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I worked on the street as a sign twirler for a furniture store, right on a corner that was known to have really long traffic lights. It was Summer in Arizona, so I wore a white T-shirt and midi-shorts (normal summer attire, not dressed indecently). Traffic was stopped and the car next to me was full of men. They rolled down their windows and catcalled for a while, and one of them attempted to douse my shirt with his drink (my WHITE T-shirt). When I didn’t respond, they cursed at me, saying I was an uptight prick and threw food at me. I was underage, trying to earn extra money for college. I felt so demeaned and uncomfortable that I quit my job, and when I told my boss why, he told me I was making too big a deal out of things.
Two friends and I were walking in town at around midnight going to a bar when two older men started speaking loudly about us. They were walking towards us saying “which one do you think is the hottest?” ect.. One of my friends said excuse me and I don’t remember what exactly was said but one of the men and I ended up telling each other off at which point he took a run at me and raised his fist.
I asked if he was really going to hit a girl when he was about a foot from me in a fighting stance and he spat at me and walked off. I was livid. The worst part about it is that we kept walking and saw some cops whom we told, they acted like they were going to do something but we saw them 5 minutes later walking the opposite direction so they clearly didn’t.
I walk from work to Green Square Station of the afternoon, around midday. It’s a 20 minute walk in which I always experience some form of street harassment – whistling, horn honking, and catcalling both from cars and from men on the street.
Today I was at a set of lights waiting to cross. A car with two males drove around the corner from behind me. The passenger yelled something out his window before splashing some type of liquid on my face.
I just want to be able to get home in peace!
The above link is not my story, but the story of another woman…similar to stories everywhere, including my own. The injustice. The shame. The embarrassment. The rage.
I was cursed with beauty and in my youth and had dozens of my own experiences: sexual harassment and assault, cat calls, blatant staring at my breasts or crotch, whistles, honking, men masturbating in public near me, etc. I’m thankful to be middle-aged now–I am almost invisible.
I saw a post on FB today: When a man is raped, no one talks about what he was wearing.
I was out with my friend in the city that I love so very much, and I experienced the most real sexual harassment in my 24 years, twice. We were at a bar and this guy came up to us and asked if we we wanted a drink and I said, “I’m sorry, but we’re good.” Which he didn’t like at all and didn’t understand why we didn’t want a drink. I tried to explain to him that he needed to respect the fact that we didn’t want anything, we didn’t want to be talked to or touched. He proceeded to call me a bitch because I didn’t want to talk to him, so I told him he needed to back off.
I think no one would be surprised that he wasn’t pleased by that, so he threatened me with, “What are you going to do, anyway?” And my friend and his friend said to just walk away, so I did, to not cause a scene. Then we went to another bar where the EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED! And I told a bouncer at the new bar that I had been assaulted and I didn’t want to file a complaint, I just wanted to know that there was someone looking out for the other women there, because when I left to go find a bouncer the new assaulter had a girl by the neck. The bouncer seemed to think I had made it up. More than I hate to think that women are being assaulted in the hospitality state, I hate to think that women are being shamed for sticking up for other women. I worry because I had to ask two women if they were okay because I wasn’t comfortable with the appearance of the situation, and they were both so shocked that someone would pay attention enough to be concerned.
Last night, while I was going back home with my best friend (who’s also a woman), some guy asked us if we’d like to come party with them. My best friend said no, yet they kept on insisting, so I told them simply “no thank you.” Right after I said the guy told me to shut the fuck up, that I was probably some fucking racist, and that I looked ugly. When I asked him what was the point of disrespecting me this way while I did nothing but remain polite he started calling me a slut, a bitch, a whore, a loser etc. And then he started threatening to beat me and spill his glass of beer on me, saying that I deserved to have his glass of beer thrown at my face and that he wanted to spit on me. Luckily my best friend didn’t get scared and managed to calm him down. Now I’m scared to walk out at night alone and get attacked, beaten for no reason.
