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Today I volunteered my time to help transport the elderly and disabled to and from the UW husky stadium and the parking lot. To transport, we used carts with about 7 seats and had certain pick up locations to pick up our passengers.
I had a great learning experience and here’s why:
1. I learned that if you ever want to be harassed and doubted about your driving skills, simply sit in a parked cart and be female. Sit in this parked cart while being female at a husky game and you will get to have multiple men question why you’re in there.
2. I learned that the whistles management gave us in lieu of the horn that’s missing from our cart should only be used by men unless you want other men to chant “blow harder” after using one.
3. I learned that when traffic directors stop you, they’re not stopping you to tell you where to go, they’re stopping you to tell you, “damn, you look fine.” Every. Single. Time you pass by.
– everyone else will also do this if you are a female in public.
4. I learned that i should never simply walk through a crowd as someone (most likely man) is most likely to grab some body part as i walk by.
5. I learned that saying no to someone several times does not actually mean “no”. It’s actually just a word females sometimes say to make noises and doesn’t actually mean anything at all apparently.
Lastly, i learned that if ever i want to feel the rage of a thousand suns, i should be a female at a husky game.
Today a man took advantage of a crowded MUNI streetcar to grope a young woman. She was able to move away from him, and spent the rest of the trip separated from her friends in the back. I saw what happened and asked if she was ok (she looked shaken, but nodded yeah). I told him that he couldn’t treat women like that but he pretended not to hear me. So I took his picture and am sharing it now so others can look out for this predator.
i was on my way to class and i was already in a cruddy mood because i was late and my humanities professor could be really snotty especially if you were late to her class i was on the elevator to the second floor where my class was located and there were two 40 something year old guys on the elevator and i remember already feeling an uncomfortable vibe so i was relieved to get off when one of them addressed me with ” hey sweetie you’re on the wrong floor” and i was confused until he grabbed me by the wrist and said “just kidding i wanted to holler at you do you have a man ?”
i wasn’t in the mood for some guy old enough to be my dad grabbing on me so i said the first thing i could think of and i told him i was in a relationship then i ran off as fast as i could and you would have thought it would of ended there but the other guy followed me and started on about how i “didn’t have to be a snobby bitch and blow his friend off” but the most upsetting part was there was a lot of people around when this exchange happened but no one stepped in
First off I’d like to state that slapping a boy who slapped my butt in high school was my only prior public incident prior to this.
So I’m in a waiting room of my daughter’s counselor’s office. I’m on my cell and I look up and their is a guy sitting on the other side, staring at me intently. I look down and he is jerking off-in public-FULL ON. This guy is stroking himself so hard and looking at him in the eyes made me enraged because he didn’t stop. He liked that I noticed it. I told my brother that I had to get off the phone. There was a receptionist that I was facing who could not see what this guy was doing. So I go to this male receptionist to complain about what this guy was doing and he acted like I was complaining about my coffee. He never moved, never did anything, nothing. As I’m complaining the sicko zips up and steps out of waiting room. Well I kept getting angrier and angrier that I was dismissed. As I’m up front, sicko comes back in and not only pretends like he just walked in but he walks in and SPEAKS TO ME! I SNAPPED!
I mean I flipped out yelling and cursing and told the security guard to call the cops for me not him. They shut the building down and all of the counselors came up front. They locked all doors. The sicko and I arguing and he denies every doing this. The cops come, and I end up in tears making my report. Then I’m told by the counseling place that they are banning him from the place. The guy is arrested. I am told to go 30 minutes away to press charges. I go and spend all night there just to find out that the cop could have done it but was too lazy. It took 3 court appearances for him finally to get sentenced to probation. They couldn’t keep the ban because he had to get treated there. I agreed to testify and miss work, and keep paying for court parking to try to prevent this creep from doing this again. All I got was no one listening and missed work. To top it all off my female boss’s response when I told her why I was heading to court was “So, haven’t you ever had that happen to you in NYC? Every woman goes through it. No big deal.” Well it was a big deal to me.
And I resent the fact that I can’t walk down the street, in heels, dressed for work or, in jeans and a t-shirt running to the store without some jerk feeling like he has the right to touch me or say something sexual towards me.
I was 8 months pregnant with my baby girl, on my way to a weekly pre-natal appointment at my clinic. I would take two buses to get there. The second being on Chicago and Franklin. Although I ride the bus everyday I have to say, when I have to walk this particular street alone, even in broad daylight I get anxious. I live in the the not so nice part of South Minneapolis. So I get off the first bus and wait to cross the street, standing next to an older, (let’s say 40’s) greasy haired, fast talking man who also got off the same bus. He turns to me and starts asking the usual questions I’ve answered a million times the past 8 months, “How far along? A girl or boy?” I politely answer him with a smile… which I honestly regretted immediately after.
Yes, I regretted having common courtesy and politeness because he took it as an invitation to violate my personal boundaries that I assume everyone has, and stepped closer to me. Then he comments on my pregnant body by saying something about how I must have been “eating a lot of cornbread and collard greens.” It gets very hot during the summer months here in Minnesota and I was wearing shorts and a tank top. Not that it matters much but I got the crazy idea that maybe people wouldn’t be as interested in harassing a pregnant lady in shorter shorts, seeing as how I got even hotter than usual, carrying an extra body and more blood inside me as all.
