Your story brings up mixed feelings in me, Emily, it really does. I feel for both sides. The awkward bagel barista, the cat calling dudes, the women who shrink their souls to avoid making the crazy street guy uncomfortable. I love them all. They are all fundamentally good.
Hey, I was born and raised in New York City and spent half my life there. Every street, every subway car can be a minefield. Sure there were the construction workers whose wolf whistles I had to walk past back in my 20s and 30s. But at some point I realized it was just more noise and it stopped bothering me. Or I opted for the other side of the street.
It’s just that everyone in their own dysfunctional way is struggling to communicate. Everyone is seeking deeper connection in some way. Not that this makes it easier for many women. We just have to remember our own vast inner strength.