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I was visiting France with classmates and at one point was walking back to meet them. Some of the men and women (college age) were waiting for everyone in a group, and some saw me and waved. As I waved back, two young men came up to me and asked me directions in French. I tried to give them directions but eventually switched to English. Once I admitted to being American they starting pulling in closer and saying how good my French was, to the point I was very uncomfortable. By the time I was able to explain I did not know where they wanted to go, they both gave me a hug and kiss (on the cheek, which I know is cultural, but still). I was rather flustered and went to the group of known friends happily.
I can accept that and move on, but it was the next part that upset me the most.
After I told them what happened, one young man chastised me for being so culturally ignorant and close-minded that I was complaining and upset over being held and kissed by two strangers! He was French himself, and explanations of personal space culture in American were dismissed because I should be trying new things. No one should be shamed in front of others because they did not want to be touched by others!
So I am 14 years old and today something really disgusting happened. I was walking around, exercising and this guy stops his car next to me. He was saying “Excuse me! Excuse me!”. I stopped and he asked for directions to a street. Since I am only 14 and can’t drive I had no clue where this street was so I said no. Then He asked, “Can you suck my nuts?” and flashed me. I stared crying and ran all the way home. I was so upset and still am. I’ve been getting street harassed for about a week now. All the sudden all of the guys driving started honking, whistling, ect. I want to be able to just walk down the street but now I can’t, I’m too scared.
Every day I take a short walk from my office to Lake Michigan. This incident was the first time I walked alone and was not wearing sunglasses – I guess seeing my eyes makes me more vulnerable? I make an effort to smile or say, “Afternoon,” to folks I pass on the street. Twice that day I was catcalled – “Hey, how you doing? I like that smile! That’s what I’m talking about!” and “Hey, how you doing, boo?” while he looked me up and down. I realize these are relatively tame responses but I was self-conscious and had not experienced this kind of attention while previously walking with others. Should I not be polite and acknowledge fellow passersby? I feel comfortable enough doing so in this area, but those interactions made me sufficiently uncomfortable.
After I was molested at age 9 I went right in to MMA, I never wanted to feel that fear again. Two years ago; I was walking to a bus to go met my girlfriend and at the bus stop an old man starts hitting on me. I tell him he needs to stop and that I have a girlfriend. He stepped closer and grabbed my genitals and said he could please me a whole lot more then some Faggot girl and that he could “cure” me. I slammed my elbow in to his sternum and screamed for help but when the police got there and I told them what happened they arrested me for defending my self. The charges where dropped but I still can’t get over how all I did was try to get some old ass to let me go and yet I ended up going downtown. There were so many men watched and one even went as far to stand up for the older man saying that I was the one who flaunted in front of him and got pissy.
I was in a drugstore few weeks ago and was looking at some products when I felt something brushed through (with some pressure) on my butt. I thought it was just a bag of a lady so I didn’t take notice of it. Second time it happened, I saw a man just walked past behind me and he was talking to his girlfriend/sister before that. I looked around and I was really sure he was the one that touched me. I panicked and try to spot if it was his hands or just something he was holding. It was his hands. And then it happened again and this time, I stared at him and he just gave me a smirk and actually stood staring back at me. After a while, the girlfriend/sister called out to him and he walked away. Not before talking another look at me. I was so freaked out and I don’t know what to do. He was obviously younger than me, probably just a teen. I was wearing a tank top dress that was mid-thigh length.
I often experience stalking in the mall or when I am walking home. There was so many times that the strangers stalk me till I was almost reaching home. I has to rush to the lift (pretending that I wasn’t running away at the same time) and I pressed on multiple levels so that the stranger wouldn’t know which level I am staying at. I shouldn’t have gone to my block where I am staying, but I was afraid to walk anymore further with someone following me.
Verbal / Ogling:
Many times there are strangers who gives me the dirty look and eye me up and down. I wear casual office wear most days and these are the days that are the worse. I have no idea why. Even at work. Sometimes strangers pretend to talk to me, like saying ‘Hi’ and eye me all over. Sometimes the more disgusting ones whistles and stuff. For example, yesterday when I was about to cross the street, a man old enough to be my grand father commented at me and said something I didn’t want to hear.
Yesterday in the train, a older man stood facing me throughout the whole journey. Everyone was facing the door (including me), but he was the only facing me. He kept leering at me and when other passengers blocked his view of me, he shifted to make sure he sees me again. It was so disgusting and he tried to move closer but there was too many passengers and I kept moving further away too. When I alighted, he tried to come closer, but I sneaked off with the crowd quickly.
I work in a mostly male dominated industry. I am also an out lesbian. Because of this, my coworkers think it is okay to completely demean women in front of me. They have a thing where if a “hot” girl comes in the store they yell out a code word so everyone will know. It is disgusting, sexist and pathetic and I called them out on it.
Rather than respecting me as a woman and thinking about how disrespectful it is to all women when they behave this way, they got mad because I don’t do it too!
Really? I told them that women do not go out into public to be ogled over and talked about by disgusting men. It is sad that we can’t even go to the store without men being perverts and refusing to see what is wrong about it. The fact that when I walk home from work I get at least ten honks, as well as whistles and catcalls is horrible, infuriating and sickening. I am not an object.
Last year, a man went on catcalling at me almost every morning the moment I left home on my way to work. He was always riding in his car, and shouted something like “hey beautiful” while he drove past me. He even purposedly changed route, just to be sure to greet me every time he saw me approaching. That pissed me off so much, but I was never able to answer back because I was always too angry or he just drove past too fast. Sometimes I also considered changing my morning routine in order to avoid him! That stopped when I actually changed my habits, luckily for other reasons.
My friend and I were walking to get coffee, it was a bit dark outside, a group of highschool boys started following us, we turned a corner, they turned a corner, they started yelling things at us asking us to turn around, to say high, we kept ignoring them, finally I felt something hit me in the back, they had actually thrown a rock at me, and not a small rock either. This isn’t something that only happens sometimes, it’s every day. It’s disgusting, and it needs to stop.
I walked out of my town house to meet the tow truck for my car (really bad day). I walk into this guy at my front gate. He looked me up and down and asked me my name. I was silent and glaring at him. I turn around to go inside my house. And he asks “you a daughter?” He cat called me and assumed I couldn’t afford my own place. I went inside and waited while peaking out the window to see if he left. Went back out afraid to be by myself.
Cat called at least 4 times while walking alone in St. Louis yesterday.