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I was walking to Walgreens from my sorority house dressed in a pair of slacks, heels, and a blouse. I am very busty, and when I wear heels things tend to be more jiggly. An older man in a car was turning at an intersection I was about to cross, so I stopped on the corner to wait. He stopped his vehicle and waited for me to cross so I would walk in front of him and he could watch me pass. After a few moments of both of us awkwardly waiting, I had not other choice but to cross. As I passed he shouted out of his car window: “Damn! You are looking nice!” I’m ashamed of this, but I mumbled a “thank you” in response, because I didn’t know what else to do or say. I’m a feminist who has attended protests and stood up for others, but sometimes I’m still too scared to stand up for myself.
It isn’t enough for you to grope my ass through my skirt. You have to put your hand up my skirt and grab my bare skin.
You have no idea how long I will spend in the shower, scrubbing myself where you touched me, or how many minutes I will spend thinking about the fact that you were that close to my vagina, how almost GRATEFUL I am for the fact that you didn’t touch me there.
How dare people like you have made girls like me grateful you didn’t touch me there.
I work hard for my grades at a top university, I never go out because I prefer reading, chatting to my friends, exercising, cooking, watching movies. I bothered to dress up and go out, and I felt damn good.
You made me feel bad for dressing up.
And then I turn and face you.
And you smile in that way that means you know I know, but you’re going to act like I don’t. Like you never touched me.
If you won’t admit it, why do it? Are you too shy to tell me I’m pretty? Not an excuse. Is the music so loud that you considered THAT the best way to get my attention? Not an excuse. There is no excuse.
I wonder if you have sisters, cousins. A mother.
I want you to imagine someone putting their hands on that woman you love, and I want you to feel sick with yourself.
About a year ago, I was out drinking pretty late in a bar by my college in Manhattan. At about three, I decided I’d close my tab and head out when I was cornered by one of my pool buddies, who decided that because my back was turned, he could grope me. “You have a nice ass.” he was literally rubbing my ass while I was pressed against the bar, waiting and waiting and waiting for my card and bill. I wasn’t really sure what to do, so, I just said, “I know,” and shifted so he couldn’t touch me anymore. He tried to get me to do shots with him but I made a quick exit and got to the train about a block away.
I thought my night was over from there, but! I was approached by a man on the train platform. This is where I should mention that the station I was at is about five or six stories above ground. The man approached me and immediately asked, “do you eat pussy?” being drunk and terrified, I replied, “no.” “Do you have a boyfriend?” “Do you like being eaten out?” (“no” to both) and then, “Can I show you my cock?” I was so scared and I had no idea of what to say. If I said the wrong thing, what if he decided to push me off of the platform? That was the only thing going through my head. I was extremely lucky that night, I said “No, thank you.” and he finally left me alone, but so often I think about next time, because I know there will be a next time. I think almost everyday, “Where will it be? Who will it be? Will the next guy actually kill me?”
I walk my dog around lake merrit almost everyday because it is a beautiful walk in an otherwise urban area. My experience has been that I cannot make it around this three mile loop without a man making some kind of comment to me. It has ranged from “hi beautiful” to grunting noises to comments about my butt or asking me if they can join me on my walk. I had a man step into my path and stop right in front of me to pet my dog, blocking my path and giving me no choice in the interaction. I get angry, scared and embarrassed by these encounters, but above all I feel helpless and that is by far the worst emotion for me. I feel like I have to put up with this in order to walk my dog in a park near my home. I now have to consider what I wear and what time of day I go for a walk in an effort to achieve some sort of anonymity. Some people might think, what’s the big deal if a man wants to tell you you’re attractive or ask you out. Here’s the big deal, it’s unsolicited, unreciprocated and unwanted attention . It can be scary, embarrassing and menacing. Bottom line, I just want to walk my dog in peace and feel safe.
I was coming home from my gym class when I stumbled upon a group of young men. Probably in their early twenties or late teens. I am in the midst of a project I am working on so I didn’t pay much attention to what was going on around me on the street. Until I noticed one of the guys was walking on to me, grabbing his crotch. I passed by him and then another guy, from the same group stormed on me, doing the same thing. Holding and massaging his crotch. The third one was making a movie with his phone while those two were obviously trying to intimidate me. I passed them by and they started laughing and asking if I liked it. Before I got home I regretted I didn’t turn around to ask them if they actually knew what they were doing and that it was street harassment and they COULD get in trouble for that. I hope they post this video somewhere so someone could report it as abuse and take action. Their faces are in the movie.
I was eating at a restaurant when I noticed a man masturbating at a table near me. I called the cops and the man was arrested. He has since plead guilty, turns out he did this to another woman.
