Early last Sunday morning, I went jogging on the Delaware River Waterfront. Not out of the ordinary for me as I have done it many times before. I was in the midst of listening to my cool down playlist and enjoying my cool down walk after sweating it out for a few miles. Upon walking past the Pier Five Townhouses, I noticed something…
A man who could not have topped 5′-5″, wearing a blue and white gingham shirt and navy pants, seemingly clean cut, made an completely obscene gesture at me. At me. He was about fifteen feet in front of me when this happened. There was nobody else in our vicinity. I think he became cognizant that behind my sunglasses, I saw what he did. And then he did it again. I passed him and I turned around just as he did it with my back turned.
(At this point I would like to point out that I was dressed modestly. A pair of baggy Nike norts and a conservatively cut tank top over a sports bra.)
At this point I had decided that he was small enough that I was ready to fight, in case he encroached in my space. I started yelling at him, shaming him for his disgusting behavior. I pulled out my camera phone in the case that he repeated his actions, also as a deterrent. Meanwhile, I still had my earphones in and had no concept of what decibels I was hitting. He turned around and walked away from me, despite me screaming at him. By that time, there were two other (male) runners approaching us in either directions and I realized that I was the one who looked like the crazy.
I remained incensed by the time I returned home. After trying to pick out what I wanted to wear for the day I mentioned that I had reservations about wearing the dress I eventually did because of my experience earlier that day. Was it too short? Would I bring the wrong type of attention? My husband said no and then we both reflected on how fucked up it was that I had to consider that. In not so many words he told me to live my life and not let some creep keep me from doing me.
We should all heed to his advice.