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Kay’s Story: “It’s so ridiculous, they can’t be serious”

Typically, I can shrug off cat calling, because half the time it’s so ridiculous, they can’t be serious. My responses vary from laughing, a WTF look, and a cold “Don’t fuck with me, I carry a weapon” glare, depending on how threatened (if at all) I feel.
The best example of complete ridiculousness came one evening, walking through town with one of my girl friends. We passed a group of young guys having a conversation, when one of them turned around and said, “Damn girl, your hair’s like a fistful of fuck yeah!” and then resumed his conversation, as though we never walked by. We laughed uncontrollably as we continued toward our destination, wondering who he was talking to, what that was even supposed to mean. It’s even become somewhat of an inside joke to us.
Personally, I still believe, that in some few and far between cases, laughter truly is the best remedy ;)

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6+

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Kate’s Story: I never experienced something so vile

I’ve been on an online dating site before but I never experienced something so vile. I started an account with Okcupid last Thursday night. This man messaged me and expressed interest. I read his profile and he seemed like a nice guy BUT a shirt he was wearing was sexist, it had a silhouette of a naked woman on it. So I expressed my concern and figured well he will probably say “oh I’m sorry didn’t know that was offensive” because not many people know that kind of thing is sexist. What happened next was horrifying. He was so unbelievably gross. He asked me if I would “take his 8 inches”  then when I refused he said “make me a sandwich!” then I reported him to the dating site. After I told him I reported him he replied saying that OkCupid would do nothing because he makes so much “revenue” for them by laying “mediocre girls” like me!

Things might have ended there with me blocking him. BUT the dumb ass used his actual name for his online username. A quick google search and I found his linkedin profile and where he worked in my community. It was a prominent business.

The next morning armed with the JPEG of our conversation and my laptop with his picture from OkCupid. I went to his place of work. I asked if he worked there, when the receptionist said yes, I asked to see the General Manager. When the GM came to meet me, I said I had a concern about an employee and he immediately took me back to his office. I showed him the picture and the GM confirmed that he was their employee. Then I showed him the conversation that I had with him. I said, I am concerned because his identity is so easily found that his online actions could be damaging your business. The GM said “OH I am right there with you, this hurts our image and reputation in the community.” The GM first stopped me and made sure that I was okay. He asked me over and over, are you okay, do you feel threatened? He was genuinely concerned for my well-being. He told me that he could only handle his behavior from an employer perspective, that he couldn’t change his personal behavior as much as he disagreed with it. But he was pissed and he took said he would face disciplinary action. Finally the GM said “I agree you are not the first woman this has happened to,” and his last words to me were “I’m so glad you came in, you are so brave.” That made me really happy.

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34+

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Amanda’s Story: It’s just very disrespectful to the women population in this society

So im walking home from my friends house and im on the phone with my mom telling her im almost home & as im talking to her a bunch of guys in a car blow me a kiss and say heeeey. So i keep walking & they drive away. I walk 3 more blocks , approximetely by my house & all i hear is BEEEEEEEEEEEP so i turn around because i thought there had been a car accident but its the guy tryna holla at me again & my mom panics and left the house to come and get me. it really pisses me off when guys do that, like seriously theyre like 30 & theyre tryna talk to a 13 year old girl ? like seriously? could you have a little more respect? Like i dont know why they think its gonna make us talk to them because it only gets us pissed off , & just because we’re petite at this age & pretty doesnt mean we should get treated like this, like we’re some sort of sex toy they can have when we dont even know them. I cant even go out in the streets with a guy staring me down or trying to hit on me/ & its sad that theres nothing they can officialy do about this bc once it happens its done, unless you get a lisence plate, but its just very disrespectful to the women population in this society, & when we go outside we tend to get scared of any guy that walks our way because its becoming a regular thing nowadays and it shouldnt be, not even if youre older.

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19+

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Kat’s Story: Don’t touch me!

Ok, so I have two stories.

Don’t touch me!: Ok, so I am a really small person, and I look like a little kid, even though I’m 26. I also have really nice red curly hair. People are constantly commenting on it and trying to run their hands through it. It annoys me so much that they think they can do it, just because they think I’m small enough that I won’t fight back. Unfortunately they usually touch it and run, before I can say anything. But this one day really stands out in my mind. I work in a wine store and I was helping a gentleman find a nice bottle of red wine. I showed him my favourite. He says, with a wink, “You must drink a lot of this to know it’s your favourite”. Ok, dumb, annoying, but I hear it all the time. He then proceeds to stroke my face with his knuckle. I was dumbfounded. Also being at work, I can’t exactly tell him to fuck off. He just paid and left. I told my co-worker about it, and she asked what he looked like so we can bar him. Unfortunately, I can’t remember. You’d think I would. Fuck.

Second Story: So, the other day I was going to the bus stop to go to work. It was really hot–around 37 degrees–and I was wearing shorts and a tight black t-shirt, and had my work pants in a bag so I could change. I stopped a stop a little ways from the bus stop I needed, because the sun had come out and I wanted to change my glasses to my sunglasses. There was a creepy guy sitting there (probably old enough to be my father) and he says “ooo, you have an iPod Nano”. I said I didn’t know. He says “Oh, you’re going to *love* what I have” as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out an iPhone. I said I actually didn’t like Apple and only had an iPod because it was free. I then curtly said I had to go catch my bus and left. It’s not as bad as some stuff I read here, and maybe I’m making too big a deal of it, but I didn’t like the vibe. Plus I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have happened if I had been wearing baggy jeans and a hoodie. Thanks for letting me holla to you guys, even though I should have told him to go away!

