Spunk? Who Uses That Word Anyway?

On my way home from work, I jumped on the L train and took a seat next to a man trying to hog the space next to him by sitting with his legs spread. I don’t go for that kind of crap, especially during rush hour. He made room for me, but he kept looking me over and I just knew he was going to say something. Here’s how the exchange when down, by far the most heated and close quartered holla back yet:

Him: You have beautiful eyes.
I turn my head slowly and look him in the face.
Him: Your eyes? (he gestures to his own) They’re beautiful.
Me: (slowly and forcefully) “I don’t care what the fuck you think. I don’t need your fucking compliments. So shut the fuck up.”
He is absolutely astounded. “Who the fuck do you think you are, talking to me like that?”
Me: Who the fuck do you think you are talking to me at ALL?
Him: We’re on the subway together–
Me: That doesn’t give you the fucking right to talk to me.
Him: You don’t have the right to talk to me like that. Maybe next time I’ll say something derogatory. How bout that?
Me: Leave me the fuck alone.
Him: You need to watch the way you talk to me.
Me: Then why don’t you quit talking to ME?
Him: No wonder New York is so shitty…
Me: Yeah, because it’s got you in it.
Him: Oh, me? You’re nothing but a white racist.
Me: I’m not racist. I’m not even white. And you’re a sexist.
Him: Not white, oh, what are you then, orange?
Me: Now you’re going to tell me what race I am? [I should have said, "Oh, we got an ethnographer here!"]

At this point it just turns into a stupid repetition of the first few exchanges. I finally just ignore him and go back to my book. He is still reveling from my decline of his compliment and the demand for privacy and peace… Finally, after a few minutes…
Him: (Shaking head) Well I will say this, you got spunk.
Me: Shhh. (keeps reading) [Should have said: If you ever have a daughter I hope "spunk" is enough to keep her from getting raped.]
Him: Did you hear me?

Nothing else is said, but he keeps making these mock astounded gestures and huffy noises. When I get off I make sure to look him right in the eyes one last time (how sexy am I now, fucker?), holding my head high and slightly squinting my eyes in contempt. I don’t know
what washed over his face, surprise? fear? Well I’m not afraid of you, fucker. I’m not anything
you can wrap your tiny brain around, and I’ll talk however I want. That’s what you get when you try to assert your opinions on any given woman. And I’m not the only one who talks back, not by a long shot.

In retrospect, it really surprised me that he’d immediately jump to racism (I guess he was black,
maybe some Latino too?). Oh, because I responded angerly to his pathetic mack I *must* hate his race. I love that shit–a man alluding to equal rights. If I was a man he wouldn’t have said a word to me. If there was true “equality” I would be granted the same silence and respect as a man. I will NEVER take my silence, broken by clumsy implications of my alleged “beauty,” as a compliment. Never.

Submitted by Kate.

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I’m going to guess this guy wasn’t from Berkeley.

I was waiting to cross the street as this truck waited to turn, and the guy in the passenger seat started making crude comments to me and my female friend.

“Sit on my lap and ride!”

I took out my phone and got this shot. He was flattered, at first.

“Hey, she’s taking my picture!”

“Yeah, so I can post it online and tell everyone what an asshole you are.”

Then he didn’t look so flattered. He didn’t have much to say after that, either.

Thanks, HollabackNYC!

Submitted by Anne.

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If they don’t know it’s wrong, why do they cover their faces when we take their picture?

I have a lot of respect for some New York homeless guys. Many of them are very civil, even if you don’t have money to give them. You can almost tell if the guy is really homeless or not by how he reacts to a simple “sorry, I haven’t got anything.” If he freaks out and starts sexually harassing you, he’s probably just out begging because his wife won’t let him back in the house.

Submitted by Kay.

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Assault, Verbal

I Like My Ass Too, But…

Walking up Madison Ave at 32nd Street, dude start walking right behind me and my friend.
“Nice, nice.”
My friend and I ignore him.
I turn around.
“What did you say?”
“I said I like your ass.”
“Don’t say stuff like that. I don’t like it.”
I take out my camera, he keeps grinning and being dumb. I take a picture but he turns his head.
So I take another one.
Check out your picture online. HollaBackNYC!


Submitted by Anna.

