This morning I took out the trash as I headed to my car for a fun day at the beach with a friend. With a swimsuit on and an oversized t-shirt on top (see the featured image), I walked to the dumpster. A man sitting in his car rolled down his window as I walked by, looked me up and down, and sneered, “you can’t just be walking around looking all cute like that” and proceeded to make a sound similar to that of an excited dog ready to devour a steak. I looked back at him, politely said, “I’m wearing a swimsuit” and went back inside to wait until he drove off.
Here’s the thing… I CAN be walking around looking “all cute” because I’m going to the beach. I CAN be walking around “all cute” because it’s a perfectly acceptable form of summer attire. I CAN be walking around “all cute” without wondering if this guy is going to notice that I’m home alone and try to do something. I CAN be walking around “all cute” to TAKE OUT THE DAMN TRASH without being sexually harassed for something that a man in a pair of swim trunks (with or without a t-shirt) wouldn’t have to deal with.
This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself the target of inappropriate remarks from the likes of sleazy men, but it was one that made me upset over the fact that I didn’t stand up to him. I didn’t say anything more because he was double my size and I worried that he might try to get out of his car. So not only was I insulted and frustrated, I was scared. I worried more about this man in front of my dumpster more than I worried the entire time I traveled through Europe alone.
Though we likely can’t change the few disgusting people currently roaming the streets, we can help the younger and future generation learn that both men and women should be respected… that bodies should not be objectified.. and most importantly… that it’s okay to wear a swimsuit while you take out the trash.