I got on the 8:20 Manhattan-bound M train Monday morning at the 4th Ave., 9th Street stop and was sitting down, reading the paper like I normally do. A few stops later, a man came on the train, and stood to the left of me next to the doors. I didn’t pay close attention until I saw something in my periphery that was moving. I turned to the left and saw the man’s penis sticking out while he rubbed it. He stared at me the entire time. I jumped up and shouted — WHAT THE F–K ARE YOU DOING? The doors opened and he got out at the Dekalb stop, but stared at me through the doors as the train left the station.
I wish I had my camera out so I could take a picture and show it to the police. I’ve filed reports to the MTA and the police, but who knows if anything will be done. I really want this asshole caught.
Submitted by Kim
Harassment starts at home, it seems. I left my apartment early this afternoon, and walked only a few steps before a large man with a cell and a cigar started leering. He gave me the elevator eyes and said, “Niiiiiiiice legs. Why don’t you walk that pretty pussy over here?”
I walked on, but he continued, “Oh, come on and don’t be RUDE baby, you know I just think you sexy!”
Now, I’ve been putting up with street harassment for about 6 years. It runs the gamut from the mundane catcalls and the counterman’s hand lingering just a bit too long and stroking just a bit too knowingly when returning my change, to the truly terrifying instances of being grabbed (five times in all, once by the hair), and the nauseating displays of public masturbation (I’ve caught SIX men masturbating to me on the train, so much for working nights). When I tell people about these instances they usually assume I am being too sensitive, that I’m exaggerating, or, worst of all, that I must be wearing or doing something to solicit this sort of behavior. I’d read about hollaback before but was always just a bit to embarrassed or scared to say or do anything myself.
But today, when I turned around and saw that big fat man with his big fat grin staring back at me, something just clicked (notable, my camera). I whipped it out and snapped his picture. He yelled, “What you takin’ my picture for? Do you know me?” To which I responded, “What you talkin’ ’bout my pussy for? Do you know me?”
As he turned tail in shame I hollered to him, “Check out hollabacknyc.blogspot.com, see your picture online!”
As I walked the 7 minutes from the train station to my front door last night, I counted seven men who said something inappropriate to me, me in my modest kindergarten teacher’s attire (I didn’t count the ones who just leered or gestured) — that’s one a minute. They’re both perverse and pervasive, and must be stopped. I am not exaggerating and I’m not being too sensitive, and NOW I’m on a mission to collect the proof. Here he is, my number one, only a few thousand to go.
Submitted by Hannah
When I was sixteen, I was extremely shy and definitely not nearly as loud as I should’ve been when needed be. After a day of Chinatowning, my friend Vanessa and I were heading home on the subway. She walked ahead of me further down the stairs and I took my sweet time. I remember because I was wearing boots and couldn’t jog down as fast as her. I looked up and I saw this guy smiling at me. I didn’t think anything of it so I smiled back and looked away, because the more he smiled the more it creeped me out. He stopped walking and I went past him, thinking absolutely nothing of it because for the most part he seemed like just a plain ol’ friendly guy. I also had very little self esteem at the time and it hadn’t even crossed my mind for a second that this guy could be “checking me out”.
Well anyway, we made it inside the subway car and I sat down next to her. A moment later, that same guy sat down on the seats next to me. They were facing toward my seat, as my own were against the car wall, facing the opposite side. He said “hi”, and I didn’t answer because I was a little too freaked out that he still had that same smile. Then he edged slightly away from his seat and started to rub my leg. Vanessa didn’t see it, and I didn’t know what to do at all. I just stared at his hand, dumbfounded, wide eyes, scared as hell. Then he started rubbing his knee up and down my leg. I was wearing a skirt, a long black one, and he made it ride up to my knee. As soon as we reached our stop Vanessa and I got up and I bolted for the door. I turned around and he was following us, so I grabbed her hand and made a dash for it. She ran with me without asking questions thinking I was joking around, and we ran up the stairs until we made it back out onto the street and I couldn’t see him anymore.
Thinking about this now, I wish I could just go back there and scream “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? GET THE FUCK OFF HER, SHE DOESN’T WANT YOU TOUCHING HER YOU SICK, SICK FUCK!”. Sometimes when I’m walking in the subway, I wish I could see that guy (this was only two years ago) and just punch him in the face. I hate him so much.
Submitted by Kitty