When a man is assaulting you, at want point are you supposed to just walk away???

Today I learned a very valuable lesson. There are some men out there who will assault you, unprovoked, through the window of your car, even if you are a woman.

Or maybe, BECAUSE you are a woman.

And then when you call the police ,they will come, and they will take a report, and it will be “he said, she said” even though, you, the female have a cut, a bruise, and a welt already forming on your arm when the stranger, whom you’ve never met has struck you with a bottle. The police will say, “well if I was out of uniform I would charge him, but since I’m in uniform I cannot.” The bruise will continue to spread and darken, reminding you for days to come that there are men out there who are willing to strike you for no good reason. As a woman you will never forget that that man, had four “adult” friends with him, who could have stopped him at any time, but didn’t. They instead will not have your back woman to woman, human to human, but rather tell the police that you didn’t come to a complete stop while they were jaywalking. They will say, you, a woman tried to hit them while they were jaywalking with six children. Even though, you are a mother, with children of your own, two of my three were in my vehicle with me, and would never dream of driving near children in a way that could endanger them. When you were young, a friends daughter was struck and killed by a car, and you, have never forgotten that.

As a woman, you can be driving under the speed limit, by more than half, and a man, that you’ve never met can approach your vehicle, scream obscenities at you, at your children, and as a woman, you’re just supposed to drive away. Act like it didn’t happen. But it did happen. Even when that man strikes your car with an object, and damages your car, you as a woman are still supposed to just drive away. Act like it didn’t happen. But it did happen. Then when you stop your car, and genuinely inquire as to “why” a person, a stranger, would behave in this manner to you, you as a woman are supposed to allow him to grab you by your wrist, pull on your skin so hard that his fingers leave marks, and drive away. Not push him away, not try to protect yourself, because if you do, he will strike you with the bottle that he was smashing against your car. But you’re a woman. So you’re supposed to act like it didn’t happen. But it did happen.

In fact as the four young boys, he was crossing the street with, are flipping you the bird, while their male “mentor/father/example/role model” is assaulting a strange woman, you are supposed to just drive off, act like it didn’t happen. But it did happen. As his wife, who wasn’t even present for the attack comes over to your car while you’re waiting for the police, a woman alone with two of her own upset daughters in the vehicle, threatening you, telling you “I want to get a good look at your face, I want to see your face, so I know your face, cuz we’re going to settle this.” Threatening. Not sorry. Not sister-hood. Not remorseful. You’re supposed to just drive away, act like it didn’t happen. But it did happen.

To the man, in the Silver Mercedes S550, with the t-shirt that said “we run Palo Alto” with the four young boys at your side, and the two young girls, one of whom was your daughter, who was sobbing uncontrollably while she watched you cuss, spit, and strike a woman you’d never met before. I’m writing this to you. Maybe the police won’t press charges against you. Even if they wouldn’t arrest you tonight, for assaulting me, for damaging my personal property. I want to tell you why I was bold enough, courageous enough, to stop when you attacked my car for no good reason.

I stopped, and rolled down my window because I hope, that someway, somehow, the six children who were in your vicinity, will learn something tonight. That they might learn that when a man behaves in such a way to a fellow human being, or God forbid, your daughter in the future, who has never done anything to them, they will as grown men, stop before they act out in rage, and as young women they won’t tolerate abuse, of any kind. I stopped because I wanted to show them, that there are some women in this world who will fight. Some women in this world will not tolerate being cussed at, spit on, and having their safety put in jeaprody just because, they, men, deemed it to be ok.

No. I pray that my stopping, that my willingness to sit there for the more than thirty minutes it took for the police to arrive, while your friends yelled at me, while your wife threatened me and my daughters, even going so far as to tell me “when a woman makes a man angry she gets what she deserves.”

That you are wrong.

Your wife is wrong.

Your friends are wrong.

Dear Mr. Stranger with the silver Mercedes S550, at the corner of Logan and Floyd, today in Toronto, I want you, and all your “friends” to know that how you treated this woman, and the other two women in my car tonight was wrong.

I want the kids, that the God lord for some unknown reason has put in your care, to know that what you did today was wrong.

And I want you to know that I’m not afraid, and the only mistake I made was not making a video of it so I could post it on Youtube. So other people who know you, who weren’t there today, could see the sort of human being you really are.

I also want you to know, that I believe that if it had been a man behind the wheel of my SUV tonight, you never would have taken your chances with a man. But you did because I am a woman. You gambled that because I am a woman, I wouldn’t stop. I wouldn’t challenge you. I wouldn’t defend myself against your attack.

But, you were wrong.

No woman on this planet should have to accept any form of abuse from a man, for any reason, simply because she is a woman. I hope you know this now.

Dr Mr. Stranger with the silver Mercedes S550, I pray that whatever it is that is so wrong in your life, that allowed you to feel more than fine with assaulting a woman you didn’t know, for no good reason finds healing. That after tonight, maybe, just maybe, this one woman having the strength to stay put even though she was scared, will cause you to never, ever, in your lifetime treat another woman the way you treated me.

1 Comment

  1. Reading some of your older archival essays and this one is truly appalling an incident. Bet it took days to actually feel ‘together again.’ Reading this reminded me of an incident a few years ago. I was walking to my gym just 5 blocks away and necessitating crossing some residential streets where there are stop signs. At one of the cross street, where the other road is a very busy road, so one would think drivers would be at least careful about entering the road, I was going to cross and saw the vehicle about 10 ft away. I was about 2/3rd of the way in front of the probable new looking BMW or Audi, when the driver who only was looking left (I was on the right side of the car) hit the gas. He’d never looked right at all. I leaped over the last 1/3 of the hood of the car and walked over to his open driver’s window, as by then he’d seen me and stopped. I was quite calm and said to him, “IF if were a child, I’d be under a wheel of your car right now.” His reply was, (excuse the language) “You stupid cunt bitch, get out of my way.” (I was not really in his way as was at the side of his car. He then without looking at all, hit the gas to go up the road turning right. I managed to say, “I bet your wife would be proud of you if she knew you said this.” Don’t know if he heard me. This man was Caucasian, middle-age, wearing a suit and tie. Probably a married man with children YET he had no respect for me, who he very nearly hit with his car, he was in the wrong not looking carefully AND he’d have hit me had I not been able to jump over the front of his car. I have to think, IF he’d actually hit me, with his reply to me, would probably have just driven away. Another non-caring hit and run driver as he obviously had no regard for my safety as a pedestrian who is very careful both as someone walking or driving. I still cannot believe what he said to me. But like you, seeing, hearing a feeling the lack of concern for another human being is chilling, disconcerting and fills me with great sorrow for our human race that it is so lacking in kindness and caring. When will it change? I have no idea if ever now. Sigh. But thanks for taking the time to write your own experience, Shantelle. Hugs from here.

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