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Posts Tagged ‘harrassment’

So I had this dream a couple of weeks ago (and yes, I do realize that reading about other people’s dreams is Fascinating with a capital F) in which I was on vacation by myself, on some sort of encapsulated manmade beach (a la Syfy’s Ascension) that seemed to be near an annoying number of clothing stores (my nightmare vacation does, indeed, involve a lot of beach time and shopping) (not kidding).

I was sitting in a chair waiting for a meeting to start (dreams, right?), when this guy starts getting handsy with me. Nothing overtly aggressive, just a hand on my arm, an arm around my shoulders, etc., and I felt more uncomfortable and irritated than endangered. I was done with it all, however, and suddenly stood up and loudly informed him that he DID NOT have permission to touch me and was to CUT IT OUT right then and there.

The dream ended then, as dreams tend to cut out mid-cliffhanger. I knew the origins of this dream the second I woke up, however.

In front of the Publix near my workplace is a covered dining area, complete with sturdy tables and chairs. Frankly, it would be more appropriate to call it a loitering area, although it does give quite a few decent folks a place to eat their Publix deli subs (delicious, BTW) while people-watching their lunch hour away.

It also gives a few men the opportunity to practice their catcalls and leers.

As long as I walk past this area with even one other person, male or female, nobody says a word to me, but if I’m by myself, all bets are off. “Hey baby.” “Uh-huh.” “Ooh … you lookin’ GOOD today.”

Am I in danger? No. Am I furious that I can’t walk 50 yards of what is essentially a public space without unsolicited commentary? SO MUCH YES.

And the dream? The dream is indicative as to how angry I am with myself for not confronting these jerks. If I need to walk past this space by myself, I will actually take a quick scan of the crowd seated there, looking for known catcallers. If I spot any, I’ll walk through the grocery store to avoid them.

That’s right. I change MY behavior to avoid the unwanted behavior of others.

Only I don’t know that there’s any confronting these guys. I’m reasonably sure that I would only be designated a world-class bitch for calling them out on their behavior, and at worst I might provoke an even uglier confrontation.

So there you have it. In my dreams, I confront jerks who exceed my boundaries. In real life, I try to avoid them.

Fair? No. Inevitable? Pretty much.

But that dream. Man, that dream felt GOOD.

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