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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.
I was walking up the hill on my way home and had a bunch of guys hanging out of their car yelling ‘hey sexy’ and other things. One of them tried to slap my ass from the window and the car got very close to me! I was unable to say anything or so anything because it happened so fast!
My story is not necessarily about one incident but many over my time here in New York. I live in a neighborhood where I am, on average, verbally harassed about 3-5 times a week. These interactions range from kissing and sucking noises, to verbal assaults (hey baby look at that fat ass) to derogatory intentions hidden behind kind words (Oh, God Bless you, baby) and beyond. One time a man was saying very rude things, and while that was happening another man drove up in a car and yelled “don’t talk to him baby, talk to me!” I screamed “thats harassment” to him as he drove off.
I’ve also been physical groped. When I was groped I chased after the man but unfortunately lost him in the crowd. I was fortunate that the cops were supportive and drove me around looking for him, but I know that is not every woman’s experience.
For a while I just dealt with it, but I’m at my wits end. Its to the point where I have actually started emotionally preparing myself for the three block walk from my apartment to the train. When I had the thought “well, maybe I should just stop wearing yoga pants in public” I knew that they and gotten into my head and it was time to do something.
I’ve begun confronting these men. Some engage while most walk away as if nothing has happened.
On a run in my neighborhood today, a man in a car passing me wolf whistled. As a minor, (I’m only 14!), it was my first negative experience of such a kind.
It made me feel unsafe to be running alone because I knew other people with more physical power (a man in a car) were looking at my body sexually, and I could do nothing about it, even if they chose to pursue me further.
I am also deeply disturbed to realize that even as a minor running in a family community, I can be made to feel unsafe.
I want to end street harassment because it makes me feel unsafe and unhappy, and that is no way for any person to feel!