An Open Letter To The Dude In Front Of Me At Casey’s
I don't know you, you don't know me, and our time together was brief. But... I think it impacted me way more than it did you.
It was very early in the morning. I was standing in line at one of the Casey's stores I visit, when two male employees were engaged in conversation. They were speaking about how hard it was to contact their boss, as she didn't pick up the phone on the first few rings.
Employee 1: "You call her five, six times, she doesn't pick up."
The customer in front of me then said, "Send her a d*** pick. She'll pick up then."
Employee 1: "That's the boss boss."
Employee 2: "I'll just say, Oops, wrong number."
Employee 1: "Like you meant to send it to your wife."
Customer: "......What'd you think, though?"
Now, I did not say anything. I don't think you or the employees picked up my expression (masked) but... after you left, E1 was super nice to me and I think he caught on.
Customer dude, I get that you were joking. I get that. But... that's not funny. You probably don't even realize why that's not funny. See, I have never, ever, asked for one of those pictures. I've gotten them, though. Even after I asked said dude to stop. Even after I blocked him, he found another way to get them to me. It's a huge violation. And you just feel.... horrible when someone keeps doing something you've asked them not to do.
And don't say "It doesn't happen that often." I'm not even remotely attractive by conventional standards, and I've been sexually harassed a number of times. And yes, a picture of your wang that isn't asked for is sexual harassment. It's aggressive. It's forcing me to look at something I don't want to look at. It's the same as pulling your pants down, grabbing a women's head, and forcing her to look at your crotch. You're exposing yourself, think about that. The fact that it even occurred to you (at zero dark thirty, mind you)says to me that you've done it before. And that you very well may do it again.
I can guarantee you that every woman in your life has had SOME kind of unwanted, unasked for, politely declined sexual attention from a man. Heck, I got followed at 5 in the morning once because a man in Papa Jake's said I had pretty eyes. When I wouldn't give him my phone number, he FOLLOWED ME in his car for blocks. I've worked in places where clients literally tried to pull my pants down in front of other clients. I worked at a job where my boss held my head still and then thrusted his crotch into my face. When I was a teenager, a guy my age put his hand up my shirt at church.
It's a problem because some men seem to think that they are allowed to do or say anything to women in any way they want. They're allowed to touch, stare, cat-call, whatever they want to do to get a woman's attention. And it doesn't matter what she wants. Who she is, where she is, what she's doing doesn't matter. None of it matters, because the woman herself doesn't matter. hat's a huge lack of respect. You just want what you want, and the fact that it's another human being that has wants of their own is irrelevant. "Look at this, look at me, pay attention to me! I demand that you validate me!"
I guarantee you would get it if it happened to you. But that's the thing. A lot of times, we don't get how someone else is feeling without being in that same situation. People don't even pause to think about it. We don't listen, we don't learn, and we don't even try. It's very frustrating.
So please, in future... just don't. Don't make jokes about rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, any of it. It's not funny. Telling women what we want is unimportant is not funny. Telling women we don't matter is not funny. Telling women you're going to take what you want from them is not funny. We need to do better. And if you're an actual funny person, you can find something else to joke about, you know.