Mom shot & killed for refusing to to give strange man her phone number
You know the story: Man meets woman. Man asks woman for her phone number. Woman refuses to give man phone number. Man continues to harass woman until she gets so fed up she walks away. Man shoots girl for ignoring his advances. Whether you're familiar with this sort of story or not, the fact of the matter is, it happens. In fact, this is exactly what happened to a mother of three last Saturday.
Mary "Unique" Spears was reportedly shot and killed by a man she just met because, get this, she refused to give the stranger her phone number. According to local news reports, Spears had just left a relative's funeral and arrived at a local rental hall in Detroit when she was stopped and harassed by an unidentified 38-year-old man. According to witnesses, the wannabe Romeo asked Spears for her number, but she declined to share it. "He said, 'Can I get your name, your number?'" one of Spears relatives, who asked to remain unidentified, told the news station. "She said, 'I have a man; I can't talk to you.'" But he the guy wouldn't take no for an answer.
According to Spears' relative, the dude kept harassing the 27-year-old woman. And so, she finally had enough, and proceeded to leave the establishment. Only, she never made it out. The man reportedly grabbed and hit Spears while she was on her way out, prompting her fiancé to jump in. After a short scuffle, the suspect pulled out a gun and started firing. All hell broke loose.
"He shot her one time," the relative told WJBK. "And she tried to run. And he shot her two more times in her head." The suspect also wounded five other people, including Spears' fiancé. And still, countless others have been scarred for life. "I'm scared to walk outside just because of that, and I'm scared that if I reject guys, he gonna shoot men now," admits Spears' fear-stricken relative, essentially echoing the sentiments shared by countless women around the world.
In fact, every time I shout back at a man who harasses me on the street, a huge part of me fears that he'll retaliate in a violent way. For the most part, guys just call me the "b word," however others have threatened me physically. One even threatened to rape me. These experiences make me feel helpless. What am I to do when a man asks for my number and I don't want to give it to him? How do I react when someone calls me a slut for ignoring his advances? Do I just walk away? Do I say something? Do I shout stranger danger? Do I…
The truth is, it isn't in my control to change this behavior. It's up to men. Men need to take responsibility for their actions. Street harassment is a choice. It's not a compulsion. They can control it, they're just socialized to think that they don't have to keep it in check. It's not my fault (or any other woman's fault) that a man reacts in whatever way that he does when we ignore him. That too is in his control. It's about time we started teaching men that women owe them nothing--not attention, sex, or even their phone numbers. But they do owe us respect. At least enough to walk away when we say, thanks but no thanks.
Images via Thinkstock, Fox Detroit