if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
Scenes in Ferguson, MO today for Mike Brown protest. This is very near where I live. In America. In 2014.
All photos from Fox2’s twitter.
i was talking with a coworker the other day. he’s a great, respectable guy who cares about people and wants to make a difference (we’re social workers).
we were talking about how i used to live in chicago and how he’s planned a trip with 2 of his male friends for a weekend there. he mentioned going to a particular neighborhood on the North Side. and i said i didn’t like it because after a certain hour, many in the area are drunk and reckless and i felt it was dangerous the times i was there at night. i said how there are people, usually white men, who yell racist, homophobic, and sexist things after drinking too much.
he made a joke about how the gangs on the south side are more dangerous. i said it’s a different kind of dangerous. he kept pushing, and i told him he probably has never experienced a group of people larger than him, that are complete strangers, yelling at him to “suck [their] dick” or catcalling or making any comments about how he looked or what he was wearing. i said he probably didn’t have these same people follow him a bit or call after him or tell him “fuck you, too” if he didn’t acknowledge them. i said this stuff made me nervous and sometimes scared, so i now avoid the area. he still said he felt other areas were more dangerous because of “violence.”
and that’s when i realized it. this well-meaning, polite, kind guy who has the best intentions, who doesn’t believe “a woman’s place is in the kitchen” or anything as extreme as that, who’s encouraging and supportive and a great friend…doesn’t get that street harassment is a problem. and the reasoning is because i wasn’t physically hurt. since i was “just” yelled at, i should get over it and accept it as a part of life.
because only if i was raped or beaten would my concern and fear be validated.
and that’s a problem.