It’s not always Sunny in Philadelphia but when it is, you can bet there’s a “Del Frisco nigga” lurking just around the corner.
And he “ain’t no average nigga.”
Which is why if you’re a woman, he’ll try to convince you that he’s the unicorn you’ve been searching for all your life (read: you’ve never ever wished for).
I wish I could say that the issue of
catcalling (pause: I don’t even like that term because we’re not friggin’ cats, we’re human got damn beings) is total bullshit.
But it’s not.
And for some reason, people out there–usually men–tend to believe that this behavior is simply a result of two main factors: a woman’s attractiveness and what she’s wearing. The premise is that ultimately, the harassing gestures, which at times can escalate quickly into us being verbally and physically assaulted, is a compliment.
When I posted about my recent encounters with a self-proclaimed “Del Frisco nigga” and a random guy who suggested we get married, (but not really because “it’s only $60 to get married and like $100 thou to get divorced. Shit is ridiculous.”) some of the responses from men were disheartening to say the least. The comments:
To all those men who think like this: Ignorance is bliss, especially when you have a dick.
And just because you have one, doesn’t mean you have to be one.
But your daughters? Your mothers? Your sisters? Aunties? Hell, your grand-mama?
We can’t rest in that luxurious bliss that your manhood swings freely in.
When I was about 13, I visited my sister who was living in Virginia at the time. One evening, she needed to stop by Wal-Mart and I decided to tag along. As we headed back to the car, a guy attempted to get my phone number. He looked to at least be 6-8 years older than me.
Although I always looked older than my age and was very mature, I never lied about it to guys who expressed interest.
I made eye contact with him and kindly said, “Thank you for your interest, but I’m only 13.”
I mustered a smile and continued to walk towards the car with my sister.
I heard him stop and turn on his heels, which caused me to glance back.
His face distorted into an angry frown. He balled his fist up and stared at me with fire in his eyes.
“If you ain’t want to talk to me that’s all you had to say! BUT YOU AIN’T GOTTA LIE, BITCH!” He spat at me.
My sister and I stood for a second, shocked at what had just happened. No longer feeling safe in the parking lot cloaked in darkness, we double-timed it to the car.
I was 13 years-old.
We won’t even get into how I was sexually assaulted at the age of 14 by a man 1o+ years older than me. We won’t get into how I had on pants and a shirt, and how I cried, “NO, stop!” as he forcefully attempted to unbutton my pants and shove his hand down them while holding me down with his other arm. We won’t get into how he did this as my toddler-aged nephew was sitting on my stomach while I was laying down because we had just been simply trying to watch cartoons.
We won’t get into how well before 13, old men would stare salaciously at my 10 year-old body and remark how I was, “fillin’ out real nice.”
This a reality that too many men have created for every woman with their excuses, dysfunction or silence.
My daughters are 11 and 8 and they’re dealing with this from their male-peers. My daughters, my babies, have already been objectified and my eldest hasn’t even completed puberty.
And you want to continue coming up with these bullshit excuses for Broken Boys who are attempting to masquerade as grown men?
Don’t tell me to be nice. Hold all of the men you come into contact with accountable for being a gentleman at all times. Use your bright ideas, influence, so called good-intention and wokeness to educate and empower men to do better, be it online or off.
Don’t ask me what I was wearing. Ask all of the men you come into contact with why it’s so hard for so many of them to show some decency and respect for a woman regardless of what she’s wearing–even if they don’t agree with her clothing choices. I’ve run to the store in sweatpants with paint on them, a wrinkled shirt and some Nike flip flops and was still harassed. So no, don’t ask me what the hell I wore; ask them why they couldn’t respect my human existence and polite decline of their advances. Ask them why their ego is so fragile and encourage them to seek help.
Don’t tell me beauty comes with a price nor express that I should somehow be grateful. You’re implying that to some degree, you believe the degradation and disrespect of women is warranted. Furthermore, it tells me that you think women who you perceive to be unattractive don’t experience this. That type of thinking is a gateway to the worse kinds of mindsets–ones that are poisoned with misogyny and patriarchal entitlement. NEWS FLASH: A savage is a savage. It’s them, not us.
Stop starting and ending this conversation with women as though we’re the issue.
Instead, here’s what you CAN DO:
In the meantime, just know I’m not the one. And if I see any of you disrespecting my sisters–no matter the race, age, religious belief, etc…
Know that this is one woman who won’t sit down or shut-up.
You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us…
And if it hasn’t become crystal clear by now: I’m not here for the bullshit.
– Sincerely Syreeta