Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
I was walking the one and half blocks from my house to my favorite bar when a man in a car starts slowly driving next to me. He’s yelling at me ‘Hey’, but I’m not paying attention because I rarely do. He goes “HEY RED! Do you drive a Volvo?” I just said yes and kept walking, my naivety wanted to believe he was going to tell me someone had hit my car or something, but of course not. He said “I thought that was you. You beautiful.” He was still following me in the car and all I could think was that if he saw me in my car probably meant he saw me get out of my car and go into my house or at least where my house was.
I didn’t say anything, but he continued, “I’m just trying to be nice, smile Red, you gotta boyfriend? I can make you smile.” All things I did not want to hear. Again I said yes and kept walking. At this point he said something else and sped off and I ran into the bar. I’ve had a lot of experiences with walking down the street and men telling me to smile or saying I have a killer body, I’ve had a guy riding a bike come up behind me and grab my ass. It is not something that happens once a month or even once a week. It’s every single day. It happens at 9am and it happens at 3 am. It happens when I’m wearing jeans and it happens when I’m wearing a tight dress. It happens when I’m alone and it happens when I’m with my friends. It happens all the time and it’s so inappropriate. If I’m in the middle of a conversation with my friends and you holler at us and we don’t respond it’s not because we’re being rude, it’s because we’re in the middle of a conversation and either didn’t hear you and don’t want to talk to strangers who are yelling at us. I do not want to go home with you, I do not want you to come home with me. I will never meet someone on the street and hear “damn that ass” and think “THIS IS A MAN I WANT TO TAKE HOME WITH ME AND FUCK.” Because that’s all they want. They don’t want me. They don’t want to hear me talk about my love of cooking or how much I’d wish for the Doctor to come take me away in the Tardis. They won’t debate with me if continuity errors in super hero movies make it a bad movie. In short they aren’t what I want and they should go and try and find women who can stand their sorry asses or even better learn how to treat and talk to women like they’re you know human beings and not objects for their fantasy. I dress well and I take care of myself, but for me certainly not for you.
One night about 7 years ago. My younger sister, her friend and I were having a late dinner at a Deli in Westwood, Ca. around 11pm. We were sitting in a section where it had about 4-5 tables and it was only us there. Then these two men, I would say in their 30′s, showed up and sat a table counter cross from us. From the moment they sat down, they were making cat calls and whisper sounds to us.
Throughout our dinner, they were talking to us and trying to get our attention, saying things like “come sit on our laps, the food will taste better” or “Come with me, I will show you a good time”. We ignored them or told them to shut up. I’m pretty sure they were drunk or on something because it was persistent. We decided not to tell the waiter, since we were leaving anyways. At this time, we finished with our food and decided to leave quick, because we were a little freaked out by them. We had to walk by their table to leave, because there was no other way out.
My sister walked in front of me and her friend behind me. As we passed, the guy who was making the most comments, decided to grab the wrist of my sister and tried to pull her into him. At that point I reacted and grabbed his wrist to make him let go and he wouldn’t. He stood up and still holding her wrist was gonna push me away. I used my forearm and body weight and pushed him up against the wall with my forearm at his throat, telling him to let her go. All of a sudden the other guy stood up and tried to get me off of him. That guy let go of my sister and I push him again and we ran out of the restaurant.
The servers saw this happen and called the police, but we didn’t know, because we were walking down the street, scared they were going to come after us. After we were about a block away, the cops found us and brought us back to the scene. When we were there, the guy that assaulted my sister was rolling around in the street screaming, crying and waling. By this point we were scared and the police kept asking what happened, beacuse the server only saw me push him against the wall. We had to explain the whole event and even then it was only backed up by some people who were sitting in an area near us.
The guy’s friend kept saying that we attacked them and his friend was only drunk. It was a mess, but the cops took our statements and realized that this guy was on something and was making problems with the cops and we were let go. We ended up leaving the place around 3am. Even though this story was a few years ago, I am still very cautious walking alone in places. I still get those looks and cat calls, but now I either ignore or tell them to shut up. Still freaks me out though. :/
I had to get a 6am bus on my own so I was walking up an empty street though it was light. A guy started to walk beside me and talk to me but in Spanish, I only know a little so I just did the smile and nod and kept walking, he continued to walk beside me and talk but I just continued to ignore him and walk faster. He then took my wrist and tried to pull me across the road, I managed to quickly lose his grip and then sprinted up the road.
On my way home from work a man in the seat next to me rubbed the inside of my thigh as a way of “thanking” me for giving him directions.
On my way home yesterday walking through town (at 7pm, in daylight), a group of three middle aged, fat, balding men passed me and one of them decided to casually pinch my skirt, lift it and grab my skin. I immediately saw red, turned round and punched him in the bridge of his nose. This angered the other two, they got straight up in my face shouting “What did you do that for?” at me, I shouted back and one of them pushed me by my shoulder so hard that I fell into the road. I’m fine, but shaken.
I was suffering from sciatica and scheduled for spinal fusion surgery; in the meantime I was walking with a cane. A shop I loved downtown was closing and they were having going-out-of-business sale with a contest to earn points for prizes. I was on of the top contenders. One of the ways we could earn extra points was to carry a sign advertising the sale in front of the shop. So I signed up to do this, despite my pain.
