Author Archives: thisistee

Rape Culture, Street Harassment and Everyday Sexism

I know I rarely write about super serious topics, but every once in a while, a topic strikes a nerve with me, and I feel compelled to write about it.

I had an epic bout with insomnia last night and whenever I have insomnia, I stay up late watching Investigation Discovery. I was watching an episode of  ‘On The Case with Paula Zahn’, and the story centered around a teenaged girl that had been drugged, sexually assaulted and murdered. As I watched the show, it got me thinking.

Back when I was in high school, there was a girl who went to my school that was killed by 3 boys. One of them tried to have sex with her earlier in the evening and she refused. She was later drugged, strangled, driven to a remote location, where one of the boys tried to rape her, but was interrupted by passing cars. When it became clear that this boy wasn’t going to be able to get what he wanted, he and his friends put a pipe bomb in her mouth and detonated it. She was 15 years old.

I hadn’t thought about this situation in many years, but after watching Paula Zahn, I couldn’t get it out of my head. As I thought more about this, I got angrier and angrier. Who are these men? What’s wrong with them? What is this sense of entitlement? Why do these men feel like women don’t have the right to say no if they don’t want to have sex? What makes these men think that these women and girls aren’t allowed to change their minds about whether or not they want to have sex?

As I continued to think about these things, I thought back to a twitter conversation I was having with user @brokeymcpoverty and other twitter users. The story was basically about street harassment and whether or not the silent treatment is an acceptable defense. I said that I don’t like using the silent treatment because I think it’s dangerous. I’ve been threatened with violence or called out of my name on more than one occasion when utilizing the silent treatment. Then Brokey made a great point:

I kind of don’t like silence being branded a ‘dangerous’ response because what’s dangerous is how the harasser responds to it.

The conversation also centered around how ridiculous it is that many men won’t back down from pursuing a woman unless she says she doesn’t want to talk to him because she has a boyfriend/husband. So you mean to tell me the only reasoning you’ll accept is me being off the market? Why isn’t “I’m not interested” enough?

Flash forward to this evening. I read an article about the band Chvrches and how the lone female member of the group, Lauren Mayberry, regularly receives inappropriate comments via their social media pages. You would think the most disgusting thing about the situation is the insinuations of rape she often receives, but no. The most disgusting aspect, in my opinion, is the people telling her she needs to just “get over it” and things like this “are to be expected” if you are going to be in the music industry. So, you mean to tell me that women are just supposed to accept these things? Not okay with this.

What is going on in our culture that some men think this behavior is okay? And I know what some of you may be thinking. Whoa whoa whoa, trying to talk to a girl on the street is a far cry from rape, but what I’m concerned about is the attitude behind all of it. That a woman’s opinion and assertions mean nothing to these men. That unsolicited sexual advances are okay. That no does not, in fact, mean no.

 

 

#31WriteNow Am I Being Punk’d? Social Cues and Train Stalkers

I’d like to share another cautionary tale with the ladies today. As I stated in an earlier post, we need to stop being so nice, and by we, I mean me and anyone who feels programed to be polite before being safe. Many women are taught in society to be agreeable and polite FIRST and that can be dangerous. To be honest, when I first began writing this story, I thought it was hilarious. Now, looking back, if situations like these are not kept in check, they could conceivably escalate.

Basically, I have a stalker on the train…He could be a scary stalker, but he’s just been obnoxious thus far and we’ve only had two encounters. But that’s two encounters too many.

I was on the train on the way to work with my headphones on and simultaneously checking emails, and a man asked if he could sit next to me. I wasn’t really paying attention to the train, so I told him to go ahead. As he sits down I happen to look up, and I realize that there are tons of other seats he could have chosen. The car was practically empty.
Whatever. I take it with a grain of salt and get back to checking emails. I settle in for the ride and that’s when the questions start. This guy will NOT stop talking to me. Despite the headphones and even though I am clearly on my phone. Also, it’s the morning commute. It’s not even double digits yet, dude!
I don’t have a phone. Do you like yours?
Yeah, it’s cool.
Yeah, I need a new phone, I dropped mine and so now I’ve got this flip phone.

*No response from me*

So I’m looking around the train and the other ladies on it are giving me the sad pity face.

pity face

Train guy introduces himself and sticks out his hand for me to shake, and I don’t take it. Message loud and clear, “I’m not interested” Right? Yeah, one would think he would get the message, but nope. I’m clearly giving him the shortest answers in the world, and am clearly not engaging with him, but he will not stop talking to me; about his job, his dentist, his weight loss.

