Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Haven Running

"That lady has a fat ass. Shake it! Shake it! Shake it!" I couldn't STOP shaking it because I was running down the sidewalk minding my damn business. It's especially humiliating when someone's harassment keeps in rhythm with your steps and movement of your body. Should I have stopped and gone back half the block to tell the kid to close his ugly mouth? But there were A LOT of young men on that porch...

"White bitch got back!" Got em that time because there was a young girl in the group laughing along, so I called her out and asked her how she'd like it if strangers were yelling "black bitch" anything at her. She was definitely humbled and her little instigator boyfriends were embarrassed and didn't have anything else to say.

I just moved to New Haven six months ago, and I regularly run a few miles around town for a workout. Every few weeks one of my runs will be interrupted by high school aged boys (different groups) who are compelled to harass me. Interestingly enough, they always wait until I'm fifty yards down the sidewalk before they can get the balls to say anything. Sadly enough, not once has another boy in the clique tried to shut his ignorant friend up. To have had 14 and 15 year old boys feel entitled and excited to humiliate and degrade me as a 25 year old adult on a sidewalk on a sunny afternoon in my own damn neighborhood was really fucking disheartening. I don't have a problem cursing out/flipping off a random single man on a sidewalk who has shit to say, but when it's a gaggle of teenagers I already know I can't win.

Submitted by Allison