I was walking home from work at around 5:45pm today. It was a beautiful day. I was on a normally busy public street near George Washington University. However, at that particular moment, there was a brief lull in foot traffic.
A teenager, no older than 13 or 14, was walking towards me. Three other teenagers were behind him. I really didn’t look twice at them.
As I pass by the first teenager who was walking by himself, he slaps my butt. Honestly, it took me a few seconds to register what had happened. I walked a few more steps and suddenly it registered. Apparently, the other three boys were with him and were laughing.
I whipped around and said, “What the fuck?” As they walked away laughing, I continued to get more incensed and said “Really, you can’t treat women like that!” They continued laughing—one of them made a point of pretty much laughing in my face— and told me to “shake that ass.”
I immediately started shaking and crying. I’ve been lucky in my life to not experience much street harassment. This was the first time someone ever felt entitled to touch my body in a public place. And I felt powerless. Since it never happened to me before–someone reaching out and grabbing me–I had no idea what to do. There were no cops around to tell. No one really saw. The kids were laughing in my face.
It’s been two and a half hours. I can still feel the echo of his hand slapping me.
As an American woman in Turkey, I anticipated harassment and notions of “inequality” but I never expected to be physically assaulted on the street.
I was walking from work to a nearby shopping center in the early evening when a man passed me then turned around and followed me. He caught up with me and started talking, but I didn’t know Turkish and he didn’t speak English. I continued on my way as he tried to talk to me. We were on a main street during rush hour. There were lots of trees and garden areas lining the street which proved to be his ultimate cover.
After passing a bus stop, I decided to turn down another main street as he grabbed my arm and threw me down on the ground by my neck. He strangled me as I fought for my life. I had taken self defense classes in university, so I instantly thought to try and poke his eyes out. The struggle lasted for maybe only a minute but felt like a life time. I was able to free myself and started to scream as he pushed me down again into a pile of trash. I kept trying to scream, and finally he let go and walked away.
I stepped out of the bushes, literally about 4 steps, onto the main street and saw people waiting at the bus stop. I waved down a taxi and went home. When I got out of the taxi, I left behind leaves, branches and dirt on the seat. I was in the elevator and a couple saw me, but the woman just whispered behind my back. When I looked in the mirror my hair was knotted and full of remnants from the attack.
I took a shower and laughed to myself that I had gotten away. I was empowered that I had actually fought the asshole off and survived with only a sore throat.
I didn’t call the police as I didn’t know how to, and apparently the police aren’t to be trusted in Turkey.
Ladies we must fight with all our beings. It’s the key to survival.
A 30 year old who worked at a barber shop who I had just met pressured me into kissing him. I was 16 when it happened.
Exiting the train on the #6 train platform a few minutes before 8:29PM on Friday night, May 9, 2014, a middle-aged man stepped on my shoe three times and reached near my back pocket to take my smart phone. When I turned around, he said “F*ck you, you b*tch. “You f**king Asian B*tch, I’ll punch you.” I was shocked so I followed him to take photos. He turned around and repeatedly said he would hit me.
At 8:29PM, I took a photo of his back while exiting near the 14th Street exit escalators leading up to The Food Emporium, Union Square location. And another riding up the escalators.
At the crosswalk, outside Panera Bread, I tried to take a photo of his face with the flash when he turned around and lunged at me, trying to punch me in the face and seize my phone. Three people who took the train with me saw what had happened and blocked him from coming at me. The man then tried to go around the two young males and throw a punch. The two males said to stop and kept side-stepping/blocking him to make sure he couldn’t successfully land a hit. They told him they would get the cops if he didn’t stop and he finally backed down.
The attacker was wearing a long-sleeved gray knit shirt under a black zip-up vest, with dark blue jeans folded at the hems, with tan work boots.
A skinny male, age 21-28 with glasses leaning against the Panera Bread had witnessed the attack. I had told him I was trying to take a photo of that man because he tried to rob/grope me on the 6 train. I mentioned him because I wonder if he took a video of what happened.