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Well, this post is about 30 yrs too late, but it was a supreme case of harassment. And nowadays, I’d probably be cited.
I was pregnant with my son at the time taking my alcoholic aunt who had a massive hangover into Manhattan to work. We were at the Borough Hall Station waiting for the train when I had this feeling behind me. Sure as hell, there was this moronic creep exposing and stroking his personals.
My profession at the time was a dancer in the wild and wooly world of topless/bottomless, so this was not a new sight. However, due to the dangerous times we lived in then, before the city got glitzified , to this end I used to carry a small can of red spray paint, along with a few other necessities to ward off overly confident morons who might follow me home after work. Reaching into my coat pocket, I turned around and sprayed this clown’s action, chased him down the platform screaming at him as he jumped on a train going the other way.
The T.A. guy thought it was hilarious, but warned me not to do that again as I might get hurt in response. I was so freaking pissed off. I used the spray paint as it was a good way to identify predators and a bitch to get off or explain. The City was so much more fun then. I miss it.
Submitted by M
Just happened- guy harasses me from van- oops, it’s the company van w/phone number. He saw me calling and i watched his face shift from arrogant confidence to sheer panic. Manager apologizes profusely. one point for justice!
-Texted from the streets of New York City
I was riding my bike and I stopped in DUMBO to figure out directions on my silly phone, when two guys started making kissy noises from the top of this building. I looked up and I couldn’t see them anywhere, so I just kept waiting for ever-so-slow google maps to load. After two minutes, they were still making kissy noises. Impressive I thought. Eventually one of two things will happen:
1. They will get tired. Making kissy noises is a very exhausting mouth maneuver.
2. They will realize that they are two dudes who have been making kissy noises at some girl who oh-so-far away for extended periods of time, their masculinity will come into question, and they will go back to drinking their beers quietly.
This little social experiment lasted for a full five minutes, with no conclusion. Finally, I gave up and left to a chorus of “Oh no don’t leave! Come back baby!” Wow.
Submitted by Emily
The other night I was walking home and some dude was standing outside of one of those odd private party club places. He said, “there’s a party in there, you should come in and dance with me.” I laughed warmly, looked over at the man that I didn’t recognize but assumed I’d met before at some point, and said “no thanks.”
As I made my way halfway down the block I heard “fucking bitch!” Not in my neighborhood, buddy. Choosing between the delightful options of this big city girl crushing his small town balls or snapping this picture, I decided to Hollaback.
Submitted by Emily
This morning I got on an elevator with a female colleague on our way to a meeting. A man joined us and as the door closed said “You have beautiful eyes” in a very dirty voice. I said a muffled “thank you”, avoiding eye contact. He then had time to say “you’re pretty and “I want to talk to you” all in a very disturbing voice. He even said hello to my collegaue, and asked her to tell “her friend” that she had beautiful eyes.
I was only going to the 2nd floor but it felt like the 20th. After my colleague and I got off, I was utterly perturbed. I felt like he had violated me. Looking back, this would have been a perfect time to “hollaback”- I had my cellphone camera easily accessible in my pocket, and a good 30 seconds of captivity with him to get a good shot. But I was so mortified I didnt think of it- I wasn’t thinking at all. All I could do was stare ahead at the door, waiting for my floor, hoping he would stop. On one hand I am glad I wasn’t alone with him- god only knows what could have happened. On the other hand, it was embarrassing to be treated like that in front of a colleague, without defending myself or speaking out against what was happening to me. I fret that I may have lost her respect- or more, that he took my dignity from me in front of her.
I hope next time I will find the strength and the power to take action. To speak up and to hollaback.
Submitted by Kate
This horrific story reminds us that without a trained and sensitive staff at the MTA, those beautiful subway ads that we worked so hard to get up are useless. The Subway Safety Coalition, of which HollabackNYC is a part of, will be drafting letters to the heads of the MTA, the transporation committees in the New York State Senate and Assembly, as well as to the Public Safety Committee in the City Council.
To do your part, send a letter to the editor of the Daily News at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to include your full name, address and phone number.
Submitted by Elizabeth
One of the problems with street harassment is that it has been so rarely researched and written about. I recently had brunch with Holly Kearl, who is currently writing a book about street harassment. Rock on girl.
Help her out by completing this quick online survey about street harassment:
The more folks who take it, the more accurate it is, the more that changes in the world. Hollaback survey-style!