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I was eating breakfast with my friend at Waffle House and having a great time. As we walked out my mom noticed a man taking a picture of my friend and me. She was outraged because he was taking pictures of our butts as we walked by! While my friend promptly freaked out I calmly turned around and took a picture of him. I must also add that we’re fifteen and my mom is an overprotective momma bear so she of course ran to take license plate numbers down when they left. That picture was unfortunately blurry but it achieved the goal I had in mind, scaring him shitless. Thank you hollaback, for reinforcing my ability to react swiftly and speak up.
A woman in Park Slope, Brooklyn narrowly escapes an attacker; caught on a residential security camera. Perp is still at large but video shares a shocking glimpse into violence against women and, if you have noticed all of the domestic violence in the news the past few weeks, (and with many ending in homicide) you can only imagine how much scarier it is when attacks happen in someone’s own home and by someone they know and love. Remember Kitty Genovese? Stabbed in the street while neighbors looked on, not doing anything. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese”
Text from: “Meet Kiki Valentine” http://kikivalentine.tumblr.com/post/4842800974/a-woman-in-park-slope-brooklyn-narrowly-escapes
I got on the 4 train at Brooklyn Bridge at about 11:30 last Friday. A man was sitting with his legs spread wide, taking up two spaces. I approached him and asked him to make room for me to sit, as I have asked a million people before him. For the first time, my question was met with a mean, empty stare. I waited, then said, “You won’t make room for another person?” And he said nothing, and a man sitting across the aisle from him made room for me and I sat down and took out a book. That’s when the first man started to threaten me. “That bitch thinks she can look at me? I’m going to smack the shit out of that bitch. I’m going to smack the shit out of her.” He seemed to be speaking to himself, but the man next to him chimed in, “That bitch is stupid.” I got off the train five stops later and they never stopped repeating those sentences. And I was scared, because he was bigger than I was, and because if he had followed me off the train, I wouldn’t have been able to fend off an attack. It didn’t occur to me to contact the authorities until about twenty minutes after I’d gotten off the train, and by then it was too late to catch him.
When I did contact the police, they were nothing but helpful. I was worried that they’d say I shouldn’t have been on the subway alone at night, or give me some stupid violence prevention tip, but the only thing they said along those lines was that late at night, it’s best to sit in the conductor’s car. I wish I had contacted them as soon as I’d gotten off the train, from the station. I wish I had looked for a transit worker to complain to. If I had reported it sooner, they could have caught him. I want to encourage people to report subway threats as soon as they are received.
The other thing is that although I was on a crowded train (so crowded that I asked a man to move over for me), nobody stood up for me. I know everyone keeps to themselves on the subway, and I’m not offended. But if just one man had spoken up to that man, it might have made a difference. Possibly. I don’t know.
Submitted by Ellie
I was walking out of Taco Bell while talking to my husband on my phone. As I was passing by a beat up looking white car, a guy asked out the window: “Hey, can I use your phone?” I responded with “No, I’m talking business with my husband,” automatically. He was a younger white guy in the driver’s seat. His buddy was inside and conversing with the manager of the place. The guy said a few more things but like I said, I was talking to my husband so I wasn’t paying attention.
As I got to my car door, the other guy came out and said very suggestively “Hey, can I get something *else*?”. Unfortunately I got very pissed off and said f you to him. I realize now I shouldn’t have; but I can’t change the past.
As I was backing out, another car came around the corner very fast and because of that I almost hit him; the harassers were in their car and one got out, and said something (I do not know what), because they were also involved. I saw them stop their car a bit away while I was pulling out, and then of course like I knew they would, they started following me. I intentionally drove through the parking lot the complete opposite way towards the office store’s part of the parking lot; they followed me. So I turned to get onto Calumet Avenue, and they still followed me. This entire time I was on the phone with my husband, and he told me to go directly to where he worked.
Oh, by the way? He owns a gun shop and gun range. A tiny sliver of me was hoping that if they continued to follow me, they’d see my husband and his other worker standing outside with their hands on their guns.
Luckily, the idiots ended up turning off very quickly, before I even turned onto the expressway. Just shows that I need to get up off my lazy butt and learn to shoot and get a permit to carry, like my husband keeps telling me to.
Submitted by Kristen
I was minding my own business when out of no where this guy started making sexual joke about my boyfriend and I; and then he proceed to tell my boyfriend and I that he (my boyfriend) must have slipped me a date rape drug last night.
