I am not an object.

I’ve been getting harassed, whistled at, and honked at for at least eight years. I can remember some individual incidents — having a beer can thrown at me when I was 14 and walking my dog. My girlfriend and I (16) being followed down the street by a man talking about how he would “bend us over and fuck us raw” until we ducked into a store and the security guard sent the man away. Trying to cross the street with my 12-year-old campers when I was 17, a car rolling up and a bunch of men inside saying nasty, violent, sexual things to me in front of the children until a security guard came over and threatened to call the cops. Walking to the subway after a choral gig with my choir director and a man hissing “nice ass, bitch” while I (18) walked by. But mostly it blurs together, having happened so often. Normally I feel pissed for a minute and then it goes away. Sometimes I feel frightened, depending on context. Rarely do I feel sad, and rarely am I aware of how demeaning it is.

Today I was whistled at by two guys in a car. (It made the third “thing” from today: one thing said from a car window, one up-and-down + wink, and this.) And I just felt deflated, demeaned, hurt, and sad.

I am not an object. Stop treating me like one.

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