Verbal

10 minutes, three harassers

I was first verbally harassed by a man in an SUV walking east on fulton across from Marcy. He told me to “slow down, slow down” several times before I turned around and gave him the finger. I then crossed the street and went into a store.

On my way back, I was harassed a second time by a small group of young men outside the McDonalds. The first guy showed me a large wad of cash as I passed, while the second guy asked me “Can I taste it?”, to which I replied “that’s disgusting, have some respect!”

As I crossed the street and turned onto my block, I heard another guy behind me making comments and noises under his breath. It both enrages and scares me that this amount of harassment is a typical occurrence in a ten minute round-trip walk from my home to the store and back. I am still enraged and wanted to physically hurt all of these men. The tension I’m still feeling in my stomach also comes from fear of a backlash from talking back to my harassers.

Submitted by Diane

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homophobic

Satan doesn’t love, I do.

I’m walking down the sidewalk holding hands with my girlfriend when a guy sitting at a cafe table yells, “Satan lives!”  My girl sez, “yeah, he does!” and we keep walking.

Submitted by Dragonfly

no comments 
flashing

I know you’re mentally ill, but that doesn’t make this less scary

Ug. I can’t believe it. I got on the red line at Park Street and noticed this mentally ill older man right across from me. I noted how he was talking to himself, pounding his library book on his lap and shaking his head. At MGH a young woman got on our train car in a jean skirt with no tights (brrrrrrrrrr!) and he just became fixated on the poor woman. Staring at her. I drifted into my own world. As we are pulling into Central Square I see that he’s held his book up over his crotch and is fidgeting with something. I was shocked. When I stood up to get off (thankfully this was my stop), I confirmed that he had unzipped his pants. I didn’t look long enough to see what he was doing down there. I totally admire that woman in NYC. I talk back to cat callers and never hesitate to speak my mind, but I was literally paralyzed. Maybe if it hadn’t been my stop I could have gotten myself together enough to call him out in the same way or get a photo, but I am happy to have just gotten away from the situation right away. His mental instability was a bit scary too. Now I’m left feeling utterly disgusted and violated. Man…

Submitted by Anna

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Verbal

Oh. My. Gross.

Last week I was walking down the street and I was on my phone.  A man came up to me very close and said ” you are so sexy I want to sink my teeth into your ass”.

I turned around and told him what he said was totally inappropriate.

Wish I had snapped his photo so I could post it here.

Submitted by Leah

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Stalking, Verbal

Holding her own, holding her butter knife

Okay. This isn’t exactly my story but it just HAS to be told purely for its awesomeness.

My sister, aged 19, was getting home one night from her boyfriend’s place, which is  only about 15 minutes away, but since it was quite late she thought it better to wait at one of the bus stops instead.

Cue the creepy guy who followed her all the way to the bus stop and proceeded to leer and ask ‘How much?’ (for sex).  What did my sister do? She pulled out a bread knife from inside her pocket, aimed it straight at this guy, accompanied by a pretty vicious sounding ‘FUCK OFF’. The dude backed right off, but not before muttering ‘bitch’ under his breath, according to my sister. Oh yes. As if he was the victim in this scenario.

I know that physical confrontation isn’t always the wisest thing to do in these situations but I’d be a damn liar if I said I wasn’t proud of my younger sister for holding her own!

Submitted by Melissa Y

one comment 
groping

14 and already holla’ing back!

Fourteen years old at the time and walking through a shopping centre (on my lunch break). Can I just mention here that even at fourteen I looked young for my age – definitely sums up what kind of perverts these guys were.

Two guys (I’m guessing in their late twenties or early thirties) walk past and I feel one of them grab my bum. As a jerk reaction I whip round and hit one of them in side with my elbow and forearm, really really hard and his only reply is ‘It wasn’t me!’.

Well jerkoff, I can only assume by the smirk on your face and on your buddy’s that the two of you are just as bad as each other anyhow and it’s just a shame that I didn’t get both of you. (was the inner monologue in my head!)

The disgust aside, I’m quite proud of the shy, quiet 14 year old me!

