I’m no fan of street harassment. As the title says, I’m a Hollaback! girl, and a fan of Maggie Hadleigh-West’s amazing War Zone and of Holly Kearl. I’m happy every time a harasser is challenged, every time one is charged.
You can already hear the “but” coming, can’t you? Yeah, it’s there.
I stepped off the bus this morning and headed for the subway. As I approached the corner, I saw a young guy turn, see me, give me a serious once-over. When he gave me the second full-body stare and opened his mouth, I took a breath and set my face. Whatever he was going to say, I was ready.
So here’s the but (or, to be crass — and give away the punchline — here’s my butt). He started singing. Started singing Queen. Sang out loud and proud, “Fat-bottomed girl, you make the rocking world go round!”
I could have gotten mad at him, but really all I wanted to do was laugh. First, I love that song. Second, I often sing that song in reference to myself. (I know I once wrote here claiming another number as my theme song, but who says you can only have one?) Third, I just never expected him to sing, and certainly not that song. Wasn’t he too young to even know that song? And who sings Queen to strangers on the street at 8:15 in the morning, anyway?
I didn’t laugh. I didn’t hug him, either. I just kept walking. But I won’t lie and say I didn’t have a little bit of a smile on my face for the next two blocks.
Note to the other harassers out there: this trick isn’t going to work every time, so you can put your songbooks away.