Earlier today, I was just around the corner from the bank when someone cut in front of me blocking my path on his bicycle. I had been actively messaging a few friends on my phone while listening to a Portuguese song by João Lucas and Diogo (yes, I am one of those people who can’t put their phone away for a second). I looked up irritated and upon catching my unpleasant stare the stranger quickly and clumsily moved out of my way muttering “I’m sorry.”
I said something that sounded a bit like a combination of uhuh and ‘kay and returned to my phone screen as I continued on my way. I was now about fifteen feet away from the entrance to the bank and just as I made a right turn in that direction, the whoosh sound of a bicycle caught up to me and before I could make any sense of what was happening, I felt a hand squeeze my backside and I automatically yelled “WHAT THE HELL?!” the perverted stranger who was now laughing to himself, quickly rode away and ducked before I even thought to smack him with my bag.
An SUV was parked next to the sidewalk, and I caught a faint glimpse of the driver chuckling delightedly to himself. He had seen it all. Another man sat with his back turned away from the scene on a bench just a few feet ahead and had promptly wheeled round when I yelled, but he looked puzzled as he had not witnessed the spectacle.
I felt extremely violated and upset. It was in no way funny to me and no I was not dressed provocatively. It wasn’t long before my anger and frustration quickly turned to shame, even though I had no reason to be ashamed. The pervert on the bicycle should have been the one ashamed, the man in the SUV who thought it was a delightful scene should have been the one ashamed, yet I was the one who was embarrassed and not them.
What is society turning into?