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One of a gang of young men with hooded parkas smoking weed called to me from behind, I ignored them and kept walking. He carried on ‘EXCUSE ME?!, EXCUSE ME!?’ I thought maybe I’d dropped something, cos he sounded so urgent. I turned around ‘Yes?’ he said ‘how are you?’ they all laughed. I said ‘fine thanks’. He said ‘I like your knee socks’ I said ‘thanks’ sarcastically. they kept following me til I went through the barriers at Warren Street station. I’m not saying they had any intention of hurting me, I’m fairly sure they didn’t. Their intention was to dominate me, to intimidate me by taking up my time and assessing my outfit and entering my personal space, asserting their power over me. It isn’t nice. Sorry don’t have a photo, couldn’t even see them cos of their hoods. Just thought I’d share.
Submitted by Jennifer
I was in Paris on a school trip, and was riding the metro back to my hotel. It was super congested, and I was pressed up against one of the poles. Soon, I felt a hand on my butt. I thought at first that it was an accident, a brush, but no, he kept on groping my ass. I tried to move away from him, but I couldn’t really move. After he got off I told my friends who were with me. They responded with things along the lines of, “What could you expect with an ass like that?”
It was awful.
Submitted by Erin
I had just gotten out of class and I was taking the bus home, and was already in a foul mood , then i notice this man looking me up and down and smiling. i felt violated, but chose to ignore it. until he started looking back at me talking. i took my ear bud out, and he said “how you doing” i said bad, and asked him to leave me alone. he then told me i wasnt hot shit, and that i wasnt even the hottest “piece of ass” on the bus, and i told him to fuck off, and he called me racist, i said “im not fucking racist, im just sick of being looked at as if im only an object fuck off”
i put my music back in, and he yelled at me, and i ignored him. this bus was not empty mind you. people just choose to ignore whats not happening to them. Fuck being harassed and feeling like shit because other people are scumbags.
Submitted by kegan
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
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
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
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
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
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
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