12/19/12: The Boston Public Library, The Pine Street Inn, The effects of the conglomerate’s misogyny

by thiswinteralso

December 19, 2012

I went to the Boston Public Library in Copley Square this afternoon.

When I got here, the restrooms on the first floor were “Closed For Cleaning.”

I’ve been coughed and sneezed at while I’ve been here, the way I still am at the shelter, too.  It’s not as bad as it was months ago, but it is sexual harassment and it never should have happened.

There is a woman at the Pine Street Inn who follows me to the restroom and stays in a stall there so that she can cough at me the entire time.  She’ll follow me and stand in line near me in the shower room, waiting to get a shower, coughing.  She decided to sit next to me this morning, even though there were other chairs available, so that she could cough at me.  She wasn’t the only one doing it; she does tend to be one of the loudest, and she also seems to have serious mental problems.  She’ll cough for an hour or more.  I have spoken about her to staff before.    

I finally got mad at her and told her to be quiet.  I wasn’t overly polite about it; it was very early in the morning.  When you sleep in the lobby, they get you up at 4:15 a.m. and then you can try to sleep sitting up or crouched in a chair for the next hour and 45 minutes, until the rest of the guests, who got beds the night before, get to the lobby. The staffperson said nothing to the woman who had been harassing me, and told me to watch my language or I’d be out.  I said “At least it would be quieter out there.”

It would be quieter for a few seconds, until I was seen by the stalking trucks, cars, helicopters, and the other people who would harass me.

There are women at the shelter who walk by me and say “It stinks.”  This morning, a woman walked by several feet in front of me and said “It stinks like pussy,” and then the woman she was with coughed.   

Contrary to what many people might think, what’s been happening in the shelters is not normal, even for people who tend to have a lot of problems, like people who stay in shelters.  It’s a result of the conglomerate’s behavior. 

Why is there no relief from this? 

Nobody can truthfully say that the things that led to statements such as “It stinks like pussy” weren’t gestures that meant the same thing, that they weren’t sexual harassment; they have been the entire time.   

It is gender discrimination and sexual harassment.  Women do those things to other women; it’s still gender discrimination and sexual harassment. 


Copyright L. Kochman, December 19, 2012 @ 4:49 p.m.