Verbal

An otherwise lovely, sunny Sunday afternoon

group of awkward teenage boys on bikes with sagging jeans and flat-brimmed hats. Yes, i see you. yes, i walked past you.
no, i don’t need the commentary.
“nice ass!….small tits though!”
calling at me when i’m already past you? why don’t you want to say it to my face?
believe me, i am more than aware of my body. i don’t need observations made in public, on an otherwise lovely, sunny, Sunday afternoon.

Submitted by Danae

one comment 
public masturbation

This isn’t supposed to happen here.

This guy must think he is real hot shit with his dick up and out on a twice-an-hour bus in an industrial Halifax suburb (read: not hot shit). Once some men moved to the back of the bus and sat near him he hid it away so fast … please. But as much as I tried not rise to his challenge by reacting, I was really bothered by it. This doesn’t happen here! I guess maybe it does … How do women deal with this on a regular basis?

Submitted by Christina

3 comments 
Verbal

This city I call home

I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. I have been harassed throughout my life during train traveling and walking. I have had beer spat on me, due to my ignoring guys saying things from a car to me, while I was at a phone booth. A guy screamed on the train loudly “nice tits”. I even got propositioned on the L train for a threesome. I told the guy I wasn’t interested.

But recollecting, this has to top the list of all time. I was in my 20’s walking in NYC, some guy was walking next to me and tells me “he’d love for me to sit on his face”. I was so terrified. I just kept walking. What kind of human being would tell anyone that?

Submitted by Jill

one comment 
groping

When bystanders just stand there

A guy grabbed my ass at the intersection in front of a bunch of people. Nobody reacted, and I ran away. There’s something indescribably disturbing about getting groped in front of a bunch of stony-faced, disinterested people, and something shameful about not retaliating. Nobody should be made to feel so vulnerable and alone.

Submitted by Alex

no comments 
Verbal

Harassment at home, school, work: Where does it stop?

I first heard about HollaBack when someone posted about it on a Xanga forum (Lovelyish). Needless to say, I’m in shock about the countless stories these women have and how closely they parallel my own stories. I’m now thinking twice about my surroundings and the sexually-charged comments that so many say to take as a ‘compliment’.

UNF is known for being a safe campus and I couldn’t agree more (there haven’t been any ‘violent’ occurrences like mugging, fights, etc.), however, when it comes to sexual harassment it’s a different story. There isn’t a day when I walk out of my dorm and get cat-called by guys that bum around on the benches in front of our building. One time, I was walking to the gym with one of my friends. I was stretching out my quads before jogging across the intersection, when a car packed with guys comes racing by, several of them make a ‘smooching’ face out the window. Just because I’m asian doesn’t mean “me love you long time” (which was a long-standing harassment phrase back in highschool).

I gave them two middle fingers (much to pride of my boyfriend).

Catcalls and harassment have become so ridiculous that my boyfriend surprised me the other day when he wanted to get me some pepper spray.

It’s worse when harassment happens in what you thought was the comfort of your own home. I live in a suburban community and my street is really quiet and hardly anyone passes by, unless you live there. I came home one weekend and was unloading my bags from the car when this older guy (must have been in his 40’s or 50’s) comes out of his truck and grins at me. My dad comes out to greet him and the guy asks my dad if “(I’m) the older one?” He starts leering, she’s a pretty thing. What school does she go to? At this point, I’m fed up and walk into the house, an obvious look of disgust on my face.

I hope my dad stood up for me.

Catcalls always escalate at work. I work for retail and there isn’t a day that I greet someone (customer service) and automatically get some leering comment. I can’t fire back and I calmly try to diffuse the situation. I usually work until 9pm and we park out back, so there’s always some sense of foreboding whenever you have to walk at night to the parking lot.

I really hope that sexual harassment laws or some form of enforcement gets passed. It’s scary to think that you can’t be safe at your school, at work, or at your own home. In the meantime, get some pepper spray and don’t walk alone when you can!

Submitted by Alyssa

no comments 
Stalking

When a deli becomes a safe space.

A lady friend and I were walking home late at night from the F train. We were along Avenue U which is usually lively in the day but we were walking down a desolate street where a man stood alone in the cold. There was only a 24 hr deli across the big avenue. We started to cross to the other side of the street and I looked back and saw he was still eying us. A second later I look ahead again and my friend shouts “Run run! Run into the deli!”, because she saw him turn and dart toward us like he was GOING to attack us. It was one of the realist moments of my life. Luckily, when we reached the deli the store owner did his best to stall the man as one of his employees walked us a few blocks down, but in the back the man was shouting and walking in our general direction. Once at the corner, we ran to the house safely.

Submitted by Jen

no comments 
Assault

No means no.

I was celebrating my birthday at a bar with friends, and over the course of the night many people unknown to me would come up to say hello or to wish me a happy birthday. Near the end of the night, I was sitting in a booth with a male friend when some guy came over to our table. He eyed me and leaned forward, and since his lips were moving I thought he was trying to talk and I couldn’t hear him because of the loud noise in the bar. I also leaned forward, with my finger to my ear, when he reached over, climbing over my friend, and started kissing me, using his free hand to move my face so he could make out with me. I pushed him away and said “no”, but he leaned in again, making kissing gestures. The next time I said “no”, I put my hand in his face. My friend inched closer to me and put his arm around me, hoping to give the guy a hint, but the guy just kept leaning over me. I again put my hand in his face and shouted “no”. He said, “What’s wrong? Do you think I’m a fag? Are you calling me a fag?” I told him he needed to leave, to get away from our table. He got angry and put both hands on our table, and my friend started to get up to confront the guy. One of the bartenders came over just then, and although I couldn’t hear their conversation, I’m pretty sure she had words with him, because a couple minutes later the guy was gone. I was a bit shaken up, and while I appreciate that my friend wanted to defend me, I’m glad I was able to clearly and effectively state “no” for myself.

Submitted by Andrea

no comments 
The Movement

There are many creative responses to street harassment. Here’s one:

Don’t just walk on! Dance about it! The movement to end street harassment isn’t all doom and gloom, and here’s proof—from the talented ladies and gents at Broad City:

 

 

no comments 
public masturbation

Afraid to walk on my own campus

When I was a senior in college in New Haven, CT, I was walking from my dorm to the gym and had to walk through a somewhat narrow passageway between two other college buildings. There was a man standing in a corner and he motioned to me to come over to him, he didn’t seem sketchy, just sort of random. I had to walk past him to get out and I realized he was masturbating while staring at me and following me. I ran away and when I got to the other side of the alley way, I call the police to report it, but I never heard anything back from them. It was so disgusting and I was afraid to walk from my dorm across campus to the gym alone for a very long time.

Submitted by Abby

one comment 
Verbal

Advice needed for nonstop harassment

I’m writing in here because I am a victim of constant verbal abuse.

Every time I step out my front door I can count on some type of verbal harassment, whether it’s an invitation into a car or the more general “Hey baby, come over here”.

This post is not about a specific incident. I seriously need some advice on combatting harassment in a dangerous and overwhelming neighborhood.

Does anyone ever feel like they’re endangering themselves yelling back at these people? How do you keep up your stamina when you have to do it every single day?

Submitted by Maren

4 comments 
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