One time I was just walking down the Ave and a group of girls were standing outside a Thai restaurant. One of them slapped my butt as I passed and said “nice ass baby”. I felt like turning around and kicking her in the cooch but I resisted because I didn’t want to lower myself to her level. It just makes me so irate when women put their hands on me without asking.
It’s been a fairly typical Saturday, and I’ve been out and about all day. I happened to notice a few men look at me and smile earlier, I didn’t pay much attention – they were looking at my face after all. It’s just nice to see people smile, sometimes.
To get home, I walk down a steep hill with a number of bars on it. I walk this way every day, so I know the pavements are narrow, and I keep an eye out for people coming the other way, especially big groups. So when I stepped aside to make way for a group of half a dozen lads in their 20s and 30s to get past earlier, I was not expecting one of them to stand in my way, stare at my chest, lick his lips, and then proclaim, ‘Wow. They’re massive, darlin’.’ Once he’d said that, I was expecting his mates to laugh, which they did.
Now, I could make allowances for the fact he was probably trying to impress his mates, and I can’t really dispute the factual content of his observation. But the tone and gesture made me feel objectified and, if I am honest, sullied. I am ashamed to say that the first thing I did when I got home was to verify that I was not wearing ‘provocative’ clothing. I wasn’t, but that really isn’t the point: after all, what the hell should it matter what I am wearing when I go out to buy groceries, as long as I am not breaking any decency laws?
I was minding my own business, and now I won’t be able to walk up my own street without thinking of this incident. I’m in my 30s, I’ve lived all over the world, and I can take most things on the chin. But this has really upset me – and I wish that guy stops and thinks the next time he wants to pay a ‘compliment’.
i often think about this event, and i love sharing the story. there aren’t enough stories of people being helped by a stranger, so i’m glad to share the story of the time someone helped me.
it was in 2005, and i was waiting for a subway train to take me to a party at like 8:30 pm on a friday. i was sitting on a bench, when a man came up and sat at the other end of the bench. he started by just staring and smiling. i was pretty sure he was drunk, so i figured he was just being a drunk guy and would get bored. then he started saying things to me, though i don’t know what he said because he said them in spanish. he said them in a low voice, and he made some kissing and sucking noises to punctuate them.
the station was pretty empty, and i thought if i sat there and didn’t do anything, it wouldn’t escalate.
it did. the bench was long, and he started scooting toward me.
about this time, a teenaged boy came down the escalator to wait for the train. he was on a path to walk by us, but he turned his head and when he saw what was happening, he stopped. he was a very tall young man, and quite physically imposing. i generally do not have a positive opinion of teenaged boys, so for a moment, i thought i was going to gain another harasser.
but he smiled at me. it was one of the kindest smiles i can ever recall receiving. he said, ‘hey, you need some help?’ i just shrugged, somehow too embarrassed to admit being bothered by the drunk guy down the bench. he smiled again, and sat down in between me and the drunk guy.
he turned and gave the man a very menacing look, and shook his head slowly. then he pulled out his ipod and headphones. as he was putting on his headphones, i said, ‘thank you so much.’ but i had been so nervous and kinda holding my breath, that it came out in a relieved exhale.
he smiled again and said, ‘don’t worry about it’ before putting on his headphones.
i’d never been so grateful for a stranger’s assistance before in my life. i suddenly felt safe, simply because another person decided to be nice. and i hate to say it, but it was that much more helpful that he was a tall young man.
nice dudes out there who don’t like to harass women and think it’s wrong to do so, help a lady out if she needs it!
Hi everyone .. I’m from São Paulo (Brazil), it’s sad such huge city still doesn’t has its own IHollaback, hope I can do something to help about it ..
Well, today at the train (rush hour, really reaaaally crowded) a guy started touching his penis and looking at girls around him, I noticed it, but didn’t say a thing until he started looking at me. I just couldn’t take it quietly anymore, it’s so fucking sick .. I told him ‘what are you looking at?!’ and he got all angry, started yelling, calling me names, I told him he was disgusting and kept looking into his eyes till he was leaving the train .. then he started yelling ‘so what? you wanna beat me? I don’t have a problem beating a girl, c’mon here outside and I will show you’. I started clapping and yell ‘Congratulations to you woman beater, really beautiful!’ .. as expected, more calling me horrible names
THE WORSE: I had hundreds of witness, NO ONE said a thing!!! Why? Because I’m supposed to keep quiet and accept this kind of thing as a woman. I was the problem, I started a situation .. I bet they will let him beat me if he started to..
I’m feeling so hurt right now, like I don’t have rights ou dignity, everyone here just tell me to shut up the next time and I’m lucky I didn’t got beaten ..