To hell with Valentine's day.
I had a photoshoot today. I was modeling very expensive pajamas at a studio in the warehouse district of Seattle. I take the buses everywhere; owning a car in Seattle is about as useful as owning a Ski-Doo. I left the house in a blue button-down shirt with a grey sweater over it (way emo), a plaid skirt that came to just above my knees, thick kilt socks bunched around my calves and my rockin' Soda high-heeled sneaker-boots (or "snoots"). I bunched my ringlets up under a scarf and put my kitty hat on top. I was unremarkable and with no makeup, and no spare flesh showing besides my knees.
And still, I was harassed.
Some fat, filthy Latino leered something at my as I crossed to street to the bus stop. I told him to fuck off and he called me ugly. Which is it, pendejo? Am I ugly or not? I am ugly because I reject you; because I see you for the waste of grease and blubber you are. Waddling around Capital Hill like some modern Jabba, shouting at schoolgirls. As soon as I got to bus stop, a very well-dressed, older black man started in on me. Was I a Catholic schoolgirl? Why wasn't I in school? Was I Catholic? Could he 'see' me again sometime? What did I do? Why wasn't I a professional model?
I finally arrived at the shoot (after the busdriver, also black, telling me to 'be good;' as I got off the bus) and waited around for makeup. The geekier of the two male models made moony eyes and conversation at me, pleasantly enough but almost timidly.
Asian men don't ever flirt with me.
I have consistant experiences with racial flirting and sexual harassment in Seattle. Latin men catcall and yell, then change their minds when they are rejected outright. Black men are smooth-talkers with sweet voices and calm demeanors, and do not give up even when rejected (I have never had to yell a black man down for harassing me; they have all been very polite, especially the older ones). White boys are either shrinking, worshipful nerds; shifty and insinsuating goths; or screaming out their windows at 60 mph with their baseball caps on backwards, too ashamed of themselves for liking a girl without a tan to act civilized. I hate this last kind the worst of all. Cowardice and stupidity are two of my buttons. Many times have I wished I had a BB gun to shoot some cracks into their retreating SUV windows. Or a Molotov cocktail. Rocks. Anything.
"Next time," I think to myself because I know it will happen again and again, "next time I'll be ready for them. Next time I'll have my mace, my knife, my gun, my rocks, my purse with a brick in it. My spiked bracelet. Something, anything to make them pay for my discomfort and inconvenience, to make them think twice before doing it again, keep them that little bit father away from escalating it into a physical rape instead of an aural one."
My fantasies of throwing myself on these men with my knife in my teeth and slitting their throats...it can't be good for society as a whole.
Society as a hole.