Submitted by Summer
I have been repeatedly harassed by a gross guy who works at the public library near my house. He works as “security” but stands around and leers at women and hits on them all day. He would always talk to me in an invasive, macho way, with the tone of voice of “hey, baby” as if he was at a bar and not working as security. I was always cold to him and showed him my disgust. I observed him doing this to other women also. I complained to the library manager and she said other women had complained about him, and that they would address it with him. She told me I should speak to him directly but I didn’t want to make an issue of it at the time. He is a predator and predators are about power and control. At the time a girl I knew had been raped by her bf and we plastered anti rape signs around the town and put anti sexual harassment signs all over the library. It’s not as direct but still empowering as a way to use your voice.
He continued to harass me and nothing changed. A year ago I was on the street downtown with friends and he came up and asked for a hug. I was with other people and laughing/relaxed and he caught me off guard, although my face showed disgust he he gave me a hug which I completely regretted – I felt slimed. Awhile ago walking home in the dark up the street he made a beeline towards me, diagonally from the library, and again made a slimey comment. I gave him a look of extreme disgust and walked away.
I recently had a private meeting with him and the library manager in which I told him his behavior was unacceptable, inappropriate, and must STOP or I would press charges. I told him he disgusted me. He had a typical b.s. response saying he was just being friendly and he didn’t know what I was talking about, I told him he knows EXACTLY what I am talking about; I held him accountable. A short time after the meeting, the library manager told me she had told him directly, that’s it, no more talking to women at all. I thought it would be resolved but his creepy and predatory behavior towards me continued. Recently he was reading his book from across the library, and I was tutoring students at a table, he came to read his book right behind the bookshelf next to me, to be leering at me and invade my space, when he could have chosen to go anywhere in the library and he knows I hate him and he disgusts me, esp. after the meeting. I was busy with students and didn’t speak up at the time. He has continued to speak to me when he was told not to.
The other day I decided to confront him and am glad I did. I got fed up and who cares if I was a little aggressive, he needs to know what it’s like to have his space invaded. I went up to him, said, “I need to speak with you.” He was about to make a call on his cell and he said “wait”, I said, “no, now”, I closed his cell phone cover, got up close in his space and went off on him, told him I had told him to stay out of my space and to not talk to me, he disrespected that, and he needs to learn respect and as soon as it happens again I’ll call the cops. He started swearing and then ran off. It felt good to be forceful and up in his face. God what a SCUMBAG he is.
The librarian clerk there saw the interaction and protected the predator saying it’s his job to walk around the library, how dare I talk to him like that? (typical b.s.). I was direct with her as well and she said I couldn’t talk to her like that, she freaked out and was very hostile. I let her know that he acts like it’s his job to harass women, and that this town is full of typical passivity b.s. and that other women have complained. It was frustrating to be attacked by this librarian, but who cares, the main thing is I used my voice and now he knows I will kick his ass and definitely call the cops if it happens again. I have taken my power back. Predators are the scum of the earth. I documented everything on paper on writing and will do everything in my power to get him fired. Thanks for letting me vent and share this story, it’s great to know there are ass kicking chicks out there. It’s OK for women to assert themselves, and it doesn’t matter how they do it, as long as they speak up. Kick ass and speak up, use your voice!
Submitted by Carolyn B.
Taking the R train home from Manhattan this evening, a demented pedophile flashed my 12 year old daughter. We were both playing games on our phones to pass the time, but my very astute daughter noticed the man get on at the 59th St Station in Brooklyn bound for Bay Ridge, when he moved all the way down to our end of the car and sat diagonally across from us.
I am giving the description here so that other girls will be on their guard. He was a young black man, about in his twenties, medium build, and was wearing a black hoodie and light blue jeans over blue plaid boxers and plain black nike type sneakers.
At the 77th St Station he stood up and exited, but immediately turned around to face my daughter and lifted up his hoodie to reveal his penis hanging out of his boxers… TO A 12 YEAR OLD CHILD!
My daughter grabbed my hand and said “Mommy that man showed me his penis”, and as the door closed, he rubbed his parts against the window. By this time I was yelling at him while hiding my daughters face against my shoulder.
We got off at the next stop and ran to the next conductor and he told us to go to the dispatchers office, where they asked if we wanted them to call the police, when we said yes, they promptly called.
My daughter was in shock and visibly shaken at this point and when I wanted to go check the incoming train to see if the man was on it, she was terrified.
The police arrived in about five minutes and my very brave daughter gave an excellent description. While they were attentive, I had to offer my number for them to contact us if by some slim chance they caught the pedophile. One officer said that we would have to go to Coney Island to file a complaint and I said no problem.
