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I was sitting on Muni (N Judah) going to work and a guy was rubbing against me. That was early morning. I told him if he doesn’t stop, I’ll hit him where it hurts. This was years ago, but I remember it well.
Submitted by Nancy
This was about 7 years ago when I was working at a small gas station. I worked 2nd shift, so I was all by myself and would have to close the store at midnight. I had plenty of winners show up, like the old man who snuck up behind me as I was refilling the sodas one night, ran his hands up my thighs and told me I had sexy legs, and the hundreds of men asking rude questions about my “big tits,” but the worst was this guy who kept coming into the store every night for hours on end to bother me. He hit on me constantly and demanded to know if I had a boyfriend or any tattoos (he didn’t want me getting any tattoos because it would mess up my “beautiful body”). If another male customer came into the store he would glare at them in a hostile manner, to the point where some of them would ask me if I wanted them to call the cops, who never did anything. Every time I tried to kick him out of the store he wouldn’t leave. One night he hung around past closing time and when I told him to leave he became angry and told me “I know where all the cameras in this store are and I could take you in the back room and do whatever I wanted with you.” This scared the crap out of me. Just then a car pulled up to the door and before I could react the guy was screaming, “We’re closed!” and waving his hands around, so the car drove off. I called the cops and as usual they laughed off my story about his threats, acted all buddy-buddy with him, and offered to give him a ride home. I put in my notice after that. Thankfully this loser lived in town and only rode a bicycle, so he was never able to follow me home to the boondocks in my car.
Submitted by Brittany
Fourteen years old at the time and walking through a shopping centre (on my lunch break). Can I just mention here that even at fourteen I looked young for my age – definitely sums up what kind of perverts these guys were.
Two guys (I’m guessing in their late twenties or early thirties) walk past and I feel one of them grab my bum. As a jerk reaction I whip round and hit one of them in side with my elbow and forearm, really really hard and his only reply is ‘It wasn’t me!’.
Well jerkoff, I can only assume by the smirk on your face and on your buddy’s that the two of you are just as bad as each other anyhow and it’s just a shame that I didn’t get both of you. (was the inner monologue in my head!)
The disgust aside, I’m quite proud of the shy, quiet 14 year old me!
Submitted by Melissa Y
I stopped by the Alley Cantina in Taos, NM back in August to meet a few friends for drinks. The hallway leading to the bathrooms is small – just enough for two people to squeeze by each other – and men were lined up along one side of it (there was only one other woman in line for the ladies’ room). As I’m walking past these men, someone grabs my ass. I turn around immediately and there’s one guy with his hands already up, as if to say “it wasn’t me!” and pointed to his friend who was standing next to him. I didn’t know which one of them actually groped me, but I looked each of them in the eye as I yelled, loud enough so that everyone around me could hear what I was saying over the music and chatter, that you do NOT grab a woman’s ass as she’s walking by you. I felt like a mother scolding her young children! These dudes were much bigger than I am, so I turned around and continued down the hallway. As I got to the front, I turned around to make sure I got a good look at both of them (early- to mid-20s, both males is all I can remember now) and saw them leaving the line, towards the door of the bar. They’re bold enough to grab a stranger’s butt as she’s walking past them, but not bold enough to stick around to deal with the consequences after I talk to the bartender and the security guys. Real manly.
Submitted by Katrina
I was an exchange student in Spain for 9 months and toward the end of those 9 months I went to spend a week on the beach at Salou with a group of friends.
One afternoon I was walking the 2 blocks from our hotel to the beach by myself when I heard a man calling out to me. I glanced at him, then looked away. I noticed him running after me. I sped up. He grabbed me and attempted to kiss me. I twisted out of his arms, looked him dead in the eye, and said firmly, in English, “I don’t understand any Spanish.” Which, by the way, was an utter lie. But I assumed that he would be put off by a person who spoke no Spanish.
I walked swiftly and decidedly on toward the beach. Thankfully, he left me alone, although behind me I heard him say, in Spanish, something like, “You don’t have to know any Spanish!”
Submitted by Olivia
I know this isn’t street harassment, but it isn’t any less humiliating to be harassed on campus.
My first experience with harassment really shook me up because it happened in EIGHTH GRADE. I was sitting beside a jerk jock–you know the type–in math class when he started petting my arm and leg. We were not friends. There was no way this could be construed as a joke. I told him to stop. He didn’t.
I was raised by a woman who joined her school’s all-boys track team in the 60s to force the administration to open sports up to girls. I was NOT raised to take this. So I stood up in the middle of class, pointed to the boy beside me and told my teacher loud enough for everyone to hear, “He is touching me. He’s sexually harassing me and I’m not going to take it.”
I didn’t know it then, but that was my first time holla’ing back.
