This week I had the charming experience of some rude girl in a brown corduroy miniskirt and the flimsiest looking ankle boots I’ve ever seen try to take my photo “secretly”. It would have worked if she had been clever enough to turn the sound off on her phone. Instead I heard her, turned around and glared, then wasted 10 minutes following her while taking photos of my hand with the sound on full (without turning around to face me to discuss her behavior she missed seeing I wasn’t photographing her) while she fake-laughed to her boyfriend until they ducked into a shop.
Normally I wouldn’t even react to this (sadly I reached my rude stranger quota in January) but this time it got me thinking how deeply NOT OKAY that behavior is. Especially from a woman! I’m sure she gets her share of street harassment and crap when she is out in public, so it’s appalling to me that she’d contribute actively to it! To make another woman feel unsafe in public. Disgusting and inexcusable.
If you see someone wearing something *different* than you would (rest assured I will never be wearing any brown cord’ miniskirts with sad cheap boots) remember they are ACTUAL PEOPLE TOO. They deserve respect, they deserve to go about their business without harassment or unwanted photographs. I could have caused a much bigger scene than just fake photographing this girl in response, not everyone is going to be so relaxed about that kind of rudeness. So don’t risk it, don’t be a jerk.
I have had children and young people ask me for photos numerous times and unless I am carrying like 20 bags and late for something I usually say yes! My favorite were the two tourist ladies in full burqas who stopped me to pose for a photo with them, I so wish I’d gotten one with my phone too. They were very kind! I want to be a good Ambassador of The Weird People out there, and be polite and willing to answer respectful questions about my appearance (I get that it’s fascinating to people unfamiliar with it). But I will no longer be polite to people who snap surreptitiously or are rude to me.
We *all* deserve to feel safe outside of our homes. Even the weirdos. Your clothing/appearance is not an invitation for harassment ever. 🙂