not make me the entertainment folder for any male individual. I do not have to flirt back with them or acknowledge their interest. After reading things like fugitivus’s post (which I sadly can’t locate right now) on how rape culture is bred into us by making women’s boundaries easily and commonly tread upon. Also, from Shapely Prose there is the classic post Schrodinger’s Rapist. I have boundaries and standards, and if you’re yelling at me across a street or “Just trying to be nice” while I wait for a bus, I am not going to reward you with flirting.


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