This is the most important information I can impart to anyone, in handy Post-It form.
Ready for a fight (w/ Virtuoso Picture House)
I have always prided myself on being, as silly as this may sound, “stronger” than the average woman. I mean this literally - I bench 140 pounds, and I’m not shy about it. I’m proud about how often I work out (four times a week, four days in a row), and I train like a beast. I am a trained boxer, I know how to shoot a gun, I even have minor experience with swords from fencing at school. I’m pretty strong.
I am also fat, which is a case of circumstance and also because I love food. I’m not shy about that, either. A combination of weight training and pudginess has left me a broad broad. I carry most of my excess weight in my stomach, while my arms and legs are extremely muscular.
So, why was I scared tonight when a strange man started to follow me home?
First of all, I never thought it would actually happen to me. I look pretty menacing, what with my size and “hey, I’m walkin’ here” face that I wear on the streets of New York, but I’ve also always thought of myself as unattractive to the point of nonsexuality. (This is not to illicit any sort of “awww” pity reaction, I’m entirely confident in myself in other ways - see above notes about strength - it is just the way I feel and you’re not gonna change it.) I’ve gotten catcalled before, but I ignore it. I was half-heartedly chased for a third of a block once. But this strange man followed me to the point where I ran into traffic in order to get away from him.
I once said to myself, Julia, if you ever get mugged, ask to see the gun. Ask to see the knife. If there’s nothing there, you can take him. I know it’s dumb, but I’ve always thought that. I’m good with throwing a punch, and I’m good with being punched. I can even kick someone in the balls and run. But while this guy was chasing me home, yelling things at me, trying to get my attention, screaming, I was scared. And I hated myself for being scared, because I’m supposed to be “stronger”, and I’m not supposed to deal with this shit, and I’m supposed to turn around and say, “Do you realize that it’s fucking insane that you’re following a strange girl home?! Do you realize that it’s not OK to do that?! What the hell do you think is going to happen?!” And if he gets violent, I can get violent back. That’s my deal. That’s my thing. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
This is the first time that this has happened to me, but I know it happens to my female friends. I know it happens to women every day. Why did I think I was safe? That was stupid of me.
And there I go, beating myself up about it. It’s not my goddamn fault! He was an idiot, he was an asshole, he was mentally ill, blah blah blah. None of this changes the fact that this type of shit happens all the time.
Once, when I was in line at a McDonalds, a man started hitting on a woman I knew from around UCB. He said he had a “hotel room in the projects” and wouldn’t stop bothering her, trying to take her home. I sidled up to defend her and diffuse the situation, and he said to me, “I’m a pimp, not a rapist.” I think about that a lot, because it blows my mind that that exists as a human being’s mindset.
I was about to apologize for writing this long, rambling post, but I’m not going to. But what I am sorry for is not defending myself, the way I tried to defend that woman in McDonalds, the way I would defend any of my friends, or any woman in this situation. All women are worth defending. We shouldn’t have to just ignore this shit. We should all stand up and scream, “STOP IT.”
That’s what I will do next time, no matter what. You can count on it.
Can’t tell if they’re racing or trying to escape
Yesterday I received a package from Amazon, addressed to me, with a French press and an iPad Mini case in it. I did not order these things. I don’t drink coffee OR own an iPad Mini. There is no evidence of this order on my Amazon account. Has this ever happened to anyone before?
I sponsored a Jew criminal skull at the Mütter Museum and all I got was this lousy picture.
WHAT HAPPENED HERE?!?!