Understanding How Cultural Practices Result in This

I spend a lot of time on twitter because things happen in real time over there and life can get interesting sometimes. Well anyway, there’s this thing people are doing called having a thread, which is basically a stream of consciousness or a story. Yesterday, I read one such thread in which one twitter user was documenting her experience with street harassment.She told us how she was walking down the street, minding her business, when some guy comes up to her with the usual, “Hey ma.” nonsense. It’s cold where she was and she was just not in the mood so she gave her standard, “Go away” speech which sounds something like “Hello, have a nice day, bye.”Now what struck me is how she had to explain in detail why;a. She didn’t start walking in a different direction from the one SHE WAS GOING.b. She emphasized how not rude she’d been.c. She had to justify every single action she took like someone was going to say, “But why didn’t you…?” (the saddest part is that somebody probably said that.)d. She was scared for her life. Like this was not some minor irritant tryna ruin her day; this was a potential life or death situation.e. At no point even with her level of fear, did she think to call the police. In fact, she was trying to make sure that if anyone else called the police, they would see that she was not at all the aggressor.Life in America folks. It makes me so sad.Why do y’all wanna go there again?So here’s the story in a nutshell. The girl was walking in a near blizzard, this guy comes up to her and tries to talk to her. She curves him as politely as possible. He follows her for two blocks, trying to get a rise out of her. She finally, after two blocks, tells him point blank to take a walk. She thinks that he’s gone and enters a coffee shop. When she turns around from buying her coffee, he’s right there, in her face again asking her “Why he can’t talk to her…”She’s scared, he’s blocking her way. She looks around to see if anyone can help. Everyone is busy ‘minding their business’. No one so much as looks in her direction. So she thinks maybe from the outside, it looks like they’re friends having a conversation. So she raises her voice, and tells him to leave her alone. She repeats it several times. The guy goes from persistent to annoyed. He threatens her with physical violence. Nobody so much as looks in their direction including coffee shop management. She decides that in case someone calls the cops, she’s not going to be the aggressor and push past him or anything. She’s going to stand there, and let him hit her.Let me repeat that.She’s in a crowded coffee shop. A man has just threatened her with violence. There is no instinct to call for help or run or anything. It’s like she’s trapped and all she can do is stand there and wait for the guy to beat her and then have him arrested for assault.Maybe.Nobody tries to help.People! Where is your humanity?Let me provide a few contrasting examples of maybe situations that are comparable.My son and I were walking along the road (my son was actually riding a bike) when this mad man, tall, built like a mountain, decides that my son had trespassed on his territory. He pushed my son, who fell off his bike and into a ditch. I picked mys son up, dusted him off, comforted him and then went to confront the mad man. When I say mad, I mean crazy street person with buns of steel. I hit his chest and shouted at him. I hurt my hand his chest was so hard. He seemed surprised that I would confront him like that but nobody messes with my kid.Now here’s where it gets interesting. The crazy street guy didn’t try to hit me back or threaten me; but within like three seconds there was a crowd of people asking me if I was okay, was he trying something? Did I need help?Three seconds people.And this man was clearly strong. He was so much bigger than anyone there. But they still came to my aid, even though I hadn’t asked for it.Example two.Koffi Olomide, renowned musician, was coming to do a show in Kenya. Unfortunately for him, he was filmed kicking one of his female dancers at the airport. He was deported within days without doing his show because of it. There was such a hue and cry.One more example.When I was younger, my stomach was flatter and I guess I was sexy in a different way than I am now, I was walking to a tuition class at the university through a quiet neighborhood. I noticed I was being followed by some guy but figured whatever man, if he tried anything, I was ready. Every gate had a watchman and I’m not exactly a pushover.So anyway, he caught up to me and tried to sexually harass me. Now in contrast to my American sister in the story, I don’t have a polite ‘have a nice day’ spiel. I have come to realize in my long history of being sexually harassed that if you give even the slightest room for misinterpretation, the harasser will persist. So I tell them point blank. “Get. Away. From. Me.”He tried the pleading route

Source: Understanding How Cultural Practices Result in This


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