Jordan’s Story: “Hey Ladies!”

As I walked a friend to her parked car across the street from a neighborhood bar around midnight, a group of 3 young men walking in our direction began to call out to us “Hey! Hey Ladies!” Ignoring the men, my friend and I rolled our eyes about the calls and quickly finished our goodbyes. My friend closed her car door and I hurried back across the street to the bar (it was bitter cold). The catcalls from the young men continued from a short distance behind me “Can I have your phone number?” and when I turned over my shoulder to respond “I don’t have a phone” another man asked, “How about Snapchat?” I decided to continue ignoring their comments and I had earplugs in my pockets that I decided to put in my ears (probably not the best idea) but I didn’t break my stride until I got back inside safely. I looked behind myself as I got to the establishment’s door to see that the men who harassed me were then headed in the opposite direction and they looked no older than teenage boys. Honestly, I chuckled to myself when I realized that they are likely to be 10 years my junior. When I got back inside to my bar stool and my supportive friends, I told them I had just been street harassed. My friend kindly offered to beat up the street harassers but I declined. I’m not sure what made me decline the offer- it may have been the age of the street harassers, or that I didn’t want to go back outside in the cold to track down the offenders. I thought about what happened some more and I decided that I didn’t want to act because I didn’t feel threatened by the young men (although I did feel threatened initially). Unfortunately, this is not where my brain stops processing the event as it happened. I still ask myself why I chose to handle things the way I did, and I wonder what other possible ways I could have reacted to my harassment. I expect my reaction to street harassment to be different depending on the circumstances surrounding each situation.