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I live in Harlem, the street harassment capital of the eastern sea board, so I am, unfortunately, not a stranger to it. This didn’t happen in Harlem though.
I was staying at my friends house in DC. He was at work, so I was taking the sunny day to walk to the local movie theatre. I had just had the thought of how lovely and calm, and sunny and quiet it was, and how nice it was to not be cat called as I walked when this young guy, maybe 25 *maybe*, says excuse me.
I turned around and said yes.
He said “Does your husband know you’re out looking so nice?”
I stopped walking, looked at him and said “Don’t. Stop. I don’t know you.” then started to walk away.
He said “Well, does your husband?”
I kept walking.
He started shouting “Don’t be like that. Oh, I see, you are one of those people -those negative people. I feel sorry for people like you. I hate people like you.”
and I kept walking
and I checked over my shoulder at every stop light because we were sorta going to the same place so he more or less followed me for five blocks- and I was scared. When I got to the movie theatre, I cried in the bathroom. and I hated being a woman that day.
Published on August 27, 2014 at 3:01 pmno comments
While traveling in Malaysia with a girl friend. We were at a club trying to dance, just the 2 of us. A pack of guys surrounded us and started grabbing my ass and my tits, trying to break free from the crowd I turned around to see my girlfriend grabbing guys dicks and asking how they liked it, and just like a dog chasing a car, none of them knew what to do once they “caught” it. They all backed off an gave us our space. I have never respected one of my friends so much for dishing out what she was getting. Just goes to show how people react when put in the same situation.
Published on August 27, 2014 at 2:53 amno comments
I was walking downtown to my apartment — about a mile total. I was waiting at a crosswalk when a man came up right next to me and put his hand on my arm. He was very drunk and looking at me with a stare that put a chill down my spine. As soon as I could, I crossed the intersection. He kept up, walking directly to my side less than a foot away. I tried to shake him off, but he continued to follow me through the next couple of blocks, putting his hand on my arm at each crosswalk pause.
I finally went into a bank to shake him off. The three women tellers were as shaken as I was when I told them why I was there. When I couldn’t see him anymore, I went back to the street. On the next block, he jumped out at me from some bushes he had been hiding in. I walked faster, but he kept up. A maintenance man saw what was happening and stopped the guy, telling me to keep going.
That delay only worked for so long and the guy caught up with me. I called 911 and by the time I was under the underpass and across the bridge a police officer zoomed through the intersection and stopped right in front of us. As he was arresting the guy, two more police cars came up. I declined to press charges or declare myself a victim. He probably just needed to sober up.
It’s not like he hurt or threatened me, but I’m having a hard time shaking it off, given that the low level street harassment continues as it always does. Someday, I hope women and men can look back at street harassment as an unfortunate past problem.
Published on August 27, 2014 at 2:05 amno comments
I was grocery shopping today when a man came up to me blocked me in the bread aisle with his cart. He was smiling and asking me something so I removed my headphones to see if he needed something. He said, “Are you getting groceries to make dinner for me tonight?” I awkwardly laughed and replied, “Sorry, I am too busy making dinner for my husband and my kids,” hoping that this would send the message that I was not available or interested in his advances.
Then he started asking me what my husband would think of him showing up and stuff like that while I tried to figure out how to navigate around him and get out of the aisle. He just kept up, asking things like, “Is your husband taking good care of you? You let me know if he isn’t and I will fix things right quick.”
I eventually backed up out of the aisle and left the store without even getting everything I went there for. I hate that I didn’t just come out and say, “leave me alone.” What he did wasn’t cute or amusing. I just didn’t feel comfortable enough or safe enough to speak out. Ugh.
Published on August 26, 2014 at 9:05 pmno comments
Today I was at an outdoor festival. There were food tents and I was holding my sisters roasted corn for her while she bought something else. An old man comes and stands between me and a friend and says “don’t hold it like that”. I was holding it vertically and assumed he thought I was going to eat it like that. I replied that it wasn’t mine I was just holding it for someone. He once again told me not to hold it like that so I asked why. He made a gesture insinuating it was a penis and gave me the creepiest look and walked away while staring at me. I’m so mad I didn’t say anything and let it anger me
Published on August 24, 2014 at 11:39 amno comments