Boys of CVHS: do young women at our school have to be careful where they go on campus? Do girls have to be in groups to avoid encountering boys who have further intentions? Can we not do simple tasks in the library without being bothered by boys?
I experienced an incident after school while I was simply doing homework. I was sitting towards the back of the library where the emergency exit doors are. On my left was a group of boys.
I do not know who they are nor do I know their names, but what I do know is they were planning on having one of the friends go talk to “her.”
That “her” was me.
As I was doing homework, a boy came up to me and before he could say anything, I told him to leave me alone.
But he didn’t leave. He didn’t leave when I said I came to the library to do homework and not to be bothered. He didn’t leave until I was pointing for him to leave and raising my voice.
I knew what he was doing. I experienced this before in a Barnes and Noble where I was buying a book and then a boy said to me, “Are you a camera? Because every time I look at you, I smile.” Then I was repeatedly bothered by a boy trying to get my number.
“I could see the veins on her face,” said the boy to his friends as they chuckled away.
To laugh is one thing, but to find my discomfort and irritation amusing is another.
Later on, I sat with a friend to feel safer. Then in my peripheral view, another boy was coming near our table. It was the first boy’s friend. My friend and I told him to leave us alone.
“My friend thinks you’re cute. But he thinks you are playing hard to get,” said the friend.
Then I responded that I was not playing hard to get, I was not interested.
I am not mad. I am furious I have to deal with this at my own school, knowing that sometimes I have to put up a front where I have to defend myself, knowing that boys think when girls say “Leave me alone” or “No” that we are just “playing hard to get.” Sometimes I don’t feel safe on our campus.
Young women are not “playing hard to get” when we say “Leave me alone” or “No.” We simply are not interested. We have other priorities like our education or career to focus on. I don’t like raising my voice and becoming tense in public, but it’s like a last resort to use to defend myself. When women do this, it is moments like these where we are called “bitches” and “sluts” when we are older.
It’s 2020. I thought as the new generation, we learned from the past mistakes of the prior generations and what they suffered. We live in a time when we’re present to these changes the past generations fought for. It’s disappointing. We have come so far, yet we still have to accomplish more.