Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
I just read an article about the Hollaback organization and its founder in the NYtimes.com tonight. How timely an article it is for me. Recently, I was able to get a restraining order against a neighbor who had been harassing me off and on since the summer of 2009. It was typical street harassment. I’d walk past one of the two entrances to my building to hear him call out something in the familiar donkey bray I’d come to hate as other men with too much time on their hands stood around and watched. I (unfortunately) live in Denver now, but I am a NYC woman who has dealt with this kind of harassment for most of my life. I knew that eventually, I’d end it. When I complained to the building manager and she told me that there was nothing she could do because “it happened on the street” and not on the property. Was annoyed, but I was convinced I’d get even. Stay tuned, because I did.
Well, one day (Feb 2010), it happened on the property and in a witness-environment. So, I took the chance when I had it. I hobble-walked (I had had foot surgery and was walking assisted by a cane) over to my harasser, confronted him eyeball to eyeball and told him with much repetition that it was going to stop here and now. I told his male onlookers that they were my witnesses and I took names (they scattered like roaches under bright light).
Fast forward to September 2010. My harasser saw me in the lobby and thought he would apologize. I wasn’t having it. Long story short, he got angry and came at me. That really made me mad! I called the Police and repeated to them one of the things that this fool had said – that the “Police won’t do anything to me” . That night he got a visit from two police officers. Two days later the Sherrif served him with a temporary restraining order. Two weeks later he was standing before a judge. One month later, he was standing before that same judge breathing heavily as the judge informed him that he had stalked me and that he would have a permanent (a second for him) restraining order placed against him. Another week later he was visited by his parole officer (conviction – felony assault on an individual he drugged). Two months later, I am still trying to get him evicted.
I can’t help but wonder how strong of a correlation there is between prior criminal behavior and harassment of women. Or, if the man has no criminal history, is it a predictor of criminal behavior, although I understand that harassment is criminal in itself.
I think that this behavior will only stop when men make each other stop, but in the meantime, I will continue to hollaback as I have done for years.
I have even devised a cure for men who like to expose their penises. Dying to try it on some poor Denver fool, but have not had the chance. It will turn the table on the man so that he crawls off in total humiliation, just by hollering back.
Submitted by H.H.
Being a redhead and, what has delicately been put to me as, ‘rather unfortunate looking’, I’m no stranger to being shouted at on the streets. Having said that, my encounter with this guy was in an entirely different league.
It was 3 in the afternoon on a nice autumn day. There were families about with young children and I was out for a walk in my local park. Stupidly thinking it was a safe day to do so, I turned off the major paths and onto one of the small paths in the trees. After a few feet it became obvious that the dodgy looking guy standing near the path intersection had followed me in.
Trying not to jump to conclusions, I first turned onto another path to establish whether he was actually following me. He was. Having established that, I was more than a little pissed off (and somewhat scared), so I fisted my keys in case he gave me any trouble and then turned around to let him go past – just in case he wasn’t following me and it had all been a horrible mix up. I stopped and turned. He stopped. I gestured for him to go past. He didn’t, so I made to cut through back to the main path again. He came up to me and asked
“Are you working?”
Utterly confused by this question, I asked “Here in the graveyard?”
“Uh no, I’m not a warden or anything. Do you need to find one?”
We were clearly talking at cross purposes here, so the guy says,
“No, I mean do you want some of this?”
And gets his dick out to illustrate his point. Flabbergasted is how I must have looked because he added, “I’ll pay you!”
Fighting the urge to laugh/throw up/kick him in the nuts, I told him, “No thank you, I’m really not that kind of person.”
(Being too polite is one of my downfalls.) And then left speedily.
Although the incident was actually pretty funny, afterwards I felt really odd. I hesitate to use the term ‘violated’ because it was so mild an encounter. More like uncomfortable, and actually quite angry for reasons I couldn’t explain to my friends or my boyfriend. I do realise I got lucky in this case, it could have been much worse. And I’ve stopped walking by myself in that area, as angry as that makes me. I hate that I cannot walk where I want in this city even on a brightly lit afternoon.
Oh I do wish I’d kicked him in the nuts.
Submitted by Fiona
The summer 2005 was the happiest summer of my life. Little did I know it would be the LAST happy summer in my life.
I had dressed into hippie clothes, long green skirt and a flowery sequined shirt. I went to the library to lend a DVD and then to the shop to buy candy to accompany it, and I saw this man with a ponytail (take note; if you see an old scruffy man with a ponytail, it basically screams STAY AWAY FROM HIM!) but I paid no attention to him.