Now, I am not a young girl. I was, then, in my later forties and a bit plump. It was summer, so I was wearing sandals. As I walked back and forth in front of the shop with my sign in one hand and my cane in the other, a young man of about 16 came up to me. He at first asked me if I wanted to buy a video game console. I said “No, but you can try up the street in the campus district. A lot of college students play video games” and continued my task. He walked away for a little bit and then came back and began to make remarks about my feet – how pretty they were, what kind of nail polish I was wearing, etc. I shrugged it off but he persisted. Then he began to try to touch my feet and offered to kiss them and suck on my toes. He actually bent down and tried to grab my feet, which nearly threw me off balance. I let go of the sign to catch myself and told him to leave me alone. He started to follow me, apologizing, but I went back into the shop early, willing to give up my prize to get away from him.
I told the shop owner what had happened, which naturally shocked them. They gave me my points anyway, but I went home and never returned to finish the contest. I felt violated. All he touched was my feet, but I still felt violated. Despite the heat, I wore socks and tennis shoes for a week before being willing to wear sandals in public again. I’ve been cat called and had passes made at me in my younger days, but this was the most bizarre and creepy thing that has ever happened to me. I still regret not calling to the police to at least give them a heads-up on this guy.
It was about 4 years ago now which would of made me 22. I was getting a tram back home during rush hour and felt something touching me from behind. I turned to see a man looking me straight in the eye and decided to move away from him. Moments later I feel it happening again but now the tram was so cramped I couldn’t move away. I turned my head and the same man had followed me and was groping me again. I didn’t know what to do as he smirked at me when I began to panic.
Hi so my name is Zach. I’m the oldest and only boy in my family. I have two younger sisters and ever since I could remember I was always taught to respect women and that it was my job as an older brother to protect my younger sisters. This has made me very protective of the people that I am close to. Because of this many of my female friends ask me to go with them places.
A few days ago one of my friends, who is an amateur model, asked me to go with her to future photoshoots because at the last one the photographer made her feel very uncomfortable and she was harassed on the bus ride there. Now every photoshoot she has I will go with her.
Last year at a Renaissance Fair another one of my female friends asked me to pretend to be her boyfriend so guys will stop hitting on her. Obviously I said yes and whenever a guy would bother her I would swoop in and say something like “hey babe, want a soda?” or hold her hand and the guy would walk away. Whenever a guy would stare at her I would put my arm around her. Later that day she gave me a huge hug and thanked me.
When I was 14 my sister and I were walking home from school when these two boys from her class started following us. They were shouting things at my sister like “damn girl what’s yo size?” and “why don’t you bring that fine ass over here?”. I warned them to fuck off or something bad will happen and they went down another street. They then cut us off at the next street, blocking us from going home. They continued to harass my sister and I warned them again to fuck off but one of the disgusting assholes grabbed my sister’s ass and needless to say I beat the everloving shit out of them. What pissed me off even more though was the fact that none of them thought they were doing anything wrong.
Honestly I could write a whole goddamn book about all the times women asked me to protect them from ‘men’. What really scares me though is what would happen to my sister and friends if I wasn’t there to protect them from these creeps. How far would it go? Would my sister have gotten raped? Would my friends have gotten assualted? I’m so scared and angry that women I care about and women everywhere deal with this bullshit everyday. I’m sorry men do this. I really am. We need to teach our children not to do this and it’s not ok.
I am harassed daily because I take a bus and a train to work which is in the downtown area of Chicago; all sorts of people wandering. I work for a cosmetic line which encourages individual style and creative appearance. Because I am heavily tattooed and dress like I’m going to a trendy gathering for work (complete opposite of how I dress not working) I am approached, stared at, cat called, insulted, chased and treated like a tear in a magazine or an object to touch.
Daily, I am feeling angry and frustrated and filled with hate. It interrupts my work sometimes because I am in the public’s view. I was once told to tattoo “stupid whore” on my forehead because I declined communication with an older man in his 50s. I’ve been called “bitch” because I confront men who stare at me like I am oblivious to their eyes. I’ve been insulted for ignoring when I walk to my train or bus. I’ve been chased and followed by men who think I’m “easy”. I’ve been grabbed and pulled like an object because of my completely covered tattooed arms and legs. Then they get angry with me because I snap back. Because this happens literally on a daily basis, I’ve grown to hate living in Chicago. I grew up in Texas and never had this heavy amount of street harassment. I am a human and I just want to walk peacefully.
I was 17 and was sitting alone on the Metro line coming from Grand Central station. A man sat next to me and I didn’t think much of it since it was a busy train, so I continued to look out the window and listen to my iPod. A little while into the train ride I felt that he was staring at me, I was instantly petrified and continued to stare out the window silently hoping he would stop. Then I noticed in the reflection of the window he was touching himself and smiling at me. I began to shake and panic, so a few stops later I worked up the courage to get up and tell a conductor, which was beyond embarrassing since I didn’t quite how to phrase what was happening. The conductor asked the guy to stop bothering me, and told him to move. I passed this man to get to my new seat and he gave me such a smug look, it was equally terrifying, and disgusting. I’m now 19, and still worry about it. Since this moment I have been extremely paranoid in crowds and hate traveling alone. It was so vile and disgusting, and I remember feeling guilty for some reason after I told the conductor! The rest of the ride home I played the situation over and over again, and for some reason tried to justify his actions. I know now that I did nothing wrong, I’m not guilty, and harassment has to stop.