Dear Pervs: Why, why, why?
The day after our mishap with the nice pervert on St. Mark’s Place, my friend Mari told me that a few blocks after we said good-bye at the corner of Broadway and Astor Place, a car pulled up next to her at the intersection of 10th and Broadway. Some guy leaned out the window and started yelling something at her. It was even more obscene than what St. Mark’s perv had yelled. This string of slurs involved the threat of actual penetration. It was horrible. She flipped him off, and he stopped and disappeared back into the car. Mari postulated that it was because he’d either gotten tired of yelling at her or his friends had pulled him back in.
I certainly hope it was the latter. It’d show that even though there are lots of stupid, nasty, crude men who think nothing of harrassing random women*, that at least they are surrounded by a buffer of friends and family who know just what assholes they are.
I know these things happen in New York City, and every other large city, but I still don’t get it. Why do people do this? Why do they need to get their thrills by sexually harrassing strangers? What kind of joy could they possibly derive from it? I’m being serious here. Does anybody know of any psychological studies or anything? I remember a woman shot a documentary once, where she filmed herself stopping guys who’d heckled her and asked them why they did it. Has anybody else heard of that film?
*Though it’s not just women who get harrassed. Some old man once grabbed my boyfriend’ crotch in Morningside Heights. If there was ever a moment that called for a “what the fuck!?,” that was it.