It was maybe around 11:30 on a Tuesday night last summer. I was unlocking my bike to ride home after a night of bowling with my friends. I was wearing a knee-length floral skirt. A group of maybe four young Hispanic guys approached me. I had my helmet on already, and still they felt the need to comment at me. Because I was wearing a skirt? Because I was bent over? I didn’t look up, but I felt creeped out. I wasn’t sure if I should feel complimented, but I decided pretty quickly, as my heart rate increased and my sense of foreboding mounted, that the whole encounter, brief as it was, was not ok and not complimentary. And maybe this is stereotyping, but now if I’m walking through an Hispanic neighborhood, I am much more aware of males.
I should not have to feel so defensive when out alone, regardless of time or place. It was disrespectful, and no one should have to deal with the feelings of shame that come along with such harassment. No one is asking for it, ever.
Location: Dalton Street, Boston, MA