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Some of the people in my office have the job of calling people that they have worked with and seeing if they are using the programs that were recommended to them. Usually, these calls are pretty straightforward and include a brief questionnaire. What I have noticed is that the guy who sits in the cubicle next to me, whenever he is talking to a girl, and they say they have been following through with the programs, he responds with “good girl”. I cringe every time I hear it. It makes me feel as if he is talking to his children or his pets, and not human beings who are doing their best to be better versions of themselves. I woke up this morning thinking it was time I approached him about it. I couldn’t sit in silence any more. So when he walked in this morning,I told him that we needed to talk about something that made me uncomfortable. I explained the situation (shaking the whole time because I am horrible at confrontation), and he apologized. He said he didn’t realize that he was saying “good girl”. He said if he ever said it again, I need to stop him because he knows it isn’t right. He said he appreciated that I brought it up, and that if his children knew what he was saying, they would probably be upset too.
I couldn’t have asked for a better response. He understood where I was coming from and felt ashamed for how he had acted. I know that I am not the best at confronting street harassment, I usually just ignore it and walk away… but I like to think that if we stop people from using the same terminology in the work place, maybe it will have some sort of ripple effect when we walk out on the streets. In the very least, I can feel a little more comfortable in my cubicle.
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This happened in Crewe, UK. I was just walking down the street in the evening, approaching a junction near Tesco (car park side) when some guy in a black pickup drove past and put his window down to shout at me with a big grin on his face. I couldn’t make out what it was and it might’ve been in a foreign language. I think there was another guy in the passenger seat. The guy who shouted at me was sallow-skinned and wearing a black and grey hoodie and had a beige peaked cap on back-to-front.
So me, my ma and my little sister were walking down a sidewalk. Just trying to get our fitness on you know? There were these stairs by these yellow apartments. As we walked into view I saw some guy’s legs (they were covered) by the stairs. I thought he was just chilling outside minding his own business. We walked past the stairs when suddenly he called out ‘hey’. I ignored him at first, acting like I didn’t hear him. He called out hey a second time, I turned this time because I thought ‘hey, maybe he needs some directions to go someplace’ or something like that. But when I turned.. he had his penis out. He was smiling, and I was in total shock, along with my little sister. My ma turned around and was like asking me what? I was stuttering and saying, he was showing his private part! He was still there by the stairs and ran off when my mom ran screaming at him. He ran off, you know? An asshole he is. Ma called the cops and they came and they ask for description and stuff like that, they were gonna look out for him. Don’t know if they caught him or not. But neighbors were coming out and were wondering what was going on, they were also shocked too. Gosh, now that I think about.. next time Imma try to do something. But still… crazy world.
Every day I would take the subway to work, get off at 68 Street Hunter College, then walk a couple blocks to my work place. I was 20 at the time, wearing professional work clothes. On a good day, I would only be stared at. However, most days, a man somewhere, whether on the train, walking down the street, or leaving the subway, would make some kind of comment, noise, or gesture toward me. I learned which streets to avoid due to experiences with men yelling at me or inappropriate staring.
A particularly unsettling occurrence happened on the subway train on my way to work one morning last summer. I was standing on the crowded train, attempting to lean against the side of the train, as it made a sharp turn and I lost my balance. I stumbled a little and regained my balance quickly. I was fine and didn’t need any help, but unfortunately a man decided this was the opportunity to move in and force me into conversation. The train had cleared out after the first few stops, so I sat down in the seat closest to the door, keeping my eyes to the floor. A man with his bike, probably 15 or so years older than me, was holding onto the pole directly in front of me and wouldn’t stop staring at me. I was clearly not interested in talking to anyone, but he asked me if I was okay and needed any help. I told him I was fine, leaving it at that, but he persisted and started talking again. I don’t remember exactly what he was talking about, something to do with his bike, but then he started staring at my legs and telling me how “sexy” and “fine” they were. I didn’t know what to say and felt grossed out, so ended up awkwardly laughing and ignoring him, even though he continued to stare at me the entire time I was still on the train. The worst part was that the train was delayed and was taking forever to get to the next stop, where I could escape. After he made the comment about my legs, I ignored him and waited for what seemed like forever, finally getting to my stop and running off the train. I never rode the train without headphones in again, even if I wasn’t listening to music.