Submitted by Melissa Y

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campaign, The Movement

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one comment 
Verbal

Watching harassment get passed down to future generations

Oh boy, do I have loads of stories to tell. This is one of the tame ones but here’s just a taste:

Summer 2009 – Walking to a friends house. Chatted up by a sleazy guy strolling a pram. With his little kid strapped in. Definite low.

Halloween 2010 – At general store in my local shopping centre wading through the costumes in the Halloween aisle and with little luck.

The same sleazy guy with the kid (now a toddler) is shopping in the same aisle. Doesn’t recognize me. Picks up “sexy” cat ears and tells me that I should wear this because it’s sexy and will suit me. Once again, whilst shopping for halloween costumes with his kid. Once again, in a very slimy tone.

There you have it. Both sleazy and forgetful. I only wish I’d taken a picture but hey who knows – he might forget me again and repeat his utter douchery.

Submitted by Melissa

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Verbal

Tales from the gas station

I work at a little gas station down the street from my house, and all of these incidents took place while I was working.

1) A customer that we regularly had trouble with trying to get free beer and cigarettes from one of the other employees came in and not seeing my coworker there started harassing me to give him free stuff. I had been told by my manager that this was not acceptable, and to tell him to leave if it happened again. I did as I was told and the customer started smiling to me. He told me I was cute when I was angry and asked if I was married. I told him that I was, and he told me that he was going to break into my house and steal me away from my husband. I told him again to get out, and he asked to take my hand. I refused, staying back from the counter. He set something on the counter, covering it with his hand, and assured me it was money for his purchase. Since my coworker had not come out of the back room (where the camera equipment was, he was watching the entire exchange from the office) and I had been assured several times that this particular customer, a regular in the store, was “harmless” I moved towards the counter to take the money and ring up the purchase. At that point he grabbed me by the hand and started pulling me over the counter. Finally, my coworker came out of the office and told the customer to leave. I was horribly shaken up by the experience, and told my manager and the owner that I was not comfortable with this kind of behavior, and asked specifically that this particular customer be barred from the property (a common practice when customers get out of hand). I was told that he was to be prevented from entering the store, but when he came back in a few weeks later and I told him to leave repeatedly, my coworker (the same one who’d been hiding in the back room during the actual event) waved him over and continued ringing him up several times in the same day, each time after I had asked the customer to leave. When I discussed this with the owner of the store, I was told that the individual was a “good customer” who came in often, so he was to be allowed into the store again. I expressed concern over having to serve him and the possibility of a similar incident, but the only answer I got was that my coworker wasn’t allowed to give him free beer and cigarettes anymore, but I am still expected to serve him when he comes into the store. This individual comes to the store several times a day, so I have to wait on him at least two or three times a shift, and my discomfort with him is constantly shrugged off.

2) At the same store, another regular who comes in several times a day has a habit of thrusting his hand over the counter towards me as I’m leaning over and handing him his change in attempt to grope at my chest. It’s another issue that I’ve brought up to superiors, and been shrugged off as “that’s just how he is, ignore it”. Apparently this is something he does to all of the female cashiers where I work, and is apparently just accepted as part of the job. Ick.

3) Another regular customer that comes in, and again, I have to wait on him several times each shift, regularly asks me if I’m married. When I tell him that I am, he appears to get angry at the information, insisting that I should leave my husband to be with him, asking for my phone number, etc, and once when I flat out told him I wasn’t interested he yelled at me, called me a stuck up bitch, and again insisted that I should leave my husband for him. Honestly, of the three, this is the one that most often appears to be truly a matter of a man deciding that women are all just property to be claimed with no rights or voice of their own, and the one that makes me the most uncomfortable (the other two, when stared at for the duration of their time in the store back down fairly quickly). Again though, when bringing it up to my superiors, it’s shrugged off as just something that “comes with the territory”, and something that I’ll just have to get used to. I’d rather not. I’m looking for another job already.

Submitted by Equalist

4 comments 
The Movement

OBJECTIFIED: A new short film on street harassment

Film is a powerful way to make social change, and we’re loving this one. It shows how men and women think about, and perceive street harassment differently.

The film points to it’s own conclusions, but why do you think street harassment happens?

A penny for your thoughts…

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