Butt Slap Leads to Activism

Recently I was slapped on the butt by a teenager on a bicycle while I was jogging in my neighborhood. He simply came up behind me, spanked me, and furiously pedaled away. I was wearing sweatpants and my little brother’s oversized soccer jersey. No makeup, greasy ponytail – I looked like crap (though, even if I had been provocatively dressed, it would be no excuse for this boy’s behaviour).

After screaming profusely at the kid and his friends, who rode away laughing like hyenas, I walked home almost in tears, feeling so violated and frustrated with society in general. I can’t stop asking myself how somebody, especially at such a young age, would think that he has the right to act like that towards another person. It’s scary. I feel as though women over the age of 12 can rarely step outdoors wearing anything less than a parka without being jeered at by creepy men anymore. And I’m frustrated.

[As a result], I am working on a story for a school assignment on the subject of street harassment…Street Harassment is positively rampant in London, [Ontario,  Canada], and I think that my campus community would respond positively to an article like this. Hopefully, it will inspire girls in London to start fighting back against the creeps that scream at us from their cars. At the very least, it can raise awareness about the fact that street harassment isn’t a harmless game.

– L.O.

4 Responses to Butt Slap Leads to Activism

  1. Golden Silence says:

    Awesome, L.O.! Keep up posted on your work.

  2. Golden Silence says:

    Keep us, I meant.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I just moved into a ‘changing’ neighborhood, where the gender roles are strictly enforced by insecure macho men who believe that catcalling is an effective means of reinforcing their masculinity.

    I ignore the catcalls and comments with the aid of sunglasses and earphones (with the volume OFF so I can hear these losers if they try to creep up behind me), because personally, I believe that crazy people of all races and genders say all kinds of psycho shit to random people in the city. I have a thick skin, so personally speaking, it’s just another unpleasant city annoyance that I try to avoid and step around, as I would a big, smelly pile of dog crap on the sidewalk (unless it involves stalking and or attempted unwanted physical contact).

    However, anyone who attempts to touch me in the public sphere is asking for physical correction. Just two weeks ago, I was shopping in a local thrift store and immediately saw some asshole leering at me and shadowing me around the aisles. I ignored him, walked away from him and kept shopping, until a few moments later I felt my behind being touched. I whirled around to make sure that I didn’t sock some little kid or older person who may have inadvertently brushed past me in the aisle, only to see this same drooling idiot who was stalking me around the store. I shoved him so hard, he was pushed all the way into a nearby clothing rack and I verbally ripped him a new asshole in fornt of the whole store. I was pissed because I wondered how many people he’s fondled and gotten away with it, so I decided right then and there that I would make him think twice about trying it again. He was shocked, stunned that I responded so aggressively and defensively. He was counting on my silent complicity, my shame at being a so-called victim and woman whose lot in life is to accept this bullshit, but he got shoved (he actually caught air as he flew into the rack) and loudly cussed out in front of the whole store. They all just stopped and stared, no one said or did anything except for a cashier who asked me if i was ok.

    I don’t recommend this action for everyone, but I do carry legal weapons and would not hesitate to use them if the situation escalated.

    Be safe, everyone.

  4. Beckie says:

    Wow great stories. Good luck in london and to the store girl you go girl. I like your spunk. I am going to try and be that brave!

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