I begin staring at the light willing it with my mind to change when he asks me “Can I touch your belly?” Without any hesitation I say “No, I do not like being touched.” Before I can even finish my sentence he reaches out and puts his big dirty hand on my belly and takes no time to move it downward.. I push his hand away and start walking across the street and he follows right next to me. Before I can take 5 steps I hear my name! I turn around, right in front of the bus, and see my friend Jessica. The greasy asshole stops too and tries to get me to keep crossing the street with him by warning me of the idle, giant bus, as if I didn’t notice it..
I walk over to her and she walks with me across the street. Funny, he lost interest in me when I was with my 5 foot 10 friend, her children and her friend. I felt angry… I’ve been raped a total of 4 times in my 21 years, assaulted many more. Why is it I don’t have a right to my own body? Why was I ignored? I felt the most beautiful and respectful of my own body being pregnant with my baby girl. To hold a life inside me, I felt gave my body and life more meaning.
Why did his actions and violation anger me more than my previous assaults? I am a Native American woman, I grew up in South Minneapolis, in modern society, without a father, brother or even cousin to protect or teach me what my mother couldn’t. I was and still am seen as vulnerable prey, my mistakes came with such a precious and great cost. I was only 15 years old when I was first raped and sexually assaulted. I was in a physically, sexually and verbally abusive relationship for 2 years. This was only a very small part of my story. I just want to be heard.
While traveling in Malaysia with a girl friend. We were at a club trying to dance, just the 2 of us. A pack of guys surrounded us and started grabbing my ass and my tits, trying to break free from the crowd I turned around to see my girlfriend grabbing guys dicks and asking how they liked it, and just like a dog chasing a car, none of them knew what to do once they “caught” it. They all backed off an gave us our space. I have never respected one of my friends so much for dishing out what she was getting. Just goes to show how people react when put in the same situation.
I was walking downtown to my apartment — about a mile total. I was waiting at a crosswalk when a man came up right next to me and put his hand on my arm. He was very drunk and looking at me with a stare that put a chill down my spine. As soon as I could, I crossed the intersection. He kept up, walking directly to my side less than a foot away. I tried to shake him off, but he continued to follow me through the next couple of blocks, putting his hand on my arm at each crosswalk pause.
I finally went into a bank to shake him off. The three women tellers were as shaken as I was when I told them why I was there. When I couldn’t see him anymore, I went back to the street. On the next block, he jumped out at me from some bushes he had been hiding in. I walked faster, but he kept up. A maintenance man saw what was happening and stopped the guy, telling me to keep going.
That delay only worked for so long and the guy caught up with me. I called 911 and by the time I was under the underpass and across the bridge a police officer zoomed through the intersection and stopped right in front of us. As he was arresting the guy, two more police cars came up. I declined to press charges or declare myself a victim. He probably just needed to sober up.
It’s not like he hurt or threatened me, but I’m having a hard time shaking it off, given that the low level street harassment continues as it always does. Someday, I hope women and men can look back at street harassment as an unfortunate past problem.
One night I was walking home when a guy started hollaring at me, “hey, hey where are you going, you wanna party.” To which I responded I am going home and no I don’t want to party. Then he was, “you wanna go and fuck.” At which point I got angry, stopped and stared at him and said no.He stopped and left me alone.
Much closer to home a guy ran from my back grabbed my arm and a gain wanna fuck. I pulled my hand free and said no and continued to walk and third man comes asking the same thing!!!
I was at a conference and finished early. I needed to hurry to see a pediatric patient that lived in another city. I stopped while driving thru the city to get gas. High school had finished for the day so suddenly the area and parking lot I was in was filled with highscoolers. While waking back to my car I found myself surrounded by 8 boys. These ” boys” were all taller than me. At first my thought was, these are kids! I can handle this. I asked to be let thru. They jeered at me and crowded closer. One or two groped my breasts.
There were men pumping gas at the station. When I first started to panic I looked to them for help. I kept thinking it’s broad daylight and these boys are molesting me. And no one is going to help. I kept asking them to stop. And they formed even a tighter circle around me, jeering and mocking me. The manager of the service station came running out of his store with a bat. He screamed at them to back off. By this time I was pretty shaken and had started to cry.
He asked if I wanted to call the police but I said no. I just wanted to leave. The shameful part of this is…at that time I was working as an on-call crisis counselor. All of my training flew straight out of my head. I turned into a female in crisis. What they did followed no rules I was familiar with. I kept thinking it’s daytime. Someone will stop them. But it escalated quickly.
I was visiting France with classmates and at one point was walking back to meet them. Some of the men and women (college age) were waiting for everyone in a group, and some saw me and waved. As I waved back, two young men came up to me and asked me directions in French. I tried to give them directions but eventually switched to English. Once I admitted to being American they starting pulling in closer and saying how good my French was, to the point I was very uncomfortable. By the time I was able to explain I did not know where they wanted to go, they both gave me a hug and kiss (on the cheek, which I know is cultural, but still). I was rather flustered and went to the group of known friends happily.
I can accept that and move on, but it was the next part that upset me the most.
After I told them what happened, one young man chastised me for being so culturally ignorant and close-minded that I was complaining and upset over being held and kissed by two strangers! He was French himself, and explanations of personal space culture in American were dismissed because I should be trying new things. No one should be shamed in front of others because they did not want to be touched by others!