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Parkersburg Gas Station Grossness

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Catcalling: One way to set me off and put me in a pissy mood for the entire day. As I walk towards the entrance of the gas station, I am confronted by two men screaming and trying to get my attention with whatever asinine sentence fragments they could possibly muster together and use.   "Hey, sexy! You gon' buy me lunch?" Me: "No. F*#k off." "That's not nice. You're fiery! I'd buy you lunch, baby. I'd buy you lunch and dinner and dessert." Me: "That's nice. It's best that you save your money for someone who gives a shit."   I thought I made it safely inside without further interruptions or awkward confrontations and I find that I was sadly mistaken. I'm stopped by another man, who appeared to be in his late 40's early 50's. He said, "I just want to give you a compliment. Me and the fellas outside saw you pull up and I said, 'By the looks of her haircut -- how it's cut short and swoops like that, I know she gotz a bangin' body! So we took a bet on it. And sur' nuff you do!"   I looked at him in complete and utter disgust, "That's not a compliment, that is sexual harassment and a sign of your utter lack of intelligence and respect. You are f*#king disgusting." I walked away to pay for the gas. The two men outside were still preying like vultures, and as they had seen me walk away from the counter, they started banging on the glass and yelling to get my attention. I did not feel comfortable. All I wanted to do was to get home and unload the groceries out of the car and relax. I wasn't in the mood for confrontation or even wanting to respond to these idiots. I step outside and head to the car -- to two men outside keep running their mouths, "You didn't buy anything! You stole that! Look at that giant roast beef! I'd like to bite into that!" (I guess they were referring to my ass?) I turned, gave them the bird, slid into the car, turned on the song "Trainwreck 1979" by Death from Above 1979 and turned the sound up as loud as I could. I sped the off.   Sitting here and thinking about this situation, catcalling is not like sexual harassment. I responded incorrectly. No, sexual harassment occurs in the privacy of an office or workplace. Catcalls, by and large, come from strangers and they happen in public places, in front of an audience of regular passers by. The reason why ignorant, low-life, pieces of shit males commit to the act of catcalling is because it not only lends them to anonymity to the caller, but also makes it easy to keep the interaction fleeting. When done in groups, if it turns out the woman doesn't fall for the bullshit and walks away, there's something to have a dialogue about afterwards. If you're being sexually harassed at your job, you know exactly where the harassment is coming from and you have the option to ask them to stop or report them if they don't. Unfortunately, there's a very slim chance that the complaint will even be taken seriously. With catcalls, you're not given the same opportunity to air your grievances in a way to shame them as much as they have publically shamed you. With women on a mission to complete a simple task of purchasing an item or running an errand; walking to or from a place of that which is important to them; spending a day at the park -- or taking a light stroll around the block, it's not on the forefront of our minds to want to be verbally combative to protect ourselves. It's disgusting behavior! And there are two options for women in catcalling situations:   1. If you acknowledge your catcaller by speaking to them or engaging them in any way, you're egging them on and inviting them to continue talking to you and offending you. 2. If you acknowledge them with eye contact, no matter how brief, even if no words accompany it, it can be seen as condoning and encouraging. For me, being an outspoken woman, catcalls still engender a forced passivity that leaves me with no effective means of counteraction except to fix my eyes on the ground and ignore the caller until I leave, or they leave me alone.   I walked away today feeling frustrated and silenced. No matter what, it's a lose-lose situation no matter which way you slice it. Women who face catcalling behavior, realize there's nothing that they can do. There's no correcting this wrong that's been done to us -- just as we've been socialized to do. Unfortunately, women start analyzing themselves and try to figure out what it is that *they've* done wrong to attract this unwanted attention, so that they can alter their appearance or behavior to prevent it from happening again. "Maybe I shouldn't have left the house with make-up on?" "Maybe I should have worn my pajamas out today?" "Maybe I should start wearing my old baggy jeans that no longer fit me anymore?" "Maybe I should just stop wearing dresses?" "Maybe I shouldn't go to that particular (insert place) anymore?"   This is not a humblebrag.....this is an embarrassing and maddening reality for women. We have been socially molded and manipulated to believe that WE have to do whatever is necessary to avoid being catcalled at, groped, sexually assaulted, etc. Instead of MEN being taught to stop catcalling, groping, and sexually assaulting. It's upsetting that women are made to feel 'guilty' or (GASP!) 'ungrateful' for not accepting the catcalls as compliments! How dare we! That (those) guys took a considerable amount of time, needed a lot of guts and bravery to shout those vulgar, sexually-pervasive epithets our way. Thank you! No….no…f*#k you! I think I can safely assert that most women (‪#‎yesallwomen‬) don't feel all warm and cozy inside when they're being catcalled. I don't come home and say to myself: "OH MY GOSH! I have to tell my girlfriends, call mom and dad and tell them about this great experience that happened to me today where a man said he wanted to "Bite down on my ass because it's plump like a roast beef." No. It feels more akin to how zoo animals feel when they let humans observe, make stupid noises at them, and tap their nasty hands on the glass to try to get their attention -- or to encourage them to do something interesting. ##It's not a "Humancall," as it is referred to as a "Catcall" for a reason: when you're catcalled, there's no consideration of you as a human being. There's no acknowledgement of you as being someone's sibling, or daughter -- or mother. There's no acknowledgement of, or consideration of your humanity. You're being appraised as an object….a body without a person inside of it.

Date of report: 
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 21:30
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