demonstration

MT’s Story: Shouldn’t have to deal with this

An older man exposed himself this morning as I was walking my dog on Benton and 40th Street, NW in Washington DC. He was wearing a white t-shirt, khaki shorts, and hiking boots and had a small back pack. I called and reported it to the police, please do the same if you encounter this creeper. I should be able to walk my dog in the morning before going to work without having to deal with that.

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14+

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demonstration

Ashley’s story: “I am not a happy meal toy. I am a human being.”

I was removing special parking signs for an event as part of my student job when a car pulls up and stops at the light. The passenger yells out to me, “Hey, do you come with the ‘Special Event’”? I said no and started to walk away and he yelled out, “Aw, man! That’s too bad!” I am not an item to be given away at any event. I am not a happy meal toy. I am a human being.

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13+

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demonstration

Virginia’s story: “I wish I would have said something.”

I just witnessed and was the subject of harassment on the bus that was the worst I’ve seen yet. Three guys and a girl were travelling together, they seemed homeless. One of the guys was old and seemed drunk and touched her ear. She told him to stop and he said “That is not the only part of you I’ll touch.” Earlier I had overheard her say how she was going to lock herself in one of the rooms when they got where they were going to sleep at. She defended herself to that guy when he called her bitch. One of the guys is her boyfriend it seems, and both the other guys seemed nice enough but I wish they would have said something! I wish I would have said something. The guy then stood around where I was and lets just say made a lewd gesture. Then he went back over where she was talked to her, touching her knee, leaning into her personal space. “Back up!” she said.

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8+

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demonstration

Elizabeth’s Story: “You’re that guy who grabbed my boobs last week!”

I was waiting for the streetcar, minding my own business, when a guy came around asking everyone at the stop for change. I didn’t have any but I gave him a cigarette. He then stood too close to me, stared down my shirt and proceeded to bug me.

Where was I going? What were my plans? Where did I live, did I have a boyfriend, would I date him…the usual stuff.

I answered in monosyllables and angled my body away from him, hoping my streetcar would hurry up and get there when he reached out and grabbed my breasts. I was flabbergasted and too shocked to react. Eventually I took a step back, laughed (that horrible nervous laugh) and told him that what he’d just done wasn’t cool. He brushed it off, as I put my coat on and did it up. He then continued to bug me for a date, and to know where I was going. My streetcar finally showed up and I fled.

Of course, that’s when the shaking and the anger kicked in. I was so mad that I didn’t push him, or shout him down.

A week later I was back at that streetcar stop and lo and behold, here comes buddy, asking people for change again. He started with me and I took a step back, raised my voice so everyone could hear me and said, “You’re that guy who grabbed my boobs last week!”

People turned around to listen, headphones came out. I was on a roll.

“No, I’ve never met you,” he said.

“I remember you,” I said, “you were wearing the same jacket, and you have the same douchey neck tattoo you had last week. You don’t remember me because you were staring at my tits the whole time.”

He tried to respond and which point I put my headphones in and said, over his protests, “I don’t want to talk to you. No. Step away from me. Step away from me right now.”

He did and realizing he wasn’t going to get any support (or change) from my fellow public transportation patrons, he fled.

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52+

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demonstration

Jasmine’s Story: Harassed while in our own cars

I was driving along bopping to my music with the windows down when I drove through this intersection. A construction worker was standing in the street directing traffic and as I drove past him he decided to call out to me “Haaay beautiful.”

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13+

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demonstration

Jo’s story: Showtime Creeper

Was watching Brave at the movies. Was wearing shorts, cause hey, it’s hot out. Creeper in the seat in front of us was turned around through half the movie, staring in my general direction. I SWEAR he had his hand in his pants. And he wasn’t sleeping– I saw him blinking. Disgusting! I tried to get a pic of his creeping face, but my phone’s camera sucks. I had to use my purse to cover my legs, and that deterred him a little, but not well enough. Gross.

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9+

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demonstration

Anonymous’s Story: “What if it becomes worse?”

Hey, I’m a 13 year old girl and I’ve been street harassed since I was about 11-12 years old.

It mostly goes like this :
When I’walking down a street several cars start honking at me, or stop next to me rolling down their windows saying things like , “ohh your pretty” or “you have nice eyes” and stuff.
Some guys also start screaming things at me like “hey sexy” or “hey girl, whats your number?”
This also happens, guys come way to close to me and start whispering things in my ear like “how are you” and “want to go somewhere?”
These things don’t bother me that much , but it does creep me out a lot , because what if this doesn’t stop and it becomes worse?
I m still so young , and i m not that strong to say things back…
I m hoping this will end..
Untill then i m gonna have to cope with all of this shit..

