demonstration, Verbal

Erika’s story from Berkley: It actually made them speechless

It’s a rare day that a man on Adeline doesn’t express sexual interest in me when I walk to and from work. Listening to my iPod and wearing sunglasses doesn’t dissuade them, either. Today I passed a group of about five men and every single one of them felt the need to shout something to me as I passed. It kept going until finally I stopped and turned around to face them.

Usually I’ll drop some foul language that my mother would hate and nearly start a fight. But today I think my guard was down because I am getting over a cold and simply exhausted, plus I was just overwhelmed by the tidal wave of sexually aggressive macho attitude. Instead of cussing, I said, “stop commenting on my appearance, it’s really rude.” It actually made them speechless.

I really hate that in my own neighborhood, I can’t see a man on the street without thinking to myself, “oh great, what’s he going to say?”

3 comments 
demonstration, Nonverbal Harassment

Lisa’s story from San Diego: Leering trolley men

I try to avoid taking the San Diego MTS trolley and buses for that matter because of the rampant undesirable, creepy, criminalistic men who take the trolley. These men will come and try to sit next to me when there are lots of open seats, when this happens, i just move to another seat and sit by a woman who seems sane or if there aren’t any available safe seats, I stand until I reach my destination. These men stare at you, undress you with their eyes, try to start a conversation with you, their attention is totally unwanted. The trolley and bus is not a great ave place to meet men, usually these men have criminal records, do not drive because they owe back child support, are extremely unattractive, unintelligent and do not have legitimate income. I loathe taking public transportation because these are the only types of men you will run into. They know that they have no chance, they are totally out of their league. I have learned to be assertive and not afraid to shout at them to stay the hell away from me if they are persistent, this usually works.

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demonstration, Verbal

Aviva’s story from LA: Taxi driver hurls rape threats

I got in a taxi at LAX and told the guy where I was going. It was within a few blocks and he told me I wouldn’t meet the minimum fare requirement. I asked what my options were and he didn’t answer me and started driving. I asked again and he started yelling at me about how I should’ve researched better before coming to LA. He was then very rude to me for the duration of the trip.

We got to the hotel and he told me that he only had $1 change. I asked why he didn’t tell me that before, since I was already going to be paying so much more money than the meter said. He started screaming at me again saying things like “I came to the airport for a $50-$60 fare and I got YOU!” I took out my $20 and tried to give it to him, but he couldn’t stop yelling long enough to take it. So I threw it in the front seat and asked for my dollar. Admittedly, this was rude on my part, but at this point I had been screamed at for quite some time. Well, it infuriated him and he started screaming more about the bullshit I was giving him and told me to get the fuck out of his cab. I very calmly told him there was no reason to have been so rude to him and got out.

As I was walking away he rolled down his window and said

“I hope somebody rapes you, you little bitch.”

one comment 
demonstration, The Movement, Verbal

Lou LaRoche’s Story: GOOGLE IT, DICKWAD!

Took my son out to the park and to visit with a friend this morning. It’s hot, so I’m wearing a vest and some baggy trousers. On the way home, a driver at the motorway junction beeped, whistled and made a kiss-face at me as I passed him.

Already pissed off (my son had been misbehaving) I stopped walking, turned to look at the “man” and shouted, “Hollaback, asshole!” then continued on my way home – feeling much better.

Only wish I’d told him to google it, too.

no comments 
demonstration, Verbal

Sarah’s story from Mississippi: Lonely party in creeps’ loney pants

Bad: driving out of the Barnes Crossing parking lot, I stopped at the intersection next to one of those lifted trucks with ridiculous shocks. Two young-ish guys were in the cab, & just as I was making my turn, the driver yelled, “There’s gonna be a party in my pants tonight, & you’re invited!” I know, I know, creative come-on, huh???

Worse: my BF was with me, & demanded I pull back around & chase them. I did not, partly because I felt embarrassed enough & just wanted to get away from the scene of the crime, but mostly because I didn’t wanna have to bail him out for assault (I don’t have the $!!!).

Worst: my DAUGHTERS were in the van with us. I now get to try to explain to them everything that was wrong with that whole exchange. F***ing fantastic!

one comment 
demonstration, Verbal

Brigidann’s story from Chicago: It’s not my job to smile for you

Walking, not having a good day, have my headphones in.

