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I was walking home from Nob Hill to Union Square after a Halloween party. I was a small 19-year-old, just transplanted from a tiny country town, and even though I was streetsmart enough to ask friends to escort me home at 2 AM, they remarked about being very tired and wanting to go to bed. So I decided to go home anyhow, alone. Cabs were expensive so I didn’t think to take one. I had walked home from Nob Hill alone before. It was usually deathly quiet around the rich neighborhoods that late at night, which I took mistakenly as a sign that I would be safe until I got home.
I was walking up Clay street, and when I passed the Jones st intersection, I saw a 40′s-ish man in a trenchcoat standing on the sidewalk. He didn’t look hostile but he seemed slightly uncoordinated – I should have taken that as a sign and crossed to the other side of the street, or turned around, but I kept going. I figured he was just waiting for a bus.
As I got closer it was pretty apparent that he was drunk, and from his wardrobe he seemed pretty affluent, not that it makes any difference. As soon as I walked past him and he saw me, he fixated on me.
“Hey, doll, how’s it going?”
I think I mumbled “fine” and kept going. But he started walking in the same direction. He kept calling me doll and asking me questions, although he was drunk/slurring/mumbling. Although I distinctly heard him say, “You look just like my daughter, doll.” That was the last straw. I crossed the street quickly – fortune seemed to be in my favor, because I saw a cab approaching the next intersection, and furiously waved him down, and was driven home.
I was mortified and spent a few days feeling surreal and freaked out. Since then, I find it almost funny how I have never been accosted by a homeless person (not that they’re harmless either) but it’s always affluent, well-dressed, middle-aged men who are the ones who hit on me, and always in a, “you’re young enough to be my daughter and I like that” kind of way. I’m very short and young-looking (I’m 23 and I was charged 17 & under admission at the museum) and I find it disturbing that so many men that age find underage girls so appealing. Gross.
I live in a smaller town now but I never let my guard down. I have come into my own as a feminist and as a person who is aware of rape culture, and I’m glad to have found Holla.
I was riding my bike home from a friend’s house on a pleasant afternoon. In fact, it was broad daylight, 3pm and I had been spending the last few hours with my friend and her 6 month old son.
Bikes of course have the right of way in Milwaukee so I was riding in the street. As I approached a red light at the intersection just north of Humboldt and Locust, I see a dirty old truck and the backs of men’s heads. I make a conscious decision to ignore them straight off the bat and not “provoke” by even looking in their direction. Wrong. Nothing I could have done would have prevented them from doing what they did next. We got the green and I started pedaling, only to have the truck SWERVE right up next to me. I THOUGHT they were trying to avoid hitting something in the street, I thought they were going to hit me (for the second time in my life). They slowed down, then the passenger leaned out his window and smacked my ass before driving off like the cowards they were.
I couldn’t see their license plates, my sunglasses weren’t prescription.
I was full of rage and sadness, I felt ashamed and feared for my life all because some jackass thought it was his RIGHT to touch me.
you know what I would have said had you not been a coward?
TAKE YOUR MISOGYNY and SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS!
I was once going to my car to retrieve something out of it. When I was finished I turned back around to find a man standing directly behind me. I thought to myself that maybe he was there to ask for change, something that I was used to. Instead of hearing the words “Can you spare a quarter M’am?” I got “I was just tryin’ to make love to you.” Not exactly sure how to react to this I started walking away. He then proceeded to follow me and he asked me where I was going. I said, “To my boyfriends!”. That’s where he grabbed my arm and said something to the extent of “What your boyfriend got on me?”. I was able to remove his hand from my arm. Luckily he just walked off. The man seemed out of it and was possibly drunk or on something else. Not much later I saw a group of horse cops in the same alley way. I approached them and informed them that a man had just come up to me and tried to pull me away and possibly rape me and that they could please stay around to keep a look out. Not only did they barely acknowledge me, but they all road off about 5 minutes later.
A while back, I got the train at around 10pm at night. I boarded the train which was quite empty and sat down and about a minute later a man got on and sat on the opposite side of the train near me. He was making a lot of noise and mumbling a bit to himself as it was very cold, I actually laughed to myself because he was making such a fuss.
The train journey was fine and I was listening to my iPod when I heard something. I took out my earphones and listened again and heard a whistle and suddenly turned my head to see the man and he winked at me. I was in shock for a moment and just stared but managed to tell him, firmly, in my nastiest tone “Go fuck yourself.”
As you can imagine he was quite taken aback by a teenage girl being so forthright, he said what? and I told him he knew what, and that I didn’t appreciate any disgusting advances from a pervert like him and turned back in my seat. He started to defend himself but I kept interrupting him telling him I KNEW he did it and to leave me alone. He denied it so much I started to doubt whether it had happened at all.
He started to get quite loud “don’t flatter yourself, don’t flatter yourself” at which point two men which were on the train further down asked if everything was alright and came over. The man started swearing about me but the men knew what had gone on and seriously, SHOUTED at him. The train conductor asked how I was when he came to check tickets as the men told him what had gone on. Needless to say the man tried to deny it and swore about me on the phone as he walked out of the station calling someone as he didn’t want to walk home on his own!!
It turns out HE was the one that would walk home scared tonight and not me. There are good people out there who will help too and from now on I will ALWAYS HOLLABACK!!!
A group of builders have been working on a restaurant close to where I work in Hanway Street, London for the past five or six months. I’d say that at least once a day I hear them say something to me or another girl who is walking past at the same time.
I used to walk different routes just to get to a shop around the corner because it annoyed me so much. Now I make sure I always have my iPod with me so I can ignore what they say. I don’t know how much longer they will be working on the restaurant but it’s frustrating to feel that they can get away with it.
