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As an American woman in Turkey, I anticipated harassment and notions of “inequality” but I never expected to be physically assaulted on the street.
I was walking from work to a nearby shopping center in the early evening when a man passed me then turned around and followed me. He caught up with me and started talking, but I didn’t know Turkish and he didn’t speak English. I continued on my way as he tried to talk to me. We were on a main street during rush hour. There were lots of trees and garden areas lining the street which proved to be his ultimate cover.
After passing a bus stop, I decided to turn down another main street as he grabbed my arm and threw me down on the ground by my neck. He strangled me as I fought for my life. I had taken self defense classes in university, so I instantly thought to try and poke his eyes out. The struggle lasted for maybe only a minute but felt like a life time. I was able to free myself and started to scream as he pushed me down again into a pile of trash. I kept trying to scream, and finally he let go and walked away.
I stepped out of the bushes, literally about 4 steps, onto the main street and saw people waiting at the bus stop. I waved down a taxi and went home. When I got out of the taxi, I left behind leaves, branches and dirt on the seat. I was in the elevator and a couple saw me, but the woman just whispered behind my back. When I looked in the mirror my hair was knotted and full of remnants from the attack.
I took a shower and laughed to myself that I had gotten away. I was empowered that I had actually fought the asshole off and survived with only a sore throat.
I didn’t call the police as I didn’t know how to, and apparently the police aren’t to be trusted in Turkey.
Ladies we must fight with all our beings. It’s the key to survival.
Shoutout to the disgusting, spineless, flea infested neanderthal that yelled ”nice tits” at me/my coworker on June 2nd at 1:45 pm in Lakeland Ridge in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
I was babysitting a 1.5 year old and walking down the street with her in my arms when a group of boys (no older than 16) walked past. “Miss, I like your shoes.” I replied “thank you” (not seeing any malice when being complimented on my excellent taste in footwear.) As soon as he passed by (like the little cowardly thing he was), he snickered “…and your fat ass.”
I was upset because there was nothing I could do because I wasn’t about to hollaback with someone else’s child in my arms and possibly putting her in danger, so I took a deep breath and continued to walk in the opposite direction.
I remember his face and his description (sky blue headphones and all!). I work in the area, and he no doubt goes to the school right by the site of the harassment, as it happened around the time the school lets out. I will be letting the school know about my experience (along with coward’s description) so that they might educate a younger generation that street harassment is unacceptable and illegal.
I’m sure this isn’t the last I’ve seen of him if he indeed attends that school or lives in this neighborhood, and hopefully I won’t have a baby in my arms so that I might give him a nice jumbo size portion of hollaback.
“Don’t talk to me like that. It’s harassment. It’s illegal.”
Maybe next time I’ll have a photo so I can show you what a coward looks like! Stay strong! You’re not alone.
A group of men were on the stoop, drinking and hanging out. I walked past them around 9 PM at night (after dark) after parking my car nearby.
Several men started hooting and making kissing noises. I kept my eyes forward and ignored them. Then one man started following me saying, “Can I talk to you” and “Just give me a minute baby.” I hoped he would stop following me at the end of the block, but he didn’t.
I turned the corner and continued to walk towards my apartment, feeling increasingly scared. The man followed close behind me for two blocks saying things until he finally gave up and went back to his friends.
I thought I was going to be raped.
My boyfriend and I decided to go on a weekend away in Milano. I had never been there and was pleased to see what a modern city it is and how everything works.
We were going for the train back home and took the metro to the main station, and my boyfriend was leaning against the door while I was holding his arm, facing him. The car was crowded, but we all had enough space to move around comfortably. At first I thought that the guy behind me had lost his balance, and that was why he was so close to me. When he didn’t get back to a polite distance, I suspected something. I kept pushing closer to my boyfriend and the door but the guy would follow my every movement. My boyfriend got irritated, not understanding what was going on, and that’s when I realized that I was paralyzed, unable to speak up. At last the door opened and I bursted out of the car.
