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I have experienced so much verbal abuse over the years that now it doesn’t even appear on my radar, but this night it was different.
I was on the phone to a friend outside of a pub, tucked into a corner so I wasn’t in the way of pedestrians or those sucking the last drags out of their cigarettes on the way to the bin. Minding my own business, this group of middle aged couples came up to me and one of them lifted my dress up and commented on my not so flattering underwear. Then they walked off before I could so much as process what was happening. So there I was, stood outside Northern Monkey with my knickers on display to a busy street stammering down the phone to my friend.
Submitted by Steph
When I was around fourteen or fifteen I went with my Latin class to Italy, and we took a day trip to Pisa to see the tower and cathedral there. From the train station you have to take a bus to get to the more touristy attractions, and it was on that bus on the way back when I noticed a man standing a little too close to me from behind.
Every time the bus lurched he would press into me, and I could feel his erection – he was wearing baggy sweatpants of a thin material. I kept inching away from him but the bus was crowded and I couldn’t move much. I was completely petrified – although I was already used to men making comments about me (which seemed to happen especially frequently in Italy, although I was living in a small town at the time where I was kind of an “alternative” kid and didn’t “fit in” so maybe it’s an unfair contrast) no one had ever touched me like this before. I didn’t know what to do. Luckily, one of my friends’ mothers was a chaperone on the trip, and she caught on to what was happening and offered to switch places with me.
I have been lucky enough to have traveled extensively, but almost everywhere I’ve been it seems like someone is going to harass me – including the time, during my second trip to Italy, a young man told me he “loved my boobs” – while I was walking with my mother.
I’m now attending college in New York City, which isn’t really a reduction in the harassment. I love New York but I’d really like to be able to go a day without a wolf whistle or a comment.
Submitted by Li
The words in this image show how i feel when being harassed.
An open warning to all street harassing males,
Not all of us exist to make you feel like strong, powerful cavemen who could drag us by our hair and rape us at will… some of us are LESBIANS who find you UGLY. Yes, I know, in your pea-brains, the only homosexuals in existence are the gay men who you also torment (many times because you WISH you could actually be with a FELLOW MAN you respect rather than the women you hate, yet refuse to explore your gay side because in your idiot brain, it means you would be…*ewww* more like a woman). You see, you street harassers are very, very damaged. Your definition of manhood is despising women as anything other than envelopes for you to screw/bang/pork/nail (notice the violence of these terms?) In your world, gay men are insufficient males, and lesbian women don’t exist. So when you yell something at me, or me and a date of mine, you assume that we are just dying to add you and have a “threesome”. In your mind, “lesbian”=either “woman who can’t get a man” (as if any woman can’t ‘get’ one of you desperate, ugly, hairy backed Neanderthals) or a woman just dying to add your ape-face to a threesome with her girlfriend. When one of us declares our sexual orientation, you usually come up with the original line “whyncha try some DICK, bitch?” And if I happen to be walking with a friend who is a dyke who doesn’t fit your narrow ideals of beauty (which, for some reason, you only extend to women–you MEN can be as repulsively ugly as you wanna be), my pal has to hear that she’s “too ugly to get a REAL MAN.” I wish I could gather a whole army of dykes of all shapes and sizes, from butch to femme, cissexual and trans, and tell all of you nasty street harrassers how we’d sooner do Sarah Palin than any of you…and that, by the way, “lesbian” does not mean we want you drooling while we do to our girls what you could never do to yours (ie give them orgasms, instead of STDs and unwanted pregnancies), but that we want you to leave us the hell alone.
Submitted by Gloomyboi
I was out in the mission with my friends for a birthday bar crawl and my roommate invited this guy she’s dating. He shows up with 3 extra friends in tow and they join our party and go with us to the next bar. I could tell the guys were sizing me up the whole time that we were at the bar together, but I tried to ignore their advances and just have a good time with my friends. Later on in the evening, one of the guys walked by and said in my ear- I want to taste you. He looked me in the face as he said it and kept on walking. I could not have been more disgusted. That behavior is NOT acceptable.
