This morning I went to a breakfast to talk about politics, development projects and our kids. Since it was a light summer day I threw on a sleeveless sundress and sandals. On the way home I decided to pick up a few things in my usual grocery store.
A few aisles into the store, a man stood, stared and said “You are sexy” in a perverted way. I ignored him. As I walked along I started to feel weak in my dress and sandals. Since I started kickboxing there have been a couple of occasions where I felt threatened and a solid, powerful confidence gave me determination. When I work out, sometimes it’s just exercise and sometimes I’m really beating on the bag. There is a difference. If something bad happened, I always believed in the strong version of myself.
As I walked down the next aisle, I felt vulnerable. I felt girlish and silly in a dress and sandals and completely unable to defend myself. The only strong thought I had was of Byron, my favorite instructor, showing us three ways to elbow strike during the previous night’s training. Then he was in my face again “Will you make me breakfast.” The pervert.
I’ve always found ignoring works best. Although he didn’t say anything, he kept going back and forth past me in every aisle with one thing in his hands.
When I checked out, I did the only smart thing in this entire episode. I told the cashier a man had been bothering me and making comments so that I felt uncomfortable. She asked me if I saw him and I didn’t’. While she was checking me out, I did see him leave the store but didn’t say anything. If something happened to me, hopefully they would recognize me and check the store video cameras for the guy who was bothering me.
I was glad he was outside because I could be in control. Since he should have been long gone and I didn’t see him, I went to load my car. Sure enough, he drove past me toward the store, away from the exits. I quickly finished putting my bags in the car then started to drive.
Here’s where I made another big mistake. I did not pay enough attention to his vehicle and did not get his license plate. All I could thing about was escape. When I started to drive and had to wait for a light, I looked around making sure he wasn’t following me.
This could be serious. You can find someone by looking up their plates. He could find me but I couldn’t find him.
Now I was really upset with myself. Not only had I failed dismally to have the confidence to physically defend myself, I had also failed to get good evidence to identify him.
In a few short minutes this absolute pervert had torn me down. I spent my whole time driving home making sure no car even slightly resembling his car was anywhere near me.
I was sick and disgusted. And finally angry. By the time I changed into casual clothes, I could have beat him badly. I don’t care what you think of me for wanting to defend myself. This was not the usual staring and gawking. He was a predator.
I’m so sick of men doing this to women, degrading them. I’m sick of the defenseless feeling. This man is exhibiting behavior which could become worse and worse until he does rape a woman.
I would gladly kick his ass even if I am crying and degraded.