Now, I attend Delta College in Saginaw Michigan and I have been harassed and cornered no less than five times. I make it a point to laugh at the offenders and draw as much attention to them as possible, but they’re everywhere and they come in all flavors. There’s no point in reporting this to administration or campus police because they don’t do anything about it, but maybe posting this will give other girls the courage to say something too because they aren’t alone.
Ladies of all ages, NEVER let anyone make you feel less than you are. Hollaback and if you’re at Delta College, know that if I’m around I will be backing you up.
Submitted by Emily
I’m 19 years old and I’ve been verbally harassed by men many times before but luckily this is the only time (so far) that I have been groped by a stranger.
I had been shopping or maybe seeing a movie with my mom and one of my good guy friends. We were all in the elevator with a handful of other people and when we got to our floor I suddenly felt like someone had grabbed my butt. I thought that it might have been my friend’s hand accidentally brushing me but then I looked back and saw two guys in their 40’s looking quite clean and unsuspicious but LEERING at me in such a way that I KNEW that I wasn’t imagining things. Unfortunately because BEING GROPED was so completely outside of my expectations of something that would happen to me, especially in a nice mall in Seattle and with my MOTHER only feet away, it took me until we had exited the elevator to really understand what had happened. Oh how I wish I had given that man what he deserved!
Thinking back, I imagine turning around, holding the elevator doors open and just screaming at this man, humiliating him in front of the other family that was in the elevator with us. I don’t know who would have punched this guy harder, my friend or my mom!
At least I’m prepared for next time… unfortunately as a young woman I can be pretty sure that there will be a next time.
Submitted by Lorraine
Way back in 1973 when I was 22 and was working as a custodian along with my husband I had gone to clean an office near the loading dock in the cardboard box factory where we were assigned. My husband was cleaning the men’s restroom while I did the office.
The plant electrician entered the office and came close to me and then reached his hand between the front of my legs and groped me.
I went immediately across the plant to get my husband to help me to report the man to his supervisor. He spoke to the supervisor who spoke to the electrician but the man was not fired as I continued to see him driving around the plant night after night until we left that facility at the end of the month.
Submitted by Eileen
I was standing on a busy London street outside a tube station with a girlfriend around 2am, waiting for her mom to come and pick us up to take us to her house (I was about 22, 23 at the time). I was leaning on a barrier that separated the pavement from the road, looking out over the road, essentially almost bent at the waist. A group of 3 men walked past, a little the worse for wear, and one of them came up behind me, gripped my backside, and started doing sexual motions with his hips, laughing with his friends. I wasn’t having that, so I quickly whipped my right arm around, still bent at the elbow, towards his face. If I had hit, it would have knocked him for six, I’m sure. I stopped about an inch from his face, and said very calmly, almost quietly, “Go AWAY”. The men stopped laughing, swallowed, and walked away, and my friend looked at me in amazement, and asked where I’d learned to defend myself… I wouldn’t recommend that kind of physical action for every situation, but at that time, it just felt right, and it was an instinctive reaction. I feel for the women who’ve had to put up with this kind of behaviour – its not acceptable, and it needs to end. pronto.
Submitted by K
I was visiting a friend in Chicago last July, but while he was at work I decided to explore the city. I was sitting on a bench in Chinatown, reading a paper, when this old man comes up to me. I move my things so he can sit. I was 20 at the time. I have dark brown skin, dark curly hair, and was wearing an orange tank, brown flip-flops, and baggy khakis slightly above the knee.
He starts talking to me, and even though I felt something strange, I ignored it. After all, you’re supposed to be respectful of elders, right? He keeps chatting, and I nod and answer his questions and keep trying to read my paper. He asks if I live here. He puts his arm around me. I freeze. And now I know something’s wrong. He asks me how tall I am and I tell him, then he says “I don’t believe you stand up.” So I do, and he stands up and hugs me. He tries to kiss me but I turn my head so it lands on my cheek, and then he presses himself against me and I can feel him. His hands slide down my waist to my ass and I try to push him away, but my brain’s gone all fuzzy and he won’t let go and I’m frozen. I look around to see if anyone’s coming to help- it’s the middle of the day, and there are people all around me. But no one seems to know what’s going on. He’s laughing and I finally manage to get him off me, but not before his fingers brush my breast and I grab his hand and turn it into a handshake. He acts like nothing happened, laughs again, and asks if we met again would I say hello to him. I just want him to go away, so I sit down and stare at the ground and nod. He says “I’m leaving now. I’ll be at so-and-so place, then I’ll head home. It’s going to rain soon. You should go inside.” Then he leaves, looking behind him and waiting like he expects me to follow. As soon as he turns the corner it pours. I call my friend and insist he comes to get me, but he can’t get to me for another hour, so I am forced to wait in the train station, sobbing, while four other random men corner me and attempt to get my number. Apparently creeps can smell vulnerability.
Submitted by Miga