Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
Just a few weeks ago, I was at hess with some friends. A guy kept trying to talk to me and asked me to go home with him. I said no politely the first few times cause I was drunk and didn’t care but once he persisted and kept on it, I eventually left the area with my friends. We were standing right near Hess and George when the same group of guys that harassed us threw beer bottles up in the air and they fell almost near us. We left Hess right then.
Dear guy, learn respect.
I was walking down the street the other day and some guy whistles at me and tells me “oh, what I’d like to do to that ass”.
I told him to fuck off and he proceeded to call me a bitch. Why the fuck do people think its okay to call people a bitch when they don’t respond the way they are expected to. Why the fuck do people think its okay to comment on people’s bodies and say what kind of sexual activity they’d like to do. No consent is sexual assault, figure it out.
I was in rush
I was late for school
I was wearing my beautiful new red heels
I was in a hurry ,but I felt good
I needed to catch that bus
I crossed the street
slowed down by the high school
there were one or two guys hanging out in the yard
but my neighborhood is safe in the morning
half a block past, I saw someone behind me
walking quickly to catch up
a young man in leather jacket,
he moved in behind me
I looked ahead walking faster
the corners of my eyes were wide open
I was walking faster
but he was catching up
easily and effortlessly
he slid right up to me,
breathing down my neck
i felt trapped, helpless
I wasn’t going to lose control
I had heels on , I wasn’t going to run
there was no one on the street
even in the distance
the morning birds were singing
my neighborhood was supposed to be safe in the morning
I kept walking fast
I kept scanning for a person, a policeman, anybody
where were the people heading for work?
I am strong
I grew up in the country, climbing trees
I grew up romping with three brothers
I taught my brother how to throw a baseball
finally two blocks down
there is a policeman
he is getting into his vehicle
he is shutting the door
I run as fast as I can
why don’t I scream?
my voice has evaporated
I am too far away
the police car pulls out
I am getting angry and desperate
I decide to turn around
I will punch him
I turn around into his flat hard face
I grabbed his collar
but something in me was paralyzed
I am a gentle person
I am just hanging on
he yells “you fuckin’ white bitch!”
and punches me right in the face
then walks away casually, triumphant
not hurrying at all
my head was spiked with razor blade stars
I reeled, I numbly continued walking to the bus stop,
only a half a block away
I was ashamed
I couldn’t defend myself
why was no one there ?
why did not one see?
what happened to my neighborhood safe in the morning?
the pressure inside suspended my tears
I had to keep going
I was late for class.
Just sitting at the bus stop when someone yells at me and gives me a nasty shock, making me jump. I look up to see a young blonde guy with his head stuck out the passenger side of a black car with red P plates. He laughs at me while making eye contact and I hear male and female laughter from the car, the windows were tinted so I only saw the guy yelling. Didn’t catch the number plate or I’d call the cops on them for harrassment and too many passengers for Red P plates.
During student elections in 2011, an EPIC supporter tried to get me to vote for EPIC just outside the polling booth thingy in Z block. I said basically “lol fuck off”. He then yelled at me “why don’t YOU fuck off you fucking tranny faggot!”
This evening, walking through the El Cortez casino in Las Vegas, NV, a man called out to me “smile! You ugly anyway” I replied “fuck you!”
A man opened the door of his car while driving to cat call me. Shame he didn’t fall off the bridge.
One of the most memorable things I’ve had shouted at me was when I was walking down the pavement of a main road just outside of Cheltenham town centre late at night. Generally speaking it’s a pretty safe area.
I was unaware of the 3 men walking behind me a little way back until one of them started trying to get my attention by shouting “Hey! Hello?” I turned my head briefly to see who was shouting at me but kept walking and ignored them, as I figured they were looking to get a response, and would lose interest if I refused to give them one.
Then one of them yelled at the top of his voice “I would tear your ass in half”.
I couldn’t believe it. There was no hint of humour in his voice to tell me it was just an idiotic and immature joke or a poorly judged and unwelcome attempt to hit on me. Given that it was after dark and the road was very quiet, it was quite simply unnerving.
I didn’t shout back because I was dumbstruck and didn’t want to engage with them. I wanted to quicken my pace to widen the gap between us, but I didn’t want him to know that he had succeeded in frightening me, so I just kept walking, trying to hide the fact my body had gone rigid.
I couldn’t understand what he got out of doing it other than making me (an 18-year-old stranger, minding her own business) feel both physically threatened/unsafe and deeply insulted/disrespected. I hate the fact that he thought it acceptable/funny to make me feel that way.
I have a pair of thigh high boots that I love. They make me feel like a superheroine, these boots. I put them on and I instantly feel kickass. It’s such an awesome feeling. Some days, these boots are my shield against all the terrible, shitty things in the world. They’re my reminder that I have the power to make a difference just by being me.
They also attract a lot of negative comments.
One day, I was getting on the bus when an older man started muttering to himself about how I was dressed. You know the drill – hooker, streetwalker, skank, whore, slut. For a few moments I felt utterly paralysed. This guy was old enough to be my grandfather. What was the play here? What should I do?
I turned around, I looked at him, and I asked, “I’m sorry, did you have something to say?”
He couldn’t even look me in the eye. He turned away, muttered something about me minding my own business and shut up.
It was the greatest feeling in the world.
I’ve experienced a lot of street harassment no matter how I’ve been dressed. But that one time, on that one day, I was able to stand up and do something about it. I was in a safe space (a bus full of people in broad daylight going down a very busy main street) and I was able to say something that disarmed the person harassing me. And goddamn, it felt so good.
I’m sharing this story in the hope that people will read it and feel like when the time is right, they can stand up and say something too. You don’t have to endure people’s rude comments – you totally have the right to holla back! And when you’re able to do it, it feels so great.
In the middle of the afternoon I took my puppy outside to relieve himself. An SUV with a male driver and at least one male passenger was driving down Avent Ferry toward me. As the vehicle passed, the male in the passenger seat yelled, “Suck my dick!” The SUV sped off too fast for me to take note of any idenfiying details without my glasses on. I’ve been hollered at by men in vehicles plenty of times before (especially in college), but I found this time particularly demeaning. No one even witnessed it, but that didn’t stop me from feeling humiliated and ashamed. I felt completely helpless, and that’s just not the type of woman I am.