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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 ..
Three boys in Latvia sat outside and as women passed, they held up signs with numbers to rate them.
A lot of the comments for this pictures are like “These guys deserve medals!” or “Man, I have to do this!”
A few people made comments about how disgusting this was, but not enough.
Street harassment at its finest.
The link is here. http://9gag.com/gag/3605496
I was 18 when I worked at F.Y.E.(a music/music store), and was sadly used to being hit on when working the cash register, but one man took it too far. After scanning his items and giving him the total, he handed me his money and said, “I like your thickness” I was shocked and thought I must have heard wrong, never would I imagine a stranger commenting on my weight in such a disgusting way. I asked, “Excuse me?” he repeated himself like he was complimenting me. Now sure I had heard correct I looked him dead in the eye and said, “What makes you think you can say that to me? You don’t know me, and you don’t talk to strangers like that. Do not talk to me.” I refused to let him think what he said was okay. He slinked away with his purchase. Afer he left, I was upset the rest of the work day, so appalled at how a stranger would treat me, but I’m glad I put him in his place.
I was late for school, really late, but what’s new? I was stressing over a paper and test in my English class and needed some caffeine to take the edge off. I stopped at a local 7-11 on my way to get my fix, and walked up to the cash register to pay for my purchase.
A man, average height, late 40’s, entered the store as I was waiting in line to pay. I have a habit of surveying everyone around me because of a prior experience with rape, and as per usual, I checked his threat level. I labeled him orange – which, in my terms, means he probably will whistle or perform a “NON-THREATENING” act of crude behavior. (As a side note, I find it ridiculous that I have to do this, regardless of where I am, but it’s an obsession of mine that will not dissipate until our culture changes its view on rape and violence against women.)
He stood behind me and proceeded to hiss in my ear. I could feel his breath on my neck, that’s how close he was to me. He whistled so loudly, I jumped and turned around. He then proceeded to lick his lips and gyrate his body. It was disturbing, to say the least.
I am incapable of not saying anything these days to the people who harass me. There were about 6 people in the store, so I loudly spoke up, allowing everyone to hear me crystal clear.
“SIR, YOU ARE ACTING LUDE AND DISGUSTING. DO YOU HAVE DAUGHTERS? IS THIS THE KIND OF BEHAVIOR YOU WOULD WANT THEM TO EXPERIENCE? THIS IS DISTURBING, SIR. I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU COULD TREAT ME LIKE A HUMAN BEING, INSTEAD OF A PIECE OF MEAT THAT IS DANGLING IN FRONT OF A PACK OF WILD DOGS. I AM A WOMAN. I AM NOT SUBHUMAN, I AM NOT YOUR PLAY THING, AND I AM NOT YOUR OBJECT. CHECK YOURSELF, SIR. NOW APOLOGIZE.”
Needless to say, I embarrassed him beyond belief, and he muttered an “I’m sorry” under his tobacco breath. I paid for my drink, walked out, and got into my car. I sat there for a moment, engine running, and cried.
That is, until a woman came running from the 7-11 and knocked on my window.
“Thank you,” she said, fighting back her own tears. “Thank you for doing that. I was raped when I was 15 by a man I trusted. I never had the courage to speak up to the hundreds of other men who catcall, harass, and threaten me on a monthly basis. You have just given me the strength to stand up for myself. Thank you.”
I was stunned. Ladies, please know you are never alone in this. We are in it together. United we stand.