Yesterday, my spouse, partner, and all-around sweetiepie, Dirt, and I went to a Subway located inside the local Walmart where we do our grocery shopping.
I noticed a man looking at me when we walked in, but he quickly averted his gaze when I looked directly at him, so I decided to ignore him. I didn’t say anything to Dirt about it, and we went to stand in line.
A couple of minutes later, the same guy appeared behind me in line, and asked the server if she had any soup. It was only 9:00 a.m., so she said she did not have any soup, and he went back to sit down in his booth. I thought the soup question was a bit odd, but not overly bizarre, so again, I decided to ignore him, even though he gave me the creeps; because, after all, we were in a public place in broad daylight.
Shortly after we sat down to eat, the female Walmart manager walked over, squatted down beside us, and whispered, “My cashier just told me that the man sitting over there has been watching you, and he took numerous pictures of your butt when he was standing behind you in line”.
The manager motioned to the cashier to come over, and the cashier confirmed it. She said that she knows a pervert when she sees one, and said that she couldn’t stand by and watch silently.
Both women were visibly angry, and I felt immensely touched that these women, who I had never met before, were sticking up for me, and, by proxy, for women everywhere.
The Walmart manager explained that the Subway was independently leased so she was not allowed to handle the situation herself, but suggested we inform the Subway worker.
I glanced over at the guy while we were talking, and he was watching us while intently scrolling on his phone (my guess is that he was probably hastily deleting the pictures).
I could tell that Dirt really just wanted to beat the snot out of the guy, but since that is not legal (darn it!), we decided to inform the Subway worker as suggested. I was also concerned about leaving the young female worker there alone with a pervert after we left anyway, so telling her seemed imperative, for her sake as well as ours.
The Subway worker went over to talk to the guy, with us still there too, and to my huge surprise, the guy actually admitted to doing it immediately. He said he “loves beautiful women” and “takes LOTS of pictures every day” so he can “remember all the beautiful ladies” (or…their butts?). (Ewww!).
So, bottom line, to make a long story a tad shorter: the Subway worker handled the situation, the pictures were deleted, we thanked all three women, and Dirt said a few things to the guy.
And we went on with our day.
Or, rather, I tried to…but I felt vaguely off, weird, yucky. I tried to shake it off. The situation was over, and I didn’t want to give that guy the power to upset me.
After all, I thought, I should be accustomed to nonsense from men by now. I have been fending off men for more years than I want to count. Ever since I was about 11 years old, going out in public has been akin to running an obstacle course of unwanted male attention: a leer here; a flirt there; a whistle or “hey baby!” or two; an offer of unwanted and unneeded “help”. If I am “lucky”, that is where it stops.
Many times, however, I have not been so “lucky”; I have, at various times over the years, been patted on the butt, grabbed, groped, crudely propositioned, followed, stalked, chased, pursued, even attacked.
When I have politely, but assertively, turned men down, I have had to deal with overt anger, yelling, name-calling, persistence, and even outright threats.
When I went to the police when I was 19 about a man who was stalking me (and who had stalked another blonde lesbian before me!), I was told that “Aw, ma’am, that just means he likes you!” and “You should take it as a compliment.” When the same stalker later mailed me a picture of him holding an assault rifle with no note, I was told by (male) police officers that the guy was just “trying to impress” me.
I wasn’t impressed.
Just this morning, I logged onto Twitter to see that a middle-aged man was following me. His bio says he has a “bi-curious wife” and “the best of both worlds threesomes cumming up” (yuck!). BLOCKED!
In fact, I have had to block many men on Twitter and Facebook who sent me private messages offering to “spank me hard” or to “fix” my lesbianism because, really, all I need, according to them, is that allegedly-oh-so-very-
magical-male-appendage. (The thought of which just makes me want to vomit).
I have often been told by straight friends that they are “jealous” of the attention I have received by men over the years, and sadly, they weren’t joking.
What I tell them (and what I wish everyone would hear) is that it is not a compliment to have to constantly fend off unwanted male attention. It is not flattering when men don’t understand that “no” is a complete sentence. It is not romantic when men pursue someone who is assertively uninterested. In fact, it is predatory, creepy, inappropriate, undesirable, and often bordering on criminal.
Here’s the thing I want to say to every single pervert out there: I am a lesbian, and a happily married lesbian at that. I am not sexually/romantically interested in any man (which, yes, includes you), and I never will be. I am not interested in your “bi-curious” wife either. Other lesbians do not want you either. If you are confused about the term lesbian, please read this post, which explains that lesbians are not pornified fodder for the male gaze. You are barking up the wrong tree, so put your sad little tail between your legs and go home. You don’t turn me on, you gross me out.
And: straight women don’t fancy creeps either, so leave them alone too.
Just say no to being a creep.