I was outside of a house waiting for my friend to arrive so we could go inside to the party at the same time. It was around 3pm in the afternoon and I had been standing in the same spot for about 5 minutes when an 80 year old man (or so I think) came up to me and started talking.
He asked what I was doing and I said I was waiting for a friend to go to a party. He asked me where the party was and I lied and said I wasn’t sure. Then he said ” I would really like to make love to you”. I was so shocked, what seemed like a grandfatherly interaction had now turned into a perverted creep and even though I felt like screaming, all I could do at the time was turn away from him in silence. He then said “Maybe next time” and walked off.
My friend arrived shortly after and we went to the party, needless to say it made me feel like I need to be chaperoned to be in public.
i get harassed repeatably almost to the point I hate going outside.. I’m from New Orleans i just thought maybe it was this city that guys are like that but when i got to new york it got worst, guys stopping their cars in traffic and blowing and yelling until i say something, being called “black bitch” and “ho” for not saying more than hi, and worst of all BEING GRABBED and having to RUN …its like WHY DO YOU DO THAT, where do you get that from…closet full of nice clothes I’m afraid to wear because i know that i will be severely harassed, thing is it doesn’t matter what I look like it or wear —it happens EVERY TIME, I almost go out my way to look as bad a possible not to be shouted/cursed/grabbed… I fear walking down the street, catching the subway, doing anything .. daily.
I was at the mall with my boyfriend and I saw a group of men several times in the mall (in different stores, etc). They were being loud, obnoxious, and yelling things. When I was waiting for my boyfriend while he was in the bathroom (alone w/o him obviously), the group of men were walking toward me. I ignored them by pretending to use my phone and they were being super loud, I looked up, and one of them was looking me up/down, did the gross head nod thing, and they were all saying stuff. They were also chasing after a group of women who were leaving the mall (after the thing with me). The women were like, leave us alone. The men were walking in front of the women, backward, trying to get them to do something. Thankfully, they left them alone. Interesting this happened when I was not with my boyfriend, too. Sad I have to be with a man in order for this shit not to happen!
Okay…I had to vent this somewhere and this just seemed like a good place (SO don’t want to tell my mom)
Aside from the days where my school (an all-girls Catholic school mind you) have half-days, we leave the school in our sweaters & amp; skirts (some change or some don’t have a choice) and go down to the restaurants and such up the way; we deal with the occasional men…I say MEN and not “boys” b/c we don’t see much unless members of the all-boys school (that my school does an exchange program with) are around.
Anyway back to my story….
Keep our uniforms in mind: we don’t have porno star-fantasy school-girl skirts of THAT length but they are shorter than “normal”…we have black sweaters and since this happened in the winter, stockings (knee socks in spring etc.)
I have a part time job after school that I’ve had since I was a freshman…I and another peer/coworker of mine used to walk to work b/c back then the bus used to take a really long time to arrive so by the time it came we’d already be at work…it was a couple of blocks especially with our backpacks and stuff (sometimes I was leered at) but I was fine so long as I walked quickly and kept to myself.
Since junior year, my coworker and I discovered that if we book it right after packing up etc. and getting to the bus stop, we’d make it to work by 3…This day was a good day until what happened to me.
I was waiting for the bus as normal, I took off my sweater b/c it was pretty nice out and I figured I’d just hold it. After a couple of minutes, the bus finally comes and one thing I notice about today is that it’s a little on the cold side…I’m kind of sensitive to that…Lol!
So I sit down in the front like I always do, fix any creases in my skirt…right facing a man who’s in all black, crumbs on himself, mirror sunglasses, unkempt hair and reeks of a really bad odor…
I turn to a man who’s sitting across the way who sort of looks annoyed (don’t know how long he’s been on) but he had earphones in…
Trying not to be disrespectful, I just keep to myself and wait for my stop. The whole time I felt as though this dirty old man was watching me…I look over for one second and all I is him taking a swig out of his can of (whatever) and his pink tongue just flicking either at me or whatever…
Getting annoyed and self-conscious of my chest now (remember it’s cold!) and the rest of me I look towards my upcoming stop and start tapping on the yellow sticker…I figured I won’t give this guy any attention if in fact he’s paying a lot towards me…
To be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve received male attention (and I’m underage, and even look so) but this was just disgusting…
Maybe I’m being conceited and he wasn’t looking at me at all…but the image stuck w/ me for days and completely bothers me…
More so his tongue and his odor—I have a thing for hygiene but still…
And what bothers me even more, is that even if it got out of hand…I didn’t seem as if anyone else on the bus (which aren’t many) would do anything…
Completely disgusting and I hope I never see that man again…
Dear Middle Aged Man wearing a hat on the TTC:
I was on my way to a formal event at my law school. I thought I was looking nice and I was excited for my night, but as soon as I got on the subway I felt uncomfortable. People were staring. I guess that’s to be expected, though: it’s not every day that you see a woman in a cocktail dress and stilettos on a train full of commuters, in daylight.
As we get closer to Downsview, I move towards the doors and stand holding onto one of the poles with one hand for balance. The subway was no longer packed. You held onto that same pole. You put your hand on my hand. I thought it was an accident, so I politely moved my hand away. You put your hand on my hand again. I moved my hand again. The train lurched, I didn’t want to fall. You put your hand on my hand again. I moved my hand and kept looking straight ahead. We arrived at the station, the doors open and I made a quick exit. I walked as fast as my formal wear would allow. I didn’t look back, I think you followed for a little while.
At the end of my commute I washed my hands twice.