Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
I was sitting at the gate waiting to board my flight when a group of men and one woman sit near me. I was listening to music and trying to watch a video that my friend had sent me when I noticed the men kept trying to interact with me. I wasn’t sure if I had dropped something, so I took out my headphones to see what they had to say. One of them said “my friend here has been checking you out since we got here. Now I’m not gonna lie, I have been too.” The woman told me to “just go with it”. I nodded and looked away when they kept asking me about where I was going and where I was from. Alone and scared, I panicked and I began to lie about my name, where I was from, and where I was going. I stood up and quickly walked away, trembling and confused. I didn’t know if I should tell anyone, but my friend was texting me telling me it would be okay and to just get near people.
I was exiting Dollar Tree when I noticed two men (30’s or so) staring at me and muttering to each other as they entered another store. I walked across the street to another business, and was recommended to the store back across the street. I entered, got the estimate I was looking for, and I turned to exit when I saw both men walking towards the door. One of them opened it, and I said “Thanks” and as I passed them, the other one said “What a gentleman.” And the man who opened the door said, “What a LADY!” both loud enough so I could hear. They both leered at me as I walked briskly away.
I was waiting in line outside a concert venue and this drunk man made his way through the line talking to different people. He got up to me and kept saying I pretty I was and kept leaning in really close to me. Asking if he could hug me. I said no and told him to back away from me and he wouldn’t. Eventually he did walk away but it scared me a lot. And no one else in the line said or did anything even though they saw what happened.
I was walking through Cal Anderson Park after a very stressful morning. I walked past some guys sitting by the water fountain. They yelled at me and called me beautiful and told me that I sure have a pretty smile and they would be happy if I smiled for them all the time. I did not acknowledge them and continued walking. As I got closer to them they kept telling me to smile and as I walked away from them, still not smiling or acknowledging them they started calling me a fucking cunt and an ugly slut. One even stood up and I got scared to walk past them so I started walking faster.
The park was full of people and I know a lot of them heard and saw what happened but no one said or did anything.
I was walking back to where my boyfriend was working on the truck, hoping no one would yell at me, but then some guy starts talking to me from behind. He rolls up in a bicycle asking me questions. I try to ignore him but finally tell him to fuck off. He, of course, doesn’t. We both yell and curse at each other for a minute, during which he tells me he’s going to kick my ass, and also that I should learn to respect people. I keep trying to walk a different way but he follows me on his bike.
I’m a freshman, and my school’s campus is in the center of my city’s CBD. So I leave school when the bell lets out, I start walking down the street, and almost immediately i notice some older guy is walking behind me in an almost forcefully casual manner. He’s a ways off behind me, so to check I stop and pull out my phone, pretending to shoot a text, and he stops too, leaning on the wall behind me. I keep walking, and so does he.
I pick up my pace quite a bit as I continue walking, making a point to unnecessarily cross a busy intersection and cut through a populated plaza in a effort to shake him. This does nothing as I see him reappear when I reach the street i need to be on. I try staying calm, text a friend that there’s some freaky fucker tailing me, and continue onto where I need to be: the bookstore.
When I get inside I feel safer, because the guy doesn’t appear to have followed me in. I head upstairs as I usually do, find a windowsill to sit in (I choose these because it’s especially inconvenient for anyone to try shooting up a conversation with me there), and begin reading.
Maybe ten minutes later, the guy shows up again. And he’s done with subtlety–I watch him out of the corner of my eye, trying to act immersed in my book, as he grabs a random title from one of the shelves and then pointedly takes a seat in the window sill across from me, even swiveling in my direction.
Still, I try to ignore him. As I try to act like I’m reading, he does the same with considerably less effort. He holds the book in his lap and hardly looks at it, eyes shooting from the pages to me in second intervals, figure tense and alert.
Now, I’m fucking pissed. I stop trying to pretend I’m reading the book, and when I see him staring at him again I stare back with daggers. This is a defense mechanism that usually works in my favor–as a girl in heavy boots with bright pink hair, I hold a certain amount of intimidatory power when wielded correctly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t sway him in any way. He doesn’t even avert his eyes, only continues staring.
