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Last week in the early morning, as I’m walking in the street, two men were passing by on the opposite pavement. One of them asked me “Hey cousin, do you have any lighter?” I just answered that I did not when this one started to insult my mum and cross the road nervously to beat me up!
I was on the tube when I noticed a man eyeing me up, he was attractive so I didn’t mind. I got off the tube and noticed him following me. Later I noticed him playing with himself from afar. I walked faster until I couldn’t see him anymore but not being familiar with the area meant that he had cornered me to say “stop teasing me.”
I heard a lady asking if I knew this man. I told her “no” and watched her expertly tell him to leave me alone and said she was not going to let him get away with this harassment and saw him run away with fear as she stood her ground.
Funnily enough I already knew of Ana Maddock. I knew she was well educated, had a career she kept private from her online life, she was friends with a semi-famous crowd. I already wanted to be like her before she saved me. She saved a complete stranger from being harassed and went on with her day to day life and I think that’s astonishing.
Thank you Ana Karina Maddock.
You did what I could only dream of doing.
I was walking into a grocery store near a Starbucks with my friend (we were later gonna have coffee at Starbucks with my voice teacher), and these two guys pass me by, give me the elevator eyes and said, “Hey girl! Where’s the party at?”
I responded with, “In my pants, but you’re not invited.” And they shut up and left me alone.
I attended a show at the House of Blues alone. My boyfriend recently broke up with me and my friends were in Vegas. I sometimes go to events because I enjoy spending time alone and I needed to listen to live music as my form of therapy. There I was in the crowd enjoying the show, feeling happy and energetic and safe. I felt someone’s hand on my butt and I looked back but the only people directly behind me was a girl and her bf. I couldn’t see anyone who looked guilty so I just turned around and thought that was it. Not even a minute later I feel someone’s fingers on my vagina. I was wearing a skirt with pantyhose. I whipped my head around and again the same couple only this time the girl pointed at a guy next to her. Without thinking I shoved him violently and yelled at him not to f*cking touch me. He looked at me and said I didn’t do anything.
I turned back around and tried to keep watching the show but my entire being was burning. I felt so violated, so humiliated, so angry. My eyes filled with tears I felt like I was going to explode and I thought no that is not enough he needs to feel how I feel. A guy next to me noticed I was on the verge of breaking down so he asked me what was wrong. I told him and he reacted how I expected, he immediately got security’s attention and I told that security what happened. I turned back to the girl to ask her if she was 100% sure it was him. She said yes.
That security then signaled to a bigger security behind me and that security pulled me out of the crowd and up to his level. I told him what happened and I pointed out the guy. At that moment he and 3 other men went in the crowd, pulled the guy out and escorted him to the street. They allowed me to stand with them the rest of the night, asked me if I was okay, told me no girl should ever go through that and told me they roughed they go up for me so he knows never to do that again. I know someone people in my life tell me im partially to blame because of what I wore or because I went alone (my ex included). I do not agree with this and I am thankful for the men that made me feel safe and my feelings valid that night.
Some time ago my sister and I entered a shoe store to look around. An employee came up to me and at first seemed friendly, even if a little invasive. At one point he told me to smile and said something along the lines of ‘We should get working’ and did a lewd little dance. I was completely speechless and didn’t know what to say, so I went to my sister, who spoke to one of the employees, and from there we found out he was the manager. I was 15 at the time, and needless to say my sister and I haven’t stepped foot (haha) in that store since.
At around 22:45 on Wednesday, December 18th, I was walking from work to a restaurant that is open all night with free wifi with the intentions of finishing my last papers of the semester. It isn’t particularly cold out right now, but I expect it will be later, so I brought an incredibly large down coat. When I was about two blocks away from the restaurant, a car full of men screamed at me to show them my tits.
It is dark out and I was by myself, but I have walked this route many times before without issue, so I didn’t react. When I didn’t react, they turned around and continued yelling. I was nearing the restaurant, so I crossed through the parking lot at the same time that two older gentlemen did. I opened the door and they followed me in, so the hostess assumed we were together. When she offered to set a table for three, I said “No, just one.” The men behind me, who are easily older than my father, told me that she could set a table for three if I wanted, and I refused staunchly. They called me a bitch as I followed the hostess to a table. I am so furious that I am shaking.
The picture is a selfie I took a while back in the coat for reference. It is several sizes too large for layering purposes, and it literally goes down to the tops of my boots.
