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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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
This April marks the tenth anniversary of SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month), and the awesome activists at SAFER (Students Active For Ending Rape) are calling for a push from awareness to activism, making this years’ SAAM stand for Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month. Students, recent alumni, parents, and teachers are encouraged to participate by “pledging” a direct action against sexual assault this month, whether by fundraising, submitting their definition of accountability to the SAFER website, or checking up on their schools’ sexual assault policy and pushing for reform where necessary.
Check out this video for some student submissions of what accountability looks like to them: