So I work as a nightlife photographer and I really feel that I have to get a few things off my chest! My job involves me taking pictures of people having a good time, but often on a night I will have to deal with a few assholes! You would think a girl could get used to this sort of thing or just take things as a joke, and I do some of the time, but when you are constantly being chatted up or kissed on the cheek or whatever, it does get rather soul destroying. All I want to do is my job and carry on so I can pay bills! I am there to take photos, not hand out my number! Fair enough people are drunk but it gets so tiring, I am a photographer and an artist and not a piece of meat! Every night, it’s a constant battle, as someone would grab me from behind or try to kiss me or ask my number or pinch my bum or tell me that I would look hotter with dark hair, or ask me what I’m doing after work or give me compliments that may seem all well and good but they just make me feel uncomfortable! this constant sort of harassment from the many drunk men of Newcastle just makes me feel like an empty vessel, or like an object; like I have no soul and I’m just there for the entertainment! Why can’t people just have a normal conversation? I don’t mind normal conversations, in fact, that is a much more welcome social interaction! There are few times I have had to literally push people away because they got a bit close! I’m only 5-foot-3 but I think I’m a lot tougher than I look, although I’m always terrified that something will be taken the wrong way if I lash out.
After I was asked to walk with a young girl (about 13 years old) to a car to get something, a group of boys were staring at her from the moment they saw her until she was out of sight. When I stared back at them, making clear what I thought about it, it didn’t bother them at all. Normally I would expect a sign of embarrassment in such a situation, but it showed me that there wasn’t any respect for the girl. For me, it was really sad to see.
As I was walking to the store this guy reached out of his car window toward me with both hands and did a boob-squeezing gesture.
A drunk guy stepped in front of me and barred my way on the sidewalk, saying, “Wait! Stop.” Then he grabbed my face with both hands and said, “You’re beautiful. I love you.”
I was visiting Countryfile Live (I think it’s a bit like the state fairs across the pond) with my parents – I’m a 19-year-old girl. While dad used the facilities, mum and I watched a demonstration of dogs herding ducks around a cute little obstacle course, and this old guy (I’m talking 70+ here, old enough to know better) started getting closer and closer. Fair enough, it’s a popular event and the crowd is growing!
Then I realize I’m holding my handbag in front of me and therefore that steadily moving touch on my backside can only be a hand. I was so panicked, I’d been lucky enough not to have experienced this kind of nonsense before, and I just froze. My mum (greatest mum in the world, fight me) noticed my expression of ‘heeeelp’ and switched places with me. Weirdly enough he wasn’t too interested in groping someone who looked old enough to drink, dirty perv!
This creep was taking pictures of me as he walked behind me. Another man came up alongside and said loudly, “That guy is taking pictures of you.” I stopped, surprised and confused, and looked back to see a man of the following profile:
Smartly dressed, navy blue suit and tie
Balding-ish–had thinning hair
with his phone up, half “hidden” behind a newspaper. He dashed behind a coffee cart to “hide,” and as the second man was saying, “You can sue for that, you know,” Creep walked back the other way. I was too surprised by the encounter to react quickly and get his photo or otherwise publicly shame him, but just to say ladies, watch out and speak up when you see this disgusting carry on happening.
I was walking my dog around 5:45pm on a Monday when I noticed a man standing next to his bike taking photos of me as I walked by. When I passed I turned around and he was taking photos of my butt. I started yelling at him and insisted that he was not allowed to take photos of me and to show me his phone. I could see the photos of my butt on his phone but he got on his bike and rode away before deleting them. When I called the police they provided no support.
I was standing on the subway platform, minding my own business and I looked up to see some guy passing by, leering at me and looking me up and down. When I made eye contact, he thought I was ready to flirt with him and he cracked a smile and said ‘hellooo!’ Ugh, nope. THEN, I got on the train and after a few stops a guy sat diagonal from me and just kept staring at me. I wanted to take it easy as I had a long ride ahead of me, but I could feel his eyes focusing on my legs. I just wanted to hide in my coat. When I got off at my station and walked to work, I was again met by ‘helloooo, good afternoon’ in front of a building I try to avoid, but didn’t today. What is up with today?
I was walking with my infant daughter in a carrier. I had just said goodbye to my partner, and walked towards riverside to go to my home. On the way there, a man jumped in my path and started cooing at my daughter — not an issue, happens often — but he wouldn’t let up, and blocked my path. I smiled thinly and waited it out, feeling uncomfortable and shifting my body so he couldn’t touch her. He touched me instead, running his hand along my back and arm, and started saying stuff about my body. I didn’t really know what to do — I was worried he would be mean or hurt us or yell and scare my daughter, and I didn’t want her to be scared or see me being scared, so I just kind of stood there and smiled.
I eventually pushed him off and walked with my head down, not listening to him as he called after us. When I hear other people’s stories and they say they were scared, I forget what that strange feeling of fear can be – it’s isolating and roots you in place. It’s nothing and something and overblown and serious at the same time. I always feel like I’m overreacting…and then suddenly like I’m not. I always doubt myself and, no matter how often I tell myself otherwise, somehow feel responsible for what happened. My daughter is 10 months old, and this is going to happen again — and then it’s going to happen to her. I want to know how to respond so that she doesn’t think I’m afraid, or that she knows this isn’t okay, but I’m still scared and I don’t ever want to endanger her. It feels hopeless somedays.
I was walking to the 2 train to go visit a friend when a guy who walked pass me did a 180 and started following me. And by following, I mean was on top of me. His body was literally touching mine as I was walking, asking for my phone number and if I would be his girlfriend. In that moment I went into “fight or flight” mentality that so many of us women find ourselves in. Do I just stay quiet and keep walking, hoping he goes away? Or do I turn around and face my potential attacker? At first I quietly declined his advances, although his body was pushing me to walk faster. I was quickly looking for people who were close by or open businesses that I might be able to walk in to. Then I increased my request for him to leave me alone by simply stating I would call the police if he didn’t leave me alone. This persisted for several blocks, so I finally stopped in my tracks, looked him in the eye and yelled at the top of my lungs “Leave me the fuck alone or I swear to God I will fucking choke the shit out of you!” He laughed and finally walked away.