My friend Naomi:
I get to Starbucks, park [my trike] and tie it up at the bike rack, and take off my helmet. I’d been having a feel-bad day, so I’d put on pinup matte red lipstick before I left the house. I thought I looked pretty cute, if overdressed for your average bike ride. It looks like the dude who decided to start talking to me and harassing me thought I looked pretty cute, too.
His opening line was to start denigrating my trike and disavow any possibility that I’d understand the mechanics* of it because I’m a girl. He actually said he thought I wouldn’t get it because I’m a girl. And he tried to pat me on the head. Then he asked me out, by offering to teach me how my bike works, if only I’d go back to his place with him.
In my best, well-honed, withering city-girl stare, I maintained very strong eye contact with him, took a swallow of coffee, and asked him if his eyes hurt. He looked at me, very confused, and did that insulting do-you-speak-English voice and said no.
“I only ask that because it’s obvious you haven’t seen the light of day in a while. Does your back hurt from having your head that far up your ass?”
He started muttering at me that he was “only trying to be nice”.
And one of my favorite bits, ever: “You shouldn’t wear red lipstick. It makes me wonder what it’d look like on my dick.”
I kept staring at him, right in the eye, deliberately not changing my posture in any way. I felt safe enough to do that, that day, because I was in public, at a busy coffeeshop, pissed off enough fear eased back from me, and frankly, red lipstick does give me a confidence boost. That’s why I wore it.
Eventually, he got nervous and wandered off. […]
I didn’t start shaking for a minute or so after he was out of sight.
Read on for the full, horrible story— and its much more positive aftermath.