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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?