Athens GA, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Duke University, NC, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Flagstaff, AZ, Houston, Iowa City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock TX, Manhattan KS, Muncie IN, New Orleans, New York City, Oneonta, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Providence, Richmond VA, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, Twin Cities, West Georgia (University)
I was on light rail with my bike, and a tall 30-something drunk (reeking of booze) guy came up to me: “you is so motha fuckin cute. yo eyes go. they goooooo” I said thanks and looked away. I was wearing headphones, I hoped he would get the memo. He then proceeded to poke my stomach “oh I thought you was fat you just wearin a big shirt” I told him not to touch me and continued looking the other way, (with an incredibly annoyed face on) He then grabs a lock of my hair and tells me I look like a porn star. I backed up and was caught between my bike, someone else’s bike, and the stairs to the car door. He was at least a foot and a half taller than me. He continued to stare at me and I told him to please leave me alone. He started rambling slurs and curse words and moved up the train. I noticed him heckling some girls that had just got on after the high school. The train car was full of witnesses, older, bigger people who could have said something to him when he touched me and grabbed my hair but no one did.
Not a great start to the day. At 9am I’m standing waiting for the crosswalk at a busy intersection in my town and this kid (maybe 18 or 19) is leaning up against a wall and he starts saying “You’re sexy…What are you up to…We should hang out sometime”. Kind of repeating this over and over. The area was filled with people all going about their business. So I called him out- loudly – and told him to leave me alone. It made a scene and got everyone’s attention.
I know sometimes it’s dangerous to try to stand up for yourself, when you’re one on one with a harasser. But when someone’s victimizing you like that they want to feel tougher and more in control than you. But, when there’s a crowd of people on your side- you take back control!
Stopped into a pub for a nightcap and some food after attending a fun lecture elsewhere. I used to feel safe at this neighborhood pub but things have changed. I sat at the far end of the bar where there are no gambling machines and drank my wine. Drunk guy comes over from mid bar to tell me “how pretty I am”. “Thank you. I have a boyfriend”. He leaves for a minute but comes back protesting to his friend “how pretty I am”. Clearly not caring that I don’t wish to talk to him at all! “please leave me alone” I say and I get up and go to the bathroom – hoping he will go sit down and leave me alone. After spending extra time in the bathroom I come back out. He’s still there! The random guy next to me tells him to leave me alone. I ask for my check and prepare to leave. He keeps trying to talk to me. After having asked three times and being frustrated I took my purse and hit him in the head with it. :). It worked! Everyone laughed at him which made him leave! I will use that move again. Wanted to share.
Some d-bag walked by me (I had headphones on) and he said “I wanna eat your p*ssy”. Guess he didn’t think I could hear him but don’t worry, I did. And I. Lit. Him. Up. I shouted a large array of expletives at the guy, flipped him off, generally tried to cause him to suffer incredible embarrassment. It pisses me off when people tell me I shouldn’t have said anything and that I compromised my safety (even though it was noon on a Tuesday). My safety was already compromised by the fact that a loser piece of sh*t thought he could TRY to intimidate me. I don’t think so, bub.
I’m 27 now and these are few things that happened many years ago. One instance was more than 18 years ago and another happened about fourteen years ago. They’ve stuck with me and they still make me cry whenever I think of them.
The first instance happened on a Friday, I remember because my dad got paid that day and we (my mom, siblings, and I) were going to go grocery shopping at a shopping center a few minutes from our house. We were hungry so my mom took us to a McDonald’s in the shopping center and we sat in our car to eat before going into the grocery store. My mom was in the front seat and my sister and I were in the very back. A homeless man came up to our car and asked my mom for some money. She gave him some change and apologized saying that that was all that she had to give (we didn’t have very much money). He then angrily told her something in Spanish and my mom responded back to him and tried to roll up the window as fast as she could, but the homeless man threw the change at my mom before she could completely roll up the window. We were scared and my Mom was crying/upset. My mom then found the security guard that was supposed to be in front of the store and told him what happened and he said they called the police. We waited and waited in our car for what seemed like forever, but the police never came and we just went home. When we got home we told my dad and brothers what happened. I remember my sister and I telling them that we thought he asked our mom for some of our food before he threw the money. I now know what he said to my mom. She said that after she gave him the money and apologized he said, “then give me one of your daughters” I don’t remember when I found this out, but that incident still haunts/disgusts me to this day to the point where I will not go to that shopping center/area of the city anymore. It scared me so much that I won’t give homeless people money.The one time I gave someone a couple of dollars a few months ago, I had my brother give it to the man while I was in the car with the doors locked and the windows up.
