Okay, guys. We have a lot of fun on this blog with the drawings, and the music, and the identity theft and the whatnot. But if I may get a little bit serious for a minute, I'll tell you about something that happened today. And then I'll tell you why it's important that I tell you. And there's gonna be swearing. I'm really sorry in advance.
I was walking to work this morning, listening to a new CD, enjoying the sunshine, relishing my new-ish sundress, and not thinking of much besides that I was a little late to work, and really ought to hustle to make my train. A dude passed me as I walked, and I didn't think much of that either.
All of a sudden...WHAM! Dude walloped...WALLOPED...me on the backside and ran off.
No one saw it happen, since we were the only ones on that stretch of sidewalk. But the gentle denizens of the Upper East Side sure knew something happened, because I let out an unholy yell and a good, throaty "FUCK YOU!!" I turned to see the dude hustling away in his blue and tan jacket and tan backpack.
I hesitated a moment. Did that really just happen? Jesus, what should I do? Just go on with my day? I'm not sure I want to do that. And I'm pretty sure that if I just let this go, and act like it's no big deal, or it was "just a smack on the ass," I'm gonna feel pretty rotten about it for a long time to come. And also, letting boys get away with victimizing women is sooo 2008. And my ass was really sore. He really went for it.
So I ran after the sonofabitch.
There were people around. It was broad daylight. It's possible this dude was crazy. This was something I needed to determine, and also I wanted to get a description, since by this point I had decided that if I was going to be late to work pursuing this mofo, I was damn well gonna call the police. I caught up to him as he was going into the Citibank.
"Hey asshole!" He looked up. He was about 20. Clean-cut. Like he was on his way to school. Maybe depositing his paycheck from his night job. He did not look crazy. I think he was surprised. I think he figured the five-foot-tall redhead in the sundress and Mary Janes would have just said "Oh my stars!" and scampered away. He does not know this five-foot-tall redhead.
"You think that shit is funny? You like hitting women, huh? You think that's the correct way to act? Whatsamatterwityou?" All of a sudden, I was Joe Pesci.
"Ma'am I don't know what you're talking about."
"You know goddamn well what I'm talking about. YOU DON'T HIT WOMEN, ASSHOLE." At this point I am screaming into the bank. The whole lobby is looking at me. One poor elderly lady was caught by the door. I held it open for her. "I'm so sorry, ma'am, but he did a BAD THING."
The lady was a little nonplussed. I could not blame her. "Are...are you okay?"
"I am, I'm just..." And now I realize I'm a little upset. "He just fuckin'....shit, sorry...." The lady walked away. I swear a lot when I'm nervous. More than usual, even. Perhaps you've caught on.
Dude got in my face. And this is where it gets kind of hilarious. "How dare you disrespect me in public?" Oh. My. God. He. Did. Not. "I mean, call the police or something, but don't embarrass me like that. Fuck you."
It is now clear I am not necessarily dealing with a lunatic. But I am dealing with a moron.
"Good fucking idea, buddy. I WILL call the police." He goes back in ("Psh.") to go to the ATM. Good one, numbnuts. Right by the security camera. You do that.
I call 911 and tell them about the incident and the coordinates. While I'm on the phone he comes out and gets in my face again. "Fuck you, bitch." Me: "Fuck ME? Fuck YOU!!!...(to operator) I'm sorry, ma'am it's just he's antagonizing me." Him: "You calling the police?" Me: "Goddamn right I am." Him: "Fine. Fuck the police. Fuck you." Me: "Tell 'em so yourself!"
He started walking away after that. The 911 lady advised me to stay put. Good call. I figured I had had enough of him without backup. The police came a few minutes later, and I told them the story. I told them I knew they dealt with bigger things than this. But if it doesn't get reported, it will keep happening. And maybe we can scare this dude enough that that will be one less guy hitting women in the street. The cops had me ride around in the car with them to see if we could find them. Incidentally, those squad cars? Absolutely no leg room to speak of. In case you ever need extra incentive to not get arrested. Not comfy.
We couldn't find him, but the cops (there were four of them by the end of this) took my statement and contact info. They commended me on my description. Which is good, as that validates a lot of Law and Order viewing.
I'm realistic. I don't think they're ever gonna arrest this dude. But here's the thing, and the point to the whole long, profane story. I know there are a lot of people who think it wasn't that big a deal. But the truth of the matter is, what this guy did was sexual assault. "Forcible touching and harassment," if you want to get specific. Sexual assault doesn't always necessarily mean something as horrible as rape. And too often it's unreported, and douchebags like this think they can get away with it because the girl is gonna be too embarrassed or too meek to do anything about it. Or they think it's "just a slap on the ass." And that's not right, you guys. I don't know how other girls feel about their asses, but let me tell you about mine. It's a good ass. It's an exclusive ass. And you don't very well get to smack the shit out of it willy-nilly because you feel entitled to do so. There will be repercussions.
It just so happens that today is the start of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. I know what happened to me could have been a lot, lot worse. But someone doesn't have to be raped to be humiliated, violated and hurt. Sometimes, all it takes is a smack on the ass.
Want more info by people a hell of a lot more qualified than me? Check out http://www.rainn.org/
UPDATE: Detective doing follow-up: "So you ran up and confronted him and screamed at him in a bank." "Yep." "...Awesome."