Man, I didn’t buy a ticket for the train. Oh well.
It happens. Luckily, you can buy tickets on the train.
So what do you do?
Marketing.
Yeah, me too. I’m a TMM…Telemarketing Manager. I’m going to check in on my Bridgeport office to see how they’re doing.
*No response from me*
I like gum…my dentist said I shouldn’t chew it, though, cause it leads to cavities…but I like fresh breath, so now I use mints instead.
*blank stare*

Is This Real Life

Is this real life?

Then as my stop is coming up, he asks if he can give me his business card, to “talk about marketing, strictly for networking purposes”. I say sure, so he pulls out this business card.  Suddenly he says, “Well I’m actually out of business cards, but I have my my boss’ card, I’ll write my contact information on it.” AND PROCEEDS TO GIVE ME HIS TWITTER HANDLE AND FACEBOOK URL. ARE YOU KIDDING, DUDE?!?!
While he’s taking forever to write down his information on the card we arrive at my stop. Unfortunately, I’m sitting on the inside, so I’m kind of trapped.
Soooo this is my stop, so I need to get off.
Oh, sorry, sorry. Nice meeting you

I nod and fly off the train.

That was last week.

This morning, I’m on the platform and I see him walk by, but I’m listening to my headphones and looking at my phone again. I see him walk past, see me, and then walk back up the platform towards me.

He walks over to the post that I’m standing next to and gets on his phone. (I guess he finally got one.) He makes a huge production of dialing and speaking really loudly on the phone while waving his arms around, but I don’t look up. I shrink further and further behind the post hoping he doesn’t really see me, but I know he does. I see him start to come over to me like 3 or 4 times, but I made sure to look extra busy. All the while I’m pretending I’m deep into my phone, but I’m actually texting my girlfriends.

Omgeeeeeeeee that guy from the train is back again! The one who wouldn’t stop talking to me.

If he does it again, you should definitely move.

Nooooooooooo he’s walking over!!!!!!!!

Move!!!

The train finally arrives and and he’s still standing on the other side of the post from me. When the doors open, I take off down the platform in the other direction, so I can get into another car. But he follows me. I run to another car and , much to my relief, I don’t see him for the rest of the ride.

I’ve come to a conclusion after talking it over with my older sister:  He’s either really aggressive, or doesn’t understand social cues…but either way, no thank you.

The most interesting thing about this story is the reactions that I get. So far, 100% of the guys have said, “Why didn’t you get up? Why wouldn’t you just move?” While most of the girls all say, “Ugh, that’s so annoying but it would have been super rude to move, especially if you were on the inside.” Funny thing about this, while the guys all have had the same reaction, the female reaction has been quite mixed. Most of them did say they would have wanted to move, but probably wouldn’t have, but there were a few that said they would have told the guy off and moved immediately. My question is, what’s the difference between the girls that wouldn’t have moved and the girls that would have? And why was everything so cut and dry for the men? Why do some men keep after a woman after EVERYTHING about her demeanor and body language says, “LEAVE ME ALONE!”? Any insights from either side? Opinions are welcome, as this is a judgement free zone…for the most part ;-)

#31WriteNow Inbound Marketing and Birthdays

So, as you all are probably well aware, I haven’t written in about a week and a half. Not to make excuses, but I was out of town on business for some of that time and I was planning a party for a very special someone for another half, so yes…I fell short. But, today is another day and I’ve lived to write another post.

I was out of town for HubSpot’s Inbound 2013, which was amazing. I’m on the marketing team at my company and one thing that’s really cool about marketing, is the fact that there is always something new to learn and it’s great to have like-minded people to bounce ideas off of. After attending Inbound 2013, all I can say is wow. HubSpot really put on a great conference. Just about every aspect of the conference was fantastic; I couldn’t have been more impressed. They even had a mobile app that had a mobile inbox to keep attendees updated about sessions and upcoming speakers. The app also helped us to schedule the breakout sessions and happy hours we wanted to attend.

Inbound 2013 Hubspot

Every keynote speaker I got to see was amazing:  Seth Godin, Arianna Huffington, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. I was inspired at every turn. And Boston is a lovely city. I really need to spend some more time there. Here are some pictures of the awesomeness of that week.

content marketing

content marketing1

Inbound 2013 Hubspot

Advertising Inbound Marketing

That said, once I got back to my office, I was full of new ideas, but that definitely made less time for writing.

In addition to my business trip, I hosted a surprise birthday party that next week, which I had to put together in the stealthiest of ways. It’s REALLY hard to keep a secret from someone you live with. That said, the party went off without a hitch even though it was almost ruined about six times by people who I can only assume were drunk texting and facebook messaging.

