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 live in a town that discriminates against women. Without knowing this, I moved up here to pursue my B.A. I can’t afford a car, it’s insurance, or gas money so I take the bus. I have a lot of classes, so my book bag gets some weight on it. The other day a man was waiting with me at the bus stop in the middle of town. I am taking a lot of classes this semester and my bookbag has some heavy weight on it. This guy starts laughing at me and telling me that he has never seen a woman carry a bookbag this heavy before. He gets out his phone, takes a picture of it against my permission and says “Im gonna tweet this shit!” still laughing. I kind of brush it off, we get on the bus and he happens to sit in a seat adjacent to mine. He is going on and on about this bookbag. At this point, I’m getting angry. He starts saying things like I’m a robot and the bookbag is my battery pack and that the amount of makeup I was wearing made me look like a hooker so I must be one. He then starts ranting on about how women shouldn’t be in college and that they’re only good for “making babies”. He turned to a guy who happened to go to my school and asked if it was common for women to carry heavy bookbags let alone be in college. The guy said “Uh, yeah” and shook his head in disbelief. All this and all I was doing was minding my own business.
I was at the store when a guy walking towards me stared at me and said, “DAY’UMMM!”. He then began to theatrically look me up and down and stare at my backside. I looked him right in the eyes and said, “No! You’re being rude and I don’t like it. It isn’t flattering and you’re a creep”.
He left the store immediately. Tell your harasser they aren’t being complimentary and they don’t have power over you.
I was at a gas station filling up my car and I was craving a chocolate milk. I left my car hooked up to the pump and proceeded in the store to grab what I wanted and waited in line. There were these guys at the register in front of me who exited the store once they finished paying. As I was leaving the store, I noticed the three of them were standing outside very close to the doorway. I immediately tensed up and kinda just focused my eyes on my car as I exited anticipating these men to say something. As soon as I stepped outside, one of them said something but I couldn’t make out what he had said. I just ignored him and kept speed walking to my car. When I hung the pump back up, I noticed they were walking past my car towards the road. One of the men literally stopped mid-step to tell me “You have a nice ass”. I immediately became infuriated and felt disgusted. I wanted to walk up to him and knee him in the balls. What the hell compels a man to openly speak his opinions about my body? I didn’t ask for your opinion or invite any comments. The clothes that I was wearing certainly werent provocative so what was this dicks excuse? I am sick and tired of having to ignore these pigs who think it is ok to make women feel uncomfortable while she is getting gas for her car and a chocolate milk… I realize he only said five words to me but thats all it takes sometimes to make me feel disgusting and like an disrespected object.
This man (pictured here indoors) repeatedly stares down and intimidates the women in our building and has exposed himself to 2 male colleagues and solicited one of them. We don’t know what to do. I am posting for myself and my colleagues.
I was walking back to my car with a friend from a Denny’s after meeting up with him to see the Space Shuttle. It was late and dark, and as the two of us were walking down Exposition Blvd so I could get back to my car, some guys drove past us and barked like dogs out the window of their moving car, leaving me feeling very vulnerable at that moment.
I came out of college and was waiting at a crossing to cross the road. In the five minutes I was standing there, I had one guy leer at me from his car, another leer and make some creepy, though vague gestures, and two others whistle and shout suggestions of things I could do for them at me as they walked past. Normally when I get this sort of treatment, it’s one of the days I’m wearing a skirt (like that makes it more acceptable *sarcasm*); not this time. This time, since it was winter and *freezing*, I was in boots, jeans and a knee-length coat, with gloves and a scarf on. Literally, the only exposed skin I had was my face. Didn’t seem to stop them commenting on everything else, though.
Today I was reminded why New Media can be kind of awesome. I had two terrible experiences this weekend.
The first one initially seemed harmless – I was stopped by a limo of men on the celebrating a bachelor’s party on the pretense they were asking for directions to a club. Midsentence one of the groom stopped me and said they were just checking out my ass the entire time. I let it slide and walked away – this kind of thing happens. For them, it was socially acceptable.
