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Tonight I was walking home with a friend from a wonderful dinner/girls’ night out in D.C. Normally she would have just taken a cab and I would have walked home, since the restaurant was in my neighborhood.
But she was concerned about my safety (which I thought was silly, because that’s how I am) and we were engrossed in a good conversation. A few blocks from the restaurant, a completely trashed guy came up behind us and started walking along side us/just behind us, speaking loudly. “So, where you ladies been? Was it nice? Where you off to next?” I ignored him and kept walking, while my friend gave very abrupt, short answers.
Eventually, when it appeared he wasn’t going to back off, I stopped with my friend and told the guy to go on. He turned around and muttered something about us “being like that” and moved along. The entire thing was so jarring, a firm reminder of how vulnerable we were on that street. I couldn’t help but feel at once relieved that he hadn’t been more agressive and threatened by the idea that I could have been alone. I couldn’t help but wonder how that might have altered his behavior and I felt like a complete moron for thinking previously that I could walk home alone–clearly a luxurious privilege to which I am not entitled as a woman.
While I’m fairly sure he was just a drunk asshole and that either way it would have been fine, the entire thing was a reminder of how free men feel to violate women’s personal space and to continue doing so, even when it is very clear that they’re uncomfortable and not at all interested in pursuing the conversation.
It also pissed me off. I’m a grown woman. I shouldn’t have to feel stupid for considering walking home alone for five blocks in my own neighborhood. I also shouldn’t have to feel that I need to take a cab everywhere in the city not because I’m too lazy to walk, but because I’m afraid of the insensitive and unpredictable predators that I might find along the way.
When I got home, I found this blog by accident through Blogger’s Blogs of Note. I’m just sad it didn’t occur to me to take a picture, but next time, I’ll certainly try. This is a wonderful idea and means to give voice to the small disturbances and demeaning experiences women face all the time, and pretty much accept as part of their daily lives.
Dude, if you’re out there and reading this, you should be ashamed of yourself. I’m ashamed for you.
I had my cell phone clutched in my hand the whole time, unfortunately it didn’t have a camera so I couldn’t take a picture of the jerk’s face. I’m 17 years old and even though I’ve been told I look 18 or 19, it’s still no justification to hit on someone who is thirty years younger than you. It was just plain creepy and it left me completely shaken. I ended up in tears for the two hours that followed because I was totally unnerved and I lost all sense of safety. This incident was made worse by the fact that the night before I had a group of guys shouting “I want some of that pussy” at me while I was walking down the 42 street train station stairs. I’m use to comments of “hey beautiful” and such and I’ve learned to ignore those, but the vulgarity of what those guys were shouting surprised me and left me a bit nervous. But it certainly compared nothing to how violated I felt last night.
Submitted by C.C.
Tonight around 10 PM, on a train back to her apartment in Williamsburg, a hooded man seated next to my best friend, a 22 year old woman, whispered in her ear “I am going to follow you when you get up.” He did follow her, just a step behind, up the subway steps of her stop and out onto the street. With great clarity in a life-threatening moment, she stepped inside a bodega, while he stood outside, waiting for her, and was fortunate to find a couple who were willing to walk her the few steps from the market to her apartment door. When they exited the bodega, the hooded man was still there, waiting for his (potential) victim. Unfortunately, it took the help of two people–a woman to make her feel safe, and a man to protect her– to allow this woman to arrive home unharmed.
The most important part of this is that my friend is safe, but I feel such anger and rage that men like this, who derive such a false, disgusting sense of power from physically and sexually threatening women in public (or private), can make strong, smart, powerful women like my friend doubt their decision to live alone if they choose, to live free and independent lives, or to merely live at all. I am completely disgusted, and concerned for my friend.
Submitted by R.P.
I was on my way home after an extremely long day when this creep decides to sit next to me on the train. I’m used to creeps leering at me, but this guy belongs on my top 5 worst. He slowly turns and leers at me, with his face only inches away. I could even feel his disgusting breath on me. After a few moments, he turns around, and I brush the whole thing off. A minute later, the creep leers again. This fucker repeats his leer-and-look-away act several times before my skin was crawling and I moved. He was still on the train when I got off, and luckily for me I had my camera, so I snapped his picture as he stupidly looked on.
Submitted by Cathy
This morning circa 9:50 am, I rode the 4/5 train to 86th St. Leaving 59th St., I saw a creepy guy in the doorway with his dick hanging all the way out! His bag was pulled to the side & he was looking confidentally casual, not like he was even prepared to adjust his bag quickly should he be caught. He had briefly stood opposite me back at Union Sq. & I wondered if he had it out when he was standing right in front of me!!! I calmly got off at 86th St. & easily reached the conductor. I simply pointed through the window to the next car.
