“I’ve had it”
I was walking down with a friend on Oudegracht, a main street with lots of people, during mid day. Three boys, couldn’t have been older than fifteen, started following us mimicking everything I said in what ‘my accent.’ I have always been a strong advocate of speaking out so I turned, red with rage, and asked them what they wanted to which one of the boys replied “I want to marry you”, his nonchalant candor infuriated me and I end up screaming expletives before walking into the store I had wanted to. The boys followed us into the store unfazed. I felt powerless. At this point my friend turned around and said “can you stop following us” and they left. What’s worse, however, is the sort of victim blaming I indulged in with regards to myself.
“I should not have engaged with them”
“I should have spoken nicely to them”
“I should not have abused”
They should not have been following me
They should not have harassed me
They should not have been assholes.
My reaction was a result of my rage. I was made to feel unsafe and that I do not belong in the street. I should not and will not stand for it. Nor will I feel guilty of “not handling it in the best manner.” I’ve had it with being made to feel like an object and I’ve had it with feeling powerless.