He had black teeth and stunk of alcohol, the man who approached me on Tuesday night. He intruded into my personal space and stood centimetres away from my face. The man touched me and wouldn’t leave me alone.
Even when I moved away.
Even when I ignored him.
Even when I told him to stop.
I was standing at a train station about to make the commute home. It was dark. No one else was around.
So this man took advantage of an opportunity. He saw me standing there and he made the decision to ruin my night and scare me.
He felt he had the right to harass me and invade my personal space.
He took advantage of an opportunity. He made the decision to intimidate me.
Even after I ran away into the safety of my train carriage, I felt fear and anger. How dare he, and others like him, think he has the right to touch me, to speak to me, to make me feel unsafe?
I’ve been approached countless times in my life; at least three times in the last week. I’ve been wolf-whistled on the street, groped in a nightclub and approached in a shopping centre. And I’m not okay with it. I’ve never been okay with it and I don’t believe I should have to be.
I should feel safe making my nightly commute home, or walking down a busy city street.
I should feel comfortable being alone in a town. As a woman, I resent the fact that I can’t walk down a street without frantically looking behind me and gripping my keys in my hand, ready to take on an attacker.
I resent the fact that women everywhere are treated like objects in certain men’s eyes – something they can pick up on their stroll home, with no regard for who they really are.