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I Think I Was Harassed… Or Maybe Not

Hi everybody! How are you doing today? (You can let me know in the comments). If this is your first time of visiting my blog, you have no idea how glad I am to have you. If this isn’t your first time, I wish I could give you a kiss right now. Lol. Thank you. Enjoy the post and don’t forget to comment afterwards.
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So, I THINK I WAS HARASSED! Maybe I wasn’t but I strongly feel like I was. If you’re on my Facebook, you’ve probably seen a part of this gist. So this is the 100% gist:

On my way to work a couple of days ago, a guy drove past me and I noticed him stop his car a few steps from me. I had also noticed him checking me out as he drove past me and sort of guessed that he stopped because of me. I guessed rightly.

As I got to his car and made an attempt to continue walking, he called from his car and said, “Hello. Excuse me”. Now, somewhere in my head, I heard my mom warning me to be wary of strangers and I almost ignored him. But the part of me that claims to be cooler said “Funke, calm down. Maybe he just needs directions”. So I stopped and faced him.

He asked, “Where are you going? Let me drop you off.” Sorry man, you don’t drop a Yoruba girl who grew up in my society off anywhere, especially when it’s close to Christmas.

I politely replied and I smiled (I wonder why I did but…) and said, “No, thank you. My destination is just around the corner. I’ll be fine.” And I kept walking, forgetting the past behind me.

In another couple seconds, this guy had caught up with me and called out, “Okay, if I can’t drop you off, can I have your number?”

I politely replied again (I’m not sure I smiled this time around), “No, sorry.”. I probably should have added, I have a boyfriend… But no, I didn’t.

I walked on and the guy kept driving after me and stopping when he caught up with me. This happened about three times and I had already begun to feel extremely embarrassed and uncomfortable. So what did I! I flagged down a bike and told the bike guy where I was going. It wasn’t far but because I felt uncomfortable and pestered, I had to take a bike.

I heaved a sigh of relief and had calmed down when I heard a car horn behind me. I looked back and saw his car. I don’t even know what happened at this point but I instantly started panicking. I moved to feeling embarrassed to feeling pestered to panic real quick. I wanted to tell the bike man to increase his speed by telling him someone I didn’t know was coming after me but I thought against it.

I brought out my phone from my bag all shaky at this point and tried calling a male colleague who I felt would have been at the office at the time and could come rescue me but he wasn’t picking and on the third try, his phone was off.

Immediately I got down from the bike and paid the biker (I had change thankfully), I raced into my office building, banging on the door before I gained access. For the next couple of minutes, I sat half-expecting him to knock on my office door. Maybe I would have fainted if that had happened.

Now much later after I’d calmed down, I thought of the whole issue and I began to feel like I had been harassed. I termed it harassment because I had been extremely uncomfortable and continuously pestered against my wish. I tried to imagine that he was persistently following me without a car and against my wish.

I posted my experience on Facebook and I had varying reactions. Some were of the opinion that calling that harassment was way too far-fetched. After all, he was only indicating his interest in me. While others did agree that it was harassment.

I don’t know what you think (and I definitely would like to know) but I still do think that that guy harassed me! Even if he was being persistent or whatever, I had told him No twice and he still kept on. Maybe I overreacted by being panicky but I’ve never been one person to remain calm when I suspect someone following me.

What do I call it? An infringement on a lady’s right to free movement? Abi what sef? 



Well, so that’s what happened. What do you think?

Join the discussion 19 Comments

  • Funke olotu says:

    Hey namesake! First time here
    That is harrasement to me o. And i just remembered that something similar has happened to me but i didn’t feel scared or any of that because of the way it happened … Catcalling is wrong and him following you is the height of it

    http://olotufunke.com

  • Engr Omoniyi says:

    Hi dear, it your honorable WANDE COAL
    well to me I don’t think that is harassment all the guy was just doing was showing love on a pretty, you beauty alone can make a married man think “if she is not my wife then she can at list be my Girlfriend ” so in one word it is not HARASSMENT

    • Orifunke Lawal says:

      Loool. I like the twist to this. The part of a man wanting me to be his girlfriend even if I can’t be his wife got me rolling.

      It’s good to know your opinion. Thanks for sharing.

    • Orifunke Lawal says:

      Loool. I like the twist to this. The part of a man wanting me to be his girlfriend even if I can’t be his wife got me rolling.

      It’s good to know your opinion. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lol…that is serious harassment oh.
    Thank God you are fine.

  • Taiwo says:

    This is not harassment dear,,, no responsible man will see a beauty queen and just walk past her….

  • Lara says:

    I’ve had a similar experience. This man followed me with his car up to my office, after I told him no. I needed to go back to where I was coming from, because I forgot my money, I delayed thinking this man would have gone, 10 mins later I was je je going back, when a car drove by me and honked, I was feeling great, that yes he has given up and he has gone. I didn’t know he went to park his car so he can follow me and pester me on foot. I don’t know who told men this behaviour is sweet or endearing. They just make us scare for our safety, feel very uncomfortable and disgusted.

    Another experience, I got harassed to the point a man was lecturing me because I refused to give him my number. The idiot said even if I have a boyfriend or fiance it didn’t matter because it wasn’t permanent and there was nothing there in giving him my number. Why is it hard for them to take no and go? This man insulted me just because I was alone in a bookstore, selling books. Like he pestered me, while I was serving customers, I was being polite, till I wasn’t. I ignored him and he still didn’t go.After some customers left, that was when his tirade began. I just kept quiet and let him speak, boiling under, but knowing when he was done he would leave and I would be safe, because I was alone with him. In my mind, I was just like, it’s my number, it’s my right to give it out, you have no right to talk to me anyhow because of it.

    I really dislike a lot of Nigerian men because of it. Everyday harassment.

    • Orifunke Lawal says:

      I’m glad they’re at least people who can relate! God help us.

      The man in your second narrative though, I didn’t think I’d have had that patience you had. I’d have flared up. That’s so annoying! Na wah!

  • kriysten says:

    Hi. So it is my first time here. I like how descriptive this post is. I think you were definitely harassed. I mean, what would have happened if that man was in the mood to follow you all the way to your office and even knock?

  • Solomon Olumide Faniran says:

    Remember that Chimamanda’s speech titled “we should all be feminists”? She mentioned that sometimes men don’t understand what it means to be a everyday woman because well, we don’t experience the same daily realities. What you just described is one of such. As a professional gentleman man, I declare it acute and focused harassment. the man is obviously the hit and run kind because I don’t believe that’s the proper and polite way to make your interests known to a lady. But quoting the wise man Ed Sheeran, what do I know.

    • Orifunke Lawal says:

      Ah yes, I’m even thinking of doing a review of Chimamanda’s book “We Should All Be Feminists”. So accurate!

      You’re one of the few guys who saw that as harassment. Most said it was only persistence. So annoying!

      I’m so glad to see that you’ve finally been able to comment. Means a lot to me. Thank you for dropping by!

  • tflowmedia says:

    Whatever action (peaceful or not, persistent or once) that makes another person feel unrest– uncomfortable you would say, is an harassment. So dearly, we’re good to be compensated for being harassed! But really, you’re doing a good job!

  • Heritage says:

    hiiyaaa… I had to check for the definition of harassment before commenting… Irrespective of his motives, he allowed his feelings abi lust get ahead of him…
    What he did is a total example of harassment… I don’t know why a 1 time 2times no is not always enough for ours guys sef, except you insult them….

    Anyways, you are doing a great job and I love your commitment and discipline…

    • Orifunke Lawal says:

      I wonder for guys who do that too. Before you know it, they’re calling you a disrespectful person and all.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

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