But this afternoon I had an experience that upset me a lot more on the TTC. A man was shouting about how he was American and picking on an old man for his clothing choice. He started chanting red, white and blue. Then his eyes got mine. He held it, and said “pink.” He proceed to make lewd gestures and suggest what he would “like to do to me.” I held his gaze until I got off the train, and he didn’t stop the entire time. Nobody did anything. Neither did I.
I realized later that these two incidents were actually the same, even if I felt more directly threatened by one. All these men saw when they looked at me was my gender (my clothes weren’t even an instigator as they were for the older man, though I am not suggesting he deserved to be harassed either). And these things were said to make me uncomfortable, and to make them feel powerful. Yet the first case is unfortunately common and for some aspects of our culture (Pickup Artistry?) acceptable.
But the shame is that this is so often faced with silence. But we don’t have to. And that’s the beauty of this website. (Thank you)
Walking back to my dorm from the campus library after studying late into the night, I had to cross a busy intersection. While waiting to cross, a car turned down the cross street, slowed down next to me and a guy in the passenger seat said “I like mine thick,” to me and just gawked at me. It was terrifying because the car almost slowed to a stop. I was too scared to do anything but walk quickly in the other direction.
At this time in my life I was doing work as a costumer for my community college’s production of the Wizard of Oz. We had to work a LOT that month, so when we got our lunch breaks, sometimes I would head over to the local mall to chill out for the hour and grab a bite to eat. The way our mall is set up is that the parking lots are in sort of a circle with the mall building in the center. There are sidewalks leading to the building, and if you’re walking in one parking lot, you can see the other lots on either side. (Kind of like a wheel where the sidewalks are the spokes.)
I was walking down one sidewalk with a lot on each side of me. Minding my own business. Then I hear, all the way from another sidewalk on the other end of one of the lots:
“HEY BABY!! HEY! YOU LOOK HOT IN THAT DRESS! HEY!!”
I glanced over in his direction and saw a guy, all the way across the lot on my left, keeping pace with me. I sped up a little, so did he. He kept shouting.
“HEY! HEY! WHY DON’T CHOO COME ON OVER HERE BABY! HEY!”
I was getting closer to one of the entrances to the building, and wondered if I could keep ignoring him. It wasn’t working.
“HEY BABY! HEY! COME ON OVER HERE! HEY HEY!”
It was becoming clear that ignoring him was not going to make him stop. He probably would have kept shouting at me all the way to the building and I was a little afraid of running into him inside the mall. I gathered up my courage and shouted back as loud as I could, thanking my theatre training for teaching me to throw my voice from the diaphragm:
“LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!”
He heard me. But still didn’t stop. That only turned his shouts of “hey baby” into:
“F*CK YOU C*NT!! F*CK YOU!! YOU STUPID B*TCH!” F*CK YOU!!”
Gee…and just a second ago I was “hot in that dress…” Amazing how quickly a harasser’s opinion of you can change.
My fiancé and I were taking a stroll at night near Main street in our town. There are a lot of bars down Main and it’s intersecting streets, so there were some drunk patrons leaving one of the bars that we passed by. I noticed one of them was a guy I had known in high school, and I remembered that this guy had been very creepy and didn’t have a sense of personal space and I had been harassed by him many times before in several situations, so I urged my fiancé to walk a little faster and hope that he wouldn’t notice me.
He did…and he started shouting at me from behind.
“Damn! Look that that ASS!” he said “Girl you must work out!”
My fiancé put his arm around me and pulled me a little closer. This guy was drunk, but I remembered that he is no less creepy when sober. I knew there would be a confrontation in the street if I turned around and said anything, so we walked a little faster, trying to get to the traffic signal to cross the street, and told my fiancé to not acknowledge him.
“Come on girl, I see dat ass, lemme see your face!”
“Keep walking….keep walking…he’s not there…” I said in a hushed voice.
We got to the signal, but it had JUST changed and now cars were going by. We quickly turned the corner out of sight and ran behind one of the buildings so the harasser lost us. We ended up going in a circle back to the other end of the street where the bar was.
Every time I see this guy in public, I turn the other way. Whether he’s drunk or sober, he always creeps me out.