“That man was exposing himself to me.” He looked surprised, pointed to him and said “That man?”
He simply walked over to him between the cars, and the asshole was standing there w/his bag positioned in front of him and not even looking nervous. He probably even still had it out, covering it w/the shoulder bag.
The conductor returns with this look on his face that said: “Well, sorry but I don’t see anything unusual…” And then, Mr. Dickhand ran out of the car because the genius conductor had left the doors open the whole time! I went to chase him, but said: “Wait, can you just call upstairs and tell the token booth person?!” And he says…”Well, he just ran off, and there’s nothing I can do since he’s already left the train…”
I never was able to find the slimy weasel again, but saw an NYPD van parked right there. They took my description and phone no., & asked me if I wanted to press charges if they found him. (Hell yeah!) The cops were actually really nice. The female officer actually said: “I’m sorry this happened to you…” The male officer was more aloof but still seemed vaguely concerned. And then they drove off to look for him! I went back downstairs thinking maybe he was somehow still lurking around the station, instead of running to street level. I told the token booth clerk: “A guy was exposing himself to me on the train…I told the police but thought maybe you want a description?”
She said: “Well did they call it in?”
I looked at her blankly because I didn’t see them make any phone calls. Though they did seem on it.
“Well they’re handling it, something, something, blah..”
It was time to tune out and go to work.
This happened to me in Berkeley… there are a lot of cat calls here. My neighbor said, “Well, that’s what Berkeley is like.” I say it’s inappropriate no matter what city it is and Berkeley deserves a better reputation than that.
Later I was walking up the street he was walking in the same direction. He said “Hey sweetie…” I asked him to stop talking to me and that he was being disrespectful. He started a string of insults about my ass being fat and so on. So I took his picture and told him it would be on Hollaback. He didn’t like it.
Submitted by Marlenee.
This “nice catch” found me at 42nd Street – Times Square. He followed me around the station from one platform to another. Then he got on the N with me and stayed on until I got off in Brooklyn. He then got off. I got on the R, and he didn’t. I snapped his photo in case he did anything – and I have it saved. He kept telling me he loved me – over and over and over and making kissing noises and motions with his lips. What a creep he was. Several men told me that they had been watching him talk to me and making the kissing motions and sounds. They said that if he would have done anything, they would have been up. Thankfully, he didn’t try anything.
Also, I had my 7 year old son with me. (That’s part of his head in the side of the photo). So this man was behaving this way in front of MY CHILD!
Thanks again for this service you provide. I wish I had a photo of the first perv I met – who rubbed his penis against my leg!
Submitted by Brandy.
Two of my friends and I were coming home from a night of bowling. My friend was driving, her cousin was in the front seat, and I was in back. We pulled up to a red light, laughing about something, and I casually glanced at the car next to us for a split second, where one of the guys in the backseat was pretty much drooling over us. I alerted my friends to this, and they looked over at them, this time to find everyone in the car staring at us. There were four of them, and they were big guys. They kept rolling down their windows and yelling stuff at us, but we ignored them. The light changed, and we drove on, thinking nothing of it.
So we stopped at the next light, and guess who pulled up beside us. We were right by where you needed to turn to get to my house, so I told her to just keep going straight because I didn’t want those idiots on a power trip knowing where I live. She kept going straight, and they stayed right next to us.
This went on for several minutes before she pulled out her cell phone and called her mom. They were still right next to us, and they started acting like they were going to run us off of the road. Her mom told her to call the police if they kept on us, and she said ok. We were in a 40mph zone, and she was doing 30. They stayed right next to us…you could tell they were totally getting off on it.
They eventually went away, and we had to go all the way through Beech Grove to get home.
Submitted by Amanda.
Last night I was coming home around midnight after a study marathon and having all kinds of fun experiences with leering guys on the subway. It was like “Creepy Man Stare at Lauri” Day or something. My outfit was eye-catching — a flowery dress that ended mid-thigh, tights, and corduroy jacket — but not immodest. Basically it showed off my legs. Anyway, I get off at my stop in Astoria and these two guys behind me start talking about rape. Now, I can’t be 100% sure about the exact content of their conversation, but it seemed that one of the guys was trying to convince the other guy that raping women was, you know, a bad thing. All the while, the avenue is barren. I’m getting a little bit concerned. “Why are they talking about this behind a woman who’s walking by herself at midnight?” I wondered. “That’s not so polite.”
When I got to my house, one of the guys yelled out, “I’ll get you next time.” Now, was he yelling to his friend, or to me? I don’t know. All I know is that now I feel even more threatened in my already leering-loving neighborhood, and will have to buy some mace. Great.
Astoria needs some serious street harrassment awareness training.