The N****S of Atlanta

Why does it always happen on the train or the bus or in an uber?

The men down here just seem to do the creepiest shit! They lurk behind corners; find strange ways to touch me, and catcall me as if that’s supposed to be a compliment.

Is it too much to ask for a decent looking guy with a mouth full of his own teeth and not sagging to approach and ask me for my name? Right now it feels like I’m being saddled with men who only have an eye for one thing. That ass! I’m sorry to be so candid but politeness is a virtue I struggle with.

The worst part is, and I hate to admit this, but sometimes they get to me and I find myself wondering what it would be like to take them up on their offer. Don’t worry; I don’t because I have way too much esteem to let my standards drop so low that a man’s opening statement that makes me feel disrespected will still afford him the time of day.

Since I’ve been down here, I have had men fondle me without my permission and blame my clothes for the reason they did it, been called out of my name because I refused to entertain the idea of sleeping with them; while having the other extreme of more than one man on more than one occasion use the “I love you” excuse to get the draws after knowing me for less than a week!

I thought Texas was bad. I did. But the men in ATL are on something new. The level of respect for the next person just seems to be missing.

For a while, I thought it was me. That I was doing something wrong which was the reason that guys felt like they could do or say whatever they wanted and it would be fine but I’ve come to the conclusion, that it’s simply the culture that has been established, not just in ATL but in the world.

My uber driver locked the door and tried to convince me to let him take me back to his place to show me how “special” I was. I was just trying to get home. He even went into a full-on description about horny he was getting just because I was in the car. For a moment, I thought he wasn’t going to let me out. Of course, I had to lie and tell him to drop me off far away from my house so he couldn’t stalk me, but the bright side was that my ride was free!

On another instance, I went to the club my first night here to celebrate taking the first step toward my life after college. While there, and twerking for my life, a random guy decided to whisper in my ear- I can’t tell you what he said because it was too loud to be whispering- and then he proceed to caress my entire arm starting from the back at the way to my fingers. I wasn’t even dancing with him. Then he literally sniffed me- took in my whole scent and when I didn’t accept that as flattery, he rolled his eyes and walked away like I was the weird one. He at least could’ve bought me a drink for the creep show I just endured.

I’ve even had a guy tell me that he was looking for a mouth to bust in and he thought I was cute so he wanted to come home with me. After he got a HELL NO, he mocked me for being a “lady”. No, I’m just a person with class and who said I wanted to swallow? I didn’t.

And then today, I’m on the train, minding own business when a man who was decent and good looking and tall waved me down and asked to sit next to me.

He then asked me if I worked out, which means he was either saying I have a nice figure or that I’m fat as fuck. I hadn’t decided. He then asked if I wanted to work out with him and in my head, I’m thinking “here we go again, the cute ones ain’t shit either”.

I tell him, no and at that moment I catch him examining me. He then proceeds to say “are you a boy?”

I chuckled and confidently answered, with a bitchy little smirk, “I am”.

He smiled, embarrassed I assumed, and went “wow, you almost had me fooled. I wasn’t sure, but you really look like a female.”

Is that supposed to be a compliment?

Well long story short, he told me to have a great day as he moved back to his original seat still rubbing his chin. I went back to minding my business but could still see him ogling me from the side of my eye.

I know he watched me get off the train. I bet money that he’ll lie in bed tonight thinking about me. I’m not being conceded, I just know how it feels to holler at your first guy.

Fun fact, this is actually the first time I have ever told a guy who was trying holler at me that I was male and he stopped pursuing me. So that should tell you something.

I’m not anti-man, I just don’t care for disrespectful approaches or lude comments as compliments. So yes, I’ll probably be by myself for a while until there is a man that knows what respect is. He’s out there, I know it. I may be alone, but I am not lonely. And if that is what I have to choose from, then I’m pretty sure I have dodged a machine gun worth of bullets.

I refuse to settle with or be bothered by a man who does not respect me simply because I want a warm body to lay next to at night. I just bought a full body pillow, I will be fine! There are already too many people in the world who let the idea of loneliness trap them in situations that are not beneficial and toxic. I do not want to be one of them.

Ultimately, the people responsible for this behavior are those that tolerate it and give those men the permission to act that way. People will only do what others allow them to do. So, if I give that disrespectful guy the time of day, he will think that he can do that to the next person and the cycle continues. However, if they are held accountable for the fuck boy shit they dole out, they will be less inclined to do it. But as long people continue to accept the fuckery- it will continue!

So whether it’s on a bus, train, or in an uber, I will continue to curb dudes who do not know what respect is and how to use it.

-N.D. Johnson

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Photo by Moses Vega on Unsplash

2 comments

  1. I’m alone but I’m not lonely. this was juicy , had me a little uncomfortable but I could only imagine how you was feeling. I admire your courage to share this, and confidence to not settle and stand up for yourself.

    Like

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