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Submitted by Sally N.
Hollaback is on pages 38-40. Holla!
My boyfriend lives downtown, and to reach him I have to walk two blocks to get to the N, R, or W train at 6th ave. This requires me to walk down west 28th street, and it is a eventful walk every time I do.
Every time I walk down 28th, one or more men feel like they have to say something to me. Its the flower district, and when the venders put all their plants out on the street, I am forced to walk through a jungle and been in close spaces with several men who are always giving me the up-down, I feel them start to enclose on me and get too close for comfort. It seems like every time I make that walk to the subway, someone will tell me I am “beautiful” or that they “want to talk to me”. Recently, I had more than the normal amount of comments..
I was returning from my boyfriend’s place, and as I walked out of the subway stairs, immediately after a man standing right outside the exit said “hey miss I wanna talk to you”, and even followed me for a bit! I held my breath and walked faster, but as I passed a parking garage another man started to comment on my appearance! So I walked faster… and then as I reached 29th street ANOTHER man started to make kissing faces at me! All of this happened within three minutes, and I felt like my security was being stripped away with each harassment.
Now I find myself trying to avoid taking the N R or W even though it is the closest and most convenient subway. Sometimes I’ll make my trip 20 minutes longer if it means I don’t have to walk on 28th. If I am leaving my boyfriend’s place after dark, I’ll shell out the extra money for a taxi, have him escort me, or even call my friends and tell them to meet me on the platform. Literally, every time I am on that street a man has to make some obscene comment to me. The walk from my place to that subway is only 10 minutes, but it is always the longest walk of my life.
Submitted by Susanna
Your votes got us back to the number one position, but the Knight News Foundation competition rages on until December 15th.
If you haven’t voted yet, don’t wait!
I’ve never felt unsafe before. That may be surprising, as I live in New York City, but I’ve never really feared for my physical safety. I’m a big lady and I’ve always felt comfortable walking or biking or taking the train at any hour of the day or night.
Last night, two men on a dark street stripped me of that sense of security.
I was riding my bike home from my friend’s house around 1:30AM. I had dressed up for Shabbat services in a cute, short dress and was feeling a little chilly. I was riding mechanically slowly, really only looking forward to getting home so I could curl up in my warm bed and watch some dumb recorded tv shows.
I ride through some pretty desolate areas on this route. Keep in mind, I’ve ridden this route several times a week since I started biking. I’ve ridden it at four in the morning before. It is the only way I use to get home when I’ve gone anywhere east of Prospect Park.
I approached the overpass of the D train on 39th street right near my apartment and passed two men. All of the sudden I heard someone running behind me and I turned around to see one of them chasing me on my bike. He was running full out only a few feet behind me. I screamed out “What the fuck are you doing?” and started pedaling as fast as I could. They screamed “bitch” at me and threw a glass bottle which shattered near my tires.
I was three blocks from my home.
I rode at full speed the last three blocks. When I got to my house, my hands were shaking so badly I could hardly lock up my bike. I was terrified that the men would have followed me home. I ran up my stairs and locked the door, finding an empty apartment. I sat on my bed shivering with fear, unable to really process what had just happened.
When I looked back at that man chasing me, I truly thought that he would overtake me and pull me off my bike. There aren’t a lot of street lights in that area and even less people out on the street. If they had wanted to take my bag, they could have. If they had wanted to sexually assault me and slit my throat, they could have. These are the thoughts that kept me awake as I huddled in my bed, to scared even to cry.
I don’t know what they’ve left me. I ride my bike every single day. I ride it to work, to friend’s houses, to the grocery store, to rehearsal, to meetings, to parties, and anywhere I want to go. I haven’t bought a monthly metrocard since June. My bike is an essential part of how I interact with the city. It’s my life. Yet now, when I think about riding in some of the areas where I travel on a regular basis — I am terrified. What if this happens again? What if next time I’m not fast enough? What if they do get me off my bike? I’m so scared, but I’m not allowed to be — I need my bike.
How can I reclaim the sense of physical security that they’ve taken from me?
Submitted by Emma
Submitted by Sally N.
We are pleased to present one girl’s Hollaback re-enactment:
Submitted by Dana
This keeps happening to my friends in Crown Heights (brooklyn) where I live: there is a man that walks around (maybe about 5’11″, burly very chubby) with a big dirty black quilted coat on who shuffles up to women, and SPITS on them! He has tried to spit on me twice. It’s TERRIFYING and has happened while it was still dark out before I went to work. I saw him again (on Nostrand Avenue) Friday night, but was with my boyfriend. He beelined toward me, but saw my boyfriend and shuffled off.
I have heard two other people say this man has spit directly on them! I was hoping maybe someone out there would know more about who this crazy brooklyn spitter is?
Submitted by A. T. S.
Submitted by Sally N.
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HOLLABACK against street harassment! Vote now, here.