I’m living in Calama, Chile which is effectively the shit- center of the universe. It’s a mining town occupied by double the amount of men as it is women. I’m white, I’ve never been a minority until I came here to teach English short term. I walk 6 blocks to the school in the morning, and in that time I get stared at, kissed at, honked at, and talked to in every type of way. I absolutely hate it. I hate more that people don’t think it’s a problem, and by people I mean men and women. It’s sick.
Not very recent at all, but still relevant. Once when I was 11 or 12 years old, I was out with my mom when a man came up to me and asked me if I wanted to go out for drinks. The man was probably 40 years older than me. He followed us up the block before giving up. My mother didn’t try to defend me or get rid of the man, nor did she talk to me about it later. Because my mom blamed me and never tried to protect me from bullying in school, I assumed that street harassment was also my fault.
As an avid runner, I wanted to go for a longer run today as it was nice out. I put on a race shirt thats a little to big for me and my leggings (most comfy to run in) I then began my run. I usually run in residential areas, but today I ran into town. I was heading into the town just running as usual when the first car honked. I disregarded it. 10 minutes later, another honk. To top it off I was outside starbucks on the sidewalk with other people. It was a slowish area due to a yellow light when a car drove slowly next to me with two men in their late teens/early twenties. Note: i am 15. I had my headphones in so I couldnt hear what they said, but one of them leaned out the window with a big grin and started saying something. I just ran away. I was scared. I’m 15 years old. I shouldn’t have to be afraid to run outside of a starbucks at 3:00 in the afternoon.
I went on a trip to London with my college and we travelled on the underground. when we all got on I had to stand next to two men sat down on seats as the carriage was really busy. one of them patted the space between them saying “you can sit here if you like, babe” and, scared, I looked away pretending I hadn’t heard. they then kept grinning at me, trying to catch my eye the whole journey. when me and the others on the college trip were getting off one of the men kept trying to trip me up. I said and did nothing, mainly because all of my classmates who had seen it either acted like it was nothing or were finding it funny. I don’t know why, but I was terrified. I felt like crying afterwards
I was just so embarrassed on the train earlier today. One of these guys in a group was blowing kisses at me, and then persisted on giving me compliments. His friends were laughing at him. I wanted to cuss him out, but something inside me just told me to ignore him. I did. I think the situation would have escalated if I had said something back to him. A woman told me as I got off the train that I should have moved because he could have been violent, since I was ignoring him. I agreed. Thank God he wasn’t violent. I got a sense that he wasn’t. But I just felt downright embarrassed because this guy was coming on to me in front of everyone on the train. The saddest part of it all was that these were middle aged men. Have they ever took a second to think about what if someone treated their daughter or sister like that? Shameful.
This dirty old man would not stop looking at me and grinning all the way home. 30 minutes later, there he was still just looking and grinning. I finally put my book down, fed up and glared at him letting him know silently his stares were unwelcome. He looked sheepishly away. Well, that won’t work for everyone but this creep got the message. Took a quick picture but only part of him came out.
Everyday I have to walk by this construction site to go to work and there is always someone whistling or barking at me. This happens to most women that walk by this site.
I just moved into a new apartment with my husband next to one of the gates that leads into a Naval Academy, a place that is supposed to produce strong, respectful trained military officers (that’s right; daddy’s money helps you skip boot camp altogether and you get to go in commanding guys who have more experience than you could ever hope to have… but I digress).
Currently there is construction going on at another gate and apparently a Naval Academy thinks that entitles them to set up a Militarized check point directly in front of my apartment giving whoever is posted at the checkpoint full view into my bedroom and bathroom (historical apartments have windows in the shower to stave off mold).