The second time I was in junior high and walking home from school when it happened. I passed by an apartment building that was down the street from my house. The street was pretty lonely and there were construction workers on the roof that started saying things to me when I passed by. The word “chica” was used a lot in conjunction with the stupid “ch, ch” sound. I just ignored them and walked even faster then I was already walking just to get home as quickly as possible. I was to scared to tell my parents what happened at the time. I felt so disgusted and ashamed of what happened. Now I realize that I shouldn’t feel that way, those assholes should for acting the way they did.
Those things taught me that if something does happen, I’m going to do my damndest to fight back. Thank you for this site/movement and for listening.
Each day I learn increasingly how dangerous it is to be a female on this planet. I only recently returned, just before 2am, from the most terrifying experience of my life. On my commute home, I ended up at a relatively desolate subway station. A guy apparently took interest in me and started (literally) doing ninja kicks by my head as I sat, petrified, on a bench wondering what the fuck was going on. I moved away and he pursued, following me wherever I walked in the station. I sought solace by the only other people there at that moment, only to again be regarded as a piece of meat and catcalled by the two shitfaces. The psycho guy was oblivious to my intentions of ignoring him, my dirty looks, hanging around the emergency call button and wearing headphones. I was so tempted to push that button, but I was afraid he’d beat me to a bloody pulp in the time it took the cops to get that far underground to the station. I knew he would follow me onto my train and my prediction was correct, as he boarded the same car as me and made sure to stand a few feet away from me. I swung my umbrella around and clenched my pepperspray in my coat pocket. It was collectively the most horrifying 20 mins of my life. He pretty much chased me out of the station and I almost passed out due to running and having a simultaneous panic attack. Hollywood Boulevard was almost empty, but I saw a mall security guard (as I’d hoped to) and ran to him, relaying my story. The psycho followed me into the open air mall, only to continue walking up the steps when he saw me with security. I was literally shaking and out of breath. Another guard was called to escort me to my street, which is right behind the mall. He couldn’t believe what had happened. We approached the exit of the mall, which joins up with a parking garage for the hotel and also my street. Who was walking down the driveway from the parking garage? The psycho! I bolted back towards the mall until the guard received a call that the guy had left the area. The guard then walked me to my street and I said I was ok to get to my apartment, which was a few buildings down and waved to him when I was outside my door. I am so grateful to them for helping me and as sad as it is, I know it could have been much, much worse, as it is for so many people in this scenario. I don’t think it’s stretching beyond the imagination to say that guy would have attacked and raped me, then killed me, had we been alone. It’s like I can’t even live my life with these people around, all because I am a girl.
These photos was taken on December 14, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. These clever gentlemen thought it was super funny to talk about how much they would like to “violently rape that bitch,” “take it from that cunt,” and “beat the shit out of her.” They mentioned being puzzled about why “whores should even get paid” for the privilege of having their small penises inside them. They also thought it was super awesome to call me a “fucking whore” when I asked them to stop yelling ugly misogynistic things across the restaurant.
Sadly the manager asked me to leave after I began taking photos of these men. I explained to the manager that the group had been talking about beating up women, raping women, and were using extraordinarily offensive sexist language including bitch, cunt, slut, etc., but the manager simply told me to “return to my seat.” I declined to do so and left, while the men continued to shout “whore” at me (and at least one threatened to rape me as well).
Since posting these photos on Facebook, I have found out that these gentlemen are Notre Dame undergraduate students, at least some of whom were recently banned from living on campus.
