Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Unless You Want To Go To Prison, Kindly Refrain From Unwanted Touching

Dear Mr. Biker,

Yesterday, while I was walking north on Seventh Avenue, crossing 35th Street, I saw you barreling towards me and moved out of your way as a courtesy. It can be dangerous riding bikes in Manhattan, what with all the traffic and crazy cab drivers zipping through the congested streets. I didn't want you to have to swerve into oncoming traffic in an effort to avoid running into me, so I quickly stepped aside to allow you to pass.

As a thank you for my courtesy, you road close to me - much closer than you had to - and then, as you passed me, you hit me on my ass with your open hand. I'm not sure what you intended to do when you hit me, whether you were intending to grope my ass, or whether you meant to slap it as forcefully as you did. Maybe you couldn't control the force of your slap since you were riding on your bike. Whatever your intentions, you hit me hard enough that it stung, and I froze in the middle of the street stunned by your violation of my person, staring off after your retreating back.

Perhaps, in light of all the street harassment of women that you no doubt see on a regular basis while tooling around Manhattan on your fancy little bike, you are under the mistaken impression that women like to be harassed, fondled, and even hit while moving through public spaces. I'm here to tell you that you are wrong, and that your behavior yesterday afternoon was revolting and completely unacceptable.

Despite your apparent view to the contrary, a view I know is held by many of your brothers in this fine city, I have a right to walk down the streets of New York unmolested and undisturbed, and I do not enjoy being harassed or assaulted. Which is, by the way, what you did to me when you hit me on the street, you assaulted me. In New York, we have rules against assault. For example, under the New York Penal Code, a person is guilty of assault in the third degree when:

1. With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or
2. He recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or
3. With criminal negligence, he causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.

It might also interest you to know that third degree assault is a Class A Misdemeanor, the penalty for which is "definite imprisonment" up to 1 year. Next time, before you assault a woman on the street, please consider that you could be facing a year in prison for your actions.

You are lucky that you road away so quickly on your bike because I would have done everything in my power to prosecute you, had you not run off like the pathetic, cowardly, despicable creature that you are. You are also lucky that this had never happened to me before. Next time a biker gets close to me, I'm going to be at the ready. If they go to slap me, I'm taking them down.

- A Woman Sick Of Street Harassment


Denise said...

I just read that you were added to the Thursday Thirteen blogroll. Welcome! See ya Thursday!

Buttercup said...

Denise - Thanks for letting me know!

R'acquel said...

It's a f'king crime here!

I hope your ok. Something like that would have truly wrangled my nerves a long time ago.

Sending vibes so that what goes around will come around and it'll hit this asshole's asshole ten fold.

I'm sorry. It's hard for me to feel compassion for assholes like this.

Tearing them down with you in spirit should it ever happen to you again.

Gypsy said...

What a jackass.