Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock TX, Manhattan KS, Muncie IN, New Orleans, New York City, NYU, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, SUNY Oneonta, Tucson, Twin Cities
#1: I was fifteen years old, crossing a busy street in a small town. A young man leaned out the back window of a slow-moving car and yelled: “I want to f**k you!” I stopped in the middle of the street and shouted back “Marry me, Captain Romance! I want to have your babies!” He peeled rubber.
#2: I was sixteen years old, riding the # 16 bus to the ferry terminal with friends. I was the last one off at our stop, a young man stood up in front of me and started pushing me toward the back of the bus. He put his hand between my legs and grabbed my pubis. I picked him up and threw him across the bus.
#3: I was twenty-eight, walking out of a bar with a friend. A strange man tried to grab my breast as I walked past him. I grabbed his hand, threw it at him, and kept walking. When I looked back, he was gaping at me like a clubbed fish.
There were many, many more of these sorts of incidents in my teens and twenties, these are my favorites because they ended well. The others ended with me slinking off feeling contaminated and afraid. But I do think that it is perfectly okay to fight back, to hit, kick, punch and bite, if someone puts unwanted hands on my person. So I celebrate those times when I remembered to stand up for myself in the heat of the moment. It’s important.
I was on my honeymoon with my husband RIGHT NEXT TO ME and some men approached and said they wanted to fuck me.
After a clumsy night with my friends that left bruises and scratches on my legs I was walking home with shorts on. An old man said “rough night,” pinched my butt and walked away.
I was at a party with some sequined, tight pants on. I danced and was having fun, when a guy slapped my ass. I turned around, shocked. The guys behind me only shook his shoulders in refusal. Not only did it happen once, but many times during the night, by different guys. When I talked to a girl about this, all she said was “that’s just how guys act when they are drunk.”
I have never felt that humiliated in my life…
As part of a mixed sixth-form in an all boys school, I’m used to demeaning comments and harassment in the corridors by immature 14 year olds – but there’s one guy who’s in my year. He constantly hugs the girls, which is OK if you’re close friends, but he hugs really tight and slightly too long. One time he smelt me while hugging me,despite the fact that I was clearly uncomfortable and was trying to step away. In addition to this he has made incredibly inappropriate comments to my boyfriend, ranging from so-called “compliments” about my appearance to “can I join in?” and “I want to j*zz in her mouth”. That’s right, he said that to my boyfriend. Everyone was incredibly awkward and I was simply freaked out – I barely knew him! We try to avoid him from now on, though he still forces hugs on me if he does see me.
Today after I came out from the library one Turkish teenager passed a comment: “Wanna fuck!” I stopped there. I wanted to take him to the police. Three other friends joined him and started humiliating me. He told me: “I am a gay…and I fuck him everyday!” (showing his friend to me). Everyone started laughing. When I left the place they shouted: “I wanna fuck you!” I had this enough in my country. Why the fuck am I studying Gender?
My race, class, gender, ethnicity play major roles here in this context. How many times will I ignore this, how many time swill I just pretend that I didn’t hear? My ex-landlord and flatmate started masturbating in front of me….. How many times do I have to tolerate this?
A group of guys were in front of a corner store. I was walking down the street with my mom. I was about 17 years old. When we passed them, they called me out identifying me by what I had on. I wasn’t dressed provocatively. I had on baggy jeans and sneakers and a tee shirt. They started kissing and hissing at me asking me if they could walk with me and asking if I can have my number. I shook my head no and kept walking. They kept calling at me and I just ignored them. When I got about a block away one of em yelled out to me, called me a b*tch and threw a bottle at me!
The glass broke just near my feet and shattered near my mom and I. My mom wanted to go back and cuss them out but that wouldn’t have been a good idea since it was a group of them and there were only two of us. So we walked away.
Now I am in my 30s (though I look like Im in my 20s) and I still deal with Harassment. Nobody has thrown a bottle at me but I still get hissed at, kissed at and cat called. I have even had my hand grabbed on different occasions. What is wrong with people!? I dont get why people feel so comfortable invading peoples personal space and being disrespectful. Then when you tell them not to touch you or to leave you alone, they get mad like YOU did something wrong.
The latest in one of so many of these situations was on my way home from Tufnell Park tube station. I walked past the pub just outside the tube where a man was smoking. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him look me up and down, make a noise of approval and decided the most appropriate comment was ‘ooo, ‘ello’. Lovely. I looked at him in disgust and carried on walking. I never like to reply to such people for fear of my safety even if it leaves me fuming.
One of the worst situations was coming home late at night from a party with 2 female friends, this was in Hales Place, Canterbury. A man on a bike came up level with us with his crown jewels in hand and started rubbing himself. He said ‘you girls look gagging for it’ and continued to follow us until he realised we wouldn’t give him a reaction.
Even when walking along holding hands with my 6 foot boyfriend doesn’t seem to put off some people. For example a car-full of teenage morons who decided to hang out of their windows, making rude gestures. On this occasion I decided to retaliate as not only did this offend me, but both of us as to sexually harrass a girl in front of her boyfriend just seems beyond rudeness. So I gave them the finger. Childish, but seemingly appropriate.
By MELISSA FABELLO
“The difference between being hollered at as a woman and being hollered at as a lesbian is simple: in the former, men are trying to obtain you; in the latter, they’re trying to change you.”
We were at the county fair—me, with my long, flat-ironed brown and pink hair, skinny jeans, and gray pumps; her, my girlfriend at the time, with her blue plaid shirt over a sparkling gold tank top, and her perfectly applied makeup. Holding hands, we sauntered through the crowd on our way to rollercoasters and strawberry-topped funnel cakes, when suddenly we heard, hollered behind us, “Are y’all girlfriend and boyfriend?” (more…)
In observance of the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day—today, March 10—the New York Department of Health has put together an infographic in an attempt to show the landscape of HIV/AIDS among women and girls in New York City.
“Though this topic can be a sensitive one to discuss, we at the New York Department of Health are working hard to destigmatize this disease because truly the only way to stop its spread is to be educated about it. To help start the flow, we’ve created this startling visual representation of the status of HIV/AIDS for women and girls in NYC.”
For more information, visit the NYC Knows Facebook page.