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26+

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demonstration

CA’s story: menfolk, it’s time to STAND UP!

I was in the elevator, leaving the hospital after a joint injection. I was walking very carefully, obviously hurt/in pain. I took the elevator down to the main level, where my ride was pulling the car around for me. Two men, in their 40s, got on the elevator. I barely noticed them, and we didn’t talk. Then an elderly man, at least in his 70s and walking with a cane, got on the elevator.

After the doors closed, the elderly man turned and said, enthusiastically waving his cane around, “We’ve got her! Three guys and one girl! We can take her!”

It happened so quickly. He got off on the very next floor. The whole thing happened in less than one minute. I didn’t know what to say or do.

It’s nice that the other men didn’t join in, and after he left, one said to me, “You should have said, ‘You think you’re walking with a cane now, you try it!’”

But it would be nice if just once, when someone harasses me in full view of other men, those other men would stand up for me. They didn’t even know him, so why do menfolk think that they can’t say other manfolk, “STFU.” That’s all it would take, really.

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14+

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demonstration

Isaac’s Story: It’s my sidewalk, too

I walk 2km to the library at least once a week, going past a park, some stores, and a few busy intersections. Usually no one bothers me, which is amazing, because I’m androgynous and short, which seems to give some peope the impression that it is safe or okay for them to comment on my appearance. But mostly I worry about getting hit by people who are driving their cars with their butts.

Not anymore! Some people can’t leave well enough alone when a genderbent person has the temerity to use the sidewalk.

“Hey, *giiirl*, gimme a smile.” It is lewd and leering and said right in my personal space. Being called “girl” makes me see red at the best of times—I’m an adult person and it’s deliberately misgendering.

“Mind your own business!”

He laughs, I flip him off and yell “F**k you!” and just keep walking, furious. I’m scared he might be following me, or some other creep will appear, so I call a friend—who immediately gives me a huge line of bullshit about “taking a compliment” and “not a big deal” and “that’s how men are”.

It’s minor in the grand scheme of things, but I walk this way all the time, I’m a recovering depressive and I need the library. And it’s my god damn sidewalk as much as anyone elses’! I already can’t go places after dark or past the clumps of loitering men that surround the grocery store. If I get harassed on this route again I’m going to flip my shit. Thanks for this site and its tip-of-the-tongue techniques for dealing with sexist aggression and the people who enable it.

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25+

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Article, demonstration

Kat’s story: “Is this more of an ableist/opportunity thing, or do you guys think there is a sexualized element to it as well?”

Ok, this isn’t exactly a story. Well, it is, but it’s also a question. Sorry if it’s a little long!

So, I am a women who was born with a disability. I am a little person, but I am a proportional one, so I basically look like a little kid. (I think it’s due to an auto-immune disease). I also have Crohn’s disease, which is unrelated, but results in me being unable to eat and digest food properly, so I’m pretty skinny as well. (Now I’ve got some meat on my bones, because I’ve been in remission for almost two years. Go me! But I also swim, so I’m still pretty tiny). Besides that, I’m pretty conventionally attractive. I don’t say that to brag, but just to sort of give a context for my life–as in, I think I would have it worse if I wasn’t conventionally attractive, and it also draws more people to me. (Because society sucks that way)

People often compliment me on various things–my complexion, my hair, my body. Or they will ask/remark on my differences–which is annoying, but tolerable. However, they will then sometimes reach out AND TOUCH ME. They’ll stroke my cheek, or try to run a hand through my hair, or put their hand on the small of my back (still can’t figure that one out). It happens a lot at work (I’ve actually posted about it before.) The worst was a few weeks ago when a man grabbed me on both sides where my neck and shoulder meet and SHOOK me. I don’t know why. Everyone asks, and I honestly could not tell you what the fuck was going through his head.

It’s sometimes women, but it’s mostly men who do this, and my question is two-fold. 1) Is this more of an ableist/opportunity thing, or do you guys think there is a sexualized element to it as well? (When it’s men) 2) Do you guys think that I would experience the same thing if I were a man? (Are there any male posters with experiences of this?) I’m not sure why it matters–I guess I just want to be able to identify the type of harassment, in order to respond properly.

Thanks and sorry this was so long!

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