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Saturday 23 October 2004

Juvenile Delinquents

So I was just walking home with my lap tuba in it's backpack case, loaded down, tired, etc. Some local teen boys were walking down the street, doing a "cool" walk, I guess to impress each other or I dunno who, it's not like they had an audience.

Me: Hey
Them: Hey


Them: Are you a man?
Me: Fuck off
Them: What's that thing he/she is carrying? It's carrying?

a small rock thumps off my tuba

Me: (Turning, making eye contact) You kids better knock it the fuck off, ok

The back off a little bit

One of them: (in sing song) You kids better knock it the fuck off, ok
Me: (deadly glare, reaching towards pocket unconsciously)
Them: (actually alarmed) She's got a gun! It's got a gun! (then, from a distance as i go into my house: more sing songing, etc)

I need a better way to handle this. I've been getting gender harassment as long as I can remember and I've never learned how to diffuse the situation. There was four of them and only one of me and I was carrying my tuba, which is dear to me and quite heavy. Wesleyan kids get periodically fagbashed, and my dressing in Wesleyan colors (for pep band) clearly marked me as a student. Normally, I look more like just a regular person, although, you know, carrying a tuba.

I'm going to start carrying my knife again. This town is so fucked up. Those kids have reason to hate the University. I don't want to be in the middle of it.

So, I'm thinking that I should not swear at them or show anger when my gender is questioned. And although my tone of voice was strong, there should have been no "ok" at the end of my "knock it off." I need to present some sort of credible deterrent or threat. I don't know their parents, so anything on that front is not credible. Also, I dunno if they really thought I had a gun or not, but it's not necessarily in my best interest to weild a fake threat. If you're going to have a weapon as a deterrent, you need to be prepared to use it. You don't pull a gun, if you're not willing to shoot. I don't even have one.

I need to walk to the library. I don't want to walk to the library. I want to move to a place where I can walk around without people calling me "it."


Tammy said...

I'm sorry that happened to you, Celeste. I agree with Kola that ignoring them is probably the safest route. I dont think the knife is a good idea. I took self defense for 5 years, and my teacher noted that unless you regularly train with a knife, that chances are it will cause you more harm than good....especially if there are more than 1 opponents.

Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

oy. that really sucks.


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