Asking For It: A Year of Outrageous Provocation

I’ve decided to document all of my unwanted interactions of 2018, and explain what I and/or others did to provoke them.

JANUARY

January 10: Because I walked down the street (ironically on my way to a feminist meeting), a pre-teen boy sitting in the street beside a homeless man muttered at me: “Fuck off, you fucking cow”.

January 10: Because I and other women (and some men) attended a feminist meeting, three individuals staged a protest by shouting at all those assembled when the first speaker opened her mouth.

January 13: Because I rode the subway alone, when a group of about eight drunk, middle-aged men boarded one of them ignored all of the available empty seating and lowered most of himself into the space beside me. Or rather, he partially sat on top of me and I had to squeeze myself into a corner to get out from under him.

January 18: Because my friend very politely asked “can you keep it down guys?” to two twentysomething men during a film screening at the cinema, they waited until the lights came up then assured us that they would talk as much as they wished. Because I spoke back to them, one of them physically squared up to me.

January 27: Because I walked alone along a street in the dark, a man of unknown age walking towards me in the opposite direction made a noise as he passed me. I was on the phone, but it sounded like the kind of noise a frog might make, ie “ribbit”.

FEBRUARY

Early February: Because I had the flu and spent a large amount of time indoors, I manage not to provoke any men for two weeks.

February 14: Because I attended a feminist meeting, a crowd of people wearing face-coverings shouted abuse as I and others entered the venue, and did the same when we left.

February 18:
Because I walked from the bus stop to my flat at 11.30pm while looking at my phone, a man asked “You texting me?” as he walked past me.

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