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I tried walking on a public street to the stores within a four mile radius of my house on three separate occasions recently, but every time I did, at least one person yelled out of car windows, honked at me, or both. I am not pretty, I am just average. I wore ordinary clothing, either t-shirt and jeans or t-shirt and running pants. No make-up. Hair in a ponytail. It didn’t matter. They honked and yelled anyway. I hated it. Every time I was startled and afraid someone would actually stop and get out of the car. So now I dress as a male when I walk on public roads. I wear men’s cargo pants and a loose button-up man’s shirt and a ball-cap. I even bought a chest binder and I usually wear it, too. No one honks or yells at me now. I think we should all start a yearly Dress Like a Man Day as a protest against harassment. If men want to appreciate feminine beauty on the street, let them do it quietly and politely! If some men won’t be civilized, maybe it’s time to take away their scenery.
I’m ashamed to say that 8 years ago I groped a young woman I was talking to her and I spanked her on the butt (playfully, I thought). She grabbed my hand away and told me off.
Her strong reaction made me embarrassed. If she had not spoken up I might have done it again. I think a site like yours is a good idea.
I live in one of my university dorms and was leaving for class in the middle of the day. Often, men, never women for some reason, hang around the corner by my building. Normally I don’t experience issues with the ones that are regularly there and have had some good conversations with them. One day there was a man I didn’t recognize standing at the corner. While I was waiting at the light he asked me if I had any change, which I did not as I rarely carry cash or change. When I said no he responded that it was ok, that my beautiful smile made up for it. Which was innocent enough and kind. As the light changed though he then remarked to his friend that “[he] would do [me]” and then commented to me that “[he] would f*** [me] given the chance.” I said nothing and crossed the street to get to my class and hoped that walking away would be enough to end the crude comments. Rather, he followed me for a couple of blocks until I reached my class. I was very glad he didn’t do anything but his remarks sent chills through my body and left me feeling very violated as he followed me to my class.
I was leaving my school studio one evening (8-8:30) on campus to go back to my room. I am very slim (not busty, no butt to speak of). I had on bootcut jeans, red reeboks, a long sleeve button-up shirt and (just to be “safe”) an undershirt. I was carrying a huge portfolio and had a backpack.
As I left the studio and walked maybe 5 steps a young, big, chubby guy in a car pulls by and slows down. He immediately starts with the usual chatter “hey, baby”, “damn”, “oh, what’s your name” etc. It’s night time, I am alone and don’t typically appreciate strangers talking to me like that. It’s scary. He could have looked like a young Clive Owen, I would have still been very uncomfortable.
I didn’t acknowledge him or look in his direction. He continued to follow me and talking but he didn’t appreciate me not acknowledging him so he started to say: “oh you think you’re to good for me?” “you bitch” “I’m going to fucking kill you”. Verbatim, he said he was going to kill me for not acknowledging his “compliments”. I dropped my stuff and started to run, he followed me into the adjacent parking lot. I used to do track and I’m a good runner. I hauled it to the security call box (it was broken, I’m not kidding!!). He got the idea though and stopped the car. I thought he was going to get out of his car to grab me so I left the call box and ran to IT services across the campus lawn. He didn’t pursue. I was sure glad to get the flattering attention though. Is that why my heart was racing like a hunted animal?
So, in a nut shell, I don’t like cat calling. I find it really inappropriate. Men don’t realize how vulnerable women feel. Almost any man can easily physically overpower me. I think that type of behavior is about control, not about heart-felt compliments.
A man on the 58 bus put his hand over mine on the rail and then wrapped round the back of me pretending to get past but then pretending to fall and grabbed my boob
A guy in a red van looked at me outside of starbucks and licked his lips at me before driving by really slowly and doing it again
Well. It’s been a week ago, I started seeing this guy on the street. He kept staring at me until I went inside my house. He wouldn’t even leave his eye off me and my sis. We are teenagers. (13). But he looked like he was in his late 30s. For about 2 days he waited outside of my house and kept staring. I felt soo uncomfortable. Than the 3rd day he waved at me. I thought maybe he thinks I’m someone else. But the most scary part was that my mom was with me. And he still did it. But my mom didn’t noticed. Than again he waved at me and my sis. I wanted to tell mom but I was really scared bcuz I’m from a culture where my parents will think that it’s my fault. Than for another 2 days, he kept staring but I pretended like I don’t even know him and I didn’t even looked at him. Than this day my mom wasn’t with me. It was only me and my sis. So we were really scared. We decided to he late home so maybe he won’t be there. But he was there wondering around our house. So today when me and my sis were entering the house, he through a paper folded at us. I got soo angry and scared. I didn’t think golf anything and I yelled at him but not face to face. I was something like “why the fuck is wrong with you nigga. Leave us alone.” My voice sounded horrible due to nervousness. But that was the first time I ever yelled at a stranger and defended myself. It was like my brain was confidant but my stomach was nervous. I don’t know if he heard me or wht. I told my sis not to touch the letter but she wouldn’t listen to me and she read the letter. It said his phone number and said that ” call me cause I like you” my sis ripped the paper and threw it on the street. But I wish that he is scared and tommarow god protects me. It is mentally disturbing us. I couldn’t sleep these days due to him and I hate it. Plzzz for heaven sake, stop the street harassment.
When was the first time you were harassed?
This year, we partnered with an amazing fourth grade classroom to talk about street harassment, personal space, and safety while creating #ensh artwork.
Starting on #givingtuesday, with every $500 we raise, we’re putting up one of their posters – with the goal of fully covering a public wall with their art! The campaign will run until December 31st – so please give today!
I was 9 months pregnant, and sitting in my parked car at the side of the road preparing to heave my huge baby belly out of the seat and into my home. A car drive past and someone yelled ‘fat bitch!’ at me. I got really upset, due in part to the hormones but also I’ve always been sensitive about my weight even outside of pregnancy. I couldn’t help welling up with tears and to make it worse, my boyfriend who was in the car with me just got annoyed and told me not to be so stupid and sensitive. Even now, 5 years later (during which I’ve not been catcalled once) that memory still gets to me.
At around 5:45 yesterday I stopped to pick up some cleaning supplies and dinner about 4 blocks from my apartment on my way home from work. I decided to take the bus home and waited with a mixed group of about 8 people. A man approached me and offered to “keep me warm” and I ignored him. He watched me for about 5 minutes and then grabbed my arm, insisting it was too cold for me outside. I said “Please don’t touch me. I don’t know you.” He started screaming at me, saying things like “As big as you are? You’re lucky anyone is touching you!” I kept ignoring it. He walked up to the young man next to me and said loudly “I’m gonna go with her and show her not to disrespect men like that!” No one said anything so I went inside a nearby shop and asked to speak with a manager. Only then did I learn that a policeman had seen the entire thing and decided not to intervene. Instead, the cop just told me I did everything right and should take the next bus home. I left my food on the sidewalk and took the next bus home. I’m 22, 5 feet tall, and was wearing a medical boot for a broken ankle. I needed help and I still feel vulnerable.