If you know me, you’ll know that I generally keep things clean when it comes to the language department. I don’t usually swear and I really don’t like swearing AT people.
But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s necessary.
Today was one of those times.
Here’s the story: I was sitting on a bench at Cape Town station waiting for a train, minding my own business when I’m suddenly approached by a guy selling flash drives. This is not unusual.
He starts badgering me about buying a flash drive and that he’ll give me “a good price”. I don’t make eye contact and politely decline each time.
Suddenly this guy is in my face and he says, “How about I give you a kiss for free?” I panicked, I got angry, seeing-red angry and I reacted. I pushed him and shouted: “How about you f**k off!?” He gave me a dirty look and walked away – thankfully.
Now I realise this isn’t a huge situation. I wasn’t raped or drugged or physically harmed in any way. For that I’m grateful. But I did feel violated. This guy came into my space and threatened me.
It was more than just this one incident that bothered me. For weeks lately I’ve heard stories of friends being in similar uncomfortable situations and when it happened to me, I wanted to cry. And I did a little when Daniel fetched me.
Standing up for myself
My parents and older siblings have always taught me to stand up for myself. In every situation – physically or emotionally. Where some women may keep quiet, I react and that’s not always the wise decision. It could mean being attacked or forced to keep quiet. But nope, I’ll push, shout and fight my way out of an uncomfortable/dangerous situation. It’s who I am. And I’m not going to stop.
To all the ladies out there, no matter where you find yourself or no matter how ‘small’ the harassment may seem, stand up for yourself. Shout, let yourself be heard. Because only then will men (such as the one who got into my space today) realise that we’re not helpless or meek – We are female. We are strong. We will say #NO.