We discuss street harassment pretty often on this site, as it is a frustrating and sometimes frightning occurence that most women encounter far too often. However, as infuriating as a lewd remark can be, there is one slighty more harmless line in particular that just makes my blood boil.
Say you’re walking down 125th, Stony Island, Georgia Avenue or whatever street that sits in proximity to your city’s local boulevard named for a dead Black activist who would be embarrassed to have that street named after him… and here comes Knuck Knuck, Pookie’nem. Pookie says “Ay, ma! Can I talk to you for a second?” and you, being polite and disinterested in being 1) Pookie baby muva and 2) cursed out, say “I’m sorry, but I have a man.” You would think Pookie would say “Oh, aiiight” and keep it moving. But that’s not Pookie. Pookie’s got ambition baby, look in his eyes…”What, your man don’t let you have friends?”
GOTDAMMIT, POOKIE! How you just gonna disrespect her relationship like that? If the first thing out of a woman’s mouth is “I got a man”, that means one of two things: she got a man or she just doesn’t want to talk to you. How are you going to challenge a woman when she tells you she’s in a relationship? She don’t WANT to be your friend! If she did, she wouldn’t have lied about having a boyfriend! This is the type of stuff that renders the validations of patriarchy null and void; people this stupid don’t deserve to run the world. This isn’t fortitude, Pookie! This is being an annoying jack*ass! What do you mean her man don’t “let” her have friends? Do you see him there? No. SHE told you on her own that she didn’t want to accept your info and you kept going? Shame.
Pookie isn’t the only one who doesn’t know how to process the “not single” reveal; his cousin, Marcus, who works at First Capitalism National Bank as a VP, manages to come up with a similar response (despite the fact that he only speaks to his cuz at family gatherings, they manage to be so alike…imagine that): “So, does that mean you can’t have any friends?” He doesn’t jazz it up with “Ya man type jealous like that?” like his cousin does, but the annoyance factor is still high.
For some reason, these guys don’t understand that “I have a man” is an easy, polite out for a single woman who just doesn’t want to talk to them (and the obvious answer for a spoken-for girl). ClutchLadies and Clutch Gents, please make sure that the men in your life understand what that means so that they don’t clown themselves ever (or ever again) by using such a foolish response to a remark that very obviously means “leave me be.”