So last year, while I was going to my old apartment to have it professionally cleaned and then meet the property manager to get my deposit back, I got into the elevator and there was a guy there. scruffy male, blond hair blue eyes and I waited for him to fob the floor to ensure he was in fact a resident or was supposed to be there and he did and then I fobbed mine. his floor was 17 and mine was 16.
After a second as we were going up, he asked me which unit I lived in, saying that he wanted to know if his unit was on top of mine… (because of course you know he would have asked a man the same type of question)
And I told him it was none of his business.
He then replied that “that’s not how I thought that would go”… and then glared at me. and then told me I was being hostile.
I told him ,” no, I’m not. You are. You don’t ask women or anyone where they live or what unit. It’s rude and it’s not your business”
Then I got off and when housekeeping arrived, I let them in and showed them to my apartment and then proceeded to go down the street to the mall where when I looked behind me while at the mall, I saw none other that “the same man” What. the… It seemed like him being at the mall could have been a harmless coincidence but still…
I went back to the apartment and paid the housekeepers. I felt good in knowing that at least I was moving and I would never see him again…
Well. WRONG! I just moved into my new apartment a few blocks away from the old one and many people jumped from my old apartment to the new one because it’s brand new with a pool and skylounge and guess who I ran into my first month in the underground garage after I was taking boxes out? Yup! The same creepy aggressive man!
I tried not the think about it or let it effect me but then last night after a friend drove me home from work, I got into the elevator and he was in there. I couldn’t just get out or not fob in my apartment because it’s one of those elevators where you have to fob your floor in from the outside elevator panel and then it selects and elevator for you, so when you step in, your floor is already lit up on the panel. He recognized me immediately and proceeded to man spread by leaning against the wall and putting is feet out as far as he could towards me. as well as glare at me aggressively. I also know which floor he lives on now but now he knows my floor! And so they only thing I could do when I got off the elevator is go the opposite way . Usually I go right, so I went left, that way he would think I lived on the north side. but still, I am supposed to feel safe in a high rise, right? I shouldn’t have to be on guard at every moment, right? I shouldn’t feel intimidated by some guy just because I rejected his unwanted advances in an elevator five months ago, right? This is why man-spreading is totally a thing. It’s not just about a guy being comfortable while sitting or standing. It’s a way that men aggressively activate a use of space in order to intimidate women. To impose themselves upon others in the room or on a bus for instance. To claim a shared or public space that is meant for all to enjoy by aggressively posturing in order to claim it for themselves. I shouldn’t be thinking about moving out of my awesome new condo and I shouldn’t be worried about feeling safe every time I get into the elevator to go home. But now it’s there. That little seed of anxiety every time I get into my elevator, now I am the one who has to carry that with me. That little bit of extra awareness while in a supposedly secured building. And that is why it’s not just street harassment anymore. It’s also common space harassment.