Later when returning from the library, I walked past him when he was sitting on a park bench. He glared at me angrily and grunted: “Nice tits.”
I was horrified, but I could not do anything else than flip him off. He flipped me off with both of his hands, called me a “fucking asshole” and started cursing with his face up to the sky that all women are whores.
Result? I was traumatized so much (and it was not the first and last time when I get harassed) that I became suicidal, and later I was taken to a mental hospital (where I was still harassed). I have been in the loony bin three times and I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar and mid- severe depression. I still take medication for it, and every single fucking day I hear his voice, and all the other dude’s who have made my life hell.
Who said men are the superior sex? They’re the nothing but the things they describe women: attention whores.
Submitted by Miia (Pardon my English)
I was about to cross the street when I saw a scooter coming down the street pretty quickly, so I waited, thinking he would pass. But then he started waving his hand, motioning for me to go ahead and cross. He was still travelling at a high speed, though, and I didn’t trust he would slow down in time, so I continued to wait. Finally he stopped, with his front tire in the cross walk and I had to walk around him. But as I passed him, I heard him start to make “smooch” noises and I looked back to see him looking directly at me whilst continuing to “kiss.” Appalled and disgusted, I just glared at him and said, “Don’t do that.” Then he zoomed off. I felt like I immediately needed a shower. After the fact, I wish I had said or done something more aggressive. But not being a UK citizen (I’m an American student), I didn’t know what I was legally able to get away with. After telling my own boyfriend about it, he said he thought girls like getting catcalled. I really don’t understand how a guy can think girls like that or will respond in a positive manner. I’m revolted and dumbfounded.
Submitted by Emily
I find it really annoying when you are running/walking outside and a dude in a car slows down next to undressing you with his eyes. For one thing its obvious they are staring you down and they aren’t being secretive. It makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and its extremely bothersome. Its ridiculous that I have to worry about what this guy is going to do. I should have the freedom to run or do whatever I want without having some disgusting perv stare.
Submitted by Cassie
Perhaps the talented ladies at “Tell ‘Em Why You Mad’ just coined a new term for scumbags everywhere. Let’s raise some awareness about this global pandemic: CORNER BOYS.
“Hey! I want to suck your…”
JUST SHUT IT, CORNER BOY!
Enjoy the video.
One of a gang of young men with hooded parkas smoking weed called to me from behind, I ignored them and kept walking. He carried on ‘EXCUSE ME?!, EXCUSE ME!?’ I thought maybe I’d dropped something, cos he sounded so urgent. I turned around ‘Yes?’ he said ‘how are you?’ they all laughed. I said ‘fine thanks’. He said ‘I like your knee socks’ I said ‘thanks’ sarcastically. they kept following me til I went through the barriers at Warren Street station. I’m not saying they had any intention of hurting me, I’m fairly sure they didn’t. Their intention was to dominate me, to intimidate me by taking up my time and assessing my outfit and entering my personal space, asserting their power over me. It isn’t nice. Sorry don’t have a photo, couldn’t even see them cos of their hoods. Just thought I’d share.
Submitted by Jennifer
I was in Paris on a school trip, and was riding the metro back to my hotel. It was super congested, and I was pressed up against one of the poles. Soon, I felt a hand on my butt. I thought at first that it was an accident, a brush, but no, he kept on groping my ass. I tried to move away from him, but I couldn’t really move. After he got off I told my friends who were with me. They responded with things along the lines of, “What could you expect with an ass like that?”
It was awful.
Submitted by Erin
I had just gotten out of class and I was taking the bus home, and was already in a foul mood , then i notice this man looking me up and down and smiling. i felt violated, but chose to ignore it. until he started looking back at me talking. i took my ear bud out, and he said “how you doing” i said bad, and asked him to leave me alone. he then told me i wasnt hot shit, and that i wasnt even the hottest “piece of ass” on the bus, and i told him to fuck off, and he called me racist, i said “im not fucking racist, im just sick of being looked at as if im only an object fuck off”
i put my music back in, and he yelled at me, and i ignored him. this bus was not empty mind you. people just choose to ignore whats not happening to them. Fuck being harassed and feeling like shit because other people are scumbags.
Submitted by kegan
group of awkward teenage boys on bikes with sagging jeans and flat-brimmed hats. Yes, i see you. yes, i walked past you.
no, i don’t need the commentary.
“nice ass!….small tits though!”
calling at me when i’m already past you? why don’t you want to say it to my face?
believe me, i am more than aware of my body. i don’t need observations made in public, on an otherwise lovely, sunny, Sunday afternoon.
Submitted by Danae