Some old guy loudly says hi, I mumble hi back and keep walking, he keeps shouting at me long after I have passed by.

I just ignored him so didn’t really hear what he was saying, but he was clearly pissed off that I didn’t stop to talk with him.

Guess what, folks? Sometimes people have bad days and are not going to be all smiles, and WOMEN ARE PEOPLE, TOO.

Some random stranger angrily shouting that I should smile more and pretty ladies should be friendlier isn’t going to make my bad day any better.

one comment 
demonstration, The Movement, Verbal

Christine’s Story: Tomorrow’s agenda: Holla back!

I am studying in Florence, Italy, for my final semester of college, and I was thrilled at the prospect of getting out of my boring North Carolina town and into a place renowned for culture and fashion. Florence is amazing, but the men feel that they can stop and gape at you, or say all kinds of offensive things, and it’s part of their “culture.” A simple “ciao bella” as I pass by does not offend me–that is the kind of culture that is allowed, that is an appreciation of beauty; unfortunately it is used as a shield to justify more lewd statements.

I was walking home last week, and at an intersection waited for the light to change. A guy next to me eyed me, and then starting talking to me; I ignored him, which was easier since I was listening to my ipod, but he would not give up. From that intersection he followed me over four blocks to my apartment, trying to speak to me the whole time. He was so thick-headed that I thought it better not to turn and say anything, but to get away as quickly as possible; the language barrier also would have made it difficult. I made it home and took great pleasure in slamming the door in his face. What shocks me, though, is that all of the streets I walked were full of people, and it was 1 o clock in the afternoon, and no one did or said anything.

I frequently wear heels and dresses, but that DOES NOT mean that I am asking for it, and I dress solely for myself, not for men. This site has inspired me and I hope to admonish my next harasser, who I am sure I will encounter at some point tomorrow.

no comments 
demonstration

Kina’s Story: “I’m not trying to turn you on!!”

I go to a very small school of only 100 kids, so I feel very awkward and nervous submitting this. But then I remember what a parent said to me 3 nights ago and I reconfirm the inappropriateness of the comment and feel the need to share.
My school puts on a production called, “scene night” in which the advanced theater class does individual scenes rather than a whole play. So each student gets their own scene. I chose a scene that was beautifully written and funny, hoping to explore comedic theater a little more and show my acting dexterity. I memorized for days, and determined the perfect blocking and finally got to preform my scene. It went smashingly. I was a playing the part of a reference librarian that was defending her career choice. She was trying to explain that reference librarians were not bland people as the status quo might say, and were instead romantic intellectuals. There was one part where I climbed on top of my reference desk, explaining my ‘fantasy’ while talking to an imaginary patron. It was somewhat about seduction but not about sex. After the performance, which I was immensely proud of (it was my final performance at the school before I graduated) while we were all schmoozing about with the audience, one of the other kid’s parents came up to me very close and introduced himself as, “Mr. X’s Dad” and then said, “You looked so sexy up there..I mean really sexy.” Put on the spot I said something like “Thank you, I had a good time.” And turned away looking for someone to talk to. But I really wanted to tell him not to stand so close to me, and that his comment was really inappropriate. He was just nearly pressed against me, and I could smell his breath! And it wasn’t like he was complimenting my performance..he was telling me I looked appealing to him. Why do I care what you think of me, Mr. X? I’m not trying to turn you on! I know he didn’t mean to be offensive and probably thought I’d be flattered by the comment but I was creeped out and told my mom as soon as I was far enough away. My mom responded with, “You know I’ve always gotten a creepy vibe from him…I think he just doesn’t know how to be social though.” She moved on from it an encouraged me to do the same but all I’ve felt since the comment is I must not have portrayed my character well. I must have made it too sexual. But my mom is also consequently my director and had seen me rehearse it nearly 20 times. She wouldn’t have let me continue with the monologue if it was too sex-riddled. She would definitely have said something. I just wish my experience wasn’t tainted by this man’s comment and that it didn’t make me feel like the one time I really extended my comfort zone, I was mis-percieved by people.

3 comments 
demonstration, The Movement, Verbal

Rachel Tori’s Story: “I’m afraid of what I’ll have to do next time”

Untitled from Rachel Tori on Vimeo.

