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I have many, many stories on shouting and verbal harassment – but the one I will share is the only physical one.
Walking on my own to meet some friends at the theatre, I passed a man on my way down the road into town. I saw him look at me – never mind. then I quickly became aware that he had turned around behind me and was following. I knew something was coming and clutched my umbrella tight in one hand and bag in the other, thinking he might try to snatch it. But no! Instead I felt him touch my behind and comment ‘nice bum yeah’. Like lightning I whipped around and hit my umbrella at him, shouting “WHAT THE F*** DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!”. It worked – he ran away – but hey, it still ruined my night.
Unfortunately, harassment is frequent in the area, which is a known vice district with prostitutes walking the streets. I have had cars pull up and ask me if I’m ‘looking for business’ (not seeming to care that I’m wearing a coat, hat mittens, jeans and carrying a huge bag), which is always a bit scary.
I first want to say that this is just one saturday night and this is not atypical from any other night any time from 6pm to 6am although harassment is common (sadly) during the day too.
As two friends and I (all three of us female) walked down King St. at about 1:30 pm in Charleston last weekend. During our walk there were at least 20 separate incidents of verbal harassment from men who were drunk leaving the bars.
The first man pretended his pretzel was a blunt of marijuana and offered it to my friend. When she refused, knowing it was food, he and his friends shouted “bitch” after us.
The next comment was about 20 seconds later by a group of guys who tried to convince us to stay with them so they could “show us a good time”. One guy even put his arm around my friend while she was trying to pass.
Next, after 1 block, a guy pointed at the three of us and his friend yelled out “the one on the left”, another said “i call the right” and another yelled “i want the middle”. They were obviously talking about having sex with us.
After this one man told my friends that he would only get out of laying in the road in front of traffic if she kissed him, got up while she was crossing the road, and grabbed her waist pulling her in an opposite direction. She got away quickly because the man was drunk and we moved down the street.
Another block down a man pointed at me and told me that I was going home with him that night.
These are specific things they said besides the other catcalls and disgusting comments. We were called sluts three times walking down the street because we ignored the guy’s comments and attempts at touching us.
This behavior is disgusting and frequent in the charleston area and women need to be aware of the danger that can be present in the city or on the College of Charleston campus.
I was sitting on the bus on my way home from work. A man got on and at first I thought I recognized him, so I said a bright, “Hi!” It turned out that I was wrong, but instead of doing what anyone would normally do, such as “Do I know you?” or the like, he took that opportunity to box me into my seat and put his arm around me. From then until my stop came, I endured his touching various parts of my body (my knee, pinkie, the bone of my wrist, and more) and speaking very unintelligibly, but I’m pretty I made out some sexual comments. I felt like I couldn’t ask for help or anything since everyone had seen me initiate with “Hi!”
I live in a town that’s filled, primarily, with bars, places I usually enjoy and have never had a problem (possibly because I usually go out with a group that is primarily male). However, on this particular night it was a friend’s birthday and we decided that getting plastered was a good idea. To avoid spending too much money we went to the local dive bar, somewhere I previously had never set foot in. It’s a strangely dark place (even for a bar) and VERY crowded on weekends.
At one point I, along with three of my friends (all girls) went out onto the dance floor, we were having fun jumping around and dancing with each other for partners when I feel something brush past my ass, initially I dismissed it, it’s a crowded dance floor and you do have to work your way through it to get to the bar, a little awkward jostling is too be expected. However, it turned out to be some guy who started grinding on me, when I tried to gently push him away saying, “no thanks” he just pressed closer when I pushed harder he said “woah, you’re grinding all up on me.” And I glanced over my shoulder to see him and his friends laughing. I was so uncomfortable that I just moved closer to my friends and waited for him to pass.
I wish I’d turned around and told him off for getting in my personal space and then trying to validate himself by saying that I was getting into his.
I felt violated and my friends and I left shortly after this happened. On our way out we reported this to the bouncer (with the friend I’d been dancing with pointing the guy who’d violated me out, as she’d gotten a good look at him.) He just laughed and said a “hot piece” like me should be used to it by now. On of my guy friends told him that he was an asshole and that his job was to protect the clients. He just scoffed and said something along the lines of, “come on, brah.”
Needless to say I’ll never be setting foot in there again.
One day I came back home from work and went to the drugstore to get myself something for my contact lenses since they kinda blurry that day. I was wearing the same clothes I went to work: black skirt (down to my knees) and a black tank top. Everywhere men were shouting sexual words. I’ve heard that kinda stuff since I can remember, so I just ignored them and even put my suit on so they’d leave me alone. I crossed the street and kept walking, but one of them must have followed. I don’t know because I never look straight at them so I won’t encourage them to keep talking to me like that. The guy was very quite, I didn’t hear anything. At some point when he noticed there was another path to run at the left, he grabbed my left butt cheek and ran but stopped with his back at me. He wanted to see my reaction. It was part of it. I couldn’t see his face but he stopped to hear me. I just said: Idiot! And kept walking. He wanted to feel powerful over me, but I didn’t give him that. Didn’t give him that power. It happened during daylight! And when I told my dad who is a lawyer, he was so mad and told me that our laws have changed and that is now considered rape here. No man can touch a woman without her permission. It’s very serious and if I had told the police he would be charged with rape.
Women everywhere, this is not normal! We have to step out and talk about this and tell the world how we feel. This is unacceptable. Nowadays I never wear nice clothes when I go out shopping or whatever, if I have to walk… It’s frustrating. Let’s turn the table! Let them know we are coming for them!
