flashing

CJ’s story: Weirdos in the woods

Is flashing and chasing a form of ‘stalking’? I’m not sure, but this happened many years ago in Glen Burnie when I used to walk and jog around in my neighborhood between Southgate and Old Mill. It is three separate instances, not sure if they are related but they all happened within months of each other. This was also pre-cell phones – in the early 80′s. The first incident was at the baseball fields in Old Mill/Southgate park – my friend and I were walking by and a man was apparently sunbathing naked – with a full erection – on one of the benches. We were 15 years old and looked at each other and giggled, and quickly walked away. The man never acknowledged us or moved. The second incident was a man emerging from a wooded area that bordered Shetlands Lane, near the Old Mill football field. He had his pants down and some kind of long jacket that he actually flashed open as I was walking by – he was about 20 yards away, so I turned around and pointed at his ‘display’ and started laughing as hard as I could. He closed his jacket and turned back into the woods. The third incident was somewhat scarier. I used to jog along the path next to the football stadium as it was right next to where I lived. The path was wooded on one side opposite the stadium and dipped down into a gulley at one point. While jogging on this path – and right at the point where it dipped down, I heard footsteps behind me and turned my head to see a man, with his pants down around his knees, running behind me. I outran him and was fortunately close to home and immediately told my Dad. He grabbed a sledge hammer from the shed and went looking for the guy, but fortunately I suppose, didn’t find him. These were not the only times I was flashed or approached by a man with an erection on display. After the first time, walking home from school and a young man came up to me on the wooded path to ask what time it was – with his pants down – I punched him in the face, ran home and called the police. They could do nothing and actually asked me to describe his penis – I was 13 or 14 years old. After that – I never reported these incidents to the police again. There was obviously a serious problem in that area with sex offenders and I don’t know if anyone (though I’m sure it did happen to someone) was ever actually assaulted. I was lucky, very lucky and wasn’t afraid to embarrass the perpetrator or even defend myself physically. Now that we have electronic media in everyone’s hands, though, and stricter laws regarding sex offenders – hopefully these types of incidents will be ‘exposed’ and girls (or boys, either) won’t be preyed upon.

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Assault, Verbal

Skyla’s story: Bad end to a wine tasting

My friend and I were walking back to my house from downtown Saint Petersburg, FL, last night after enjoying a glass of wine at A Taste For Wine. She and I are both attractive women. As we are walking on Central Avenue, a drunk man in his 20s walks up behind us and begins verbally harassing us. He was yelling obscenities at us and like an instant reflex, I turn around and spit in his face. He says, “I can’t believe you just spat in my face! Nobody spits in my face,” and pushes me. Three women walk over to my friend and I and begin taking up for me since they had witnessed what happened. This scares the man and he walks across the street still screaming obscenities and threatening to harm me. I get my cell phone out of my pocket and dial 9-1-1. A minute later the police are on the scene. One of the police officers gives me the option of pressing charges or make the man go home. I tell the officer that I do not wish to press charges. I am a firm believer in karma and know that it will pay this guy a visit unlike any other. I begin taking mixed martial arts this week so that the next time something like that happens, I will be prepared to defend myself.

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Verbal

Maggie’s Story: Creep in the liqueur store

This happened to me the other day and it probably wasn’t that big a deal but it made me feel really uncomfortable. I had gone to the LCBO (liqueur store) with my dad.

My dad went to the other end of the store to the wine section. I was looking at some of the other liqueur bottles (I like to check out the bottle designs) when I yawned. A man who must have been around 60ish (I’m 21) came over to me and said “someone’s really tired.” but he said it in a more than just friendly way, if that makes sense. He also gave me a smile that was not creepy per se but more than friendly. It looked like he was going to say something else but at that moment my dad came over to ask me something and he just kept walking.

It could have been just friendliness but something about the way he said it reminded me of other times I’ve had men say disturbing things to me, and all those times started out as just friendly remarks too. But the fact that I was there with my dad just made it feel much worse.

I am not what would be described as hot by any means. I am a rather large girl and wear boyish clothes (baggy pants, t-shirts, etc) and yet I still get creepers talking to me. It just goes to show that no woman is unattractive enough to not get harassed.

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Verbal

Laurend89′s Story: “I am not an object”

I was walking back to my car alone when I passed an older man  sitting by himself on a planter. When I walked by he said “NICE ass!” I turned around and glared at him and he just laughed. I wish I had said something at the time, but instead I kept walking.