When my dad texts me that he’s outside, it’s a godsend, and I hurriedly shove my book in my backpack and high-tail it the fuck outta there, sprint down the escalator and all.
For the rest of the week I chose to walk from a different entrance out of the school and hang out at other local businesses, just to be safe. Whatever that guy’s goddamn deal was, I did not want him to know my daily routine.
I have very short, bright red hair and people often compliment it. A guy with his two friends, a very affectionate married couple, said he liked my hair. I said “thank you” and kept walking. He added “grow it longer, it’s too short to pull on now.” I stopped, turned, and completely dead-pan asked “why? Do you know anyone strong enough to pull it?” His friends laughed at him and he was too shocked and embarrassed to say anything else.
I was in the library of the University of Central Oklahoma, working on a research project for one of my classes. This guy was sitting about two computers down from me, about twice my size. He was giving me the creeps because I could see him staring at me, so I shut down the computer and grabbed my messenger bag to head to my car. He got up too and started following me. He asked me if I wanted to go grab a cup of coffee at the student cafe, but I smiled politely and invented the excuse that I had to meet my mother for lunch. I chalked up his creepy staring as just being socially awkward, because God knows I’m a failure when it comes to social interaction, and I figured that it would be nicer if I turned him down gently.
Nope. The guy just kept asking me over and over, and eventually I just snapped at him to leave me alone. Then he got angry and started to call me a “bitch” and a “fucking cunt”, that he just wanted to get a cup of coffee and I didn’t have to act like an “uptight bitch who needs a good fucking to fucking relax”. At this point I’m in total shock; I couldn’t believe someone would act like this. I just wanted to get away and get to my car, so I just began to ignore him. That only made him madder, and he grabs ahold of my messenger bag strap crossing my back and just yanks me back towards him. I trip over my feet and I go crashing into his chest, and that’s when it hits me: I’m only 5’3″ and 135 lbs, and this guy easily overpowers me and do whatever he likes. It was a horrible feeling. I tell him that if he didn’t let go I’d scream, and the instant he did I booked it to my car. Once I got in, I just sat there and cried. I had never felt so helpless or scared in my life.
I ended up filing a police report to the campus police, but now I’m furious that this jerk even thought that this was something he thought he could do.
It was only a few months after getting my license and my first car back in 2011, and as any high school does on a hot day, I went to the grocery store to get some Starbucks. I parked on a side of the grocery store that I normally didn’t, but it was closer to the doors than the front parking lot, which was packed.
I was walking back to my car with my drink, and as I walked across the parking lot, I noticed a guy lingering near a car a few feet away. I’m not normally paranoid, especially at this grocery store, but he gave me a bad vibe, so I made sure to put my key in between my fingers. Before I could reach my car he stepped in front of me, blocking my way and asked, “Hey, you’re looking really pretty. Do you have any money?” He looked homeless, and while I don’t have issues giving homeless people extra change (especially if they have animals), I didn’t want to give this guy anything.
Politely, I told him no while backing away. He came closer and again said, “Yeah, but you’re looking really good today.” I don’t understand how me looking “pretty” or “good” is supposed to make me want to give him money, but he wouldn’t give up. After telling him no a few more times (and while a handful of people walked by and did NOTHING, despite how nervous and upset I likely looked), he glared at me and called me a bitch before walking away. Shaking, I waited until he was across the parking lot before getting in my car. I told my parents about him as soon as I got home and my mom, who works at the store, said he wasn’t allowed on the property anymore but still popped up every now and then.
Ever since, I avoid that area of the parking lot because it’s less crowded and is in a more enclosed area with less street lamps. I’m just glad it was day time and there were at least SOME people around, even if they weren’t doing anything to help, or else something more serious may have happened.
It was my junior (and first!) prom, and I was super excited to be going. My friends and I agreed to meet outside of the building where prom was held, to take pictures and head to dinner. The girls and I were about to head across the street to get dinner when a truck full of men drove by, honking their horn and yelling unintelligibly. We shook it off and continued. After finishing our meal and walking back towards prom, one friend noticed the same truck making rounds (using one way streets and turning around) to harass girls entering the building. When they drove by us a second time, we all pretended to kiss and laughed at their shocked faces!