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Whenever I’m minding my own business and a dirty old man says “Hey angel, you’re lookin’ fine” or a man in a car honks at me, I am reminded that nowhere is safe for a woman. It is scary and humiliating to feel like every stranger who sees me on the street is imagining me naked.
Street harassment has made me extremely jaded to the point that I don’t never talk to strangers, and whenever they talk to me I assume they are trying to get in my pants, which is no way to go through life. Because of being harassed on the street, I understand why a woman would choose to wear a burqa, but I don’t want to feel like I have to cover my entire body in order to be safe when I’m alone in public. Is that too much to ask? Of course not.
Submitted by Heather
Was on the way home at around 9:30. I look up, this guy across me is already staring at me and I continuously stare back at home and he starts smiling and starts mouthing some words to me. He gave me the most disgusting and perverted looks ever. He did this for the whole ride and kept looking back and staring at me, and if I stared at him longer, he would smile. Who does he think he is?
When I left, he told me, “Bye.” Wish I cursed him out.
Submitted by S.T.
The guy is the one sitting in the picture.
About a year ago, I worked for sometime at a big box store as a cashier. On one particularly slow afternoon, a man who had to be at least in his 50’s (I was 19 at the time), came through my checkout line. At first, I didn’t really think anything of his comments, which seemed friendly and casual enough, but then he asked if I had a boyfriend. I laughed and said no, and then he handed me a business card with his phone number and address on it and proceeded to tell me all about he was remodeling his bedroom. Then he kind of leaned in and said “Have you ever been in love?”
“No,” I said, thoroughly creeped out.
“Well, I have,” he said, “And it’s amazing. Boys your age only want one thing–just some ass. But I’ve been around. I know what love really is. You call me sometime.”
Thankfully, by that point, another person had come into the line, so he left. Afterwards, while walking through the parking lot during my break, some guy drove past me, circled around the parking lot to drive by again, rolled down his window and shouted “Nice ass!” at me. I flipped him off and glared at his back bumper of his pickup truck until he disappeared.
When I got back from my break, I told my supervisor that I’d been harassed twice by customers and wanted to know how I was supposed to handle that. She, a woman who should have an idea of how wrong this all is, told me she would set up a meeting to discuss it. It never happened, I found a better job, and I got the hell out of there.
Submitted by Kate
across my buierlding in lebanon beirut.. theres construction work going on.. i was standing on my balcony.. and the constructoin worker.. startd to masterbate… i no longer go outside.. h continues to watch into my apartment.. i have to hide in my own house… once on hamra street.. a man came from behind me and slapped my ass an continued walking off while lookin me in the eye.. with satisfaction that he had done that… many more… incidents which happen in lebanon beirut continue toh appen every day with th eamoun tof construction workers.. who come from foriegn countries.. cause what the fuck do they care if they harrass th elebanese woman.. and its not like i walk around naked in my house i live in a strict religious area.. of jnah .. sigh this needs to stop
Submitted by Lu
A friend of mine and I had taken a taxi from a movie back to our hostel while visiting Boston. Because of one way streets and odd intersections, the taxi dropped us off near but not at our destination. On that short walk however, two guys in a car started going really slowly and calling to us. We told them we weren’t interested and asked them to just leave us alone and go away. Rather than comply, their cat calling just got more aggressive and lewd so we told them to fuck off. They flipped out at that and started screaming insults at us. We saw two other men up the street and ran to them and asked them to please just stay for a minute. They were terrified and so were we. The jerks stopped the car, got out and proceed to call us whores and bitches but our power in numbers (and I’m pretty certain it was only that) forced them to eventually back down and drive away. In retrospect we probably should have reported it but we just ran to our hostel and we thankful we weren’t hurt.