This ‘post’ violates all sorts of privacy laws just by it being there. But to add to the fuckery of it all; the 20 yr old military police officers (Or as I refer to them, Child Soldiers)know they have full view of my apartment and found it funny to attempt to ‘Peep’ in my shower while I was in it. And those antics are adding to the menacing manner in which they were responding to any private citizens questions (including asking where Non military residents were headed and demanding they produce Identification)
After a week of me pushing back as much as I could, complaining to higher ranked officers and receiving nothing in return I decided to make a few phone calls. I got in touch with the Child Soldiers superiors and was told by [FEMALE officer] “Ma’am, I’m not sure why you not having your curtains closed is our problem” and I had to respond with “Ma’am, I believe having a person posted outside my (who gives a fuck what state of closure they’re in) curtains who thinks it’s funny to look in people showers; which is against the law no matter who it is, IS your problem” I was then transferred to the head of Naval Academy security who did not answer the phone (how unexpected).
After this infuriating interaction I decided to call Annapolis City Planning and Public Works.
I had a wonderful conversation with a person in Public Works who agreed that all of their behavior was beyond out of line and that the city of Annapolis and the Mayors office would be in touch with Naval Academy Security to put pressure on them to act accordingly.
Hours after, I (finally) received a call back from the head of security and when I informed him that I’d taken care of it already he paused slightly then said “Yes, we’ve heard from both City Planning and the Mayors Office, we’ve been corresponding with both of them today” I very politely replied “So then you know all about it and there’d be no need for me to reiterate, wonderful”. He seemed a bit uneasy, said that I should keep his contact info for any future problems and hung up.
This doesn’t make me feel any better because there is still a woman who is a security officer at the Naval Academy who thinks that victim shaming is appropriate.
[The picture attached is the view from my window]
I was sort of in a rush to school I just left my apartment literally on the same block! I was turning on my iPhone to listen to music. This man that I glanced at was walking towards me, and I was on the left side of the street and he was on the right, and I noticed him sort of walking in my way, therefore I even moved more to the left side. His leg rose and he kicked my bag! With about medium strength! Hard enough that it left a mark on my bag! I was seriously in disbelief! And he kept walking. I stopped and looked back and yelled “HEY! WHAT THE HELL MAN!”
A tale about my evening commute home and my adventures with creepy smarmy guy and skulking threatening guy on the same bus.
I was on the bus home 22/09/14 about 6:30 this evening and this guy came up the stairs, immediately clocked me and came and sat RIGHT next to me. There were double vacant seats behind me and he was literally RIGHT UP AGAINST ME. I gave the passive agressive sort of shifting further away and he had the nerve to turn to directly face me with a creepy smile on his face and say “thank you”. (ew) I set my face to bitch resting and stared out of the window while keeping an eye on his cell phone which he was playing around with a lot. I could see him very often turning and staring at me, it was pretty scary I had no idea what this creep might try so I got my keys locked between my fingers of one hand and made it very clear by hardening my expression further that I didn’t want to be bothered.
He then suddenly leaned in close, I leapt a mile and he started whispering “do you have the time?” He was both holding a bloody phone and had the clock on the sign in plain sight. I made a snarling face and pointed to the clock and said loudly “Its 6:44.” Making people look around at us, it also made me feel slightly more in control as he then shrunk back and started grumbling into his phone.
I got off a stop early just in case he tried following me so I could run into the nearby bar if need be and so stood up waiting for him to let me past but he stretched his knees further forward and grinned at me signalling for me to step over him. Really angry by this point I barged straight into his legs taking care to rake the heels of my chunky boots hard across his shins and forcing him to spin round to the side letting me past. He made a hissing sound and I felt pretty smug and empowered about it.
BUT THEN I was going down the steps and this guy was standing in the stairwell taking up the entire space and glowering up at me from under his baseball cap, his feet stretched forward covering the whole floorspace. He made a kind of sneering face at me as I came nearer and it was clear he wasn’t going to move and I would have to clamber around him like a bloody idiot. I decided not to rock the boat, he looked like a regular at Pentonville so made to step over one outstretched leg – but purely by accident ended up losing my balance and bringing my trusty boot slamming down onto his toes. He cried out and said something like “argh, bitch!” I’m not sure, I was already hurrying out of the bus and straight into the bar, there wasn’t any need though as he didn’t seem to follow me off.
I was pretty scared and angry at the time at these two creeps who try to threaten and letch on random women but looking back at it now I’m grinning like an idiot as in my small way I was able to reclaim a bit of control and give them a gift from the karma gods. Enjoy the single life fellas!