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Just sitting at the bus stop when someone yells at me and gives me a nasty shock, making me jump. I look up to see a young blonde guy with his head stuck out the passenger side of a black car with red P plates. He laughs at me while making eye contact and I hear male and female laughter from the car, the windows were tinted so I only saw the guy yelling. Didn’t catch the number plate or I’d call the cops on them for harrassment and too many passengers for Red P plates.
One of the most memorable things I’ve had shouted at me was when I was walking down the pavement of a main road just outside of Cheltenham town centre late at night. Generally speaking it’s a pretty safe area.
I was unaware of the 3 men walking behind me a little way back until one of them started trying to get my attention by shouting “Hey! Hello?” I turned my head briefly to see who was shouting at me but kept walking and ignored them, as I figured they were looking to get a response, and would lose interest if I refused to give them one.
Then one of them yelled at the top of his voice “I would tear your ass in half”.
I couldn’t believe it. There was no hint of humour in his voice to tell me it was just an idiotic and immature joke or a poorly judged and unwelcome attempt to hit on me. Given that it was after dark and the road was very quiet, it was quite simply unnerving.
I didn’t shout back because I was dumbstruck and didn’t want to engage with them. I wanted to quicken my pace to widen the gap between us, but I didn’t want him to know that he had succeeded in frightening me, so I just kept walking, trying to hide the fact my body had gone rigid.
I couldn’t understand what he got out of doing it other than making me (an 18-year-old stranger, minding her own business) feel both physically threatened/unsafe and deeply insulted/disrespected. I hate the fact that he thought it acceptable/funny to make me feel that way.
In the middle of the afternoon I took my puppy outside to relieve himself. An SUV with a male driver and at least one male passenger was driving down Avent Ferry toward me. As the vehicle passed, the male in the passenger seat yelled, “Suck my dick!” The SUV sped off too fast for me to take note of any idenfiying details without my glasses on. I’ve been hollered at by men in vehicles plenty of times before (especially in college), but I found this time particularly demeaning. No one even witnessed it, but that didn’t stop me from feeling humiliated and ashamed. I felt completely helpless, and that’s just not the type of woman I am.
I was in town for a conference and was walking back to the hotel by myself after lunch. I passed a man standing on the corner with a cardboard sign. He told me to have a nice day, so I said, “You, too,” to be polite. Then as I stood with my back to him while waiting for the light to change, he said, twice, “How about you and me meet up later.” And when I didn’t respond, he followed with, “You go, you never go back.”
It certainly could have been worse; he didn’t follow me, nor did I think he would. But it still marred my otherwise lovely spring afternoon and made me wonder what I could have said in response that would have made a difference in how he treats people in the future.
Hi. I waved and smiled to thank you for letting me pass your truck. As you drove by you casually called me a “fag”. Next time I’ll be sure to extinguish my cigarette in your eyeball! Coward. Hollaback!
Back in the early 2000’s when I was in secondary school I was very shy, quiet and known as the class “square” and one of the “popular” guys who I’ll call “M” especially made my life hell, he once announced loudly that one day if I was lucky, I might get raped, in assembly he once got all the classmates between him and I to pass on a message to me that he thought I was “hot” so I had to endure them all sniggering and laughing at me while he sat back full of smug pride.
He used to try and gear the teachers towards yelling at me for any tiny excuse he could find, once he stole my pe kit and made a show of sniffing the bag and refusing to return it. He started several pass-around surverys during classtimes titled “is Lydia the class prostitute?” and also “do u think Lydia wears thongs?”
During a school play when it was my turn to sing he wooped really loudly and made a growling sound which everyone laughed at. I refuse to believe it was from attraction, I feel it was because I was an easy target who would never dare to answer back.
I always look back on my secondary school time with strong bitter hatred and embarrassment, I don’t think I could ever forgive him for how he treated me.
I do feel however that my ordeal has made me into the stronger person I am today, now I always make a point of confronting my harassers and standing up for myself.
…I do just hope one day I might run into M, who for the record is now balding, pot bellied and very different from the athletic cocky “bad boy” who tormented me in school…. and give him a punch.
I go running in my neighborhood several times a week. I used to run by this apartment complex until some guy started coming outside to watch me and whistle, yell, and generally be obnoxious. At first it was just whistling, but then he started catcalling and the next time I went by his friends were with him! I had to change up my route to avoid going near that complex. I’m always happy when I can get through my miles without getting honks, yells, whistles, and catcalls. This is a college town and it’s annoying to not be able to get my exercise in peace!
I was at a bar with my cousin and her friends. This older man walked up to our table and started chatting one of the women across the table from me, and at one point, I thought I saw him pinch her cheek. She was smiling, didn’t say anything, and I went back to paying attention to my phone.
I must not have been paying enough attention to this man, because I felt him pinch my cheek. I almost smacked him I whipped my head and hand around so fast. I put my finger out at him and said, “Don’t. You. Ever. Touch me. It’s not appropriate to touch a woman you don’t know.” He wandered off, but them came back to “apologize” and he said, “it was disrespectful of me because maybe your boyfriend wouldn’t like it.” I said, “it was disrespectful because it was disrespectful and inappropriate.” He wandered off again, and came back a third time to chat up my cousin’s friend again, looking at me time and again. By this point, she had also begun telling that she was not interested, and he left us alone after that.
(after a brief, otherwise polite conversation)
Stranger: You should smile.
I ignored him and walked out of the store.
These clever guys in my DC neighborhood use this adorable pickup gimmick when I bike home after work: they slow their car, make comments about my body, and even stop traffic to “cheer me on” as I slowly bike uphill. What would I do without their compliments and attention each day? Street harassment is the BEST. So far, three different cars have done this – one was a group of young college-age men, and the other two have been individuals. Tonight was a man who actually pulled over to wait for me after following me side-by-side for a block as I bicycled uphill, stopping traffic and making me worried I’d get followed. Luckily, people started honking and he drove away, but I was worried he’d catch me later on in my commute. I wish him a thousand flat tires.