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Friday, October 24, 2008

Longest Ride to the Second Floor, Ever.

This morning I got on an elevator with a female colleague on our way to a meeting. A man joined us and as the door closed said "You have beautiful eyes" in a very dirty voice. I said a muffled "thank you", avoiding eye contact. He then had time to say "you're pretty and "I want to talk to you" all in a very disturbing voice. He even said hello to my collegaue, and asked her to tell "her friend" that she had beautiful eyes.

I was only going to the 2nd floor but it felt like the 20th. After my colleague and I got off, I was utterly perturbed. I felt like he had violated me. Looking back, this would have been a perfect time to "hollaback"- I had my cellphone camera easily accessible in my pocket, and a good 30 seconds of captivity with him to get a good shot. But I was so mortified I didnt think of it- I wasn't thinking at all. All I could do was stare ahead at the door, waiting for my floor, hoping he would stop. On one hand I am glad I wasn't alone with him- god only knows what could have happened. On the other hand, it was embarrassing to be treated like that in front of a colleague, without defending myself or speaking out against what was happening to me. I fret that I may have lost her respect- or more, that he took my dignity from me in front of her.

I hope next time I will find the strength and the power to take action. To speak up and to hollaback.

Submitted by Kate