On Thursday, I had planned to go to a cheap taco place, go meet up with friends for dessert at Junior’s, and have an enjoyable day.

This group of teens has said things to me on and off in my area for a year and a half. I’ve tried everything – calling 311, calling the local precinct, attempting to reason with the ringleader after separating him from his friend, calling the local precinct, videotaping an incident, and calling the precinct a third time.

When I saw a group of young men out, I put my point and shoot in video mode and turned it on in my bag. When one of them yelled to me, I pulled the camera out and got a shot at their faces. They taunted me more, and I was set to walk away and bring my videos to the precinct the next day, though lord knows bringing anything sexual to the police is a gamble. One of them pulled down his pants and showed me his (surprisingly hairless) ass, to which I yelled without thinking “OH HELL NO, I’M FROM BROOKLYN, YOU BETTER KILL ME OR LEAVE ME ALONE.” One of them threw his cigarette at me, and said, “You better leave before we decide to kill you.”

I called 911 this time, and the officers tried to be nice, but they were too slow to respond, and the butt-flasher and cigarette-thrower had gone. Their friend got a summons for being aggressive and spitting, but that doesn’t exactly help.

Jesus fucking Christ, I just wanted a taco. Whenever a man on the street says something too vile or personal to ignore, I get this intense adrenaline rush that would probably enable me to pick a car up off my foot. It’s really uncomfortable – my heart starts beating so fast, I shake slightly, and I’m just so angry I can’t think straight. How dare someone say that to me, treat me like I’m public property because I’m a woman, and truly believe they are entitled to my time, my response, their satisfaction. I shouldn’t need to feel prepared to die to run errands in my neighborhood in broad daylight. I’d rather die than live in fear, but I wish I didn’t even have to think that way.

I know I didn’t handle this in the best way possible, but it isn’t my job to respond well to groups of men who intimidate me – I didn’t choose to be their target. They were wrong to target me.

Everyone I told this story to has said I’m so brave, but I couldn’t leave the house on Friday because I felt so fatigued after all of that adrenaline the day before. I went out with my boyfriend on Saturday, but I’m having a panic attack over the thought of going outside alone today, even if I avoid the area. If it’s not these guys, it will be others, and if it’s not today, it will be this week. I’m afraid of what I’ll have to do next time, especially if the police respond so slowly. I’m afraid of dealing with being treated like public property for the rest of my life, no matter how I carry myself or respond. I’m afraid of what I’ll have to do next time to survive, and what that’s going to do to me.

one comment 
demonstration, Verbal

arosechin: Midnight snack turned holla back!

A friend of mine and I decided to grab some McDonalds after a part at approximately 3am in the morning. It was a place that was nearby and was convenient for both of us to get home.

We cruised on in and ordered our meals. We were soon approached by a man who said that we had to meet his friends. We obliged because he asked nicely and we’re the adventurous, outgoing sort. We met his friends/family, and chatted while we waited for our meal.

Once we had our food we sat down kind of near them because of the size of the restaurant, but indicated no interest. For a majority of our meal we enjoyed solitude recanting our individual evenings.

About 3/4 of the way through my big mac one of the guys walks over and starts talking us up, soon after his cousin comes up afterwards and joins in. Both of them are nice enough, so we don’t mind chatting a bit as we end our post festivity meal. But as we near the end they ask us out, ask us what we’re up to, and for our numbers.

We tell them we are done for the evening, have to be up early, and don’t wish to give our number out.

The first guy that approached us walked away and said, “Fuck those fat bitches.”

And I was not having it.

I followed him to his table and confronted him, asking what he’d said. His friend tried to ‘calm me down’ but I told them that I was well within my rights to cause a scene. Quickly the whole McDonalds was cheering me on as I told him that I had no responsibility or obligation to give him my number. That I had been nothing but a lady, and had acted with only respect until he decided that he was too good for basic respect.

All the while he was giving me the finger.

I kept going, and I asked the crowd that was watching. ‘Am I a fat bitch?’ and they said, ‘HELL NO!’ I told him that I was a woman, and a lady. That I had acted with respect, and it would have been my preference to walk out that door without this nonsense. But I was not the kind of person to take that kind of disrespect, and that he had a thing or two to learn about women of substance.

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