I love taking walks. There is a nature trail less than five minutes away from my apartment complex, and it is the greatest thing in the world to me. It's back behind a high school and away from the busy roads that guide us during our daily routine. But, in order for me to get to that trail, I have to walk along two pretty busy roads - and that is where my issue lies.
Walking along any type of road as a female is a difficult thing to navigate. There is no way to escape the whistles, yelling, or even honking that can be directed towards you while you're just trying to decompress. No matter what I'm wearing or doing does not mean that I want this type of attention, even if I'm wearing my smallest top and shortest shorts (guess what, we live in Florida so I'm not wearing jeans just to "cover myself up"). And anyway, I've gotten this harassment even when I was wearing jeans before, so it doesn't matter what I'm wearing.
I usually take these walks with my boyfriend. It is our way of decompressing after busy days or our way of catching up if we have been on opposite schedules that day. I have never had a problem walking these roads with him before until the other day. I got honked at by two guys on a bike and some other guy was hanging outside of his car window and yelling things at me. Things he thought were flattering, but I did not return his feelings.
To people that do this: why? I'm obviously taken. I'm not holding hands with my brother. My boyfriend is a completely different ethnicity than me. Do you think I'm just going to leave him and come hang out with you because you yelled at me while I was walking down the road? I doubt anyone has ever done that.
People do this because other people will reward their behavior. To me, it is the most disrespectful thing I could think of because it makes me feel unsafe and ruins that time for me. The walks I take are for unwinding and when you blast your horn at me, it frustrates and annoys me and does the opposite of what I want that walk to accomplish.
I feel like these people are breaking into my space and my time, and I'm so tired of it. Just because they think it is a compliment doesn't mean that I want it. I'm at the point where the next person that does this to me is going to get a piece of my mind because I want these people that do this to realize that it is such toxic behavior and they shouldn't keep doing it.
So next time this happens to you, say something. Tell those people to shove it, to leave you alone, and make them realize that you're a person and need to be treated with respect.