demonstration, Story

Rachel’s Story: Ruining the Ride

I love riding my bike, I use it as transportation as often as I can. Riding home last night around 10p.m. a car driving the opposite direction slowed down and stared at me as he passed. I glared back. He proceeded to turn around, and follow slowly behind me, in the bike lane. I saw someone I know walking and slowed and pulled to the curb to talk with him. The car turned off on a side street. Annoying as hell. I love riding my bike. I hate harassment, and it happens every time, from catcalling, to following.

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demonstration, Story

Jordan’s Story: “It’s creepy to us too”

I was on my way to work this morning, and was mentally steeling my resolve and “don’t talk to me” body language in preparation for the couple of creepy suits that are invariably standing outside the building ogling like it’s a full-time job. So I was taken completely by surprise when, only a few yards from my car, an older man walking the other way insisted “hey, smile, come on!” I was so startled that all I could manage before he was out of earshot was “Seriously? Fuck you.” I wish I’d had the focus to stop him and ask him if he would say the same creepy shit to a young man, or if that would seem like a weird imposition on someone else’s life. New golden rule: if it would be creepy to say it to a man, it’s creepy to us too.

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demonstration, Story

Caitrin’s Story: A Prompt Intervention

I work at a day camp for gifted kids, and this morning, my boss sent me and two other coworkers down the street to get ice cream sandwiches and more kool aid for the kiddos as a special treat.

Normally, we’d drive but all three of us were low on gas, wanted to kill time and get some exercise and the weather was still relatively nice, so we walked.

On the way back, a pair of gross guys, probably early 30’s started cat calling my female coworker and i, making comments about our legs and asses, as we were wearing shorts. they kept hollering, asking us if we wanted a ride to wherever we were going, and when we ignored them, they asked us what our problem was, why were were being bitches? they continued to whistle and even bark (what?) and unfortunately, we had no where to go and had no choice of standing at the stop light near their truck.

We kept ignoring them and they kept yelling at us and whistling, making gross kissing noises, inviting us to get in the truck. our other coworker, a sweet 17 year old kid, says, “FUCK OFF”

So the guy in the passenger seat pulls a gun out of the glove compartment and points it at our friend’s head.

Thankfully, the light changed, they drove off and we walked back to work in silence. once we got back, we hid behind the school in order to compose ourselves before going back inside. (with lots of tears and hugging, my female friend and i were all snot and running mascara)

We went about our duties of setting up snack, cleaning and playing with the kids and told our boss as soon as she returned from the bank. She promptly called the cops who took statements and descriptions from us.

Both the cops and our boss told our coworker he did the right thing, and he answered “what, was i supposed to stand there and let them be disgusting?” and that even if he would have gotten shot, it would have meant he did something.

Luckily, we were able to walk away but were shaken up all day.

Not only are street harassers persistent and disgusting, but they have no qualms about pulling guns on those who try to intervene.

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L’s Story: “I hadn’t been mistaken at all”

I was in somewhat of a hurry that day so I got onto the tram right at the back where people tend to accumulate. Therefore, I stood right next to the door with a middle-aged man on my other side. I felt like he was standing a little closer to me than strictly necessary but didn’t think anything of it because it was really quite crowded. After a stop or two however I felt something moving against my thigh and being kind of stuck between the guy and the door couldn’t just move away. I didn’t call him out on it because I still thought that I could technically be imagining things and didn’t want to cause a scene. At the next stop I had to let people out so I could move to a different place away from the guy. When I looked at him from the distance his quite thin pants clearly showed that I hadn’t been mistaken at all and he had definitely been rubbing off on me.

I should definitely just have said something right at the beginning or at least when I was totally sure what had happened but being the quiet person that I am I just let him walk away. I really hope that the next time something like this happens, I’ll be able to call them out on it because guys like that absolutely need to be informed about what they’re doing to women all over the world.

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demonstration, Story

VN’s Story: “Conversation should have ended”

The bus stops seem to a prime location for street harassment. This particular day a month ago (May 27th to be exact), was slightly more of an extraordinary occurrence then I was used to (and now that I know about this site I could probably post a story every week).

I had walked from Frankfuary, on Butler, up 39th to Penn Ave and over to the bus stop by Main Street. Shortly thereafter a torrential down pour ensued. After it cleared up, a man who had just parked his truck near the bus stop got out of his vehicle and say down at the bus stop with me.
“Did you hear me hollering at you on the street?”
“What? No.”
“Damn, you got a baby face, how old are you?”
This conversation should have ended here. If I look too young for you to be talking to me (even though I’m not), then stop. THEN I realized that this guy had seen me on the street and either made a u-turn or drove around the block to come talk to me. Fuck that.

Unfortunately I was tipsy enough to politely play along and dismiss him. Next time I hope I have more wits about me.

