531 Queen Anne Ave N

It was morning around 8 a.m. and I was walking past the bus stop area outside of CVS in lower Queen Anne (Mercer and Queen Anne Ave intersection). As I passed by a man, I heard him say, “Goooood morning” in that creepy, “I-just-spotted-a-delicious-piece-of-meat” kind of voice. I turned around and said, “That’s harassment, man, not cool.” Then I turned back around and kept walking.

I chose this response because I’d recently read that this was the most effective way to handle street harassment- to call out what the person’s actions are (harassment), tell them not to do it, and then keep moving (because further interaction is 1. not always safe 2. often not affective, as the person usually dismisses you or gets defensive or just harasses you more, and 3. the person doesn’t deserve anymore of your attention).

When I turned around to respond to the harassment, the man was looking right at me with his eyebrows raised and a smirk on his face. When I said, “That’s harassment,” he just made this mocking open-mouthed expression, like he hears that all the time and finds it stupid or amusing.

It’s always amazing to me how much can be communicated and how much impact can be made in such short interactions like that.

I felt good about my response, but I still feel that tinge of helplessness. It really hurts not being able to walk down the street without experiencing hate or blatant disrespect. I wish something more could be done.