But back to the task at hand, I’m WAY behind in my training because I didn’t run at all while I was in Boston. I managed to pack all of my workout clothes….and forgot my doggone running shoes. Of course. But onward and upward! I still have time to train, but I just have to step it up. Good luck to all those training as well!

~ Tee

#31WriteNow Did That Really Just Happen?

The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind emotions; I’ve seen and read some things that have made me very sad. A few people got together and thought it would be funny to make a Harriet Tubman sex tape. Yes, you read that correctly.

The fact that this even happened was painful on several levels. In the name of comedy and YouTube hits, this group of people decided to belittle and marginalize a woman that, had it not been for her, I wouldn’t be where I am or even who I am today. A woman who is the epitome of the struggle for freedom. A woman who put her life in danger, time and again, to free others. They basically relegated her to a mammy; a caricature of sorts. Not to mention the horrible and painful truth that black slaves were routinely raped. I can’t even BEGIN to talk about that part of the video.

Bottom line, the video wasn’t funny at all. The actors that played in the parody initially tried to defend themselves via Twitter, saying things like ‘That’s not how the story was pitched to us.” I don’t buy it. And further, there is absolutely nothing funny about rape. Ever. The video was pulled and the actors/producers involved ended up apologizing, but they were text book ‘non-apologies’.

“I’m sorry your feelings were hurt, but that’s not how we meant it.” is not an apology, and honestly, it’s insulting. “I’m sorry I don’t have the same sense of humor you do.” Is NOT an apology.

dream hampton kindly shared with them the anatomy of an actual apology after blasting them for what they had done.

1.  I’m sorry

2.  Here’s my understanding of how I hurt you.

3.  I will never do this again

4.  Here’s how I’m going to make this right.

5.  Please forgive me

THAT’S how you apologize, folks. Apologies don’t come with buts or excuses and every single person involved with that video should be ashamed of themselves.

Tee

harriet-tubman2-library-of-congress-600

#31WriteNow Feeling Good Feeling Great

*Trey Songz voice* You know what it is, girl, we back up in this thaaaaaaaaaaaang!

I ran today and it felt pretty good. Not a long or fast run, but a good one. It was beautiful outside today, dare I say, fall-like, even. And my feet didn’t bleed, so there’s that.  I really needed a good run today because my work day came to me courtesy of the devil himself.

micromanageWhatevs.

Anyhow, I took a different route when I ran today, because I don’t want my body to get used to one path. That really helps me when it comes to training. Also, I need to start training hills because my half isn’t going to be flat. (Yes, I’m still bitter about it) I’m actually a tad intimidated since I’ve never run a hilly race before, so this is definitely me challenging myself. And that’s what this is all about. So here is my picture for the day. I hope you guys are challenging yourselves too!

20130814-201355.jpgCurrent weight:  133

Tee

#31WriteNow Kenny Chesney No Shoes Nation Concert

So, the Kenny Chesney “No Shoes Nation’ concert was amazing and I had a great time tailgating with great friends.

shotski

Did someone say shot ski?

I’m not gonna lie…I flaked out on my runs this weekend, but for good reason. Had I tried to run, I’m certain you all would have found my body on the side of the road somewhere. That said, I know that I did walk at least a few miles this weekend and I know what you’re thinking: I’m only hurting myself by not training effectively. But today is a new day and I can start again. But back to Kenny.

Before the concert, I saw tailgating the likes of which I’ve never seen before. And I spent a lot of time in Georgia, so that’s saying a lot. I saw tiki huts and palms trees made of pineapples that served rum, I even posed with a giant Corona bottle. It was all very ridiculous. There were coolers that doubled as scooters. I also saw this sign, which made me laugh.

Vuvuzelas

There were also lots of rebel flags, which I also laughed about because, again, I’m from Georgia and this concert was in New Jersey.

*insert eye roll*

I also learned this weekend that one of my friends is quite the magician. She somehow convinced the venue that we deserved better seats. The venue agreed, so with a flip of her hair, we moved from the upper deck to down front.

I’m picking my training back up today, so good luck to me. *gulp* I have a speed workout today and a 5 miler tomorrow. I’m a tad gun shy because of my bloody haunted run, but I think that’s a motivator for me to get some new running shoes and socks. My feet bled (not in the regular half/full marathon ‘losing my toenails way’) the last time I ran a half, so, clearly I have an ongoing problem. This warrants a trip to Fleet Feet, I think.

