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I was walking down the street when a car drove by with two men in it who thought it necessary to scream at us. They didn’t scream anything in particular, just trying to make noise to startle us or something? Regardless of their intentions, my gut reaction was to loudly screech back at them.
Even though it wasn’t the worst harassment I’ve endured from men on the street, it felt good to shout back at men who felt the need to assert their “dominance” or whatever through street harassment.
I walk every night. I carry my phone with me and listen to a book as I walk. I live in a nice area made up of residential homes, but even so I still am aware of my surroundings. Along the main road sometimes some people lean out their window and stare or or say something rude to me. Some people try to see how close they can get to me without pushing me off the road. But tonight I experienced something that was really odd.
I hear a car coming and I glance back. It’s a police car, the car slows and I think the man Is going to stop and talk to me. As I look back again he slows until he’s about ten feet behind me then sits there. He crawled along at me at me walking pace for about five minuets. He then proceeded to pull up to the stop sign in front of me and stare at me through his rear view. I crossed to the opposite side of the road not wanting to be near him. I stop and look for oncoming traffics to see if it is safe to cross. No one was coming. I cross to another street the whole time aware of his gaze on me.
When I’m just about getting out of his sight he pulls up and continues to follow me. After a few mins he drives down my street and out of view. I understand the police have a duty to watch people who might he showing suspicious conduct. But all I was doing was walking. And if he had a problem he should have spoken to me. If it had been anyone else in a normal car following me I would have called the cops. But what do you do when it’s the cop who’s the problem?
He knew he was making me uncomfortable and yet he continued. I kept checking over my shoulder the whole way home he made me so nervous. I shouldn’t have to feel that way from someone who’s there to protect me. My gut was telling me it was wrong.
A couple of years ago I was walking through my high school when someone, dressed in uniform I may add, grabbed my butt from behind. I was speechless and felt hurt and degraded. I looked back only to see the man who wasn’t even a student with a smirk on face, like he was proud of what he did or felt it was his right to do so. Ugh! Disgusting.
I was standing outside a restaurant with my family waiting for our car to be brought around by the valet. I’m 17 years old and was with my older brother, mom and dad. I had worn a brand new mini skirt and long sleeve t shirt to dinner and was so pleased with my outfit! A middle aged man walked by and leered “I love your outfit”. I was so disgusted and felt humiliated and helpless in front of my family. I told him to fuck off after he’d passed but wish I had done something bolder.
This incident happened on a train station. It was night time and I came from school. Typical day, crowded station and people pushing. I was lining up to slip in the card to the entrance when a man behind me just got too close. So close I could feel his crotch on my butt and his chest on my back. I looked at him but that didn’t stop him to push me in that manner. I was so scared and almost cried that time.
First incident, I was walking down the street. It was night time and just got out of school. I was wearing formal attire. Slacks and blouse. Nothing provocative when suddenly someone was saying “Miss, hi, i love you” I looked and saw a truck driving just a little behind me. I paced myself as they follow. “Miss, you’re so beautiful, I love you” that to me was scary. Then My boyfriend was just around the corner. He almost ran to the vehicle when he found out.
Myself and a female friend were walking home after playing basketball on a summer afternoon a couple years ago. We live in a “nice” town, that has very low crime rates, so we were shocked when this incident occurred.
Walking past the local high school, a truck drove by us, and a man shouted something at us as he went by. It didn’t really register because we couldn’t distinguish words, and the sidewalk was set back quite a ways from the street. We shrugged and continued on our way. 2 blocks later, we were standing on a street corner, waiting to cross a busy street. This same truck pulled up next to us, and the man proceeded to harass us. At first, I couldn’t hear him very well, and because I was naive, I actually thought he might be asking for directions. But I quickly realized that this was not his intent.
My friend and I were each carrying a basketball, and these were old, and just so happened to be black. The man started out asking, “Do you know how to handle those balls?” I was 14 at the time, and somewhat sheltered, so it took me a moment to realize what the asshole was implying. He kept going on and on, “Hey, can you show me how to handle those big black balls?” He continued on like this for about a minute.
He was smirking and laughing at us the whole time, as my friend and I cringed in shame. I wanted to flip him off so badly, but all I ended up doing was giving him a “talk to the hand”gesture.
The light finally changed, and my friend and I were eager to get away, so we raced out into the crosswalk. The asshole was turning left, and instead of waiting for us to cross the street, as the law requires, he chose to almost run us over while he leered at us one last time.
I was so angry, and still am, that this happened, and that we had no comeback or retaliation.
I walk my dog everyday and everyday I thank god that my dog is big and scary looking, because if I were alone or he wasn’t 50kg’s I’m sure my stories would be a lot worse.
I was walking my dog down the footpath on a busy main road, I get the usual hooks and woof whistles (I now actively avoid main roads because these make me uncomfortable) when i come to an intersection where i normally have to wait a while to to cross.
A car pulls up to the intersection containing two men, they wind down the drivers side window to look at me, one of the men says “I like your dog” I reply with a quick “thanks…” hoping that they’d pull away as the intersection was clear, the man doesn’t and he continues to say “but i like you more”. I am now too terrified to cross the road, as it would mean passing the car where i could potentially be grabbed and dragged into, two men vs a 45kg girl is a losing battle.
cars were piling up behind they wouldnt drive away.
I stand there and stare at them until they realise im not going to come across the road and they drive off.
I don’t go on main roads anymore, I unfortunately have many more stories of being verbally abused in public streets but this is one of my more recent.
I was on the TARC bus on my way home from class at UofL. A man sat across from me and began to hit on a woman who had been there since before he got on. She eventually got off the bus, and my stop was also coming up. When I got up to leave, the man stood up and came up very close behind me (he was a good foot or so taller than I am) and started breathing down onto the top of my head. When I tried to move away from him, he shouted, “Damn, you’ve got some big-ass legs!” I didn’t turn around because the bus driver hadn’t done anything so far and I doubted I’d be assisted if I tried to defend myself verbally and he retaliated physically. The man turned back to another man who had been sitting behind us and said, “Aren’t they some big-ass legs?” The other man grunted in agreement. The men had gotten on at different stops and hadn’t interacted until this point, so I’d have to say this was my first experience with two men who didn’t know each other working together to harass and humiliate me.
I don’t have a car and it gets too cold for me to ride my bike in the winter in Louisville, so the TARC is often my only option. I wish I could say this type of interaction is rare, but really I get harassed the majority of the time I take the bus. I also get harassed on my bike (most recently by a father taking his kids out of church– charming), so there’s no entirely comfortable way for me to get to school.
I wish I had just one story that I could share, perhaps ten years ago I would have had just one. Now that I am in my 20′s I have hundreds of them. I have had guys call me every name in the book from beautiful to hey your lips would look good on me. I’ve had strangers grope me and demean me in front of on lookers who do nothing. I’ve been at work and had to tolerate comments from contractors all while being told if I say anything it’ll be my job not theirs all while maintaining a professional front. It’s really hard to be professional when a guy whom is 10+ years older than your own father looks you square in the eye and tells you “You look good enough to eat” or “those legs look good now but would look better around me”. My skin crawls and my stomach churns. All I can think to myself is how can men say these things when in all reality they would kill a motherf*ker for saying THE SAME EXACT THING to their Mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, best friends, grandmothers.
P.S the picture I uploaded is my best friend whenever i go out! Every girl needs one!