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The recent most recent experience at work and here we go again, another “fortune 500, one of America’s Best Places to Work” and this creep starts in with the catcalling, etc. That quickly escalated to grabbing behind the neck and shoulders. Anything to make contact and get a squeeze. After my avoiding the person and keeping my husband at bay (no, an altercation at work would not be a good idea) I ended up going to HR and filing a complaint. It wasn’t just going to be my problem any more. Having to sit in front of my boss and the rep was embarassing. I couldn’t even admit to them at the time that he started touching me. They asked about witnesses and to tell you the truth, at the time that wasn’t my biggest concern . The “here we go again” light bulb didn’t go off in my brain. It was a busy day before Christmas and like everyone else, I was tired and a bit stressed out. Besides, I didn’t know at the time how quickly this would escalate. While sitting there, I felt almost as if they didn’t believe me and that in itself compounded just how badly I felt. My husband keeps telling me that I cannot imagine how wicked and warped some men’s minds can be. He is trying to protect me and all women with such a statement but getting too paranoid isn’t the answer either. Guess the lesson is to never let your guard down and don’t be afraid to speak up. Also, don’t deny the emotional damage and how it inconveniences your life. From my most recent experience, I felt angry, degraded, shamed, and frustrated. Not being able to just go to work and deal with the issues at hand without having to worry about how to avoid a confrontation and what the next surprise would be. Also, would I be labeled “a bitch” for being too thin skinned or overreactive? The point is, I felt violated and that in itself made it wrong.
Submitted by J.F.
Although this is not street harassment in the most literal sense, I thought you would find this interesting. I found the attached turd on my way to the grocery store this afternoon. Upon closer inspection I noticed that this is packaging for a phone card. A FUCKING PHONE CARD. I usually laugh at such “over the top” objectification of the female body, but this thing just made my stomach sink.
I’d much rather get cat-called on the street by some asshole than having to see this crap: at least I can yell back at a pervert (and/or send his picture to you guys). Shit like this (which displays the female body like so many breasts and thighs from a bucket of KFC) only encourages misogynist behavior.
Submitted by Miss H
Last year i used to have to walk to my highschool. Right across the street there is always a huge group guy just standing there. At first they didn’t bother me when i passed them but after my first few day they used to whistle at me and one of them even grabbed my ass. it was diguesting and i felt so violated. So i turned around and said ” Yea i know my ass is nice but that gives you no reason to teach it.” They all just stood there and stared at me.A few days later my friend who travels the same way as me but has to be in earlier told me that they had grabbed her ass a few times.sS I repoted them to the school security and we never saw them there again.
I’m a NYC resident, and was on a business trip in Memphis this weekend when I was assaulted. I wanted to send a post to Holla Back, because I feel like this will make me feel as if I’ve reclaimed some of my power. I can’t take back what happened and I can’t get it out of my head, I just need to tell the world what he did.
The story starts – I was at Graceland when it happend yesterday afternoon at around 1:30 pm yesterday with a friend. I was on a tour of the house with about 8 other people. If you havn’t been to Graceland, it is a museum of sorts. The house is pretty small and so the tour group gets herded from one room to the next. I was stopped taking a picture and leaning over a railing . That’s when I felt it. A man, about 40 years old, wearing a blue windbreaker and a buzz cut- walking past with his friend reaches UNDERNEATH ME, between my legs and grabs my ass and reaching the front of my crotch. He keeps walking. I whipped around to scream “Are you fucking kidding me?!?” and everyone in the tour was wearing those stupid tour-headsets and no one said anything. So, I walked into the next room following the guy and tapped him on the shoulder, I didn’t know what I was going to say – so I just kept tapping him on the shoulder. He pretended not to feel my tapping and hear my voice – and continued to take pictures. I asked him a few times “Are you fucking kidding me?! Did you just grab my ass??!!” and he didn’t respond.. I said it again and he responded “No, I was just taking pictures.” He turns around and looks at his child-molester looking friend behind him and asks if it was him.. and he just shrugs his shoulders. Walking around the room, I’m in fucking Elvis’s house here – mind you – and there’s a security guard right there, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to make a scene more than I already had -it’s this completely silent room with a dozen strangers, and my ass and crotch were just grabbed. The feeling of a complete loss of power and thought and coping skills was just overwhelming. I went and told my friend (loudly) what had just happened and we stood there, in shock, me shaking – not knowing how to feel better about this. The guy was denying anything happened, and I just wanted to cry, but didn’t want to cry in front of him. So I thought it over and decided, it would be worse if no one believed me, or if he got angrier and made me feel worse, so I kept on going and just tried to avoid him the rest of the afternoon.. I think a security guard heard me talking loudly about what had happened, and so next thing I know, I have 2 security guards following me at a distance around the grounds. This made me feel even worse – I thought the guy had told them that I had threatened him or something, and felt so dirty and disgusting and as if somehow, I had done something wrong. I eventually, an hour later – saw him again and told a security guard what had happened. The guard approached the men, who again – denied it was them – and the guard came back to tell me – they had denied it. I’m sorry. I think they should have been kicked out, but it didn’t surprise me that they didn’t do it.
