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Walking near Dupont Circle, Washington, DC USA yesterday. Passed some men who were packing a moving truck. They ogle me and one mutters “good lord! Gotta tuck it in!” Presumably, he was referring to his penis. I felt unsafe, disrespected.
I was in the local store and a young woman came into the store hurriedly like she was trying to avoid someone. She was wearing yoga pants and a tank top like she had just come from a workout. Not five seconds after she came through the door two men came in after her, screaming and being quite loud about how they “appreciate that” and how the young woman was “doing them a service.” It was disgusting, and made everyone around them uncomfortable, the girl ended up leaving.
Walking home from work one evening on a busy dual carriageway, two men were walking on the opposite side of the road from me. One called out ‘oi love, my mate wants to rape you’ I was pretty rattled by this and upped my pace with mobile phone in hand. His friend shouted back ‘I’m sorry about him’. That’s all very well but your mate needs a kick in the groin. It still bothers me that men think it’s a joke to threaten rape.
Hi so my name is Zach. I’m the oldest and only boy in my family. I have two younger sisters and ever since I could remember I was always taught to respect women and that it was my job as an older brother to protect my younger sisters. This has made me very protective of the people that I am close to. Because of this many of my female friends ask me to go with them places.
A few days ago one of my friends, who is an amateur model, asked me to go with her to future photoshoots because at the last one the photographer made her feel very uncomfortable and she was harassed on the bus ride there. Now every photoshoot she has I will go with her.
Last year at a Renaissance Fair another one of my female friends asked me to pretend to be her boyfriend so guys will stop hitting on her. Obviously I said yes and whenever a guy would bother her I would swoop in and say something like “hey babe, want a soda?” or hold her hand and the guy would walk away. Whenever a guy would stare at her I would put my arm around her. Later that day she gave me a huge hug and thanked me.
When I was 14 my sister and I were walking home from school when these two boys from her class started following us. They were shouting things at my sister like “damn girl what’s yo size?” and “why don’t you bring that fine ass over here?”. I warned them to fuck off or something bad will happen and they went down another street. They then cut us off at the next street, blocking us from going home. They continued to harass my sister and I warned them again to fuck off but one of the disgusting assholes grabbed my sister’s ass and needless to say I beat the everloving shit out of them. What pissed me off even more though was the fact that none of them thought they were doing anything wrong.
Honestly I could write a whole goddamn book about all the times women asked me to protect them from ‘men’. What really scares me though is what would happen to my sister and friends if I wasn’t there to protect them from these creeps. How far would it go? Would my sister have gotten raped? Would my friends have gotten assualted? I’m so scared and angry that women I care about and women everywhere deal with this bullshit everyday. I’m sorry men do this. I really am. We need to teach our children not to do this and it’s not ok.
I was walking home from work one day, it takes me about 20 minutes and I have to go through a small neighborhood to my job. I was a little over ten feet from my work, dressed in regular work clothes. Just slacks and a polo. I also have straight across bangs. A group of five guys in a car decided to yell at me saying they “like my fortune cookies” and as they drove past, say I have a sexy ass and hoot at me. I sped walk, heart racing… Two feet away from my job.
I was walking back from my lunch break. It was very hot and bright out and I forgot my sunglasses and was squinting. Two men in business clothes exited a building as I was walking by and one of them said to me “fix your face.” I was so stunned! My resting/thinking face is often frowny so I often her men asking me to “smile” but I have never been told to “fix my face.” I wish women never had to hear comments like this.
I am harassed daily because I take a bus and a train to work which is in the downtown area of Chicago; all sorts of people wandering. I work for a cosmetic line which encourages individual style and creative appearance. Because I am heavily tattooed and dress like I’m going to a trendy gathering for work (complete opposite of how I dress not working) I am approached, stared at, cat called, insulted, chased and treated like a tear in a magazine or an object to touch.
Daily, I am feeling angry and frustrated and filled with hate. It interrupts my work sometimes because I am in the public’s view. I was once told to tattoo “stupid whore” on my forehead because I declined communication with an older man in his 50s. I’ve been called “bitch” because I confront men who stare at me like I am oblivious to their eyes. I’ve been insulted for ignoring when I walk to my train or bus. I’ve been chased and followed by men who think I’m “easy”. I’ve been grabbed and pulled like an object because of my completely covered tattooed arms and legs. Then they get angry with me because I snap back. Because this happens literally on a daily basis, I’ve grown to hate living in Chicago. I grew up in Texas and never had this heavy amount of street harassment. I am a human and I just want to walk peacefully.
This happened to me in the summer of 2010 when I was sixteen-years-old. I was walking home after shopping in Union Square in San Francisco. I was at a stop light waiting for the light to turn and there was a man on the other side of the street waiting for the light to turn as well. As we waited, I could see him staring at me from across the street. I was very uncomfortable but gave him the benefit of the doubt, thinking that maybe he was just looking at something behind me or was in some sort of daze. The light finally turns and we cross paths. He keeps looking at me but doesn’t say or do anything. I thought I was in the clear. Two blocks later, I was at another stop light. I can hear someone panting and running towards me from behind. I had a weird feeling that it might be that man from the previous stop light and I turn around and I was right. He comes up to me, and starts walking next to me and strikes up a conversation. He asks me my name. I ignored his question and told him that he shouldn’t be talking to me because I’m sixteen (this guy was clearly a lot older, probably in his thirties).
He then sees that I have shopping bags in my hands and asks if I’m going home. I shouldn’t of responded but politely, I told him yes. He then asks me if I’m living with my parents. I say yes. And then he has the guts to ask me if they are home. At this point, I am freaking out internally since we are nearing towards my house. I end up passing my house because I didn’t want him to know where I lived. After not responding, he asks me if he can have my number. At this time, it had only been a week since I moved to the United States and didn’t have a cell phone. So I told him that I don’t have a cell phone and he asks if I have a home phone. At this point, I was fed up, scared, and had no idea what else to say so I blurted out that I had a boyfriend. He then laughs, stops walking with me, and turns around to goes back towards the direction he was originally going.
This was six years ago but I remember it like it was just yesterday.
I was 17 and was sitting alone on the Metro line coming from Grand Central station. A man sat next to me and I didn’t think much of it since it was a busy train, so I continued to look out the window and listen to my iPod. A little while into the train ride I felt that he was staring at me, I was instantly petrified and continued to stare out the window silently hoping he would stop. Then I noticed in the reflection of the window he was touching himself and smiling at me. I began to shake and panic, so a few stops later I worked up the courage to get up and tell a conductor, which was beyond embarrassing since I didn’t quite how to phrase what was happening. The conductor asked the guy to stop bothering me, and told him to move. I passed this man to get to my new seat and he gave me such a smug look, it was equally terrifying, and disgusting. I’m now 19, and still worry about it. Since this moment I have been extremely paranoid in crowds and hate traveling alone. It was so vile and disgusting, and I remember feeling guilty for some reason after I told the conductor! The rest of the ride home I played the situation over and over again, and for some reason tried to justify his actions. I know now that I did nothing wrong, I’m not guilty, and harassment has to stop.
Always when guys whistle at me or call out stuff such as “babygirl” etc, I never ever look at them, especially not the whistles. I’m not a fucking dog.