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I was standing outside a greyhound bus stop, waiting to be picked up by my friend. I saw men staring at me, but I stared right back. Then a woman walked by in jeans and a t-shirt & the man near me says, “Hey baby girl” while staring at her like she was his first meal after being starved for weeks. She turned around, gave him a disgusted look, and walked away. I didn’t know what to say, my feminist self was seething. I looked at him & just shook my head. He seemed oblivious to what he did.
I often experience catcalling and obscene gestures either from people in cars passing or people who walk by me along this road… The worst thing is it’s the road I take to get to work at times.
He was possibly being “friendly” but a man who seemed to be middle aged grabbed me on the shoulder without my permission, and it left me feeling very uncomfortable when walking towards Christ Meadow.
The above link is not my story, but the story of another woman…similar to stories everywhere, including my own. The injustice. The shame. The embarrassment. The rage.
I was cursed with beauty and in my youth and had dozens of my own experiences: sexual harassment and assault, cat calls, blatant staring at my breasts or crotch, whistles, honking, men masturbating in public near me, etc. I’m thankful to be middle-aged now–I am almost invisible.
I saw a post on FB today: When a man is raped, no one talks about what he was wearing.
I got off the bus on Aurora and Prospect St. in Queen Anne in Seattle, and I had only walked a block before I was shouted at by 3 different vehicles. Sorry fellas… I do not appreciate being leered and yelled at. I could not wait to turn down the next street.
I got on the Fraser bus to go home from school and as soon as I sat down there was this man sitting in front of me, late 30’s early 40’s maybe. Anyways, I could tell right away from the way he was looking at me that he was bad news (I’ve had to deal with lots of creeps before, but he was the worst), as he kept staring at me incessantly with a very strange glare in his eyes. As soon as I could, I moved seats on the bus but he kept following me. When I reached my stop, he got off as well, he even stood up right when I did. Then he started following me home, and I decided it was better not to lead him there, so I took a different route, all the while this creep is following only 3 feet behind me.
I turned into an alley and grabbed the only thing in my bag I could find to defend myself, then I confronted him and asked if he was following me. Then he started to say things like, “Please, don’t do this, I love you, please.” I have never met this man before in my life. I’ve taken self defense courses before and at this point I decided to get aggresive to scare him. I picked up some rocks, started screaming for him to get the f*** away from me but he wouldn’t so I picked up more rocks and he started to walk back slowly, but with this demented smile that made me feel really nervous. I then turned and ran when he was far enough away and ran into some more a**holes who pulled up next to me in a car and asked me if I wanted to party (I mean seriously, where do all these jerks come from), but I ignored them and kept walking. Luckily I ran into my brother shortly after, and he walked me home. Then I called the police to report the stalker but I don’t think they ever found out who he is. Since then I carry pepper spray everywhere I go.
Random guy came out of the building that was attached to the porch I was smoking on with some friends. I didn’t see him coming as my back was turned, and as he passed he gave a strange caress to the back of my neck. It was extremely inappropriate and was the second time he has touched me in a way I do not like. STILL has never introduced himself or anything. Next time I see him I will be giving him a piece of my mind.
To the dude harassing me in Walmart: you’re disgusting. Women’s bodies are not your property. You’re “mmm baby” and “I like that” comments were vulgar as you walked passed me and looked at me like I liked it. I sneered at you and told you “are you fucking serious?” Before I walked away. My only regret is I didn’t snap a pic of your ugly mug and upload it with this post.
At the mothership, Deputy Director, Debjani Roy, hosted two trainings to SYEP through Catholic Charities about street harassment and bystander intervention tips. Executive Director, Emily May met with the Domestic Violence Commissioner and is participating this weekend in Up the River Endeavors.
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio did two screenings of Killing Us Softly 4 for the women at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail. They will also be hosting a screening of Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of American Superheroines along with a screening printing party. So if you’re in the area, make sure to stop by!
Hollaback! Boston participated in the Supreme Rally for Women’s Equality, a rally protesting the Supreme Court rulings on the Hobby Lobby and Buffer Zone cases which were huge steps back for the women’s health and reproductive rights. Co-director Britni was interviewed by CBS Boston at the rally which can be found here.
Hollaback! Bahamas held a session with over 60 7th and 8th grade students as part of the Forward Onto College and Upward to Success program. They spoke about street harassment and held small group discussions where students analyzed the roots of street harassment and ways they can help prevent it from happening. Hollaback! Bahamas was also on Guardian Radio 96.9FM where they discussed activism in the Bahamas and how citizens need to become more involved in making change happen.
Always awesome to see HOLLAs doing kickass things. Til next time-
HOLLA and out!
-The Hollaback! Team
Walking my dog at night while talking to a friend on the phone, I heard someone behind me getting closer. He kept saying “girl, girl slow down” and “common don’t be that way.”
I didn’t think he was talking to me because I am a post transition trans man with facial hair, and I was in deep conversation. My dog stopped to smell something and I saw the shadow of his hand reaching toward my ass. He was only a foot away. I turned around, looked him in the eye, and said loudly, “Hey!” He pulled his hand back, and I started walking away quickly trying to get to the well-lit 300 N.
I informed my friend on the phone of the situation, where I was, and gave a description of the dude…He continued following me shouting, “Hey it, hey he-she, I got something for your mouth.”
He followed me for 8 blocks turning where I turned and ducking behind bushes so I couldn’t see him then popping out and cat calling again. I kept my friend on the phone with location updates until I turned a sharp corner and hid in an apartment complex until he went by so I could get home.
I am so grateful for my friends at Hollaback! Baltimore who taught me things to do in these situations because this could have turned out much worse. I’m still shaken but I decided to post on here right away so others in Salt Lake City could be aware in this part of town at 11pm.
Dude description: white dude ,skinny , guessing 5’8 ish, patchy mustache and chin hair, buzzed head and a neck tat of words.