Today, on my way back from the grocery store, I got hit on by a six-year-old. I assume he was a six-year-old, because he was most certainly prepubescent and no bigger than a slightly overgrown wombat.
He pulled up to the corner of the sidewalk on his tiny child skateboard as I walked by. “Excuse me, miss!”
I stopped and removed my headphones, entirely expecting him to tell me he was lost or ask me where some tiny child theme park was located or if I liked the color green or some shit like that.
“I’m doing this thing for my skate park,” said the tiny male human as he smiled up at me with wide puppy eyes, “where I have to land a trick in order to get a hug.”
Well that’s a weird promotion. Why would they have a kid do that? What kind of training approach are they OH MY GOD THIS INFANT IS HITTING ON ME.
“I… think you should ask your parents for that hug,” I said, once my brain stopped reeling from the shock of being flirted with by someone who probably doesn’t even know if he can grow a mustache yet.
“I did that already!”
“Yeah, well, practice makes perfect.”
At this point, I started to walk away, and this tiny manchild actually began yelling after me, shouting “Aw, come on! Come on!”
I, being an adult and not the size of a wombat, was able to outpace the indignant little human fairly easily and made it home without a small yapping thing at my heels.
Now, let’s talk about this.
The story is amusing. You have a child acting like an adult, and that is often funny, in the same way that pugs wearing sweaters and boots are funny. It’s one thing pretending to be something it’s not. It’s a behavior farce. Lol. Ha ha. Whatever.
But this story is also absolutely fucking horrifying. It’s only funny because I was dealing with a small child incapable of overpowering me or presenting any real threat. But fast-forward ten years. That wombat-sized kid is now a sixteen year old boy who’s probably at least as tall as I am. Move ahead another ten years, and now a fully grown man is the one getting angry that I turned him down and is shouting “aw, come on!” at me while I’m just trying to carry my bags home from the grocery store. Now it’s an adult who’s throwing a tantrum because his line didn’t work and he didn’t get what he wanted. Now it’s someone who’s much more of a match for me physically coming at me with a lifetime of assumption that if he asks for it, I, a complete stranger, should give it to him.
That right there is rape culture. Inside of a six-year-old.
Not so funny now.
Comedy becomes tragedy all too easily. For that story ten and twenty years from now to be different, its revision needs to start now.