A man snuck up behind me when I was putting some vegetables in my cart. He was probably in his 50s. Goes “You know how to make those taste real good, girly?” Very close to me and blocking my cart. I said, “What?” Trying to figure out what to say next. He repeated himself without the “girly”, so I told him I roast them. He tried to keep talking so I politely told him I needed to finish shopping so I could go back to work, and backed up when he didn’t move out of my way. He followed me and continued to talk, and I only lost him when he wanted me to follow him down one aisle and I went the other way without saying anything. I left immediately and kept looking over my shoulder because I was afraid he would come up behind me again. I was in a public place so I was probably fine, but still not fun to feel like you’re being followed.
After opening with “hey, are you afraid of Black guys?” I should’ve seen it coming – the man kept talking to me even after clear signals that I wasn’t interested. He opted to follow me across the Hopscotch bridge instead of going up North Capitol like which is where he said he was headed. He kept saying “C’mon” as though I was following him. Finally I turned to him and said, “look, I’m tired and I don’t want to talk to you. I’ve had a long day at work and I’m angry that you don’t understand that I don’t want to talk to you. Leave me alone.” Maybe the twinge of hysteria in my voice is what made him give up and finally leave. I was so shaky that I called a friend in my way across the bridge.
Two men approached me from across the street while I was walking. They followed me for half a block, commenting on my looks, and asking if I was married or had a boyfriend. I ignored them and they stopped as soon as I was near other pedestrians.
I experience incidents everyday during my commute to the city. Some are “smaller” incidents like a man breathing in my face or holding his phone in an unusual position to photograph me and some are more serious incidents like being touched inappropriately. A few years ago, I experienced one of the more serious incidents. I was sitting on the train and reading something and didn’t notice that a man was standing in front of me. After I looked up from what I was reading, I noticed that his pants were unzipped and he was flashing me. I was shocked; I had never experienced anything like that and I thought I must have been mistaken. But when I looked again, I saw that I wasn’t wrong. At that point, the other people sitting next to me, including a middle aged man and a young woman, got up from their seats and began to move away. I wasn’t just shocked that I was being harassed, I was shocked that no one thought to help. Not one person who got up thought to tell me that someone was harassing me and not one of them tried to help. When I noticed that everyone had stood up, I stood up too and moved away. But he followed and I was too shocked to move to a different car. I still remember what he looks like and what he was wearing.
One evening I was walking in downtown and I noticed this car was going straight, then turned and a man got out- he clearly was following me and I yelled “Are you following me?!” he said that he just wanted to talk to me. I yelled at him to stop following me and he kept walking after me once he saw that I got on my phone he stopped and went back. The fact that this man went completely out of his way to follow me was scary!
I was walking to class at about 8:45AM on Annie Glidden road and Stadium Drive, and a bigger man named John with dirty blondish hair, and short beard followed me to Graham Hall, and made gross comments about my body, “oh, look at that chick in the blue sweatshirt. She has some hot curves.” I started to walk faster, and then at the light near Graham, I turned around and saw him. He was the same shit stain that harassed me in Neptune dining hall a couple of times last year. He and his other shit face buddy gave me creepy looks, and John (shit stain) said, “Hello, miss. Why don’t you come with us.” Last year, I told him to leave me alone, but today, he followed me and did that. I barely know him, and I got scared… All I could say was “Why don’t you fuck off?!”, then I ran to my class. It was surprising that he remembered me. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him, but I couldn’t. A police report was filed. They said they couldn’t find him, but I could call the authorities if he bothers me again. I just hope he leaves me alone. I was wearing a blue courtoroy jacket that did not show anything, black pants, and “mom shoes”. I am 20 years old.