When I was in high school (one of the many private, Catholic, single-sex high schools in Cincinnati), I was very involved in theatre. Our adult staff was on the small side, so we occasionally hired outside people to do additional music, tech work, etc. Several times a guy named Rick (who happened to be a friend of the director’s) was a guest musical director, and all the girls dreaded having to work with him. He very much gave off that creepy old man vibe and often made borderline inappropriate remarks. He was the kind of man other men brush off as “quirky,” but who women recognize immediately as being a threat- we could tell from the way he undressed us with his eyes. I tried to stay away from him as much as possible and to be cold if he ever tried to speak to me, so for awhile my experience was secondhand. That didn’t last.
He was walking by a group of us as we were listening intently to our director; it happened so fast I didn’t say anything, and I couldn’t leave to confront him without attracting attention. He “dropped” something on the floor next to me and, as he was bending over to pick it up, put his hand on my hip, letting it linger there for a few seconds after he’d already straightened up. Then he went on his way like it was nothing. I was so shocked- I had no idea what to do. As soon as I could I told a few people what had happened. They were sympathetic but thought that maybe he was just steadying himself so as not to fall over. Um, excuse me, he was NOT old enough to have to do that, and besides, that’s what walls and chairs and other OBJECTS are for, not people. Since I didn’t know how to respond, I just stayed away from him.
Later that day a friend told me she’d had a run-in with him too. She was standing backstage and could hear Rick and the director talking. He pointed to my friend (who has pretty large breasts) and said, obviously not thinking she could hear, “Girls like her are why I could never teach at this school.” That was enough to push me into taking action. I knew I couldn’t complain to the director about him- he responded to this remark with an awkward laugh and nothing more- so we went to the assistant director. He listened carefully and then told us that, while he shared our concern, we were a week away from opening the show and he couldn’t possibly find a new music director in time…. surely we understood his predicament. I was taken aback but asked him if that meant he would take it up with him, the director, and our principal after the show was over. He promised he would.
Almost four years later, he is still doing shows there.
That is what baffles me- that a man so universally unnerving, with a history of inappropriate remarks (and touching!), is allowed to stare at underage Catholic school girls to his heart’s content. If that isn’t a lawsuit in the making, I don’t know what is. How was that not taken more seriously?? I wish I had had the courage and foresight to take this further, to push until something happened to him, but I didn’t. He still does music directing and sound mixing for schools all over Ohio- if you happen to run into him, PLEASE report any inappropriate behavior so that it gets documented. He needs to not be allowed to be around underage girls.
Last weekend I was clubbing with friends and we decided to walk down the road to another club. As we left the club a man grabbed my wrist, spun me round to face him, and ground his crotch into my stomach, shouting all the while about how gorgeous I was and that I’m the perfect *size* for him. I just saw red. I shoved him and bit him and screamed bloody murder and my girlfriends joined in the attack. I struggled free and the bouncers outside the club made him step away. Dude proceeded to follow me and my girls most of the night still asking for my number.
It was my “Grad Nite” Senior trip to the Disney World Magic Kingdom. I’m writing this so other girls can be on the lookout when they go on the Haunted Mansion Ride. I was waiting for the ride to start with my girlfriends, when the lights went out (its part of the ride.) Some idiot grabbed my rear with both hands. I thought my friends had played a trick on me, but when the lights came on I turned around to see three men (probably also seniors) laughing and looking at me. They disappeared into the crowd. I was too shocked and embarrassed to do anything. My friend later told me I overreacted when I cried.
I am a foreign student at an American university. One night, I went with friends to a fraternity lodge for a party. I was expecting to have fun, to dance, maybe even have a little drink from one of the red cups which are so prevalent in American college movies. What happened was rather different. First, let me be clear- we do not grind where I am from, we dance. Close together, yes, but the participants face each other. In grinding, if a man and a woman are dancing, the man is *behind* the woman, so that they are positioned his front to her back.
I started dancing with my friends in an area where there was slightly more space, but a guy came up behind me, grabbed me really hard at my waist, still from behind, and started grinding himself into my tailbone. His hands were pressing me against him so hard that I couldn’t get out- I’m short and his arms were stopping my arms from giving him a good elbowing. Then he put his hand on my breast, and I tried to swat him away. It worked. He moved his hand down to my skirt and under it. I was wearing tights, but still- nothing should be under my skirt if i don’t want it to be there! This time when I swatted him away he didn’t budge. Finally, he let me go after about 20 minutes of groping; I never even saw his face. My American (girl) friend thought I was being prudish. I went home and cried. I felt dirtied and cheap.
First I am a witness to these unfortunate events. I guess I was lucky in not being touched.
There was an event at an arts gallery and girls were telling me this man was inappropriately touching them. We go to confront him and he starts yelling at my friend as we are trying to get our equipment we have in his room. We start leave his room and starts rubbing a volunteers back in front of me. I ask him to stop he comes up to me like he’s gonna hug me and i hold a back pack in between us. He gets mad and slams the door. Within the hour we hear about him shoving a girl and that he touched and kissed a 16 year old girl. The man locks himself in his gallery. We go to one of the other gallery owners for help and in turn he tells us this is not the first time this man has done this. They wanted to keep it quiet because they didn’t want people to think badly of the building. If we had known before hand we would have never held our event there. We called the police, she gives her report. What I hear back from a volunteer is that since it wasn’t rape or murder the police won’t do anything. They do make the effort to come downstairs and knock on his gallery door. He doesn’t answer they leave. After the event the arts guild we worked with are only worried about their galleries and not getting into trouble. They want the “incident” kept quiet. Some stand by this man because he’s there friend and blame his alcoholism, the police are annoyed because some girls took too long to report. They didn’t know what to do. Neither did we. That building is supposed to host a local High School Arts program and that man that went around grabbing girls will be working with them. I don’t know what to do anymore.