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Stalking, Verbal

Another Subway Creep

This “nice catch” found me at 42nd Street – Times Square. He followed me around the station from one platform to another. Then he got on the N with me and stayed on until I got off in Brooklyn. He then got off. I got on the R, and he didn’t. I snapped his photo in case he did anything – and I have it saved. He kept telling me he loved me – over and over and over and making kissing noises and motions with his lips. What a creep he was. Several men told me that they had been watching him talk to me and making the kissing motions and sounds. They said that if he would have done anything, they would have been up. Thankfully, he didn’t try anything.

Also, I had my 7 year old son with me. (That’s part of his head in the side of the photo). So this man was behaving this way in front of MY CHILD!

Thanks again for this service you provide. I wish I had a photo of the first perv I met – who rubbed his penis against my leg!

Submitted by Brandy.

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Fed Up!

unfortunately, i don’t have any photos to accompany this rant, but i hope that others are as pist off as i am.

it just occured to me this morning, on my way to work, that it’s really just men and not women who LURK outside.. they’re everywhere.. and they’re always just standing in doorways.. leaning against the building with their buddies.. languidly hanging out the passenger side window of the utility truck. and the reason they LURK is just to watch the ladies.

i’m so fucking fed up with it. this morning as i walked up to the store to get a goddamn cup of coffee, i had already heard the word “pussy” hissed at me from a truck. then i noticed two 40-year old men were LURKING, smoking cigarettes, and i felt their eyes on me for more than a casual glance. as i blatantly stared back at them, they didn’t have the courtesy to look away.. the one on the right was just watching my thighs move in my skirt.

i stopped and said “can i help you with something??” their faces fell and they said “no, no.” then, as i walked away, the one on the right regained his composure and hollered, “what can you help me with?”

what really really pisses me off is that, when i am in the company of any guy, it is as if these LURKERS disappear into the background. they don’t dare even look at me. it’s as though they have enough respect for the man i am with not to call out to “his girl,” but my being alone is an invitation to harass me.

i just got pepper spray, which is a slight comfort to me. i would only use it on someone who tries to physically assault me, so it really does nothing to stop this barrage of unwanted comments. i actually think about moving out of the city so i don’t have to deal with this.

Submitted by Audrey.

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Assault, Verbal

Creep’s Reward

Working as a waitress, I put up with all sorts of crap from sleazebag men. Here is a prime example – luckily I had my camera/phone handy.

I could hear these two saying vulgar things and laughing as soon as they sat down.

Me: “What can I get you?”
Creep in the green hat: “How about you, sweetheart?”
Nauseating laughter.

So I gave them some of me – a big loogie at the bottom of their beers. Cheers, dickheads.

Submitted by Krystal.

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Subway Flasher

He was on the D train July 7th. Got off on 9th Avenue in Brooklyn, be careful girls. He tried to get my attention by asking me for the time. I left to the other side of car.

Submitted by Jeanette.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Stalking

Indianapolis Idiots

Two of my friends and I were coming home from a night of bowling. My friend was driving, her cousin was in the front seat, and I was in back. We pulled up to a red light, laughing about something, and I casually glanced at the car next to us for a split second, where one of the guys in the backseat was pretty much drooling over us. I alerted my friends to this, and they looked over at them, this time to find everyone in the car staring at us. There were four of them, and they were big guys. They kept rolling down their windows and yelling stuff at us, but we ignored them. The light changed, and we drove on, thinking nothing of it.

So we stopped at the next light, and guess who pulled up beside us. We were right by where you needed to turn to get to my house, so I told her to just keep going straight because I didn’t want those idiots on a power trip knowing where I live. She kept going straight, and they stayed right next to us.

This went on for several minutes before she pulled out her cell phone and called her mom. They were still right next to us, and they started acting like they were going to run us off of the road. Her mom told her to call the police if they kept on us, and she said ok. We were in a 40mph zone, and she was doing 30. They stayed right next to us…you could tell they were totally getting off on it.

They eventually went away, and we had to go all the way through Beech Grove to get home.

Submitted by Amanda.

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Tell ‘em, Sister!

I was walking down Nassau St. when an approaching man stops in his tracks and looks me up and down lasciviously.

“How are you doing? Hot enough for you?”

I stop, turn around to him and say “Don’t mess with me today.”

“I’m not messing with you.”

I respond, “A lot of women don’t like it when men they don’t know approach
them. It’s very scary and it’s very rude.”

He nods his head and smiles. “Oh, okay. I’m sorry.”


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