The one where I was called a “useless whore”

July 29, 2014

Dear Max

Sometimes things happen that make me realize how much I’ve changed, or remind me how much I still have to learn. On Saturday, in a parking lot in Sea Point, Cape Town, I realised how much I have shifted. On Saturday, in a Woolworths parking lot, just as I was about to exit, a man entered my space in a rude yet significant way.

As I was making my way to the exit, waiting for another car to leave, another car came from the other side, also waiting to exit. I’m not sure if it’s significant that he was in a new Merc, and I was in a little Hyundai rental car and his “power” over my car or perceived wealth made him feel like he could shout at me, but whatever the case, it happened.

Once the car in front of me had left, I edged forward, as I had been there first. The Mercedes driver then pulled signs at me, and while I’m no professional lip reader, I could tell that he was telling me to f*ck off, and to f*ucking go. I smiled it off, paid for my parking and was jolted when this prize citizen came to my window and called me a useless whore. A useless whore?

I had two choices – drive away, or confront him. I chose the latter because, well, no one calls me a useless whore. Or rather, no one calls me a whore anymore. I stopped the car, got out, took a pic of his number plate, and tapped on his window to speak to him.

He ignored me at first, and then he realised I wasn’t going anywhere, and that my car was blocking the exit, so he had nowhere to go. He opened his window, and I asked why he had called me a useless whore. He spat out that I had pushed in front of him, and could I move my car. He closed the window, I tapped on it again, and he reluctantly opened again.

I told him that I was at the exit first, and that it wasn’t nice calling me names, and that I wanted him to apologise to me. He brusquely did, after which I asked him to apologise PROPERLY, which he grudgingly did. I doubt it was a sincere apology, but I needed something, anything. And this was the best I could get, because in most cases, assholes will always be assholes, and there’s nothing I could have done to make him nicer, Or respectful to humans.

Max, there was a time in my life I would have driven away from something like this. Or had a “loving” partner say something equally vile to my face and I would end up apologising for triggering this behaviour. But I’m done. And I’m proud. And I know it’s just a small thing to tell off the little man with the two Maltese poodles in the big car, it’s still a significant small thing.

If you were in the car with me, I would have done the same thing. I don’t want to “teach” you that a) it’s okay to speak to a woman (or anyone) like that, and b) that it’s okay to be bullied. Those would have been pitiful lessons for you, and for me too.

Max, not every situation will be safe or even worthwhile to stand up in, but I hope you realize that having a voice when it matters is deafening.

xMom

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23 Comments

  • Tami

    WELL DONE!! I am so proud of you for being brave enough to stand up to that asshat! 🙂 xx

    July 29, 2014 at 11:09 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks. Just really happy I’ve learnt how to do it, rather than slinking away

      July 29, 2014 at 12:39 pm Reply
  • Sam

    T, well done for standing up for yourself.

    Regardless of whether you pushed in front of him or not who the hell did he think he was that he can speak to you like that? Humans make me sick sometimes. I was called a “f*cking b*tch” by a male work colleague the other day (under his breath but I heard it) and my boss told me “good, that means you are getting under his skin”. WHEN did it become ok to speak to ANYONE like this??

    *sigh*

    July 29, 2014 at 11:27 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Oh Sam that’s terrible. And that’s acceptable? Seriously? Not cool at all.

      July 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm Reply
  • Cindy

    I can’t even find the right words for how much I think you did the right thing. Well done on being brave enough to stand up to abuse and say no!

    July 29, 2014 at 11:43 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks – not sure it was “brave” though. But I needed to do it for me – historically I’ve never really stood up for myself that way.

      July 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm Reply
  • Rich

    Tanya,
    That was so refreshing to read. I am so proud of what you did (that sounds a bit weird as I haven’t met you, but I am proud)
    Rich

    July 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Lol, thanks! 🙂 I honestly wasn’t looking for people to be proud or high five me – just needed to get it off my chest

      July 29, 2014 at 12:41 pm Reply
  • MeeA

    Well done! People like that man will keep treating others like that if we don’t stand up to them!

    July 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      I know! As I said, I didn’t change him, but I almost changed in the process

      July 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm Reply
  • Candice-Lee

    Good for you, Tanya! Well done for keeping your cool, I would have probably slapped him (and had an assault charge laid against me).

    July 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      I wish I had the guts to do that. I did want to throw his dogs out the car though 🙂

      July 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm Reply
  • Sian

    Well done! People are just so bloody aggressive these days and I really don’t get it! Some human beings need to take a huge chill pill.

    July 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks Sian. Some people also need to learn how to be human.

      July 29, 2014 at 3:43 pm Reply
  • Janice

    Absolutely awesome Tanya! You are such a lady and should be treated as such! I love what you did. What an example for all of us on so many levels. Thank you !

    July 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Aaaw thanks Janice – not sure about the lady and example parts, but thanks 🙂

      July 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm Reply
  • Gaelyn Cokayne

    GO you!!!! You definitely did the right thing, well done xx

    July 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm Reply
  • Sally-Jane

    Not sure I could have done that. But you are right we need to stop accepting people talking like that to women. To anyone actually.

    July 29, 2014 at 6:20 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Easier said than done, but it’s a start

      July 31, 2014 at 9:51 pm Reply
  • Wenchy

    Very proud of you…. Amazing when you no longer take abuse from anyone, including the ‘loving’ partner.

    July 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Was in that abusive relationship for so long I thought it was normal… Thanks hun

      July 31, 2014 at 9:50 pm Reply
  • Karen at MomAgain@40

    Wow! “Applauding”

    July 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Ah thanks – means a lot to me

      July 31, 2014 at 9:50 pm Reply

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