Julia Price is used to being catcalled, first on the streets of New York where she used to live, and now in Los Angeles, too.
She’s always handled the offending comments on her own. Nobody has ever intervened — until now.
While running near the beach in Santa Monica, California, last week, the singer-songwriter said she found an unlikely ally, a young boy named James, who stood up to an aggressive catcaller and gave her an inspiring moment to remember.
“It was just like the ultimate, euphoric feeling,” Price told TODAY.com. “I was kind of in shock, but in a really good way. It felt surreal. I was just so happy, and I was really, really filled with hope — just the awareness of the boy to say something.”
Price said she was ignoring the man until he lashed out with vulgar language. She decided to confront him.
But then, she said, a boy around 7 or 8 beat her to it, confronting the creep with a “firm but very matter-of-fact delivery.”
She described the encounter on Facebook: “I ripped off my headphones prepared to stand up for myself when this little boy who was walking alongside his mother and little sister in a stroller looked at the guy and said, 'Hey. That is not nice to say to her and she didn't like you yelling at her. You shouldn't do that because she is a nice girl and I don't let anyone say mean things to people. She's a girl like my sister and I will protect her.'"
Price called it "a surreal moment."
"It was kind of like someone was watching out for me," she told TODAY.
The man, who said nothing to James, seemed embarrassed and left.
Price thanked her little guardian and gave him a big hug.
“He just shrugged and said, 'Well I just wanted to make sure your heart was okay,'" she wrote in the post.
“It was the most beautiful, pure, little-kid thing in the world,” she told TODAY. “It was so to the point. It warmed my heart.”
The whole exchange happened quickly, and Price and the family said goodbye before she could get their names.
In a followup Facebook post, Price described the experience as “one of the most moving moments of my life.”
It’s inspired her to remember to be brave and to stand up for people.
“For me, it’s the courage to be brave always,” she said. “What I say from now on: ‘There’s not really an excuse. If a little kid can do that, why can’t I or any of us do this?'"