I’m a server, at a small family owned restaurant. I love it, but the hours are so crazy sometimes. I typically get out after midnight. This night in particular I had to stop by Kroger on the way home to grab some tampons and groceries. No big deal. But as I was walking down the bread isle, some guy crosses my path and doubles back. He’s around my age. Frat guy looking. And I’m thinking “okay here we go.” So he keeps pace behind me. Doesn’t say anything. So I’m like “well maybe he’s forgotten something ahead and I’m being paranoid.” No. He follows me down several isles. He pretends to look at things as I continue to shop. He hasn’t even picked anything up. He doesn’t have a cart or a basket. So I start to get weirded out. Then I guess he musters up the courage to talk to me, so he says “having a good night, darlin?” And it’s so freaking creepy. He’s not even making eye contact with me, just staring at my body like I’m meat on the grill. So I’m like “I was, creep.” And I turn and walk away. This I guess, pisses him off. So he follows me in a huff and I can hear him muttering to him self “bitch” so I decide, ‘you know, I really need a giant box of tampons and pads.’ So I turn down the feminine hygiene isle. I guess he realizes where he is, and is disgusted, so he turns around and leaves. I made sure I had a manager walk me to my car. Thank god for tampons.
I am an avid yogi and I work hard to make it to yoga class every day with my busy schedule. I was so excited when I moved into the city within walking distance from my yoga studio. I usually walk the 5 minutes to class then walk home when it’s over, still in my yoga clothes. Apparently me wearing yoga pants is an invitation for men to comment on my most blessed attributes. Two days ago I was walking home from class when about 3 blocks from my house a white car drove up next to me, rolled down the side window and said “damn girl look at that ass”. I ignored them as I always do… the car drove down the block, turned around at the round about and rolled past me again, “ASS all day!”. He did this turn around/drive-by and yell thing about 6 times before I ended up running the last block home. I hid in the alley behind my house so that he wouldn’t be able to tell where I live and I cried. I now drive the 7 blocks to my yoga studio everyday out of fear that the same man or someone else might take it even further than that.
I was walking down a main road in my town to go to a local park. About 100 yards ahead of me sat a man on a bench. At this distance, he looked straight at me and then quickly stood up and crossed the street. I noticed his abrupt movement and thought it was a little odd, but didn’t think that much of it. I kept walking. After another five minutes or so of walking down that same street, I looked over and there was the same man, still across the street, walking in the same direction parallel to me. I tried to calm my paranoia and figured, “Maybe he’s going to the park too” or to some other nearby location. As we both kept walking, however, I noticed that he would frequently look over at me from across the street and made sure to walk at the exact same pace that I was walking. When I slowed down, he slowed down. When I sped up, he sped up. At this point, we were in a very residential part of town where there were no businesses or public places, only houses, and I was getting scared. We were the only two people on the street. Finally we passed by a church. I decided to try an experiment to see if he really was following me: in front of the church, I stopped dead in my tracks and took out my cell phone. I figured the man would keep walking without regard for my direction, and I would feel silly. To my horror, he stopped when I stopped, and turned to look at me, as if he was waiting for me to keep moving so he could continue to follow me. At this point I made direct eye contact with him from across the street, put on a serious face, and pretended to make a phone call (it could have been to 911 or the police or whatever; the point was just to let him know that I knew he was following me and I was calling someone to report it). At this point, the man turned around down a random side street and stopped following me.
It was another seven minutes of walking to the park, and I was turning around to look over my shoulder the entire time.
I’ve been getting followed and harassed by some guys in the neighborhood. I’m freaked out about it. I’m a single mom and live with my son, and the harassers live in front of us. One kinda stalked me today, watching me. Later today his buddy started shouting shit at me and then approached me because I wouldn’t respond. My guy friend was right next to me, too. I had just told him about the dude acting shady earlier, then we were outside and the guy started calling me blondie, getting mad that I didn’t respond, then approached and started trying to call me beautiful and stuff, I didn’t respond because I was uncomfortable and scared, and him and another bystander did NOTHING. It was really scary and upsetting. They live nearby and I see them daily, and they seem to watch me when I come and go. While this is bothersome, the worst is how my male friends dismiss it, invalidating my feelings just because they don’t understand the threat women feel constantly. We are taught as children that we are prey, and men can be predators. Some men just seem so ignorant of what it may be like for us women, and are not sensitive at all. With my friend, it isnt like I expected anything crazy, but I expected at least something like “Hey, you ok? That seemed scary”.