Leaving the house can be a depressing experience for most women. Women have to think about what they wear, what they carry out of the house and how they’ll interact with people they’ll meet so that they won’t be in physical danger.
The reactions of women can vary depending on the culture that they come from, as well as the types of interactions that they expect. I grew up in Jamaica and being called to on the street there was very different to being called out to here.
In this interview, I ask a fellow Jamaican what she finds the differences are between Trinidad and Jamaica in that respect, as well as what precautions she feels that she has to take to leave the house to go to parties or even walk down the road.
My mother taught me to smile, nod and be pleasant to any man that called out to me on the road. This is in an attempt to get them to not harass me further and hope that they would be satisfied with a “Hello” or “Good morning/evening”. But it doesn’t always work. If you don’t answer, maybe because you’re deep in thought or just not in the mood, you run the risk of being cursed out or accosted physically. If you do answer, there are those who will take it as a sign of interest in them, when really you just want to get to wherever you’re going in peace.
I’ve had at least one person follow me almost all the way home as I was walking home one day, even though I kept trying to end the conversation and asking him to leave me alone. He insisted that he wanted my phone number and when I wouldn’t give it to him, he went on to ask me what kind of sex I had with my boyfriend and other even more intimate questions. I thank God that it was daylight and in a busy residential area, otherwise who knows what might have happened?
My question is, why do I have to police my thoughts and my surroundings all the time?
I hope you enjoyed the interview and be sure to leave a comment or two when you’re done!!