Submitted by Chrissy
Not more than an hour ago, I was outside in my front yard watering my vegetable garden when I noticed a man in a dark blue truck stopped in front of my house. I waved at him, curiously, and he waved, and looked forward- a move that I thought was indicative of him waiting for someone, perhaps further up the block. I continued watering, and he backed up the truck a little. I looked again, and he waved. I walked to the other side of the yard, and he pulled forward, leaned toward his passenger seat, and told me that I had nice breasts- though at first I misheard him, and said ‘Thank you.’ The next thing he said to me made me quick to realize that I was mistaken, as he asked me “Can I see them?”
I replied, “No.”
Angrily, I said, “I’m not for sale, sir,” and moved to walk inside.
“No, I mean just to see your breasts! Bra?”
At this point I slammed the gate and the front door.
How could something like this happen in my own front yard? The guy was there for a good two or three minutes! Did he take down my address? Is he going to come back?
Submitted by Allison
This is reposted from HollabackATLANTA.
“A Republican state legislator in Georgia doesn’t like the term rape “victim.” In fact, he has introduced a bill mandating that state criminal codes refer to these people as, simply, “accusers” — until there’s a conviction in the matter.”
Thankfully, there is some actual common sense in the Democrats’ rebuttal:
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee writes, “To diminish a victim’s ordeal by branding him/her an accuser essentially questions whether the crime committed against the victim is a crime at all. Robbery, assault, and fraud are all real crimes with real victims, the Republican asserts with this bill.”
Ironically, renaming from victim to accuser would probably be a more appropriate name for the way the system and our culture treats survivors of rape. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), only 60% of all rapes are reported in the first place, and there’s been recent buzz about a surprising number of rape kits not being tested. So, with all of this working against rape victims, Representative Bobby Franklin wants to add another strike against justice for those who experience rape by implying that a crime never occurred — if one of the foundational rules of our country’s legal system is “Innocent until proven guilty,” then we need to apply this philosophy to our rape victims too.
Stay tuned for a way that you can take actions against this renaming!
According to Her Blue Print:
The sound for Maluca’s best known track, El Tigeraso, was inspired by “mambo violento”, a sped-up style of merengue music.The video for El Tigeraso takes the viewer to Audobon and West 182nd Street, an intersection in Washington Heights, the heart of New York City’s Dominican community. Maluca struts down the street wearing curlers in her hair and red high heels. But it’s when she hits a nightclub later in the evening that she really gets comfortable: she dons house slippers and socks. In her hair, a crown of beer cans serving as rollers are spray painted gold.
The song’s lyrics were inspired by an issue many women deal with every day: cat calls and harassment on the street. “Dominicans call the bad boys on the corner who are up to no good – but who have mad swag – Tigeres. ‘El Tigeraso’ is the game or swag. Growing up, I would go visit my cousins or grandma uptown. Back then, you couldn’t get from one corner to the next without those ‘Tigeres’ trying to holler at you. It was kinda outta control. Especially if you walked down Broadway. So the song ‘El Tigeraso’ is poking fun at that whole situation.”
Um, awesome. Now we just need to track Maluca down so we can get her to do a celebrity endorsement of Hollaback!.
I am harassed on a daily basis, no matter what I wear or how I look. I take the bus to work everyday and I can’t remember a single time when I was not stared at. Most of the time it’s lewd staring but sometimes men will hiss, make kissing noises, approach me to ask for my number, yell at me from their car window, honk at me when they drive by. I’ve also been groped.
For the longest time I felt embarrassed to talk about how much this bothered me. When I talk about it to male friends, they think I should get used to it. But I don’t think I ever will. It’s not up to me to get used to it, it’s up to them to stop disrespecting me.
I’ve lived in 2 different countries and the same harassment happens in both countries.
It’s very sad that a woman should feel unsafe and uncomfortable every single day on her commute to work.
I feel scared to retaliate because I’m on my own.
Submitted by Sham
I got my fair share of catcalls and unwanted attention when I was a student in New York. I began having a discussion about this with one of my classes. The (male) teacher said in some cultures men giving that kind of attention to women was acceptable, so why did we women get so uptight about it here?
Another boy piped up that in his country, saying hi to a woman he didn’t know was completely acceptable.
I couldn’t manage to get anyone to understand that it wasn’t the attention that bothers me and other women, it’s the blatant sexual come-ons. And the fact that these things start out innocently, but can lead to things much more sinister.
A few days later, I was walking to work and a construction working waved and said a cheery, “Good morning!” to me.
I said good morning back, and that was it. I wonder, if you want to talk to a woman, why can’t it be like that?
Submitted by SJ