There are somethings that are expected when the decision is made to go for a morning walk. Such as the walking, that you may get rained on, you may trip on uneven pavement, etc. But this morning what I did not expect was for an Italian youth (little punk that he was) to give my backside a healthy pinch before he took off sprinting down another path with his friend.

So I swore at him as he was running off, then started continuing on my way before I stopped in the middle of the path and was unsure of what I should do.

It’s not that I have never been the subject of sexist behaviour or bum gropings before. In the suburb where I grew up it was practically obligatory for boys in cars to toot at anything walking along the footpath in a skirt or with long hair. As a uni student I progressed to bars and clubs on Saturday nights where the slightly-more-grown-up boys would go for the ass slap as you walked by, or attempt that dance style where, instead of talking or interacting with you, they just dance with your back (my male friends dubbed this dancing style ‘linging’ and a friend who attempted it all too often was nicknamed ‘the linger’).

But maybe because this was in the middle of the morning, maybe because this kid was wearing a backpack, or maybe because he was close to half my age, whatever the reason I was close to getting a little upset while still being a half hour from home on my walk. So I chased them both until I lost sight of them. And my short sprint made me feel infinitely better. Plus they had to run faster and for longer, too.


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