While I know this is a reality, and it has happened to me many, many times in this city, I never expected it to happen to my daughter at such a young age. As she has just recently started taking the subway to school, I have begun to caution her on how to best protect herself when I am not with her. I just never anticipated that some sick p.o.s. would be so bold as to flash her while she was right next to me. Lesson learned, I will never be off my guard again when she is with me.
Submitted by Pissed off Mom
I’m invisible when I walk down the street alone. I get cursory glances from some people but hardly anyone looks up. I’m readily identified as male-bodied. The second day I met two women from Britain at my hostel and it seemed like the creeps came out of the woodwork. Of course, they were there all along, but they don’t feel the entitlement to harass a white male – yet when a woman passes…
From Downtown Cairo to Dokki to the pyramids we endured catcalls and hisses. The worst was when we got back to Talaat Harb Square. A young guy hissed at my friends and followed us. As we were crossing the street he was getting aggressively close to one of my friends and telling her really disgusting, rude shit. I moved to help block him off and he started swearing at us, calling me a “fucker” (“you fucker, I saw you with other girls last week!” – sorry, I just got here yesterday) and them “American bitches”.
Ah, right. Then, he tried to invite us to buy some scented oils at his shop! Yay! … (north side of Talaat Harb immediately to the west of the square – avoid this shop).
Finally, we fought him off at his shop and went back to our hostel. The experience was rounded out so perfectly, I feel, when the doorman for the hostel stopped us to tell my friends that, “look, you’re in the right, you’re very respectful – you are well-covered and you have a male escort. He is a fucker.” Clearly, dressing modestly and having a “male escort” is no protection against harassment.
In the six months I’ve lived here since I’ve heard it repeated by the women who live here: you’re told to conform to standards of dress and movement (male escort, use the female-only car on the metro) to avoid being harassed (and worse) but they’re useless in the face of a determined, self-entitled fuck.
Submitted by Daetan
I wanted to draw attention to this man in the photos, who was masturbating through his jeans pocket on the downtown B train. He was leaning against the doors and I was sitting down, so I was eye level with his penis when he had it out.
I had to get off at Atlantic Avenue but I managed to very blatantly snap these photos. I alerted the train conductor but the train was already leaving the station by the time I told him what happened. Hopefully, someone else can watch out for this guy.
Walking on West 16th street at 2pm in the afternoon, I crossed paths with a man who said “hey, sweetheart” and reached out to grab me. I dodged out of the way and yelled, “Who are you? Get away from me!” I kept walking, but he said, “OK bitch, no wonder you’re by yourself.” I turned back and responded, “You tried to grab me, do you really think that’s ok?” He said, “Nobody tried to grab you.” (oh, gee, I guess you just extended your hand out towards my chest because you needed to stretch???)
I fished my phone out of my purse, and pointed the camera at him. For some reason he pulled his phone out of his pocket and put it to his ear (even though he hadn’t dialed anything). He said, “Whatever, I’m an attorney, so, what are you going to do?” I’d already gotten a picture, so I said “I’m going to put you on the internet with other assholes who harass women on the street.” Again, I started walking away, but I guess he still couldn’t let me have the last word, because he launched into a diatribe, calling me fat, ugly, a bitch, and a kike. Classy.
During this rant, another man came by pushing a cart full of construction supplies. He said to me, “Don’t worry about what he says, you’re beautiful.” I appreciated that he was trying to be nice, but I couldn’t help feeling that he was kind of missing the point. I think one of the driving impulses behind street harassment is the assumption that women desire/need/are required to build our identities and sense of self on men’s opinions of us. But you know what? Good OR bad, a stranger’s opinion DOESN’T MATTER to me. If I don’t know you, I don’t care what you think of me.
Anyway, I let the construction guy get in between me and the ranting guy, and took advantage of the distance to get another photo. During his rant, I realized this guy was actually slurring his words. Since he was so interested in listing all the things he thought were wrong with me, I asked him “Do you really believe I care what you think of me?” Then, as he continued on, I said, “You’re slurring your words. Are you drunk?” Strangely, this was the comment that actually made him angry. He came towards me and yelled “Bitch, I will fuck you up!” This would have been scary if it weren’t for the fact that he couldn’t walk without stumbling back and forth. Instead, it was just funny. I laughed, and said, “you are really funny.” He said, “Funny? You’re jewisss.” I laughed again, and said “You’re hilarious!” then, since there were a couple of other people on the block watching the whole thing, “look everyone, it’s Mel Gibson!” I kept laughing as I walked away.
Submitted by Nancy