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demonstration, Story

VN’s story: Telling Him How It Is

If you didn’t know, Wednesdays are half-off clothes at the Salvation Army in the Southside. This particular Wednesday proved more trying than just finding some good deals. As I walked the stairs up to the second floor, a man gave me a look over and a “compliment.” I said thanks and kept walking up the stairs, grateful that we were headed in opposite directions. To my dismay, he decided to turn around and come back up after I had begun browsing the racks. He asked if I was married, if I had kids, or if I had a boyfriend. He told me I should be on the cover of sports illustrated in a little bikini (the was in the winter and I was wearing jeans and a cape style jacket, not figure flattering). I was followed around the store for what felt like an hour trying to politely be an asshole and dismiss him, saying “no” and “probably not” to everything he said. He tried to get me to try on some work slacks. I made a sarcastic joke about how I could wear them to my corporate job (I also had blue hair at this time) and he responded with a sexist and inappropriate comment about how all the guys in the office would be checking out my ass (which was currently covered and potentially very flat for all he knew). He had some lunch he had been neglecting and after several of my suggestions to go eat it, he finally did.

Relieved I no longer had to deal with this guy, I went to text my friend and tell him about this crazy situation I had encountered. Unfortunately, this man returned. This time it wasn’t to ask me a million questions and follow me around the store but to ask for my phone number because apparently the little voices inside his head told him. I said no. He asked if that was how it was going to be, I said yes, and he left.

I browsed the clothes for quite a while longer and contemplated asking my friend to come pick me up. I didn’t want to walk home. What if this guy was downstairs waiting for me? What if he followed me home? I took an unusual route home and thankfully haven’t seen that guy since.

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demonstration, Story

Ziva’s Story: Heckling an Officer

I’m from Israel, just done with military service and visiting family in America. I was wearing a shirt with “Israeli Defense Force” written across the front and shorts, wandering with my family to look at shops. A man was catcalling at us, and when we didn’t respond, he walked up behind me and grabbed me by the shoulder to turn me around and make more comments. He saw my shirt and said it was “cute” that a pretty girl like me was pretending to be a soldier.

So I broke his nose.

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demonstration, Story

Sarah’s Story: “They harass everyone, no matter looks”

I was walking to a grocery store when I realized the voices behind me were following me no matter what speed I was at, and to make it better they were talking about my body. I turned down a well known street. Why is it well known? A neighborhood cop lives there. Of course as I turned they had one last thing to say, “I will ride your pussy!”. I wasn’t about to give up my trip to the store so I took the long route, unfortunately that gave them enough time to go to DQ and come back, as soon as I saw them in the distance and they saw me (unfortunately I had a brightish pink sports tanks on with the same pink strip on my exercise shorts) they immediately turned in my direction and sped up, so I ran like the wind to my street where I saw an older couple walking. This is my mom uploading the story for me, but I am only 14 and the boys harassing me were my age or younger.
P.s. Though it shouldn’t matter how you are dressed I was dressed VERY modestly, knee length baggy shorts, three finger strap on tank top, sports bra so I wasn’t even very large in the chest area at the time. My point is they harass everyone no matter looks, and parents need to not only tell girls how to avoid these situations but tell there boys how amazingly stupid and horrid harassment is.

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Melissa’s Story: Pushy Poser

I was in the town I went to college in on a night out with some friends. As we were walking down the street, these two very drunk guys approached my friends and I, who were walking side-by-side three across. There was room on the sidewalk for them to have gone to one side to get around us, but instead the started approaching us head-on, forcing us to split up. My 2 friends went around them to the right and I went around them to the left, and as I did so the one closest to me grabbed me with his arms over my shoulders like he was trying to give me a very agressive hug, saying, “Hey beautiful, where you going?” I freaked out completely, pushed him away and yelled, “Get the fuck off me!” Everyone around us stared and my friends didn’t understand why I was so upset, but I’m sure if it had been one of them in my place they would have been just as PISSED to have some random guy assume it was okay to grab them that way.

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Tina’s Story: “Harassment has to stop”

As a white woman with a lot of curves, I have received a lot of attention while growing up. The attention started with honks from truck drivers when I was 13, and has continued through my high school, college, and post grad life.

The most off-putting and infuriating experience was at Towson Town Mall in Towson, Maryland during my first year of college. I had an errand to run, so instead of going with a group of friends like I usually would I went by myself. While taking an escalator down to my next stop, a man at the top of the stairs started shouting. “Damn, white girl! Look at that ass!” I presume that he was referring to me, but I was not about to turn around to check. When I didn’t not respond, he shouted again- “Girl, I’m tryin’ to holla at you! Turn around” By this time I was getting off the escalator and started walking a bit faster towards my next stop and he shouts again- “Bitch, I’m talking to you. Turn the fuck around.”

I’m feeling threatened by the point in the “conversation” and steer my path in front of two security guards, hoping they would interfere and ask the man to leave me alone.

Instead, as I walk by the officers, still being followed by the shouting man, the two security guards say “Oh damn, girl. How you doin??”

I quickly turned into the closest store, and hid behind stands to get out of their line of sight. I still think about that moment, 5 years later.

How could it be that NO ONE interfered? Not one bystander said anything. Not one security guard said anything. I didn’t say anything. This is NOT something that I should feel ashamed of.

What I find most frustrating about situations like these is that when I debriefed and told a group of college friends, at least one reaction is:

Well, Tina. You have to learn not to go to the mall by yourself anymore.


You do have a really large ass, so I can see why he would say something.

Harassment has to stop.

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