Canada Garden: I'm With Her

Friday, October 14, 2016

I'm With Her

I don't usually talk about "serious" things here.  But I had an experience yesterday that shook me up.  I'm okay,  I wasn't harmed physically in any way.  But I felt disrespected and hurt and mad.   Here I am--60 years old--I feel stronger and more confident in myself than ever in my whole life.  But I keep thinking over and over what I could have said and done instead of what I did.
What should I have said to the man who stared me down and made a stupid "hmmm hmm" sound when he passed me in the grocery aisle?  What I actually did was turn around and call him an asshole as he walked away.  If he has normal hearing, he heard me.  But of course, he gave no indication of whether he did or not, he just kept walking.

I was steamed.  But I went on and finished my grocery shopping. And have thought over and over about what I could have done instead.

It seems like it's been a week for talking about how some men treat women.  And I say some because  there are millions of good men in the world who would never think about disrespecting someone in the grocery store.  My husband.  My sons.  Actually I don't know one man in my life now who would do something like that.   But I have been seeing a lot of one man who acts that way on the TV lately.

This morning, even has I was thinking about what I wish I had said and done yesterday, I listened to Michelle's speech from her appearance  in New Hampshire.    I hope you saw her or that you listen to it today.   It's even better than her speech at the convention.   I am so proud of her and I am ready to vote for her for whatever she wants to do for our country. 

After listening to her speech,  I know what I wish I had thought to say to that guy yesterday.  I could have followed him and face-to-face said what Michelle said yesterday:   "Strong men. . . don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful." And then I could have added (to him and to that man on TV) "It's not okay.  Stop it."  

Would it have made any difference to him?  Probably not.  Would he think twice about which woman he disrespects the next time he's in the grocery store? Probably not, but if there's ever a next time  I still want to say it.  I want to say it for me and the next woman he sees in the grocery--she might be my six year old granddaughter or  my sister or my mother or my best friend.  Or a complete stranger to me.

I don't know.  It probably wouldn't make any difference to him.  Maybe he heard me call him an asshole.  If he's had any smarts, that ought to be enough too.   


Denise said...

The first time I ran for public office I was going door-to-door to get signatures on my nominating petition. A neighbor down the block opened the door and undressed me with his eyes. It was too creepy. He was a known philanderer and his wife put up with it because, as she told me, 'He's the only man I ever loved'. Creepier still. Asshole.

Kynda said...

Hi Denise--Isn't it interesting how those experiences stay with us? I'm thinkinig this whole public conversation about such a disgusting topic is a good thing--kind of like ripping a band-aid off. Good for you running for public office! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.