So my number finally came up. I phoned in last night and had to report for jury duty this morning. The court house is a mile and a half away from where I live. Spring has come to NYC so I decided last night I would walk rather than pay for a cab. I dressed in a skirt and blazer and dress shoes and knee length black leggings. I am eternally late. I was this morning. But I still didn’t want to take a cab, so with backpack full of laptop and reading materials I headed out onto the street in the warm morning sunshine and ran the mile and a half to the court house.
I got honked at twice. A man walking toward me, paused and looked me up and down like I was a tasty doughnut. On one busy corner the talk and hum and conversations of a group of day workers halted as I ran past them, all of them staring at me like I was a moving parade.
Yes, I was unusual–a woman dressed in a suit, carrying a large backpack and running down a city street. But I tried to think of a man, perhaps my husband dressed in his business suit, carrying a briefcase, running down the same streets. Would women driving by honk at him? Would women on the street that he ran past look him up and down like he was breakfast? Would women gathered at a corner stop their talk and stare at him simply because he was running by?
I am sorry to say that when the second person honked at me when I was only steps away from the court house, I did something I have only done once before in my 51 years of life. I lifted my third finger at the car.
I am so tired of men thinking that this behavior is okay. But was I shocked or surprised. No. Sadly its what I expect.
Location: Queens, New York