So I was walking back to our villa with my roomies from a convention when every few steps someone would honk, call out their window, try to come up and talk to us, ect. At first I was kind of in shock. I’m only fourteen and come from a really small town and had never experienced this before. I heard “Hey beautiful.” numerous honks “Hey Sexy-hey sexy-hey sexy.” (which kept going until I flipped them off.) and once I did flip them off I got a snide ‘bitches’ which caused my friend to fucking loose it and yell at the truck full of creeps that she would slit their fucking throats.
A little while after that we got to an area that wasn’t very well lit (as night was approaching, thank god our villa was only a little bit away) When groups of men came up to us trying to talk to us and following us. It was terrifying. Thank god they got the idea that they should stop after ignoring them for 10 minutes. Once we finally got to our villa we locked the doors and decided we were taking a taxi/ catching a ride with friends from then on. Below is a picture of me from that day with one of my roomies. (i’m the blonde one) I don’t care if my outfit was ‘sexy’ or ‘flashy’ I shouldn’t be made to feel unsafe, threatened, or objectified even if I was walking around naked.
I was out for a run this morning with my two young children (3 and 1) in the jogging stroller. A man in a truck slowed down, honked, and yelled disgusting things out the window as he drove past. Yelled them in front of my children.
(Not So) Blurred Lines
This song was one of my favorites this summer. I loved the beat. Sure, I had read the lyrics. I completely understood what the song was saying. A girl was saying ‘no’ to a guy’s sexual advances. However, because she was dancing with him and wanted to ‘hug’ him, the song says the girl is giving mixed signals–blurred lines. She’s a good girl, you see. Yet she’s an ‘animal’ and it’s in her ‘nature.’ Right. The lyrics proceed as this:
I know you want it. You’re a good girl. Can’t let it get past me. Gotta have it.
I even saw the video of the naked models being surrounded by predatory men, who are fully clothed, dancing. Robin Thicke, the singer, blows smoke into the model’s face and brushes her hair. You know, because, women are not really human. They are objects to be had and abused.
Okay, so I worked out to this song. It’s on my phone. I liked the beat. I laughed off the meaning because, well, I had never been in the situation. At least, I hadn’t been in that situation in a VERY long time. Anytime a man became too friendly, ‘no’ was usually enough for them to leave me alone. If not, I would call over a male friend and that would take care of the problem. This has not happened to me in such a long time, that I had lost a bit of my edge. I even listened to a song that I wouldn’t normally listen to because I had become complacent. I’m not a raging feminist (or maybe I am?) but I am not for women being treated solely as objects of a man’s sexual desires. All the women I have ever met, seen or known have been breathing, comprehending human beings.
Then I moved to the big city of Madrid and everything changed. If this can happen to me in a relatively ‘safe’ city, it can happen anywhere to anyone.I have had some very scary incidents since being here. None of them were because I was being careless or not aware of my surroundings. Nor did I do anything to provoke them yet I found myself in tense situations because of these so called ‘blurred lines’.
I will explain two that have happened to me personally. Let me also make the readers aware that these incidents happened in broad daylight with many people around; I guess you are never truly safe.
I was meeting some friends for drinks one day. It was a warm day and we all agreed it would be nice to share some sangria and tapas. So, I went to meet them. I went to the main metro station in Madrid called Sol. This is by far the busiest metro in Madrid. There were people everywhere, all scurrying to catch the next train. I walked down to Line 3 to catch the train myself. I was on the escalator down when a man on the escalators coming up waved at me and said, ‘Hello beautiful!’ in Spanish. The way he said it made me think he was familiar with me. When I glanced up, I didn’t know him. I thought he had mistaken me for a friend of his or someone he knew. So, I went on down to wait for the metro. Then I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around. It’s the man. I was standing against the wall and he proceeds to put a hand on either side of my head, pinning me to the wall. ‘Hello, my name is Juan. I like you a lot. You’re beautiful. Your body drives me crazy. Let’s go get a drink.’ He said this in quick succession, trying to grab my hand.
‘No, I am meeting friends and I have a boyfriend. I am not interested. Thanks,’ I replied. He shook his head.
‘You don’t understand, I like you VERY MUCH. Let’s get a drink.’
