Letters To You - Don't Shout

Dear You

You shouted “Green Day'“ at me, first I want to congratulate you, my hair is green. I’ll use this information to guess that you did quite well at Primary school and can identify colours. I realise that sometimes the light can trick our eyes, but you did a stellar job there. What you may not have realised, though, is that green is not actually a natural hair colour, which means I’m very aware that my hair is green. I did it all by myself, because (forgive me, but I’m guessing you might not know this) they sell green hair dye. I know! These modern times we live in, so bizarre.

I vaguely recognised you, you know? In that moment when we made eye contact as I was staring at the stall you were working on as I walked past. That means very little though, it’s Hastings and St Leonards, there is a possibility I’ve been at many events you have too. What you might not realise though, is that my lack of coming over meant I didn’t care if I recognised you. I had no desire to walk over and say “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”.

You are just another male face in the crowd.

And now I want to give you a lesson in respect. You may be able to identify colours correctly (well done), but you don’t shout after anyone in the street.

You definitely do not shout after a lone woman in the street.

I’m not sure what possessed you to shout after me. Maybe you were compelled to inform me of all your skills in identifying colours. You’ve had enough praise from me in that department, you won’t get any more. Maybe, just maybe you thought the green hair was a symptom of something, but then shouting ‘green day’ after me doesn’t really help if thats the case. Was the comment a mocking of me? Because just in case you weren’t aware, you’re looking a little bit like an arsehole now.

Part of me wishes I had turned round, come up to you and asked you to elaborate. Where you offering me tickets to see Green Day?! Sorry, but I’m not interested, Green Day stopped being good MANY years a go.

Shouting anything after a woman in the street is rude, and it is disrespectful. But beyond that, there is no need. This starts to be less about you and more about any man that shouts after any woman in the street. I have never known a woman to run to and then fawn over a man who randomly shouts at her in the street. I’ve never heard of any of my friends meeting their romantic partners this way either.

Are you, and men like you, do desperate to be noticed by women that you’ll shout anything after them? Because even a negative reaction is still a reaction, right? She might turn round to you and tell you where to go, but she realised you were there! She engaged with you! Oh look, everyones a winner! (That’s sarcasm by the way, I’m unsure of your level of education so I’ll leave handy tips).

Speaking for myself, I never care what strangers on the street think of me, and I’m pretty sure none of my female (or male) friends give two shits either. We should all be allowed to exist in public places without unwanted attention - and if you think me having green hair is anything other than for my own self-esteem then I’m gonna say that I definitely never want to see you again.

It’s not just you though, many men are forever giving me their unwanted opinion in the street, I’d like to think that the other men you were with might have asked you why you felt the need to shout at me, or what you were playing at? I think, really, that they might have made some joke about the green hair and then gone about their day.

How many other women did you shout at that day? Part of me hopes I’m the only one because I hate to think of a woman being made to feel insecure or anxious because of your rude tongue.

May I make a suggestion? If you, or any other man, feels the need to shout at woman in the street for some bizarre recognition, can you just where a giant sign above your head flashing ‘VALIDATE ME’, it’ll make you all much easier to avoid in future.

Letters To YouErin Veness