Ever since the moment I was grabbed, I have been replaying the situation over and over in my head, wishing I could have done or said something better than what I did. I wish I could have just kicked him in the nuts, or started screaming and cursing and telling him what a pathetic human being he was that not only does he grab stranger’s crotches, he can’t own up to it. Tell him that because he can grab people doesn’t mean he’s got any sort of power, in fact, it shows how pathetic and powerless he is. I have taken self-defense classes before, but at that moment I was defenseless, speachless. I’ve never been one to have a good one-liner waiting in the wings, but I really wish I had just this once. I’m proud that I at least had the good sense (thanks to some amazing women I know who don’t put up with any shit) to walk up to him and confront him. Hopefully that changed the power dynamic a little bit. I’m also proud that I eventually told a security guard. I guess all I can hope is that The King, up in heaven will defend my honor, I’m almost certain Elvis doesn’t allow sexual assault in his living room. I hope that he can make sure that fuckhead got run over by a go-cart from hell on the way home last night. Hopefully, the spirit of Graceland won’t be ruined for me – or maybe it’s time to move onto another hollywood home, something more empowering, like Dollywood. The worst thing about this, was this was not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. This was a particularly aggressive move, but it happens every day to women who were not ‘asking for it.’ Next time, however – if its on the subway, or in a crowd, or in a museum like this was – I will scream, and I will kick and I will punch that asshole and I don’t care if I’m making a scene or not.
Thanks Hollaback for doing what you do, and for making a space for me to reclaim my power.
Submitted by J
My latest incident happened on Saturday, Dec. 30th, passing by construction site on 3rd Ave. and 10th St. I felt “the leer”, and gave the worker the benefit of the doubt by simply nodding, and looking away.
He proceeded to say creepily, “Oh, fuck, that’s a pretty pussy. Do you take it in the ass?” I just kept walking and shaking my head. I’ve lived in New York for 6 years, and I’m just tired. I live around the block, and now avoid the construction site. I’m angry at myself for feeling like it’s my fault, but most of all that he can get away with it.
Just found your website, and from now on, I’m going to have my phone in hand. Why do men have to be such a dissapointment sometimes? It makes me appreciate the good ones.
Submitted by S.
I had my cell phone clutched in my hand the whole time, unfortunately it didn’t have a camera so I couldn’t take a picture of the jerk’s face. I’m 17 years old and even though I’ve been told I look 18 or 19, it’s still no justification to hit on someone who is thirty years younger than you. It was just plain creepy and it left me completely shaken. I ended up in tears for the two hours that followed because I was totally unnerved and I lost all sense of safety. This incident was made worse by the fact that the night before I had a group of guys shouting “I want some of that pussy” at me while I was walking down the 42 street train station stairs. I’m use to comments of “hey beautiful” and such and I’ve learned to ignore those, but the vulgarity of what those guys were shouting surprised me and left me a bit nervous. But it certainly compared nothing to how violated I felt last night.
Submitted by C.C.