The front flowerbed at Arb’s and my place is starting to take off – perennials that I’ve planted over the couple years we’ve owned the house, are established enough now, that they can dedicate some energy to blooming! Of course, weather that’s good for flowers is also good for weeds, and our weed crop is plentiful, so I was out pulling weeds yesterday evening.

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Working in the front yard is not a peaceful and relaxing experience for me. I feel self-conscious about bending over with my back to the street and my butt in the air and often get into weird positions trying to avoid it. I’m on edge and there’s a constant stream of snarky comebacks and verbal self-defense going on in my head, along with self-pep-talks about how this is my yard and I have the right to be in it and what I look like while doing yardwork is nobody’s business.

Why?

In a word: men.

Like last night when a carload of young men appeared seemingly out of nowhere, yelled something about my fat ass, and peeled out with a screech of tires and raucous laughter.

This shit doesn’t happen super-often – not every time I’m out in the front yard, for example. But it’s often enough that anticipating it and steeling myself against it, takes a non-negligible portion of my mental CPU cycles. It doesn’t matter that not every man who passes by harasses me, and that in general not all men harass women. Enough men harass women often enough, that being on guard against it is an almost-constant thing you do, if you’re a woman.

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