It isn’t much of a story, I was just hoping to take a little control back after the routine, lech-y verbal harassment that occurs in the not-so-nice part of my neighbourhood here in LA.
I was walking to the pet store to buy some dog food when a 50-something man started shouting sexual obscenities in my direction, entreating me to “come over to his car” to “get a better look”, blah blah. He was sitting in his BMW SUV in the Citibank parking lot, smoking a cigarette.
I looked over at him, he grinned and I quickly averted my gaze. As I was in the pet store, I was mad at myself for not staring him down, so on my way back, I held up my iPhone and conspicuously snapped a profile photo of him, then got a little closer to take a photo of his license plate. As he saw me taking the second picture, his grin turned to what seemed like a confused frown.
Here’s his car, and his license plate. He can go fuck himself.
This experience is a few years old, but I just came across this site after sharing the story a few days ago, so I thought I would share it here.
A few years ago I was visiting the Summer Solstice Festival in Greensboro, NC. It’s a wonderful festival that I enjoy very much, and usually the people there are awesome. I was with my husband (now my ex) and a couple friends — one of whom brought her children.
We agreed to meet up at the fire dancers, and with one thing and another I ended up in the middle of a tightly packed crowd, with an autistic little boy of five or so, with no way to track down the rest of my group or even get out of the crowd until the performance was done. It might not have been so difficult for another person, but I’m nightblind — I could see points of fire and tightly packed, shadowy bodies and nothing else. Still wouldn’t have been a problem, except that my young charge was both cranky and intent upon joining the fire dancers any way he could. He set up a screaming tantrum to rival the drums, struggled, kicked, bit, and pulled my hair in his flailing attempts to get away from me ( and in case you did not know, autistic kids are ridiculously strong).
A very kind older gentleman (perhaps forties or early fifties) was sitting next to me, and he offered to help me with my uncooperative charge. He helped me get the little boy restrained, then semi-calmed, and I was very grateful. And it didn’t bother me that the man sat close to me and put his arm around me either. He was inviting me to come take classes at his yoga studio.
That was when he groped me.
So here I am, still with a squirming child in my arms, and I’m terrified that without this man’s help I’ll lose my grip on the kid and he’ll go charging in amongst the torches and the gasoline. I can’t go anywhere — I’m sitting crosslegged with a kid in my lap, people pressed in on all sides, and I CANNOT SEE. And this man is talking about how he would really like to see me me again, with his arm wrapped around my shoulders and his hand on my breast.
I felt so helpless. I never expected it, not from an older man, not from one who was so soft spoken and helpful, not from a freaking YOGA TEACHER at an event where I was used to receiving a higher level of courtesy than usual. I didn’t feel like I could escape. I didn’t even feel like I could PROTEST, because his influence seemed to be the only thing keeping the kid beating the heck out of me and escaping. Don’t get me wrong, if this guy had touched the boy in any way that could have been considered inappropriate I’d have set up an unholy racket. But for myself? I sat there and took it.
I’m a braver person now. I’ve learned some tricks, and I’m not so helpless in the dark anymore. But I’m even more reluctant than ever to be left alone in any crowded place now.
I was on the bus with a friend of mine in broad daylight going to the subway. At our stop we got up to walk out and these two men were sitting by the doors. As we were standing there they started making comments about our clothes and our bodies so my friend turned around and told him to f*** off. They did not take kindly to this and started calling us terrible things. One of them came very close to us and said “you don’t appreciate my compliments, fine, you deserve this” and he dumped his water on both of us. At this point we had expected someone to intervene but nobody did. One man asked if my friend (who was now in tears) was ok but the other people on the bus just grumbled about the water that had gotten on them. I was so shocked at what had happened that I turned to him and said, “do you know how old I am?” and he said “you’re a stone cold b****” and then got off the bus. We followed and stood outside the station and as he was walking away I said “I’m fourteen” he turned and gave me a disgusted look and then walked away. Now both these men were probably in their mid to late 40’s and they hadn’t even shown the slightest bit of remorse when they found out they had just harassed two teenage girls. Before this I didn’t feel safe going places in my neighborhood at night, but now I don’t even feel safe going places during the day.