‘No, I don’t want to. Like I said, I have a boyfriend and am meeting friends.’ I had to lie about having a partner as I thought this would make him leave me alone. He grabs my arm and people are now starting to notice what is happening. My heart is beating quickly and I can feel the panic in the back of my throat. This man was around 6’3 and at least 220 pounds of muscle. I had to think quickly, so I blurted out, ‘I am going out tonight, let me take your number and I’ll call you and we will go out.’ If someone is crazy enough to pin me in broad daylight with hundreds of people walking about, I didn’t know what else he was capable of. He says, ‘Okay! Here…’ and tells me his number. I show him I am saving it. He bends down to try to kiss me. I duck. Mercifully, the train comes at that moment. I look around me and there are curious faces looking at me as if to ask, ‘What is going on?’ I jump on board quickly and mutter to myself, ‘Thanks for helping guys.’ Needless to say, I never called him and deleted the number. I was still shaky when I met up with my friends.
Then, this past week, when I was walking to pick up a Western Union transfer from my local post office (Correos), I came across two men seated on a bench. They made some typical remark ‘Hey beautiful! How are YOU doing today?’ I wasn’t feeling well because I had bronchitis and thus, I ignored them. This time, I had a fake wedding band on my hand. As I am walking, I hear footsteps and a bit of shuffling and whispering behind me. I hold my purse tighter and keep my head up. It’s broad daylight, again, with lots of people walking the streets. I glance behind me and it is the two guys from the bench. ‘Hey, gorgeous, come here. Talk with us!’ I keep walking. I think in my head ‘This cannot be happening again. I don’t even look nice and I’m sick.’ It was all I could do to get out of bed. Then as I stop to cross the street, the one named ‘Johnny’ came up to me. ‘I like you! You’re gorgeous. I love your body, honestly. You’re driving me wild. What’s your name? Where are you from?’ I say flatly, ‘I am married,’ and show my ring, ‘and I am not interested. Please leave me alone.’ He shakes his head and smiles, ‘No pasa nada, linda, I am married too! I still want to get to know you.’ I walk. His friend disappears but Johnny keeps walking along side of me, stating all the reasons I should get to know him. He’s a good guy, he works here legally, he’s a good lover, etc. I say nothing other than ‘I am not interested, leave me alone. I am meeting friends. I have a husband.’ Because I was going to pick up money, I start to become frightened again. This man will not leave me alone. I, again, have to think quickly. I see a cafe and had told him I was meeting friends. A lie, but I couldn’t tell him I was going to pick up money. I say to him, ‘Fine, Johnny, go to that cafe and get a pen and paper. I will take your number.’ He does so, leaving me with precious minutes to devise a plan. I walk up to a table of friendly people and explain my situation. They tell me not to worry, they will pretend to be my friends and they will make sure this man goes away. Johnny comes back with his piece of paper and I say, ‘These are my friends. I’m staying here.’ The people look at him without smiling. He smiles a bit and says, ‘Okay, see you later! Please call me beautiful!’
We watch him as he leaves. The one girl, Ana Rosa, tells me when has finally left and gives me a hug. She tells me I can stay with them if I want and drink a coffee. I stay and chit-chat with them, and eventually exchange numbers with the two girls. I tell them thank you so much for saving me and am on my way. I take the bus on the way back, so I don’t have to walk by those guys again.
These are two very real incidents that have happened to me. In both examples, I have clearly said ‘no.’ It wouldn’t matter if I was dressed in a dress cut down to my navel, if I said ‘no’, I mean ‘no.’ There are no blurred lines when it comes to a woman saying ‘no.’ If we do not want to your advances, pushing them will not do you any good. Anything that is not consensual is wrong. Sex without consent is rape. Pinning a scared woman against a wall is perverse and horrid. So, I disagree with blurred lines. The only way to know if she ‘wants it’ is to ask. She is not an ‘animal’ she is a human being. She is to be respected, not to be had. If she says ‘no’ then she means no. Needless to say, I no longer find the ‘Blurred Lines’ song by Robin Thicke funny or even entertaining. It is a degradation to all women who have been put in these types of situations.
This was from my personal travel blog: www.bridgetswanderlust.wordpress.com
Please check it the post and share on twitter, tumblr or on Facebook so we raise awareness and stop the harassment.
I was walking from class home when these two guys yelled at me from the car. something about wanting to “break me”. I just gave them a dirty look and kept walking. By the time they had circled back I was livid. When they yelled more obscenities at me I flipped them off. That’s when they threw the bottle at me. I was so shocked at being hit and worried about the broken glass when it hit the concrete that I didn’t get the license plate number. It pisses me off that they got away with it.