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13+

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Angelique’s story: I don’t have an “all or nothing” idea about what beauty is

This has been happening to me for 51 years. people come up to me and ask me “what is wrong with your face?” and get mad at me if i don’t want to explain that it was partially paralyzed from medical (birth) malpractice. i don’t see why i ‘have’ to repeatedly talk about that; it happens before anything about me is asked, as if that’s all there is to me, period. my family didn’t raise me to think of myself as ‘wrong’ simply because of that incident, and i have gone ahead and tried to enjoy and live my life like anyone else. when i look in the mirror, i can appreciate my features; i don’t have an “all or nothing” idea about what beauty is, much less what an ‘acceptable’ human body is. this seems to be really lost on some people. i’ve noticed that those who don’t act as though i ‘must’ explain my body to them are generally positive in their attitude about life overall, and can make thoughtful remarks rather than presumptuous ones about me (such as “you must hate yourself/want to commit suicide/be in denial if you are happy, successful, have relationships with guys, etc.” what can i say to those people to make it clear i deserve as much respect as an individual as anyone else?

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21+

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Paige’s Story: I wasn’t “asking” for this

I was walking from the subway to my apartment in the pouring rain. It was really hot out, so I was wearing a relatively low-cut yoga top and pretty short shorts. I wasn’t wearing makeup or trying to flaunt my body in any way. It was just hot out. A man on a bike (I’m guessing in his 30s) rides past me and says, “Nice.”

I wasn’t “asking” for this. I’m infuriated that this man couldn’t control himself, ESPECIALLY because he was on a bike and therefore didn’t expect a response from me.

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12+

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Layne’s Story: “I raised my middle finger right up at his grinning face”

I’m submitting this story here, for the widest distribution possible. It happened to me in Florence, Italy in early June 2012. With summer vacation upon us, many women from different countries will be visiting Italy and I want to warn them of the possibility of this sort of “attack.”

I was wearing a knee-length summer dress, walking with my husband past the Uffizi Gallery, towards the Piazza della Signoria. My husband was walking several steps ahead of me, when I felt hands run up the backs of my thighs and my skirt was lifted up to my waist. It was surreal. A crowd of people laughed as I whipped around to see who had done this. It was a young man with some sort of face paint. I don’t know if he was a “performance artist” attempting to amuse passers-by, or whatever. I did the first instinctive thing that came to me (for better or for worse) … I raised my middle finger right up at his grinning face and then strode away after my husband (who never saw this happen).

I got increasingly stressed out over this incident, remembered the feel of his hands dragging up my skirt – I felt so violated! It ruined the rest of our time in Florence, since I kept thinking I might run into him again, or someone else would try something.

So my warning to all women visiting Florence – wear pants, and be aware that there are some misguided souls out there trying to make a buck.

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17+

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Lizzy’s Story: Not the first time

I was walking to the tram today and passed 3 bald guys and one girl walking in the opposite direction. It’s a small pathway behind the houses and although well lit, not exactly great. It was broad daylight however, about 4pm. As I walked past one of the burly baldies, one of them decided it’d be a really great idea to go in for the good old bum-slap routine.

He muttered “you know what? you are…” followed by a quick slap to my bum!

I didn’t turn or react at all and continued on my walk, because I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of thinking it even registered. Fortunately I found it quite amusing but nobody should have to go through something like that and it could have been someone who was more upset by it than me.

Not the first time a man has done something on this same pathway. I’ll post my other story separately.

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10+

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CS’s Story: Vulnerable

I was walking to the subway on Bond Street on my way to work at about 8:30 this morning when a 6’3, skinny kid in a blue sweatshirt with gray sleeves came around the corner of the building at Fulton Street and made a grabbing motion at my chest. He mumbled something inaudible and pulled his hand back without actually touching me. By the time I realized it had been an intentional motion, he had gone past. I turned and said “what the f**k? Get off!” but none of the 8 or 9 other people in the area reacted. As I looked back at him he looked at me over his shoulder and maintained eye contact as he walked away until I ran in the same direction I had been going and stopped once I could stand with my back against a building to text my boyfriend before continuing to work. I wasn’t thinking quickly enough to get a picture.
I think maybe the kid was just trying to be creepy- he succeed. Just the look in his eyes was so menacing, like he didn’t actually do anything to hurt me, but wanted me to know he could have if he had wanted to. I had taken my pepper spray off my keychain before a flight last week, but I’ll put it back on this evening. I’ll probably take a different train to work for a while too. What really pisses me off is how vulnerable it made me feel, even though physically I’m fine. Ugh.

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9+

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Annodam’s Story: “Creeper Accidentally-On-Purpose Brushed My Hand”

When I go to Planet Smoothie, I want a goddamn smoothie, not a wannabe Smooth-E. Unfortunately, it seems I got both.

About 9:30 PM on a Monday night. Creeper is a slim male in his 20s-early 30s, works at the Planet Smoothie in the Amtrak terminal. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see his nametag. I had just paid for my drink and was reaching for it; as I grabbed it, Creeper accidentally-on-purpose brushed my hand and said something to the tune of “hold up baby, where you from?” I couldn’t hear very well and the hand touch may well have been an accident, so maybe I’m overreacting. Anyone else had any problems here?

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8+

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