“I did not want to be followed or harassed about ethnic backgrounds”

I had just departed ways with my friend around 11:30PM. We had just finished watching the Bruins-Flyers game and celebrating her birthday. After missing the bus I decided to walk home than wait 15 minutes for the next one. I was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt (hood covering my head), jeans and flip flops. A very casual outfit for the night.

As I was passing along Massachusetts Ave near Symphony Hall in Boston, a male in his mid-20s sped by on his bike and turned around to look at me. He slowed down almost to a stop to turn back to ask if me I spoke Spanish. I responded,” No, I don’t speak Spanish,” proceeded to keep walking.

Side note: I am not of any Spanish heritage and most people assume I am of this group and speak Spanish. Which makes me annoyed. I am Native American and I do not speak Spanish.

So this individual stops at the crosswalk, waiting for me to catch up. I was just merely walking to cross the street. It was a red light so the man on the bike keeps probing questions, asking if I was Mexican or if I like Mexicans.

I told him no and to leave me alone. He followed me on his bike across one crosswalk and said that I had a nice ass and it would be better if I was a dirty mexican.

I was infuriated at this point because I was not looking for attention, did not want to be followed or harassed about ethnic backgrounds.

I yelled at him (in front of other people at the crosswalk) to stop following me and to fuck off. Probably not the best reaction. I sped walked to a nearest bar entrance and darted across the street. People looked at him and he rode his bike in a different direction.

I kept walking down a street, in the opposite direction of my apartment, cut down an alley to take the longer walk home to avoid running into him. I stopped walking and started to run down the street to my building occasionally glancing back to see if anyone was behind me.

I felt violated, grossed out and pissed off. I do not understand why some men feel they need to make remarks like that to a women. I am not sure if he thought I would respond the way I did. But I was flabbergasted and upset. I informed my friends of the incident and let them know i was home safely.

This is not the first time someone has tried to hit on my due to my dark complexion. I have now stopped dressing cute because I don’t want people to approach on the street. If I do dress up, I make sure I am with a group or people or a man. I wish I were not like this but I feel much better when people don’t hit on me.

– JL

Location: 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA

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3 Responses to “I did not want to be followed or harassed about ethnic backgrounds”

  1. kristin says:

    thank you for sharing….This should be a crime!

  2. Sue Henderson says:

    “I yelled at him (in front of other people at the crosswalk) to stop following me and to fuck off. Probably not the best reaction.” Sounds like a darned good response to me. ‘Men’ like this depend on women not retaliating so I’m really glad you did. It had the effect of making him ride off in the other direction so I’d say you did good. You made sure you were safe too, you have nothing to reproach yourself with.

    I’m just sorry you had such a vile time of it with this guy. It was clearly very frightening. I think you did exactly the right things and I’m sorry guys like him have made you feel you need to alter your appearance and to take extra precautions when you’re out.

  3. i feel so sad that it is no longer safe for you to dress up. That made me cry. I know how that feels. It happened to me too. I do dress up now but it took a long time and it still scares me if I am alone, but i want to dress how I want to dress and I don’t want some stupid guy on the street to have that power over me! Here’s to you and hoping for better days and nights on the street!

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