An Open Letter To The Man Who Harassed Me

Dear Harasser,

It was past midnight and I was exhausted. I had worked a double shift that day, and all I wanted to do was fall in to bed and drift away in to a deep sleep, but first, I had to take the trash out.

I looked at the clock, and for a second I hesitated. It’s late, and it’s dark. I shouldn’t be going outside right now. But as quickly as the thought entered my head, I pushed it away. My trash was overflowing and it needed to be taken out.

I slipped on a hoodie, threw my hair up on top of my head, and slipped in to some baggy sweat pants. I wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible. Thankfully, the dumpster is only 25 ft away from my apartment building, I thought to myself.

Pushing my way through my apartment door, I stepped outside, garbage bag in hand. I set it down for a moment after the wind had nipped at my face. I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my head to cover my ears, and then continued down the sidewalk on my short walk to the garbage can. 5 more minutes and I will be in bed. 

I was 10 steps from my destination when your car slowed next to me, and pulled off to the side of the road. Your headlights shined bright, causing me to squint my eyes. My heart started to pound in my chest and I could feel my palms begin to sweat, because I just knew. 

I quickened my pace, walking right past your rolled down window, refusing to even look in to your eyes. I reached the dumpster and swung the trash bag in to the garbage, but I didn’t turn around. I just stood there, preferring to face the dumpster rather than to face you.

“Hey baby, you shouldn’t be out so late,” you slurred, clearly in no state to be driving.

I dug my teeth in to my bottom lip, and turned around slowly, keeping my gaze locked on the ground. I settled my hand on my phone in the pocket of my sweatshirt and looked down at the buttons quickly dialing 911, but not yet hitting send. I hoped it wouldn’t come to that, but as a woman, you never know. So alas, I begin to walk past you again, my thumb hovering over the green button that would dial the police if need be.

“Did you hear me baby?” you asked, this time, your voice a little more stern. “Give me a smile.”

I sucked in a large gulp of air, forcing my wobbly knees to keep moving forward, and just as I passed your car you thought you’d try one more time.

“I asked you a question, bitch,” you muttered harshly.

My hands balled in to fists and for first time, I wanted to face you and tell you what an asshole you really were, but I didn’t. I forced myself to keep walking, a tiny sliver of relief washing over me now that I had safely passed your car.

“I was only trying to help you out, you stupid whore. Try not being such a bitch next time,” were your final words before you skidded your tires as you pulled back on to the road and drove off.

I ran the rest of the way to my apartment and quickly slammed the door behind me before immediately turning the lock. A shaky breath passed through my lips, and my shoulders deflated in defeat, but then at a sudden realization, a smile tugged at my lips.

You’re a sad guy, aren’t you?

You’re the type of guy who thinks all women owe him something. It killed you I didn’t respond to you, and it absolutely infuriated you that I didn’t even meet your gaze.

Good.

You think I’m obligated to talk back to you, because you talked to me, but I’m not.

A woman doesn’t owe you a response because you said hi to her. A woman doesn’t owe you a damn thing.

I didn’t meet your gaze because I didn’t want to. I didn’t respond to your words because I wasn’t your “baby.” And I didn’t smile, because a drunk ass hole was attempting to hit on me while I was just trying to take out the garbage.

So, next time you decided to hit on a woman and she doesn’t respond, leave her the hell alone, and remember she doesn’t have to respond to you because that’s her right, and you can never take that away from her.

Sincerely,

One Of The Women You’ve Harassed

64 thoughts on “An Open Letter To The Man Who Harassed Me

  1. My heart goes out to you- nobody should be made to feel like that! As for that guy, he was a (probably drunken) idiot who had no right to say any of that stuff to you. He’s pathetic, and so is anyone else nasty enough to do that! You just keep being you 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “A woman doesn’t owe you a response because you said hi to her”
    Wow..very intense read. I imagined everything in my mind so perfectly. I did the thing wit my tongue under my lip.
    It’s scary to be a woman sometimes. All power to you. Minding your own business. Just like that guy should have been. But you’re right, maybe he expected something. Ugh. Heart is with you!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. My sister was telling me about a similar experience she had with a harasser… I’ve never experienced something like this myself but I can’t imagine how terrifying it must have felt. My heart goes out to you and everyone else who had this happen

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful and well expressed piece. I love how you said that you didn’t owe this man a damn thing – because that’s the truth. I am glad you were able to get away, but it’s not fair that women still face so much harassment, that we have to be worried about going out at night to take the trash. Thank you for writing this letter and bringing attention to this issue. Wish you all the best – speak766

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much ❤

      I completely agree. So many people out there think that this either doesn't happen or it isn't a big deal. I hope more people continue to bring more attention to the subject and lots of detail. Awareness is key!

      Thanks again 🙂

      Like

  5. When I was young I thought that as I grew older this type of harassment would stop; how wrong I was. It never stops the men that think that you are there to be used, to be abused to be degraded. Men really need to start to take responsibility for their actions and to start to put pressure on other men to behave in a civilized manner.
    I’m so fed up right now of workmen who I hire to do a job who try to rip me off by either not doing the work correctly or by charging too much, simply because I am a woman and they think that they can get away with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yessss I completely agree!! Good men need to step in more and hold other men accountable. We as women try to, but those men are sexist and will never listen to a woman. It’s very sad. I don’t think it will ever change but I hope it does.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The world is a scary place. I moved to Tokyo and have been harassed like that, touched, and stalked every single week (literally why I’m leaving). When are men around the world going to understand that kind of thing is not acceptable? At least in my experience it makes women feel so powerless, there’s nothing we can do to make it stop… I’m sorry you had to go through it too.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s so bizzare how some men think they have the right to do shit like this, we all experience this every now and then and so have I but it takes guts to write about it, You write with confidence and I admire that! 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I appreciate you for sharing your story! I feel like I’m also on the brink of feeling comfortable enough to share mine (I didn’t happen to get away in time unfortunately). And somehow, we still have faith in humanity… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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