I was walking home from work at 10:30 pm when I passed a group of five guys in their late teens/early twenties. As I passed them one of them yelled “You are so beautiful, let me take you back with me and bend you over the bed, you bitch” and his friends laughed and patted him on the back in approval.
What angers me most of all about this is that, while I immediately felt degraded and shitty, it took me a moment to get angry. Instead of recognizing and responding to the fact that I was being disrespected, my mind had to go through a series of programmed responses: “that’s what guys do,” “you’re getting upset about nothing, it’s only talk” and, perhaps most disheartening of all, a quick mental review of what I was wearing.
And my comment:
“That’s my response every time. Add also the instinctive crossing of my arms across my chest. By the time I could have challenged it (assuming that I would be able to summon the courage), I/ they are long gone.