The other day, I went to the grocery store looking for something satisfying to make up for the very bad day I had. I was agitated and distressed and ready to go home.
I was walking down the aisle when I made eye contact with a man walking past me. Even though I was upset, I’m not an asshole so I smiled. He smiled back and mumbled something under his breath.
I have this very bad habit of expecting the worst from strangers and living in the DMV has hardened my kind hearted west coast exterior.
With full bass in my voice and attitude in my soul, I said, “Excuse me.”
Very sincerely and earnestly, he cleared his throat and said, “I hope you have a good week.”
I was pleasantly surprised. He smiled, I smiled back, and we went our separate ways. It was actually a bright spot in an otherwise cruddy day, and I went on to tell someone else to have a good week, too.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, there have been cries from thousands of men who report that they no longer feel “safe” to talk to women anymore.
Some have reported not feeling safe to give women compliments.
Some have suggested they’re fearful of having any physical contact with a woman because it can be construed as assault.
And some aren’t even men. They’re women who feel worried for their male counterparts.
The man in the grocery store did not catcall me, grab my ass, or refer to me with any derogatory language. There was no way to misconstrue what he said was as assault or harassment because it simply wasn’t
Women who report having experienced sexual assault or harassment, have actually experienced something that was clearly traumatic and clearly inappropriate. And some men, and even some women who support these men, have trouble understanding the difference between what is and isn’t appropriate.
- Forcing someone to have sex without their consent is not okay.
- Manipulating and begging someone to have sex with you even though they said no is not okay.
- Grabbing a woman, or any person, on their body without their consent is not okay.
- Getting angry because someone rejected you is not okay.
- Using your status or superior position in a work environment to get someone to have sex with you is not okay.
If you understand these statements to be agreeable, you ave nothing to be worried about. We all should be more conscientious about what we say to others or how they treat we treat others, particularly women, because “think before you speak/do” is a fundamental skill taught in kindergarten.