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I used to ride my bike almost every day, and almost every day, men would express themselves towards me as I rode. They’d shout at me from their car windows as they drove by, often incoherently, but sometimes I’d catch the word, “sexy,” or “baby.” Sometimes they’d honk their horns (not a euphemism) as well, or simply honk their horns and keep their loud mouths shut. Pretty standard stuff.
Except I was only fourteen years old.
It was my first year at a new school. I was young and innocent, and I’d only just started liking boys maybe a year or two earlier. I’d never even held a boy’s hand, let alone kissed one. But there I was, bombarded with sexual evaluations of my budding body from grown men, many of whom were likely old enough to be my father. I didn’t want that kind of attention from grown men. Not only were the sounds themselves extremely annoying, but the easily inferred intent behind those sounds was very intimidating to me at the time, and all I wanted to do was get home or to school in peace. But the truth is that I was starting to look like a woman, and those men couldn’t tell that I was just a child in passing. I know that must have been the reason, because I never got that sort of attention from grown men at that age when I was face to face with them.
So that’s something to think about: That “woman” you’re gawking at and calling “sexy” may actually be a child.
This is actually an excerpt from the blog I wrote about the video Hollaback made that went viral a few months ago. You can read the rest of the blog here: http://therightwinggeminist.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-catcalling-video-commentary.html
I was staying the night at my friends home during a rather bad time in my life (breakup with boyfriend) and it was really late at night but I was not tired, I left my room and went into her kitchen to grab something to eat and noticed her roomate (Male, but they aren’t dating) sitting on a chair in the living room adjacent to the kitchen. I had talked to him a few times and he seemed like a really nice guy, was also very attractive. He made a comment which drew me over to the couch that butts up against the recliner he was sitting in. He had a laptop sitting on the arm of the chair with a pornographic forums website up called dick flash. He told me he stumbled across it by accident and told me about a video of girl getting flashed by a guy who was asking for directions. I told him that was crazy and he asked me what I would do in that same situation, I told him I wasn’t sure but that it would probably depend if i got a creepy vibe from the guy like he wanted to rape or kill me.
I had put something in the microwave and went to fetch it before coming back to sit on the couch and watch TV for a few minutes. A few minutes later I was looking through my phone pictures about to post something on Facebook and noticed out of the corner of my eye his hand moving up and down behind a pillow, a sinking feeling came over me when I realized what he was probably doing, wanting proof for my friend i turned my phone on camera mode and waited. A few minutes later he said “hey check this out”, somehow the words didn’t register that he was about to flash me and I looked over at the computer thinking that is what he had referred to and when nothing notable showed up i realized he was probably doing what you could imagine he was doing… masturbating. His penis wasn’t hard and I was able to snap a photo of it. I acted disgusted and got up and left. I went to my roomates room and woke her up shaking. It was so pathetic, what a creeper.
I was on my way to work, and wanted to grab a sandwich at a local bakery/cafe. I usually go in, but they have a drive-thru, so I thought I’d just do that to save time. The new guy there seemed okay the last time I went into the cafe, so I thought nothing of it when he greeted me at the window. He handed me the food and drink, I handed him the money, and was given my change. He smiled as he gave it to me, and said something that sounded like “sexy,” or “you’re sexy.” I couldn’t clearly hear it, but I didn’t need to. It didn’t quite hit me at first, so I just sort of absent-mindedly nodded. He walked back toward the kitchen, still grinning through the window. It dawned on me then, and made me furious. He must’ve known that by being at the window, he wouldn’t be heard by any of the other professional and kind people who work there. I usually go there to pick up baked goods to bring home, and now I don’t want to go alone. It infuriates me that just because he’s an employee, I should somehow be less deserving of comfort in going there. I already stopped going to another casual order then pick up type restaurant where a cook hit on me in a creepy way. I hate how flustered I still get in these situations, and that men like himself make it so that I rearrange my routines out of anxiety. When I told my boyfriend about it, I broke down and cried, because I feel like I’m running out of places I can go and feel comfortable. We skipped going to the gym that night too, because I was afraid of any unwanted attention or conversation attempts. I wish the men who do it could just stop making excuses and grow up.
Just jogging today in my neighborhood and some dude I didn’t know walking half a block behind me started yelling repeatedly, “I’m right behind you!” He may have followed me for a while or maybe just going the same way I was, I’m not sure, but my focus was just to run faster at that point and start heading to a place where I knew more people would be likely doing yard work in case this creep tried to get closer.
It was Halloween night and my friend and I dressed up in our crazy laundrie for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Before the show we went into our local coffee shop for some tea. In the meantime we thought we would take some pictures of each other in our costumes. After we finished a man old enough to be our grandfather asked “Can I take some pictures of you?” In a very creepy tone. We were both disgusted, and left. Walking back I received five more instances of abuse after walking one block.
Witnessed person call stranger (female) a b@## on BART between west Oakland and embarcadero. Perp is toward right of image.
I am a 13 year old girl and I love cosplay so I go to every con dressed up. I was at acen in chicago dressed as gou matsuoka and a man asked to take a picture with me, so I agreed. After the first picture he said he wanted another this time he touched me, while he was walking away after the picture I heard him say “I’m using those tonight.” I think this was innapropriate but I didn’t speak up and I regret that.
went to the bar with my boyfriend and a few friends. I was on my way back from the restroom when a guy attempted to go in for a kiss and pulled my hand. Almost punched him in the face.
I was in the VIP section at a dance club with a group of my female friends. I was standing near a balcony looking down at the dance floor, while wearing a knee length dress with long sleeves and a crew neck. At this time I was not making eye contact with anyone, I was not talking with anyone, and I was not dancing. I was only standing there in a straight proper posture (how one would stand in a professional setting while speaking to their boss). A young male passes behind me and grabs my butt tightly. My instinct reaction made me quickly turn around, grab this male by his collar and hang him halfway over the balcony. He was yelling “it wasn’t me” but I know it was him because he was the only person near enough to grope me like that. I was so upset, I would not let go until security came. Security said he witnessed the entire incident and that male was tossed out of the club. But afterwards I still felt like justice was not served.
I was on my way back home, waiting for the train to come on a busy evening. When the tube came, everyone squeezed inside and I got on with perhaps 6 middle-aged men who were going to a football match. One guy said to his friend I have a great butt, he shouted it out and everyone started looking at me. He also kept telling his friend, who was standing behind me, to keep his hands close to himself and not to touch me else he ‘will go to prison again’ in a joking manner to tease me further. The guy behind me drops his glasses and bends down to get them, and another guy says ‘that’s just his excuse to touch your ass’ and all 6 men start laughing. Never have felt more embarrassed in my life, these men were surrounding me with only a couple of inches between us because the tube was so crowded; felt angry, disgusted, I just didn’t know how to react. I wish my dad was there to teach them a lesson!