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A tale about my evening commute home and my adventures with creepy smarmy guy and skulking threatening guy on the same bus.
I was on the bus home 22/09/14 about 6:30 this evening and this guy came up the stairs, immediately clocked me and came and sat RIGHT next to me. There were double vacant seats behind me and he was literally RIGHT UP AGAINST ME. I gave the passive agressive sort of shifting further away and he had the nerve to turn to directly face me with a creepy smile on his face and say “thank you”. (ew) I set my face to bitch resting and stared out of the window while keeping an eye on his cell phone which he was playing around with a lot. I could see him very often turning and staring at me, it was pretty scary I had no idea what this creep might try so I got my keys locked between my fingers of one hand and made it very clear by hardening my expression further that I didn’t want to be bothered.
He then suddenly leaned in close, I leapt a mile and he started whispering “do you have the time?” He was both holding a bloody phone and had the clock on the sign in plain sight. I made a snarling face and pointed to the clock and said loudly “Its 6:44.” Making people look around at us, it also made me feel slightly more in control as he then shrunk back and started grumbling into his phone.
I got off a stop early just in case he tried following me so I could run into the nearby bar if need be and so stood up waiting for him to let me past but he stretched his knees further forward and grinned at me signalling for me to step over him. Really angry by this point I barged straight into his legs taking care to rake the heels of my chunky boots hard across his shins and forcing him to spin round to the side letting me past. He made a hissing sound and I felt pretty smug and empowered about it.
BUT THEN I was going down the steps and this guy was standing in the stairwell taking up the entire space and glowering up at me from under his baseball cap, his feet stretched forward covering the whole floorspace. He made a kind of sneering face at me as I came nearer and it was clear he wasn’t going to move and I would have to clamber around him like a bloody idiot. I decided not to rock the boat, he looked like a regular at Pentonville so made to step over one outstretched leg – but purely by accident ended up losing my balance and bringing my trusty boot slamming down onto his toes. He cried out and said something like “argh, bitch!” I’m not sure, I was already hurrying out of the bus and straight into the bar, there wasn’t any need though as he didn’t seem to follow me off.
I was pretty scared and angry at the time at these two creeps who try to threaten and letch on random women but looking back at it now I’m grinning like an idiot as in my small way I was able to reclaim a bit of control and give them a gift from the karma gods. Enjoy the single life fellas!
Craving a late night cup of joe from the Starbucks in the Duke Hospital, my friend and I waited on the corner to cross the five-lane deserted street. Entranced in our conversation, we hardly noticed the car slowing to a stop on our left. Before making their right turn, the men in the car decided it would be appropriate to halt mid-turn and comment on our “asses” and “how fine” we are and that they would love to “give us a ride.” I wonder how could they even see our asses, considering it was the middle of winter and we had on more layers than an onion. Scared, we didn’t make eye contact or reply, hoping they would just go on their way. Luckily, they kept on driving, while we ran across the road into the safety of the hospital.
I was walking my dog at around 11 pm in a family housing area on a military base when a male at a house across the street, presumably there for a party or something, started hollering at me about my “tiny shorts” and walking around by myself at night. I didn’t hear anyone else in the group either encourage or discourage him. I considered yelling back at him, or even just flipping him off, but decided against it for my safety as I was approaching a darker and less populated area. Just goes to show street harassment is an across-the-board issue.
I was leaving a grocery store at about 8pm on a Friday night, when I passed a couple of very drunk men in the parking lot. One of them slur-whispered “Oh baby, so beautiful” to me in Spanish, followed by something else that I couldn’t hear. When I didn’t break eye contact, he then said “hi” to me in English. “Oh hi,” I said, and then I asked him, in Spanish, whether he was sure that he didn’t want to say anything else to me. So gross.
Stopped at the gas station for a snack and the bathroom. I walked in the bathroom to find a man with his pants around his knees and his junk clearly visible. Ran out of bathroom (women’s) and told clerk. She didn’t care. Called police, they also did nothing, despite this man flashing in the women’s bathroom. I was told I was mistaken.
This is not the first time this has happened to me in New York City. Actually the 4th. I grew up here. And am aware of my surroundings. This morning a young guy – looked relatively normal – was looking at me from the platform. I was sitting inside the R train. One other man was in my train car but seated in the opposite direction.
The young guy exposed himself and was masturbating towards me. I didn’t know how to react. Normally I would say something but I realized I then didn’t trust the other male in the train car with me. My instinct was to look down. I cried realizing it ruined my judgement of the other male who could have been a nice person.
As an after thought I should have maybe taken a photo to report him. Wish I could do something more.
Happy Friday Hollaback!’ers,
Hollaback! sites around the world are busy this week:
Hollaback! Berlin talked about feminism and pop culture at the “Bundes Frauen*InterTrans*Konferenz” of the Grüne Jugend in Leipzig.
Hollaback Des Moines held a monthly meet up and tabled at the Iowa Student Power Convergence.
…And participated in a Russian radio panel discussion on sexism!
Hollaback! Bahamas Trained the trainers! The session with COBUS (College of The Bahamas Union of Students) focused on the Constitutional Amendment Bills regarding gender equality was a huge success.
The team also guest lectured a class at COB on gender issues and the Constitutional Amendment Bills.
Great job this week team!
HOLLA and out!
– The Hollaback! Staff
Guy working at a cell phone booth near the mall food court called “hi sweetie” as I passed. I’d never seen his face before. I told him not to call me that and not to give nicknames to strangers because they don’t like that. He didn’t take me seriously, but he got told.
Dude standing right in the middle of my path on the sidewalk, rubbing himself quite visibly and leering at me. When I asked him what was wrong with him, he asked me if I wanted to do it.
I was walking along a park path around my neighborhood this afternoon having a conversation with a friend on the phone about birth control and reproductive health.
Two young, professional-looking men on expensive racing bicycles wearing expensive gear slow behind me, listening in. One of them shouts “big black dick!” to me and they rode away, surprising me of their presence, giving me no time to respond. Proof that racist misogyny knows no income bracket.