Lauren’s story: The making of a braver woman!

I was on my way home from work yesterday – a sunny and pleasant afternoon – when I alighted from the Capitol Theatre Light Rail stop (in Sydney, Australia) near a busy intersection in the CBD at around 4.30pm.

The sunlight was quite bright and I’d forgotten my sunglasses, so I raised my hand to block the sun from my eyes and started to make my way towards the intersection.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a normal-looking man walking towards me (he was wearing a collared green shirt and black pants) and he locked his eyes on me and changed his walking pace and even side-shuffled a little so that he could force himself into my path.

I tried to move out of his way but her kept blocking me, then said quietly in my ear so no one else would hear: “sexy armpit.”

My face automatically scrunched up in disbelief, and my the time I processed what this perve had said and done, he was starting to power walk off. I turned around and yelled at the top of my lungs and called him a wanker in front of the small crowd that was waiting to cross the road at the same intersection I was standing at, but he didn’t look back and kept briskly walking away like nothing had happened.

Of course everyone looked at me like I was a psycho, because to them it would look like I’d yelled at him simply for walking into me, they wouldn’t have heard what he said.

It wasn’t that confronting or lewd, but I felt shaken up nonetheless and spent the next few hours going over it in my mind and what I wish I’d said/done.

It’s been a while since I’ve been street harassed, but it was a familiar feeling; like I’d had my dignity snatched away against my will and I felt like a piece of meat there to be judged and commented on by men.

I’d started reading Hollaback a couple of months before this incident occurred, and I thank this website for giving me the courage to turn around and yell at this perve to let him know it wasn’t ok – normally I would have just stayed quiet with shock and scampered away, but not anymore. My only regret is that I didn’t get a photo of the prick.

Thanks Hollaback for making me a braver woman!

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