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If you didn’t know, Wednesdays are half-off clothes at the Salvation Army in the Southside. This particular Wednesday proved more trying than just finding some good deals. As I walked the stairs up to the second floor, a man gave me a look over and a “compliment.” I said thanks and kept walking up the stairs, grateful that we were headed in opposite directions. To my dismay, he decided to turn around and come back up after I had begun browsing the racks. He asked if I was married, if I had kids, or if I had a boyfriend. He told me I should be on the cover of sports illustrated in a little bikini (the was in the winter and I was wearing jeans and a cape style jacket, not figure flattering). I was followed around the store for what felt like an hour trying to politely be an asshole and dismiss him, saying “no” and “probably not” to everything he said. He tried to get me to try on some work slacks. I made a sarcastic joke about how I could wear them to my corporate job (I also had blue hair at this time) and he responded with a sexist and inappropriate comment about how all the guys in the office would be checking out my ass (which was currently covered and potentially very flat for all he knew). He had some lunch he had been neglecting and after several of my suggestions to go eat it, he finally did.
Relieved I no longer had to deal with this guy, I went to text my friend and tell him about this crazy situation I had encountered. Unfortunately, this man returned. This time it wasn’t to ask me a million questions and follow me around the store but to ask for my phone number because apparently the little voices inside his head told him. I said no. He asked if that was how it was going to be, I said yes, and he left.
I browsed the clothes for quite a while longer and contemplated asking my friend to come pick me up. I didn’t want to walk home. What if this guy was downstairs waiting for me? What if he followed me home? I took an unusual route home and thankfully haven’t seen that guy since.
I was waiting at the bus stop on Fifth and Bellefonte, as I’ve done many times before, when I heard a person come out of the Victorian house whose fence borders the bus stop. The man was making weird noises, then walked closer to the fence. He was covering his face with a clothe held up by one hand while he was masturbating with the other hand. He asked me if I would stand there until he came. I said no, walked away, I called the police and they HAVEN’T DONE SHIT.
I was followed home as I zig-zagged across the street and stood at the bottom of my steps–watching me fumble for my keys
I was 10 years old in New York City. One day my family and I took the subway home. I walked over to a trash can and a man stood behind me and whispered “I’d love to lick your tight little pussy” when I turned and noticed he was talking to me I gasped but he smelt so awful! I immediately bent over and started gagging, I almost threw up on him! I guess this really made him mad because he walked away cursing. I will never forget that smell, still to this day if i think about it, it makes me gag!
I’m from Israel, just done with military service and visiting family in America. I was wearing a shirt with “Israeli Defense Force” written across the front and shorts, wandering with my family to look at shops. A man was catcalling at us, and when we didn’t respond, he walked up behind me and grabbed me by the shoulder to turn me around and make more comments. He saw my shirt and said it was “cute” that a pretty girl like me was pretending to be a soldier.
So I broke his nose.
I was walking to a grocery store when I realized the voices behind me were following me no matter what speed I was at, and to make it better they were talking about my body. I turned down a well known street. Why is it well known? A neighborhood cop lives there. Of course as I turned they had one last thing to say, “I will ride your pussy!”. I wasn’t about to give up my trip to the store so I took the long route, unfortunately that gave them enough time to go to DQ and come back, as soon as I saw them in the distance and they saw me (unfortunately I had a brightish pink sports tanks on with the same pink strip on my exercise shorts) they immediately turned in my direction and sped up, so I ran like the wind to my street where I saw an older couple walking. This is my mom uploading the story for me, but I am only 14 and the boys harassing me were my age or younger.
P.s. Though it shouldn’t matter how you are dressed I was dressed VERY modestly, knee length baggy shorts, three finger strap on tank top, sports bra so I wasn’t even very large in the chest area at the time. My point is they harass everyone no matter looks, and parents need to not only tell girls how to avoid these situations but tell there boys how amazingly stupid and horrid harassment is.
I was in the town I went to college in on a night out with some friends. As we were walking down the street, these two very drunk guys approached my friends and I, who were walking side-by-side three across. There was room on the sidewalk for them to have gone to one side to get around us, but instead the started approaching us head-on, forcing us to split up. My 2 friends went around them to the right and I went around them to the left, and as I did so the one closest to me grabbed me with his arms over my shoulders like he was trying to give me a very agressive hug, saying, “Hey beautiful, where you going?” I freaked out completely, pushed him away and yelled, “Get the fuck off me!” Everyone around us stared and my friends didn’t understand why I was so upset, but I’m sure if it had been one of them in my place they would have been just as PISSED to have some random guy assume it was okay to grab them that way.
I was just walking back toward my dorm alone at 3 in the afternoon when two men (adults, clearly NOT Brown students) stopped me under the pretense of asking directions to the pool. What followed was a string of incredibly creepy innuendoes, ogling, and clearly unwanted, inappropriate advances, which thankfully ceased after I walked away, feeling totally disgusted.
As a white woman with a lot of curves, I have received a lot of attention while growing up. The attention started with honks from truck drivers when I was 13, and has continued through my high school, college, and post grad life.
The most off-putting and infuriating experience was at Towson Town Mall in Towson, Maryland during my first year of college. I had an errand to run, so instead of going with a group of friends like I usually would I went by myself. While taking an escalator down to my next stop, a man at the top of the stairs started shouting. “Damn, white girl! Look at that ass!” I presume that he was referring to me, but I was not about to turn around to check. When I didn’t not respond, he shouted again- “Girl, I’m tryin’ to holla at you! Turn around” By this time I was getting off the escalator and started walking a bit faster towards my next stop and he shouts again- “Bitch, I’m talking to you. Turn the fuck around.”
I’m feeling threatened by the point in the “conversation” and steer my path in front of two security guards, hoping they would interfere and ask the man to leave me alone.
Instead, as I walk by the officers, still being followed by the shouting man, the two security guards say “Oh damn, girl. How you doin??”
I quickly turned into the closest store, and hid behind stands to get out of their line of sight. I still think about that moment, 5 years later.
How could it be that NO ONE interfered? Not one bystander said anything. Not one security guard said anything. I didn’t say anything. This is NOT something that I should feel ashamed of.
What I find most frustrating about situations like these is that when I debriefed and told a group of college friends, at least one reaction is:
Well, Tina. You have to learn not to go to the mall by yourself anymore.
You do have a really large ass, so I can see why he would say something.
Harassment has to stop.
It was a hot night in the middle of a sweltering Pittsburgh summer. I was wearing a sun dress out one night with friends. At the end of the night, my friend and I went to get food. I stood in the doorway of a gyro shop as she scanned around to see if there were any tables. My backside was in the doorway toward the street. All of a sudden, I felt this weird sensation on, around, and then in my vagina. It honestly took me a few seconds to put together what was happening. By then it was too late. I whipped my head around and saw the guy run off down the street.
I burst into tears, and my friend came running over. I told her what happened and we started walking home, both of us horrified. By some stroke of luck, we walked past a cop who was already arresting this drunk kid. We stood nearby and waited to report it. When it was our turn, we told the cop what happened. He looked me up and down and told me I shouldn’t of been wearing a dress, and did nothing else.
Who gave this man the right to touch my body? Where did he get the nerve to put his hand up a stranger’s dress and inside her body, on a crowded street? Why was it my fault that this happened? All I can do now is never forget; stay angry and fight back to help protect myself and other women.