Center for Public Service
“Hey bitch!” someone yelled.
“Biiitttch!” I heard again from the car.
Music blared from inside. I pretended not to notice. Don’t give them the satisfaction, I thought. Don’t do something you’ll regret. So I stood there until the cars stopped whizzing past, pretending to ignore a car of boys yelling insults.
When the light changed, I hurried across Carlisle Street, got into my room, and lost it.
I was furious. Being reduced to an insult while walking home from a movie for class is infuriating. But, what really got under my skin was that incidents like this seem commonplace. While surprising in the moment, it doesn’t feel unexpected to be called a “bitch” and “whore” by a passerby, to be whistled at provocatively or to be talked about as if I am an object. It’s just part of life. [excerpt]
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Sherif, Natalie S., "What I've Learned to Expect" (2013). SURGE. 53.