Here’s my latest picture, and to be fair, I TOTALLY misbehaved this weekend, but it was planned ;-)

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#31WriteNow Haunted Runs and Red Wine

I ran quite far two nights ago. So far, in fact, that my feet bled. That hasn’t happened to me since I ran my first half…good times. I also found a haunted house while I was running. No lie. I had to come back later and take a picture of it. It sort of freaked me out, because I’ve run past this house on several occasions, but this was the first time I noticed how very haunted it was.

20130809-110344.jpgI swear I can’t make this stuff up. That zombie sign was REALLY in the yard.

In other news, I managed to oversleep yesterday morning so I missed the shuttle from my building to the train. When I finally made it to the station (did I mention that my feet were KILLING me, due to my haunted run?) my train was 15 minutes late and had been moved to another track. Good thing I didn’t have my headphones on…smh.

I also ended up missing the train at the end of the day, because I had to stay late at work to put out a fire. As soon as I made it to the station, I decided that a glass of red was in order. I guess the guy working behind the bar thought I deserved several glasses of red, because he filled my train platform-friendly cup almost to the top. Suffice it to say, I had long forgotten my work day by the time I got home.

20130809-105749.jpg

Anyway, here is my photo of the day. Good luck to everyone who is working toward a goal with me. Let’s get it!!!!

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#31WriteNow The Struggle, Part II

OMG.

My body hurts so much right now. I’m not kidding. My legs refuse to work properly. I almost missed the shuttle to the train this morning because my legs are so sore. They didn’t want to work as I was coming down the stairs in my building. Then I almost fell down the stairs at the train station. I suppose some soreness a good thing, but yikes. I know the results will be awesome and that I will most certainly regret it if I don’t train for this half, but I hate how the first week of training feels. Kinda like that first mile when you’re running. The first mile always sucks for me.

And speaking of training, I totally forgot to mention another aspect of my training which will most certainly be a struggle for me: I will not be consuming any alcoholic beverages during this time…with the exception of this weekend, for my friends and I will be tailgating all day before the Kenny Chesney concert. (You mad, Riley Cooper?)

*twirls and does a high kick*

In other news, my weight is holding steady, which I’m totally fine with, since losing too much weight too fast isn’t very healthy, but I’m sure you all know that. Here’s my picture of the day. (Feel free to ignore my four-legged friend in the background. He refused to move.)

20130807-130722.jpg

Let me know if you guys have any questions about my workouts or what I’m eating and for those of you training with me we can’t do it! We just have to stay motivated.

Tee

#31WriteNow Zumba and Half Marathon Surprises

Hi Guys! So, I went to Zumba yesterday, and it was AWESOME! Shout out to Eddie, Jamie, and the entire team at Energ-E Fitness & Dance LLC. It was a great time as usual, I’m sore this morning, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m down another pound too! I’m not gonna lie, though, Zumba is not a game. I was a tad skeptical when my girls first suggested I attend a class. My spin instructor would always belittle Zumba while we were spinning.

You guys are gonna sweat in here, what do you think this is, Zumba?

After going to a class, I’m clear that my spin instructor has never been to a Zumba class. EVER.

20130806-114255.jpg

Anyway, one of my favorite vloggers from YouTube, What Dawn Did In Heels , suggested Zumba as well, so I decided to give it a try. I will never doubt the efficiency of Zumba ever again. Before I fell off the wagon, so to speak, between Zumba and diet, I lost a dress size in about a month, basically only going once a week.

On another note, as you all should know by now, I’m also in the midst of my half-marathon training. I was in the middle of discussing the half with some friends who ran it last year and I heard something that chilled me to my very core…

The race course isn’t flat

why-would-you-do-this-to-me

What do you mean “the race course isn’t flat”? Okay, that’s cool, ING…that’s cool. I guess I’ll be running hills on my cross-training days. *side eye*

I’ll keep you all posted on my updates, and here’s my current photo:

Happy Training!

Tee

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#31WriteNow Sketch Award of the Day

This post won’t be long, but I thought I’d share since it’s the sketchiest thing that’s happened to me all week. Did I mention it’s only Monday?  I mean, I’ve had my fair share of sketchy thing happen, but this one might be up there in the Hall of Fame.

I was in the elevator with a coworker and there was a random UPS guy in there. As we ride up to our floor and are getting off…

Him:  Hey, don’t you live at [insert old address] ?

Me:  Ummmm I used to, like two years ago.

Him:  Yeah yeah, I thought I recognized you. I recognized your face.

1) That was two years ago
2) UPS leaves packages downstairs….so how did he ever even see me?

I’m sufficiently creeped out for the rest of the day…

 

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