I hate to ask that question because, generally speaking, I get along pretty well with dudes.
There isn’t a general parking lot where I work, just one for the higher ups. Because of that, I have to park a couple blocks away wherever I can find street parking. This is not a great situation, not because I mind the walk, but for whatever reason this particular neighborhood, which is quite nice, has some very not nice traffic in the form of guys who like to harass women.
Up to now, this has only really been a problem in the evenings, after dark, and if I leave particularly late or am parked particularly far away, I can usually get someone to walk with me. Which I never do because that seems pathetic. I have been followed by cars, honked at, and screamed at. It’s usually just a brief scare and it passes.
Not that it matters, and it certainly shouldn’t matter, but I don’t dress provocatively. 80% of the time I’m wearing some variation of jeans, t-shirt, ponytail and glasses.
Anyway, the point is that the summer has been a welcome respite because it stays light longer, so I walk to my car from work in the daylight and it’s all good. I haven’t been bothered in ages.
This morning, I parked not terribly far away, and someone in a gold forerunner not in very good shape honked at me and waved like crazy as I was walking through a crosswalk. I looked at them, it was some guy I didn’t recognize and who, even at a distance, looked skeezy. To be fair, honking at a girl automatically puts you in the skeez camp, even if it is 10AM.
I crossed over another street and saw that the forerunner was driving too fast up that street and quickened my pace a little to be well out of the way. The guy had driven around like 5 blocks to get back to me. The guy started screaming at me, but I just ignored him since he was behind me, hoping that he’d go away.
The guy swearved around traffic and pulled into someone’s driveway to cut me off. He very nearly ran me over.
Creep: Hey, I’m the guy who honked at you.
Me: Yeah, I got that.
C: Do you have a boyfriend?
(The inflection here has to imply the imaginary boyfriend is a linebacker, very violent, and the jealous type)
C: Does he make you happy?
C: That’s too bad, I was hoping I could take you out some time.
M: Sorry, you can’t.
C: You could still go out though, right? I mean –
M: Really I couldn’t
C: Do you have a sister?
M: No, I have a brother, I doubt you’d be interested.
Do you have a sister? WTF SERIOUSLY?! Who goes around picking up women on the side of the road?
Anyway, this all reminds me of a post on Pharyngula yesterday, about why there aren’t more women who go to conventions. It’s because women deal with shit like that on a regular basis and walking into a room dominated by strange guys by yourself isn’t fun. It’s not fair to the vast majority of guys who aren’t super creepy, but it’s true. Even if only one guy in the room is super creepy, if none of the other people have your back, many girls decide that it’s not worth it.
And if one person comments that I’m lucky to have the attention, I will find you and bring a baseball bat. I don’t own a baseball bat, but I’m seriously reconsidering my position on that.