I am not an object. F*** you.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Verbal

EC’s Story: “Hopefully, he’ll think twice”

As I’m walking to the gym, I walk by a mid-rise building and there is a doorman and a maintenance worker standing by the door. They start catcalling, asking me my name, etc. I ignore them and keep going to the gym. On my way back from the gym, the same doorman is leaving his post and walking to the dry cleaner down the block. As he’s walking in, he sees me again and stops dead in his tracks to leer at me, so I turn around and start yelling that I’m going to call his boss (the super) and let him know that he’s harassing women and that it’s disgusting, and I’m going to let him know that he left his post also. I found the building management company’s number online and I plan on calling first thing Monday morning. Hopefully, he’ll think twice about making a woman feel uncomfortable as she goes about her day.

3 comments 
Verbal

Monica’s Story: My lips are none of your business

I was 18 in the spring semester of my freshman year at college. I crossed the street on the way to drawing class and a man stopped on his way to stare at me.
“OOOH DO YOU SPIT OR SWALLOW?!” yelled the man.
Unfortunately, he did not stick around for long to watch me drop my portfolio and go ape-shit with obscenities.
I acknowledge the fullness of my lips and have gotten teased about them while still feeling completely unaffected, but this was the most demeaning thing said to me.

And men on the street ask me why I don’t smile…

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Stalking, Verbal

Kristin’s Story: Perverted stalker

A couple years ago I was living in Victoria and was going downtown to meet a friend for a show. I was probably 17 at the time, but my round face, short stature and plain clothes made me look 14 tops. My dad intended to drive me straight to the theatre, but I was thirsty so I asked him to drop me off at 7-Eleven so I could get a drink (he was uncomfortable, but since I was only a few blocks away from where I was going, I told him I’d be fine). When I came out of the convenience store there was a creepy man loitering outside, staring at me.  He got fairly close and stepped in front of me, glaring unapologetically at my chest. He told me my “necklace” was pretty, and asked if he could get a closer look at it.  He kept inching closer and it was obvious he intended on touching/molesting me. I smiled politely (an instinctual reaction), said “no thanks”, and went on walking. As I walked away he continued asking me if he could take a closer look at my necklace, and once I’d put enough distance between us to deter him from talking to me, he continued to follow in silence. He stalked me for two blocks until I finally met up with my friend, then he left. I told my friend what had happened, and we awkwardly laughed about it before brushing it off and going on with our night.

I find it disturbing that someone would behave like this towards someone who was so obviously underage, and uninterested.

4 comments 
Nonverbal Harassment

Disgusted’s Story: “Only one of many”

As a very young-looking 18-year-old, I was sitting with my mother in our seats on a flight while the plane was boarding. I had the aisle seat, and was reading. I heard my mother make a noise, and looked up to realize she was staring down a man who must have been in his thirties. The man had his arm leaned against the overhead bin, cornering my mother and I in our row, and was staring directly down my shirt. When we both stared at him in shock, he just grinned and made kissing noises before moving farther down the plane.

I forgot about this incident because it didn’t seem important, but I realize now that men don’t have these kind of experiences that they suppress, and this is only one of many.

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The Movement

Survey for Survivors of Domestic Abuse

Across the nation, many cuts are being made to the services provided for women who have been in domestic violence situations.

This study looks at the willingness of domestic violence survivors to seek help both from their family and from the government funded resources provided in their community (including shelters, support groups, and online help).

The study consists of statements to which respondents agree or disagree. At the end, you may provide more detailed responses if you wish, but it is not required.

There questionnaire won’t take more than 10 minutes to complete.

It does not deal with the personal experiences of domestic violence but a list of possible triggers.

The questionnaire can be found here.

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The Movement

Tweet Tomorrow If You Think Terranova’s An Ass

Our efforts to oust ‘journalist’ Juan Terranova for publishing his wish to rape an anti-street harassment activist are still going strong. Rape threats are not funny, clever, or thought-provoking. Join us tomorrow (Saturday, April 2) to keep the momentum going.

Terranova will be participating in a one-day online reality show TOMORROW with six other Hispanic ‘literary’ figures.

His broadcast will be on this page:
http://www.los7vampiros.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=32&Itemid=75.

Users will be able to make comments during the live broadcast (Terranova will be on from 2:45 – 4:30 PM or 1:45-3:30 EST) through the website as well as Facebook and Twitter. We want to send a message to Terranova that says that we will not tolerate rape threats!

You can tweet him at @juanterranova or comment directly on the website.

If you don’t speak Spanish, you can use this message, “Las insinuaciones de violencia y violación no son graciosas, astutas ni invitan a la reflexión. Disculpas a la representante de Hollaback.” which translates to: “Threats of violence and rape are not funny, clever or thought-provoking. Apologize to the representative of Hollaback.”

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