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Stephanie’s Story: No, we would not like to have an orgy

I was walking with my sister and best friend in a slightly sketchy part of Albany and some guy asked us if we wanted to have an “orgy.” Gross!

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Anonymous’s Story: Gross Valentine’s Day

the driver of the silver car leaned out his window and made a loud juicy kissing noise at me before I crossed the street from under that bridge. Happy v day!

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Marie’s Story: Not my job to smile for you

I broke my arm. I was at the pharmacy waiting for my pain rx to be filled. A man approached me and said “smile gorgeous, how are you” I’m thinking, well, I’m clearly not too well considering my giant cast and sling. I’m in pain, do I seriously look like I want to talk to you? And why is it my job to smile FOR YOU anytime, much less when I’m in pain and clearly busy on my phone.

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Shawna’s Story: Courage to speak

My friend L. was walking to work and from behind she heard a guy say “Hey Sweetheart”. She kept walking and never saw the guy. She brought it up at work, obviously frustrated, but didn’t see the point in “making a big deal out of it” because she has to deal with it all the time. I think that is WHY we women have to deal with it all the time, because we force ourselves to bury it away and NEVER deal with it. The more people can know that objectifying or degrading comments make us feel like crap, then maybe it will happen less. Or maybe we can have the courage to speak out when it does happen. And yeah, even “Hey sweetheart” can make you feel weird when you don’t know the person saying it & they’re behind you and you haven’t seen their face and all you wanted to do was walk to work without being reminded that society views you as a piece of meat.

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Anonymous’s Story: Victory

I was walking to the train at 6am on a Sunday. A man passed me and made a comment. I was right by a deli an didn’t feel danger so I turned around and said, are you serious? I’m a woman alone, you’re a man alone, it’s 6am, it’s dark, just think about what you’re doing, just think.  He actually seemed to hear what I said, and he apologized! Victory.

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Anonymous’s Story: Poor example

I was walking to the metro when this male (not worthy of being called a man) walking with two small children said, “ain’t that sexy” to me as I walked by. I didn’t ask for his input, and it’s infuriating to be referred to as an object, “that”. I did feel empowered, however, to be able to pull out my phone and do something about it!

It makes me sad to think of the poor example that person is setting for those two small children. But I remain hopeful that with campaigns like Hollaback, we will one day end street harassment.

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Anonymous’s Story: True vulgarity

Me and my girlfriend were stopped at a red light when a man got out of his car yelling at us calling us stupid dykes and c**ts flipping us off saying f**k equality and he served in the military continuing to call us faggots. I let him know I have my two year old child in the car he  said he didn’t care and continued screaming vulgar names until light turned green.

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Erin’s Story: Dead wrong

I was out with a big group from work, and this guy came over to talk to me. He seemed okay at first, but then he started nuzzling my neck out of nowhere and tried to put his leg around mine. I just about ran across the room to get away from him. Fortunately a friend who was still near him explained why what he did was dead wrong, but it makes it hard for me to want to go out to that place again.

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Alica’s Story: I am NOT a baby

I am a woman. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a teacher. I am a student. I am a runner. I am a dancer. I am a consumer. I am a producer. I am a worker. I am an entrepreneur. I am a knitter. I am a sewer. I am a builder. I am a photographer. I am a writer. I am a barista. I am a chef. I am a sue chef. I am a clown. I am a director. I am a friend. I am a fighter.

I am NOT a babe. From November 30, 1983 to November 29, 1984, I was a baby. However, NEVER again will I be a babe or a baby.

I am kind. I am affectionate. I am caring. I am creative. I am hopeful. I am optimistic. I am determined. I am resilient. I am relentless. I am patient. I am fun. I am entertaining. I am outgoing. I am inspiring. I am inspired.

I am sweet as honey. I am clever as a fox. I am happy as sunshine. I am cute as a button. I am sharp as a tack. I am wise as an owl.

However…

I am NOT a baby. NEVER again will I be a babe. Do NOT refer to me as such.

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Alicia’s Story: When you honk at me

When you honk at me, it doesn’t make me feel pretty. It makes me feel trashy. Yes, it makes me feel desired, but in the way a fast car or fancy golf set is desired, the lust adorned on an object, but not the genuine desire for companionship of another human being who happens to be a woman.

When you honk at me, it doesn’t make me happy. It makes me feel angry, enraged, irate. Angry, because quite frankly, you startled me. No one likes being caught off guard. I was going about my day, being me, but you came blaring in, uninvited. Enraged, because you assume your expression via a car horn will bring you positive attention, a woman looking at you? This I don’t understand. You think honking at me is something I want or need to feel worth while, so in return I will give you the affirmation you seek to feel worthwhile…wrong!

Irate, because this happens more often than a dentist filling molars. You’re not the only one honking at me. You’re not special. Yet, at the same time, I know I’m not the only one you’re honking at, so I’m not special either. Quit living in your disillusioned world that when you honk at me, you will win me. Sorry, the game doesn’t work that way….so, quit honking at me!!!

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