I wanted to share this:
Even though race plays a big part in this particular narrative, I feel that the basic message is universal. It's what I wish I could say to every guy who--daily--throws comments at me while I walk down the street.
Maybe, individually, they don't mean much by it. "Hey baby", "Ooo nice legs", "Babe you fine", "Mm-mm", "How you doin'", etc. But when just stepping out of my g0dd@mn house means a constant barrage of these things, it adds up.
I wish I could turn to every single one of those guys and say, "You don't know me, and I don't know you. I'm just trying to walk down the street. If you knew me, you'd know that I love to read, that I'm an aspiring writer, that I have four half-siblings, and that my goal is to move home to Norway. Sushi makes my world go 'round. My best friend and I have been writing stories together for ten years, and there's nothing I love more. I blog. My friends describe me as larger than life and more than a little quirky. I'm someone's daughter."
Of course, I tuck my head down and build a wall around myself as I speed on. Because I can't afford to give that much of myself, and at every angle, they're always grabbing, grabbing, grabbing, trying to take.
If I've been a little absent lately it's because I've been finishing my move, and pouring effort into my new Hapkido class. (It looks like I might take Judo too? They're back-to-back, and I sort of ended up staying for 2.5 hours. I am going to be so sore tomorrow.) Weirdly, even though I'm still just trying to, you know, roll, the sense of productive activity and feeling that strength and motion in my body has given me a renewed confidence walking home at night. I think I'm on a good path.