This is what happened to me today. I was running and this 14ish-year-old kid who was walking in the opposite direction reached out a touched my boob. It took my brain about 2 seconds to register what had happened, turn myself around 180°, and start chasing him down.
He heard me coming and looked over his shoulder to see a furious, 135-pound américaine in a bright yellow Mizzou tee sprinting towards him as fast as she possibly could. Would you have been scared? He was. He was terrified. He was smart to start running as fast as he could, too. I was ready to throw him to the ground, and he knew it.
I'm so sick of the disgusting men in this country. Until this kid, no one has gone so far as to touch me, but my personal space and general level of comfort gets violated all the time by gross French creeps. So the boob toucher is just some punk kid. But what about the security guard at Monoprix (that's kinda like a Target)? Do you think it's appropriate for him to say "Have you found some nice panties?" in a top-notch creep voice while I am browsing lingerie? Um let me think, no. Your job is to make sure people don't steal stuff, not infringe my personal underwear shopping space. I've got lots more absurd stories if anyone wants to hear them.
What pisses me off the most is that these men know I'm foreign. I have light-colored hair and skin, smile occasionally, and run a lot — qualities you will be hard-pressed to find in most French girls. They maybe assume I can't speak French or will be flattered by their creepiness or I don't even know what. But they're taking advantage of my foreignness.
I used to get really grossed out and flustered, my French would fail me, and the best I could do was make a disgusted face. But lately, either because my French is getting better or I just can't stand them anymore, I've started changing my tactic. This is why I started chasing the boob toucher with every ounce of energy I had left.
I wanted so badly to catch this kid and kick him real super hard with my strong marathon legs. That would have rocked. But I kinda knew from the beginning I wouldn't succeed. I already had already run six miles and was way tired. He had run zero miles and was terrified of me. After four blocks, he make a couple of sharp turns, and I lost him.
But even though I knew I probably wouldn't catch him, at least I didn't just let it slide. At least I got to see the horrified look on his face when he realized that I was coming for him. At least I made him run for it. And I hope I made him think twice.
So next time a French creep says something inappropriate, I'm not going to feel awkward and make a weird face. Maybe I won't try chase him down. Or hmm… if he's especially creepy, maybe I will. Watch out creeps.