Yuppie Harasser – Power Play

Today, a 20 to 30-something white male in a business suit harassed me near the corner of 14th and T Streets NW in Washington DC at about 9 A.M. He was clearly going to work and was in a hurry. The man decided to cut the corner and walk in front of me and my dog. At the same time, my dog saw a bird behind the man and walked towards the man. I stopped my dog, but my dog’s first reaction to walk towards the man caused the man to have to pause. Apparently stopping was too much of an inconvenience for the man. He glared at me and came closer to me. I apologized for my dog and told him I was working on the dog’s behavior around birds. Then, the man kept walking the other way, towards his destination, and after he was about 10 steps away, he yelled back at me at the top of his lungs, “There’s something else you can do. Control your dog!”

First I felt humiliated but then I felt angry, helpless, and disgusted. There was nothing I could do to tell him that his behavior was inappropriate and infuriating. I also became very aware of the power differential between us. He’s a male and I’m a female. He was wearing a business suit (a sign of his higher class status) and I was wearing workout clothes which did not necessarily reveal anything about my class status. I thought for a split second that if I were a male in a business suit I would have followed after him and told him that he was a coward for yelling at me while he walked away. I was shaky and unsteady on the inside. Then, I tried to focus on my dog. My dog had sat down politely and was waiting for my next cue. I thought about how I wanted to enjoy the nice morning and spring air with my dog and didn’t want the harasser to ruin my morning. I took some deep breaths, tried to acknowledge my anger and move on. I suppose I partially succeeded for the r est of my walk, but I am still feel angry enough that I immediately came home and looked for this website to share my story.

– E

Location: 14th and T Streets NW in Washington DC

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.


5 Responses to Yuppie Harasser – Power Play

  1. Golden Silence says:

    Usually people think a street harasser is someone who hangs out on the corner all day who looks like a scrub, but harassers come in all forms. The entitled assholes in suits really work my nerves. They have a horrible air of superiority.

    Don’t let guys like that get to you. He probably has a lot less power in this world than he comes off as having.

  2. north says:

    screw him… he was just afraid of your dog. I get it all the time. I have a hound dog. People just don’t understand animals. Sorry it made you feel bad. Enjoy the rest of your day.

  3. Ross says:

    It’s a shame that people are using this site and Holla Back as venues to publish any unpleasant public encounters. I thought these sites existed to air legitimate sexual harassment; a problem, even as a male, I recognize everyday on the streets of DC. This woman’s run-in, however, was nether sexist nor harassment. True, the guy may have been an asshole, but I don’t understand what his sex has to do with his reaction; or for that matter, what his suit has to do with it. If you’re that intimidated by men in suits, what are you doing in DC?

    It chills me to think that any public encounter I have with an unfamiliar woman will be misconstrued as sexist by some people. If I see a woman litter on my street, and I call her attention to it, have I just sexually harassed her? And God forbid if I happen to be wearing a suit!

    I’d like to remind both the contributer and Golden Silence that assholes come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and yes, even sexes.

  4. Thanks for your comment. I agree that this interaction was not sexual harassment, per say. I posted it because she felt had she been a man he wouldn’t have said what he did. Her feelings are legitimate and my site is about making public places safe and welcoming for women and addresses any woman-hating comments or action, including sexual harassment.

  5. Golden Silence says:

    I’d like to remind both the contributer and Golden Silence that assholes come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and yes, even sexes.

    Hey, Ross, what part of my “…but harassers come in all forms” comment in my original response did you miss?

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