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Satire can be a powerful artistic form used to change bad human behavior.
It uses irony, wit, and ridicule to attack human vice, folly, and foolishness.
“As such, it is a tool that can be used to defeat street harassment,” writes blogger and self-defense guru Erik Kondo.
“Satire can be used to deny and refute the power of street harassers and expose their weaknesses and flaws. I came up with the term ‘sexless toad’ because as a man, I believe it is an insult that takes away power and is emasculating. The point is to come up with words that take away power. The insult ‘asshole’ actually gives power.”
Click here to read the tale of The Harasser, The Toad, And The Goddesses’ Daughter.
11/27/2010, around 1pm. I was walking with my friend V. on Broadway in uptown Manhattan (just past Nagle Avenue, along the wall of Fort Tryon Park) when we encountered four young men, around 13 or 14, perched on the wall and benches hanging out. One kid yelled out at us, saying “your girlfriend’s cute!” The others laughed and chimed in, yelling at V., and started asking “is she your sister or girlfriend?”
Feeling a bit defensive and reckless (I honestly wanted to answer “both” just to see their reactions) I lied and said yes, and they all started hooting “tap that ass!” and “kiss, kiss, kiss.” They shouted at us down the rest of the block; it was awkward, but we both took it in good humor. I would hope that they’re just being reckless young kids and they’ll grow out of that kind of behavior soon.
Submitted by Ronan
I’m 19 years old and I’ve been verbally harassed by men many times before but luckily this is the only time (so far) that I have been groped by a stranger.
I had been shopping or maybe seeing a movie with my mom and one of my good guy friends. We were all in the elevator with a handful of other people and when we got to our floor I suddenly felt like someone had grabbed my butt. I thought that it might have been my friend’s hand accidentally brushing me but then I looked back and saw two guys in their 40’s looking quite clean and unsuspicious but LEERING at me in such a way that I KNEW that I wasn’t imagining things. Unfortunately because BEING GROPED was so completely outside of my expectations of something that would happen to me, especially in a nice mall in Seattle and with my MOTHER only feet away, it took me until we had exited the elevator to really understand what had happened. Oh how I wish I had given that man what he deserved!
Thinking back, I imagine turning around, holding the elevator doors open and just screaming at this man, humiliating him in front of the other family that was in the elevator with us. I don’t know who would have punched this guy harder, my friend or my mom!
At least I’m prepared for next time… unfortunately as a young woman I can be pretty sure that there will be a next time.
Submitted by Lorraine
This took place today in LA. I was waiting on my bike to cross at an intersection and there were three random guys standing around trying to scalp tickets to a football game. One says, “Hey, gorgeous, how you doin?” I was completely bundled up, wearing a long coat and a scarf. I was also wearing flip flops (it’s LA after all). Another one says “Hey girl, you got beautiful feet. You got beautiful feet.” I didn’t really know what to do so I just rode off on my bike.
Just because I’m wearing flip flops doesn’t mean you can appraise the attractiveness of my feet. Though it did kind of make me laugh that that was the only thing the guy could think of to say, since I had no other skin showing (although even if I had, it wouldn’t give him the right to comment on it).
I pray that these guys find something better to do with their lives than stand on street corners trying to scalp tickets and harass women.
Submitted by Amanda
I was working on changing my car’s flat tire while it sat parked at the intersection of the street and an alley. Pausing for a moment, I looked up the alley, and found myself staring at a man with his pants at his knees, shaking his hips and nude genitals around in the air.
With a look of disgust I reached for my phone, but wasn’t able to get his picture before he pulled up his britches and took off. By the time the police were there, he was long gone, but I hope someone else gets a picture of him soon!
He looked to be in his 50’s and had a large beer-gut. Short, light-colored hair (grey maybe?), average height from what I could tell.
Submitted by Elizabeth M.
Hi, my name is Caree and I’m a senior in high school. One weekend, I got off work late (maybe 11 pm or 12 am) and stopped by Kroger, a grocery store, on my way home.
After about 15 minutes of shopping, I realized that I kept seeing the same guy around, everywhere I went. I would turn around and there he would be, staring right at me. When I made eye contact with him, he looked away and acted like he was shopping. So I keep shopping, and this happens again about 3 or 4 more times.
