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A few months ago on a warm morning I was out at 7 am enjoying my normal dog walk when a man driving a large silver truck hollered loudly at me, so much so, I turned abruptly like I might be stuck by his vehicle. I was met with not a face of worry, or distress from the driver , but as I like to call it – “cunnilingus face.” If you can’t picture it, it involves creating a “V” with your index and middle finger and sticking your tongue out of your mouth. : P>
I have two bully-breed dogs I walk daily, and because of their size and appearance I generally feel safe early in the morning into the late evenings, however I would say, I still experience harassment on a weekly basis. Men/boys in cars, in particular, use me as a moving target for cat-calling and other rude comments, all yelled out of their windows as they drive by. In the warmer months, it happens so regularly that I sometimes hate going for a long run/walk with my dogs because I always feel disgusted and angered by the time I get home after one of these encounters. You wouldn’t think that picking up canine feces is a particularly attractive activity or commanding my dogs to “sit” or “heel” is an invitation for your commentary – however it seems to be the most frequent time to harass dog walkers.
If it’s before work, or on the weekend – I’m usually not wearing make-up and have my hair tied back in a pony tail and am sporting some very (dog)hairy yoga pants. This obviously indicates to onlookers and motorists that I’m prepared for any random sexual encounter (insert sarcasm). I generally wear earphones to avoid hearing any comments which is not a safe for anyone to do late at night, with or without dog companions. I will even avoid some streets depending on the time of day and usually try to walk my dogs in less populated areas to avoid being car-bombed.
I’ve always been told (and felt) that when you do not react to rude people it will end up bothering them more. However, I’m so sick of not being able to walk my dogs in peace without some derogatory comment. When I don’t respond, I’m often met with being slandered as a “bitch” or being uptight or questioning my sexuality, as if, because I’m choosing to not talk to you I must not be attracted to the entirety of the sexual orientation you identify with. I always feel like questioning their “manliness” in the heat of the moment but I usually fall short due to relative shock . I don’t wake up and think, what new way can I be made uncomfortable today? Only to be met with, cunnilingus face at 7 am for the win. If I do choose to re-act (and on occasion, yell profanity) it doesn’t seem to help either because then you think “yeah! she responded, so that means she likes me” which opens up to (usually) more street harassment. I don’t want to be your sounding board for street harassment, roll up your windows and STFU.
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