Part two of my “Dating in Boston” series.
One Saturday evening, my friends and I sat at our favorite rooftop deck having drinks, catching up and enjoying the view of the Boston Harbor. It was one of those chill nights, where we just wanted to get a couple of drinks and hang out. As the chatter began to wind down, we decide to request our Ubers/Lyfts and call it a night. As we collect our belongings, a random man sits down to join us.
While trying to be friendly, my tired girlfriends and I say “oh, we’re heading home, sorry!” and begin to walk downstairs to meet our rides. The random stranger goes back to his table of bros and proceeds to yell out, “I didn’t want to hang out with a bunch of lesbians anyway.”
Maybe you can see why I was offended:
1) I’m not a lesbian, but because I rejected you, that makes me one?
2) What if I was a lesbian? Do you know how offensive that is?
Of course, we left it alone and walked away, but I couldn’t help but feel angry. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. In fact, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been verbally assaulted by some random guy in the streets/bars of Boston. I have been flipped off, called fat, called ugly, and even threatened for simply not being interested. Why is this okay? Sure, there are jerks everywhere (I get it, I get it).
I read an article last week about vulgarity and hostility from men, particularly in online dating situations. Instagram accounts such as “Bye Felipe” and “Tinder Nightmares” are aiming to call out these online bullies. But how can we call them out during in-person situations? How can we put them in their place without having to fear being assaulted? In an attempt to research, I came across a HuffPost article that said in a 2013 survey of more than 500 participants, 88 percent of people had experienced street harassment in Boston. While 97 percent of those people were accosted on the street, 63 percent experienced it on public transit.
Boston is full of bars, restaurants and winding streets full of pedestrians. However, Boston is also the worst major city for single women trying to date (according to Glamour and Match) for numerous reasons, but largely due to the fact that women outnumber men here.
So what is it? Is it entitlement? Stupidity? Lack of respect? The male ego? All of the above?
I’m out of words at this point. Stay tuned.