After 10 minutes of shopping around, I see that he has nothing in his shopping cart which I thought was proof: he was NOT shopping, and it was NOT just a coincidence that he was always shopping in the same area as me. He was following me around the freaking store and watching my every move.
This was before I had heard of this site, otherwise I would have walked right up to him and taken a photo of his face. Instead of doing that, I just turned around and looked straight at him. When we made eye contact, he looked away as usual, but eventually would look back my way thinking that I had moved on. I stared at him for about 60 seconds before he finally walked away. I wanted to let him know that I saw him and knew what he was doing. Men like him need to know that they will not get away with it, not with me anyway.
Even though he left me alone after that, I was scared. When I got out of the store I walked to my car quickly with my cell phone and keys in my hand. I was terrified that he was going to follow me out in the parking lot.
I’m not sure what I should have/could have done about the stalker. Telling the Kroger employees seemed useless. Confronting him seemed dangerous. And calling the police? It didn’t seem like he had committed any kind of tangible crime that I could accuse him of. I felt trapped and helpless. And now I feel like all I can do is hope it doesn’t happen again.
Submitted by Caree
Way back in 1973 when I was 22 and was working as a custodian along with my husband I had gone to clean an office near the loading dock in the cardboard box factory where we were assigned. My husband was cleaning the men’s restroom while I did the office.
The plant electrician entered the office and came close to me and then reached his hand between the front of my legs and groped me.
I went immediately across the plant to get my husband to help me to report the man to his supervisor. He spoke to the supervisor who spoke to the electrician but the man was not fired as I continued to see him driving around the plant night after night until we left that facility at the end of the month.
Submitted by Eileen
It is common to get cat called or whistled at when walking in the streets of Mexico City. Personally, I could say that I get verbally harassed about three times a week in different areas where I transit about.
I would like to mention the latest event of this type. I had just hopped off the Metrobus and was walking by a magazine stand when a young man, probably a salesman I had never seen before starts walking beside me and tells me “que guapa amiga… eh?” (I could translate it as “you are cute my friend, hey?”)
I continued walking and ignored him with a straight face so he kept on walking by my side and in an angry tone asked me if I was going to be mad at him or what,…as if I had the obligation to answer back at him. He eventually left my side as I went closer to a restaurant. Since then I take a detour from that area whenever I can. Policemen usually favor the ambulant salesmen who often bribe them to be able to sell their goods in the street….so there is no use nor safety in reporting directly to them. Sadly.
Submitted by Amancaya
A middle-aged man was passing out flyers while I was on my way to the library. I was passing him by when he complimented me and said, “You’re so beautiful.” I said thank you and tried to keep on walking when I realized that he kept following me and repeating it over and over again. “Don’t you speak English?” he said. “I SAID YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL.” I told him, “I do speak English and I said thanks,” trying to get away. Finally, after about ten minutes, he stopped following me. What I really wanted to do was curse him out and tell him I am a freaking English major and that he had no right to expect some sort of gratitude from me just because of a compliment, not to mention STALK me when I didn’t engage in a conversation with him. Just because you pay me a compliment does not mean I am obligated to go on my hands and knees to thank you or get to know you. Don’t accuse me of not knowing how to speak in English just because I don’t speak your language of creeperism.
Submitted by S.A.
On a half empty subway train with empty seats this guy was sitting next to women who were sitting in the window seat trapping them in next to him. Then he would start hitting on them. I noticed this happening from the other side of the train, he did not do it to me, and it didn’t really piss me off until one lady, obviously uninterested, asked to get up so she could move away from this guy. He just barely shifted his weight, and did not move out of the way. The woman rolled her eyes and was forced to slide her body over his to get out. She was forced to make physical contact. He got this smug little smile when he made her do this. I lost it. I waited till he sat down next to yet another girl and got up in his face and took a photo. “THAT’S ENOUGH OF THAT. You are being creepy!” I said to him. I told him exactly what he was doing and that he needed to stop. I told him no one was interested and he was not “smooth” making girls touch him who did not want to. He got offended and said he was just “talking to them” and yelled at me for a minute but stopped his harassment. He stood by the doors till I got off. I walked right past him and wished him a blessed day.
Submitted by Caitlin