She’s Fucking Nine

Cn: street harrasment, sexualization of children

Two years ago I wrote:

…how old will TJ be when she first experiences street harassment directed towards her?

The answer is nine. Fucking nine. She was walking back home when a grown ass man decided he should follow this child. This child who clearly still looks like a child. Not that any age should be harassed but when it is a CHILD, there’s just something more fucked up about that.

What is the thought process here? Her body? She’s nine. Her clothes? She was wearing jeans, a hoodie and a wool coat. Her behavior? She ran away from him when she noticed him. And he only stopped when she started calling out for her grandma who was waiting close by.

No. It wasn’t anything my daughter did or wore. It was all on this man. This man who saw a little girl and rather than keep it the fuck moving decided that scaring this kid would be the better option. It’s about power. Letting my child know she is powerless.

Nine years old and she already knows the cops wouldn’t take her seriously either. I mean, we’re Brown and live in the hood. We already know the cops don’t give a shit.

Watching my daughter tear up and cling to me and her nana broke my heart. But it also pissed me off, which in turn just makes me more resolved in that I will absolutely EAT any man who dares harass my child where I can see.

Thinking about it fills me with dread. I don’t know what I will do, but what I do know is that she will know street harassment is unacceptable. She will most definitely know that her safety is paramount. She’ll know she can come to me and I won’t dismiss her fears.

I didn’t want to find out what I’d do but Men Have To Men so, I made sure she knew she did nothing wrong. I told her she didn’t deserve what happened. No one does. I told her she did well running away and screaming. I told her that next time (because of course there will be a next time) she can call me or her grandma. I told her to tell another adult if she sees that someone is following her. We had a refresher talk about not taking rides or candy from strangers.

And unlike my mother who thankfully got over that thinking, I didn’t tell her to be flattered.

Get angry, little one.

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She’s Fucking Nine
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