demonstration

JJ’s story: On Guard in Beijing

I was sitting down for lunch at a small Muslim restaurant (one of my favorites), when a man came to sit at my table. There were other empty tables, so I thought this was a little strange, but didn’t comment on it. Because I am a white woman, Chinese people occasionally approach me to strike up a conversation or practice their English. Most of the time, I don’t mind this much, and often enjoy the opportunity to practice my Chinese and/or help someone practice English, and make new friends (since many of my friends are foreign students like me). But on this particular day, I wanted to eat lunch alone so I could eat quickly and get back to my dorm to do some studying. So I ignored the man sitting next to me. He leaned over and asked (in English) “what country are you from?”. Because my program involved a language pledge where I could not speak any English, I responded in Chinese. He began to ask me more questions and comment on my looks, and I responded (again, in Chinese), “I don’t want to talk to you, I just want to eat my lunch”. This did not deter him. I made my answers shorter and more curt, and asked him why he was still talking to me even though I had told him I did not want to talk to him. I repeated that I wanted to eat my lunch in peace. He then called me a b****, and said that I would “relax” if I spoke to him in English. I reached into my bag for my wallet to pay for my meal and get the hell out, and realized I had left my wallet in my dorm. I cursed in English, and went to find the proprietor to explain the situation. In the time that I was pawing through my bag, the man who had been harassing me paid for my meal. Oh hell no. I explained to the proprietor (who knew me because I was a regular customer) my money situation, and told him that I would pay for my meal myself. I told him to give the man his money back. I then managed to find 5 kuai in my purse (half the cost of the meal), and ran back to my dorm to get my wallet so I could pay him the other 5. I looked over my shoulder the whole way back because I was terrified that that creepy guy was going to follow me. Thank god he didn’t.

Since then, I’ve been immensely distrustful of strange men approaching me or talking to me, and I’ve become much more hostile towards catcalls or men who try to grind with me in nightclubs. I also try to go to restaurants that have at least one other empty table so I’m certain that a stranger won’t sit with me. I still travel around Beijing alone, but I’m always very much “on guard”, and prefer to travel or go out to clubs and bars with male friends, since this does a fairly good job of deterring harassers. I love Beijing and I love studying here, but I hate that I don’t feel safe walking down the street or eating by myself.

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9+

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demonstration

Lauren’s story: What the fluff?

I was in school in 6th grade. I was really, really late for P.E. I begin walking to the gym, when suddenly, I see this group of 7th grade boys appear out of nowhere. They’re laughing at something. And one of them says…. he actually says this: “You’re gonna be all up in my balls!”
What the Fluff?
I was kind of frozen there, as he and his buddies walked away, laughing. Were they on drugs or something? I began to shout “What is WRONG with you!?” and stuff to them, but they didn’t hear.
So I told on them.
The 7th graders are messed up. One of my friends who’s more developed got asked by one of them, in a rude manner, “What bra size do you wear?”
This angers me.

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14+

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demonstration

Marissa’s Story: “Worried it would come back”

I live in a relatively small town, and my friends and I go walking a lot for entertainment.
It was about 8pm at the time this occurred and dark, but there are A LOT of lights so it might as well have been daytime. Myself, two other girls, and one guy. Girl 1 and the guy were maybe 10-15 feet in front of myself and the Girl 2. We were walking down the sidewalk on a busy intersection on our way to a gas station, almost there.  As me and girl 2 were walking, we were only wearing skinny jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, and over sized jackets. A jeep drove past us very slowly (No need for them to be going slowly other than for us, as it is a very busy, fast paced street) and honked at us twice.  We were unnerved by it as we had both read this site.
Then, no more than 30 seconds later, the same jeep turns around and honks at us several times more as it slowly passes us.  We ended up running to the gas station in a bit of a panic because it made us feel very nervous, seeing as we are only 14/15  and we worried it would come back and try something else.

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16+

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demonstration

Alison’s Story: “I felt so trapped”

I’ve recently started going to the gym while my sister goes swimming and normally my dad comes with me but he was working late so I had to go by myself. As I walked in two guys stared at me walking in. Later I was walking over to another machine and the same guy stood in my way and said ‘hey there’. I ignored him and walked on. As I was walking back he again step in front of me and told me his friend wanted to know my name. I said no and continued walking and then came after mew and asked why, I said I’m only fourteen. I then half ran to a busier part of the gym and both guys went on the bikes on either side of me. I felt so trapped and I literally couldn’t speak. I then just walked away. I can’t even tell my parents or I’ll never be able to go the gym again. I told my sister and she said they were probably just ‘taking the piss’ my own sister thought it was acceptable, I’m not sure whats worse the men thinking the could do that or sister thinking it’s okay.

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21+

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demonstration

Melanie’s story: “I won’t be giving any other guys the benefit of the doubt”

Walking towards three men in their thirties I though ‘I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, I won’t cross the road, I’m sure they’re fine.’

But no.

Just as I am about to pass them, one says “Yo yo yo yo yo, you sexy, you know you sexy in those leggings.”

As he started hollering, I assumed he was talking to his friend, so I only managed a “fuck off” once I had passed them.

I won’t be giving any other guys the benefit of the doubt.

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10+

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demonstration

SISTERWATCH’s story: He could be their grandfather

This is a local old man who seems to think he is gods gift to women. He has asked 2 of the (much younger than he is)women in our office out. He has tried this in the office and while one was in a fast food restaurant…He is old enough to be their grandfather. He leers at you from head to toe. Last weekend, my husband and I were at a local fast food restaurant and there he was 2 customers in front of us, I pointed him out to my husband and filled him in on his tricks,,,meantime this very attractive mother and daughter came in, so creepo, out of the blue, turns around after placing his order and leers them and says “I’m saving a seat for you and your sister with me” of course they looked at him like he had 2 heads and moved on.Meantime, the waiter tries to say “sir, your order is ready” 3 times and creepo is still leering, so I said to the waiter”He obviously can’t hear you, he is too busy flirting to pick up his food” others around me heard what I said and had noticed him trying to pick up the two as well…one of them snickered and rolled his eyes…so what would you have done,,I really wanted to say to these two unsuspecting women, he is a local and he is a creep…I did relay this to the 2 women in the office and they were totally grossed out, this old geezer really thinks that they would be interested in going out with him??? This is a beach community and so who knows how many he reaches for, do you just ignore when you notice him leering at women like this or what could you say??

I've got your back!
9+

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demonstration

Sammi’s story: Drive-by harassment

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.

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16+

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demonstration

Bella’s Story: “There is no excuse”

You.

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.

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25+

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demonstration

Monica’s Story: “I know there will be a next time”

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?”

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24+

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demonstration

Bridget’s story: above all I feel helpless and that is by far the worst emotion for 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've got your back!
21+

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