Things like this still happen all the time when I go to NYC to visit my sister, yelling, staring, lewd comments, whistling, and other atrocities. It doesn’t matter what area you are in, it happens everywhere. I am fed up with men thinking this kind of behavior is okay. Do they seriously think they are going to attract women in this way? It makes me sick.
Please raise awareness and tell people that this is not okay. My boyfriend wasn’t aware of how bad street harassment is in NYC until I told him the stories of my daily commute. Let people know it is not right and that it makes people feel disgusted, worthless, and unsafe! It is not a compliment if you are yelling at someone on the street.
Biking in corvallis on my way home from work and doing errands I was subjected to several incidents in June 2013. I had “nice tits, bitch”, “hey, you, you doing anything tonight baby?” (out the window of a truck at an intersection), and various whistles and catcalls from passing cars.
I am 15 years old, and I have dealt with sexual harassment from age 11 up until now. I now see men as animals, instead of human beings.. but worse I now see myself, as just a piece of meat. This still happens, but in 8th grade I decided I wasn’t going to stand for being groped in the halls everyday, and whistled at, and yelled at from cars, and windows. One day at school, a guy walked up to me and said “hey… Let me ‘titty fuck’ you right there in the corner!”, as you can imagine I was appalled at the fact he would have such disrespect for a female, no forget female, as a person!! I stood there completely silent, just taking his crude harassment. Eventually when he was done touching me, and yelling at me, I calmly walked away, he followed me. I finally lost my temper and decided I had nothing to lose, I tuned around And yelled back “IM A PERSON!” And he said “yeah a person with big tits!”, that is about the point where I lost it completely, and broke down, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “you objectify women! You have no respect, and because of that, nobody will have respect for you!” And he laughed and laughed at me… But believe it or not, I felt better afterwards! :O alas I continue to get harassed…. I hate highschool, and I hate how assholish guys can be… The worst parts are- I’ve told the office and they simply responded with “oh I’m Sorry we can’t help you.”, how fucking awful is that? The second worst part is that I don’t feel safe anymore as a person and a girl… I hate it
I was walking to my school’s student union when a man who appeared to be another student accompanied by his friend started following me and yelling things at me like “Ay yo gurl, lemme lick your butt.” And they both laughed at me when I would turn back to look at them.
I didn’t know how to respond so I didn’t say anything and kept walking til I got inside. It made me mad that I couldn’t feel comfortable on my own campus.
I was just on my way to the shop not long ago, about an hour ago with my friend and this lad who we have seen before, who’s younger than us shouts ‘hey’ at us so my friend tells him to shutup and he says ‘fucking ugly bitches’.
This story is just one of countless amounts that I have acquired over the years. I was walking home from the grocery store, which was only about four or five blocks away, which required me to walk past the local precinct on the way. As i was aproaching the intersection in front of the police station, an officer who was standing on the opposite side of the street suddenly stepped out into the intersection and stopped oncoming cars. He then proceeded to cross the street towards me. When he finally reached me, he gave me a giant toothy grin and held his hand out. He said “come with me baby” as he creepily smiled at me and tried to hold my hand as I crossed the street. (Important side note: I was nineteen years old at the time and in now way required assistance crossing the street.)
I stared at him blankly before laughing both nervously and amused. I said “No thank you” with a sarcastic smile and crossed the street ahead of him. When I looked back he was still standing in the middle of the intersection, cars waiting, staring me down with a shocked look in his eyes as if he couldn’t believe a young woman would turn down an officer in uniform. This interaction only confirmed my beliefs that police officers are creeps who expect everything to go their way just because of their job title. I resisted him arresting my walk home, but he could not resist me arresting his heart I guess. And please, don’t call me baby. All I am wondering now is, why can’t I have this power over cops when they are actually arresting me?