Submitted by Kate
I’m studying abroad in a foreign country so my looks are very different and apparently all the men in this country think that since I’m an American, I must want to sleep around. I’ve been followed, had men sit near me in class to try to touch my hair and one guy actually started smelling it, as well as multiple guys hit on me and proposition me. To tell the truth its really ruining my view of the country, I glare and shout at them, but it doesn’t seem to do anything. Now every time I leave my room I always have my hair pinned up and hidden with an ugly hat. I’m going home soon though, and I can’t wait.
Submitted by Rebecca
This happened several years ago when I was attending USC (as an older student). As I was walking to class one day, I passed a house that was having some construction work done on it. A guy up on the roof yelled some stupid remark at me (can’t remember the exact words but it was something like, “Hey, baby, why don’t you come up here and blah, blah, blah.” I thought about just continuing to walk on and ignore him, but it just made me mad that someone would think that they had the right to try to degrade me in public this way and it was so obvious that it was about a man’s ability to exert power and control and to feel entitled to humiliate a woman. So I stopped, showed him my backpack of text books and yelled back, ” And I’m a college student while you’re up there working for minimum wage, you loser!”
It probably didn’t change him in the long run, but for that one moment, I felt totally empowered and proud of myself for standing up to him.
Submitted by Susan
I was on the L red line train when a disheveled looking man sat down across from me. I could feel him staring at me, but I didn’t want to look up and make eye contact so I kept my eyes on my newspaper. He held up a dirty, folded piece of paper and tried to hand it to me but I wouldn’t take it, so he opened it and shoved it in my face. I still didn’t look up at him, but I could see that it said, “I’m lonely and I need some loving. Will you join me in a group sex orgy?” I didn’t know what to do, so I shook my head very fast and still didn’t want to look at him. I moved to another seat, then got off at the next stop and waited for the next train.
Submitted by Heather
My sister had a concert in Florence, so I went with my brother and my dad. It was in the middle of the day in a huge, fairly crowded piazza and I was standing in between my brother and my dad. Out of nowhere, I felt a hand squeeze my ass and when I turned around, a man was walking away staring at me. I was scared and mortified but all I could do was shoot him a really vicious look. My brother and my dad didn’t see what happened, and I have always been too embarrassed to tell them. I was 21 years old and I wanted to cry like a baby. I felt dirty and begged them to go home and let me change out of my skirt and into pants. I am so glad Hollaback exists and I will never let a street harasser control me like that again!
Submitted by Heather
About 3:25 after school one day my friend calls me up so that I can come over and work on homework with her. So I grab my backpack and walk out the door and start walking over. My road goes up to the top of a hill then splits off to right which was where I was heading. When you go to the right it leads to a separate neighborhood which was where my friend lived. I took the right turn(walking) and began to walk down the road which was a straight shot to my friends house. As I got further and further down the road a white car passed me up. This neighborhood is notorious for having drive by harassments and I hoped to God that this was not going to be the case. Luckily it wasn’t. Then about 30 meters down the road another car is coming. It was a 1995 Mercury La Baron. In the car were two teenage dudes, one was a punk-boy wannabe. The other was a hick wannabe (odd combination, I know) So anyways the car drove by and yelled out the window and called me a fag…..”WELL THEN!”. So after that I simply flipped the mother f*ckers off, because they deserved it. But I regretted it shortly afterwards. They drove up to the end of the road and turned around and started speeding toward me. I calmly moved to the side of the road into someones yard. The car drove at me going about 50 in a 15mph zone. The hick wannabe opened the passenger door and tried to hit me. He missed, and the bastards drove off. About 10 minutes later as I got closer to my friends house the car pulled out of an intersection. Coming from straight ahead now the car followed the speed limit but this time rather than trying to hit me with his car, he threw an opened bottle of Dr. Pepper at me. Just like before he missed his target. Though the harassment was a complete failure in terms of actually affecting me, it was still annoying so I called the cops and the kids car was being watched by multiple police in the town. Word got out to the kid and he told his dad about it. So his dad got rid of the car as soon as possible so they would have no problems. You see I won because the kid lost his car and now has to ride the bus with me. I hope this bastard is ready
Submitted by Cody