Now would be a good time to say that I am a militant feminist, that I am involved in politics and am used to seeing ordinary sexism for what it is. However, my first reflex has been to add layers to my clothing… I know it’s not the victims fault, and there is nothing to be ashamed of…how many times have I said that in public, in front of a crowd? But that day, I felt ashamed, dirty and guilty…
I wish I could say I shouted at him and took a picture, but I didn’t. As someone who never misses an opportunity to point at machismo and street harassment, I was speechless.
I was walking to the subway 2 blocks from my house when a car pulled up and started driving slowly beside me. The window was rolled down and the man driving the car yelled out, “Hey sexy.” I ignored him and kept walking. He continued to drive alongside me, then he yelled “Want me to lick your pussy?” I was so shocked, I yelled out “No, gross!” He shouted out “Slut!” and sped off. I was left confused, scared and angry.
Last Sunday I was walking with my boyfriend and his sister to get dinner. We were chatting, so it took a few minutes for me to bother listening to the three drunk guys following close behind us. It wasn’t until I overheard, “She must have a wide set pussy,” “That one’s pussy must be tight,” and “That one could be a girl?” that I realized they were talking about us.
All at once I had an overwhelming sense of shock, rage, disgust, mortification (and some more disgust) that stunned me. They were loud and aggressive, so it was obvious they were looking for attention (or a fight). My logic side knew that talking back (in any manner) would most likely escalate the situation and expose us all to more childish slander. My primitive-rage side just wanted blood and justice…I mean, this was RIGHT after the Santa Barbara killings, so I was a little extra raw.
When they fell behind a little, my friend turned to scope out the situation (glare) and told me they were skinny little twerps. I held up my pinky and said “with skinny little pricks,” to which she replied “not enough for our wide vaginas” and we burst out laughing. Finally, they backed off.
Male passenger in a moving vehicle yelled derogatory names for a homosexual at me.
I pass by this pub every day, and it doesn’t matter what I wear, but this guy keeps calling me baby. I purposely try to avoid this area, but it is unfair that I have to change my habits while he can’t change his behavior. I know I’m not alone in this, but I am tired of hearing old disgusting dudes call out “alright baby,” as if they own me. I literally have to walk places with my boyfriend or my parents in order to feel safe. That isn’t fair to me or to anyone.
I was on a 7:50am bus to a watersports course I was taking one Saturday morning. There was only myself and about three other passengers on the bus, a girl about mid-twenties sitting in front of me, a middle aged man in the aisle opposite, and a middle aged lady in the seat behind me. I had just caught the bus in a rush so was still quite bleary eyed and tired. About 5 minutes after I got on the bus a young man, about mid-twenties, got on. He walked passed the lady sitting in front of me before stopping in the aisle beside me, and saying in a very loud assertive voice to me “You! You were out last night.” In shock I mumbled “no”, before he continued. “You, you! I can tell by your face you were out last night. You’re a bad girl.” And he continued walking down to the back of the bus.
This may not sound like the most offensive comments in the world, but his sheer ignorance and nerve to shout about on a young girl’s appearance (bearing in mind I’m a twenty year old student, who was sitting alone on the bus) to a whole bus. I was tired from preparing for my course, but even if I had been on a night out, who was he to berate me for this, as if a woman doesn’t have the right to go on a night out. I sat in shocked silence trying to convince myself to go and confront him, but decided that as I was alone with loads of bags, the risk of him getting off at the same stop as me and harassing me further was not worth it. He got off at the stop before me, not before he passed me and sneeringly stopped to say “Goodbye now”. Before the bus pulled away, he stopped at the window where I was sitting, knocking and gesturing, what I’m not sure as I was to intimidated to look directly at him. I decided the least I could do was express some of my disgust, as there was now the safety of a window between us, and swiftly flipped him off before the bus pulled away.