Friday, October 06, 2006

Flashback Friday: Feminist Edition

As I mentioned earlier this week, the posts I've been reading about feminism and raising daughters has inspired me to start writing Flashback Friday: Feminist Edition. Each week, I will tell a story that has something to do with being or becoming a woman or feminist. Happily, Sunshine Scribe, from whom I stole the Flashback Friday idea from, has given her blessing. This series will continue until I run out of stories. Guest bloggers are welcome if you have a story you want to tell; or feel free to link to your own story in the comments. So here we go.

When I was in university I drank -- a lot. And I walked home alone at night after the bars closed. Sometimes I was nervous, but I felt like I should be able to walk home without fear. I was also too broke or cheap for cab fare. So I kept doing it. Until one night a man in a black dodge ram stopped and asked if I wanted a ride. I said no and continued. When I got a little further on, I discovered he was waiting in a parking lot with his lights and engine off. Luckily a group of revellers was walking behind me so I stopped and asked if I could join their group because of this creep. Nothing happened and I filed a report with the police the next day.

Sometime later my roommate and I were walking home one night and he started circling us, going around the block, slowing down at the intersections, around us. His truck is distinctive so I know it was him. We stopped at the cop shop because it was on the way home and asked if they would give us a ride home because we were scared. They said they would call a cab for us but we couldn't afford cab fare (literally. We were both days from a paycheque and had spent our last dollars on beer) so we just walked home scared.

Months later the guy came into Black's Photography where I was working and gave me a roll of film to be developed. When the film was developed, we discovered they were all penis shots – blurry and underexposed but unmistakably penis shots. I told my manager of my experiences with this guy and we tried to get some action so he couldn't come into the store again. I was concerned because Friday and Thursday nights I was by myself. I went to the cops to see if they could do anything but they couldn't access my previous reports, because I had lost or hadn't been given an incident number. The Powers That Be at Black's decided they wouldn't do anything to prevent this guy from coming in the store if the cops wouldn't do anything. That was around the time I decided to quit and go back to school. I still think about this guy, more than the boyfriend I had around the same time, and just the other day I noticed him driving down my street when I was out walking with Swee'pea.

There is a tunnel under the train tracks I walk through on the way downtown. On its wall someone has painted, “Take Back Every Night!” followed by a female symbol. Yesterday when I walked through I noticed that the message had been painted over with the words Penis, which was accompanied by a drawing, just in case we can't read, and Hoe, in gold paint.

I think I need to add another regular Friday feature, and that is my Favourite Grey's Anatomy Quote From Last Night:

Callie Torres to George: "Right. And if you'd been a toddler and used your words during one of the four times I asked you then maybe you wouldn't have had to..." or something like that.

Oh - and George with the superhero geek talk. Too funny. Oh - and Meredith's dream.


Vote McDougal said...

Irony, by Google.

The Google ad above your post about feminism says:

Sugar Daddy Dating Site
Date wealthy men & stunning women
Find the millionaires. Seen on TV!

God damn, I love our century.

bubandpie said...

When I started university, we were inundated with the "no means no" literature and with warnings against walking alone at night - the paranoia was high, and constantly reinforced by responsible people in authority. And that was the first time I really saw gender inequality in a clear, concrete way - the evening a guy stopped by to visit one of my housemates on his way to get groceries. It had become second nature in our all-girl household that if we needed to buy milk or bread, we did it before the sun went down. When you've got a car it's easy to forget how constraining it is for a woman to be supposedly responsible for remaining indoors or accompanied by a male anytime after 5 pm on a winter night.

mad_hatter said...

I really like this Feminist flashback Friday idea.

Your story is chilling but not so unfamiliar to me or to many of the women I know. That's the truly terrible part of all this.

If you like I will do a guest post some week.