I witnessed a disgusting white dude last night, at a pizza joint, on my way back from Under St. Marks. The clothes he was wearing looked like the clothes he wore to his business job. A blue button down shirt, and some slacks. Gone was his tie and jacket. The typical look of a man who got off work and went from business attire to verbally abuse attire. He was also pretty drunk. When I got there, him and his buddy were being loud to the pizza vender, and laughing hard at nothing. Then they started shouting at these two women who were at the other end the restaurant. They were demanding, not asking, demanding that the women come sit down with them. At first the women just ignored them, until the men became more aggressive. One shouted at the women “I’ve never been turned down by a woman at a pizza place, and that isn’t going to happen tonight.” The business douche was then telling them they better come sit at his table. Because of the bros before hoes code, I gave him a thumbs up and felt pride swell in my heart for how good us dudes are. In reality I didn’t know what to say or do. I was scared to speak up and cause a fight. I ain’t going back to jail.
The women then started to try and leave. There were doors behind them, which lead outside of the restaurant and no tables, or the doors behind the men, which lead to the dining area. Since the dudes weren’t getting anywhere, they shouted at the women that they better use the doors behind them, and not come down “this way.” The women left out the back doors. I guess because they didn’t want to be bullied, they came around to the front of the building and entered the dining area through a different entrance. The men didn’t take the hint, and told them they better clear some seats for them because they would be joining the women. At this point my slice was finished, and I left. I felt a bit of a coward, but I’m not going to get into a fight with two dudes. A black man does NOT win in that situation, even if I am defending women. Trust me. Please just trust me on that.
But I could just see it all happening. This is a dude who doesn’t think that no means no. This man wanted to have his way and would not accept it any other way. I have seen men objectify women before. I’ve seen men overstep their bounds, but I’ve never seen someone aggressively demand that his privileges be met. I don’t know, man. I was just scared. Not for me, but for them.
Yet in this country, and especially in this city, this is a nightly occurrence. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a woman in NYC. I just can’t.