Carmela has been visiting in Down Town enough that people are starting to get to know her some and are letting her know they are watching to see to what degree her actions are lining up with her words. Yesterday, a man said something disgusting to her as he was walking by. Michelle Carmela followed him and told him he is not to look at her or talk to her in general. Then She informed him that she is a missionary. He told her to dress like one. “How does a missionary dress?” She asked him. He said, “Well, you sure don’t look like a nun.” She was wearing jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers and a backpack.
“As long as I am modest in my fashion and actions, you will respect me. And even if a woman is only wearing a thread of nothing and acting like a fool –if you are a real man you will at least keep your thoughts to yourself.” She told him sternly. He went on his way. Then she told the other men still standing there... “Think about what I just said. I might not look like what you expect or be the same skin color…so if I am not your sister, daughter, cousin or mother, I am someone’s. How do you want HIM to talk to yours?”
Then she went on her way. Today, several of the men stopped her to talk about the exchange she had with the man yesterday and how it affected them. The men’s comments were deeply insightful. It was a shock to hear from them what it does to them when another man disrespects a woman. Many of them told of stories when they were kids and heard men talk in a demeaning manner to their moms, sisters, grandmothers while walking with them. They said they did not think about these women's uneasy reactions or how dirty and confused they themselves as male children felt upon hearing such derogatory comments until yesterday.